Start & SitDecember 28, 2007

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Week 17

By Nick Hopkins

Well, this is it – the final week of the NFL regular season! And that means the last week of fantasy games (unless you join some sort of fantasy playoff league, I guess…) Anyway, if your league’s championship game is this week and you are in it, your task could end up being as challenging as ever. With so many NFL team’s playoff positions already fixed, many vital fantasy players will be resting, resulting in very unpredictable statistical performances. Colt, Cowboy, and Giant players are likely to be affected by this, among others. In the future I would suggest moving your championship game to Week 16 to avoid this problem, but for now our Start & Sit Rankings can help you make the best of it. Good luck, and we’ll see you next year!

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Kurt Warner – ARIvs STL15.13.38.4
Derek Anderson – CLEvs SF14.43.27.6
Tom Brady – NEat NYG14.34.08.3
Carson Palmer – CINat MIA13.92.96.8
Drew Brees – NOat CHI13.13.86.8
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAat ATL12.94.37.2
Shaun Hill – SFat CLE12.63.66.2
Brett Favre – GBvs DET12.63.86.4
David Garrard – JACat HOU12.44.36.7
Tony Romo – DALat WAS12.14.06.1
Ben Roethlisberger – PITat BAL12.04.96.9
Tarvaris Jackson – MINat DEN11.95.06.9
Philip Rivers – SDat OAK11.84.36.1
Vince Young – TENat IND11.84.36.0
Donovan McNabb – PHIvs BUF11.84.86.5
Todd Collins – WASvs DAL11.64.15.7
Jay Cutler – DENvs MIN11.64.35.8
Chris Redman – ATLvs SEA11.54.56.0
Marc Bulger – STLat ARI11.44.55.9
Cleo Lemon – MIAvs CIN11.15.36.4
Eli Manning – NYGvs NE11.14.25.3
Matt Moore – CARat TB10.84.55.3
Peyton Manning – INDvs TEN10.85.76.4
Sage Rosenfels – HOUvs JAC10.74.34.9
Kyle Orton – CHIvs NO10.64.55.1
Jon Kitna – DETat GB10.15.45.5
Damon Huard – KCat NYJ9.95.35.3
Trent Edwards – BUFat PHI9.65.95.5
Kellen Clemens – NYJvs KC9.55.34.8
Brodie Croyle – KCat NYJ8.35.94.3
Jeff Garcia – TBvs CAR8.27.35.4
Chad Pennington – NYJvs KC7.85.73.4
Kyle Boller – BALvs PIT7.76.34.0
Luke McCown – TBvs CAR7.46.53.9
JaMarcus Russell – OAKvs SD6.37.84.1
Josh McCown – OAKvs SD5.97.83.8
Billy Volek – SDat OAK5.97.23.1
John Beck – MIAvs CIN4.87.32.2
Jason Campbell – WASvs DAL4.47.11.5
AJ Feeley – PHIvs BUF4.07.41.4
Brooks Bollinger – MINat DEN3.87.41.2
Trent Dilfer – SFat CLE3.87.41.2
Vinny Testaverde – CARat TB3.78.72.3
JP Losman – BUFat PHI3.77.61.3
Gus Frerotte – STLat ARI3.77.71.3
Matt Schaub – HOUvs JAC3.57.40.9
Brian Griese – CHIvs NO3.37.70.9
Joey Harrington – ATLvs SEA3.18.71.8
Daunte Culpepper – OAKvs SD2.97.80.8
Byron Leftwich – ATLvs SEA2.78.10.8

Drew Brees, NO (13.1 rating): Brees’ second half resurgence will likely not be quite enough to sneak New Orleans into the playoffs, after a disappointing loss to the Eagles last week. But the Saints are not technically out of it, they can still get in if they win and both the Vikings and Redskins lose. And since they play before either of those other teams, they will certainly hold nothing back. At the very least, Brees should be motivated to end the season on a high note and wash out the bad taste of last week’s defeat. Chicago’s defense was impressive against Green Bay last week, but they can be vulnerable to the pass, and the Saints are not shy about going to the passing game early and often.

Peyton Manning, IND (10.8 rating): Manning will probably only play a few drives this Sunday against the Titans, with the Colts locked into the #2 seed in the AFC. On the other side, the Titans need a win to get into the playoffs so they will be pulling out all the stops. A few drives of Manning may be better than a full game of a few other quarterbacks, but he is probably not worth starting in most situations. Hopefully you have a good backup.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
Brian Westbrook – PHIvs BUF15.43.38.7
Frank Gore – SFat CLE15.32.77.9
Kenny Watson – CINat MIA14.93.88.7
Steven Jackson – STLat ARI14.84.08.8
Jamal Lewis – CLEvs SF14.83.38.0
Ryan Grant – GBvs DET14.83.48.2
Fred Taylor – JACat HOU14.53.37.8
LenDale White – TENat IND13.83.87.6
Kolby Smith – KCat NYJ13.83.87.7
Marshawn Lynch – BUFat PHI13.73.57.2
Clinton Portis – WASvs DAL13.63.97.5
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat OAK13.33.87.0
Adrian Peterson – MINat DEN13.15.38.3
Darius Walker – HOUvs JAC13.13.56.6
Adrian Peterson – CHIvs NO12.84.37.1
Darren Sproles – SDat OAK12.84.57.3
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat HOU12.85.28.0
Edgerrin James – ARIvs STL12.84.16.8
Thomas Jones – NYJvs KC12.63.86.4
Dominic Rhodes – OAKvs SD12.53.66.1
Aaron Stecker – NOat CHI12.54.36.8
Jesse Chatman – MIAvs CIN12.55.37.8
Najeh Davenport – PITat BAL12.34.26.5
Marion Barber – DALat WAS12.24.36.4
Earnest Graham – TBvs CAR11.84.96.8
Chester Taylor – MINat DEN11.65.36.9
TJ Duckett – DETat GB11.45.26.6
Shaun Alexander – SEAat ATL11.34.86.2
Leon Washington – NYJvs KC11.24.05.2
DeAngelo Williams – CARat TB11.06.07.0
Laurence Maroney – NEat NYG10.95.26.1
Maurice Morris – SEAat ATL10.65.05.6
Michael Turner – SDat OAK10.65.05.6
Lorenzo Booker – MIAvs CIN10.55.96.4
Brandon Jacobs – NYGvs NE10.55.96.4
Ahmed Bradshaw – NYGvs NE10.56.36.8
Kenton Keith – INDvs TEN10.15.35.3
Chris Brown – TENat IND9.85.35.0
Jerious Norwood – ATLvs SEA9.65.75.3
Clifton Dawson – INDvs TEN9.55.24.7
Ladell Betts – WASvs DAL9.55.75.2
Joseph Addai – INDvs TEN9.46.05.4
Michael Pittman – TBvs CAR9.35.44.7
Warrick Dunn – ATLvs SEA9.16.15.2
Julius Jones – DALat WAS8.96.04.9
Correll Buckhalter – PHIvs BUF8.95.44.3
DeShaun Foster – CARat TB8.76.85.5
Jason Wright – CLEvs SF8.55.84.3
Fred Jackson – BUFat PHI8.36.44.8
Rudi Johnson – CINat MIA8.35.53.8
Musa Smith – BALvs PIT8.26.54.7
Mike Anderson – BALvs PIT8.17.35.3
Garrett Wolfe – CHIvs NO7.96.44.3
Greg Jones – JACat HOU7.86.54.3
Selvin Young – DENvs MIN7.77.45.1
Aveion Cason – DETat GB7.57.04.5
Travis Henry – DENvs MIN7.37.34.7
Ron Dayne – HOUvs JAC7.36.84.1
Reggie Bush – NOat CHI7.26.23.3
Michael Robinson – SFat CLE7.06.23.2
Jason Snelling – ATLvs SEA6.77.13.8
LaMont Jordan – OAKvs SD6.77.34.0
Leonard Weaver – SEAat ATL6.76.73.3
JJ Arrington – ARIvs STL6.66.83.3
Samkon Gado – MIAvs CIN6.66.83.3
Pierre Thomas – NOat CHI6.67.03.6
Kevin Faulk – NEat NYG6.57.13.6
Antonio Pittman – STLat ARI6.57.13.6
Reuben Droughns – NYGvs NE6.46.83.3
Michael Bennett – TBvs CAR6.37.13.4
Gilbert Harris – KCat NYJ6.36.93.3
Marcel Shipp – ARIvs STL6.27.33.4
Heath Evans – NEat NYG6.27.33.4
Maurice Hicks – SFat CLE6.17.13.2
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs SF5.97.23.1
Patrick Cobbs – MIAvs CIN5.86.52.3
Joe Echemandu – HOUvs JAC5.77.33.0
Dwayne Wright – BUFat PHI5.66.52.1
Carey Davis – PITat BAL5.47.63.0
Vernand Morency – GBvs DET5.47.52.9
Brandon Jackson – GBvs DET5.37.62.9
Anthony Thomas – BUFat PHI5.36.71.9
Brian Leonard – STLat ARI5.07.62.6
Justin Fargas – OAKvs SD4.96.81.8
Mewelde Moore – MINat DEN4.87.62.4
Chris Henry – TENat IND4.87.62.4
Tony Hunt – PHIvs BUF4.87.72.5
Andre Hall – DENvs MIN4.68.22.8
Gary Russell – PITat BAL4.28.22.3
Ahman Green – HOUvs JAC3.97.31.3
Mike Bell – DENvs MIN3.27.60.8
Tatum Bell – DETat GB3.28.51.7

Clinton Portis, WAS (13.6 rating): Portis has been a big part of Washington’s three game winning streak, accounting for over 100 total yards in each game and three total touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 passing). He should play a big role again this week as the Redskins need a win against Dallas at home to lock up the final wildcard spot in the NFC. Dallas has nothing to play for with the top seed clinched, so they will likely be resting several starters on defense. Portis will see plenty of action and should have success against an undermanned Cowboy defense.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG (10.5 rating): Jacobs had a huge game against the Bills last week, helping the Giants clinch the 5th seed in the NFC. But he does have a bit of an ankle injury going into this week. Nothing serious, but it could certainly result in him playing less than he would otherwise, especially considering that this game will not affect the Giants’ playoff seeding. The assumption is that New York will play its starters for the most part, but I just can’t see Jacobs being a good play. Even if he does play the whole game, the Patriots are not all that easy to run the ball against. Not to mention rookie Ahmad Bradshaw had a breakout game for the Giants last week, so he will probably take some carries away from Jacobs anyway.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs SF15.12.77.8
Chad Johnson – CINat MIA14.92.97.8
Randy Moss – NEat NYG14.74.28.8
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat MIA14.73.38.0
Brandon Marshall – DENvs MIN14.13.67.7
Anquan Boldin – ARIvs STL14.13.87.8
Reggie Wayne – INDvs TEN13.83.97.8
Bobby Engram – SEAat ATL13.73.87.5
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIvs STL13.54.37.8
Marty Booker – MIAvs CIN13.33.56.8
Dwayne Bowe – KCat NYJ13.23.76.8
Deion Branch – SEAat ATL12.94.17.0
Hines Ward – PITat BAL12.94.47.3
Greg Jennings – GBvs DET12.75.07.7
Andre Johnson – HOUvs JAC12.74.47.1
Wes Welker – NEat NYG12.35.37.6
Torry Holt – STLat ARI12.34.76.9
Roydell Williams – TENat IND12.35.27.4
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJvs KC12.24.26.3
Steve Smith – CARat TB12.14.97.0
Santana Moss – WASvs DAL12.05.27.2
Donald Driver – GBvs DET11.94.16.0
Vincent Jackson – SDat OAK11.83.85.5
Lee Evans – BUFat PHI11.84.66.3
Santonio Holmes – PITat BAL11.84.76.4
Chris Chambers – SDat OAK11.73.85.4
Roddy White – ATLvs SEA11.74.36.0
Kevin Walter – HOUvs JAC11.74.86.5
Calvin Johnson – DETat GB11.64.86.3
Reggie Brown – PHIvs BUF11.54.56.0
Patrick Crayton – DALat WAS11.44.86.3
Kevin Curtis – PHIvs BUF11.44.96.3
Shaun McDonald – DETat GB11.24.96.1
Ted Ginn – MIAvs CIN10.85.46.3
Derrick Mason – BALvs PIT10.84.45.2
Justin Gage – TENat IND10.85.15.8
Donte Stallworth – NEat NYG10.65.96.5
Marques Colston – NOat CHI10.56.97.4
Isaac Bruce – STLat ARI10.45.35.8
Antwaan Randle El – WASvs DAL10.35.45.8
Reggie Williams – JACat HOU10.35.55.8
Sam Hurd – DALat WAS10.35.35.5
Josh Reed – BUFat PHI10.24.84.9
Jabar Gaffney – NEat NYG10.26.16.3
Chris Henry – CINat MIA10.14.64.7
Justin McCareins – NYJvs KC10.14.95.0
Ronald Curry – OAKvs SD10.15.45.5
Amani Toomer – NYGvs NE10.05.85.8
Mike Furrey – DETat GB9.95.45.3
Bernard Berrian – CHIvs NO9.75.35.0
Mark Clayton – BALvs PIT9.74.44.1
Nate Washington – PITat BAL9.75.75.3
Ike Hilliard – TBvs CAR9.66.25.8
Anthony Gonzalez – INDvs TEN9.66.56.1
David Patten – NOat CHI9.45.85.2
Devin Aromashodu – INDvs TEN9.35.34.5
Michael Jenkins – ATLvs SEA9.24.33.5
Sammie Parker – KCat NYJ9.05.34.3
Derek Hagan – MIAvs CIN8.85.44.3
Terrance Copper – NOat CHI8.85.94.8
Arnaz Battle – SFat CLE8.85.74.4
Troy Williamson – MINat DEN8.86.04.8
Darrell Jackson – SFat CLE8.86.14.8
Nate Burleson – SEAat ATL8.86.45.2
Eric Moulds – TENat IND8.75.13.8
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIvs NO8.75.54.2
Plaxico Burress – NYGvs NE8.77.56.2
Laurent Robinson – ATLvs SEA8.65.33.9
Dennis Northcutt – JACat HOU8.65.64.2
Jerry Porter – OAKvs SD8.45.84.3
Greg Camarillo – MIAvs CIN8.36.34.6
Bryant Johnson – ARIvs STL8.35.33.6
Javon Walker – DENvs MIN8.37.05.3
Drew Bennett – STLat ARI8.26.84.9
Keenan McCardell – WASvs DAL8.26.24.3
Bobby Wade – MINat DEN8.26.44.6
Ernest Wilford – JACat HOU7.95.63.5
Glenn Martinez – DENvs MIN7.96.34.2
Jerheme Urban – ARIvs STL7.75.33.0
Andre Davis – HOUvs JAC7.76.54.2
Joey Galloway – TBvs CAR7.46.33.8
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs SF7.26.53.7
Matt Jones – JACat HOU7.06.43.4
Hank Baskett – PHIvs BUF7.06.83.8
Craig Davis – SDat OAK6.96.63.5
James Jones – GBvs DET6.96.53.4
Cedrick Wilson – PITat BAL6.96.73.6
Antonio Chatman – CINat MIA6.86.22.9
Terry Glenn – DALat WAS6.77.44.1
Lance Moore – NOat CHI6.66.43.0
Ruvell Martin – GBvs DET6.66.73.3
James Thrash – WASvs DAL6.56.22.7
Drew Carter – CARat TB6.57.33.8
Devery Henderson – NOat CHI6.57.64.1
Brad Smith – NYJvs KC6.46.52.9
Robert Ferguson – MINat DEN6.37.33.7
Ben Obomanu – SEAat ATL6.36.02.3
Devin Hester – CHIvs NO6.37.33.5
Michael Clayton – TBvs CAR6.17.33.3
Sidney Rice – MINat DEN5.97.83.7
Tim Carter – CLEvs SF5.86.82.6
Malcolm Floyd – SDat OAK5.86.42.3
Jason Avant – PHIvs BUF5.87.23.0
Roscoe Parrish – BUFat PHI5.87.53.3
Brandon Jones – TENat IND5.76.62.3
Ashley Lelie – SFat CLE5.77.02.7
Dwayne Jarrett – CARat TB5.77.53.2
Brandon Stokley – DENvs MIN5.67.93.5
Craphonso Thorpe – INDvs TEN5.56.52.0
DJ Hackett – SEAat ATL5.56.62.1
Rashied Davis – CHIvs NO5.47.32.7
Tim Dwight – OAKvs SD5.37.73.0
Koren Robinson – GBvs DET5.17.32.3
Sam Aiken – BUFat PHI5.17.82.8
Dante Hall – STLat ARI4.97.92.8
Eddie Kennison – KCat NYJ4.98.02.9
Jacoby Jones – HOUvs JAC4.87.92.8
Demetrius Williams – BALvs PIT4.68.02.6
Laveranues Coles – NYJvs KC4.67.31.8
Steve Smith – NYGvs NE4.58.02.5
Marvin Harrison – INDvs TEN3.49.12.5
Joe Horn – ATLvs SEA3.38.41.8
Terrell Owens – DALat WAS2.97.80.8

Randy Moss, NYG (14.7 rating): Moss is now one touchdown short of tying Jerry Rice’s single season record of 22. That should be pretty good motivation for him, as the Patriots look to finish the regular season undefeated. Moss and Brady (who will be looking to break Peyton Manning’s record of 49 touchdown passes in a season) have a lot more to play for than their opponent, the New York Giants. I expect the Patriots to get a few quick scores through the passing game, and then coast for most of the second half. If I were a betting man I’d say Moss will tie the record, at least.

Anthony Gonzalez, IND (9.6 rating): Gonzalez has been a great late season fantasy pickup, as he has really stepped up his game in place of the injured Marvin Harrison. But he will likely not be very busy in Week 17. He has a foot injury that will limit him, if not keep him out all together as the Colts do not need to win this final game. Even if Gonzalez does play, he will be receiving passes from backup QB Jim Sorgi for most of the game. No offense to Sorgi, but he will not provide his receivers with the same opportunities that Peyton Manning does.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs SF15.32.78.0
Tony Gonzalez – KCat NYJ14.33.57.8
Chris Cooley – WASvs DAL14.13.77.8
Vernon Davis – SFat CLE13.83.57.3
Tony Scheffler – DENvs MIN13.74.17.8
Jason Witten – DALat WAS12.65.07.6
Donald Lee – GBvs DET12.24.86.9
Desmond Clark – CHIvs NO11.94.16.0
Owen Daniels – HOUvs JAC11.34.76.0
Ben Watson – NEat NYG11.26.07.2
Randy McMichael – STLat ARI11.24.45.6
Alex Smith – TBvs CAR11.04.25.2
Alge Crumpler – ATLvs SEA10.95.36.2
Dallas Clark – INDvs TEN10.95.86.8
Antonio Gates – SDat OAK10.45.35.7
Chris Baker – NYJvs KC10.33.94.3
Visanthe Shiancoe – MINat DEN10.34.85.2
Kevin Boss – NYGvs NE10.14.64.7
Zach Miller – OAKvs SD9.74.64.3
Robert Royal – BUFat PHI9.75.04.7
Brent Celek – PHIvs BUF9.44.84.3
Reggie Kelly – CINat MIA9.34.53.8
Ben Patrick – ARIvs STL9.34.84.1
Heath Miller – PITat BAL9.35.85.1
Ben Utecht – INDvs TEN9.04.73.7
Jeff King – CARat TB8.85.03.8
Greg Olsen – CHIvs NO8.36.14.4
Quinn Sypniewski – BALvs PIT7.75.93.6
Bubba Franks – GBvs DET7.46.23.6
Bo Scaife – TENat IND7.36.53.8
Marcedes Lewis – JACat HOU7.26.33.5
Anthony Fasano – DALat WAS7.25.93.1
Daniel Graham – DENvs MIN6.86.43.3
Todd Heap – BALvs PIT6.86.83.5
Marcus Pollard – SEAat ATL6.66.32.8
Eric Johnson – NOat CHI6.26.72.8
Ben Troupe – TENat IND5.96.72.6
Todd Yoder – WASvs DAL5.86.82.7
Billy Miller – NOat CHI5.87.23.0
Anthony Becht – TBvs CAR5.87.02.8
Sean McHugh – DETat GB5.67.73.3
Jeb Putzier – HOUvs JAC5.56.92.4
Kyle Brady – NEat NYG5.47.52.9
David Martin – MIAvs CIN5.37.22.4
Richard Angulo – JACat HOU5.27.52.7
Will Heller – SEAat ATL5.07.32.3
Christian Fauria – CARat TB5.07.82.8
Jason Dunn – KCat NYJ4.87.62.4
Bryan Fletcher – INDvs TEN4.87.92.8
Matt Spaeth – PITat BAL4.87.72.4
LJ Smith – PHIvs BUF4.18.22.3
Justin Peelle – MIAvs CIN4.07.71.7
Matt Schobel – PHIvs BUF3.68.31.9
Casey Fitzsimmons – DETat GB3.48.51.9

Vernon Davis, SF (13.8 rating): Davis has been productive since the introduction of quarterback Shaun Hill to the starting lineup. Hill and Davis (both University of Maryland products!) have connected for a touchdown in two straight games now. Will it continue against the Browns this week?… Why not? The Browns defense is hardly a juggernaut against the pass.

Antonio Gates, SD (10.4 rating): Gates managed only one catch in each of his last two games, which is due in part to the Chargers getting out to big leads and then benching him. Conditions appear to be no different this week, as the Chargers face the 4-11 Oakland Raiders. I don’t expect Gates to play a huge role this week as the Chargers look ahead to the playoffs. You may not have many other options at tight end, but if you do I would give them strong consideration.

Phil Dawson – CLEvs SF14.72.87.5
Shayne Graham – CINat MIA14.43.17.5
Stephen Gostkowski – NEat NYG14.43.17.5
Nate Kaeding – SDat OAK14.23.17.4
Mason Crosby – GBvs DET14.03.27.2
Neil Rackers – ARIvs STL13.63.06.6
Robbie Gould – CHIvs NO13.33.36.6
Josh Brown – SEAat ATL12.93.36.2
Jeff Reed – PITat BAL12.93.76.6
Josh Scobee – JACat HOU12.73.15.9
Adam Vinatieri – INDvs TEN12.73.66.4
David Akers – PHIvs BUF12.73.76.4
Rob Bironas – TENat IND12.63.86.4
Shaun Suisham – WASvs DAL12.13.85.9
Jeff Wilkins – STLat ARI12.14.46.4
Martin Gramatica – NOat CHI11.82.94.7
Kris Brown – HOUvs JAC11.74.15.8
Jason Hanson – DETat GB11.64.35.9
Jason Elam – DENvs MIN11.64.66.2
Nick Folk – DALat WAS11.63.95.5
Jay Feely – MIAvs CIN11.44.15.4
Ryan Longwell – MINat DEN11.44.15.5
Matt Bryant – TBvs CAR11.14.45.6
Mike Nugent – NYJvs KC11.13.54.6
Lawrence Tynes – NYGvs NE11.14.35.4
Matt Stover – BALvs PIT10.94.15.1
John Kasay – CARat TB10.94.45.3
Rian Lindell – BUFat PHI10.94.65.4
Morten Andersen – ATLvs SEA10.74.04.7
John Carney – KCat NYJ10.44.44.7
Joe Nedney – SFat CLE10.24.24.4
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKvs SD10.14.54.6

Nate Kaeding, SD (13.4 rating): The Chargers offense has been clicking, and that has led to many chances for their kicker. Kaeding kicked 3 field goals in each of the past two games, along with a bunch of extra points. He seems like a pretty good bet to put lots of points on the board against the lowly Raiders.

Nick Folk, DAL (11.6 rating): Folk is having a nice year for a rookie, but with Dallas’ offense playing it safe in preparation for the playoffs, the kicker might not get as many chances as usual. The Cowboys, without TO and possibly Romo for most of the game, will likely be looking to run out the clock and end the game, not get into a shootout.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
San Diegoat OAK15.12.97.9
Pittsburghat BAL14.03.07.0
Green Bayvs DET13.93.47.3
New Englandat NYG13.44.68.0
Minnesotaat DEN13.43.97.3
Clevelandvs SF13.43.46.7
Seattleat ATL13.34.37.6
Tampa Bayvs CAR13.13.46.5
Tennesseeat IND12.43.96.3
Jacksonvilleat HOU12.33.96.2
Kansas Cityat NYJ12.13.65.7
Chicagovs NO11.95.17.1
Cincinnatiat MIA11.65.16.6
New Orleansat CHI11.24.65.8
New York Jetsvs KC11.14.85.9
Indianapolisvs TEN10.85.46.1
Miamivs CIN10.74.95.6
Washingtonvs DAL10.54.95.4
Dallasat WAS10.55.15.6
Philadelphiavs BUF10.25.25.4
Arizonavs STL10.16.16.1
Buffaloat PHI10.15.05.1
Carolinaat TB9.94.74.6
Denvervs MIN9.85.75.5
Baltimorevs PIT9.15.95.0
Detroitat GB8.66.34.9
Houstonvs JAC8.56.04.5
New York Giantsvs NE8.16.84.9
San Franciscoat CLE8.06.94.9
St. Louisat ARI7.76.03.7
Oaklandvs SD7.36.43.6
Atlantavs SEA6.96.63.5

Minnesota (13.4 rating): The Vikings’ opportunistic, run-stuffing defense was well documented over their 5 game winning streak. They did not play their best in a dissapointing loss to the Redskins last week, but they should have an easier game this week against Denver. The Broncos are struggling on offense. They have scored only 13 and 3 points in their last two games, respectively. Minnesota can still make the playoffs if they win and Washington loses, so they do have something to play for. Their defense is a good start once again.

Buffalo (10.1 rating): Buffalo’s defense got abused last week by the Giants in the snow. The Bills held their ground for a while, but eventually the Giants’ running backs broke free and started to run wild, accumulating almost 300 rushing yards between them. This week, the Bears play another NFC East team in Philadelphia. The Eagles looked good against New Orleans with Donovan McNabb completing almost 70% of his passes while throwing three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Philly may be peaking too late to make the playoffs, but they can certainly give the Bills’ defense all they can handle.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, dream_017, madaslives911, treat24, plantation, TaDa, and BlueBandit24 for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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