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2009 Start/Bench List Week 12

fantasy playoffs are right around the corner and if you’re like me, you’ve
suffered your fair share of injuries as of late. Keep plugging away at the
waiver wire. There is no shame in heading into the playoffs with guys who haven’t
been in your starting lineup for more than a month. Just find a way to the
dance and see what happens. Lots of yards in the air this week as the Colts,
Texans, Packers and Jaguars light up the sky like the Fourth of July. Happy
Thanksgiving everyone!

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players
that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of
needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the
shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than
others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make
such a move.



Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Detroit

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Houston

Tom Brady, New England at New Orleans

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. New England

Matt Schaub, Houston vs. Indianapolis

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Kansas City


David Garrard, Jacksonville at San Francisco: Garrard had a touchdown
pass in each of his past three games and this week he faces a 49ers defense
that has allowed over 300 yards passing in three of their previous four games.
Look for Garrard to eclipse the 300-yard mark for the third time this season as
newly appointed stud Mike Sims-Walker has a huge game.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle at

: The last time Hasselbeck faced the Rams, he
threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-0 stomping back in Week 1. Both
the yards and touchdowns will be there for the taking again the St. Louis
defense as they have allowed an average of 238.7 passing yards per game this
season and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in three of their past four


Brady Quinn, Cleveland at

Quinn’s 304 yards and four touchdowns last week was impressive, but that was
the Lions. This week, he faces a real defense in

Cincinnati. Look for Quinn to return from his
peek atop the fantasy mountain with a resounding thud.

Kyle Orton,

vs. N.Y. Giants: Orton’s ankle in still in question, but even healthy, he would
not be recommended against the Giants this week. Orton has thrown for less than
200 yards in three of his past four starts and the Giants have allowed the
second-fewest passing yards in the NFL all season. Not a good combination for
your starting quarterback.

Running Backs


Chris Johnson, Tennessee vs. Arizona

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at San Francisco

Ray Rice, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. Chicago

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at N.Y. Jets

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Seattle

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Jacksonville


Ricky Williams, Miami at Buffalo: Ricky was oh-so-fine last Thursday
night scoring three touchdowns and rushing for over 100 yards for the second
straight game. This week, Williams will enjoy feasting on the

Buffalo defense that has allowed the second
most rushing yards in the NFL this season … another big day on tap for

Marion Barber, Dallas vs.

Barber had the most carries all season last week as he rushed 20 times for 99
yards against the Redskins. Look for the Cowboys to run the ball often with an
injured Tony Romo and Jason Witten and a stout

Oakland pass defense. Another 20+ carries for
Barber this week should translate into his second 100-yard rushing performance
of the season.

Jason Snelling,

Atlanta vs.


With Michael Turner unlikely to play with an ankle injury, Snelling will make
the most of his opportunity against a


defense that has allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL this season. Enjoy
your late season waiver wire pickup for at least another week.


Kevin Smith, Detroit vs.

: With Matthew Stafford unlikely to play on Thursday
and Smith facing a Packers run defense that has only allowed an average of 90.7
rushing yards per game this season, it’s wise to keep Smith on your bench and
squash the hopes that he’ll be receiving a turkey leg.

Rashard Mendenhall,

Pittsburgh vs.

Baltimore: After rushing
for 155 yards against the Broncos in Week 9, Mendenhall has averaged only 58
yards rushing in the last two games, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. The Ravens
have held opposing running backs to less than 75 yards rushing in three of
their previous four games. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to prove he’s fully
recovered from the concussion suffered last week as he airs it out against a
depleted Ravens secondary, limiting the chances for Mendenhall.

Rock Cartwright, Washington at

With Ladell Betts done for the season and Clinton Portis still sidelined,
Cartwright is the main man in

However, Cartwright has a tough matchup against the Eagles, who held Matt Forte
and Marion Barber to 50 yards or less in two of their past three games. Keep
Cartwright reserved this week.

Wide Receivers


Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Houston

Randy Moss, New England at New Orleans

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Tennessee

Wes Welker, New England at New Orleans

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Indianapolis

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants at Denver

Vincent Jackson, San Diego vs. Kansas City

Roddy White, Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay

Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville at San Francisco


Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. New England


Greg Jennings, Green Bay at Detroit: Jennings and the Packers must be
licking their lips for this matchup on Thursday.

Jennings has at least five catches in five of
his past six games and the Lions have allowed an average of 275.3 yards passing
per game this season.

will be marching up and down the field as often as you fill your plate this

Kevin Walter, Houston vs.

Since taking over as the No. 2 receiver in the Texans offense, Walter has
caught nine passes for 113 yards in two games, including five catches for 67
yards against the Colts just three weeks ago. With Matt Schaub getting more
comfortable with Walter, look for his numbers to improve this week as the Texans
pass often to try and keep pace with the electric Colts offense.

Nate Burleson, Seattle at

: Burleson hasn’t found the end zone since Week 5,
but in three of their four previous games, Burleson has caught at least six
passes averaging 88 yards receiving. Burleson posted seven catches for 74 yards
and a touchdown in Week one 1 the Rams so you can expect those stats and then
some this week as the Seahawks pass it with ease in

St. Louis.

Michael Crabtree,

San Francisco vs.

Jacksonville: Crabtree
caught his first NFL touchdown last week against the Packers and should quickly
add to that total this week against a Jaguars pass defense that has given up 17
passing touchdowns this season. After watching Terrell Owens torch the Jaguars
for 197 yards receiving last week, you can bet Crabtree will be ready for his
day in the spotlight on Sunday.


Brandon Marshall,

Denver vs. N.Y. Giants:
It’s always a risky play if you sit someone of the caliber of

Marshall, but if you’re deep enough at wide
receiver, you should consider it this week. Kyle Orton is less than 100 percent
and the Giants pass defense has been stellar all season. Play the matchups and
look for alternatives if you can.

Chris Chambers,

Kansas City at

San Diego: Chambers
posted his best numbers as a Chief last week by catching four passes for 119
yards. However, the Chiefs passing attack was horrible against the Chargers
back in Week 7 when Matt Cassel threw for just 97 yards including one
touchdowns and three interceptions. Look for more struggles from

Cassel this week and the Chargers secondary taking it to
their former teammate, keeping Chambers in check all day.

Braylon Edwards, N.Y. Jets vs.

When the Jets acquired Edwards, his role was to stretch the field as his
ability to go deep would open up things for Mark Sanchez. The problem has been
Sanchez hasn’t been able to stay on his feet long enough to find Edwards down
field as his average of three catches per game over the past three games can
attest to. Sanchez won’t have much time this week to find Edwards deep this
week either as the Panthers will bring the noise and continue the struggles of
the Jets passing game.

Donnie Avery,

St. Louis vs.

Seattle: So much for the
return of Avery. After catching two touchdowns in Week 10, Marc Bulger won’t
play this week after getting injured against the Cardinals last week. Kyle
Boller and fantasy points do not belong in the same sentence. Sorry Donnie.

Tight Ends


Dallas Clark, Indianapolis at Houston

Vernon Davis, San Francisco vs. Jacksonville

Brent Celek, Philadelphia vs. Washington

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Kansas City

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Greg Olsen, Chicago at Minnesota


Zach Miller, Oakland vs. Dallas: At least someone is excited for the
Bruce Gradkowski era in Oakland! Miller caught five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown
last week in his first fame with the new quarterback. The Cowboys have defended
opposing tight ends fairly well this season having allowed only three touchdowns,
but the number of options in the Raiders passing attack is limited, which means
Miller will see a good majority of the targets. Look for Miller to post another
solid game with B-Grad at the helm.

Greg Olsen, Chicago at Minnesota: Olsen has caught at least five passes
in the past three games and once Jay Cutler can figure out he shouldn’t be
throwing the ball to the other team in the red zone, Olsen should add to his touchdown
total of six on the season. Look for another 5-7 catches and a score from Olsen
as the Bears running attack will be stuck in neutral, forcing Cutler to pass
often. Close your eyes Bears fans, it’s going to be scary.


Jeremy Shockey,

New Orleans vs.

New England: So far this season, the Patriots have faced
Dallas Clark, Kellen Winslow, Todd Heap and Tony Gonzalez and not one of them
has scored. The chances are pretty slim that Shockey breaks the pattern and there
won’t be enough yards to go around to make up for the lack of scores. Look
elsewhere for your tight end this week.

Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets vs.

After posting back-to-back solid weeks against


Keller returned to earth last week, catching only three passes for 38 yards
against the Patriots. Look for more of the same against the Panthers as Keller
keeps dreaming of the glory days with Brett Favre at quarterback.

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