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Start/Bench List 2008 Week 14

Success in the playoffs can erase the bad breaks of a 7-6 season while struggles can reduce a 11-2 record to a meaningless afterthought. Studs are, in the words of the immortal Dennis Green, “who we thought they were”, but there’s always a matchup to exploit this time of the season. Choose your starters wisely, because you do not get a second chance this time of year.

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. This list will change from week to week.

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.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!

Quarterbacks

Studs

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Jay Cutler, Denver vs. Kansas City

Kurt Warner, Arizona vs. St. Louis

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Houston

Tony Romo, Dallas at Pittsburgh

Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Oakland

Start

Matt Cassel, New England (at

Seattle): Forget about the

Cassel you saw last week against the Steelers. The Cassel that will show up in

Seattle this week is the same one that threw for over 400 yards in Weeks 11 & 12. He’s up against a

Seattle defense ranked last in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Brett Favre, N.Y. Jets (at

San Francisco): Although Favre threw for 247 yards last week, it was the first time in four weeks that he didn’t throw a TD. Favre should have no problem exploiting the

San Francisco defense as the Jets look to bounce back from a tough loss last week against the Broncos.

Bench

Jason Campbell, Washington (at

Baltimore):

Campbell should continue his “very average” play against the Ravens who are firing on all cylinders defensively right now.

Kyle Orton, Chicago (vs.

Jacksonville): Orton had his worse game of the season last week throwing for only 153 yards while getting intercepted three times. It won’t be that bad this week at home against the Jaguars, who have had better success stopping the pass than the run this season.

Running Backs

Studs

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Detroit

Michael Turner, Atlanta at New Orleans

Ladainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Oakland

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Jacksonville

Clinton Portis, Washington at Baltimore

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Reggie Bush, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. N.Y. Jets

Marion Barber, Dallas at Pittsburgh

Start

Ronnie Brown,

Miami (at

Buffalo): The wildcat formation hasn’t been very wild for Brown lately who has rushed for less than 50 yards in three of the past four games. Playing in Buffalo (well, Toronto) this week, look for the Dolphins to control the ball as much as possible giving Brown a minimum of 20 carries which should translate into solid rushing numbers.

Larry Johnson,

Kansas City (at

Denver): He may not be considered a stud these days, but you can’t ignore his 198 yards rushing against the Broncos back in Week 4. Thomas Jones had a huge day against the Broncos last week and Johnson should make it two big games in a row against the soft Broncos run defense.

Ryan Grant,

Green Bay (vs.

Houston): Check Grant’s status later in the week as a thumb injury may require him to wear a splint. Brandon Jackson makes a fine play if Grant can’t go as the Packers will have success running the ball against the Texans who have allowed a 100-yard rusher in three of their past five games.

Bench

Pierre Thomas,

New Orleans (vs.

Atlanta): You can forget about Thomas sharing carries with Reggie Bush this week in

Atlanta. Look for 14-16 carries for Bush along with five to seven catches which essentially eliminates Thomas from any chance of fantasy relevance.

Kevin Smith, Detroit (vs. Minnesota): Despite the pending suspension of big Vikings run stoppers Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, Smith won’t find much running room in the Vikings defense that could place 10 men in the box and still have no fear of getting burnt by Daunte Culpepper.

Willie Parker,

Pittsburgh (vs.

Dallas): Parker is clearly not 100% and Mewelde Moore is running the ball well. Look for a RBBC approach by

Pittsburgh the rest of the way while Parker gets healthy for the playoffs, minimizing his fantasy output.

Wide Receivers

Studs

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Randy Moss, New England at Seattle

Brandon Marshall, Denver vs. Kansas City

Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. St. Louis

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. St. Louis

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati

Greg Jennings, Green Bay vs. Houston

Andre Johnson, Houston at Green Bay

Terrell Owens, Dallas at Pittsburgh

Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. Minnesota

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati at Indianapolis

Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay

Start

Eddie Royal,

Denver (vs.

Kansas City): The questionable Royal caught five passes for 84 yards and a TD last week against the Jets. The last time Royal faced the Chiefs back in Week 3, he had nine receptions for 104 yards. Look for more of the same as the Chiefs pass defense continues to struggle.

Jerricho Cotchery

,

N.Y. Jets (at

San Francisco): Cotchery has had a couple quiet weeks after a solid game in

New England back in Week 11. With Favre expected to perform well this week comes the expectations that Cotchery will benefit the most from Favre’s successes. Look for Cotchery to surpass the 100-yard receiving mark for the second time this season in

San Francisco.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (at Denver): Bowe caught seven passes for 84 yards the last time the Chiefs played the Broncos way back in Week 3. The

Denver pass defense has faired much better since then being ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed on the season. Bowe should bounce back nicely from a quiet game last week against the Raiders.

DeSean Jackson,

Philadelphia (at N.Y. Giants): Look for McNabb to air it out this week in the Meadowlands and

Jackson will once again be his primary target.

Jackson scored a rushing TD the last time he faced the Giants back in Week 10, but this week he’ll find the end zone courtesy of a McNabb pass. Start the rookie and enjoy the shootout.

Bench

Bernard Berrian,

Minnesota (at

Detroit): Yes, I know Berrian had 122 yards receiving last week, but his inconsistency is not something on which you want to gamble your fantasy playoffs hopes. Berrian may have a solid game this week, but he may also lay an egg. I wouldn’t risk my postseason hopes on him.

Santana Moss

,

Washington (at

Baltimore): Moss has most definitely cooled down from his red-hot start to the season. He hasn’t caught more than five passes since Week 8 and won’t find much action this week as Jason Campbell will be running for his life for most of the game.

Devin Hester, Chicago (vs.

Jacksonville): Hester had a nice game last week as he caught his third TD pass of the season. Don’t expect much from Hester this week as Orton’s struggles against the Jags defense will limit Hester’s touches to kickoff and punt returns.

Braylon Edwards, Cleveland (at

Tennessee): Remember how high Edwards was ranked at the beginning of the season? Ouch. Next up at QB for

Cleveland: Ken Dorsey!

Tight Ends

Studs

Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City at Denver

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati

Owen Daniels, Houston at Green Bay

Jason Witten, Dallas at Pittsburgh

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Oakland

Chris Cooley, Washington at Baltimore

Start

Bo Scaife,

Tennessee (vs.

Cleveland): One catch for eight yards last week against the Lions? Come on Bo, you’re better than that. Let’s show those boys in

Cleveland what you’re all about this week.

Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (at

San Francisco): Is anyone happier in the Jets organization than Keller that Brett Favre came to town? The rookie TE has turned into a stud catching at least six passes for an average of 78 yards over the past four games. More offense is on the way this week against

San Francisco as Keller continues to beg Favre to return next season.

Bench

Greg Olsen, Chicago (vs.

Jacksonville): Add Olsen to the list of Bears offensive players likely to struggle this week against the Jaguars. It’s nothing new for Olsen, who only has one catch in the past two games combined.

Visanthe Shiancoe

,

Minnesota (at

Detroit): Shiancoe caught one pass for 10 yards that last time the Vikings played the Lions back in Week 6. That sounds about right for this week as well.

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