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Start/Bench List – Week 17

This list will include a handful of players at each skill position that has either a very favorable matchup or a matchup to avoid. Not every player at every skill position will be listed every week. Instead of a watered-down version of predicting each player’s performance, this list will focus on a select group of players whose chances to succeed or fail are increased based on their opponent of the week.

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

1) Studs – Always play your studs. You won’t find Marshall Faulk or Randy Moss on this list. This list is to help choose between the middle-of-the-road players.

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.

An abbreviated version of the S/B list this week since most leagues have already had their Super Bowl and the holidays are upon us. Happy Holidays everyone and as always, thanks for reading!

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




Byron Leftwich, Jacksonville (vs. Atlanta): The rookie has been up and down this year. Expect an up week against the Falcons.

Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay (vs. Tennessee): The Titans can be thrown on and Johnson will do just that this week.


Aaron Brooks, New Orleans (vs. Dallas): Would you want to play this week after that crushing defeat last week?

Tommy Maddox, Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore): You don’t want to stand between Ray Lewis and his chances at the playoffs.


Running Backs


Onterrio Smith, Minnesota (vs. Arizona): Don’t let all the talk of Michael Bennett fool you. Smith will impress again this week.

Anthony Thomas, Chicago (vs. Kansas City): Expect back-to-back 100-yard rushing games from the A-Train.

Troy Hambrick, Dallas (vs. New Orleans): Parcells will fine tune the squad for the playoffs which means lots of ball control.



T.J. Duckett, Atlanta (vs. Jacksonville): Duckett won’t find much running room against an underrated Jags run defense.

Travis Henry, Buffalo (vs. New England): The Pats have the 31-0 drubbing at the hands of Buffalo in week one fresh in their minds.

Michael Pittman, Tampa Bay (vs. Tennessee): The receiving yards have been there, but it won’t be enough this week to warrant a start.


Wide Receivers


Keenan McCardell, Tampa Bay (vs. Tennessee): It’s nice to be the top dog for a change.

Jerry Rice, Oakland (vs. San Diego): Rick Mirer, Rob Johnson, Tee Martin, no matter. Rice will be open against the Chargers secondary.

Anquan Boldin, Arizona (vs. Minnesota): As if he hasn’t already locked up rookie of the year, he faces the Vikes pass defense this week.

Ashley Lelie, Denver (vs. Green Bay): Back-to-back solid games for Lelie and more on the way.



Drew Bennett, Tennessee (vs. Tampa Bay): Expect the Titans to run as often as possible leaving few chances for Bennett to shine.

Donte Stallworth, New Orleans (vs. Dallas): No Horn, no thanks. Stallworth won’t be involved in any lateral plays this week.

Peter Warrick, Cincinnati (vs. Cleveland): Warrick is still recovering from knee surgery last week. Keep reserved if possible.

Javon Walker, Green Bay (vs. Denver): You can bet the Broncos DBs watched his performance on Monday night and will be ready this week.


Tight Ends


Marcus Pollard, Indianapolis (vs. Houston): Pollard caught a TD the last time these teams met back in week eight.

Shannon Sharpe, Denver (vs. Green Bay): Look for Sharpe’s last regular season game to be a big one.



Antonio Gates, San Diego (vs. Oakland): Gates injured his ankle last week and his status against the Raiders is uncertain.

Billy Miller, Houston (vs. Indianapolis): Miller won’t have much room to roam against the Colts still battling for the division crown.

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