Week 13 Fantasy Fest

<b>Inside Week 13:&nbsp;</b> Fantasy leagues will be backup heavy once again. Plaxico Burress again will not start, and Fantasy Football league favorite Marshall Faulk again may not be much more than roster fodder. Play the #2 players , and you may be #1 Monday Night.

Start: Rams RB Steven Jackson -- Marshall Faulk will be limited by his knee injury, if he plays at all. More than likely, Jackson starts and carries the brunt of the running game. And going against San Francisco, he should plenty of opportunity to produce.

Sit: Derrick Blaylock, Chiefs -- Yes, he will start his second consecutive game. And yes, he did score two touchdowns last week. But the Chiefs are long gone from the playoff race and will give Larry Johnson a few series to show what he can do, limiting Blaylock's production.

Start: Lions WR Roy Williams -- He says his sprained right ankle is finally 100 percent and that he broke through the "rookie wall" he has been feeling since the eighth game. Arizona has a strong pass defense, but if Williams is indeed feeling better, the Lions' dormant offense might just awake.

Sit: Titans QB Steve McNair -- He aggravated his bruised sternum last Sunday and didn't practice all week. He will be a game-time decision worth watching. But don't be surprise if he rests up for next week's Monday night home game.

Start: Vikings RB Onterrio Smith -- Coach Mike Tice has finally committed to a No. 1 back, and it's smith. Michael Bennett received no carries last Sunday and rookie Mewelde Moore might not even be activated. The Vikings use the run to set up the pass, so Smith will have ample opportunity to produce.

Sit: Steelers WR Plaxico Burress -- He wasn't able to do much in practice this week on his sore hamstring. And with the Steelers having much bigger goals this year than winning Sunday's game, he likely will be rested for a second straight week instead of risking further injury.

Start: Colts TE Marcus Pollard -- Dallas Clark strained his hamstring in practice Wednesday and will be a game-time decision. That should lead to more snaps for Pollard, who is has always been a favorite red-zone target for QB Peyton Manning.

Sit: 49ers RB Kevan Barlow -- His disappointing season has likely landed him on the bench for most fantasy roster. But in case he's still in yours, consider that coach Dennis Erickson won't hesitate to bench him in favor of Maurice Hicks if Barlow doesn't start hitting the hole hard.

Start: Panthers QB Jake Delhomme -- Not only has he been red-hot in recent weeks (10 touchdowns in the past four games), but he is going against a Saints defense ranked dead-last in the NFL by allowing 264.5 passing yards per game.

Sit: Jets QB Chad Pennington -- He practiced this week and he will start Sunday after missing the past three games. But his shoulder is not 100 percent and the strength is certainly not all back, so he is going to struggle to push the ball downfield and put up any kind of big passing numbers.

Start: Ravens RB Chester Taylor -- This endorsement comes from more than the simple fact he is starting in place of injured Jamal Lewis. Taylor is a solid backup, and he has the added bonus of facing a Bengals defense allowing an average of 137.4 rushing yards per game. QB Kyle Boller has provided more balance to the offense, so the Bengals can't key on stopping Taylor, who will exploit Cincinnati between the tackles.

Sit: Chargers WR Keenan McCardell -- Broncos CB Champ Bailey will likely be shadowing him throughout the game. Yes, Bailey was burned deep several times by Oakland's Jerry Porter last weekend. But he plays with a lot of pride, and after getting shown up by Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson on Monday night earlier this season, he responded by shutting down Houston's Andre Johnson the following week. Don't be surprised if he responds with a similar performance this Sunday.

Around the NFL

AFC EAST
Buffalo Bills
Buzz: It will be tough for the Bills to crawl back into the playoff hunt, but the way they have been playing it certainly isn't out of the question. Willis McGahee has become a beast rushing for 100 yards in four of his six starts and racking up 7 touchdowns in that time. Lee Evans may be available in some leagues, he is worth picking up as a reserve.

Miami Dolphins
Buzz: Last week's performance by Travis Minor was very disappointing as he failed to take advantage of the starting job. He will keep the job for now, but with a tough schedule ahead he probably won't have any spectacular games. There's not many other fantasy options on the team.

New England Patriots
Buzz: The running of Corey Dillon has helped carry the Patriots to a tie with the best record in football. He now has now exceeded the 100-yard mark in five of his past six games. Daniel Graham has cooled off as expected, but is still a top fantasy tight end. Tom Brady remains a must play.

New York Jets
Buzz: There are reports that Chad Pennington will return this week against the Texans which would greatly boost the Jets offense. Both Santana Moss and Justin McCareins have had down years, look for them to pick it up a little if Pennington returns. You will probably see more of LaMont Jordan as he can be a valuable fantasy back up.

AFC NORTH
Baltimore Ravens
Buzz: The Ravens will be without Jamal Lewis again this week. Chester Taylor will get the starting nod again and could have a great game against the Bengals. He is the best play on the Ravens this week. When Todd Heap will play again is unknown. The Ravens have stated he could play this week but we've heard that before.

Cincinnati Bengals
Buzz: Carson Palmer set a career high with 4 touchdowns in last week's shootout with the Browns. Some of it was off-set with the 3 interceptions thrown which have been a continuous problem all season long. This week he will face the Ravens, a team that he was able to beat for 316 yards in week three, but also threw 3 interceptions.

Cleveland Browns
Buzz: With Kelly Holcomb suffering a rib injury and Jeff Garcia still unable to go, rookie Luke McCown will face the Patriots in his first career start. With the possibility of Suggs being unable to go this week, William Green remains the better play. Antonio Bryant had a huge game last week, but don't be fooled by the hype.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Buzz: The Steelers are reporting that Duce Staley is going to start this week, but will split carries with Jerome Bettis. Continue to play Bettis, he has four consecutive 100-yard games and will continue to pick up good yardage. They will need him to wear down the Jaguars defense.

AFC SOUTH
Houston Texans
Buzz: Domanick Davis finally hit the 100-yard plateau for the first time this season as he racked up 181 total yards against the Titans and David Carr threw for more than one touchdown for the first time in seven games. They could pull off a surprise performance against the Jets this week who are very vulnerable at the moment.

Indianapolis Colts
Buzz: The debate has begun as to whether this is the best offense of all-time. With Peyton Manning and company producing staggering numbers it very well may be. The receiving trio of Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley and Reggie Wayne could go down in history as the top fantasy trio ever. Add a tag-team tight end combination that includes Dallas Clark and Marcus Pollard and the running of Edgerrin James and you see why they are being labeled as the best ever.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Buzz: You may want to consider waiting another week before starting Byron Leftwich who faces Pittsburgh this week. It will be tough for him to have a big day, but next week against the Bears looks very promising. Fred Taylor has gotten better as the season wears on, but if you can insure yourself. If you can afford to keep LaBrandon Toefield on your bench in case Taylor goes down do it.

Tennessee Titans
Buzz: The retirement talk from Steve McNair isn't good news, but who can blame him after the pounding he has taken. He has always been one to play through any sort of injury and it has finally caught up and taken a toll on him. Antowain Smith is worth another start, it is unlikely that Chris Brown will play this week.

AFC WEST
Denver Broncos
Buzz: The Broncos have solidified their running game with Reuben Droughn's emergence as a premier back. He has rushed for over 100 yards in six of his past seven games and is a good bet to do it again this week against the Chargers. Ashley Lelie has become Jake Plummer's favorite deep target while Rod Smith continues to post solid numbers. Jeb Putzier could serve as a sleeper at tight end play.

Kansas City Chiefs
Buzz: The rib injury to Trent Green won't hold him out of this week's game against the Raiders. He will start, but you may want to consider sitting him this week because one good shot could send him to the sidelines. Priest Holmes remains out, Derrick Blaylock and Larry Johnson will split the workload until he returns.

Oakland Raiders
Buzz: While the Raiders won't have a lot to look back on and be happy about this season, last week's dramatic win over the Broncos was the most rewarding of the year. Jerry Porter became the first receiver this season to get the best of Champ Bailey and he did so by embarrassing the veteran Pro-Bowler on last Sunday night. Taking a gamble with Kerry Collins could pay dividends.

San Diego Chargers
Buzz: Chalk another one up for Marty Ball as the wins continue to accumulate. After starting the season on the hot seat, Marty Schottenheimer has all of a sudden become a Coach of the Year candidate. Drew Brees continues to be effective and LaDainian Tomlinson is simply awesome.

Must Have's and Have Not's

Who could have predicted that Browns and Bengals would put 106 points on the board last week? Try nobody. The highest scoring game this weekend could be in New Orleans where the Panthers and Saints will have at it. Anyone of a number of players could have a great game, but the feeling here is that Joe Horn will absolutely torch Carolina's soft secondary. The Saints have lost two in a row, but look for their best effort of the year and at least two scores by Horn.
MUST HAVE.

The Texans are a feisty team this year and they are probably a year away from becoming a contender. However, they lose touch on the road. That will continue to be the case this week when they travel to Giants Stadium to take on the Jets. Look for DEs John Abraham and Shaun Ellis to torture QB David Carr. They will sack him and harass him throughout the game.
HAVE NOT.

The Vikings are not known for their road prowess, but they have a good chance to put big numbers on the board in Chicago. The Bears have a tough defense, but absolutely no offense. That may mean the defense will give in this week. With Randy Moss returning last week, the Vikings scored 27 points against a very competitive Jacksonville team. The main beneficiary of his return is QB Daunte Culpepper who should torch the Chicago secondary.
MUST HAVE.

The Bills are red hot, having won 4-of-5 games to help them approach the .500 mark. They should be able to roll this week against the hapless Dolphins, but hold on just one minute. The Dolphins still play excellent defense and they may find a way to slow down cocky RB Willis McGahee in his homecoming. The former Hurricane has been sensational with 100 rushing yards or more in five of his six games. Not this time. The Dolphins hold him to 60.
HAVE NOT.


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