Eric Mack
Thursday December 9th, 2010

NFL Week 14: Start 'Em/Sit 'Em
 
Tampa Bay at Washington
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Buccaneers
RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Mike Williams, D/ST

Blount and Williams have favorable matchups against a Redskins defense ranked eighth-worst against RBs and sixth-worst against WRs. The Bucs D/ST is a bit under-owned, and this a nice matchup -- a mistake-prone McNabb has made the Redskins a team to take advantage of with D/STs (sixth-worst).

Redskins
WR Santana Moss, TE Chris Cooley

Cooley has been held out of the end zone lately, but he and Moss are too important to McNabb and the pass-happy Redskins to consider them real sits this week.

SIT
Buccaneers
TE Kellen Winslow, QB Josh Freeman, RB Cadillac Williams, WR Michael Spurlock, WR Arrelious Benn, K Conner Barth, RB Earnest Graham, WR Sammie Stroughter

Winslow laid an egg last week and is too erratic to trust in crucial postseason weeks where fewer teams are vying for the waiver options. Freeman is a potential sleeper, but the Bucs might just grind this one out on the ground, leaving fewer chances for the secondary receivers.

Redskins
RB Keiland Williams, QB Donovan McNabb, TE Fred Davis, D/ST, WR Anthony Armstrong, WR Joey Galloway, K Graham Gono, RB James Davis, RB Roydell Williams, RB Chad Simpson

The Redskins figure to have a logjam at RB, which makes all of their options at that position tricky this week. McNabb is a decent play, but the Bucs have been good enough against QBs (top 10 against them) to make you look at other options. Armstrong is coming off a productive week, but he is not a regular option for fantasy owners, much like all of these Redskins.

INJURY WATCH
Buccaneers
None.

Redskins
RB Ryan Torain (hamstring) -- He might play but he will be difficult to trust before he proves healthy.

 
Cleveland at Buffalo
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Browns
RB Peyton Hillis, TE Ben Watson

The Bills are third-worst in fantasy against RBs and Hillis is the epitome of the "Dance-with-the-one-who-brought-you" philosophy. Also, the Bills are second-worst in fantasy vs. TEs and last week Watson torched a Dolphins team that had been great against that position. Watson will be a featured part of the offense, no matter who the QB is.

Bills
None.

The Browns have a sneaky good defense, making any Bill a risky play.

SIT
Browns
QB Jake Delhomme, WR Josh Cribbs, RB Mike Bell, K Phil Dawson, D/ST, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, WR Brian Robiskie

The Bills aren't a great defense, but they are good enough to avoid using these bit players in a crucial fantasy week for you. Look away here.

Bills
RB Fred Jackson, WR Steve Johnson, WR Lee Evans, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB C.J. Spiller, TE David Martin, K Rian Lindell, D/ST

You shouldn't touch the backs against the Browns, who are tops in fantasy with the fewest TDs allowed to RBs. The only silver-lining there is the forecast calls for freezing temps and precipitation, awful news for offense and ball-handling. It could be a busy day on the ground, albeit not a productive one. The weather should lead you to find someone else to replace Johnson and Evans if you had been counting on those WRs.

INJURY WATCH
Browns
QB Colt McCoy (ankle) -- He has plenty more to prove before you're considering him in the fantasy postseason, even if healthy.

Bills
None.

 
New York Giants at Minnesota
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Giants
RB Brandon Jacobs, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Mario Manningham, D/ST, K Lawrence Tynes

There really aren't any great options among Giants this week, but these are at least viable ones. The Vikings still have an elite run defense, but the Giants will work Jacobs and Bradshaw hard this week after their great performances last Sunday. Manningham gets to be the man one more week before the WRs really come back full force in Week 15. The defense will either take aim at an old QB or a sketchy backup.

Vikings
RB Adrian Peterson, WR Sidney Rice, K Ryan Longwell, D/ST

Rice awoke last Sunday and looks like he belongs on the must-start list with these others. The D/ST has a specifically favorable matchup with the Giants' WRs still banged up and the Giants being so turnover prone.

SIT
Giants
QB Eli Manning, TE Kevin Boss, WR Derek Hagan, WR Michael Clayton, TE Travis Beckum, RB Danny Ware, WR Devin Thomas, WR Duke Calhoun

Manning has struggled mightily without his top targets and they won't be 100 percent even if they do play. Boss gets a tougher matchup, too, so don't expect him to be as productive as he has been. At least the passing game won't have to deal with the elements in the dome. You still shouldn't use any of these waiver options, though.

Vikings
RB Toby Gerhart, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, WR Greg Camarillo

The Giants defense isn't a great one to try to take advantage of, making these all bad alternatives for you this week. Gerhart faces a Giants defense in the top 10 of fantasy against RBs.

INJURY WATCH
Giants
WR Hakeem Nicks (leg), WR Steve Smith (pectoral) -- They might both play, but they will be limited. Hopefully you have locked up a bye.

Vikings
QB Brett Favre (shoulder), WR Percy Harvin (migraines), WR Bernard Berrian (groin) , WR Greg Lewis (concussion) -- You have to be long sick of relying on these guys by now.

 
Green Bay at Detroit
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, D/ST, K Mason Crosby, RB Brandon Jackson, WR Donald Driver, RB James Starks

There are some obviously easy starts against the vulnerable Lions defense, but Jackson and Starks are the surprises. Use them as the Packers run out the clock and protect a lead late. Jackson is a factor catching the ball out of the backfield, even if Starks is the garbage-time ball-carrier.

Lions
WR Calvin Johnson, TE Brandon Pettigrew

The Packers figure to get up early and stay up all game, which should leave some garbage-time numbers for this pair, regardless of the QB. Pettigrew does get a Packers defense that is in the bottom 10 against TEs, too.

SIT
Packers
WR James Jones, WR Jordy Nelson, RB John Kuhn, TE Donald Lee, TE Andrew Quarless

You cannot like the Packers TEs much and the Lions actually have been most effective against that position, performing in the top 10. Jones and Nelson could be bit players if the Packers rest the veteran WRs, but it is not something to count on.

Lions
RB Jahvid Best, RB Maurice Morris, RB Aaron Brown, WR Nate Burleson, QB Drew Stanton, K John Hanson, D/ST, WR Bryant Johnson, TE Tony Scheffler

The RB situation is muddled right now and the Packers just happen to be the fourth-best team against RBs. The matchup is tough and trusting Stanton in this matchup makes all of these guys worse.

INJURY WATCH
Packers
RB Korey Hall (knee), RB Dimtri Nance (concussion) -- Ignore them.

Lions
QB Shaun Hill (finger), QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder) -- They don't expect to play anytime soon, if at all before the end of the season.

 
Oakland at Jacksonville
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Raiders
RB Darren McFadden, K Sebastian Janikowski, RB Michael Bush, TE Zach Miller, WR Jacoby Ford, D/ST

The Raiders looked worthless against the Dolphins before they manhandled the Chargers, particularly in the running game. Now, they travel to Jacksonville, where they are bound to let you down. But they have earned the right to be used in fantasy crunch time. The Jags are more vulnerable through the air, but the Raiders will establish the run first with both RBs healthy now. The D/ST also gets a favorable matchup against the Jags, who are in the bottom 10 against D/STs.

Jaguars
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, TE Marcedes Lewis, K Josh Scobee

The Jags might be a division leader, but it hasn't really translated into outstanding fantasy production. Lewis gets a Raiders defense that is in the bottom half against TEs at least.

SIT
Raiders
WR Louis Murphy, QB Jason Campbell, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR Chaz Schilens

You likely don't own these guys and there is no reason to pick them up against a Jags defense that is at least improving, even if they are still one of the worst against QBs and WRs.

Jaguars
WR Mike Thomas, RB Rashad Jennings, QB David Garrard, D/ST

The Raiders shut down Rivers last week, so you cannot like the prospects of these fringe options. The Jags D/ST isn't a go-to unit this, or really any, time of year.

INJURY WATCH
Raiders
None.

Jaguars
WR Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) -- He could play, but there is little reason to expect anything out of him.

 
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Bengals
WR Terrell Owens, WR Chad Ochocinco

The receivers are productive even if the weather is bad because the Bengals will be playing catch-up. Keep the veterans active without much worry even against a rugged Steelers defense.

Steelers
RB Rashard Mendenhall, D/ST, WR Hines Ward, QB Ben Roethlisberger

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, definitely not delightful if you have Big Ben or a big piece of the Steelers passing game. But you should keep running Big Ben out there, along with Ward. The D/ST should expose an error-prone team and Mendenhall is going to be bigger this week than perhaps any this season. December is a great time to be a Mendenhall owner.

SIT
Bengals
RB Cedric Benson, QB Carson Palmer, D/ST, TE Jermaine Gresham, K Aaron Pettrey, RB Bernard Scott

Benson is coming off a two-TD performance amid a disappointing year, so now sit him in Week 1 of the fantasy playoffs. This is the Steelers defense and it is No. 1 in fantasy against RBs for a reason. Forget Palmer, the weak D/ST and any fringe Bengal you might have been considering.

Steelers
K Shaun Suisham, WR Mike Wallace, WR Antwaan Randle-El, RB Mewelde Moore, RB Isaac Redman, WR Emmanuel Sanders

If this game is the blowout many expect, one of these players will make a big impact in fantasy. If you're a good fantasy team competing in your postseason, you likely haven't had to rely on any of them, though.

INJURY WATCH
Bengals
None.

Steelers
TE Heath Miller (concussion), TE Matt Spaeth (concussion) -- Consider them out for fantasy purposes.

 
Atlanta at Carolina
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 1 p.m. EST
 
START
Falcons
RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, QB Matt Ryan, K Matt Bryant, D/ST

The Falcons defense is the start of the week as the Panthers are worst in fantasy vs. D/STs. Surprisingly, the Panthers are top five against QBs and WRs, but you shouldn't dare sit Matty Ice or White. Turner should be productive on the ground and Bryant should benefit with FGs against a team long out of contention.

Panthers
RB Jonathan Stewart

You can start him, but you shouldn't expect much. The Falcons have passed the Jets as the No. 2 team in fantasy vs. RBs. Stewart is all of the Panthers offense, though, and he is finally healthy and productive again.

SIT
Falcons
WR Michael Jenkins, WR Brian Finneran, WR Harry Douglas, TE Justin Peele, RB Ovie Mughelli

Jenkins and Mughelli scored circumstantial TDs last week, but they shouldn't be used -- even if you see this one as a blowout. The Panthers are actually fairly effective vs. WRs (third-best in fantasy), although that could be a function of so many teams running out the clock on them from the start of the game.

Panthers
WR Steve Smith, WR David Gettis, QB Jimmy Claussen, D/ST, K John Kasay, TE Dante Rosario, WR David Clowney, WR Brandon LaFell

The offense has been a joke all season and there is no reason to see that stopping, even if Claussen is actually locked in as the starting QB now. There isn't anything worth considering here -- and you haven't if you are a contender this season.

INJURY WATCH
Falcons
TE Tony Gonzalez (ankle), RB Jason Snelling (hamstring) -- Use Gonzalez with confidence; ignore Snelling.

Panthers
RB Mike Goodson (shoulder), RB Tyrell Sutton (ankle) -- Ignore them in all leagues with Stewart healthy and productive again.

 
Seattle at San Francisco
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:05 p.m. EST
 
START
Seahawks

RB Marshawn Lynch

If you follow this column weekly, you will know Lynch has been listed as a "start" almost every week since joined the Seahawks. He finally came through last week, so he will stay there even against a capable 49ers run defense.

49ers
WR Michael Crabtree, TE Vernon Davis, RB Brian Westbrook

Westbrook had a quiet week in a tough matchup, but this should be a much better opportunity to use your waiver gem. The Seahawks are fifth-worst against RBs and Westbrook will be featured with another QB change. You had to like what Davis did a week ago and Crabtree should be buoyed by the other Smith under center.

SIT
Seahawks

RB Justin Forsett, QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Deon Butler, K Olindo Mare, D/ST, RB Leon Washington, WR Golden Tate, WR Brandon Stokley, TE Cameron Morrah

Hasselbeck has options, but he really doesn't have any trustworthy ones. The 49ers are good enough against RBs to sit Forsett, who is more of a factor as a receiver than a runner now. Don't get caught buying into Butler, Stokley or Morrah, who had decent performances last Sunday.

49ers
D/ST, QB Alex Smith, QB Troy Smith, RB Anthony Dixon, WR Josh Morgan, WR Ted Ginn, K Shane Andrus

The defense isn't quite one of the elite options to use during a crucial playoff week, even if that Seahawks matchup looks tantalizing. The QB change back to Alex could affect the whole team again. Coach Mike Singletary better know what he is doing. You cannot be sure enough that he does to use any of these guys.

INJURY WATCH
Seahawks
WR Mike Williams (foot), TE John Carlson (hip), WR Ben Obomanu (hand) -- These guys shouldn't be counted on in fantasy crunch time, even if they play.

49ers
RB DeShawn Wynn (ankle), K Joe Nedney (knee), WR Kyle Williams (finger) -- They can be ignored.

 
St. Louis at New Orleans
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:05 p.m. EST
 
START
Rams
RB Steven Jackson, K Josh Brown

The Saints aren't necessarily as bad now against the run as they were early this season, but Jackson remains too good to sit. Brown has been a FG machine and gets to kick on carpet this week, which is better than you can say for some of your bad-weather kickers this week.

Saints
QB Drew Brees, WR Marques Colston, K Garrett Hartley, RB Chris Ivory

Ivory might have to deal with the return of Pierre Thomas, but the guess here is they still ride the younger back right now. The Rams aren't a defense to take advantage of, but these guys have proven to be must-start options regardless of the matchups.

SIT
Rams
WR Danny Amendola, QB Sam Bradford, WR Danario Alexander, RB Kenneth Darby, D/ST, WR Brandon Gibson, WR Laurent Robinson, WR Marty Gilyard, TE Daniel Fells, TE Billy Bajema

You can like the progress of Bradford or any one of his receivers this season, but you should not be starting any of these guys. The Saints rank No. 1 against QBs and WRs for a reason. Everyone but Jackson is a bad play among Rams in fantasy.

Saints
RB Reggie Bush, TE Jeremy Shockey, D/ST, WR Robert Meachem, WR Devery Henderson, WR Lance Moore, RB Julius Jones, TE Jimmy Graham

Meachem was the flavor of the week for the Saints, but it remains the same story in the passing game behind Colston: You never can tell who will come through. Trust anyone of these guys out of necessity but predicting which one will have the big week has been fantasy roulette. Bush is slowly working his way into the game plan, but he isn't yet productive enough to use.

INJURY WATCH
Rams
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle) -- He is out.

Saints
RB Pierre Thomas (ankle) -- He could play, but you are best off letting him prove healthy and productive first.

 
New England at Chicago
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:15 p.m. EST
 
START
Patriots
QB Tom Brady, WR Wes Welker, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

The Bears are one of the best defenses in the NFL, ranking in the top 10 against QBs (fourth), RBs (seventh), WRs (sixth) and TEs (eighth). It shouldn't stop you from using any of your Pats, though, if necessary. The real issue is the short week and the road game. Expect the passing game to do more damage than the running game.

Bears
QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, K Robbie Gould TE Greg Olsen

This column suggested you should have used all your Jets against the Patriots last week, because they are in the bottom 10 of fantasy against QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs. The Bears are not the offense the Jets are, but they get points for not being a must-have division opponent, they are at home and there is a day-plus less for the Pats to prepare. Stick with the steady players here: Cutler, Forte, Gould and Olsen. Cutler has the best matchup since the Pats are second-worst in limiting QB points.

SIT
Patriots
WR Deion Branch, TE Aaron Hernandez, RB Danny Woodhead, K Shayne Graham, TE Rob Gronkowski, D/ST, WR Brandon Tate, RB Sammy Morris, WR Julian Edelman, RB Fred Taylor

The Pats are a defensive coordinator's nightmare because they have so many interchangeable parts. Branch and Hernandez are the most likely useful options here, but they could just as easily post a goose egg, too. You likely should find a steadier option in a week this important.

Bears
D/ST, WR Johnny Knox, WR Earl Bennett, WR Devin Hester, WR Devin Aromashodu

The Bears defense is a unit to bench this week. The Patriots are No. 1 in D/ST points against. Offense that never turn the ball over or allow sacks usually are. The WRs for the Bears are like those of the Pats, too: You just never know which week they will show up. If you're using them, hope for a big lead so Cutler can try to throw his way back into the game.

INJURY WATCH
Patriots
None.

Bears
RB Chester Taylor (knee) -- He has been used more, but not enough to consider in fantasy even if 100 percent.

 
Denver at Arizona
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:15 p.m. EST
 
START
Broncos
WR Brandon Lloyd, Knowshon Moreno, QB Kyle Orton, WR Eddie Royal, K Matt Prater

It is a week to take advantage of the Broncos, or technically, the Cardinals. The Cardinals are the worst team against RBs, so Moreno is an absolute must-start. The risk you take is in the passing game, where the absence of Josh McDaniels figures to be felt the most. The Broncos are coming off a bad week throwing the ball, but this game figures to be a lot more wide open. Even the kicker can be a nice option, if you want a sleeper there.

Cardinals
WR Larry Fitzgerald, RB Beanie Wells, RB Tim Hightower

The QB situation has ruined Fitzgerald all season, but you likely don't have a good enough replacement for him. Keep him active. It is the RBs that will surprise this week. Hightower did the lion's share last Sunday, but both backs will get involved against the Broncos. Denver is the second-worst team vs. RBs and has been in that lowly area all season.

SIT
Broncos
D/ST, TE Daniel Graham, RB Correll Buckhalter, Laurence Maroney, WR Jabar Gaffney

This column is going out on a limb and advising as many Broncos "starts" already. Let's not get crazy here. These fringe options aren't worth owning, much less using.

Cardinals
QB Richard Bartel, QB John Skelton, D/ST, WR Stephen Williams, TE Ben Patrick, WR Early Doucet, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB Jason Wright

QB changes tend to ruin an offense and a team. Expect that again this week if Bartel or Skelton start. There is very little to like about the Cardinals in fantasy even if the regular starter is available.

INJURY WATCH
Broncos
WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle) -- He is as useless as the former coach was.

Cardinals
QB Derek Anderson (head), WR Steve Breaston (knee), K Jay Feeley (groin) -- You don't need a reason to avoid these guys.

 
Miami at New York Jets
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:15 p.m. EST
 
START
Dolphins
WR Davone Bess

Bess has taken over as the Dolphins' go-to man, which says more about the Dolphins than it does Bess. He is a possession receiver that can get you six catches for 60 yards and maybe a garbage-time TD. The Jets are bitter and going to lay the wood here, guaranteed.

Jets
D/ST, RB Shonn Greene, WR Santonio Holmes, TE Dustin Keller

Miami is quietly a top 10 team QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs, and you could not have liked anything the Jets did in New England last Monday. Perhaps change is in order. It is time to hitch the wagons to Greene as the top fantasy RB option. Holmes are Greene were the only bright spots from that stinker Monday. The defense will rebound with a big week, too. As for the advice to start Keller: Look at what Watson did to the Dolphins last Sunday. Keller is a far better talent and he shredded the Dolphins in their Week 3 meeting.

SIT
Dolphins
RB Ronnie Brown, RB Ricky Williams, K Dan Carpenter, D/ST, QB Chad Henne, TE Anthony Fasano

When you drafted or traded for Brown, you had to look at the schedule and hate the fact he was facing the Jets in Week 14, the standard first playoff week in fantasy. Hopefully, you're on a bye, because there is no way the Jets' elite run defense will let the Dolphins do what the Patriots did on Monday night. Carpenter might get shut out, along with the rest of these Dolphins.

Jets
QB Mark Sanchez, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Braylon Edwards, K Nick Folk, WR Brad Smith, WR Jerricho Cotchery

You have to be frustrated with the late Week 13 disappointment, making it tough to trust these guys in crunch time. They could all rebound or they could just as easily stay dormant. They are risks not worth taking this week.

INJURY WATCH
Dolphins
WR Brandon Marshall (hamstring), WR Brian Hartline (finger) -- Marshall is going to play, so you likely will have to use him. Hope for some garbage-time, throwing-from-behind numbers. Hartline is worthless.

Jets
None.

 
Kansas City at San Diego
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 4:15 p.m. EST
START
Chiefs
RB Jamaal Charles, RB Thomas Jones, WR Dwayne Bowe

How did Bowe get goose-egged last week? How about because the Chiefs don't have anyone else who needs to be covered? That is worrisome but Bowe remains too important to sit. The Chargers were abused on the ground last week against the Raiders. Although it is unlikely to happen on back-to-back weeks, Jones and Charles are too promising to sit.

Chargers
QB Philip Rivers, TE Antonio Gates, WR Malcom Floyd, RB Mike Tolbert, K Nate Kaeding

You should expect the Chargers to have a rebound week here, particularly Rivers and Tolbert. You wouldn't sit Rivers but start Tolbert with confidence in a game that figures to feature more run than last week.

SIT
Chiefs
K Ryan Succop, D/ST, QB Brodie Croyle, WR Chris Chambers, TE Tony Moeaki, WR/RB Dexter McCluster

The Chargers rank only behind the Saints in limiting points from QBs and WRs. Sit all the extras in the Chiefs offense and the defense. They frankly aren't worth owning anyway, especially with Croyle potentially starting.

Chargers
RB Ryan Mathews, D/ST, WR Seyi Ajirotutu

Mathews is healthy and didn't play a snap last week and Ajirotutu is no sure thing now that Gates and Floyd are healthy. The Chargers defense is a solid one, but the Chiefs are one of the toughest opponents for D/STs. They are third-best to date and consistently among the best against D/STs because the offense can run and control the ball.

INJURY WATCH
Chiefs
QB Matt Cassel (appendectomy) -- He has a bad matchup anyway and likely won't play.

Chargers
WR Vincent Jackson (calf), WR Patrick Crayton (wrist), RB Darren Sproles (concussion), Legedu Naanee (hamstring) -- You shouldn't be counting on any of these guys at this point.

 
Philadelphia at Dallas
Sunday, Dec. 12 :: 8:20 p.m. EST
 
START
Eagles
QB Michael Vick, WR DeSean Jackson, RB LeSean McCoy, WR Jeremy Maclin, K David Akers, TE Brent Celek, D/ST

You should see little reason to avoid any of your Eagles this week. The Cowboys give up points like candy canes at the Santa booth at the mall. They are especially weak against QBs and D/STs, making those decisions easy for you. It will be a huge week for Vick and the Eagles offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff, fan base, lot attendants. Start everybody.

Cowboys
WR Miles Austin, TE Jason Witten, RB Felix Jones

You won't sit Austin, you shouldn't sit Witten (Eagles are most vulnerable to TEs) and expect Jones to be a significant part of the offense. Jones will be a factor out of the backfield if the Cowboys get into the shootout you should expect.

SIT
Eagles
WR Jason Avant, RB Jerome Harrison

OK, so don't start everybody. Do you really own these guys?

Cowboys
RB Tashard Choice, WR Roy Williams, WR, QB Jon Kitna, D/ST, K David Buehler

Choice is this week's "congrats on that waiver pick-up, now sit him." Choice does get the TDs and got a lot of action against the Colts, but the Eagles are less vulnerable to the run and less likely to allow the Cowboys to control the clock in Philly. Expect a disappointing week for Choice, even if he is a nice option here on out. These other Cowboys could be productive if the game becomes a shootout, but you likely have steadier options available to you.

INJURY WATCH
Eagles
None.

Cowboys
QB Tony Romo (shoulder), RB Marion Barber (calf) -- They are so far from fantasy viability, you likely shouldn't own them any longer. Dez Bryant (leg) saw his season end as he was sent to the IR, too.

 
Baltimore at Houston
Monday, Dec. 13 :: 8:30 p.m. EST
 
START
Ravens
RB Ray Rice, WR Anquan Boldin, K Billy Cundiff, D/ST, QB Joe Flacco, WR Derrick Mason, WR T.J. Houshmanzadeh

Flacco is getting the matchup of his season in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. The Texans are the worst team in the league against QBs and TEs. They are third-worst vs. WRs. Bascially, that Houston secondary is Texas toast. Mason and Housh even look tantalizing here, particularly if you like stacking up late points in the Monday nighter.

Texans
WR Andre Johnson, RB Arian Foster, QB Matt Schaub

It is not a great week to be owners of these players, but they likely have earned must-start status for you. Schaub is the more risky and someone you should replace if you have a strong backup. The Ravens are third-best to just the Saints and Chargers against QBs.

SIT
Ravens
RB Willis McGahee, WR Donte' Stallworth, TE Ed Dickson

McGahee and Stallworth just aren't getting enough touches to be useful, but Dickson might if starter Todd Heap can't play. Consider Dickson a viable sleeper if you're desperate at the position.

Texans
TE Joel Dreessen, K Neil Rackers, WR Kevin Walter, WR David Anderson, RB Derrick Ward, RB Steve Slaton, D/ST, WR Jacoby Jones

The Ravens coming off a loss and having an extra day to prepare? Yuck-o. Dreessen has been a great sleeper of lately, but that doesn't apply this week. The Ravens are an elite defense and one especially tough against TEs (second to only San Francisco in fantasy). Sit as many of your Texans as you can afford to.

INJURY WATCH
Ravens
TE Todd Heap (hamstring), RB LeRon McClain (ankle) -- You won't miss McClain, but Heap had a great matchup. His health status makes him someone to avoid.

Texans
TE Owen Daniels (hamstring) -- It has been a bust year. Cut him.

 

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