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Breaking 'Em Down
David Sabino
December 10, 2007
Who to start and who to sit in every game this week
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December 10, 2007

Breaking 'em Down

Who to start and who to sit in every game this week

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This matchup won't exactly inspire NBC to exercise its flex-scheduling powers, but it's rife with intrigue for fantasy owners. Consider the sleeper possibilities in New York's once-moribund running game. Entering Week 13 the Jets were averaging just 96.5 rushing yards a game and had a league-low two TDs. But against Miami, which came in ranked 30th in run defense, Thomas Jones (left) and Leon Washington combined for 143 yards and three scores. Against Cleveland, whose run defense is as bad as Miami's, expect them to run wild again. (While Jones is still the Man here, Washington should get some consideration as a fantasy fill-in because he makes the best of his few touches.) The Browns will have just as much success pounding Jamal Lewis into the Jets' terrible front line. Lately the star of Cleveland's high-powered passing offense has been tight end Kellen Winslow (above); he has 34 catches in the last five weeks and has had 10 or more catches twice in that period.

START RB Thomas Jones, RB Jamal Lewis, TE Kellen Winslow

SIT QB Kellen Clemens, WR Laveranues Coles



Given that Detroit is in free fall, having lost four straight games, and has a secondary that has allowed 24 passing TDs, it seems elementary that Dallas will go to the air early. Tony Romo will look to T.O., Jason Witten and Patrick Crayton (above left, with Romo), who has three scores in his last three games. But once the Cowboys build a lead, their running backs will get in on the fun. Julius Jones and Marion Barber will grind out yards against a back-on-its-heels defense that has seemed to roll over in blowouts; Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor had a combined 186 yards and three TDs in a 42-10 Vikings win last week. In fact in four defeats--to Philadelphia, Washington, Green Bay and Minnesota, by a combined 109 points--the Lions' defense allowed 607 yards and nine TDs on the ground. Detroit has the type of D that delights opponents' owners come playoff time.

START Just about any Dallas offensive player

SIT RB Kevin Jones, Lions D



Rex Grossman's return at quarterback has helped the fantasy value of at least one of his teammates: receiver Bernard Berrian, who has accounted for more than a third of Rex's passing yards and caught two of his four TD passes. Also on the rise is Adrian Peterson, who in his second career start, last Sunday against the Giants, had 149 yards from scrimmage. Devin Hester will try to work his magic against a Redskins special teams unit that has allowed only one punt or kick return of more than 39 yards this year. Washington, though, will have much to battle in this game. Losers of their last four, the Redskins will play this Thursday's game just three days after attending a memorial service in Miami for slain safety Sean Taylor. Their best bet is Clinton Portis, who scored Washington's only touchdown against the Bills and should do well against a defense that allowed the Giants' Derrick Ward to gain 183 total yards.

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