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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fantasy football: Injury updates, start-and-sit advice and expanded playlist for Week 14

We'll breeze through this quicker than normal, thanks to some unforeseen problems (see tank, hot water), so let's get to this week's key injuries:

-- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is listed as questionable with right shoulder and finger injuries, but I wouldn't worry about Brian Hoyer getting the start in a game New England can't afford to lose.

-- Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan likely will be a game-time decision because of a toe ailment, but I wouldn't start him even if he was healthy against the Saints, who have almost twice as many interceptions (23) as TD passes allowed (12).

-- Falcons running back Michael Turner is listed as questionable with a sprained anke and will be a game-time decision, but don't plan on him being active against the Saints.

-- Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is probable, and the Rams' Steven Jackson is questionable after missing practice all week with a back injury, but he's had the same routine the last two weeks and not missed a game.

-- The Eagles' Brian Westbrook is out again, and the Bucs' Cadillac Williams is questionable with a back injury. He's not a good play against the Jets.

-- Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson will return from a concussion.

-- Jaguars receiver Mike Sims-Walker is doubtful with a calf injury. Mike Thomas will start in his place and should be considered a low-level No. 3 receiver against the Dolphins, who rank 24th vs. the pass.

-- Vikings receiver Percy Harvin is questionable after missing practice Thursday and Friday because of migraine headaches, but I would expect him to be active Sunday against the Bengals.

Five to start

This week’s look at part-time starters and fantasy backups who should benefit from a favorable matchup:

San Francisco QB Alex Smith (vs. the Cardinals, No. 27 vs. the pass), Ravens QB Joe Flacco (vs. the Lions, No. 32 vs. the pass), Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (vs. the Bills, No. 32 vs. the run), Bills running back Fred Jackson (at the Chiefs, No. 27 vs. the run) and Dolphins receiver Davone Bess (at the Jaguars, No. 23 vs. the pass) round out this week's list.

More matchups I like:

David Garrard, QB, Jaguars, vs. Dolphins; Chad Henne, QB, Dolphins, vs. Jaguars; Ryan Grant, RB, Packers, at Bears; Quinton Ganther, RB, Redskins, at Raiders; Terrell Owens, WR, Bills, at Chiefs; Kenny Britt, WR, Titans, vs. Rams; Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers, vs. Cardinals; Devery Henderson, WR, Saints, at Falcons

Three to sit

If you have a decent backup, these starters should take a seat for a week:

Bengals QB Carson Palmer (at the Vikings, No. 21 vs. the pass), Lions running back Kevin Smith (at the Ravens (No. 6 vs. the run) and Bucs running back Cadillac Williams (vs. the Jets, No. 17 vs. the run) comprise this week's selections.

More matchups I don’t like:

Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells, RBs, Cardinals, at 49ers; LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers, at Cowboys; Antonio Bryant, WR, Buccaneers, vs. Jets

Last week

The start list had three hits in Jonathan Stewart (120 yards rushing, one TD, one reception), Matt Forte (91 yards rushing, one TD, one catch) and Kyle Orton (180 yards passing, two TDs, one interception). Pierre Thomas (18 yards rushing, eight catches for 64 yards) was decent in point-per-reception leagues, and Jason Avant (three receptions for 36 yards) stunk in all formats.

On the sit list, benching Cardinals running backs Tim Hightower (50 yards rushing, one catch, one fumble) and Beanie Wells (28 yards rushing) was the right call, but sitting Tony Romo (392 yards passing, three TDs, no picks) certainly was not.


1. Drew Brees, Saints, at Falcons (No. 29 vs. the pass)
2. Tom Brady, Patriots, vs. Panthers (No. 6)
3. Kurt Warner, Cardinals, at 49ers (No. 30)
4. Peyton Manning, Colts, vs. Broncos (No. 2)
5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers, at Bears (No. 9)
6. Philip Rivers, Chargers, at Cowboys (No. 20)
7. Matt Schaub, Texans, vs. Seahawks (No. 25)
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys, vs. Chargers (No. 8)
9. Alex Smith, 49ers, vs. Cardinals (No. 27)
10. Donovan McNabb, Eagles, at Giants (No. 7)
11. Brett Favre, Vikings, vs. Bengals (No. 12)
12. Joe Flacco, Ravens, vs. Lions (No. 32)
13. David Garrard, Jaguars, vs. Dolphins (No. 24)
14. Carson Palmer, Bengals, at Vikings (No. 21)
15. Kyle Orton, Broncos, at Colts (No. 19)
16. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks, at Texans (No. 14)
17. Jay Cutler, Bears, vs. Packers (No. 3)
18. Jason Campbell, Redskins, at Raiders (No. 18)
19. Chad Henne, Dolphins, at Jaguars (No. 23)
20. Matt Cassel, Chiefs, vs. Bills (No. 4)

1. Chris Johnson, Titans, vs. Rams (No. 28 vs. the run)
2. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, vs. Dolphins (No. 14)
3. Ray Rice, Ravens, vs. Lions (No. 19)
4. Thomas Jones, Jets, at Buccaneers (No. 31)
5. Adrian Peterson, Vikings, vs. Bengals (No. 2)
6. Ricky Williams, Dolphins, at Jaguars (No. 11)
7. Joseph Addai, Colts, vs. Broncos (No. 16)
8. Steven Jackson, Rams, at Titans (No. 8)
9. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs, vs. Bills (No. 32)
10. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers, at Patriots (No. 15)
11. Frank Gore, 49ers, vs. Cardinals (No. 12)
12. Cedric Benson, Bengals, at Vikings (No. 3)
13. Ryan Grant, Packers, at Bears (No. 25)
14. Fred Jackson, Bills, at Chiefs (No. 27)
15. Brandon Jacobs, Giants, vs. Eagles (No. 7)
16. Pierre Thomas, Saints, at Falcons (No. 23)
17. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos, at Colts (No. 18)
18. Laurence Maroney, Patriots, at Panthers (No. 26)
19. Marion Barber, Cowboys, vs. Chargers (No. 21)
20. LeSean McCoy, Eagles, at Giants (No. 10)
21. Matt Forte, Bears, vs. Packers (No. 3)
22. Julius Jones, Seahawks, at Texans (No. 22)
23. Quinton Ganther, Redskins, at Raiders (No. 30)
24. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers, at Cowboys (No. 9)

1. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, at 49ers (No. 27 vs. the pass)
2. Andre Johnson, Texans, vs. Seahawks (No. 25)
3. Marques Colston, Saints, at Falcons (No. 29)
4. Wes Welker, Patriots, vs. Panthers (No. 6)
5. Reggie Wayne, Colts, vs. Broncos (No. 2)
6. Randy Moss, Patriots, vs. Panthers (No. 6)
7. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals, at 49ers (No. 27)
8. Roddy White, Falcons, vs. Saints (No. 22)
9. Vincent Jackson, Chargers, at Cowboys (No. 20)
10. Brandon Marshall, Broncos, at Colts (No. 19)
11. Derrick Mason, Ravens, vs. Lions (No. 32)
12. Calvin Johnson, Lions, at Ravens (No. 15)
13. Donald Driver, Packers, at Bears (No. 9)
14. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals, at Vikings (No. 21)
15. Steve Smith, Giants, vs. Eagles (No. 10)
16. Steve Smith, Panthers, at Patriots (No. 13)
17. DeSean Jackson, Eagles, at Giants (No. 7)
18. Miles Austin, Cowboys, vs. Chargers (No. 8)
19. Greg Jennings, Packers, at Bears (No. 9)
20. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks, at Texans (No. 14)
21. x-Percy Harvin, Vikings, vs. Bengals (No. 12)
22. Terrell Owens, Bills, at Chiefs (No. 28)
23. Nate Burleson, Seahawks, at Texans (No. 14)
24. Sidney Rice, Vikings, vs. Bengals (No. 12)
25. Michael Crabtree, 49ers, vs. Cardinals (No. 30)
26. Devery Henderson, Saints, at Falcons (No. 29)
27. Davone Bess, Dolphins, at Jaguars (No. 23)
28. Pierre Garcon, Colts, vs. Broncos (No. 2)
29. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles, at Giants (No. 7)
30. Mario Manningham, Giants, vs. Eagles (No. 10)
31. Donnie Avery, Rams, at Titans (No. 31)
32. Kenny Britt, Titans, vs. Rams (No. 16)
33. Chris Chambers, Chiefs, vs. Bills (No. 4)
34. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets, at Buccaneers (No. 11)
35. Santana Moss, Redskins, at Raiders (No. 18)
36. Mike Thomas, Jaguars, vs. Dolphins (No. 24)
x-Make sure Harvin is active.

Which teams have the best matchups the next three weeks, and which have the worst? Kevin Kleps has the answers here.

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