Gregg Rosenthal

Goal Line Stand

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Week 15 Rankings Update

Friday, December 12, 2008

Week 15 Running Backs

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Adrian Petersonat ARZ -
2Brian Westbrookvs. CLEProbable(knee)
3Matt Fortevs. NO -
4DeAngelo Williamsvs. DEN -
5Chris Johnsonat HOU -
6Thomas Jonesvs. BUF -
7Maurice Jones-Drewvs. GB -
8Steven Jacksonvs. SEA -
9Clinton Portisat CIN -
10Michael Turnervs. TB -
11LaDainian Tomlinsonat KC -
12Ryan Grantat JAC -
13Dominic Rhodesvs. DETFully expected to start for Addai
14Derrick Wardat DAL Rock solid start
15Steve Slatonvs. TEN -
16Frank Goreat MIAProbably won't play; we could know Saturday. Ranked in case he starts
17Ronnie Brownvs. SF -
18Pierre Thomasat CHI -
19Jonathan Stewartvs. DEN -
20Marion Barbervs. NYGGame-time decision? (toe)
21Reggie Bushat CHI
22Marshawn Lynchat NYJ -
23LenDale Whiteat HOUQuestionable, expected to play
24Justin Fargasvs. NE -
25Kevin Smithat INDQuestionable, expected to start
26Larry Johnsonvs. SD -
27Sammy Morrisat OAK -
28LeRon McClainvs. PITSneaky play with no Rice?
29Warrick Dunnat ATL -
30Tim Hightowervs. MIN -
31Willie Parkerat BAL -
32Maurice Morrisat STLNot expected to dominate workload
33Chester Taylorat ARZ -
34Tashard Choicevs. NYGMove him up 11 spots if he starts
35Ricky Williamsvs. SF -
36Jamal Lewisat PHI -
37Cedric Bensonvs. WAS -
38Kevin Faulkat OAK -
39Darren McFaddenvs. NE -
40Tatum Bellat CAR -
41DeShaun Fosterat MIAMove him up 12 spots if he starts
42Willis McGaheevs. PITRice will miss game
43Ladell Bettsat CIN -
44Leon Washingtonvs. BUF -
45Darren Sprolesat KC -
46Jamaal Charlesvs. SD -
47Mewelde Mooreat BAL -
48Julius Jonesat STL -
49Antonio Pittmanvs. SEA -
50Selvin Youngat CARProbable(groin)
51Fred Jacksonat NYJ -
52Jerious Norwoodvs. TB -
53Brandon Jacksonat JAC -

RB Notes: The J.P. Losman effect trickles down to Marshawn Lynch. Opposing defenses feel comfortable stacking the box against Buffalo when Losman is behind center. The Bills also appear to go to shotgun more often. It was a good sign for Lynch that Fred Jackson didn't touch the ball last week, but his poor game continued a season-long trend against AFC East foes. Lynch is averaging 38.5 rushing yards-per-game in the division. Buffalo can't seem to solve a 3-4 defense. There isn't much reason to believe Lynch will overcome the odds against Kris Jenkins and company. … Larry Johnson was not featured heavily against Denver, often watching Jamaal Charles on passing downs. That's a scary sight for LJ owners because the Chiefs didn't even try to run. … Tatum Bell had decent yardage last week because of a big run, but he looked slow to me. Don't expect him to be a difference-maker. …

Brandon Jacobs hasn't practiced Wednesday and Thursday. It would be surprising at this point if he played against Dallas. Derrick Ward is a solid RB2 if Jacobs is out. There's a good chance Jacobs won't make the trip if he's out, which would solve the game-time decision problem. … I wouldn't play DeShaun Foster even if Frank Gore were out. The 49ers will air it out against a good rush defense. … Maurice Jones-Drew was already going to be a top-12 play against a weak Packers rush defense. With Fred Taylor out, he can fulfill his RB1 upside. … Clinton Portis should go back to a 20-25-carry workload in a great matchup this week. Don't let the Washington in-fighting cloud your mind. … After hot and cold efforts early in the year, Michael Turner has improved his play against better competition. With this game at home on turf, he's almost impossible to sit in standard leagues. … It looks like Joseph Addai won't play. Dominic Rhodes would be a solid RB2 if he starts. Rhodes has often looked better than Addai this season, so there should be no hesitation playing him. We'll take Addai out of the rankings on the Friday evening update if he doesn't practice.

Steve Slaton, ranked in the top-ten in all scoring formats, deserves to play regardless of the matchup at this point. … Carolina's awesome offensive line should have their way with Denver. I don't see a letdown from the rushing attack, making Jonathan Stewart a solid RB2 for this week. He's getting the goal-line carries once again. … Kevin Smith has run well in tougher matchups, so he's a sneaky play against the Colts. … The Patriots should try to control the clock against the Raiders on the ground, so this could be a good Sammy Morris week. Kevin Faulk should take a back seat. … Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore are hands off in a matchup like this. … Pierre Thomas is a better standard league play than Reggie Bush. I'd take Bush in a PPR league, although this could be a trap matchup for both players. The Bears are still a good rush defense. … Maurice Morris will start for the Seahawks, but Julius Jones is expected to get back in the mix. … Ken Dorsey and the schedule have rendered Jamal Lewis irrelevant. … Ronnie Brown has 54 more carries than Ricky Williams on the season. That sounds like a lot, but only averages out to four-per-game. That trend hasn't really changed. Brown is talented enough that he's a RB2 in a neutral matchup, but the yardage is rarely big.

Week 15 Wide Receivers

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Steve Smithvs. DEN -
2Larry Fitzgeraldvs. MIN -
3Anquan Boldinvs. MIN -
4Greg Jenningsat JAC -
5Andre Johnsonvs. TEN -
6Brandon Marshallat CAR -
7Terrell Owensvs. NYG -
8Roddy Whitevs. TB -
9Randy Mossat OAK -
10Dwayne Bowevs. SD -
11Calvin Johnsonat INDQuestionable(hand)
12Reggie Waynevs. DET -
13Wes Welkerat OAK -
14Eddie Royalat CAR -
15Antonio Bryantat ATL -
16Marques Colstonat CHI -
17Lance Mooreat CHIDoh
18Jerricho Cotcheryvs. BUF -
19Vincent Jacksonat KCWind could hurt deep ball?
20Kevin Waltervs. TEN -
21Santana Mossat CINKeep eye on weather
22Marvin Harrisonvs. DET -
23Lee Evansat NYJ -
24Donald Driverat JAC -
25T.J. Houshmandzadehvs. WASProbable(hand)
26Bernard Berrianat ARZ -
27Davone Bessvs. SF -
28DeSean Jacksonvs. CLE -
29Deion Branchat STL -
30Steve Breastonvs. MIN
31Laveranues Colesvs. BUFQuestionable(thigh)
32Santonio Holmesat BAL -
33Isaac Bruceat MIA -
34Hines Wardat BAL -
35Torry Holtvs. SEA -
36Derrick Masonvs. PITProbable(shoulder)
37Domenik Hixonat DALGame-time decision (foot)
38Chad Ocho Cincovs. WAS -
39Devin Hestervs. NO -
40Kevin Curtisvs. CLEProbable(concussion)
41Braylon Edwardsat PHI -
42Anthony Gonzalezvs. DET -
43Chris Chambersat KC -
44Justin Gageat HOU -
45Bryant Johnsonat MIACould lose snaps to Morgan?
46Roy Williamsvs. NYGProbable(foot)
47Muhsin Muhammadvs. DEN -
48Ted Ginn Jr.vs. SF -
49Mike Walkervs. GB -
50Amani Toomerat DAL -
51Brandon Jonesat HOU -
52Donnie Averyvs. SEA -
53Malcom Floydat KC -
54Bobby Engramat STL -
55Steve Smithat DAL -
56Jason Hillat MIA -
57Mark Claytonvs. PITProbable(knee)
58Sidney Riceat ARZ -
59Jordy Nelsonat JAC -
60Josh Reedat NYJQuestionable(back)

WR Notes: J.P. Losman was overthrowing his deep targets by 10-20 yards last week. Now Lee Evans has to hope Losman can be on-target in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands. Sigh. … Ted Ginn doesn't like catching passes over the middle and still drops a lot of passes. He is too inconsistent to count on. Davone Bess is getting more targets and makes for a better WR3 play, especially in PPR leagues. Bess could finish with the second-best undrafted rookie wideout season ever, behind Wayne Chrebet. Pennington trusts him and Bess does a good job of making the first defender miss. Bess could have Chrebet's career. … Brandon Marshall isn't a natural hands-catcher, but the Broncos continue to try to get him the ball with room to run. Carolina's secondary is no longer than scary of a matchup.

Deion Branch's game against the Patriots was a touch fluky, but he is finally healthy again. With Bobby Engram not the same, Branch is clearly the best wideout on the team and will get his share of targets. He's a boom-or-bust WR3, but you could do a lot worse. … Roddy White is making more fantastic individual plays than any wideout in the league. It should go without saying he's matchup-proof. … Reggie Wayne is beyond due. His slump is extremely frustrating, but home against the Lions is no time to bail. In fact, Marvin Harrison isn't a bad option. Anthony Gonzalez's snaps remain inconsistent and Harrison still gets plenty of red zone targets. … Calvin Johnson is likely to play with Dan Orlovsky. The Colts are great at preventing big plays, but I stopped doubting Megatron a month back. … Vincent Jackson continues to be a boom or bust option, but it all adds up to WR2 production. Expect a high scoring game in Kansas City, which helps Jackson's chances for a big game.

Tarvaris Jackson struggles completing deep balls, which is bad news for Bernard Berrian owners. I'd stay away if possible. … Torry Holt has improved in recent weeks, but even the improvement only makes him a weak WR3 pick. … Santana Moss has been very matchup-dependent all season. He gets a good one this week. … I like Santonio Holmes a little better than Hines Ward this week, although both are at season-low ranks. The reason: Baltimore is vulnerable to big plays occasionally because of their aggressive defense. Holmes is more likely than Ward to pull one off. … T.J. Housmandzadeh has really produced a remarkably season considering the circumstances. In the fantasy playoffs, the tiebreaker at wideout should go to the talent. He remains a solid WR3 in a tough matchup. Chad Ocho Cinco – not so much. … Isaac Bruce is on a great run and the 49ers should have plenty of pass attempts.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
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