To prepare you as best we can for your week of Fantasy Football, we've devised this series of previews for each NFL game. We'll give you a taste of what to expect, then rank each significant Fantasy contributor on a scale from 1-5 stars (with five stars suggesting can't-miss; a player or unit without any stars suggests you probably shouldn't start him under any circumstances). The rankings take the matchup into account, but injuries and other significant factors also contribute. You should be able to compare the ratings for the players on your team and make an educated pick on who should start -- and sit -- in your lineup. Fantasy Football video
Looking for more Fantasy advice from our own Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard? Our weekly Fantasy Football video shows are loaded with timely analysis for Week 14.
Start 'Em/Sit 'Em | Move Makers | Who's Hot/Who's Not
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
Thursday, 8:00 pm, FedEx Field
If there's any good news for the Redskins, it's that game planning for the Bears won't be much of a chore. We should see a heavy dose of Clinton Portis against a Chicago run defense that has allowed seven straight 100-total-yard running backs with five rushing TDs in their last three games. Portis should do well, and the Redskins' offense should lean toward him. Adrian Peterson may not have as much success as Portis, but he should continue to accumulate yards from scrimmage. I also like the Bears' chances of connecting deep; Washington has allowed three 250-yard pass games in their last four with a pair of four-TD games yielded through the air. This could turn into a moderately high-scoring game.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Rex Grossman ** QB Jason Campbell *
Adrian Peterson ** RB Clinton Portis *****
Garrett Wolfe   RB Ladell Betts
Bernard Berrian ** WR Santana Moss *
Muhsin Muhammad   WR Antwaan Randle El
Desmond Clark * TE Chris Cooley ****
Robbie Gould ** K Shaun Suisham *
DST Bears ** DST DST Redskins **
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Reliant Stadium
Early signs point to Jeff Garcia playing for the Bucs, and that's obviously a good thing. The Texans have allowed two passing touchdowns in each of their last two games, and that's a likely total for Garcia. The Bucs have received excellent play from Joey Galloway and have also seen Earnest Graham develop into a versatile performer. Graham has a TD in four straight games and should make it five against Houston, which has allowed 11 rush TDs this year. Sage Rosenfels will likely start for the Texans, and he'll have trouble against Tampa Bay's tough secondary. They'll roll coverage toward Andre Johnson and force Rosenfels to go elsewhere, and that's been tough for Houston to do. Ron Dayne is banged up, which stinks for him since he'd have a good game against Tampa Bay's front seven. Then again, the Bucs laid the wood to Clinton Portis and Reggie Bush in consecutive games and have done reasonably well against bowling ball RBs like LenDale White and Edgerrin James. The Bucs should play fundamental football and roll to a win.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Jeff Garcia *** QB Sage Rosenfels **
Earnest Graham **** RB Ron Dayne ***
Michael Pittman   RB Adimchinobe Echemandu
Joey Galloway **** WR Andre Johnson ****
Ike Hilliard * WR Kevin Walter
Alex Smith * TE Owen Daniels ***
Matt Bryant * K Kris Brown ***
DST Buccaneers **** DST DST Texans *
St. Louis Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Paul Brown Stadium
There's an obvious difference in the Rams' offense with Marc Bulger at QB and Brock Berlin at QB, but either way, one thing is clear: St. Louis isn't a good team outdoors. Case in point: Bulger has one touchdown and seven interceptions outdoors this season with one game over 200 yards passing. His last 300-yard game outdoors came last October at San Diego. Gus Frerotte was not any better, throwing five picks outdoors at Baltimore earlier this year. So even with the patsy matchup in the Bengals, these stats are too strong to ignore. Expect Steven Jackson to get around 25 touches and be their catalyst. The Bengals run defense has held opposing rushers to under 100 yards in each of their last four, but I don't think it matters here. Do not be afraid to start Bengals studs here after last week's disappointing game; the turf will be better this week, and the defense is a lot softer. Rudi Johnson is also a quality play as the Rams run defense is giving up 109.3 rush yards per game. Ultimately, this should be a high-scoring game (at least for the Bengals).
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Marc Bulger ** QB Carson Palmer *****
Steven Jackson ***** RB Rudi Johnson ****
Brian Leonard   RB Kenny Watson *
Torry Holt *** WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh *****
Isaac Bruce * WR Chad Johnson ****
Drew Bennett   WR Chris Henry **
Randy McMichael * TE Reggie Kelly
Jeff Wilkins *** K Shayne Graham *****
DST Rams * DST DST Bengals **
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Ralph Wilson Stadium
No one on the Dolphins is worth riding other than Jesse Chatman, who notched 124 rush yards and 25 receiving yards against the Bills earlier this year. He lost carries last week because he aggravated an ankle injury and the Dolphins fell behind and wanted to throw with John Beck, but this week should be different if he is healthy enough to play. If not, then Lorenzo Booker or Samkon Gado would be low-end desperation options at best. No one else on Miami deserves your trust. For Buffalo, Marshawn Lynch or Fred Jackson is a must-start, depending on which one plays. Lynch is ahead of schedule on his rehab from his high-ankle sprain and isn't ruled out yet, while Jackson proved that he's a capable replacement. Whoever Buffalo's RB is, use him as a No. 2 RB option. And do my eyes deceive me, or is my calendar showing that it's December in Western New York? This is when Lee Evans usually hits his stride, scoring four touchdowns in each of his last two Decembers (and six in 2004). With the matchup what it is and Trent Edwards proving that he can move the ball through the air to some degree, Evans isn't a bad pick as a No. 3 Fantasy WR. The Bills DST is a sneaky one-week sleeper for the Fantasy playoff owner playing the waiver wire.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
John Beck   QB Trent Edwards *
Jesse Chatman * RB Fred Jackson ***
Samkon Gado   RB Dwayne Wright
Marty Booker   WR Lee Evans ***
Ted Ginn Jr.   WR Josh Reed
David Martin   TE Robert Royal
Jay Feely   K Rian Lindell **
DST Dolphins   DST DST Bills ***
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Lambeau Field
Oakland's offense looked good against Denver last week, but they're going up against a rested and ready squad in the Packers, and I don't like their chances. Justin Fargas is a guy I've been wrong on, so maybe you should start him. But I see a Packers run defense that's allowed four rushing TDs all season and haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in eight games, and I wouldn't want one of my RBs going up against that. I still say you should not play Fargas. Any other Raiders worth a look? Maybe Jerry Porter as a No. 3 since he's seen an increased role in the offense over the last three weeks. The real quandary is how involved Brett Favre will be. This is the perfect matchup for him to rest his arm since the Raiders absolutely stink against the run. How hard will it be for Favre to hand off to Ryan Grant 25 times? It's that thinking that makes me believe that Favre won't have an impressive stat line, and that's without taking the Raiders' pass defense (eight pass TDs allowed all year) into consideration. Expect Favre to be gently used in Week 14 unless the Raiders put up a fight (yeah, right), and that will mean low stats bleeding into the Packers' WRs this week.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Josh McCown * QB Brett Favre ***
Justin Fargas ** RB Ryan Grant *****
LaMont Jordan   RB Vernand Morency
Jerry Porter * WR Greg Jennings ****
Ronald Curry * WR Donald Driver ***
Tim Dwight   WR James Jones *
Zach Miller * TE Donald Lee ***
Sebastian Janikowski ** K Mason Crosby *****
DST Raiders   DST DST Packers *****
N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Lincoln Financial Field
A lot of history between these two teams, but you've got to throw a lot of it out for this game. Example: Last time they met, the Giants had 12 sacks. Winston Justice was a spot starter for the Eagles and he was abused. Example: Plaxico Burress is playing hurt and I'd say at about 60 percent of his normal game. Example: Brandon Jacobs is coming off of a bad hamstring pull and won't give the Giants an explosive run attack. The one constant we can count on is Brian Westbrook, who has at least 120 total yards in each of his last five against the Giants with five total touchdowns. The Giants will have trouble containing him, and he'll give Donovan McNabb a chance to put the ball in the air. Eli Manning responded well to playing from behind last week but will still struggle. I actually like Amani Toomer more than Burress: he's healthier and won't see the kind of coverage that Burress will. He's No. 2 material in my book, and he's slightly outperformed Burress over their last four games.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Eli Manning ** QB Donovan McNabb **
Brandon Jacobs *** RB Brian Westbrook *****
Reuben Droughns * RB Correll Buckhalter
Amani Toomer *** WR Kevin Curtis **
Plaxico Burress *** WR Reggie Brown *
Jeremy Shockey * TE L.J. Smith *
Lawrence Tynes   K David Akers **
DST Giants **** DST DST Eagles **
Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
This is not a good matchup for the Panthers at all. Jacksonville's defense should slam on DeShaun Foster and blitz Vinny Testaverde, making it hard for the Panthers to move the football. Jacksonville found a way to limit LaDainian Tomlinson and Joseph Addai on the ground in two of their last three games, so Foster is in all sorts of trouble. Steve Smith continues to be a low-end No. 2-type of Fantasy option with the Panthers' passing game shipwrecked. I've loved what I've seen from David Garrard since his return from injury, and he should continue to get around 250 yards with two touchdowns here. The Panthers are improving against the run; not one running back has scored on the ground on Carolina in three games. It's not enough to sit either Maurice Jones-Drew or Fred Taylor, but be aware that their respective streaks (two 100-yard games for Taylor, four straight with a touchdown for Jones-Drew) might be in jeopardy.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Vinny Testaverde * QB David Garrard ***
DeShaun Foster ** RB Maurice Jones-Drew ***
DeAngelo Williams   RB Fred Taylor **
Steve Smith ** WR Reggie Williams **
Drew Carter   WR Ernest Wilford *
Keary Colbert   WR Dennis Northcutt *
Jeff King * TE Marcedes Lewis *
John Kasay   K Josh Scobee **
DST Panthers   DST DST Jaguars *****
Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Ford Field
The Lions' secondary doesn't have a prayer at slowing down Terrell Owens, who has 11 scores in his last seven games. Detroit's given up 10 passing TDs in their last four games. Owens is going to eat them up. Obviously, that makes Tony Romo a must-start, but it also favors Patrick Crayton, who has been a touchdown magnet for the Cowboys when he's been healthy. Jason Witten has only scored twice in his last seven games but should be in line for an easy score this week. Marion Barber's receiving days have passed, but he's averaging nearly 16 carries per game in his last five and is a good No. 2 Fantasy RB. Offensively, the Lions are in trouble. Kevin Jones is producing very little, partially because the club is opting to throw more, and that's going to be the case here as Dallas' run defense can stop anyone not named Ryan Grant. Jon Kitna was back on the right track until getting drubbed by the Vikings last week, but will have a hard time without Roy Williams on the field. Calvin Johnson looks like he's hit the proverbial rookie wall, and Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey won't be much of a challenge for the Cowboys to contain.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Tony Romo ***** QB Jon Kitna **
Marion Barber **** RB Kevin Jones *
Julius Jones ** RB Tatum Bell
Terrell Owens ***** WR Shaun McDonald **
Patrick Crayton *** WR Calvin Johnson *
Sam Hurd   WR Mike Furrey *
Jason Witten *** TE Sean McHugh
Nicholas Folk ***** K Jason Hanson **
DST Cowboys ***** DST DST Lions
San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 1:00 pm, LP Field
What a battle: LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Albert Haynesworth. I've been led to believe that Haynesworth is not playing at 100 percent, and he wasn't an every-down player for Tennessee last week. Unless Haynesworth practices in full all week, I'm expecting Tomlinson to be a busy guy. For San Diego, the wild card is Antonio Gates; Tennessee will stick SS Michael Griffin on Gates, and he and Tennessee have fared well against tight ends (Dallas Clark is the only prominent tight end to score on the Titans this year). If the blitz bothers Philip Rivers, Gates will post another weak game. Tennessee remains a running team, but the Chargers are beginning to find their way again as a good run-stopping defense. LenDale White has been mostly awful over his last four games and has seen an almost even split with Chris Brown since Brown's been healthy. What a nightmare for his Fantasy owners. For the Titans to win, Vince Young is going to have to remain aggressive. There's an obvious comfort level Young has reached with the passing game, so he'll have to exploit a Chargers defense allowing over 220 yards per game through the air. San Diego's secondary has looked great of late, but they've played the Ravens and Chiefs in their last two.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Philip Rivers ** QB Vince Young ***
LaDainian Tomlinson ***** RB LenDale White **
Michael Turner   RB Chris Brown *
Chris Chambers ** WR Justin Gage **
Vincent Jackson   WR Roydell Williams *
Antonio Gates ***** TE Bo Scaife *
Nate Kaeding * K Rob Bironas **
DST Chargers **** DST DST Titans ***
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, 4:05 pm, Monster Park
Minnesota will lean on its run game to carry them to a fourth straight win. Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor should pound on a Niners run defense that is giving up 124 rush yards per game on average with eight rushing touchdowns allowed on the year. Not much else to chase from Minnesota's side of the ball. The 49ers will have big trouble against Minnesota's defense, which is still No. 1 vs. the run (70.5 ypg, 5 TDs allowed on the year). Frank Gore should continue to be good for close to 100 total yards, but expect nothing more. The Niners will have to take to the air, and that doesn't bode well for them. Not even Vernon Davis or Arnaz Battle are worth a look here. This should be a lopsided win for Minnesota.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Tarvaris Jackson * QB Trent Dilfer
Adrian Peterson ***** RB Frank Gore **
Chester Taylor *** RB Michael Robinson
Sidney Rice * WR Arnaz Battle *
Bobby Wade   WR Darrell Jackson
Visanthe Shiancoe   TE Vernon Davis *
Ryan Longwell ** K Joe Nedney
DST Vikings ***** DST DST 49ers
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, 4:05 pm, Qwest Field
You have to figure that with Anquan Boldin (toe) out and Larry Fitzgerald (groin) limited, the Cardinals will try to run the ball first, and that seems to be where Seattle can be beaten. Steven Jackson and Brian Westbrook tagged them for over 100 total yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks, and Seattle has given up eight rush TDs in their last five games (four to Jamal Lewis). Edgerrin James should get a healthy dose of playing time, and he's posted two straight 110-yard, one TD rushing performances against Seattle. While the Seahawks' defense tries to stop James, look for their offense to try and strike against the Cardinals' battered secondary. The Cardinals have given up two passing touchdowns in each of their last four games, and Matt Hasselbeck has two passing TDs in six of his last seven games. Looks like a match to me. What about Seattle's running game? Arizona's been weaker against the run too, but Shaun Alexander couldn't maintain a high level of play last week against Philadelphia. He's still a top-24 Fantasy RB -- figure him to be a No. 2 choice -- but be aware that a 20-carry, 75-yard day is not out of the realm of possibility.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Kurt Warner *** QB Matt Hasselbeck ****
Edgerrin James *** RB Shaun Alexander ***
Marcel Shipp   RB Maurice Morris *
Larry Fitzgerald *** WR Bobby Engram ***
Bryant Johnson ** WR Deion Branch **
Sean Morey * WR Nate Burleson **
Leonard Pope ** TE Marcus Pollard
Neil Rackers * K Josh Brown ****
DST Cardinals   DST DST Seahawks ***
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
Sunday, 4:15 pm, Invesco Field at Mile High
The Chiefs may end up starting Will Svitek and Herb Taylor at their offensive tackle spots at Denver, and that's a recipe for disaster for the Chiefs. Yes, the Broncos' run defense was hideous last week, but the Chiefs' offensive line could be in big trouble and make those Broncos look good up front. Kolby Smith slips into low-end No. 2/top-end No. 3 territory unless the Chiefs get their regular offensive tackles back. By the way, Tony Gonzalez's history against the Broncos is awful thanks in part to tight coverage by Champ Bailey. Kansas City's run defense is in just as bad of shape as its offensive line thanks to LB Derrick Johnson away from the team with a family emergency and LB Donnie Edwards hurting. Travis Henry should burn the Chiefs, making life easy for the rest of the Broncos. It might mean minimal passing for Jay Cutler, and thus limited numbers for Brandon Marshall, Brandon Stokley and Javon Walker. Selvin Young, however, might be a sleeper for some garbage-time numbers; think of him in deeper leagues as a No. 3.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Brodie Croyle * QB Jay Cutler **
Kolby Smith ** RB Travis Henry ****
Gilbert Harris   RB Selvin Young *
Dwayne Bowe ** WR Brandon Marshall ***
Eddie Kennison   WR Brandon Stokley *
Samie Parker   WR Javon Walker *
Tony Gonzalez ** TE Tony Scheffler **
John Carney   K Jason Elam *****
DST Chiefs   DST DST Broncos **
Cleveland Browns at N.Y. Jets
Sunday, 4:15 pm, Giants Stadium
Call this the Belichick Defensive Coaching Tree Bowl. The Jets have gotten better against the run, but they'll have their hands full with Jamal Lewis, who continues to exceed all expectations. Of course, if the Browns can't run, throwing is just as good for them, and there isn't any reason to think twice about their studs at QB, WR and TE. The Jets have a shot if Kellen Clemens can rise to the occasion, more so than he did last week. Thomas Jones is also a good No. 2 option; he's gotten his groove back and faces another soft run defense in the Browns. This should be a fun back-and-forth game with a moderately high score.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Derek Anderson ***** QB Kellen Clemens **
Jamal Lewis **** RB Thomas Jones ***
Jason Wright   RB Leon Washington *
Braylon Edwards ***** WR Laveranues Coles ***
Joe Jurevicius * WR Brad Smith *
Kellen Winslow ***** TE Chris Baker *
Phil Dawson ***** K Mike Nugent ***
DST Browns * DST DST Jets
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Sunday, 4:15 pm, Gillette Stadium
New England is known for taking out a team's best player, but the Steelers have several quality guys, so picking one might be tough. Pittsburgh has proven to be good on the ground and through the air. But the Patriots' inability to slam on the run is going to be a focus for them, so expect them to try and keep Willie Parker in check, a likely possibility even though Brian Westbrook and Willis McGahee each have totaled plenty of yards against the Patriots in the last two weeks. Parker has averaged well under 4.0 yards per carry over his last three games and hasn't scored since Week 8. Not a great matchup for him, but he's tough to sit. Ben Roethlisberger is going to have to be the chain-mover for the Steelers, and based on A.J. Feeley and Kyle Boller's recent success against the Pats, I think Big Ben has a good game. If Santonio Holmes plays, you can be sure of Pittsburgh being aggressive with the play-action pass. New England might try and see what the Jets did to run so well on the Steelers back in Week 11, but they'll ultimately ride their strength and throw the ball. Pittsburgh might have played Cincinnati last week, but the turf neutralized their passing game; the Steelers haven't seen a strong passing unit in three games, so they might not be completely prepared for New England's attack. Ultimately, this game comes down to whether or not the Patriots defend against the Steelers' blitz. If Pittsburgh can get to Tom Brady enough times and force a turnover or two, they'll end the Pats' bid for a perfect season.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Ben Roethlisberger **** QB Tom Brady *****
Willie Parker *** RB Laurence Maroney **
Najeh Davenport   RB Kevin Faulk
Hines Ward **** WR Randy Moss *****
Santonio Holmes *** WR Wes Welker ****
Nate Washington   WR Donte Stallworth **
Heath Miller *** TE Benjamin Watson **
Jeff Reed **** K Stephen Gostkowski *****
DST Steelers *** DST DST Patriots ****
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 8:15 pm, M&T Bank Stadium
Peyton Manning has not fared well in his last four overall against Baltimore, including the playoff game, totaling four scores and three interceptions. In the Colts' most recent meeting, the playoff game last season, Manning threw two interceptions with no touchdowns, the Colts' running game was stuffed and the only way Indy could score points was off the foot of Adam Vinatieri. With no Marvin Harrison and the Ravens angry over last week's loss and their season in general, they're going to give the Colts all they can handle. Keep in mind what the Ravens did to Tom Brady (257 yards, two TDs, one INT) and expect similar numbers for Manning. Joseph Addai does not have a very good matchup here, either, and that's in spite of Maroney's totals from last week. The Ravens did not shy away from using Willis McGahee last week and will likely try to run with him this week. Keep in mind, though, that they're playing on a short week and McGahee had 34 touches. He might not have a full tank for this game, and the Colts' run defense is good. Only Derrick Mason remains a halfway decent option as a No. 3 choice.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Peyton Manning **** QB Kyle Boller *
Joseph Addai *** RB Willis McGahee ***
Kenton Keith   RB Musa Smith
Reggie Wayne *** WR Derrick Mason **
Anthony Gonzalez * WR Mark Clayton
Dallas Clark **** TE Daniel Wilcox
Adam Vinatieri **** K Matt Stover ***
DST Colts *** DST DST Ravens **
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Monday, 8:30 pm, Georgia Dome
Drew Brees should be the key to victory here for the Saints. In his last two vs. Atlanta, he's gunned for two TDs in each with one 300-yard game and one interception. New Orleans must lean on him and Marques Colston because RB Reggie Bush looks bushed. He hasn't scored in any of his last three games, not topping 15 carries in any of those contests, and maxing out at three receptions in two of those three games. He looks frustrated and unfocused, and I doubt he'll go off here against a team he has one touchdown and no 100-total-yard games against in three tries. Chris Redman will start for Atlanta and appears to have the knowledge of the offense to match his healthy body. The Saints don't offer much bang up front, so Redman will have time to throw against an awful Saints secondary. I like Roddy White a lot this week, and even Michael Jenkins and Alge Crumpler can be considered useful sleeper options. Expect to see more of Jerious Norwood this week as well; coach Bobby Petrino has said that it's time to get him involved (he started last week). If the Falcons can make some plays against Brees, they have a shot to win.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Drew Brees ***** QB Chris Redman **
Reggie Bush *** RB Jerious Norwood ***
Aaron Stecker   RB Warrick Dunn *
Marques Colston ***** WR Roddy White ***
Devery Henderson * WR Michael Jenkins
Eric Johnson * TE Alge Crumpler **
Olindo Mare ** K Morten Andersen **
DST Saints * DST DST Falcons