SI Vault
 
Playoff Preview
Compiled by Gene Menez, David Sabino and Jason Steinthal
December 11, 2006
You've worked too hard to blow it now. Time to hunker down and study key matchups, game-by-game and player-by-player, for three make-or-break weeks
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 11, 2006

Playoff Preview

You've worked too hard to blow it now. Time to hunker down and study key matchups, game-by-game and player-by-player, for three make-or-break weeks

View CoverRead All Articles
GAME STUD DUD
Browns at Steelers Willie Parker Derek Anderson
Bills at Jets Willis McGahee J.P. Losman
Colts at Jaguars Adam Vinatieri Jaguars D
Eagles at Redskins L.J. Smith Donte' Stallworth
Falcons at Buccaneers Michael Vick Michael Jenkins
Giants at Panthers Steve Smith Plaxico Burress
Patriots at Dolphins Ben Watson Chris Chambers
Raiders at Bengals Chad Johnson Rudi Johnson
Ravens at Chiefs Derrick Mason Trent Green
Titans at Texans Eric Moulds Samkon Gado
Vikings at Lions Chester Taylor Kevin Jones
Broncos at Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson Tatum Bell
Packers at 49ers Alex Smith Ahman Green
Seahawks at Cardinals Shaun Alexander Matt Leinart
Saints at Cowboys Reggie Bush Julius Jones
Bears at Rams Steven Jackson Thomas Jones

[This article contains table. Please see a hardcopy or a pdf.]

Week 14
Page F9

DREW BREES has been getting much MVP love recently, and deservedly so: He has thrown for 3,649 yards while guiding the division-leading Saints to an 8--4 record. However, when he meets Dallas's stingy pass defense in a matchup loaded with fantasy significance, Brees could be without two of his top receivers-- Marques Colston, who has missed almost three entire games with a sprained ankle, and Joe Horn, who left Sunday's game with a groin injury. With Brees's wideouts ailing, the most intriguing player will be Reggie Bush. On Sunday the man with the moves made for EA Sports had the kind of performance that many had been expecting all season (168 total yards, four touchdowns). The rookie looks as if he's coming around, just in time for the playoffs.

Week 15
Page F10

WHEN THIS important week on the fantasy schedule arrives, many owners still alive will have either Larry Johnson or LaDainian Tomlinson in their lineups, so there's no bigger showdown than the Chiefs-Chargers game. Owners of fantasy's top two studs may not get the usual production out of their workhorses, however. Tomlinson has rushed for 75.3 yards per game against K.C. in his career (his lowest average among teams he has faced at least four times) while Johnson has run for 68.8 against San Diego (his lowest mark among teams he has faced more than once).

Week 16
Page F12

WILL PEYTON play? And if he does, how much? In a week in which most fantasy league championships will be on the line, the answers to those questions could determine who wins bragging rights for the next year. The Colts (10--2) may have home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs clinched by the time they face the Texans, and remember what happened last year: With the home field clinched entering Week 16, Manning played only the first quarter in a 28--13 loss to the Seahawks, killing every fantasy team that had him in its starting lineup. If Manning plays against Houston, he's likely to have a statistical field day. (The Texans rank near the bottom of the league against the pass.) But starting him could be the biggest gamble of the season.

Week 14

GOING DEEP: THREE TO TAKE A FLIER ON

1. TERRANCE COPPER
WR
Saints AT Cowboys

With his offensive weapons limited by injuries, coach Sean Payton can throw a curveball at his old team by calling Copper's number in a few key situations.

2. ARNAZ BATTLE
WR
49ers VS Packers

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5