NFL Recap – Week 15

Falcons v. Jaguars: Matt Ryan has come on of late, and continued his high scoring here (224 passing, 3 TDs), with 2 of the TDs going to Roddy White (10 for 135). White has been one of the best if not the best fantasy WR the last few weeks, and this game came right in the thick of the fantasy playoffs. Julio Jones also contributed nicely (5 for 85, TD). Jacksonville did very little all game, with Chastin West getting the only TD catch (3 for 38). Blaine Gabbert was awful again. On the ground, Michael Turner (61, TD) and MJD (112 rushing) both provided decent totals, but you know you wanted more out of these two studs.

Cowboys v. Bucs: Tony Romo had a special game (249 passing, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD, fumble lost), and he spread the scores around to Miles Austin (5 for 53), Dez Bryant (4 for 40), and Laurent Robinson (3 for 29). Jason Witten had himself a decent yardage day as well (4 for 77). Felix Jones ran well for the second straight week (108 rushing, 3 for 23 receiving, fumble lost) and merits consideration in all leagues for the championship round against the Eagles. Tampa gave you Dezmon Briscoe (3 for 36, TD) and a little bit of Josh Freeman (148 passing, TD, 37 rushing, fumble lost) and that was it.

Texans v. Panthers: Houston’s fantasy impact started and stopped with Arian Foster (109 rushing, TD, 5 for 58 receiving, fumble lost); the rest of ’em were invisible. For Carolina, Cam Newton gave you what you expect by now (149 passing, 2 TDs, 55 rushing), tossing scores to Steve Smith (5 for 82) and Jeremy Shockey (2 for 35), while DeAngelo Williams was productive (61 rushing, TD).

Dolphins v. Bills: If I told you Reggie Bush would lead many teams to a win in the semi’s, you might have thought I maybe was thinking of Michael Bush. Well, Reggie proved us all wrong with another big game in the clutch (203 rushing, TD, fumble lost). Matt Moore also chipped in (217 passing, 2 TDs), while Brandon Marshall (3 for 84, fumble lost) and Anthony Fasano (2 for 28) caught the scores. The Bills gave you a monster game from C.J. Spiller (91 rushing, TD, 10 for 73, TD), a good one from Stevie Johnson (5 for 82), and a TD catch from Derek Hagan (2 for 12). Ryan Fitzpatrick was erratic, but put up solid fantasy numbers (318 passing, 2 TDs, 3 INTs); if you trusted him, you had more faith than me.

Titans v. Colts: Ugly one, with none of the QBs doing anything of note. Several receivers had good days though: Nate Washington (7 for 62, TD), Jared Cook (9 for 103, fumble lost), Lavelle Hawkins (8 for 88), and Reggie Wayne (3 for 33, TD). Both running backs also did well, as Chris Johnson (55 rushing, 8 for 54 receiving) and Donald Brown (161 rushing, TD) each went over 100 total yards; CJ hurt his ankle, but expects to play this week. You could’ve started Donald Brown and C.J. Spiller in week 15 and dominated your match-up; thats late-season fantasy football for ya.

Bengals v. Rams: Welcome to 2011 Kellen Clemens! He actually did ok, especially considering the circumstances (229 passing, TD). Steven Jackson was an all-purpose nightmare for Cincy (71 rushing, 9 for 72 receiving), and Danario Alexander caught Clemens’ TD pass. The cats got two solid fantasy rushing outings from both Cedric Benson (76 rushing, TD) and Bernard Scott (2o rushing, TD), and, as usual, A.J. Green did his thing (6 for 115), though he sprained his shoulder; look for him to suit up in a must win for Cincy on Saturday.

Seahawks v. Bears: Mighty Mighty Marshawn strikes again; he rushed for two, despite a low yardage total of 42. Dude just produces. Tarvaris Jackson held his own (227 yards, TD), hitting Michael Robinson for a score, but otherwise it was Seattle’s D that did the heavy lifting. Chicago is a mess right now, and only Kahlil Bell did anything useful (65 rushing, 5 for 43, TD). Johnny Knox suffered a pretty bad back injury, and he is done for the year; the Bears just cannot catch a break.

Saints v. Vikings: Of course the big story is Drew Brees again having a ridiculous video-game type of performance (412 passing, 5 TDs, fumble lost), on his way to almost certainly breaking Dan Marino’s season passing yards record in the next week or two. Ok, on to the recipients of his generosity: Lance Moore (5 for 91, 2 TDs), Marques Colston (8 for 91), Darren Sproles (33 rushing, 5 for 79, TD), Jimmy Graham (7 for 70, TD, fumble lost), Pierre Thomas (44 rushing, TD, 2 for 41), and John Gilmore (2 yard TD grab). Christopher Ivory provided most of the ground game (74 rushing). Minny never really got AP going, but Christian Ponder (120 passing, 2 TDs, 34 rushing) did hook up with Toby Gerhart often (4 for 46, 2 TDs); Everyone else blew.

Packers v. Chiefs: So close GB, so close. Ah, well, at least Aaron Rodgers didn’t have too bad a day (235, TD, 32 rushing, rushing TD). Donald Driver caught the TD pass, but only had 7 yards, Jermichael Finley was the leading receiver for the Pack (3 for 83), and Ryan Grant provided over 100 all-purpose (66 rushing, 3 for 35 receiving). KC didn’t have much to crow about fantasy-wise, but Steve Breaston (4 for 50, 25 rushing), Leonard Pope (2 for 72), Jackie Battle (37 rushing, TD) and Kyle Orton (299 passing) weren’t terrible.

Redskins v. Giants: Eli Manning had his worst game of the year by the numbers, but his receivers didn’t help at all, dropping passes and running  bad routes left and right. This led to no good QB or WR/TE numbers from a single Giant, probably crippling any one who was heavily invested in this team this week. Only Ahmad Bradshaw with his garbage time TD (58 rushing, 3 for 21 receiving) helped you. Washington had Jabar Gaffney (6 for 85), and Santana Moss (2 for 40, TD) giving you positive points; they didn’t exactly put on a show, it was just that bad a game played by the boys in blue.

Lions v. Raiders: Matt Stafford (391 passing, 4 TDs) and Carson Palmer (367 passing, TD) put on quite the aerial display, with Stafford obviously getting the better of it. Megatron returned to elite-ness with a vengeance (9 for 214, 2 TDs), and could not have picked a better week for his owners. Nate Burleson (7 for 81, TD) and Titus Young (5 for 21, TD) also reaped the benefits of Stafford’s prowess. Michael Bush maybe didn’t match Reggie, but he had a nice day himself (77 rushing, 7 for 62 receiving), while Darrius Heyward-Bey (8 for 155, TD, fumble lost) had his best game of the year; he is not a great WR, but this year he at least shed his ‘complete first round bust’ tag with flashes of brilliance.

Browns v. Cardinals: Seneca Wallace probably didn’t budge from the waiver wire, but he had a better day than Eli (226, TD, 21 rushing, fumble lost). He hit Greg Little all day (5 for 131, TD), while Peyton Hillis actually gave his owners – those who remain – something to sing about (99 rushing, TD). John Skelton (313, TD) hooked up with Andre Roberts (6 for 60, TD), and Beanie Wells ran for a score (51 rushing) to complete the fantasy notables.

Jets v. Eagles: I think this was the dream team Vince Young was talking about pre-season. Michael Vick did it with the arm and legs (274, TD, 32 rushing, TD), LeSean McCoy was unstoppable (102 rushing, 3 TDs, fumble lost), and Brent Celek looked incredibly fast and was uncoverable (5 for 156, TD). Mark Sanchez had a rough game, but did toss two TDs (150 yards), while Santonio Holmes (4 for 40, fumble lost) and Plaxico Burress (1 9 yard TD, simply amazing catch) were the targets. Shonn Greene was back to his 70 yards and a cloud of dust routine.

Patriots v. Broncos: Tim Tebow didn’t lead a comeback, but he did put up great fantasy numbers yet again (194 passing, 93 rushing, 2 TDs). Demaryius Thomas got the lion’s share of the passing yards (7 for 116), and he makes for an intriguing start against the Bills next week in all but the shallowest leagues. Lance Ball replaced the injured Willis McGahee (leg) and scored a TD (64 rushing, 2 for 41 receiving, fumble lost). Tom Brady was exceptional (320, 2 TDs, 1 rushing TD), as Aaron Hernandez (9 for 129, TD) was the TE of choice this week; he also got Chad Ochocinco his first TD catch of the year (1 33 yard catch). New England got two additional rushing TDs, 1 each from Danny Woodhead (40 rushing) and BJ Green-Ellis (17 rushing).

Ravens v. Chargers: Philip Rivers throws for 270 and 1 TD, yet SD put up 34 on Baltimore due to their short TD runs from Ryan Mathews (90 rushing, 2 for 19 receiving) and Mike Tolbert (40 rushing, 2 for 18 receiving). Malcolm Floyd found many a hole in the secondary (5 for 96, TD), while Vincent Jackson also had some nice catches (3 for 84). Despite only scoring 14 points, the Ravens did have some useful fantasy players, namely Joe Flacco (226 passing, 2 TDs), Ray Rice (57 rushing, 9 for 55 receiving), and Torrey Smith (6 for 77, TD). Ed Dickson also hauled in a score (3 for 36).

Steelers v. 49ers: Not much to report here, big defensive battle. Vernon Davis was the #1 star (6 for 72, TD), Frank Gore the #2 (65 rushing, TD), and Heath Miller (5 for 82) and Jerricho Cotchery shared the #3 (5 for 93). Honorable mention for Rashard Mendenhall (64 rushing, 3 for 25 receiving). Mostly a dud if you were banking on Big Ben, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown to work their magic.

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