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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Tunnel Vision: Week 11
David Dorey
November 19, 2012
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Matt Schaub 527 5
Robert Griffin III 284 4
Chad Henne 361 3
Josh Freeman 271 4
Tom Brady 331 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Marcel Reese 193 0
LaRod Stephens-Howling 133 1
Trent Richardson 144 0
Doug Martin 163 0
Bilal Powell 60 2
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Andre Johnson 273 1
Justin Blackmon 236 1
Dez Bryant 145 1
Danario Alexander 96 2
TY Hilton 100 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
Rob Gronkowski 137 2
Garrett Graham 82 2
Ben Watson 47 2
Marcedes Lewis 40 2
Dallas Clark 58 1
Placekickers XPT FG
Shayne Graham 4 3
Josh Scobee 4 3
Jay Feely 1 4
Rian Lindell 1 4
Matt P)rater 3 3
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Patriots 3 1 4
Bills 1 3 3
Packers 1 5 4
Redskins 0 4 3
Chargers 1 3 2

Bumps, Bruises and bowouts

Taiwan Jones - Leg
Julio Jones - Ankle
Willis McGahee - Knee
LeSean McCoy - Concussion
Donnie Avery - Concussion
Rob Gronkowski - Broken forearm
Isaac Redman - Concussion
Dennis Pitta - Concussion
Dwayne Bowe - Concussion
Blaine Gabbert - Elbow

Stats you need to know

1. WR Justin Blackmon at HOU (7-236, TD) - The first rookie selected in the 2012 NFL draft had only gained 250 yards total in the nine previous games combined. And yet in his worse matchup of the year - at Houston - he exploded with catches of 63, 39 and 81 yards. This is the same team that completed nine passes to Laurent Robinson last week and then no receptions versus the Texans but at least this happened with Chad Henne as the quarterback. Hard to rely on Blackmon suddenly but at least his next two games are against the Titans and then in Buffalo.

2. QB Chad Henne at HOU (16-33-354, 4 TDs) - Blaine Gabbert remains one of the worst starting quarterbacks over the last two seasons. Now Henne comes in after Gabbert is concussed and merely threw for his third-best yardage ever and his first four score game ever. He's the only one able to get something out of the rookie Blackmon who was merely the best wide receiver coming out of college this spring. Henne has to have secured at least another start or two with the performance and the next two games go against soft secondaries. Gabbert's likely to get a week or two "just to heal".

3. RB Jalen Parmele at HOU (24-80) - The Jaguars were full of surprises on Sunday and starting Parmele over Rashad Jennings was a big one. Since taking over for Maurice Jones-Drew, Jennings only gained 175 yards on 61 carries for a 2.9 yard per carry average the previous four games. Parmele offered a spark running for 80 yards in Houston and he added three catches for three yards. He'll have it easier next week when he faces the visiting Titans but Maurice Jones-Drew could be back by week 13.

4. RB Bryce Brown at WAS (5-35) - The Eagles back-up running back had a healthy 7.0 yards per carry against the Redskins last week and more importantly should draw the start against the visiting Panthers in week 12. LeSean McCoy suffered a significant concussion and should end up sidelined. That will give Brown a home game against a reeling Panthers team and likely a bigger role as a receiver as well.

5. TE Rob Gronkowski (22-388, 7 TDs) - That's what Gronk totaled in the last four games and therefore how much the Patriots will be missing at the least. The Pats star tight end broke his forearm and will be out at least four to six weeks which means the guy that got you this far is not going to be there for you in the playoffs. Aaron Hernandez stands to profit handsomely from this if he actually ever plays. If not him, then the production will likely be spread out between the running backs and wideouts. Michael Hoomanawanui becomes more interesting but there's a reason no other tight end picked up the slack from Hernandez being out. They are not plug-n-play good.

6. Garrett Graham vs. JAC (8-82, TD) - The Texans third-year tight end only totaled 161 yards in his career until facing the Jaguars but he was merely helping out the passing game since Owen Daniels was back from his hip injury and not yet 100%. Expect that workload to return in full to Daniels who already caught six passes for 57 yards in the game. Both scores caught by Graham were four yards or less. The only big game in his career only served to tweak the Daniels owners. This is not the start of anything new.

7. WR Dwayne Bowe vs. CIN (0 catches) - After scoring three times in the first four weeks and averaging 80 yards in those games, Bowe has finally bottomed out. The Chiefs season is slipping away at light speed and they only scored two offensive touchdowns in the last six weeks. HC Romeo Crennel is changing quarterbacks in the middle of the game like it would make any difference. The team has the look of one that has quit with six games left to play. Jamaal Charles is now the only reasonable fantasy play on the entire team and even then only for moderate yardage and no score each week. Bowe left the game with a possible concussion which only makes next week even more unattractive.

8. WR Danario Alexander at DEN (7-96, 2 TD) - Apparently the 134 yards and one score in Tampa Bay was not a fluke. For the second week in a row, Alexander played like a true #1 receiver for a team that desperately needs help in the passing game. Antonio Gates crawled back under his rock with only two catches for 17 yards versus the Broncos. Malcom Floyd remains just a #2 wideout for a possession role. Alexander gets to play in two home games next against the Ravens and Bengals. Vincent Brown is still slow to heal and Alexander is stepping up in a way the Chargers have needed all year. And so far - no season-ending injury!

9. QB Andrew Luck at NE (27-50-334, 2 TD) - The Patriots sent a message that the upstart Colts still have plenty of work left to do after losing by 35 points. But in the process Luck passed for over 300 yards. That broke the NFL record for 300-yard games by a rookie quarterback previously set by a guy named Peyton Manning. Luck stands at five such outings and he still has six more weeks to play including games against the Bills, Titans and Chiefs. Forget the game score, Luck is a star this season and a lock for the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

10. RB Bilal Powell at STL (11-42, 2 TD) - Shonn Greene took the start and Powell only ran once in the first half. But the Jets turned to the #2 guy for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter that made the difference in the game. Greene only gained four yards on four runs in the final quarter while Powell accounted for six runs for 24 yards and the two scores. While Greene remains the starter for reasons less clear outside of New York, Powell's first two scores of his career should buy him more chances in future games.

Sunday Snippets

ARI 19, ATL 23 What? Cardinals made this into a game? Really? Matt Ryan threw no touchdowns and FIVE interceptions and yet still won - first time that happened since 1967. The Cardinals benched John Skelton for rookie Ryan Lindley. Julio Jones was active for the game but later sat out because of his ankle. This was clearly "Underdog weekend" and the Cardinals very nearly won in Atlanta with no real offense outside of LaRod Stephens-Howling (22-127, TD). The Cards only passed for 70 yards in the game. Roddy White ended with 123 yards on eight catches for the only Falcon with much production. The 9-1 Falcons head to Tampa Bay and the 4-6 Cardinals return home to face the St. Louis defense.
TB 27, CAR 21
OT

This was another near tragedy averted only in overtime. The Panthers led 21-10 with six minutes left to play and the Bucs scored eleven points to send it into overtime and that was with a 24-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left and then a two-point conversion to tie. A touchdown to Dallas Clark clinched the OT win. Doug Martin ran for 138 yards and Josh Freeman passed for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Cam Newton passed for 252 yards and one score to Brandon LaFell (5-93) but Steve Smith (5-61) was not a big factor and Greg Olsen only caught two passes for 42 yards. Vincent Jackson ended with 94 yards and a score and a two point conversion but all that happened very late in the game. Now the 6-4 Buccaneers host the Falcons and the 2-8 Panthers head to Philadelphia.

CLE 20, DAL 23
OT
Yet another near upset. Browns led 13-0 at half, Cowboys tied it up with a minute left and then won on a field goal. Brandon Weeden threw for a respectable 210 yards and two scores with no turnovers but only Trent Richardson had fantasy relevance with 144 total yards along with Ben Watson's (4-47) two touchdowns. Tony Romo threw for 313 yards and one score almost all in the second half and Dez Bryant came up big with 12 catches for 145 yards and one score. Not much offense on either side really. It just took a long time to get where we all thought it would end. The 2-8 Browns return home to host the Steelers and the 5-5 Cowboys host the Redskins.
GB 24, DET 20

Yet another game that almost ended as an upset. Matt Stafford passed for 266 yards and one score with two interceptions that almost entirely went to Calvin Johnson (5-143, TD). Mikel Leshoure (19-84) scored once but no other Lions mattered much. Aaron Rodgers was held to only 236 yards and two scores that went to Randall Cobb (9-74) and Jermichael Finley (3-66). James Starks took over as the running back with 25 runs for 74 yards. Expected more fireworks here, especially from the Packers who had to score 10 points in the final two minutes to win. The 7-3 Packers head to New York to play the Giants and the 4-6 Lions host the Texans this week.

CIN 28, KC 6 Finally - a game that started and ended the expected way. The Chiefs are losing all sense of offense other than Jamaal Charles (118 total yards) and Matt Cassel was benched after throwing for 93 yards so that Brady Quinn could come in and throw for 95 yards. The Chiefs are getting so bad that you have to fear all opponents won't do much against them knowing the win is pretty much a lock. Andy Dalton passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns with a third one rushed in. A.J. Green (6-91) had the obligatory touchdown and when BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs for 101 yards and a score, you know the game went really, really well. The 1-9 Chiefs next loss is at home against the Broncos and the 5-5 Bengals host the Raiders.
PHI 6, WAS 31

The beauty of this game was that someone had to win. Ends up that was the Redskins and in a big way. Robert Griffin III only threw for 200 yards but had four touchdowns and also ran for 84 yards. No Skins receiver did much though four of them caught a score and Alfred Morris only gained 76 yards on 20 carries. Nick Foles passed for 204 yards and two interceptions which qualifies him to be a true replacement for Michael Vick. The Eagles offense was lethargic and now LeSean McCoy has a concussion. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combined for two catches for five yards... all Jackson's actually. The 3-7 Eagles host the Panthers this week and the 4-6 Redskins head to Dallas.

NO 38, OAK 17 The only thing wrong about this game was that Drew Brees only threw for 219 yards for his three touchdowns. Lance Moore scored twice with only two catches for 53 yards and Jimmy Graham (6-29) scored the other one and yet did little for the final three quarters in the game. Mark Ingram ran for 67 yards on 12 runs and scored on a 27-yard jaunt around left end. Carson Palmer threw for 312 yards and two scores and two interceptions just like he was supposed to do. Marcel Reece was the surprise though since he ran for 103 yards on 19 carries and was the lead receiver with 90 yards on four receptions. Not much else happened for the Raiders. The 5-5 Saints finally are at .500 and will host the 49ers this week. The 3-7 Raiders head to Cincinnati.
IND 24, NE 59

This was the way that the Patriots made sure the new Colts would not become as problematic as the old Colts. Tom Brady passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns that mostly favored Rob Gronkowski (7-137, 2 TD) before he broke his forearm on the final extra point and was lost for up to six weeks. That makes the Patriots offense get a lot more interesting. Andrew Luck threw for 334 yards and two scores but had three interceptions. TY Hilton (6-100) caught two scores and Reggie Wayne settled for 72 yards on seven catches while breaking 1000 yards on the season. Classic Patriot beatdown included three touchdowns by defense/special teams as an added bonus since no one started the Pats defense this week. Now the 6-4 Colts head home to host the Bills and the 7-3 Patriots go to New York to play the Jets.

SD 23, DEN 30 This was a standard sort of game for both teams. Peyton Manning passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns and yet no receiver gained more than 55 yards. Willis McGahee turned in 73 total yards but jammed up his knee and will get an MRI today. Philip Rivers threw for 258 yards and two scores with two interceptions and once again, Danario Alexander was tops for the team with 96 yards and two scores on seven receptions. Ryan Mathews turned in 73 total yards which by now looks like a monster game. The 4-6 Chargers host the Ravens this week and the 7-3 Broncos play in Kansas City.
BAL 13, PIT 10

Wow. This was a reason to change the channel. Byron Leftwich ran in a 31-yard touchdown only 43 seconds into the game and then it was 59:17 of just three field goals and a punt returned for a touchdown. Ray Rice only gained 40 yards on 20 carries but added 53 on five catches. Mike Wallace converted four receptions into a whole 26 yards. This was just a game to forget and hope it never happens again. The 8-2 Ravens head to San Diego this week and the 6-4 Steelers will play in Cleveland.

Huddle Player of the Week

Matt Schaub - Nothing like throwing for only 195 yards and no scores in the first meeting with the Jaguars in week two. That made it tougher to start Schaub this week since he's a backup in many leagues anyway. All he did was to throw for 527 yards and five touchdowns. That ties him for the second best single game passing yardage in NFL history with Warren Moon's 527 yards in 1990. Only Norm Van Brocklin had more when he passed for 554 yards back in 1951 against the Los Angeles Rams. In fantasy terms - one of the best games ever.

Salute!

Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Chad Henne 361 4 QB Matt Ryan 301 0
RB Bilal Powell 60 2 RB Reggie Bush 35 0
RB Mark Ingram 68 1 RB Willis McGahee 73 0
WR Julian Edelman 105 2 WR Jeremy Maclin 0 0
WR TY Hilton 100 2 WR Dwayne Bowe 0 0
WR Chaz Schilens 48 1 WR Larry Fitzgerald 11 0
TE Garrett Graham 82 1 TE Antonio Gates 17 0
PK Josh Scobee 4 XP 3 FG PK Greg Zuerlein 1 XP

Huddle Fantasy Points = 184

Huddle Fantasy Points = 25

Sunday's Couch Commentary

Three more overtime games this week and eight games were decided by a touchdown or less. It was a week where the underdogs all came on strong and almost won only to lose at the last minute or in overtime. We had another 500 yard passer, only four runners who gained 100 yards and yet two wide receivers with over 230 yards each. Four tight ends scored two touchdowns and yet only Bilal Powell managed the feat as a running back. It was a close, hard-fought week with many monster games mostly by surprise players. The games ended with "News of Much Darkness" when it was reported that Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm and will probably miss the rest of the regular season, thereby neutering one team in every league.

The Game-O-The-Week? Following the trend, it was a game where no game was expected. And it had a heck of a lot more points in it than anyone could have guessed.

Jaguars 37, Texans 43

It was like the Jaguars completely ignored who they were and what they had done. And the Texans agreed to the mockery of mediocrity. It all started well enough with the Texans scoring on their first series after three straight passes to Andre Johnson netted 74 yards. The Jaguars got the ball and in five plays, Blaine Gabbert was clobbered and lost a fumble. Then things got really, really weird.

The Jaguars acted like a real team and even started Jalen Parmele. Chad Henne became the quarterback and started throwing to Justin Blackmon like he was some hot rookie wideout coming off record-setting college years that made him the most desirable receiver in the 2012 draft. And the Houston defense let them.

These teams were tied 17-17 at the half.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Jaguars led 27-20.

Remember too that this was the 1-8 Jaguars playing at the 8-1 Texans.

The fourth quarter opened when Matt Schaub threw an interception at the JAC 19-yard line. On the next play, Henne hit Blackmon for an 81-yard touchdown and a 34-20 lead.

The Texans then drove 80 yards in 14 plays and ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Graham for a 34-27 deficit with 5:24 left to play. The Jaguars went four and out next and punted to the HOU 10-yard line with 3:52 left to play.

Eight plays later, Schaub threw again for a score to Graham and tied the score 34-34 with 1:34 left in regulation.

After the Jaguars went three-and-out, the Texans went from their own 35-yard line to reach the Jags 24-yard line as time was expiring and Shayne Graham kicked a 47-yard field goal that went through for the win. But a false start moved it back five yards and of course Graham knuckled it wide left.

The Texans kicked a field goal in overtime but under the new rules, the Jaguars got a possession. They too ended with a field goal for another tied score.

The Jags then intercepted Matt Schaub near mid-field but threw three incompletions. On fourth down with only 2:36 left in overtime that now everyone remembers can actually end in a tie, the Jags went for it on fourth-and-ten. And as would happen it was incomplete and went over on downs to the Texans who only needed two plays to hit Andre Johnson for a 48-yard game winning score.

The freakish part of this game was that Arian Foster only rushed for 77 yards on 28 carries and did not score for the first time this year. The game is like a big asterisk on the Texans defensive stats now. It was an example of "Any Given Sunday" and yet like so many other games at the end was not to be.

Did you fall short in some of your leagues? No shame in it. It's all good because you need to check yourself and why you play if it is not okay. Don't be the guy who stops fielding the best lineup and who skews the league from allowing some teams an easier time leading up to the fantasy playoffs.

We all play averages and odds and hunches and past performances. We can be wrong for the week and we can be wrong for the season. In most cases for reasons that we could never have known or predicted. And that's okay - that is why we play. It is about competition but it is more than that. It is about loving football and integrating yourself into the experience so that you have something riding on the games. It is about just trying to field the best team possible every week and learning what we can from what happens. In the end, you are really only playing yourself. So make sure to submit that lineup and try to score as much as you can every week. Because you are THAT guy.

Happy Thanksgiving to all don't forget to pay attention to your family during the halftimes.

Now get back to work...


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