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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Fantasy Impact: Week 14
Ken Pomponio
December 10, 2012
 

Rams 15, Bills 12
Ralph Wilson Stadium (Orchard Park, N.Y.)

  • Danny Amendola still has more catches, and rookie Chris Givens has gotten more pub with his strong stats of late, but Brandon Gibson leads the Rams in TD catches. His latest score -- his fifth of the season -- came in the final minutes Sunday and gave St. Louis a come-from-behind road win. He led the Rams with six receptions for 100 yards on nine targets in the game.
  • Extra points: St. Louis RB Steven Jackson had a pedestrian 73 total yards, but made his fantasy day with a short scoring run -- only his third of the season. ... Both C.J. Spiller (8 touches-52 total yards) and Fred Jackson (14-30, fumble) were deafening quiet for the Bills as backup TE Lee Smith accounted for the team's only offensive TD -- his second score in 3 weeks. 

Cowboys 20, Bengals 19
Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati)

  • Dez Bryant was quiet most of the day -- an emotional one for the Cowboys who were grieving from the death of a practice-squad teammate in a car crash -- but the uber-athletic wideout had his say in the fourth quarter with a 27-yard scoring reception, giving him five consecutive games with a score. Bryant finished with four catches for 50 yards.
  • Extra points: The Cowboys' other top guns were mediocre at best with Tony Romo throwing for 268 yards and the TD to Bryant, DeMarco Murray totaling 75 yards on 25 touches and Jason Witten leading the team with four receptions for 62 yards. ... For Cincy, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis saw his run of 100-yard rushing outings halted at three games, while WR A.J. Green (3-44) now has gone three straight contests without a TD after seeing his nine-game scoring streak end in Week 12. ... WR Andrew Hawkins led the Bengals with six catches for 45 yards and the team's lone TD.

Browns 30, Chiefs 7
Browns Stadium (Cleveland)

  • There have been some dicey times for Trent Richardson's fantasy owners this season as the rookie RB has dealt with knee and rib injuries. But the third-overall pick continues to live up to his billing with two more rushing scores Sunday, giving him 10 total TDs on the season. It was more than enough to salvage a so-so fantasy day for Richardson, who finished with 51 total yards on 19 touches.
  • Extra points: Browns' rookie wideout Josh Gordon remains a solid fantasy starter with a team-high eight catches for 86 yards on 12 targets. ... Both of K.C.'s top fantasy players, RB Jamaal Charles and WR Dwayne Bowe, suffered first-half rib injuries in the game. Charles returned and notched his fourth 100-yard rushing game in five outings with 165 yards on 18 carries. Bowe, however, may have sustained some fractures and, if so, his two receptions for 70 yards may prove to be his final action of the year.

Colts 27, Titans 23
Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

  • The Colts added another chapter to their Cinderella run, but those fantasy GMs who started QB Andrew Luck didn't exactly reap big benefits Sunday. Luck was unable to follow up on his 391-yard, four-TD passing performance of a week ago, throwing for only 196 yards, a TD and two interceptions.
  • Extra points: Luck's TD toss went to Reggie Wayne (6-64), who scored for the first time since Week 9. ... Rookie Vick Ballard (19-94) led the Horseshoes in rushing, but Delone Carter (3-1) remains the main goal-line back with a 1-yard scoring plunge -- his third of the season. ... Jake Locker and Kenny Britt hooked up eight times for 143 yards for the Titans, while RB Chris Johnson was unable to take advantage of Indy's ninth-worst fantasy rushing D, gaining only 44 yards on 19 attempts. 

Vikings 21, Bears 14
Mall of America Field (Minneapolis)

  • Remember all those preseason fantasy question marks swirling around Adrian Peterson? Three months and 13 games later they've all been forgotten as the Viking is running away with the NFL rushing title with 1,600 yards after his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing game (31-154, 2 TDs). Peterson is on pace for a career-high 1,969 yards but has 2,000 in his sights.
  • Extra points: Peterson has been so dominant that QB Christian Ponder doesn't need to do much and he most certainly didn't Sunday, throwing for only 91 yards on 11 completions. ... Four of those completions went to WR Michael Jenkins for all of 36 yards. ... For the Bears, starting QB Jay Cutler left in the fourth quarter after his neck stiffened up a series after taking a penalized hit to the helmet. He finished with 260 yards, a TD and an interception and was replaced by Jason Campbell (64 yards, TD). ... No matter who's throwing the ball in Chicago, Brandon Marshall keeps on piling up the catches and yards, hauling in 10 of 19 targets for 160 yards and a TD. ... RB Michael Bush played with sore ribs, but didn't do anything (1 carry-6 yards), leaving Matt Forte to rack up 119 total yards on 19 touches. ... The Bears' D, who entered the game with 35 forced turnovers and 33 sacks only got one of each in this one.

Chargers 34, Steelers 24
Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)

  • The spotlight was on Ben Roethlisberger's return, but the Chargers' Philip Rivers stole the show with one of his best performances of the season (200 yards, 3 TDs) despite missing three of his five starting offensive linemen. Roethlisberger, meanwhile, started slowly after returning from a three-game absence, but dominated garbage time with all three of his TD passes coming after San Diego took a 27-3 lead in the third quarter. Big Ben finished 22-of-42 for 285 yards, the three TDs and an interception.
  • Extra points: WR Danario Alexander continues to shine for San Diego, snaring seven passes for 88 yards and a pair of scores, giving him 33 catches, 555 yards and five TDs in his six games since joining the team. ... Meanwhile, Ryan Mathews was, well, Ryan Mathews, rushing for a ho-hum 65 yards on 25 carries and failing to catch a pass. ... WR Mike Wallace was the biggest beneficiary of Big Ben's return, notching a team-high seven grabs for 112 yards and 2 TDs after recording only 10 receptions for 77 yards and no scores in the previous 3 games with Roethlisberger out of action.

Eagles 23, Buccaneers 21
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)

  • It's been a struggle for Philly rookie QB Nick Foles, but then along came a a juicy matchup Sunday with the Bucs' sieve of a secondary. Foles proceeded to complete  32-of-51 passes for 381 yards and 2 TDs, capped by the game-winning 1-yard toss to Jeremy Maclin on the game's final play.
  • Extra points: The other Philly-rookie-vs.-Tampa-defense matchup went the other way, with the Bucs completely bottling up red-hot  RB Bryce Brown (12 total yards on 14 touches). Brown entered the game off of 169- and 178-yard outings with a pair of scores in each. ... Maclin (9-104) and fellow WR Jason Avant (7-133) each topped 100 yards for the Eagles on a combined 25 targets. ... Bucs' rookie Doug Martin broke out of a mini-funk with 128 rushing yards and a TD on 28 carries, while WRs Vincent Jackson (6-131) and Mike Williams (3-18) both caught TDs despite markedly different days.

Redskins 31, Ravens 28 (OT)
FedEx Field (Landover, Md.)

  • RGIII's fantasy owners were left breathless in the fourth quarter Sunday -- and for all the wrong reasons. The Skins' super rookie came up gimpy on his right knee after a hard shot on a late-game scramble. He tried to come back and play -- actually completing a pass -- but could hardly put any weight on the knee and was forced to the bench to watch fellow rookie Kirk Cousins throw a TD pass and score the game-tying 2-point conversion on a QB draw. Griffin finished with 246 passing yards, a TD and 34 rushing yards, and said afterward he believes he'll be OK, pending further evaluation. In the meantime, though, RGIII owners will be waiting to breathe.
  • Extra points: Rookie RB Alfred Morris continues to be a ground force with 122 yards and a TD on 23 carries, while WR Pierre Garcon (5-87) scored and topped 85 receiving yards for the third straight outing. ... Anyone looking for a kicker upgrade is advised to swoop up the Skins' Kai Forbath, who was 3-for-3 Sunday and is now 12-for-12 on the season since replacing the waived Billy Cundiff. ... The Ravens at least put RB Ray Rice to use after a puzzling, 13-touch game a week ago, and the RB delivered with 136 total yards and a TD on 23 touches. ... Veteran wideout Anquan Boldin had three grabs for 78 yards, but two of the catches came in the end zone. TE Dennis Pitta (5-46) was on the receiving end of Joe Flacco's other TD toss, but WR Torrey Smith (1-21) remains in a late-season slump.

Panthers 30, Falcons 20
Bank of America Field (Charlotte)

  • A season ago, Cam Newton faded down the stretch; a year later, he flourishing at the finish. Newton notched his third straight monster fantasy outing Sunday, throwing for 287 yards and a pair of scores while rushing for a game-high 116 yards and a TD thanks to a 72-yard scoring burst down the sideline.
  • Extra points: With running mate Jonathan Stewart (ankle) out for a second straight game, DeAngelo Williams had by far his best outing of the season with 112 total yards and a TD on 19 touches. ... Steve Smith led Carolina in receiving with seven grabs for 109 yards, but Williams (2-56) and TE Greg Olsen (4-55) caught Newton's touchdown passes. ... Matt Ryan (342 yards, 2 TDs) and the Falcons' passing game got cranked up in the second half, resulting in solid days for the team's Big 3 pass-catchers: Roddy White (9-117, TD), Julio Jones (5-66, TD) and Tony Gonzalez (8-61). ... As for the Atlanta RBs, Jacquizz Rodgers (64 yards on 10 touches) outgained Michael Turner (14 on 7) for the fourth time in five games, but Turner scored and has four TDs over that span while Rodgers has one.

Jets 17, Jaguars 10
EverBank Stadium (Jacksonville)

  • Mark Sanchez didn't do much of anything with 111 yards, no TDs, no interceptions and a fumble, while Tim Tebow was active but didn't see a snap, much to the dismay of a sizable number of attendees turning out for the contest in his hometown.
  • Extra points: The Jets won the game on the ground with Bilal Powell (19-78, TD) and Shonn Greene (20-77, TD) nearly matching each other stat for stat. ... N.Y.'s top pass catcher was WR Jeremy Kerley with all of four catches for 27 yards. ... With Chad Henne throwing for only 185 yards and no scores and rookie wideout Justin Blackmon catching a team-high six passes for 57 yards, the Jags' fantasy standout was fourth-string RB Montell Owens, who gained 101 total yards and scored the team's lone TD.

49ers 27, Dolphins 13
Candlestick Park (San Francisco)

  • Colin Kaepernick looked to be headed to a disappointing fantasy day before busting loose for a 50-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 185 passing yards, 53 on the ground and no turnovers.
  • Extra points: Frank Gore was solid with 85 total yards and a TD, while rookie LaMichael James displayed some change-of-pace spark with 45 total yards on 9 touches in his NFL  debut. ... WR Michael Crabtree paced the Niners with nine catches for 93 yards on 11 targets, but no one else caught more than two passes, including slumping TE Vernon Davis (1-4). ... Predictably, the Dolphins' passing game was held in check with rookie Ryan Tannehill throwing for 150 yards and a TD, and WR Davone Bess leading the pass-catchers with five grabs for 50 yards. ... RB Reggie Bush easily was Miami's most effective offensive threat with 103 total yards on 19 touches while fellow back Daniel Thomas barely registered on the stat sheet with 3 rushing yards on 2 carries.

Giants 52, Saints 27
MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)

  • It took 13 games, but the breakout for Giants' first-round RB David Wilson came Sunday as the rookie ran for 100 yards and two TDs on 13 carries, while continuing his fine special-teams work, returning a kickoff 97 yards for another score. Meanwhile, starter Ahmad Bradshaw left briefly with a first-quarter knee issue and never got into any kind of groove, finishing with only 33 yards on 11 carries.
  • Extra points: Through the air, Eli Manning more than compensated for two interceptions by throwing for 259 yards and four TDs. ... Manning's top targets, WRs Victor Cruz (8-121, TD) and Hakeem Nicks (4-67, TD), delivered like it was 2011. ... For the Saints, Drew Brees tossed two more interceptions and only one TD, giving him a 4-9 TD-to-interception ratio over the past three games. ... All three of the Saints' top backs -- Darren Sproles (84 total yards, TD), Pierre Thomas (76) and Mark Ingram (68) -- were able to move the chains with the Giants hanging back and guarding against quick, aerial comeback strikes.

Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
CenturyLink Field (Seattle)

  • Eight forced turnovers, three sacks, two touchdowns, zero points allowed. How many fantasy playoff matchups were decided by the Seahawks' stunningly dominant defensive/special teams performance Sunday afternoon? Seattle intercepted Cards' starting QB John Skelton four times, returning one for a TD, and recovered four fumbles, including a wild, bobbled ball on a punt return that also wound up in Seattle hands for another return TD. CB Richard Sherman, who is waiting to have his appeal heard on his four-game banned-substance suspension, led the way with two interceptions, a TD and a fumble recovery.
  • Extra points: RB Marshawn Lynch took full advantage of all the Seahawks' extra possessions by rushing for 128 yards and three TDs on only 11 carries. ... With Seattle holding a 45-0 lead with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter, garbage time came early, and No. 2 back Robert Turbin came in and rushed for 108 yards on 20 attempts. ... Backup QB Matt Flynn also played the majority of the second half, throwing for 68 yards on five completions, after Russell Wilson threw for 148 yards, a TD and an interception in an outing that was way too short for many a fantasy GM. ... For the putrid Cards, the following says it all: TE Rob Housler led the team with seven catches for 36 yards while WR Larry Fitzgerald had one reception for 2 yards on 11 targets.

Packers 27, Lions 20
Lambeau Field (Green Bay, Wis.)

  • Aaron Rodgers owners hoping for the QB to get back on the fantasy track against the Lions were left disappointed with Rodgers (14-of-24, 186 yards) failing to throw a TD pass for only the second time in his past 31 regular-season games and held below 300 yards for the sixth straight game. Rodgers did somewhat salvage his night with a rushing TD and 32 yards on the ground, but many fantasy owners were no doubt left wanting more.
  • Extra points: WR Randall Cobb (7-102) led the Pack in catches for the fourth straight game, while Greg Jennings' owners had to settle for 1 catch for 27 yards. ... Alex Green spearheaded a productive Packers' rushing attack with 69 yards on 13 carries, while DuJuan Harris opened eyes with 31 yards and a TD on seven rushes. ... Calvin Johnson's four-game streak with 140-plus receiving yards and a TD came to end, but he still gave his owners something with 10 grabs for 118 yards on 13 targets. ... TE Brandon Pettigrew suffered an ankle injury in the first half and didn't play after halftime, leaving those who started him with a zero at the tight-end position.

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