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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Tunnel Vision: Week 15
David Dorey
December 17, 2012
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Stats to Know Video - Featuring David Dorey
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Russell Wilson 297 4
Tom Brady 443 2
Sam Bradford 385 3
Drew Brees 307 4
Aaron Rodgers 305 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Adrian Peterson 212 1
Beanie Wells 67 3
Danny Woodhead 84 2
Alfred Morris 89 2
DeAngelo Williams 144 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Andre Johnson 151 1
James Jones 60 3
Michael Crabtree 107 2
Eric Decker 133 1
Julio Jones 92 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
Dennis Pitta 125 2
Aaron Hernandez 92 1
Heath Miller 92 1
Jimmy Graham 69 0
Jermaine Gresham 63 0
Placekickers XPT FG
Blair Walsh 3 5
Shayne Graham 2 5
Sebastian Janikowski 5 3
Steven Hauschka 5 3
Garrett Hartley 5 2
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Saints 0 2 5
Cardinals 2 1 4
Falcons 0 1 3
Raiders 0 4 1
Bengals 1 1 5

Bumps, Bruises and bowouts

Ryan Mathews - Broken collarbone
Tom Crabtree - Hamstring
Bernard Pierce - Concussion

Stats you need to know

1. DEN RB Knowshon Moreno (22-118 rush, TD at BAL)

Moreno rushed for over 110 yards in the last two games and the Broncos are now the #2 seed thanks to the New England loss. Since the Broncos lost to the Patriots earlier this season, it means that they will be forced to play in earnest for both of the final two games knowing they get a week off if they win out. That puts the rejuvenated Moreno in a very nice fantasy situation with the two remaining games both at home against the Browns and then the Chiefs. Moreno is a rare difference maker who did not show up until the end of the season.

2. GB RB Committee (28-99 rush at CHI)

The last two weeks have made Alex Green look somewhat serviceable with over 55 rushing yards against the Vikings and Lions but Ryan Grant is back and by now there is no reliable fantasy value left in the Packers backfield. They used three different running backs with at least five carries each and throw in a few for the fullback and the Packers are rushing 25+ times a game and yet splitting the load up three ways so that no one really benefits.

3. TB QB Josh Freeman (26-47-279 pass at NO)

The Buccaneers' quarterback was red hot through week 11 but has not only grown cold, but brought the team down with him. Freeman threw only four total touchdowns over the last four games and produces just an average 240 yards in most games. He's never added any value as a runner and now faces the Rams and then a trip to Atlanta to finish the year. The shutout loss to the Saints also crushes any hope that they could turn it around and challenge for the playoffs. That won't be motivating.

4. MIN RB Adrian Peterson (289-1,812 rush)

This entire scenario is jaw-dropping every week. He's coming back from a catastrophic knee injury and playing better than ever. Maybe better than anyone has ever. After crushing the Rams with 212 yards on 24 runs, Peterson currently has 1,812 rushing yards with games in Houston and then against the Packers left to play. He merely needs to gain 97 yards in each to become the seventh player ever to break 2,000 yards. And he needs 294 yards to eclipse Eric Dickerson for the all-time single season rushing yard record. Every team is aiming to stop him and no one can. He's gained over 100 yards in each of the last eight games and topped 150 yards in six of the last eight. He's making the Most Valuable Player into a contest this year.

5. DET WR Calvin Johnson (106-1,667 receive)

Like Peterson, Johnson has a realistic shot at breaking the single season record for receiving yards and he plays for a team that has no other real reason to play. Johnson already gained 1,667 which falls as eighth best in NFL history with two games to play. Jerry Rice set the record of 1,848 in 1995 and that is only 181 yards short of the record. If he can gain 91 yards in each of the last two games, he'll get the new record. Left to play are home games against the Falcons and Bears. Johnson has remained above 100 yards in each of the last seven games. Playing at home in both is going to help. Having nothing else to play for also helps.

6. KC RB Jamaal Charles (9-10 rush at OAK)

Despite rushing for over 100 yards in each of the last three games, Charles was part of an offensive effort that netted only 146 total yards and one interception in Oakland where shutouts would normally more likely happen to the Raiders. Not a good situation as Charles winds down the year since defenses are going to load up against him and the rest of the team around him has disintegrated. Losing Dwayne Bowe was the final straw and the passing effort in Oakland completed only two passes to wideouts. When the Chiefs are relying on Devon Wylie and Jamar Newsome as their only productive wideouts, the rushing effort is going south. The final two games will be home against the Colts who need a win and then in Denver. We've already seen the best of Charles.

7. SD RB Curtis Brinkley (6-42 rush vs. CAR)

The undrafted, fourth-year running back only totaled 32 carries in his career previous to this week but he was generally effective versus the Panthers when he ran for 42 yards on six carries and most importantly - he's all they have left. Ryan Mathews broke his collar bone which will end his season and by now no one is taking the Chargers that seriously anyway knowing that HC Norv Turner is a lame duck and the team has already quit. Playing next week in New York against the Jets won't be pretty but at least it should prompt more use of Brinkley as a runner. The final game is at home against the Raiders which may be a better game but Brinkley's only real advantage right now is that the Chargers don't have anyone any better.

8. CAR RB DeAngelo Williams (22-93 rush at SD)

Jonathan Stewart has been out with a high ankle sprain and Williams is making use of the opportunity finally. In week 14 against the Falcons, he ran for 56 yards and added 56 yards on two catches with one touchdown. In San Diego, he ran for 93 yards and added two catches for 51 yards and another score. Long as Stewart remains out, Williams is looking good with two remaining games being home against the Raiders and then at New Orleans.

9. DAL WR Dez Bryant (4-59 receive, TD vs. PIT)

He fractured his finger last week and while one option was season-ending surgery, Bryant opted to play. With his finger wrapped and splinted, he still remained a factor in the win over the Steelers. He was no decoy - his touchdown helped move the game into overtime and made it his sixth straight game with a touchdown. No worse for wear, he gets his final two games of the year at home against the Saints and then in Washington for a do-or-die game. Both go against two of worst secondaries in the NFL.

10. GB PK Mason Crosby (3 XP at CHI)

This is the year of the flop kicker. Crosby scored 140 points in 2011 for the fourth best mark in the league. This year he is only 17 of 31 on field goals and has missed at least one in eight straight games. This week it was missing both attempts from around 40-yards. He's fallen to the bottom eight for kickers and serves notice why you draft them late and swap them out during the season.

Sunday Snippets

NYG 0, ATL 34 Apparently the Falcons did not care for the notion that they were not the best of the NFC and whacked the crap out of the Giants who never had a chance. David Wilson (12-55) was little used and Eli Manning only threw for 161 yards and two interceptions. Matt Ryan (270, 3 TD) went 23 of 28 and Julio Jones (6-74) caught two of the touchdowns while Roddy White (2-16) was really decoyish. The 8-6 Giants now have to play in Baltimore and the 12-2 Falcons Will play in Detroit.
DEN 34, BAL 17

Yeah, hard to argue that Manning has not made some difference here. He only threw for 204 and one touchdown but that was all he needed to do with Knowshon Moreno (22-118, TD) better than ever and Eric Decker (8-133, TD) coming up big while Demaryius Thomas (4-13, finally flopped). The Ravens may have dumped OC Cam Cameron but Ray Rice still only had 12 carries in the game and Joe Flacco passed for 254 yards and two scores that both went to Dennis Pitta (7-125). The 11-3 Broncos return home to face the Browns and the 9-5 Ravens will host the Giants.

GB 21, CHI 13 The Packers secured the NFC North literally by Aaron Rodgers ( 291 yds) throwing three touchdowns to James Jones (5-60). The rushing effort was split up between four runners and Randall Cobb (6-115) was stand out. The Bears passing offense has finally reached its inevitable conclusion where only three players caught a pass - Matt Forte (5-64), Brandon Marshall (6-56, TD) and Armando Allen (2-5). Just two running backs and Marshall catching passes. The 10-4 Packers host the Titans and the 8-6 Bears head to Arizona.
WAS 38, CLE 21

Well. Maybe it is not a quarterback controversy but Kirk Cousins did himself proud with 329 yards and two scores while hitting eight different receivers. Alfred Morris ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns could not get much going with Brandon Weeded passing for 244 yards and one score and Trent Richardson running for only 28 yards but he had two scores. A 69-yard bomb for a score to Travis Benjamin made this seem more of a game than it was.

IND 17, HOU 29 The Texans made up for last week's debacle in New England with Arian Foster running for 165 yards and Andre Johnson scoring once on his 11 catches for 151 yards. Vick Ballard (18-105) exceeded expectations but no one else did. Reggie Wayne got you to your playoffs and then only managed 3-14. Now the 9-5 Colts head to Kansas City and the 12-2 Texans host Adrian Peterson.
JAC 3, MIA 24

The only notable for the Jags was that Cecil Shorts (6-101) and Justin Blackmon (6-93) were the only decent players. The Dolphins did nothing special here other than Reggie Bush rushing for 104 yards. Now the 2-12 Jags will lose to the visiting Patriots and the 6-8 Fins host the Bills.

TB 0, NO 41 The mere notion that the Saints defense could shut out anyone gives me a headache. Doug Martin (9-16) disappeared and Justin Freeman threw four interceptions. Vincent Jackson (6-81) was the lone Buccaneer with any fantasy value. Drew Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns while even Mark Ingram ran for 90 yards and one touchdown. Jimmy Graham was the best receiver though he only caught five passes for 69 yards. The 6-8 Bucs now host the Rams and the 6-8 Saints go to Dallas.
MIN 36, STL 22

Un-freaking-believable. Every week. Adrian Peterson started out with eight runs for eight yards. He ended with 24 carries for 212 yards and one score. The Vikings have nothing else on their offense and it just doesn't matter. Sam Bradford even threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns. And still no Rams player had more than 76 yards. Maybe a guy blowing out his knee and nine months later starting on what may well be the greatest rushing effort in the history of the NFL is a sign of the impending apocalypse but the Gods are going to delay the 12-21-12 thing just to see if AP can break Dickerson's record. Peterson plays in Houston this week and the 6-7-1 Rams head to Tampa Bay.

DET 10, ARI 38 You know, I try really hard to understand things. I really do. Sometimes my mind is just blown. Calvin Johnson ended with 10-121 but Matt Stafford threw three interceptions. Ryan Lindley only passed for 104 yards and Larry Fitzgerald gained 22 yards. But Beanie Wells ran 17 times for 67 yards and THREE TOUCHDOWNS? Really? Did anyone, anywhere start him other than not owning any other running backs? Yes, teams bounce back when they lose 0-58 but they do not give Beanie Wells more touchdowns than he had in his first 14 weeks. Now the 4-10 Lions have to host the Falcons and the 5-9 Cardinals ended their eight game losing streak and get to host the Bears.
SEA 50, BUF 17

This was Ryan Wilson-mania. He passed for 205 and one score and then added nine runs for 92 yards and three touchdowns which were his first rushing scores of the year. Kinda hard to see that coming. Marshawn Lynch once again only ran ten times but gained 113 yards and one touchdown. C.J. Spiller gained 103 yards on 17 runs which only begs the question why they do not run him more. Stevie Johnson had a nice showing with 8-115 and a score but no other Bills receivers mattered (ever). The win sends the 9-5 Seahawks home to face the 49ers and the 5-9 Bills head to Miami.

CAR 31, SD 7 The Panthers finally looked like they wanted to all season. Cam Newton passed for 231 yards and two scores and DeAngelo Williams ran for 93 yards like a real running back though Mike Tolbert stole both rushing touchdowns. The Chargers apparently have already stopped playing this year and are hiring day laborers from down by the Qwik-E-Mart to wear their uniforms on Sunday. Felipe Rivers only threw for 121 yards while Danario Alexander had no catches because his replacement spent the day just talking shop with the groundskeepers. The real Ryan Mathews did play however, but only long enough to break his collarbone. Now the 5-9 Panthers host the Raiders and the 5-9 Chargers go to New York for pizza and watch the Jets win their game.
KC 0, OAK 15

Sad. Just sad. Five field goals is all. The Chiefs are all the way back to horrible and this time even Jamaal Charles only managed ten yards on nine carries. There's a fantasy game killer. Darren McFadden gained 149 total yards but no one else mattered. The Chiefs have already packed their bags and the Raiders are not much better. When both teams are bad, they should score more, not less. Now the Chiefs host the Colts and the 4-10 Raiders go to Carolina.

PIT 24, DAL 27 This was the Game-O-The-Week until the SF-NE tilt. It was the only close game on Sunday when everything was pretty much blow out after blow out. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 339 yards and two scores while Tony Romo passed for 341 and two touchdowns. Dez Bryant (4-59, TD) was able to play and even Witten (5-43) scored a touchdown finally but Heath Miller (7-92, TD) was better for the Steelers along with Mike Wallace (4-95). This was a great game with fantasy implications and back and forth scoring. In the end the Steelers threw an interception on their second play of overtime and the Cowboys just kicked the winning field goal.

Huddle Player of the Week

Russell Wilson - What a better representative of a stupid crazy weekend than Wilson who was on almost everyone's bench. Wilson has been mostly a game manager and just last week, he threw for only 148 yards and one score and ran for only 12 yards while the Seahawks creamed the Cardinals. This week? He still threw for his standard 205 yards and one touchdown but he ran nine times for 92 yards and rushed in three touchdowns. That plays huge in leagues with lower points for passing scores. Then again... you had to start him to catch that lightning in a bottle.

Salute!

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

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Sam Bradford 385 3 QB Eli Manning 161 0
RB Beanie Wells 67 3 RB Doug Martin 35 0
RB DeAngelo Williams 144 1 RB Jamaal Charles 28 0
WR Joseph Morgan 61 1 WR Danario Alexander 0 0
WR Travis Benjamin 69 1 WR Demaryius Thomas 13 0
WR Harry Douglas 83 0 WR Reggie Wayne 14 0
TE Anthony Fasano 56 1 TE Brandon Myers 15 0
PK Blair Walsh 3 XP 5 FG PK Lawrence Tynes Nope

Huddle Fantasy Points = 138

Huddle Fantasy Points = 14

Sunday's Couch Commentary

What a week! This was all about blow outs. 11 different games were won by 14+ points. Eight of the winners were on the road and yet three road teams were shutout. Fantasy playoffs were in full force and the results were often brutal because of the freakish bad games by good players. Two of the top three runners were Beanie Wells and Danny Woodhead. The best two quarterbacks were Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford. My team in the SOFA Auction league was 13-0 and aiming to become my first ever undefeated team in 22 years. Yeah... thanks Reggie Wayne and Demaryius Thomas. All I need is for the Titans defense to score 30 points for me on Monday night which they have never done. It happens. So close...

The Game-O-The-Week? What a great game happened on Sunday night!

49ers 41, Patriots 34

This game was a laugher played in constant cold drizzling rain. At least we thought it was when the 49ers led 31-3 in the third quarter. You know it is going the 49ers way when the handoff to Frank Gore was fumbled, bounced back up into Gore's hands and then he ran up the guy for a touchdown. The Patriots get the ball and Tom Brady throws his second interception and the 49ers score on the next play. It was almost worth turning off were it not for the general glee that is spawned to the rest of the league when the Patriots fall apart in a home game.

But it was nearly one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and would have tied the regular season record of 28 points. Danny Woodhead ran in a score from six yards out with 6:04 left to play in the third. Brady ran in the next score on fourth-and-one at the top of the fourth quarter for a 31-17 score.

49ers went four and out and Brady marched back down and threw a touchdown to Aaron Hernandez with 12:17 left in the fourth. The 49ers went four and out and Brady marched back down and let Danny Woodhead score his second touchdown because Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley were already in the penalty box because they lost fumbles. With 6:45 left to play, the Patriots had scored 28 straight points to tie the game 31-31.

But LaMichael James returned the kick 62-yards to the NE 38-yard line and on the first play, Colin Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree for a touchdown on the first play.

But the Pats could not get a first down on their next two possessions and the 49ers ended up kicking a 12-yard field goal with 2:00 left to play after the Patriots failed on a fourth down try on their own 12-yard line. All the Pats could do was to reach the SF-23 yard line where they kicked a 41-yard field goal and then lost the ensuing onside kick.

It was nearly a great comeback. It was almost a big-time spanking of the Patriots. Like half of all the fantasy playoff teams that are going to lose their game, it was very nearly a lot of things but in the end it wasn't a win. And after 20+ years, I lost my own bid for the perfect season.

But I'll always remember it. And what could have been... unless the Titans defense can get me 3 touchdowns, five turnovers, 6 sacks...

Now get back to work...


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