Fantasy Impact: Divisional Week
John Tuvey
January 14, 2013

Ravens 38, Broncos 35 (OT)
Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)

  • A few things were unlearned in the Division Round opener: Joe Flacco (18-34-331-3) can’t deliver on the road; Champ Bailey is still island-worthy, or so says the 3-98-2 Torrey Smith dropped on him; and perhaps most importantly, not every NFL safety adheres to “deeper than the deepest man”.
  • Extra points: Haters love to pin this loss on Peyton Manning (28-43-290-3-2), and the pick that set up Baltimore’s game-winning score was bad, but there’s more than enough blame to go around—especially the ill-advised taking of a knee with 38 seconds and two timeouts left. Ronnie Hillman (22-83, 3-20 receiving) stepped up when Knowshon Moreno (10-32, 2-21-1 receiving) went down, but there are still pass protection issues. Baltimore OC Jim Caldwell may be pushing his way to a shot at a head coaching job by simply giving the ball to Ray Rice (30-131-1). And finally, if your playoff fantasy league includes special teams Trindon Holliday (90-yard punt return touchdown, 104-yard kickoff return touchdown) was a godsend.

49ers 45, Packers 31
Candlestick Park (San Francisco, CA)

  • Aaron Rodgers (26-39-257-2-1, 3-28 rushing) has a chip on his shoulder from the 49ers passing on him coming out of Cal—but if the consolation prize of suffering through a couple seasons with Alex Smith is Colin Kaepernick (17-31-263-2-1, an NFL record 16-181-1 rushing), it’s all good.
  • Extra points: While Kaepernick stole the show—and played his way into serious danger of being overvalued on fantasy draft day next August—don’t overlook Michael Crabtree (9-119-2) stepping up as a legit fantasy producer. And Frank Gore’s 23-119-1—plus 2-48 receiving—shouldn’t be ignored as well. The Packers spread things around, but Greg Jenning’s 6-54-1 likely are a swan song for the Green and Gold, which should open things up for James Jones (4-87-1) and others to contribute more consistently. The jury is still out on DuJuan Harris (11-53-1 rushing, 2-11 receiving); right now he looks like a real value pick, but the Packers could look to replace him in the draft.

Falcons 30, Seahawks 28
Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)

  • The first half was all Falcons, with the usual suspects doing the damage. For 29 minutes and 30 seconds the second half was all Seahawks, with Russell Wilson (24-36-385-2-1 plus 7-60-1 rushing) carrying the team with assists from Zach Miller (8-142-1) and Golden Tate (6-103-1). But Matt Ryan (24-35-250-3-2) used the final half-minute to steal his first playoff win with two key completions to set up Matt Bryant’s game-winning field goal.
  • Extra points: The side effect of Wilson’s big day was Marshawn Lynch (16-46-1, 3-37) seeing less than 20 touches on the day. Atlanta continued moving towards a full-on RBBC, with Michael Turner (14-98) and Jacquizz Rodgers (10-64, 2-8 receiving) sharing the load; expect that situation to be addressed in the offseason. Finally, a tip of the hat to Tony Gonzalez (6-51-1) for coming up large to secure the first postseason win of his Hall of Fame career.

Patriots 41, Texans 28
FedEx Field (Landover, MD)

  • Ho-hum; Tom Brady (25-40-344-3) directs yet another postseason win. Arian Foster (22-90-1, 7-63-1 receiving) and Matt Schaub (34-51-343-2-1) put up a fight, but defensively the Texans had no answers other than J.J. Watt occasionally blowing up a play.
  • Extra points: Stevan Ridley (15-82-1, 1-13 receiving) got his, but Shane Vereen (7-41-1 rushing, 5-83-2 receiving) stole the show after replacing the injured Danny Woodhead. Speaking of injured, hope your fantasy team was heavily invested in Rob Gronkowski; he reinjured his forearm and is done for the postseason. Bad news for the Patriots, but going forward that’s good news for Aaron Hernandez (6-85) and his fantasy owners.

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