FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Fantasy Impact: Week 12
Ken Pomponio
November 25, 2013
 

Buccaneers 24, Lions 21
Ford Field, Detroit
Another game, another surprise fantasy standout for the Bucs. In this one, it was WR Tiquan Underwood -- not Vincent Jackson (2-61) -- who burned the Lions for a pair of TD receptions as part of a 3-catch, 108-yard afternoon.
Extra points: Last week's waiver-wire darling, RB Bobby Rainey, was held to 35 rushing yards on 18 carries, while fellow RB Brian Leonard barely made the boxscore with a rush for 3 yards and one catch for 3 yards. ... Speaking of surprising performances, don't overlook the steady hand of rookie QB Mike Glennon (14-21, 247 yards, 2 TDs) who now has a sparkling 10-1 TD/interception ratio over the last five games after tossing three picks in his first two starts. ... For the Lions, Matthew Stafford threw for 297 yards and a trio of TDs, but was picked off four times, resulting in a huge fantasy day for the unheralded Bucs' defense (5 turnovers, 2 sacks, 1 TD). ... Calvin Johnson finished with seven grabs for 115 yards, but couldn't find the end zone, while fellow wideout Nate Burleson had a strong return (7-77, TD on 10 targets) after a seven-game absence due to a broken forearm.

Vikings 26, Packers 26 (OT)
Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wis.
Yes, a tie -- the NFL's fourth since the start of the 2000 season. And with all three QBs who played struggling, the fantasy main men were RBs Adrian Peterson (32-146, TD) and Eddie Lacy (25-110, TD, 6-48 receiving).
Extra points: Scott Tolzien made his second straight start at QB and got the Pack on the board with a nifty spin move on a 6-yard TD run, but was ineffective passing (7-17, 98 yards) and was replaced in the third quarter by Matt Flynn (21-36, 218 yards, TD, interception), who at least rallied Green Bay from a 23-7 fourth-quarter deficit to send the contest into OT. ... Despite the continued revolving door at QB, Packers wideouts James Jones (7-80), Jarrett Boykin (5-60, TD) and Jordy Nelson (4-58) were able to find some room in the leaky Minnesota secondary. ... For the Vikes, Christian Ponder was a very pedestrian 21-of-30 for 233 yards and a TD, while rookie WR Cordarrelle Patterson (8-54) had a career day on a team-high 11 targets. ... Meanwhile, fellow WR Greg Jennings played but had only two catches for 29 targets on three targets.

Jaguars 13, Texans 6
Reliant Stadium, Houston
There was an MJD sighting Sunday in the Lone Star State, and those fantasy owners who have stuck with the J'ville RB were rewarded with season highs in rushing yards (84 on 14 carries), receiving yards (60 on 6 catches) and his third rushing score in as many games.
Extra points: As for the Jags' passing game, Chad Henne continues to unimpress with 239 yards, no TDs and no picks, while wideout Cecil Shorts' gripes apparently were heard this week as he was targeted a team-high nine times and finished with eight receptions for 71 yards. ... The Texans? Don't ask. QB Case Keenum (18-34, 169 yards, 0 TDs, interception), RB Ben Tate (7 carries-1 yards, 5-26 receiving), TE Garrett Graham (5-32) and WRs Andre Johnson (2-36) & DeAndre Hopkins (1-8) were across-the-board flops, mirroring the Texans' disaster of a season in their ninth straight loss. ... No. 2 RB Dennis Johnson, in fact, qualifies as Houston's fantasy standout with 74 rushing yards on 13 carries and two catches for 13 yards.

Chargers 41, Chiefs 38
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
A low-scoring, ground-oriented duel? This game in chilly K.C. didn't exactly go as scripted as the Bolts' Philip Rivers (27-39, 392 yards, 3 TDs) and the Chiefs' fantasy-underrated Alex Smith (26-38, 294 yards, 3 TDs, interception) got caught up in an unexpected aerial battle.
Extra points: That's not to diminish the RBs, however, as RBs Jamaal Charles (season-high 115 rushing yards, 42 receiving yards, 2 TDs), Danny Woodhead (70 total yards, 2 TDs) and Ryan Mathews (65 total yards, TD) all found the end zone. Mathews, however, also found his way back onto the injury report, exiting in the third quarter with a hamstring issue. ... TE Ladarius Green looks to be as much -- or more -- involved in the San Diego game plan as fellow TE Antonio Gates as he finished with three catches for 80 yards and a score. Gates, meanwhile, only caught three passes for 21 yards. ... Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen had a big first half (8-104) but only added one grab for 20 yards over the final 30 minutes. ... Meanwhile, a lot of the luster suddenly has disappeared from the K.C. defense which only has two sacks (1 here) over its last four games and now has failed to come up with a turnover in two straight contests. Losing bookend pass-rushing LBs Tamba Hali (ankle) and Justin Houston (elbow) in the first half played no small role in the unit's struggles Sunday.

Panthers 20, Dolphins 16
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
Thanks to his team-leading 51 rushing yards and a TD on eight carries, Cam Newton added to his late-season run of fantasy success while guiding the Panthers to their seventh straight win. Newton only completed half of his 38 passing attempts for 174 yards, a TD and an interception.
Extra points: While Newton led the team in rushing, the rest of the team's ground game remains a muddled fantasy mess between DeAngelo Williams (12 touches-47 yards), Jonathan Stewart (8-34) and Mike Tolbert (5-28). ... WR Steve Smith (5-69) and TE Greg Olsen (5-34, TD) continue to be Newton's favorite targets. ... For the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill was 28-of-42 passing for 310 yards, a TD and a pick while, like Newton, leading his team in rushing with 36 yards on four rushes. ... That could only mean the Miami RBs still are struggling, and they did with Lamar Miller (10 rushes-8 yards) and Daniel Thomas (3-8) held to single digits. Miller at least got a semblance of something going in the passing game (4 catches-36 yards) but he's simply been brutal on the ground over his last three outings with all of 27 yards on 21 carries. ... Finally, just when fantasy GMs are ready to write off WR Mike Wallace, he comes up with Sunday's 5-127-TD outing.

Steelers 27, Browns 11
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Fantasy's hottest WR? Look no further than Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, who -- despite facing CB Joe Haden -- caught six passes for 92 yards and a TD Sunday to notch his fourth straight double-digit fantasy game.
Extra points: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (217 yards, 2 TDs) hasn't been too shabby either with a combined 11 scoring tosses in his last four games. ... RB Le'Veon Bell was a workhorse with 25 touches for 98 yards, while wideout Emmanuel Sanders (6-52, TD) had a solid day. ... For the Browns, there was more QB trouble with Jason Campbell (14-of-22, 124 yards) out, then in, then back out again with a rib injury.  He was replaced by Brandon Weeden, who threw for 290 yards and a TD, but only completed 13 of 30 passes and tossed a pick-six. ... The continuing QB issues did nothing to hinder WR Josh Gordon who rolled up a franchise single-game high 237 receiving yards and a TD on 14 catches. ... The stat line wasn't so pretty for TE Jordan Cameron (3-32 on 10 targets), who only has 146 receiving yards with no TDs over his last four games.

Rams 42, Bears 21
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
With the fantasy playoffs looming, you can only hope your RB gets a shot at the Swiss cheese Chicago defense. The Rams, on Sunday, rolled up 258 ground yards and three TDs on only 29 carries with Benny Cunningham (13-109), Zac Stacy (12-87) and even WR Tavon Austin (1-65) all rushing for scores. Stacy, however, left in the third quarter with concussion symptoms.
Extra points: With the running game in high gear, Kellen Clemens needed only 10 completions, and four of them went to TE Jared Cook who emerged from a fantasy slumber with 80 yards and a TD. ... Aside from his 65-yard run, Austin only added two catches for 39 yards on five targets. ... Chicago QB Josh McCown, meanwhile, was an impressive 36-of-47 for 352 yards and two TDs. He did, however, throw a pick and lost a fumble. ... RB Matt Forte topped 100 total yards with 77 rushing and 40 receiving but also fumbled, while WR Brandon Marshall (10-117, TD) and TE Martellus Bennett (4-62, TD) paced the Bears' fantasy pass-catchers. ... Alshon Jeffery's fantasy owners were dismayed to see Earl Bennett (8-58) cut into their wideout's production (4-42) on an equal number of targets (8).

Ravens 19, Jets 3
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Geno Smith hasn't just hit the rookie wall; it's hit back, and the fantasy results have been beyond ugly with the Jets' QB completing only 9-of-22 passes for 127 yards Sunday and turning the ball over three more times (2 picks, fumble) and failing to guide N.Y. into the end zone.
Extra points: The rest of the Jets' fantasy numbers fell in line with Bilal Powell (11-41) and Chris Ivory (9-35) leading the team in rushing and WR Greg Salas (2-48) serving as the leading receiver. ... WR and former college QB Josh Cribbs got in some work in the wildcat with five rushes for 20 yards and one pass completion in two attempts for 13 yards. ... As for the Ray Rice revival, it shifted back into reverse with the RB following up his big Week 11 outing with 16 rushes for 30 yards and a catch for minus-3. Ugh. ... Joe Flacco threw for 273 yards and had his best success going deep to speedy wideouts Jacoby Jones (4-103, TD) and Torrey Smith (2-74).

Titans 23, Raiders 19
O.Co Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.
Tennessee has spent high draft picks on WRs each of the past two seasons, and those picks paid dividends for backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans on Sunday as rookie Justin Hunter (6-109) and Kendall Wright (6-103) both hauled in TD passes in a big road win.
Extra points: Fitzpatrick finished 30-of-42 for 320 yards, added 26 rushing yards and did not turn the ball over. ... RB Chris Johnson was held to 73 yards on 20 carries and added only 8 more on three receptions. ... On the Silver & Black side, rookie Matt McGloin came back down to Earth (19-of-32, 260 yards, TD, pick) in his second start, while RB Rashad Jennings continues to rack up the yards (122 total on 20 touches) in place of Darren McFadden. Jennings has now topped 100 total yards in four consecutive contests. ... Jennings, though, didn't score a TD, while fellow RB Marcel Reece (9 touches-58 total yards) did, hauling in a 27-yard scoring pass for the Raiders' only TD. ... Wideout Rod Streater (5-93 on a team-high 9 targets) predictably led Oakland in receiving with Denarius Moore out, while emerging TE Mychal Rivera (1-10) left early after taking a blow to the head.

Cardinals 40, Colts 11
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Carson Palmer: Fantasy relevant again? That's indeed the case as the Cards' QB completed 26-of-37 throws for 314 yards, two TDs and nary a turnover. Palmer now has tossed two TD passes in four straight games and five of his last six.
Extra points: Andrew Luck, meanwhile, is trending in the opposite direction after completing 20-of-39 passes for 163 yards, a TD and an interception. He's thrown twice as many picks (4)bas TDs (2) over Indy's last three games. ... Luck didn't have a running game to lean on as Trent Richardson (7-15) and Donald Brown (2-1) were completely negated by the Cards' D. ... TE Coby Fleener (4-55, TD) was Indy's leading receiver. ... Arizona RB Rashard Mendenhall isn't setting any yardage records -- gaining 54 on 13 carries in this one -- but he scored again Sunday and now has a rushing TD in three of the last four games he's played in. Rookie Andre Ellington ran for 50 yards on 10 carries and adding 21 on two receptions. ... WR Michael Floyd (7-104) had his second straight productive outing, and Larry Fitzgerald made the most of a 5-52 game with a pair of scoring grabs.

Cowboys, 24, Giants 21
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Dallas got the big road win and capped the series sweep, and all of their usual fantasy suspects had a hand in the victory with Tony Romo throwing for 250 yards and two TDs -- both going to TE Jason Witten (4-37). RB DeMarco Murray topped 100 total yards (86 rushing, 40 receiving), as did WR Dez Bryant (9-102).
Extra points: As feared, Miles Austin's return wasn't good news for rookie wideout Terrance Williams (1-10 on 2 targets), even though Austin finished with only one reception for 17 yards on three targets himself. ... Eli Manning (16-of-30, 174 yards) threw for less than 200 yards for the second time in three games but did manage to save fantasy face with a pair of TD tosses. ... Manning's top targets were WR Rueben Randle (3-64) and TE Brandon Myers (3-39, TD), while starting WRs Victor Cruz (2-27, fumble) and the injured Hakeem Nicks (inactive) were missing in action yet again. ... Andre Brown (21-127) looks like he's for real in his second game back, while Brandon Jacobs (9-75) also found plenty of running room.

Patriots 34, Broncos 31
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
What else is there to say about this one after seven turnovers, a 24-0 blown halftime lead and a late game-winning OT field goal after it appeared the second tie of the day was at hand -- this one quarterbacked by a pair of future Hall of Famers?
Extra points: Tom Brady weathered the cold and windy conditions much better than Peyton Manning, throwing for 344 yards and three scores, while the Broncos' QB was 19-for-36 for a season-low 150 yards and two TDs. ... The often-overlooked Julian Edelman led the Pats with nine catches, 110 yards and a pair of TDs, while TE Rob Gronkowski (7-90) also turned up once in the end zone. ... Meanwhile, WR Danny Amendola disappointed with only three receptions for 17 yards on six targets. ... It was another early fumble -- his fourth of the season -- for Stevan Ridley (4-14), and, this time, his subsequent benching lasted the remainder of the game, leaving the bulk of rushing load to Brandon Bolden (13-58, TD) and Shane Vereen (10-31, 8-60 receiving). ... For the Broncos, RB Knowshon Moreno was a stallion, hitting career highs with 224 yards and 37 carries -- one of which netted a TD. ... Monte Ball had 57 yards on 10 touches but lost a fumble, and like Ridley, was then banished to the bench. ... With TE Julius Thomas unable to go with a sore knee, No. 2 TE Jacob Tamme (5-47, TD) led the Broncos in receiving, meaning there were slim pickings for usual-standout WRs Demaryius Thomas (4-41, TD), Eric Decker (1-5) and Wes Welker (4-31), who didn't exactly have a happy homecoming.


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