FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Fantasy Impact: Week 16
Ken Pomponio
December 23, 2013
 

Titans 20, Jaguars 16
EverBank Field, Jacksonville
The Titans got a rushing TD and a receiving TD, but it was RB Shonn Greene (10-91) and wideout Nate Washington (6-117) who scored and not Chris Johnson (22-90) and Kendall Wright (4-22).
Extra points: Ryan Frizpatrick (17-26, 181 yards, TD, interception) got the win, but Chad Henne (24-34, 237, 2 TDs, pick) had the better fantasy day for the few who were relying on these two QBs. ... It was somewhat of a surprise that Maurice Jones-Drew played after missing practice all week due to a bum hamstring, but didn't do much with 13 carries for 45 yards and four catches for 24 yards. ... MJD, though, did wreck the plans for those looking for a second straight big week out of Jordan Todman (6-6, 1-5). ... WR Mike Brown stepped up with five receptions for 71 yards and a TD, while late-blooming TE Marcedes Lewis (4-50) hauled in a TD pass for the fourth straight game.

Colts 23, Chiefs 7
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
So what did Jamaal Charles do for an encore following his five-TD explosion in Week 15? It started with a 31-yard TD run on K.C.'s first possession and it ended with 144 total yards -- his 12th game with 100-plus total yards and a score this season. However, the consistent Charles was upstaged by Indy's Donald Brown (10-79 rushing, 2-31 receiving), who scored on a 51-yard TD run and a 31-yard pass reception.
Extra points: Brown, of course, also overshadowed teammate Trent Richardson (16-43, 3-15), but that's hardly news at this point. ... Griff Whalen, who's bounced on and off waivers this season, caught seven passes for 80 yards to finish as the Colts' most productive fantasy wideout for the second straight game. ... Those counting on T.Y. Hilton (5-52) and TE Coby Fleener (2-8) weren't so fortunate. ... Chiefs QB Alex Smith (153 yards, 0 TDs, 2 picks) picked the wrong day to have his worst fantasy outing of the season, while WR Dwayne Bowe (5-46 on 10 targets) led K.C. in receiving.

Jets 24, Browns 13
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Geno Smith: Championship week fantasy stud? You'd better believe it after 214 passing yards, two TD passes and 48 rushing yards and another score on the ground.
Extra points: Even though their rookie QB hogged all the TDs, N.Y. RBs Chris Ivory (20-109 rushing) and Bilal Powell (7-54 rushing, 4-26 receiving) both had decent yardage days. ... Jeremy Kerley (5-70) led the Jets in catches and targets (11), while fellow wideout David Nelson (4-33) caught both of Smith's TD tosses. ... Cleveland RB Edwin Baker (17-64) paced the team in rushing and found the end zone for the second straight game, while Josh Gordon could only come up with six receptions for 97 yards on 16 targets. He also rushed once for 22 yards. ... TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was inactive.

Bengals 42, Vikings 14
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Those who gambled on the "good" Andy Dalton making a Week 16 appearance got gifted with 366 yards and four TD passes. Meanwhile, those who gambled on a second straight big game from Minny QB Matt Cassel got a 114-yard, one-TD, one-fumble three-interception lump of coal.
Extra points: Giovanni Bernard (15 touches-67 yards) outgained backfield mate BenJarvus Green-Ellis (13-34), but the Law Firm scored his fourth TD in the last three games while the rookie only has hit paydirt only once in his past six outings. ... Ho-hum: A.J. Green (7-97, 2 TDs) was his usual stud self, while TE Jermaine Gresham (3-49, TD) and wideout Marvin Jones (6-85) also had decent days. ... Cincy TE Tyler Eifert (1-6) left the game with a second-quarter neck injury. ... For the Vikes, Adrian Peterson returned after missing Week 16 with a foot injury but only managed 45 yards on 11 carries and 2 more on a reception. ... WRs Cordarelle Patterson (35-yard garbage-time run) and Jarius Wright (36-yard reception) scored the Purple's two TDs, while fellow wideout Greg Jennings had only four catches for 27 yards to follow up his big Week 16 outing.

Rams 23, Buccaneers 13
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Despite the Bucs' stout run defense, Rams rookie Zac Stacy was given a season-high 33 carries and delivered 104 yards and a TD -- his seventh score in his last seven games.
Extra points: With fellow rookie WR Tavon Austin missing a second straight game, St. Louis WR Stedman Bailey led the team with three catches for 44 yards and scored on a 27-yard double-reverse run. ... That was about the extent of the fantasy highlights in this one, although the Bucs' Bobby Rainey (21 touches-41 total yards) scored while Vincent Jackson (5-98 on 10 targets) led all receivers. ... Both starting TEs -- the Bucs' Timothy Wright (4-27) and the Rams' Jared Cook (2-27) -- struggled along with their teams' passing games.

Cowboys 24, Redskins 23
FedEx Field; Landover, Md.
DeMarco Murray scored the game-winning TD on a 10-yard reception with 1:08 remaining and also served as the game's de facto fantasy headliner with 111 total yards (on 25 touches) and a pair of TDs.
Extra points: Washington's Kirk Cousins (197 yards, TD, interception) was a trendy fantasy start this week, but Dallas vet Tony Romo (226 yards, 2 TDs, interception) had the better numbers, thanks largely to his late game-winning pass. ... WR Terrance Williams shook off a fantasy funk to lead the Cowboys with four catches for 84 yards , but it was Dez Bryant (4-73) who found the end zone for the fourth straight week. ... TE Jason Witten (2-13) was a Dallas disappointment. ... For the Skins, Alfred Morris (24-88, TD) and Pierre Garcon (11-144, TD) came though for their fantasy owners. Garcon, in fact, had more catches and yards than the other six Washington pass-catchers combined (10-53).

Bills 19, Dolphins 0
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.
Buffalo entered the weekend with the fourth highest-scoring defense/special teams, but it's safe to say the Bills exceeded expectations with seven sacks, two interceptions, 103 total yards and the shutout.
Extra points: Both Bills backs topped 100 total yards, but Fred Jackson (21 touches-118 yards) got the score and C.J. Spiller (23-103) didn't. ... Stevie Johnson missed the game after the death of his mother, so rookie Robert Woods (3-70) was the team's leading receiver despite being ejected in the third quarter for throwing a punch. ... Thad Lewis, filling in again for the injured EJ Manuel, needed to throw only 25 times and finished with 193 yards and a pick. ... The Dolphins' stat lines are as ugly as imagined with Ryan Tannehill throwing for only 82 yards, backup Matt Moore throwing two picks, Lamar Miller leading the team with 8 rushing yards on three carries and Brian Hartline (2-53), Mike Wallace (4-38) and Charles Clay (4-32) combining for only 10 catches on 28 total targets.

Panthers 17, Saints 13
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
It says something about Cam Newton's development as a quarterback that the Panthers won a huge game and Newton was actually better as a real-life QB than a fantasy one, directing the game-winning drive while throwing for only 181 yards and the deciding TD while rushing for only 6 yards on four carries.
Extra points: Newton had to play without one of his top targets as Steve Smith (1-44) left with a first-quarter knee injury, returned briefly and then sat out the remainder of the game. ... TE Greg Olsen (4-35) led the Panthers in catches, while WR Ted Ginn (2-66) topped the team in receiving yards. ... DeAngelo Williams rushed 12 times for 67 yards and a TD. ... Drew Brees, meanwhile, completed 30-of-44 passes but they only netted him 281 yards and he had only one TD pass for the second straight week. He also was picked off twice for the second straight outing. ... Mark Ingram (13-83) resurfaced again to lead the Saints in rushing, while Pierre Thomas (9 touches-15 total yards) and Darren Sproles (4-20) did next to nothing. ... Jimmy Graham (5-73) -- who else? -- caught Brees' TD pass, while Marques Colston was a thoroughly mediocre 5-63.

Broncos 37, Texans 13
Reliant Stadium, Houston
Those fantasy owners who survived the Broncos' off night in Week 15, reaped big-time benefits Sunday as Peyton Manning (400 yards, 4 TDs), TE Julius Thomas (6-78, TD) and WRs Eric Decker (10-131, 2 TDs) and Demaryius Thomas (8-123, TD) all came through against the reeling Texans. With Decker's two scores, the Broncos are the first team in NFL history to feature five players with 10 or more TDs in a season.
Extra points: Knowshon Moreno didn't add to his TD total, but he did top 100 total yards with 76 rushing and 26 receiving. ... On the down side for Denver and certain IDP owners, Broncos LB Von Miller left in the first quarter with what could be an ACL tear. ... Matt Schaub (176 yards, TD, 2 interceptions) was back in place of the injured Case Keenum and targeted WR Andre Johnson 13 times, but they only connected for only four receptions for 63 yards. He also dropped a sure-fire TD catch. ... With Ben Tate landing on IR last week, RB Dennis Johnson got the start but did little with it, totaling 30 yards on 14 touches. ... TE Ryan Griffin (5-66) led Houston in receiving.

Giants 23, Lions 20 (OT)
Ford Field, Detroit
The listless Lions fell out of the NFL playoff picture Sunday, and they took a number of fantasy owners with them as Matthew Stafford (222 yards, 2 interceptions), Calvin Johnson (3-43 on 4 targets) and Reggie Bush (44 total yards, fumble) all stumbled and bumbled.
Extra points: Even in victory, Eli Manning didn't exactly light it up with 256 yards, one TD and an interception. ... Andre Brown got 18 touches but didn't do much with them, totaling 54 yards and losing a fumble in overtime. He also appeared to suffer a concussion on the play. ... With WR Victor Cruz out, Jerel Jernigan (6-80, TD) paced theĀ  G-Men in receiving and targets (12), while Brandon Myers (4-53), Hakeem Nicks (4-52) and Rueben Randle (4-40) all wallowed in mediocrity. ... Meanwhile, backup RB Joique Bell (20-91, TD; team-leading 10-63 receiving) was the lone fantasy standout for the Lions.

Cardinals 17, Seahawks 10
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Defenses dominated this rare home loss for the Seahawks as Seattle and Arizona combined for six sacks and six forced turnovers while holding the offenses to a combined 8-of-32 on third down.
Extra points: Cards QB Carson Palmer threw for only 178 yards and four picks -- two to CB Richard Sherman -- to account for two-thirds of the turnovers, but his 31-yard scoring strike to wideout Michael Floyd (his only catch) proved to be the game-winner. ... Counterpart Russell Wilson was intercepted only once but threw for a career-low 108 yards on 11-of-27 passing while tossing a lone TD. He had 32 yards on two rushes. ... Wilson's TD throw went to TE Zach Miller (1-11), while WR Jermaine Kearse -- not Golden Tate (2-34) or Doug Baldwin (1-8) -- led the Hawks in receiving. ... Marshawn Lynch (18-71) was kept out of the end zone. ... For the Cards, rookie Andre Ellington (72 total yards on 17 touches) and Rashard Mendenhall (21-63) both got plenty of touches, while WR Larry Fitzgerald (3-18 on 5 targets) was a non-factor.

Patriots 41, Ravens 7
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
The Pats won big, but that didn't exactly mean big points for Tom Brady owners as the QB threw for only 172 yards and a TD. Instead, the N.E. D (4 sacks, 4 forced turnovers,fourth-quarter TDs) and RB LeGarrette Blount (16-76, 2 TDs) were the show stealers.
Extra points: Julian Edelman (7-77 on 11 targets) led the Pats in receiving once again, while RB Shane Vereen (2-6 rushing, 1-4 receiving) caught Brady's TD pass before departing with a groin injury in the second quarter. ... WR Aaron Dobson (1-21) returned to action but neither he or Danny Amendola (2-45) did much of anything. ... For the Ravens, who suffered the worst loss of the John Harbaugh Era, Joe Flacco (22-of-38, 260 yards, 2 picks) and Ray Rice (13 touches-63 yards) played, but neither looked quite right. Flacco did account for Baltimore's lone TD on a 1-yard sneak. ... WR Torrey Smith (3-69 on 8 targets) and TE Dennis Pitta (4-34 on 7 targets) also disappointed, as did PK Justin Tucker who followed up his six-FG Week 15 effort by missing his only FG attempt and finishing with a solitary extra point.

Chargers 26, Raiders 13
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen entered Week 16 with a full head of fantasy steam and they kept right on chugging Sunday as both scored for the third straight week. Mathews (25-99 rushing, 3-20 receiving) topped 100 total yards for the third straight game, while Allen (3-26) has more than made up for his sub-par receiving-yard totals with five TD grabs over the three-game span.
Extra points: Philip Rivers failed to take advantage of a favorable matchup with only 201 yards, a TD and an interception, and his leading receiver was banged-up wideout Eddie Royal (4-54). ... For the Silver & Black, QB Matt McGloin got all the work but threw for only 206 yards and had an interception. ... Sure enough, Darren McFadden played for only the second time in seven weeks and did just enough (4-8, rushing TD) to mess up the day for the owners of Rashad Jennings (16-45 rushing, 3-27 receiving). ... WR Andre Holmes (5-71) paced the Raiders' pass-catchers, while Rod Streater (1-2 on 5 targets) was a dud.

Steelers 38, Packers 31
Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wis.
On a raw, snowy afternoon on the tundra, rookie RBs Eddie Lacy (15-84, 2 TDs) and Le'Veon Bell (26-124, TD) matched double-digit fantasy-point games, but only one finished as Lacy re-aggravated his right-ankle injury late in the third quarter and was replaced by James Starks (10-47).
Extra points: Ben Roethlisberger threw for only 167 yards but had a pair of TD passes and rushed for a score for the first time since late in the 2010 season. ... With Aaron Rodgers missing his seventh consecutive game, Matt Flynn was 21-of-39 for 232 yards and a TD but turned the ball over twice and couldn't quite cap a game-tying drive in the final seconds. ... WRs Antonio Brown (6-105) and James Jones (9-84) led their respective teams in receptions and yards, while TE Matt Spaeth (1-11) and WRs Emmanuel Sanders (2-7) and Jarrett Boykin (5-54) had the TD grabs. ... An IDP note: LB Clay Matthews was unable to finish -- again -- leaving the game with a first-half thumb injury.

Eagles 54, Bears 11
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
So now which team had the most to play for again? Nick Foles (21-of-25, 230 yards, 2 TDs), LeSean McCoy (162 total yards, 2 TDs) and the Eagles throttled the visiting Bears to set up a pair of Week 17 win-stay-home NFC division showdowns.
Extra points: McCoy took full advantage of the Bears' tissue-paper rushing D, and so did fellow backs Bryce Brown 9-115) and Chris Polk (2-12) who rushed for TDs as well. ... Brent Celek (3-58) and Riley Cooper (3-53) reeled in Foles' TD tosses, while DeSean Jackson (3-29) was left out of the action, posting his worst fantasy figures since Week 7. ... As for the Bears, they sputtered out of the gate with the NFC North title a win away and never could catch up. Jay Cutler threw for 222 yards, a TD and a pick-six before being pulled with the game totally out of hand. ... Matt Forte had only 13 touches for 54 yards, while TE Martellus Bennett (5-85) led the team in receiving. ... Wideouts Brandon Marshall (4-36, TD) and Alshon Jeffery (6-76) were relatively quiet. ... A week after getting lit up by the Vikings, of all teams, the Philly D came to play with five sacks, two forced turnovers and a TD on Brandon Boykin's 54-yard interception return.


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