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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Tunnel Vision - Week 17
David Dorey
December 24 , 2007
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Kurt Warner 361 3
Donovan McNabb 300 3
Peyton Manning 311 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Najeh Davenport 167 2
Brandon Jacobs 151 2
Laurence Maroney 156 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Anquan Boldin 162 2
Jerricho Cotchery 152 1
Reggie Wayne 143 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Dallas Clark 60 2
Jerramy Stevens 73 2
Tony Gonzalez 137 0
Placekickers XP FG
Neil Rackers 3 3
Martin Gramatica 2 3
Jeff Reed 5 2
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
NY Giants 2 3 4
Chicago 2 1 2
Detroit 1 4 1

Week 16 Bumps, Bruises & Bow-outs

Now the injuries are going to mess with the playoffs.

Willie Parker (PIT) - Broken fibula
Terrell Owens (DAL) - High ankle sprain
Steve Smith (CAR) - Rib injury
Brodie Croyle (KC) - Hand injury
Kevin Jones (DET) - Knee injury
Willis McGahee (BAL) - Rib injury
Maurice Stovall (TB) - Arm injury

Okay, I warned you long ago

There are still leagues out there which use a 17 week fantasy schedule to determine their league champion. In most years, it is a bad idea because invariably there are two or so teams that are resting players in week 17 which not coincidentally often have some of the best fantasy players on their team. Here are the teams and players you are going to have to worry about this year because they may rest some or even all of week 17:

Patriots - Playing for the 16-0 but may opt later in game to pull players if the lead is big enough. Guys like Maroney, Brady and Moss.

Colts - Have nothing to play for but do not want to take the entire day off. Likely Addai, Manning and Wayne will miss at least a little time up to maybe a half.

San Diego - Still going for the #3 seed but they will already know what happened to PIT in the earlier game and may not need to play Gates or Tomlinson.

Pittsburgh - Will have to play for the #3 seed since they will not know what SD is going to do in their later game.

Jacksonville - Nothing to win or lose since they are locked at the #5 seed. Could rest Taylor and Jones-Drew at least some.

Dallas - Locked at the #1 seed so why use Romo, Barber and even Witten the entire game? This could be a wholesale sub week.

Packers - Locked at #2 seed but playing final game at home. Favre, Grant, Driver and Jennings are likely to sit out some.

Seattle - Still going for the #3 seed so could play a lot and TB plays at the same time. Might be better to be healthy than to worry about playing in GB or DAL.

Tampa Bay - Same as Seattle but they did rest players THIS week.

NY Giants - Locked at #5 seed and nothing to play for plus they play the next week. Likely to bench several players.

That's ten NFL teams - and the best NFL teams - that will likely rest at least a few players for some of the game. This time playing fantasy football in week 17 is going to hurt a lot of teams.

The playoff picture clears...

The AFC has the first five playoff teams determined:

New England (15-0) - #1 seed regardless
Indianapolis (13-2) - #2 seed regardless
San Diego (9-5) - AFC West winner, still going for #3 seed
Pittsburgh (10-5) - AFC North winner, still going for #3 seed

Jacksonville ( 11-4) - #5 seed regardless

Thanks to the loss by the Browns this week, now the Titans can take the final wild card by just winning against the Colts who will be resting players this week. The Browns need to beat the 49ers and have the Titans lose to the Colts to get the final wildcard. Both teams play early games on Sunday.

Dallas (13-2) - #1 seed regardless
Packers (12-3) - #2 seed regardless
Seattle (10-5) - #3 seed regardless
Tampa Bay (9-6) - #4 seed regardless

New York Giants (10-5) - locked up the #5 seed

Now with the win over the Vikes, the Redskins can take the #6 seed with a win over the Cowboys in Washington knowing that Dallas will be resting players. The Vikes have to hope they win in Denver and the Skins lose to Dallas to get in. The Saints could get in if both the Skins and Vikings lose and they win in Chicago.

The 2007 Huddle Awards

Hard to nail down just one name in many of these categories, but in terms of fantasy football - this list is hard to debate.

  Player of the Year Rookie of the Year Biggest Surprise Biggest Bust
Quarterback Tom Brady Trent Edwards Derek Anderson Marc Bulger
Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson Adrian Peterson Earnest Graham Shaun Alexander
Wide Receiver Randy Moss Dwayne Bowe Greg Jennings Marvin Harrison
Tight End Antonio Gates Greg Olsen Jason Witten Todd Heap

Huddle Player of the Week

Kurt Warner - The old man with the bad thumb is still vying for a starting job in the league and his performance in the absence of Matt Leinart shows he's at least as good as many and maybe better than most with multiple scores over his last seven games and a league leading game yesterday against the visiting Falcons. He passed for an NFL high 361 yards and three touchdowns. And you have to know next year he hits the bench when there is a healthy Leinart. Thanks old guy, enjoy your glory.

Salute!

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

Comedy Lineup Yards TDs Tragedy Lineup Yards TDs
QB Chris Redman 315 2 QB Brett Favre 153 0
RB Najeh Davenport 167 2 RB Willis McGahee 10 0
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 151 1 RB Earnest Graham 32 0
WR Nate Washington 50 2 WR Plaxico Burress 6 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 82 1 WR Marques Colston 16 0
WR Greg Lewis 25 1 WR Torry Holt 41 0
PK Martin Gramatica 2 XP, 3 FG PK Mason Crosby 1 XP

Huddle Fantasy Points = 125

Huddle Fantasy Points = 16

Sunday's Couch Commentary

PIT 41, STL 24

This one started out with an 83 yard completion to Santonio Holmes and then Willie Parker broke his leg on his first carry. Ben Roethlisberger helped many fantasy teams by passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns with all scores in the first half. Najeh Davenport became the new starting tailback for the Steelers and rushed for 123 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown and caught two passes for 44 yards and a second score. Santonio Holmes ended with 133 yards on four catches though he did little after his first big catch and Hines Ward turned six receptions into 59 yards. Nate Washington only had two catches for 50 yards but both went for touchdowns. The Rams got 208 yards and three scores from Marc Bulger but he also threw two interceptions. Isaac Bruce was the main man with 87 yards on seven catches and one score but Torry Holt only managed three receptions for 41 yards as the focus of the Steelers secondary. The win sends the 10-5 Steelers to Baltimore where they must win to take the AFC North title. The 3-11 Rams end their season in Arizona.

Fantasy Notable: Say good night, Willie. Najeh Davenport takes over and despite claims that "all is well" by the Steeler brass, no team wants to lose their starting tailback right before the playoffs start. Davenport looked strong running against a Rams defense that had prepared for Fast Willie and not a bruiser. At least it happened before the playoffs and the Steelers have one week to get used to it.

DAL 20, CAR 13

The Cowboys lost Terrell Owens to a high ankle sprain here but not before he caught a touchdown and had five catches for 48 yards. Tony Romo passed for 257 yards and one score which was still lower than usual but Marion Barber ran strong with 22 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown. Jason Witten ended with six receptions for 53 yards but the Cowboys did minimal passing in the second half and just held on to the win without Owens in the line-up. Matt Moore had a decent game with 182 yards and one score but couldn't move the team when it needed it most and never did anything besides look for Steve Smith who ended with nine catches for 137 yards and the lone touchdown. No other Panthers receiver had more than one catch for 13 yards so why the Cowboys bothered covering anyone besides Smith is a mystery. Now the 13-2 Cowboys have win in Washington this week to ensure the #1 seed and do that without Owens. The 6-9 Panthers end their season on the road to Tampa Bay.

Fantasy Notable: All the right fantasy players played well here - Owens, Witten, Barber and even Smith. Romo's thumb did not appear to be an issue but he stopped passing in the second half and allowed Barber to take over. The injury to Owens could prove catastrophic to the Cowboys if it lasts more than a few weeks but Owens usually heals quickly.

CLE 14, CIN 19

Despite needing the win to secure a playoff spot, the Browns gave up 19 points in the second quarter and was unable to respond in the bad weather of Cincinnati. Derek Anderson passed for 250 yards and two scores but had four interceptions. Kellen Winslow had a respectable 73 yards on seven receptions and Braylon Edwards came through with eight receptions for 52 yards and both receiving touchdowns. Jamal Lewis gained 92 yards rushing and 42 as a receiver but never scored. The Bengals just made too many mistakes and remarkably, the Bengals made fewer. Carson Palmer had only 115 yards and a score with two interceptions but Kenny Watson gained 130 yards on 30 rushes and scored once. Chad Johnson led receivers with only four catches for 44 yards while T.J. Houshmandzadeh only had two receptions for 25 yards but had the lone receiving score. The loss sends the 9-6 Browns back home to face the 49ers and secure a playoff spot next week. The 6-9 Bengals end their season in Miami.

Fantasy Notable: Anderson had a decent game but four interceptions was a killer - especially in leagues that deducts for them. The Bengals passing game was almost non-existent but Kenny Watson ran so well in relief of Rudi Johnson that the Bengals just ran their way to a win. In a true measure of how things change, the Bengals had no fantasy studs that had a big game and yet the Browns had at least a decent to good showing from Anderson, Lewis, Winslow and Edwards.

KC 20, DET 25

At least the Lions are ending up their season with a win. Not so lucky for the Chiefs who lost Brodie Croyle (9-12, 69 yards, 1 int.) and got a big game from Damon Huard (305 yards, 2 TDs). Kolby Smith only gained 60 yards on 17 rushes but added 55 yards on seven catches. Tony Gonzalez was almost unstoppable with ten catches for 137 yards and Dwayne Bowe turned in 97 yards on eight receptions with one score but this close game came down to the Lions being able to run effectively. Jon Kitna only passed for 115 yards and one interception but T.J. Duckett ran for 102 yards and one score on just 15 carries thanks to a 53 yard score. Calvin Johnson led the Lions with only 47 yards on two catches. The Lions return of an interception for a score loomed huge. Kevin Jones left the game with a knee sprain because he had almost made it through the season without the obligatory injury. This was a close game and sadly the 4-11 Chiefs had a great effort fall short and now they have lost their last eight games and head to New York to end their season against the Jets. The 7-8 Lions wrap up with a road trip to Green Bay where they hope the Packers will be resting all starters.

Fantasy Notable: The Chiefs had a nice effort from Gonzalez and Bowe, and Huard looked very sharp in relief of Croyle even though the Chiefs really want Croyle to be the one to step up. The Lions offense has pretty much lost all identity by now and resorts to a run-heavy attack to finally get a win. Calvin Johnson may be having a rookie season that has most fallen short of expectations in recent history.

HOU 15, IND 38

Okay, so the Colts are not resting players and losing meaningless games. Peyton Manning threw for 311 yards and three scores to reward all those people that drafted him too early this summer. Reggie Wayne continues to be a force with 10 catches for 143 yards and a score while Dallas Clark had his last hurrah for the season with six catches for 60 yards and two scores. Joseph Addai only had six rushes for 26 yards but scored once while Kenton Keith turned ten runs into 60 yards and added 44 yards on six catches. The Texans went with Darius Walker and he gained 66 yards on 19 carries while Sage Rosenfels passed for 233 yards and two scores but had three interceptions. Andre Johnson eventually got his touchdown on his seven receptions for 74 yards and Kevin Walter had a decent game with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. It was the beat down expected since the Colts were trying to play as if it were just another game. Now the 13-2 Colts finish up by hosting the Titans and the 7-8 Texans hope for a .500 season when they host the Jaguars who have already clinched.

Fantasy Notable: Without Harrison around, Reggie Wayne has been absolutely incredible this year and when Harrison returns in the playoffs (assuming that is), the Colts will be a force to deal with. Andre Johnson gives great optimism for next year with a solid showing in almost every game he was healthy.

GB 7, CHI 35

This was almost made the Game of the Week because no other game would make you say "what in the hell?" when you saw the score. Every week needs at least one "WHAT?!?" game and this was it. Brett Favre only passed for 153 yards and two interceptions and Greg Jennings only had three catches for 42 yards and somehow never scored. No other Packers receiver had more than 32 yards. Ryan Grant ended with 100 yards on 14 carries and a score thanks to his 66-yard run but otherwise "it wasn't happening". The Bears offense hardly did anything special with Kyle Orton throwing for just 101 yards and a score and Adrian Peterson (the lesser) gained 102 yards and one touchdown but it required 30 carries. The best receiver was Garrett Wolfe with only 38 yards on two catches and no other Bears receiver topped 20 yards. In the fourth quarter, Favre led two drives to inside the CHI 15-yard line but failed on a fourth down and had Brian Urlacher return an interception 85 yards for a score on the other. The Bears also recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown which finally gave the defense a nice fantasy score after sorely disappointing in almost every other game this year. Now the 12-3 Packers have lost their shot at the #1 seed and end the season hosting the Lions in a game that means nothing and could rest players. The 6-9 Bears host the Saints this year and while it has been a huge disappointment this year, at least the Bears can hang their hat on the fact they swept the Packers.

Fantasy Notable: Favre was always "Mr. Cold Weather" but just struggled against the Bears and had a bad game right when fantasy owners were looking for much more. Ryan Grant offers a much needed and valuable aspect to the offense and was the only one that worked on Sunday. Nothing for the Bears offense much worked and it still didn't matter.

NYG 38, BUF 21

The Giants fell behind 14-0 but then ripped off a big second and fourth quarter to make this one not even close. Eli Manning only completed 7 of 15 for 111 yards and threw two interceptions just like the Eli we have come to know but the running game here had a franchise best day with Brandon Jacobs gaining 145 yards on 24 carries and scoring twice and Ahmad Bradshaw running for 151 yards and a score on 17 carries that included an 88-yard score. Amani Toomer ended with 99 yards on five catches because no other player had more than one catch for six yards - including Plaxico Burress. The Bills had Trent Edwards passing for 161 yards and two scores in the driving wind but he also had three interceptions. Lee Evans (3-43, 1 TD) led the Bills receivers and Marshawn Lynch gained 70 rushing yards with one score and added 42 yards on only two catches. The Giants started their ground game up and the Bills never had an answer in a game with rain and wind that made passing difficult. Now the 10-5 Giants host the Patriots this week in a game that does not matter since the Giants have clinched their wildcard. The 7-8 Bills end their season at Philadelphia.

Fantasy Notable: Ahmad Bradshaw looked like a good, speedy complement to the bruising Jacobs and had to buy himself more playing time with his impressive playing. He offers a home run threat that Jacobs cannot. And Jacobs once again was injured. He turned his ankle but later returned to the game. In a bad weather game, the duo made for a dominating rushing attack. Lynch did well and he did score but he still only gets two catches per game which should increase next year.

OAK 11, JAX 49

Okay, so the rookie needs some work. The Raiders were pummeled by the Jaguars but had extensive use of JaMarcus Russell for the first time. He responded to the increased playing time by completing 7 of 23 for 83 yards and one score with three interceptions. Whoops. No player had more than Zach Miller (3-27, 1 TD). Dominic Rhodes did himself a huge favor by gaining 115 yards on 27 carries and may stick around next year. But David Garrard threw for 199 yards and two scores and eventually gave way to Quinn Gray who only passed for 54 yards but also had two touchdowns. The scores were spread out over four different receivers. Fred Taylor continues to leave his mark on the season with 111 yards on just seven carries thanks to his 62-yard scoring run and Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 44 yards on ten carries with one score and added six catches for 96 yards as the lead receiver for the Jaguars. Now the 11-4 Jaguars end their season in Houston and the 4-11 Raiders wind up hosting the Chargers.

Fantasy Notable: The Raiders looked horrible but Rhodes has some decent runs later in the game when the Raiders had no business running the ball. The Jaguars are peaking at the right time and Fred Taylor is enjoying what could be his one magic year. There is still remarkably little fantasy value here because the team combines well but individual players do not often have big games. There were seven offensive scores and on one had two.

PHI 38, NO 23

Great game for McNabb who really needed one. He passed for 263 yards and three scores with no turnovers against the Big Easy Secondary of the Saints. Kevin Curtis (6-78, 1 TD) and Reggie Brown (6-72, 1 TD) had bookend sort of efforts while Brian Westbrook rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries but only caught three passes for nine yards because plenty of receivers were open. Even Correll Buckhalter ripped off a 20-yard touchdown run. The Saints had Drew Brees throwing for 289 yards and one interception against the aggressive Eagles defense. Marques Colston was held in check and only produced three catches for 16 yards while David Patten was the best receiver with only 55 yards in six catches though in fairness, the Saints wideouts were dropping passes the entire game. Aaron Stecker ran for 49 yards on 13 carries but scored twice and added 35 receiving yards on four receptions. The win sends the 7-8 Eagles home to face the Bills while the 7-8 Saints wind down their season in Chicago.

Fantasy Notable: If nothing else, the Saints have allowed every opponent look like they have a top five offense. Westbrook had a down game compared to most weeks because the Eagles finally did not need to lean on him heavily for the entire game. The Eagles defense took away Colston and the Saints passing attack struggled with consistency because of it.

MIA 7, NE 28

The Patriots started this game like usual with Tom Brady throwing for three touchdowns but after halftime, the Pats just elected to run the ball and actually try to take time off the clock and end the game as quickly as possible. That allowed Laurence Maroney to have a career best 156 yards on 14 carries with one 59-yard touchdown run. Brady passed for 215 yards and three scores but had two uncharacteristic interceptions as well. Randy Moss caught two touchdowns but only ended with 50 yards on five catches while Jabar Gaffney led all receivers with 82 yards on five catches and one score. The Fins went with Cleo Lemon who passed for 171 yards and one score to save the shutout. Once again, it was Greg Camarillo to the rescue with that touchdown though no Miami receiver had more than 31 yards in the game. Lorenzo Booker was given eight carries and he gained 56 yards while Jesse Chatman ran for only 38 yards on nine carries. The win sends the 15-0 Patriots to New York to face the Giants who will have nothing to play for in the game. That perfect season seems almost certain now. The 1-14 Fins conclude their four-month long nightmare by hosting the Bengals this week.

Fantasy Notable: Good to see Maroney run so strongly and with speed. That should be a factor in every game since the Pats will host outside games in Boston for a couple of weeks in the playoffs. The Fins wind down with almost no progress made to build upon next year. Brady has thrown for 48 touchdowns this year to tie with Marino for second best in NFL history and needs two in New York to set the new record. Moss currently has 20 touchdowns for only the second time in NFL history and he needs three more to beat Jerry Rice's old record.

TB 19, SF 21

This was almost the game of the week and a close one to be sure. The Buccaneers started pulling starters late in the first half to rest them for the playoffs and that allowed the 49ers to take this week. Jeff Garcia passed for 196 yards and a score before leaving Luke McCown to pass for 185 more yards and another touchdown. Earnest Graham was only given nine carries and he gained 21 yards since he did not play in the second half and it all went against what Jon Gruden had said about how he was going to treat this game. Galloway only had one catch. The Bucs just had the starters get some snaps and pulled all the notable ones by halftime. The 49ers only had Shaun Hill completing 11 of 24 for 123 yards but he scored three times. Frank Gore caught one of the touchdowns on his team leading four receptions for 43 yards in addition to rushing for 89 yards on 32 carries. Vernon Davis (3-30) and Darrell Jackson (2-27) also had touchdown catches. The win by the 5-10 49ers further diminishes that Patriots first round pick and send them to Cleveland for the season ender. The 9-6 Buccaneers will host the Panthers next week and will care even less about what happens in the game.

Fantasy Notable: Cannot draw much when the Bucs were benching starters before halftime but at least Shaun Hill was able to throw for three scores and Vernon Davis got to see the endzone so that he'll recognize it next year. Darrell Jackson has been a big letdown as a free agent but recent weeks have looked better.

BAL 6, SEA 27

The Ravens have now lost their last nine games and using Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith did little to change that. Smith passed for 199 yards and one score without an interception which was a plus and Derrick Mason ended with five catches for 98 yards and a score thanks to a 79-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter when the Ravens already trailed 27-0. Willis McGahee was injured after only five carries and Mike Anderson gained 44 yards on eight carries as the lead rusher. Matt Hasselbeck had a solid enough game with 199 yards and two scores but he also threw two interceptions. Bobby Engram (5-69) and Nate Burleson (3-52, 1 TD) were the top receivers. Shaun Alexander actually gained 73 yards on 13 carries for his first effective game in a few months but Maurice Morris had more carries (15) and gained 40 yards. This was a ho-hum game just as expected and the Seahawks were none too motivated to make it into the blowout that it could have been. The 4-11 Ravens now will mercifully conclude their season by hosting the Steelers who they will hope will rest all their players while the 10-5 Seahawks wrap up the regular season with a trip to Atlanta.

Fantasy Notable: It is an indictment against the Ravens when the Seahawks can come out kind of flat and still win by 21 points. Troy Smith probably made the most of his start but the only really interesting part of the game was that Alexander could gain 73 yards on 13 carries and broke off a 19-yard run.

NYJ 6, TEN 10

Yeah, this game was as exciting as the score indicates. Chad Pennington passed for 264 yards and one score with two interceptions. One notable here was that the Jets had an extra point blocked and kicked a successful field goal that was taken off the scoreboard because of a Titans penalty which game them a first down and goal to go which then gave Pennington a chance to throw one of his interceptions. Could have been a tied game were it not for "Jets luck". Thomas Jones had his standard 58 yards on 21 carries but Jerricho Cotchery stepped up big in the absence of Laveranues Coles when he had eight catches for 152 yards and one score. No other Jets wideout had more than 45 yards. Vince Young passed for 166 yards and one interception and only netted one yard on seven runs. The only decent fantasy numbers from the Titans came from Lendale While to gained 103 yards on 22 carries. The win sends the 9-6 Titans to Indianapolis with a chance at a wildcard if they can somehow beat the Colts who may be resting every starter. The 3-12 Jets drop another close one and finish up the season at home against the Chiefs.

Fantasy Notable: None really in this snooze-fest. The weather was fine but both teams played like it was a cold, windy game with rain. It wasn't. Young in particular looked shaky again as a passer.

WAS 32, MIN 21

Another one of the surprises of the day. The Redskins evidently shifted into "kick ass" gear and racked up a 22-0 lead by halftime and then held on for the win against the Vikes who have more problems winning when their defense does not dominate the opponents rushing game, Adrian Peterson is kept in check and they have to live and die... and mostly die... on the passing of Tarvaris Jackson who ended with 220 yards and one score against two interceptions. Jackson was also the leading rusher with 44 yards on eight runs with two touchdowns rushed in because the entire defense was going after Peterson who ended with only 27 yards on nine carries. The Skins had Todd Collins pass for 254 yards and two scores but the central player to the win was Clinton Portis who rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries with one score, caught five passes for 48 yards and also threw for one touchdown. Santana Moss had four receptions for 71 yards and a score while Antwaan Randle El had 66 yards on five receptions and a touchdown as well. Chris Cooley only had one catch that came early in the game but it went for a 33-yard touchdown. The Vikes were overwhelmed and taken out of their game plan early. Now the 8-6 Vikes end their season looking for a win in Denver while the 7-7 Skins will host the Cowboys who are certain to rest players in the game.

Fantasy Notable: Adrian Peterson is having problems beating eight and nine man fronts and without him tearing up defenses, the Vikes do not have the passing game that can make up much ground. The Skins looked sharp on both sides of the ball and Portis was a multi-dimensional threat.

Game-O-The-Week

After a week 15 with low scores for fantasy studs and not that many points to distribute, this week saw many fantasy leagues decided by performances by the right players. That's what fantasy football is all about and the Game-o-the-week is also another reason why fantasy football is a great thing - why else would anyone watch the Falcons playing in Arizona.

Atlanta 27, Arizona 30

The Cardinals took a 24-14 lead into halftime against a Falcons team that completely imploded in Tampa Bay last week. After a third quarter without a score it would have been easy enough for the Falcons to just give up and let the game end but they didn't. They don't have a coach. Their franchise quarterback is in prison. They've only won three games all season. They've gone through three quarterbacks this season and never had a rushing game. But they still tried.

When the fourth quarter started, the Falcons had the ball on their own 31-yard line and after 12 plays, they had driven to the ARI 5-yard line where the drive stalled. Morten Andersen kicked a 23-yard field goal to make the score 17-24. After the Cardinals went four and out on the next possession, the Falcons took over on their own 48-yard line with 7:47 left to play after DeAngelo Hall returned the punt for 16 yards. After eight plays, the Falcons reached the ARI 7-yard line with 4:50 left to play and Chris Redman hit Alge Crumpler for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Falcons a 24-24 tie in Arizona in a game that the Falcons were 10.5 point underdogs.

The Cardinals took over on their own 20-yard line after the kickoff but once again - they went four and out. The Falcons took over on their own 41-yard line with 3:14 left to play when DeAngelo Hall returned another punt for 16 yards. After a few passes to Roddy White and Laurent Robinson, the Falcons reached the ARI 7-yard line thanks to a 24 yard pass interference penalty and opted to - and I am not kidding here - run Warrick Dunn three consecutive times and gain a total of four yards. They ran Dunn. They were within seven yards of taking a seven point lead with less than two minutes to play and they ran Dunn three times. Andersen kicked the field goal for a 27-24 lead with 1:41 left to play.

Starting on his own 26-yard line with 1:33 left to play, Kurt Warner used short passes to his new heart throb Anquan Boldin with a few runs by Edgerrin James to reach the ATL 16-yard line and with only four seconds left, Neil Rackers kicked the tying field goal as time expired.

The Cardinals won the coin toss and on their first series they marched down the field using, again, Boldin catches and James runs until they stalled on the ATL 13-yard line and Rackers kicked the game winning field goal.

The game illustrated two very important facts that are true in fantasy football as they are in NFL football.

1. Never give up no matter what because you never know.

2. If you insist on sticking with a player who has sucked all year long (Dunn) then you probably deserve the loss.

That's it for the final Tunnel Vision of the year. Thanks for reading along, hope your Christmas (or otherwise) is a great one and that 2008 finds you happy and successful beyond your wildest dreams. Remember - you don't have to stick with whatever the Dunn is in your life and just go for the big score instead of playing it safe.

Now get back to work...

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