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Fantasy Game Recaps: Week 11

Three of the top five rush defenses performed like the bottom three rush defenses this week, while the other two were only so-so. The number one Ravens were a sieve to the Giants three running backs Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw. The Bears number four run defense was the first team to make Ryan Grant look like a pro bowler. The Redskins number five defense contained the passing game, but could not slow down Marion Barber. LaDainian Tomlinson had one of his better games this year against the Steelers number two rush defense. Even Minnesota was unable to prevent a rushing touchdown and gave up 30 more yards on the ground then they are accustomed to allowing.

These five defenses give up an average of 72 yards and 0.5 touchdowns a game. On Sunday they averaged giving up 140 yards and 1.2 touchdowns.

Giants 30 - Ravens 10

Fantasy Superman: Brandon Jacobs
Fantasy Performers: Ahmad Bradshaw, Derrick Ward, Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason, Le’Ron McClain
Fantasy Hens: Giants Passing Game, Ray Rice, Willis McGahee

It was an odd day in New Rutherford, New Jersey. The Ravens have the number one rush defense, giving up only 63 yards a game and only one rushing touchdown on the year. Not one, but two running backs rushed for more than 63 yards and if you count receiving yards, three running backs had banner days against the top run defense. Brandon Jacobs scored two touchdowns on 73 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw had one 77-yard carry which went over the Ravens average and ended the day with 96 yards. Derrick Ward rushed for 41 yards and led the receiving game with 54 yards on four catches. Conversely, the Ravens pass defense was not challenged (probably due to the success on the ground). Plaxico Burress only hauled in three catches for 47 yards and Domenik Hixon led the remaining receivers of himself, Steve Smith and Amani Toomer, with two catches for 25 yards.

The Ravens could not it going on the ground or in the air. The leading rusher was their quarterback, Joe Flacco, who rushed for 57 yards and threw for 164 yards and a touchdown. His numbers were hurt by two interceptions. None of the Ravens three running backs rushed for over 19 yards or a touchdown. However, Le’Ron McClain did score a 10-yard receiving touchdown and had two more catches for a total of 31 yards. Derrick Mason was the only other Raven with any numbers, catching seven for 82 yards.

Packers 37 - Bears 3

Fantasy Superman: Ryan Grant
Fantasy Performers: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Donald Lee
Fantasy Hens: Kyle Orton

For the second time on Sunday, a tough run defense failed to do the job when Ryan Grant rushed against the Bears for 145 yards and a touchdown. The Bears could not even contain Brandon Jackson who rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries. Aaron Rodgers threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Greg Jennings and Donald Lee each scored once, Jennings on five catches for 64 yards and Lee on six catches of 33 yards.

Other than Matt Forte’s 104 combined yards, the Bears’ score is indicative of the fantasy output. Kyle Orton returned to a 133 yard outing with a turnover.

Cowboys 14 - Redskins 10

Fantasy Superman: Marion Barber, III
Fantasy Performers: Chris Cooley (ppr)
Fantasy Hens: Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Jason Witten, Santana Moss

Other than Marion Barber, III, no one in this game helped owners get over on their opposition. Barber ran for 114 yards, caught six balls for 39 yards and scored a touchdown. The receivers however were not invigorated by the return of Tony Romo. Terrell Owens, Roy Williams and Jason Witten had 38, 36 and 34 yards respectively, without a score.

No Redskin put up decent numbers. Clinton Portis is excused since he was questionable in the first place and rushed for 68 yards on his limited 15 carries - 4.5 yards per carry is admirable in light of his physical ailments. Chris Cooley fared well in ppr leagues as he hauled in seven catches for 47 yards. But Santana Moss’s 29 yards and Antwaan Randle El’s 24 yards did not help Jason Campbell or the Redskins.

Steelers 11 - Chargers 10

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, Matt Spaeth, LaDainian Tomlinson
Fantasy Hens: Mewelde Moore, Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers Philip Rivers

Although the Steelers did not score any touchdowns, the Steelers key players substantially outperformed the Chargers. How they failed to score any touchdowns only has me questioning the integrity of the NFL officiating (and I am a Charger fan). Willie Parker rushed for 115 yards. Hines Ward hauled down 11 catches for 124 yards. Santonio Holmes had five catches for 63 yards. Matt Spaeth caught five balls for 55 yards. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards. Only Mewelde Moore was hurt by the return of Willie Parker as he had a combined total of 32 yards. While the NFL will sweep this game under the rug, the timing of certain calls, the disparity of penalties and the sheer absurdity of the last miscall of the game support only one logical conclusion which I will not utter. But whatever the reason, the officiating altered the outcome of many fantasy games, whether because of the lack of scoring by the offense or the points taken away from the defense.

LaDainian Tomlinson ran well against a tough Steeler defense. Tomlinson had 97 total yards and a touchdown. However, the receivers were unheard from. Antonio Gates only had 10 yards on two catches. Vincent Jackson had 25 yards on two catches and Chris Chambers had 21 yards on three catches. Philip Rivers’ two interceptions neutralized his 159 yards.

Buccaneers 18 - Vikings 13

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Matt Bryant, Warrick Dunn,
Fantasy Hens: Earnest Graham, Bernard Berrian

Many players in this game fell somewhere between Performers and Hens, but because little should have been expected from many of these players, they did not disappoint. For instance, the only touchdowns came from fantasy free agents Bobby Wade and B.J. Askew, who had a total of three catches for 13 yards between them. Gus Frerotte and Jeff Garcia were neither horrible nor great. Frerotte threw for 138 yards and a touchdown without a turnover, while Garcia threw for 255 yards, ran for 21 yards and did not score or turnover the ball. Lead backs Adrian Peterson and Warrick Dunn were neither horrible nor great. Peterson had 85 rushing yards and Dunn had a combined 118 yards, with 53 yards on the ground and 65 in the air. Jerramy Stevens had 84 yards and Antonio Bryant had 59 yards.

The only poor performances came from Earnest Graham who had three yards on one carry and Bernard Berrian who had 46 yards on three catches.

Jets 34 - Patriots 31

Fantasy Superman: Thomas Jones, Matt Cassel, Ben Watson
Fantasy Performers: Brett Favre, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, Jabar Gaffney, Wes Welker
Fantasy Hens: Laveranues Coles, the New England Running Backs, Randy Moss

For the second week, Thursday night football has provided a smorgasbord of fantasy points. Averaging 63.5 points per game, a number of players put up respectable numbers. Thomas Jones continues to put up top running back numbers with his eighth touchdown in six games. Jones ended the day with 104 rushing yards, two catches for 15 yards and one touchdown. Brett Favre threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, completing nearly eighty percent of his passes. Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller each had 87 yards receiving, Keller on eight receptions and Cotchery on five receptions, with one touchdown. Laveranues Coles continues to disappoint managers with just five catches for 38 yards. Coles has only had one touchdown in the last six weeks and has not had more than 64 yards in a game in that same period.

Woe to the many who sat Matt Cassell once again. By far, Cassell was the top fantasy performer of the game, throwing for 400 yards, three touchdowns and rushing for 62 yards. In fact, Cassell equaled the entire rushing game which got 63 yards between four running backs, with Kevin Faulk leading the charge with 38 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving. Pretty much everybody got into the receiving game. Wes Welker caught seven for 108 yards. Ben Watson put great tight end numbers on eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Jabbar Gaffney also put up seven receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. Although Randy Moss scored, his three catches for only 26 yards did not help teams who drafted him as their number one wide receiver.

Dolphins 19 - Raiders 17

Fantasy Superman: Ted Ginn, Jr.
Fantasy Performers: Ronnie Brown
Fantasy Hens: Greg Camarillo

Ted Ginn, Jr. may just be a legitimate fantasy star, with his third big game in four weeks. On Sunday, Ginn ran for a 40-yard touchdown and four catches for 51 yards. Ronnie Brown broke 100 yards by just one yard and also caught an 11-yard pass, but he failed to score and he turned over the ball once. Chad Pennington and Greg Camarillo were limited with Pennington chucking up just 174 yards and Camarillo catching just 34 of those yards.

* This is a new category since if you are playing any Raiders at this point of the season, you are probably not up on fantasy news and therefore are not reading this article. In other words, I will not do anything more than just note a few numbers without commentary - Justin Fargas - 57 yards; Ronald Curry - 73 yards; Zach Miller - 67 yards.

Saints 30 - Chiefs 20

Fantasy Superman: Pierre Thomas, Lance Moore, Dwayne Bowe, Tyler Thigpen
Fantasy Performers: Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Tight Ends Jeremy Shockey and Tony Gonzalez (ppr only), Larry Johnson
Fantasy Hens: Marques Colston

The Saints went into Arrowhead and won with their two big stars…Pierre Thomas and Lance Moore? Thomas ended the day with a combined 142 yards and a touchdown, while Moore straddled the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown and a day total of 102 yards. Drew Brees had a decent day with 266 yards, a touchdown and one pick. Deuce McAllister did little on the day rushing for only 18 yards, but he leapt over the pile for a touchdown, which always helps fantasy owners from an RB3. Jeremy Shockey had a limited 39 yards, but reeled in six catches.

If anyone hasn’t noticed, Tyler Thigpen is a legitimate fantasy starter. This week he passed for 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Thigpen also ran for 45 yards, which was almost as good as Larry Johnson, who ran for 67 yards and caught a 20-yard pass. Dwayne Bowe may have had one of the lowest yards per catch performances, but he scored two touchdowns on seven catches of 53 yards. Tony Gonzalez had nearly identical numbers to his counterpart Shockey, with 39 yards on five catches. Mark Bradley finally came down to earth, just when teams started playing him, but still had a decent performance with three catches for 54 yards.

Colts 33 - Texans 27

Fantasy Superman: Joseph Addai, Marvin Harrison, Peyton Manning, Steve Slaton, Ahman Green
Fantasy Performers: Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark (in ppr only), Kevin Walter
Fantasy Hens: Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels

Just when you thought it was safe to bench Marvin Harrison, he goes off with numbers nearly equal to his total body of work over the last month. Harrison hauled in nine catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. The star of the game was Joseph Addai who ran for 105 yards, caught four for 48 yards and scored twice. Peyton Manning passed for 320 yards, two touchdowns and hooked up with Reggie Wayne seven times for 90 yards. Dallas Clark pulled down five catches for 44 yards.

Steve Slaton’s 71-yard touchdown run gave him 156 yards on the day with one touchdown. He gave up two touchdowns to Ahman Green, who averaged less than two yards per carry with nine rushes for 17 yards. Andre Johnson was barely heard from, catching four for 55 yards. Kevin Walters’ 61-yard catch allowed him to have respectable day with three catches for 79 yards. Sage Rosenfels’ 192 yards and one interception have Johnson and Walters’s fans hoping for a quick recovery by Matt Schaub.

Eagles 13 - Bengals 13

Fantasy Superman: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Fantasy Performers: Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson, L.J. Smith, Cedric Benson, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fantasy Hens: Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Chad Johnson

Even in awful games that end in ties, fantasy numbers still count. T.J. Houshmandzadeh made the most of a five-quarter game that netted little fantasy value. Housh had a monster game with 12 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. However, Housh nabbed all of the catches and Chad Johnson had few, catching four for 34 yards. Cedric Benson was not special, but as a flex player, his 79 combined yards were not terrible. Ryan Fitzpatrick put up fine numbers, throwing for 261 yards and a touchdown, without turning the ball over.

Donovan McNabb could not say the same as he turned over the ball four times, which in leagues that deduct points destroyed his 339 yard and one touchdown performance. Brian Westbrook was hardly heard from, running for only 60 yards and receiving for another 11 yards. Kevin Curtis helped owners in ppr leagues with seven catches for 64 yards and Hank Baskett only caught two, but generated 74 yards thereon. DeSean Jackson landed in the middle of these two receivers with four catches for 66 yards.

Panthers 31 - Lions 22

Fantasy Superman: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart
Fantasy Performers: Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, Daunte Culpepper
Fantasy Hens: Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith

Running backs love to feast off the Lions defense and Sunday was no different. However, this time, two running backs put up league leading numbers. DeAngelo Williams ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Jonathan Stewart ran for 130 yards and one touchdown. As the Panthers’ running backs cut through the Lions like a knife through warm butter, the passing game was limited to only 98 yards. Steve Smith was the only receiver to make any noise with 59 yards and 16 yards on the ground, but a fumble detracted from these limited numbers.

The Lions offense did not look half-bad with Daunte Culpepper at the helm. Of course, that was the first half. In the second half, they looked all bad again. Kevin Smith had several nice runs and ended the day with 112 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving. Calvin Johnson continues to be a bright spot in the Lion offense, catching six for 65 yards and a 29-yard touchdown. Culpepper threw for 207 yards, one touchdown and two picks, but also ran for 13 yards, a touchdown and a fumble.

Broncos 24 - Falcons 20

Fantasy Superman: Peyton Hillis, Michael Turner
Fantasy Performers: Brandon Marshall, Roddy White
Fantasy Hens: Eddie Royal, Jerious Norwood

Peyton Hillis, the other Peyton, may have had only 70 combined yards on the day, but like the other Peyton, he also had two touchdowns on Sunday. Brandon Marshall did not have the opportunity to pull out any gloves, but he still caught six balls for 89 yards. Jay Cutler had a mediocre day, tossing for 216 yards and one touchdown, without a turnover. Rookie sensation Eddie Royal only caught four balls for 34 yards.

On the other side of the field, the numbers mirrored the Denver numbers with Michael Turner running for 81 yards and two touchdowns. However, Jerious Norwood was limited against one of the worst run defenses, only gaining 18 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving. Roddy White, like Brandon Marshall, did not score, but he caught five passes for 102 yards. Matt Ryan put up similar numbers to Cutler, with 250 passing yards, 18 rushing yards and one pick.

Cardinals 26 - Seahawks 20

Fantasy Superman: Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, J.J. Arrington
Fantasy Performers: T.J. Duckett, Maurice Morris, Deion Branch
Fantasy Hens: Tim Hightower, Steve Breaston, Julius Jones, Matt Hasselbeck

The Warner-Boldin-Fitzgerald trio was just outright sick today despite not having a touchdown, with over 335 yards passing between them. Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 186 yards, while Larry Fitzgerald hauled in 10 catches for 151 yards. Kurt Warner hooked up with J.J. Arrington for a touchdown and threw for a total of 395 yards, while turning over the ball twice. Has J.J. Arrington replaced both Tim Hightower and Edgerrin James as the running back du jour? With 11 total touches for 61 yards and two touchdowns to Hightower’s 11 touches for 35 yards and no touchdowns, the answer seems unnerving to those who got excited when Hightower replaced James.

Julius Jones may have gone negative in many leagues as he ran for only 19 yards and one fumble. The other two running backs put up strange numbers. T.J. Duckett rushed five times for five yards, but scored nearly every other time he touched the ball, with two touchdowns. Maurice Morris also scored a touchdown, but rushed for only two yards on three carries and 27 yards on an equal number of catches. Matt Hasselbeck fared poorly, tossing up three interceptions to his 170 yards and one touchdown. Deion Branch had four catches for 54 yards and Bobby Engram only caught two for 30 yards.

49ers 35 - Rams 16

Fantasy Superman: Frank Gore
Fantasy Performers: Bryant Johnson, Shaun Hill, Antonio Pittman, Donnie Avery, Kenneth Darby, Torry Holt
Fantasy Hens: Isaac Bruce

The worst part about having a player against the Rams over the last two weeks is that at half time you are in hog heaven, but what you see in the first half is almost what you see at game end. Still, that did not hurt Frank Gore owners. Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns, almost all of which came in the first half. Gore also had a fumble. Bryant Johnson caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, also all of which came in the first half (except for a five yard reception). Shaun Hill threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

The Rams no name offense put up some decent fantasy numbers as Donnie Avery led the way with nine catches for 93 yards. Running back Kenneth Darby put up like numbers with eight catches for 83 yards and 26 yards rushing. Antonio Pittman rushed for 95 yards. Even Torry Holt got some work in with six catches for 50 yards. Only Marc Bulger’s 295 passing yards and touchdown were cut back with three turnovers.

Titans 24 - Jaguars 14

Fantasy Superman: Justin Gage, Kerry Collins, Maurice Jones-Drew
Fantasy Performers: Chris Johnson
Fantasy Hens: LenDale White, David Garrard, Jaguars receivers

Tennessee keeps finding ways to win and on Sunday they used a whole knew fantasy performance duo to do so, when Kerry Collins hooked up with Brandon Gage on touchdowns of 56 and 38 yards. When they were finished, Justin Gage had 147 yards and Kerry Collins had thrown for 230 yards and a third touchdown to Brandon Jones. The running back tandem was not as dynamic. Chris Johnson and LenDale White failed to score and Johnson finished the day with 88 combined yards and White 54 yards rushing only.

Maurice Jones-Drew followed up his multi-touchdown day against the Lions with a two-touchdown day on 93 combined yards. David Garrard only threw for 135 yards and an interception and his leading receiver was Dennis Northcutt with only 28 yards.