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Fantasy Game Recaps: Week 13

It being Thanksgiving weekend, the term hens seems inappropriate for those players who laid eggs. Accordingly, this week shall be the week of the turkey. Sure this theme smells foul, but Thanksgiving proved to be a feast for many players. The players who vultured the most touchdowns were the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook. Even though these two had been starving for the last half of the season, their respective four touchdown performances ended many fantasy games before they even got started.

Eagles 48 - Cardinals 20

Fantasy Superman: Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Larry Fitzgerald
Fantasy Performers: DeSean Jackson, Kurt Warner, Steve Breaston
Fantasy Turkeys: Tim Hightower, Anquan Boldin

Just one week is all it takes to turn around the hopes of fantasy owners. Four touchdowns apiece for Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook served as an oasis to managers who have not seen four touchdowns out of Westbrook in the previous eight weeks or McNabb in the last three weeks. McNabb bounced back from his 59-yard outing with 260 yards passing and 24 yards rushing. Westbrook had 110 yards on the ground and 20 yards in the air. DeSean Jackson caught six for 76 yards and one touchdown. Kevin Curtis went five for 59 yards.

Tim Hightower is turning into a huge late season bust. Apparently Edgerrin James was not the problem. Seven carries for one yard per carry is not answering fantasy manager prayers. Larry Fitzgerald was the receiver du jour, scoring twice on five catches for 65 yards. Steve Breaston came in at number two with four receptions for 4564 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin reeled in five for 63 yards, but fumbled the ball. Kurt Warner padded his touchdowns with three, but neutralized those scores in leagues where interceptions count for negative points with an equal number. He also threw for 235 yards.

Cowboys 34 - Seahawks 9

Fantasy Superman: Tony Romo, Jason Witten
Fantasy Performers: Terrell Owens, Marion Barber, John Carlson
Fantasy Turkeys: Julius Jones, Maurice Morris

While Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Marion Barber are looking at a tough fantasy play-off schedule, which includes Baltimore, the NY Giants and Pittsburgh, leading into the fantasy play-offs they got a Thanksgiving feast on bird, when the Seahawks flew into town. Romo threw for 331 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Jason Witten was a monster in the first half, catching seven for 90 yards and a touchdown. He ended the game with nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Marion Barber left early with a toe injury, but ended the game with a touchdown and 45 combined yards. After last week, fantasy managers with Terrell Owens on their squad may have been disappointed, but his numbers were still good with five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Tashard Choice filled in nicely for Barber with 11 carries for 57 yards, but even if Barber’s injuries linger, Choice may not be the right Choice going into the play-offs, playing against three top rush defenses.

Other then tight end John Carlson and his six catches for 105 yards, any team forced to run out a Seahawk was not rewarded for their courage. Julius Jones failed against his former team, rushing for 37 yards and one fumble. Maurice Morris rushed for 10 yards and hauled in three catches for 23 yards. Seattle’s three receivers, Deion Branch, Koren Robinson and Bobby Engram averaged four catches and 50 yards, with a standard deviation of one catch and six yards. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 287, but tossed up a pick instead of a touchdown.

Titans 47 - Lions 10

Fantasy Superman: Chris Johnson, LenDale White
Fantasy Performers: Calvin Johnson
Fantasy Turkeys: Kevin Smith, Justin Gage

The Titan running backs feasted on a Thanksgiving Lions’ run defense, with each Chris Johnson and LenDale White scoring two touchdowns and rushing for over 100 yards (Johnson - 125 and White - 106). Justin Gage may have started November as the go-to wide receiver, but for his second straight week Gage had limited duty, with two receptions for 40 yards.

The Lions could not do it in the air or on the ground. Kevin Smith rushed for only 22 yards. Calvin Johnson’s five catches for 66 yards may not have been of much substance, but it made up nearly half of Daunte Culpepper’s 13 completions for 134 yards.

Giants 23 - Redskins 7

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Eli Manning, Amani Toomer, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Chris Cooley
Fantasy Turkeys: Plaxico Burress, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss

Plaxico Burress’ off-field activities land him as the biggest turkey of the holiday season. However, the Giants are use to being without Plaxico and each of the players picked up the slack once again. Eli Manning broke the 300-yard mark with 305 yards, a touchdown and one pick. He found three different players five times, hooking up with Amani Toomer for 85 yards and a touchdown, Derrick Ward for 75 yards (to go with his 30 yards rushing) and Domenik Hixon for 71 yards. Brandon Jacobs also ran for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Clinton Portis did not enjoy a performance like he did week one when he rushed for 84 yards against the Giants. Portis ran for only 22 yards and caught one pass for 15 yards. Chris Cooley led the passing game with six catches for 71 yards. Santana Moss’s 55 yards was questionable in and of itself, but his fumble left many managers with little points. Jason Campbell threw for 232 yards and rushed for additional 38 yards, but never found the end zone in either fashion. The only big play for the Redskins came on rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas’s 29-yard touchdown run. Thomas was not utilized in the passing game.

Buccaneers 23 - Saints 20

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Jeff Garcia, Warrick Dunn, Carnell Williams, Antonio Bryant, Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Lance Moore
Fantasy Turkeys: Reggie Bush

Neither team put up great fantasy performances, but most of the players in this game that were on fantasy squads helped out in some fashion or another. Jeff Garcia threw for only 119 yards, but he also rushed for 42 yards, threw for a touchdown and did not turnover the ball. Warrick Dunn rushed for 74 yards and Cadillac Williams rushed four times for 20 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Bryant touched the ball four times, once on a 13 yard run and three times on passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Its hard to tell with Marques Colston’s inconsistency, whether he is back and ready to play down the play-off run, but Sunday gave a glimmer hope with Colston catching six and eclipsing 100 yards, for 106 yards. The oddity in this game is that Drew Brees had a relatively good game on the road against the tough pass defense of the Buccaneers, hooking up 25 times for 206 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, despite the fact that the receiving corps outside of Colston was relatively quiet. Lance Moore caught another touchdown, but only hauled in two catches for 15 yards. Devery Henderson had only two catches for 33 yards and Jeremy Shockey four catches for 52 yards. The running backs were limited to a combined 47 yards on 17 carries, Reggie Bush gaining zero, Deuce McAllister gaining 13 and Pierre Thomas gaining 34 yards. Pierre Thomas had the best day for Saints running backs with a 20-yard touchdown reception. Reggie Bush did catch five passes for 32 yards.

Dolphins 16 - Rams 12

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Ronnie Brown, Davone Bess, Steven Jackson
Fantasy Turkeys: Chad Pennington, Ted Ginn, Jr., Marc Bulger, Torry Holt

The score tells the story. Fantasy managers were licking their chops with Chad Pennington and Ted Ginn, Jr. getting a shot at the Rams weak pass defense. Such did not come to pass. Last week the Dolphins passed the ball 41 times. On Sunday, Chad Pennington only put up the ball 23 times, connecting only 13 times for 166 yards and no scores. Ted Ginn, Jr. set off on a torrid pace with three receptions for 47 yards in just the Dolphins’ first two series. Ginn ended the day with just one more catch for eight yards. Davone Bess was the big target in the passing game, hauling down six passes for 84 yards. Ronnie Brown rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown.

Steven Jackson had a semi-successful return, rushing and receiving for 110 yards. That was it for the Rams. Marc Bulger tossed up three interceptions to no touchdowns on 149 yards passing. Torry Holt had only three receptions for 30 yards and Donnie Avery had no catches. Dane Looker led the passing attack with six catches for 52 yards.

Panthers 35 - Packers 31

Fantasy Superman: DeAngelo Williams, Aaron Rodgers
Fantasy Performers: Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Brandon Jackson
Fantasy Turkeys: Ryan Grant

The Panthers put up all 35 points on defense, but the score was somewhat deceptive of the offensive output, which saw less than 300 yards combined rushing and receiving. Almost one out of every five times Carolina rushed the ball, they crossed the goal line. DeAngelo Williams rushed for only 72 yards, but he scored four times. Jake Delhomme also ran one in from one yard out. Delhomme threw the all only 17 times for 177 yards and he hooked up with Steve Smith on four of those 17 passes for 105 yards.

In the loss, the Packers put up 443 yards of offense and plenty of good fantasy performances. Aaron Rodgers passed for 298 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 26 yards and threw one interception. Greg Jennings followed up his Monday night performance with an almost identical eight catches for 91 yards and one touchdown. Donald Driver was not far behind, catching five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Donald Lee caught the third touchdown throw on four for 37 yards. Ryan Grant returned to the abyss with only 39 yards on 12 carries. He was successfully replaced by Brandon Jackson who rushed for 80 yards on only 11 carries.

Colts 10 - Browns 6

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Jamal Lewis
Fantasy Turkeys: Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, Derek Anderson

Thanks to CBS, we on the west coast were privy to this duel. This score clearly tells the fantasy story here. Peyton Manning threw for only 125 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. No receiver fared well with those numbers. Reggie Wayne’s 46 yards led the charge. The rest were severely limited - Marvin Harrison (27), Dallas Clark (23) and Anthony Gonzalez (13). Joseph Addai rushed for 57 yards and fumbled once.

Peyton Manning out-chucked the Cleveland quarterbacks who amassed all of 110 yards and an interception. Braylon Edwards led this charge with two catches for 36 yards. Kellen Winslow had three for only 15 yards. Only Jamal Lewis could hold his head high with 77 yards rushing.

Ravens 34 - Bengals 3

Fantasy Superman: Mark Clayton
Fantasy Performers: Joe Flacco, Le’Ron McClain Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Fantasy Turkeys: Willis McGahee, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cedric Benson, Chad Johnson

Good luck to managers who carry Baltimore running backs. Willis McGahee suited up and was not on the injury report, but he did not see any action. Ray Rice went 55 yards. Le’Ron McClain carried the rock 25 times for 86 yards without a score. Joie Flacco led an efficient passing game, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, without a turnover. Mark Clayton’s 70-yard touchdown reception only added to his huge day wherein he caught five passes for 164 yards. Derrick Mason also had a very nice day with six receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Todd Heap surfaced with four catches for 39 yards and a score.

The Bengals could not score a touchdown. In fact, the offense did not even come close to 200 yards on the day. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 12 completions and 124 yards. Eight of the 12 completions and 109 of the 124 yards were split between T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson, with Housh reeling in four for 64 yards and Chad, the other four for 45 yards. Cedric Benson and Chris Perry combined for 28 rushing yards, which was one behind Fitzpatrick’s 29 rushing yards.

49ers 10 - Bills 3

Fantasy Superman: Marshawn Lynch
Fantasy Performers: Frank Gore, Isaac Bruce, Lee Evans
Fantasy Turkeys: Trent Edwards, Rian Lindell

While the theme of Sunday seems to be one of scores painting the fantasy picture, fantasy numbers do not always go hand-in-hand with final scores. The 49ers’ 10 points reflect very little. Frank Gore rushed for 66 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards, but fumbled away the ball once. Isaac Bruce and Jason Hill each had five receptions, with Bruce scoring on a 12-yard pass and gaining a total of 67 yards, while Hill had 55 yards on the day. Other than that, Shaun Hill threw for an additional 39 yards on the day.

Buffalo’s two fantasy players performed well, despite the score. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 134 yards and like Gore, fumbled away the ball once. Lee Evans caught seven passes for 80 yards. Trent Edwards was relieved after one half where he connected on 10 of 21 for 110 yards. His replacement J.P. Losman connected on 11 of 17 for 93 yards. Neither could put the ball across the goal line and the Bills ineffectiveness on four red zone possessions limited the fantasy productivity of Lynch, Evans and Edwards.

Falcons 22 - Chargers 16

Fantasy Superman: Roddy White
Fantasy Performers: Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, LaDainian Tomlinson
Fantasy Turkeys: Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson

A repeat of four touchdowns may have been too much to ask for, but Michael Turner appeared to be happy to return the happy little border town he once called home. Turner ran for 130 yards, without a score and turned over the ball once. Roddy White also broke the 100-yard plane, going six for 116 yards, without a score. Instead, the touchdowns came on limited yardage performances from Harry Douglas and Justin Peelle. Matt Ryan passed for 207 yards and the two touchdowns.

The Chargers passing game was non-existent. Vincent Jackson saw no action with zero catches. Chris Chambers was not much better, catching only one ball for two yards. Antonio Gates led the named receivers with only three catches for 27 yards. It was Malcolm Floyd and LaDanian Tomlinsom who paved the way, each with five catches, Floyd for 59 yards and Tomlinson for 42 yards. Tomlinson also rushed for only 24 yards, but scored a touchdown. Philip Rivers passed for 149 yards and failed to score.

Chiefs 20 - Raiders 13

Fantasy Superman: Tony Gonzalez
Fantasy Performers: Larry Johnson, Justin Fargas
Fantasy Turkeys: Tyler Thigpen, Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley, Darren McFadden

The cream rose to the top in this battle of less than titans. Tony Gonzalez caught eight for 110 yards and Larry Johnson rushed 92 yards and a touchdown. Otherwise, the Chiefs did not perform well. Tyler Thigpen tossed for 162 yards, no scores, an interception and rushed for 48 yards. Dwayne Bowe had the second largest number of receptions and yardage, catching two passes for 27 yards. Mark Bradley saw nothing.

Justin Fargas put up solid numbers, rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown. Darren McFadden caught three passes for 50 yards, but was ineffective in the running game with just 13 yards and no scores. Zack Miller caught five for 79 yards and oddly not one of Jamarcus Russell’s 132 yards passing went to a single wide receiver.

Steelers 33 - Patriots 10

Fantasy Superman: Steeler Defense
Fantasy Performers: Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Willie Parker, Heath Miller, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris
Fantasy Turkeys: Matt Cassell, Randy Moss, Wes Welker

No Steeler had a fantastic game, but none fared too poorly. Ben Roethlisberger passed for two touchdowns on 179 yards and threw one interception. Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore combined for 154 yards on the ground with Parker’s 87 yards out rushing Moore by only 20 yards. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes each scored touchdowns on limited yardage, Ward catching five for 37 yards and Holmes catching two for 28 yards. Heath Miller caught four for 60 yards and Nate Washington caught three for 41 yards.

Well, after two weeks, this had to happen. The Patriot passing game ran into a steel curtain. Instead of four being a positive number for Matt Cassell, it turned negative when he threw two interceptions and fumbled away the ball twice. Depending on some league formats, Cassell may have gone negative with his 169 yards and no scores. While Randy Moss has seen the hen column before, this may be the first time I can say Wes Welker performed poorly. Both receivers had four catches, Moss gaining 45 yards and Welker only 30 yards. Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris put up similar numbers in different manners. Faulk had combined yardage of 121 yards. Morris had 57 combined yards and a touchdown.

Broncos 34 - Jets 17

Fantasy Superman: Jay Cutler, Peyton Hillis, Thomas Jones
Fantasy Performers: Eddie Royal, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Stokley, Dustin Keller
Fantasy Turkeys: Brandon Marshall, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery

Jay Cutler carved up the Jets for 357 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw one interception. Four Broncos caught five or more passes. Tony Scheffler had seven receptions for 90 yards. Eddie Royal hauled in five for 84 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Graham caught six for 59 yards. Brandon Marshall caught five for 55 yards. Even Brandon Stokely saw fantasy productivity with his two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. Peyton Hillis also flourished, rushing for 129 yards and one touchdown.

Thomas Jones had another high score outing. Jones rushed for 138 yards, caught two passes for 21 yards and scored two touchdowns. Dustin Keller continues to be Favre’s favorite target, grabbing seven more receptions for 77 yards. But, the big two were held virtually silent. Jerricho Cotchery caught four for 40, while Laveranues Coles eked out two for two yards. Leon Washington did nothing on the ground, but caught three passes for 60 yards. Brett Favre failed to score and threw one interception on 247 passing yards.

Vikings 34 - Bears 14

Fantasy Superman: Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Matt Forte
Fantasy Performers: Chester Taylor, Gus Frerotte, Devin Hester, Kyle Orton
Fantasy Turkeys: Visanthe Shiancoe

Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian hogged up most the fantasy points for the Vikings. Adrian Peterson rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, while Berrian caught four passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. In leagues rewarding bonuses for distance touchdowns, Berrian and Gus Frerotte hit the bonanza with a 99-yard hook-up. That one play made up nearly half of Frerotte’s yardage (210) and all of his touchdowns. He threw an interception as well. Chester Taylor also got into the action with 65 total yards and a touchdown.

Matt Forte continued to push his case for top rookie with his 96 rushing yards, 29 yards receiving and one touchdown. Devin Hester caught three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Orton’s 153 yards and two touchdowns were overshadowed by his three interceptions.