Week 16, Championship Week in many leagues, turned out to be the
week of the tight end. Perhaps the argument could be made that
cold weather breed shorter passing routes. However, some of the
biggest performances by tight ends this week came in warmer weather
and domed stadiums. This just happened to be the week that having
the right tight end could have pushed you over the edge and into
a fantasy championship. Four tight ends had over 100 yards on
the day and three crossed the goal line twice. Only Visanthe Shiancoe
did both, making him fantasy player of the week.
Falcons 24 - Vikings 17
Fantasy Superman: Tarvaris Jackson, Visanthe Shiancoe
Fantasy Performers: Michael Turner
Fantasy Hens: Roddy
Atlanta may have scored 24 points, but its offensive production
was stymied and held under 250 yards. The offense scored only
two of the three touchdowns, one of which came from Jerious Norwood,
who only had 21 combined yards. Michael Turner scored the other
touchdown on 70 yards total rushing. Roddy White may have been
one of the best fantasy receivers this year, but on championship
Sunday, he laid a big egg with only three catches for 24 yards.
Matt Ryan threw for one touchdown without an interception, but
he only passed for 134 yards.
Meanwhile, the losing Vikings posted some large fantasy numbers.
Four untimely turnovers caused the Vikings not to cross the goal
line, unless Visanthe Shiancoe caught the ball. Shiancoe had a
monster game, hauling in seven catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
If someone told me that the Vikings rushed for 155 yards, I would
have expected the typical game from Adrian Peterson and Chester
Taylor. But it was not. Adrian Peterson could not even out rush
his quarterback as both he and Tarvaris Jackson rushed for 76
yards. Taylor rushed for only three yards. Peterson also fumbled
away the ball once. In formats that score a point for every 25
passing yards and a point for every 10 rushing yards, Jackson
also had a monster games, which even his two fumbles could not
derail, as he rushed for 76 yards, and passed for 233 yards and
two touchdowns. Outside of Visanthe Shiancoe however, no receiver
had a game to brag about. Bernard Berrian was a huge letdown with
just two catches for 18 yards and a fumble.
Colts 31 - Jaguars 24
Fantasy Superman: Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark,
David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew, Dennis Northcutt
Fantasy Performers: Dominic
Fantasy Hens: Anthony Gonzalez
Thursday evening started the championship week off with a bang.
20-plus point fantasy performances seemed to be the standard,
not the ceiling. Peyton Manning led the game with 364 yards and
three touchdowns. Reggie Wayne is finishing up strong with seven
catches for 108 yards and a 41-yard touchdown. Dallas Clark caught
eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Even though the Colts
could only muster 32 yards rushing between three running backs,
Dominick Rhodes had an effective fantasy game as he added six
catches, 62 yards and a touchdown to his 27 rushing yards. In
Marvin Harrison’s absence, some shrewd fantasy managers
may have expected Anthony Gonzalez to come up big. Instead, Gonzalez
caught only four passes for 38 yards.
Not to be outdone by one of the best quarterbacks, David Garrard
passed for 329 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and rushed
for 9 yards and a touchdown. Maurice Jones-Drew failed to score,
but nevertheless rushed for 91 yards and caught seven passes for
71 yards, keeping him amongst the elite end of the season running
backs. During the first 14 weeks of the season, Dennis Northcutt’s
best game was a 49-yard, no touchdown performance. In week 16,
Northcutt posted his second straight 100-yard and touchdown performance,
with eight catches for 101 yards. Marcedes Lewis had six catches
for 55 yards.
Ravens 33 - Cowboys 24
Fantasy Superman: Le’Ron
Fantasy Performers: Derrick
Fantasy Hens: Marion Barber
Over 56 minutes into the game, the Ravens total offensive production
barely exceeded 250 yards. In the blink of the eye, Willis McGahee
and Le’Ron McClain became fantasy relevant with 159 yards
rushing in just two plays. McClain and McGahee posted nearly identical
numbers with McClain rushing for 139 yards and an 82-yard touchdown,
while McGahee rushed for 108 yards, a 77-yard touchdown and caught
three passes for 21 yards. Derrick Mason went satanic with six
catches for 66 yards and six points. Joe Flacco may be winning
some big games, but fantasy-wise, Flacco threw for only 149 yards
and a touchdown.
Tony Romo passed for 252 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
You worried that you had to replace Marion Barber with Tashard
Choice and you were forced to run out the rookie against one of
the toughest run defenses. Choice failed to get the message that
e was supposed to have a bad day. Choice rushed for 90 yards,
a touchdown and caught seven passes for 25 yards. Jason Witten
and Terrell Owens each caught five passes for a touchdown, Witten
for 87 yards and Owens for 63 yards. Marion Barber only saw three
touches and did not break the 10-yard barrier.
Dolphins 38 - Chiefs 31
Fantasy Superman: Chad Pennington, Anthony Fasano, Tyler Thigpen.
Fantasy Performers: Ricky
Ginn, Jr., Tony
Fantasy Hens: Ronnie Brown, Dwayne Bowe
The Dolphins could not tell the difference between a running
back and a wide receiver. They rushed for 168 yards, passed for
235 yards and no one player produced more than 57 yards in the
capacity of solely rushing or solely receiving. The Dolphins’
number one rusher was Patrick Cobbs with only two carries for
44 yards. Cobbs was followed by Ricky Williams, who rushed for
34 yards, a touchdown, fumbled once and caught six passes for
50 yards. Ronnie Brown rushed for 32 yards and caught five passes
for 21 yards. Ted Ginn, Jr. rushed for 31 yards, a touchdown and
caught four for 44 yards. The only ineffective rusher on the day
was Chad Pennington, who went negative. However, Pennington would
have been a very good start with 235 passing yards, three touchdowns
and one pick. The number one receiver in catches and yardage was
Davone Bess, who caught six passes for 57 yards. Anthony Fasano
figured that it just was not worth catching the ball unless he
scored. Two of Fasano’s three catches for 47 yards went
Tyler Thigpen threw the ball away three times, but he still posted
big fantasy numbers with 320 yards, two touchdowns in the air
and one on the ground. Larry Johnson rushed for 108 yards and
a touchdown. Jamaal Charles could not run the ball, but a 75-yard
reception put Charles just over 100 yards on three catches. Devard
Darling caught three passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Tony
Gonzalez remained consistent with seven catches for 64 yards and
a touchdown. Dwayne Bowe only caught three passes for 28 yards.
Chargers 41 - Buccaneers 24
Fantasy Superman: Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson,
Jeff Garcia, Antonio Bryant
Fantasy Performers: LaDainian
Fantasy Hens: Chris
Philip Rivers enjoyed another big game, passing for 287 yards
and four touchdowns. Vincent Jackson has had a solid second half
of the season. On Sunday, he caught seven passes for 111 yards.
Conversely, Chris Chambers started off the season on fire, but
has been closing poorly, with just two catches for 27 yards on
Sunday. Before breaking out against Kansas City last week, Antonio
Gates averaged 20 yards a game, without a score, over a four week
span. On Sunday, Gates made up for a five week touchdown drought
with two touchdowns on four catches of 43 yards. LaDanian Tomlinson
combined rushing and receiving for 110 yards and Darren Sproles
caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Antonio Bryant just may be the best wide receiver over the last
three weeks. This week, Bryant caught six passes for 127 yards
and a 71-yard touchdown. His quarterback, Jeff Garcia, threw for
232 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and rushed for 45
yards and a touchdown. Garcia’s 45 rushing yards outpaced
his running backs, with Warrick Dunn rushing for 20 yards and
Carnell Williams rushing for 27 yards.
Oakland 27 - Houston 16
Fantasy Superman: JaMarcus
Fantasy Performers: Justin
Lee Higgins, Zach
Fantasy Hens: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter
They waited until week 16, but finally, the Raiders team joined
Zach Miller above the Hens line. Jamarcus Russell passed for 236
yards and two touchdowns without turning the ball over. Justin
Fargas rushed for 93 yards. Darren McFadden rushed for 46 yards
and caught five passes for 41 yards. Zach Miller caught four passes
for 70 yards. Johnnie Lee Higgins caught three for 56 yards and
one touchdown and Chaz Schilens caught three for 52 yards and
a touchdown. Now for the tough question. Who made it to the championship
game with one of these players not named Zach on their team?
Matt Schaub passed for 255 yards and yet neither of his top two
receivers performed. Andre Johnson, the number one fantasy wide
receiver came up empty on the biggest day of the fantasy season,
catching only two passes for 19 yards. Kevin Walter was right
behind him with two catches for 17 yards. Most of Schaub’s
passes were caught by tight end Owen Daniels, who nabbed seven
for 111 yards. Steve Slaton rushed for 66 yards and caught five
passes for 36 yards.
Bills 30 -Broncos 23
Fantasy Superman: Fred Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler,
Fantasy Performers: Josh Reed, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards
Fantasy Hens: Lee Evans, P.J. Pope
The Bills number one running back on Sunday was Fred Jackson.
On the ground, Jackson fared better than Lynch, rushing for 43
yards and a touchdown, to Lynch’s 34 yards and a touchdown. Jackson
also caught three passes for 70 yards. Trent Edwards passed for
193 yards and a touchdown. Josh Reed was Edwards’ favorite target,
nabbing nine passes for 79 yards. Lee Evans caught only two passes
for 19 yards. Edwards only touchdown was hauled in by 7th round
rookie Steve Johnson on a three-yarder.
Sure Mike Shanahan loves his running backs. On Sunday however,
the Broncos top running backs were a rookie wide receiver and
its quarterback. P.J. Pope was not the replacement for Peyton
Hillis owners with his 44 yards rushing. Jay Cutler was. Cutler
passed for 359 and while he could not find the end zone in the
air, Cutler rushed for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Marshall
and Eddie Royal had virtually identical numbers, with Marshall
doing it all in the passing attack on 10 catches for 129 yards.
Royal only caught five passes for 57 yards and ran once for 71
yards. The Denver tight ends, Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler
each caught two to three balls for over 50 yards.
49ers 17 - Rams 16
Fantasy Superman: Shaun Hill
Fantasy Performers: Isaac
Fantasy Hens: DeShaun
Shaun Hill would not have been a bad pick-up for championship
Sunday. Hill passed for 216 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions,
while rushing for 45 yards. Hill’s 45 yards was more than
DeSean Foster and Michael Robinson combined. Foster rushed for
36 yards (and caught two passes for 17 yards) and Robinson only
rushed for 2 yards. Isaac Bruce scored a touchdown on seven catches
for 61 yards. Josh Morgan scored a touchdown on two catches for
Steven Jackson rushed for 108 yards and caught two passes for
11 yards. Marc Bulger threw for 227 yards, a touchdown and one
Holt had four receptions for 55 yards.
Patriots 47 - Cardinals 7
Fantasy Superman: Matt
Fantasy Performers: Sammy
Fantasy Hens: Tim Hightower, Steve Breaston, Kurt Warner
In the freezing cold snow flurries of Gillette Stadium, one would
think that with a 31-point lead at the end of the first half,
the Patriots would be happy to run the ball the entire second
half and get into the warm spa treatments as soon as possible.
But it was not. Instead, Matt Cassell ended a day in horrible
conditions with 345 passing yards, three touchdowns and 19 yards
rushing. Randy Moss waited until the second half to make his first
catch of the day for 76 yards and a touchdown. Moss ended the
day with just one more catch for 11 yards. Wes Welker made one
of the greatest snow angels in fantasy football history, but it
was his seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown that pleased
Wes Welker managers. Jabar Gaffney turned in a solid performance
with five catches for 90 yards. Each of the running backs joined
the mix. Sammy Morris rushed for 88 yards and caught two passes
for 45 yards. Lamont Jordan rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
caught three passes fir 27 yards and a touchdown.
You got to the fantasy finals on the arm of your MVP quarterback
Kurt Warner and his 4290 yards and 26 touchdowns. You woke up
to read the weather reports and you knew you were in trouble.
Did you bench him? Hopefully so. Because Warner passed for just
30 yards. The only favor Anquan Boldin did managers was letting
them know before game day that he would be sitting. Like Randy
Moss, Larry Fitzgerald had no business being in a 47-0 fourth
quarter blow-out in a freezing cold snow flurry, with no play-off
implication on the line. But for those managers with Larry Fitzgerald
on their squad, they are kissing the ground on which Ken Wisenhunt
walks. With only 6:17 on the clock, Fitzgerald’s two catch
23-yard day turned into a three catch, 101-yard, one touchdown
day. Other than Fitzgerald, the Cardinals could only rush for
44 yards, Edgerrin James gaining 19 yards and Tim Hightower 17
yards. In the air, 67 additional yards were split between six
players, with Jerheme Urban gaining 36 yards and Steve Breaston
Bengals 14 - Browns 0
Fantasy Superman: Cedric Benson
Fantasy Performers: Jamal Lewis
Fantasy Hens: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick,
Ken Dorsey, Braylon Edwards
One did not have to see this game to observe how bad the weather
conditions must have been in Ohio. Ken Dorsey was the leading
quarterback in yardage, throwing for 68 yards. He also led in
interceptions with three of them. Jamal Lewis rushed for 76 yards.
Braylon Edwards only caught four passes for 35 yards.
Managers who selected Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh can
rest assured that their seasons are over and next year’s draft
will not likely include a Bengal. Chad Johnson did not play on
Sunday. Nor for that matter did any Bengal other than Cedric Benson
who rushed for 171 yards, but failed to score. Benson also fumbled.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 55 yards only found three receivers, the most
prolific being Chris Henry, whose one catch went for 20 yards
and a touchdown.
Titans 31 - Steelers 14
Fantasy Superman: Justin
Fantasy Performers: Chris
Fantasy Hens: Willie
Rookie running backs are like children at Christmas. You just
can’t tell them not to open it up and expect them to listen. Like
Tashard Choice, Chris Johnson went up against a tough run defense,
the toughest run defense. A 50-60 yard day would be a pleasant
sight. Like Tashard Choice, Johnson did not care that he was playing
the Steelers. Johnson rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown. LenDale
White also scored a touchdown on 48 yards rushing. Justin Gage
returned with a big game catching five passes for 104 yards and
a touchdown. Kerry Collins passed for 216 yards and a touchdown.
Even with Albert Haynesworth out of the Titan line-up, the Steelers
rushing woes continue. Willie Parker rushed for 29 yards and Mewelede
Moore rushed for 28 yards. Ben Roethlisberger could have had a
monster day with two touchdowns on 331 yards passing. But Roethlisberger
turned the ball over four times, twice in the air and twice on
the ground. Hines Ward caught seven passes for 109 yards and one
touchdown. Santonio Holmes caught five for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Heath Miller led the team in receptions with eight, but did not
score and went for 69 yards.
Redskins 10 - Eagles 3
Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Clinton Portis, Brian Westbrook, L.J. Smith
Fantasy Hens: Chris Cooley, Santana Moss, Donovan McNabb,
The odds are that Clinton Portis killed your chances to get into
the championship game with three straight poor performances, but
if you were still in it on Sunday, Portis was the only Redskin
worthy of note as he rushed for 70 and a touchdown and caught
one pass for 11 yards. Santana Moss may have caught five passes,
but only went for 28 yards, the same number of yards as Chris
Cooley put up, on four catches. Jason Campbell had a yawner with
144 yards passing, 28 yards rushing and no scores or turnovers.
Sunday morning went well for your championship and you were heading
into the afternoon with Donovan McNabb or Brian Westbrook, thinking
all you need was a decent afternoon. The Eagles were in the play-off
run and the Cowboys opened the door for them. Confidence was high.
Three hours later, you were cursing Reggie Brown as he went 17
yards, instead of 17 yards and one inch. McNabb, who averaged
nearly 250 yards and 2 1/3 touchdowns a game over the prior three
weeks, passed for only 230 yards, no touchdowns and fumbled the
ball once. Brian Westbrook posted six touchdowns in weeks 13 and
14. Westbrook failed to post number one running back numbers in
the final two weeks, as he rushed for only 49 yards, caught six
passes for 71 yards and scored no touchdowns. In points per reception
leagues, L.J. Smith put up decent numbers with seven catches for
49 yards and Reggie Brown had four catches for 47 yards.
Seahawks 13 - Jets 3
Fantasy Superman: Maurice Morris
Fantasy Performers: John Carlson, Bobby Engram, Jerricho Cotchery
Fantasy Hens: Deion
Maurice Morris saw the bulk of the action, carrying the ball
29 times for 116 yards. John Carlson only caught two passes for
12 yards, but his touchdown turned in a decent performance for
a tight end. Bobby Engram had six catches for 65 yards and Deion
Branch only gained six yards on two catches. Seneca Wallace rushed
for negative yards, but he had 175 yards passing with a touchdown
and no turnovers.
Hopefully, Brett Favre’s selection to the Pro Bowl did
not dupe you into playing Favre in your championship match-up.
The snow made Favre look his age as he threw for only 187 yards,
no touchdowns and two interceptions. Favre’s primary wide
receivers performed decently, as Jerricho Cotchery roped in six
catches for 81 yards and Laveranues Coles caught five for 60 yards.
Thomas Jones may have carried you to the Promised Land, but once
there, he failed to deliver much, rushing for only 67 yards.
Saints 42 - Lions 7
Fantasy Superman: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas,
Fantasy Performers: Deuce
Fantasy Hens: Jeremy Shockey, Lance Moore
The Saints feasted on the Lions defense. Drew Brees threw for
351 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns were hauled in by
Marques Colston who caught nine passes for 99 yards. In typical
fashion, Devery Henderson caught two passes for 96 yards. Jeremy
Shockey and Lance Moore only reached the mid-30’s in yardage and
both failed to score. Instead, the other four touchdowns were
spread evenly in the ground game. Pierre Thomas got one touchdown,
rushing for 77 yards and catching three passes for 26 yards. Deuce
McAllister rushed for one touchdown on 61 yards. Mike Bell rushed
for 26 yards and a touchdown. Robert
Meachem scored on a 20-yard run as well.
Kevin Smith has quietly had a strong second half of the season,
rushing for 579 yards in the last seven games. Smith tallied 111
of those yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Calvin Johnson
pulled down four catches for 64 yards.
Giants 34 - Panthers 28
Fantasy Superman: Derrick Ward, Brandon Jacobs, DeAngelo Williams
Fantasy Performers: Kevin
Fantasy Hens: Steve
Derrick Ward rushed for 215 yards! This has to be the first time
in the history of fantasy football that a running back rushed
for 215 yards in one performance and was only the third best fantasy
running back in the same game. Brandon Jacobs ran for a fraction
of the yards (87), but he ended up in the end zone three times.
Surprisingly, the Giants 300-plus yards on the ground were not
a spoiler for the passing game. Eli Manning passed for 181 yards
and a touchdown, without a turnover. Domenik Hixon reeled in four
catches for 71 yards and Kevin Boss had a touchdown on five catches
for 46 yards.
If you played against DeAngelo Williams during your fantasy play-offs,
you’re probably not reading this by now. If you have DeAngelo
Williams on your fantasy team, you are professing your man-love
right about now as he seems to love bringing fantasy teams out
of the depths of despair in night games with crushing performances.
On Sunday night, DeAngelo punched out four touchdowns on 108 yards
rushing. Unfortunately for the Jonathan Stewart managers, Stewart
could not follow-up the Giants one-two punch of Ward and Jacobs,
as he rushed for only 29 yards and caught three passes for 28
yards. Steve Smith laid a fantasy egg for the first time during
the play-offs, catching only three passes for 47 yards. Muhsin
Muhammed caught four passes for 80 yards.