Another week, another flurry of epic fantasy studs and duds making the difference between fantasy glory and shame. For many players this set of games represents the semi-final match up and a chance in the championship game of their respective leagues. Let’s take a look at the performances that stood out most dramatically (good and bad) from week 15:
On the plus side…
Drew Brees, QB Saints
412 yards passing, 5 TDs
Brees had the best day in the NFL on Sunday, spreading the ball around to a host of receivers (six different players had multiple receptions) and inching closer to Dan Marino’s single season passing record. There just aren’t enough superlatives to describe his play.
Calvin Johnson, WR Lions
9 receptions, 212 yards receiving and 2 TDs
Megatron just about single handedly crushed Raiders’ fans dreams of the playoffs in leading his team back from a fourth quarter deficit to pull off the victory in the final minute. After a few weeks of mediocre numbers, Johnson reminded everyone why he is arguably the most talented wide out in the league.
Reggie Bush, RB Dolphins
25 carries, 203 yards rushing, 1 TD
Bush must have thought he was back at USC after putting up those numbers this week. Granted, it was against the spiraling Bills but nonetheless you have to give it to Reggie for proving that he can be an every down feature back in the league. As he closes in on 1,000 yards for the season he will also have significantly improved his draft stock heading into next season.
Aaron Hernandez, TE Patriots
6 Receptions, 129 yards receiving, 1 TD, 16 yards rushing
It’s kind of unfair that New England’s second tight end is better than most teams’ first options, but such is life, sometimes. Hernandez has been solid all year but it seemed like Bill Belichick was making a concerted effort to feature him against the Broncos. Not sure if that’s a trend that will continue but if it does, Hernandez has the talent to be lights out.
And as for the disappointments…
Eli Manning, QB Giants
257 yards passing, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
The Giants have been a hard team to figure all year but for the most part their quarterback has been remarkably consistent. Unfortunately, maybe Manning was due to lay a giant (no pun intended) egg and against the Redskins it finally happened. We have a feeling he will bounce back but the Giants may not rebound in time to make the playoffs.
Victor Cruz, WR Giants
5 receptions, 44 yards receiving
Who would have thought the Giants would have put up only 10 points against the Redskins? Who would have thought one of the season’s most prolific passing-receiving combos in the league would go dark at the most inopportune of times? Well, with Manning struggling it’s only logical that Cruz would suffer as well.
Percy Harvin, WR Vikings
3 receptions, 8 yards
Harvin had been coming off a string of dynamic games but the Saints made it the focus of their defense to take him out of the game. Not the game that fantasy owners were hoping for.
The Green Bay Packers
14 points scored, 325 yards of total offense.
The whole team should take the blame for this one. Facing off against a Chiefs team that many believed would be packing it in for the season, the line for this game was multiple touchdowns with experts predicting the Packers would score at least 30 points. So what happenend? Well of course the Kansas City completely stymied Green Bay’s offense and pulled off the monumental upset.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t terrible–235 yards passing, 1 TD, no interceptions and 1 rush TD–yet his numbers represented his worst game of the season.
And if you were counting on any of the other big position players for big days, forget about it. Jordy Nelson turned in a stinker, Ryan Grant was woefully average and even JerMichael Finley who led the Packers in receiving with 83 yards had multiple missed opportunities. Finley was targeted 10 times yet only had 3 receptions.
The question is, was this game an abberation for the Pack or did Kansas City expose a blueprint (read: pressure the hell out of Rodgers) for other teams to follow to take down Green Bay. Either way, should be interesting to watch.
Looking for an edge in your fantasy football experience? Get premium insights, as well as weekly updates on the latest daily fantasy freerolls and other great contests by signing up for our newsletter. Just fill out the form below to get started. It’s completely free!