Week 15 is the second week of the fantasy football playoffs, and boy has it been a doozy so far. We had a QB do something with his legs that had never been done before. There is a running back who has a legitimate shot at the all-time single season mark after another 200 yard effort. A wide receiver became the first ever to record 1,600 yards in back-to-back seasons. We also saw a tight end go for 125 yards and two scores, that from a guy who hadn't been over 50 yards since Week 3. On the downside, honestly, there were so many stars that failed to perform even admirably that there are going to be a heaping helping of people crying in their soup as Week 15 is shaping up to be the most disappointing of the fantasy season for so many of those players you trusted on a weekly basis.
Vick Ballard was impressive against a strong Texans defense as he ripped off a couple of nice runs on his way to 105 yards in 18 carries. Foolishly the coaching staff removed Ballard in favor of the recently signed Mewelde Moore who fumbled the ball when given a goaline carry. Why the coaching staff removed Ballard is a mystery to me.
Sam Bradford finally looked like a #1 QB in Week 15 as he carved up the Vikings defense with his best outing of the year. Bradford completed 35 passes for 377 yards and three scores (the yards were a career best). Amazing how much better a QB can be when his WR1 is on the field (Danny Amendola returned from missing multiple games to catch a score on his six receptions for 58 yards).
It's almost boring to note, but Drew Brees was once again impressive throwing for 307 yards and four scores against the Bucs. He also didn't throw an interception.
I guess Dallas Clark was a “stud” after catching eight balls. I'll ask this though. How do you catch eight passes an only gain 42 yards?
Kudos to Kirk Cousins who looked great Sunday in his first NFL start. Cousins completed 26 of his 37 passes for 329 yards and two scores (he also was picked off once). RGIII is fully expected to return in Week 16. Maybe there is something to this Shanahan guy being an offensive genius?
Eric Decker welcome back to the world of the living. Decker caught eight balls for 133 yards an a score as he was seemingly everywhere. That gives Decker 16 receptions and 221 yards the past two weeks after a stretch that saw him catch 10 balls for 119 yards from Week 10-13.
Leonard Hankerson should have been nowhere near your fantasy lineup, especially with RGIII on the sidelines. If you stupidly played Hankerson, good for you. He only caught two balls for 56 yards, but both were touchdowns.
Andre Johnson started slowly this season but he has put an end to the debate about whether or not he is still an elite receiver in this league. Johnson dominated the Colts catching 11 balls for 151 yards an a score. He's a top-5 WR this season who only is missing the numerous trips to the end zone needed to be the elite of the elite (he's only caught four touchdown passes this season). Teammate Arian Foster also went over 150 yards as he carried the ball 27 times for 165 yards. Oddly, he didn't score while racking up all those yards.
Calvin Johnson tied the NFL record with a 7th straight game of 100 receiving yards (Michael Irvin and Charley Hennigan) as he caught 10 balls for 121 yards in the Lions' loss to become the first receiver ever to go over 1,600 yards in back-to-back seasons.
James Jones, out of nowhere mind you, caught three scoring passes from Aaron Rodgers (overall he caught five balls for 60 yards). This is the 4th game of the 2012 season in which Jones has scored at least twice.
I don't know many who would have had Mark Ingram active, but if you somehow did you got an excellent outing from the youngster who ran the ball 14 times for 90 yards against the Bucs elite run D.
Marshawn Lynch had his second straight 100-yard game, and he scored the the third straight week. Amazingly, Lynch has gone over 100 yards in each of his last two games even though he has a total of 21 carries in those two games.
Darren McFadden looked sharp as he ran for 110 yards against the Chiefs even if it took him 30 carries (he also caught four balls for 39 yards). Teammate Mike Goodson ran for 89 yards of his own on just 13 carries.
I really don't get the Broncos at all. Knowshon Moreno was a healthy scratch at some points this season, but since Willis McGahee went down with an injury Moreno has looked like an elite runner. Not only did he hurdle Ed Reed at one point, but he carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards and a score. Amazingly, Moreno is also averaging more than 25 touches a week over the past four games.
Alfred Morris, for the 12th time in 14 games, eclipsed 75 rushing yards as he posted 87 yards on a huge 27 carries with RGIII on the sidelines. In addition to the yards Morris got into the end zone, twice. His total of nine rushing scores is a Redskins' rookie record.
Dennis Pitta's performance this season has been all over the place. Coming into Week 15 Pitta has one game of 50 yards since Week 3 of the NFL season, so of course he went out and caught seven balls for 125 yards. He also scored twice, something he had never done before in his NFL career.
Christian Ponder threw for 131 yards and no scores in Week 15. That's three straight weeks in which Ponder's passing yardage total has been less than Adrian Peterson's rushing total. AD, arguably the most dominating offensive player in football, ran all over the Rams on his way to 212 yards on 24 carries (he punched one of those totes into the end zone as he ran for more than 200 yards for the second time in three games). Peterson is amazing. Ponder is impossibly awful having failed to throw for 175 yards in six of his last eight games.
Tony Romo carved up an impressive Steelers' defense thrown for 341 yards, two scores and no interceptions as he completed 30 of 42 passes.
Russell Wilson became the first QB in NFL history to run for three scores in the first half of a game (his first three rushing scores of the year). He obviously became the first to ever run for three, and throw for one, in the first half of a game as well. He passed for 205 yards and ran for 92 yards in a dynamic fantasy performance.
Welcome back to game action Cecil Shorts. In his first game back from a concussion Shorts caught six balls on his way to 101 receiving yards.
Michael Turner scored against the Giants. That gives him a touchdown in 5-straight games.
Beanie Wells was on my bench. Was he on yours too? The 17 carries for 67 yards would have made the decision to sit him palatable. When you look to the right of those numbers and see a three in the TD column, all the good will disappears.
DeAngelo Williams had a big day with 22 carries for 93 yards. He would have had a huge day if Mike Tolbert hadn’t vultured two short TD runs from him.
Thanks a bunch Denario Alexander for single handedly killing everyone this week. The Chargers couldn't move the football all day against Carolina and Alexander was held without a single reception. He got bubkus. The Black Unicorn for one catch and 15 yards. Damn you Martellus Bennett. At least he caught a ball. Anquan Boldin didn't catch a single one of the six targets thrown to him.
Jamaal Charles ran for 10 yards... on nine carries in a showing by the Chiefs offense that was so pathetic it defies explanation. They didn't even get a first down in the first half – against the defense that entered the game allowing more points per game than any in football. Charles failed to generate 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time since Week 9.
Marques Colston was limited to three measly targets. At least he caught all three for 60 yards.
I've been warning people about Josh Freeman for weeks now, and he continues to let down his owners in the fantasy playoffs. Freeman threw for 279 yards in Week 15, but that was it. He didn't toss a single score and was intercepted four times by an awful Saints' defense (every interception was in the red zone). This is about as bad a showing as anyone could possibly have expected heading into the game.
After 4-straight solid games Josh Gordon wet the bed catching three balls for 37 yards. He was targeted eight times.
Eli Manning was awful in Week 15 against the Falcons. He completed just 16 passes, threw the ball only 25 times, and wasn't able to hit 165 yards passing. He was without Victor Cruz for a bit (concussion testing that he passed), but that doesn't really excuse Manning who didn't throw for a score while being picked off two times. Eli's older brother, Peyton Manning, also had a very disappointing effort as he threw for 204 yards and one score. That gives him back-to-back weeks with only one passing score, the first time that has happened this season.
Doug Martin certainly sank the battleship of many of his owners in Week 15 with a pathetic effort of 16 yards on nine carries. The Bucs' offense was just a mess all day both through the air and on the ground. It also didn't help that Drew Brees was carving up the Bucs' defense forcing the Buccaneers to go pass heavy in the game.
Ryan Mathews... oh hell you don't even need the numbers anymore. All you need to know is that after breaking his left collarbone before the season started his 201 season will be bookened by a broken right collarbone that he suffered in Week 15.
Brandon Myers sucked wind for a second straight week with two receptions for 15 yards. So much for him being a TE1.
Ray Rice came up... small. So much for the change at OC making a difference in his workload. Yes they fell behind by 28 points and had to pass, but Rice needs to see the ball more than 15 times, doesn't he? He ran for 38 yards and caught three balls for an additional three yards.
Matthew Stafford was picked off three times, didn't throw for a score, and had just 246 yards passing. Ugly, especially when you consider that two of the interceptions went for pick-6's.
Demaryius Thomas, a top-5 WR this season, let his owners down at the worst time with a dreadful four reception, 13 yard outing. You can still trust him as a WR1 next week, that is if his effort this weekend didn't sink your fantasy club.
Reggie Wayne has been an WR1 all season long. Like so many others though, Week 15 was a bitter disappointment. Wayne caught three balls for 14 yards against the stout Texans defense. This was his 62nd straight games with at least three catches, an NFL record, but it was also his first game under 51 yards this season.
Roddy White was less than 100 percent with a knee situation, but pretty much everyone who owned him started him when it was announced that he was playing. Hopefully you didn't hear the news and had him on the bench. White caught just two balls for 16 yards in a dreadful fantasy performance.
I warned people all week not to believe the 'David Wilson is an RB1 this week' hype. Did you listen to me or everyone else? You probably listened to everyone else so hopefully you are happy with the 12 runs for 55 yards and the one catch for another 11 that Wilson put up against the Falcons.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT and Friday's at 9p-12a EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answer everyone's questions.
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