NFL Football Column: The Morning After
Wilson Waltzes To Win
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Seahawks beat an opponent 58 to ought. Oh where has that team gone? This week they only won 50 to 17 over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto. How do they expect to win by averaging just 54 points a game? Wait, so you’re telling me they’re the first team to score 50 points in back to back games since 1950 (and I’m pretty sure they played with a pineapple back then). And Russell Wilson is the only rookie quarterback to ever quarterback a team to such a feat? Ok, I thought we were talking about basketball, sorry.
Wilson put up one of the best fantasy days of the season. In the first half he had three rushing touchdowns. That’s not a typo. He had zero rushing touchdowns coming into this game. We knew he could run, but if he becomes this much of a threat on the ground, alongside Marshawn Lynch, watch out.
Besides those three rushing touchdowns, he ran for 92 yards and also threw for 205 yards and another touchdown. You throw all those numbers in a pile and then run them through a fantasy points machine and you have 39 fantasy points compared to Drew Brees’ 29, and as you will see again here in a bit, Brees threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterbacks who can run and throw > Quarterbacks who can just throw. It’s simple math people!
Adrian Peterson – Can you say any more about how amazing Adrian Peterson is? Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure can. Sweet fancy Moses this guy is unbelievable. This week he faced a Rams team that was giving up just 82 rushing yards a game and 3.8 yards per carry to opposing running backs and what did he do? Oh yeah, he rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. That’s a hefty 8.8 yards per carry. So for the season he is now at 1,812 yards rushing and needs just 188 to become the seventh running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and needs 293 yards (146.5 per game) to tie Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards. And he’s averaged 164 yards rushing per game over the last eight games. So, this is not an impossible feat.
In his last eight games Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards. That is the most ever in an eight game span. Most running backs would kill for that number of yards in a 16 game season. And it’s not as if these are just garbage time yards to help pad his stats for the record. While Christian Ponder has taken a nosedive, Peterson has taken this team on his back and they are actually in the playoff picture. Their odds are long with a tough schedule to end the season, but after Percy Harvin was hurt, did anyone see this team doing anything? Ponder can’t throw the ball 20 yards (very well) and how can one great running back with no real offensive support coupled with a defense that ranks 22nd in points given up per game and 20th in yards per game, elevate a team that much? Well, he did and is. And that’s why he’s my pick for MVP through the first 14 games.
Andre Johnson – He’s had trouble getting into the end zone this season, which hurts his elite fantasy value (he’s the 8th ranked WR) but he’s still a beast of a wide receiver. This week he caught 11 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. If the Texans didn’t have a running game, he’d have numbers like this weekly.
Calvin Johnson – Even while his quarterback takes a plunge into mediocrity, Johnson still managed 10 receptions for 121 yards against a good Arizona defense. He is now at 1,667 receiving yards and needs just 182 to break Jerry Rice's record. That’s 91 yards a game and he just tied a NFL record with seven straight 100-yard receiving games. He also became the first receiver to ever have back-to-back 1,600 yard receiving seasons. And if you want to get really greedy (and I do), he needs 333 yards to hit 2,000. He’s had back-to-back games of 350, 336, and 311 yards this season.
Drew Brees – After posting a miserable line of one touchdown to seven interceptions over the last two games, Brees used and abused the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass “defense,” for 307 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He still leads the league in yards (4,335) and touchdowns (36) and is second in fantasy scoring to Tom Brady. His interceptions are up and his team isn’t going to make the playoffs, but that’s not hurting your fake team all that much.
Colin Kaepernick – After accumulating just three passing touchdowns in his first 4.5 games, Kaepernick went to Foxboro in the cold and rain and threw for four touchdowns, beating the Patriots in the process. Of course during that stretch he also ran for three touchdowns, so I’m thinking he might have won over some skeptics.
Michael Crabtree – Kaepernick helped Crabtree to seven receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Crabtree is averaging 100 yards receiving over the last three games and Kaepernick is averaging 203 yards passing during that stretch.
Julio Jones – Jones had six targets and caught all six, gaining 74 yards and scoring two touchdowns. He also ran once for 18 more yards. He’s been a little inconsistent this season, but still ranks seventh in fantasy scoring for wide receivers. His arrow is still pegged into the up direction.
Brandon Lloyd – Well, Lloyd seems to have caught on. Last week he had a good game and this week he caught 10 passes for 190 yards. He missed the end zone, but I doubt there’s going to be much crying over these numbers.
Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers had been outside of the top 12 in fantasy quarterback points over the last month, but you can’t hold Rodgers down for long. He went into Soldier Field and threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns (all to James Jones) and is now 8-2 against the Bears with a passer rating of 102.7 for his career.
Marshawn Lynch – With Russell Wilson running for three touchdowns in the first half I wondered if Marshawn Lynch would be able to put up his usual numbers, but have no fear, Beast Mode is here! On just 10 carries he managed 113 yards and a touchdown. Just think if they had needed him to run the ball more than 10 times!
Knowshon Moreno – Knowshon is benefitting greatly from Peyton Manning, but you should just take the fantasy points and run. He rushed 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown and had 119 yards rushing and a touchdown last week. He most certainly will have 117 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Browns next week. It’s science!
Heath Miller – In a land of the blind, a one-eyed Heath Miller is king. Is that how that saying goes? Not sure, but Miller is ranked third overall in tight end scoring this season and caught 7 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Miller is a good tight end, but this season has been a disaster for tight ends, which give slow and steady Miller a leg up. So he’s a turtle now? I thought he had one eye?
Aaron Hernandez – Since returning from injury three weeks ago Hernandez has 26 receptions and three touchdowns. That’s almost worth putting up with his horrible touchdown celebration.
Dennis Pitta – Pitta is back in the touchdown business of late and this week he caught seven passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. And when you look at how poorly Joe Flacco played, Pitta was the only bright spot this week for the Ravens.
Josh Freeman/Doug Martin – Muscle Hamster got caught in a vortex of Josh Freeman sucking, but he didn’t do much to pull himself out. It was just unbearable all around with Martin totaling 35 yards on 12 touches and Freeman throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns and they got shut out 41-ought by the Saints.
Ray Rice – He didn’t have one rushing attempt or target on third down under their new offensive coordinator. Remember that play in San Diego? Anyway, we can complain as much as we want (and will), but he didn’t do much of anything for your team this week in the playoffs besides make them cry (yes, your players cry).
Jamaal Charles – Charles was facing the horrible run defense of the Raiders right? And in four of his last five games he had topped 100 yards rushing, right? So why did he end up with nine rushing attempts for 10 yards? Can you riddle me that!?
David Wilson – The Giants were demolished and Wilson’s fantasy value right with them. Wilson looked great to start the game, but as the Giants got deeper into the hole, we saw more Kregg Lumpkin in shotgun/passing downs and that was all she wrote.
Ryan Mathews – He trolled us fake footballers one last time, and hard. With Ronnie Brown out, the word was Mathews would see a ton of carries and could possibly help your team if you somehow made it into the playoffs with him on your roster. Instead of doing anything worthwhile, he broke his other collarbone. Fin.
Stevan Ridley – The weather wasn’t ideal, but Ridley went on a fumble-binge and got himself fumble-benched.
Danario Alexander – Alexander had three targets and no receptions. His lowest total this season since becoming a starter was five receptions for 74 yards. I put all of the blame on Philip Rivers, rightfully.
Early Waiver Look
Fantasy MVP of Week 15: Russell Wilson
Fantasy Breakout Player of Week 15: Dennis Pitta
Fantasy Rookie of Week 15: Russell Wilson
Fantasy Disappointment of Week 15: David Wilson
Fantasy Fluke of Week 15: Mike Tolbert
3 – Number of rushing touchdowns Russell Wilson had in the first half. That’s the first time a quarterback has ever done that in the NFL.
4 – Number of 200 yard rushing games for Adrian Peterson. He has two in the last three games.
4 – Number of games James Jones has caught multiple touchdowns this season.
5 – Number of seasons Wes Welker has had 100+ receptions, a new NFL record.
6 – Number of weeks in a row Dez Bryant has caught a touchdown pass.
17 – Number of games Drew Brees has passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a game, breaking Dan Marino’s old record of 16.
34 – the number of points the Falcons scored in shutting out the Giants. That’s the worst shutout of a defending Super Bowl champion ever.
157 – Number of touchdowns Randy Moss has in his career, fourth all-time.
500 – Number of points the Patriots have scored three seasons in a row. The Rams are the only other team to accomplish that feat from ’99-’01.
@RotoPat -- We don't care what you think. @Rotoworld_FB is proud to announce Ryan Mathews is joining our staff since he's no longer playing football.
@2JZJay -- Ryan Matthews is made out of Bob Sanders.
@greggrosenthal -- the Chiefs were just mathematically eliminated from next year's playoffs.
@MoveTheSticks -- The Chiefs put up 119 total yards…Adrian Peterson has rushed for over 119 yards in 7 of his last 8 games.
@FantasyDouche -- Ray Rice fantasy owners are sitting outside Cam Cameron's house with a boombox right now. #InYourEyes
@ChrisBrownBills -- C.J. Spiller now at 1,000 rush yds on season on just 154 carries, 2nd fewest to get to 1,000 in NFL history (Beattie Feathers, 1934).
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