Monday Morning Takeaways -- Week 15 fantasysharks.com Dec 17 '12
Cincinnati 34, Philadelphia 13
In spite of the score, Andy Dalton has regressed over the past three weeks, thus hindering fantasy owners who thought they had unearthed a solid fantasy sleeper. In this game the second year signal caller struggled to accumulate a meager 127 yards and one touchdown pass. Up next for Dalton is stiff Pittsburgh pass defense. Hopefully you have better options.
Nick Foles is yet another rookie quarterback developing before our very eyes. However the production of the Philly passing game was severely hindered by seven Eagles turnovers. By game's end Jeremy Maclin had emerged as the team's leading wide receiver with 74 yards. Hard to rely on these paltry numbers with a fantasy championship in the balance.
So much for plug and play status of rookie Bryce Brown. In this game Brown contributed to the turnover woes of the Eagles with a fumble of his own that resulted in Bengals TD. With LeSean McCoy likely returning for the next two games, Brown will be relegated to a secondary role.
New York 0, Atlanta 34
Taking his first start at running back, David Wilson looked awesome early in this game picking up 44 yards on his first five carries. For some reason the Giants didn't trust the rookie in a full-time role as newly signed Kregg Lumpkin nearly matched Wilson's rushing attempts. Further inhibiting Wilson's outing was the Giants falling behind 24-0 in the early third quarter. Wilson's week 16 status is contingent on Ahmad Bradshaw's return.
Michael Turner is a risky start every week due to his high dependency on touchdowns. However, we can't argue with production as he just keeps doing it. Turner is a plug-and-pray in fantasy lineups next week against Detroit.
Green Bay 21, Chicago 13
With Greg Jennings locked down by Charles Tillman, it was James Jones prospering with three touchdowns along with Randell Cobb's 115 yards. Jones has been a conundrum all season with very sporadic production. Do not feel bad if you sat him this week, and I wouldn't blame you for sitting him next week.
Alex Green is the lead ball carrier in the Green Bay backfield with 13 rushing attempts. However, the RBBC is alive and well as Ryan Grant, DuJuan Harris and John Kuhn all took carries. No Packers runner is recommended.
Matt Forte proves he is a solid RB1 value when the Bears are absent Michael Bush. With a plus matchup forthcoming with the Arizona Cardinals, Forte is a solid RB1 so long as Bush remains hobbled.
Washington 38, Cleveland 21
Minus dynamic playmaker Robert Griffin III, the Redskins turned to fellow rookie Kurt Cousins to lead the team. The eighth rookie quarterback to start a game this season (don't forget about Ryan Lindley), Cousins was beyond impressive in a must-win completing 26-of-37 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns, both landing in the hands of Leonard Hankerson.
Trent Richardson looks to be losing steam as the rookie may have hit the wall averaging under 4.0 yards per carry for five straight weeks. He did score twice in this matchup from inside the five. Temper your expectations as goal line looks will be hard to come by next week facing Denver.
The Cleveland passing game went stagnant for much of this game as the Redskins held quarterback Brandon Weeden to 244 yards and one touchdown while forcing two interceptions. Facing Denver's 13th ranked pass defense next week, it's best to sit everyone in a Browns jersey not named Trent Richardson.
Minnesota 36, St. Louis 22
As always, we type one name in this space every week, Adrian Peterson. He's nothing short of amazing, putting the Vikings entire team on his back and having them squarely in playoff contention. Peterson gets my vote for MVP.
Danny Amendola is a near must start when healthy. He proved that once again hauling in six of his 12 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown. Beyond Amendola (high WR3), it's hard to know which Rams receiving threat to trust anymore.
Jacksonville 3, Miami 24
Despite the struggles of quarterback Chad Henne (221 yards, zero touchdowns), both Justin Blackmon (six receptions, 93 yards) and Cecil Shorts (six receptions, 101 yards) had a solid fantasy outing. Blackmon's day could have went beast mode after a would be touchdown was called back by a penalty. New England will be visiting Jacksonville next week relegating Shorts to a mid-WR3 with Blackmon a low-end WR3.
Montell Owens received his second straight start in the Jags backfield. Owens had a respectable 11 rushes for 47 yards. Hindering Owens production was a strong Miami rush defense along with the Jags being forced into an aerial attack after falling behind. Up next is the Patriots in a game that should once again relegate Owens to a mid-RB3.
After a full blown RBBC for much of the season, Reggie Bush has inexplicably taken control of this Fins rushing attack over the past two weeks. Against the Jags, Bush capitalized on his 21 rushes for 104 yards highlighted by a 53-yard gallop. With Daniel Thomas suddenly excluded from the Dolphins game plan, Bush is finally living up to his RB2 status and will retain such value next week against Buffalo.
Tampa Bay 41, New Orleans 0
Holy blowout Batman! A mess, a disaster, a travesty; all words that can be used to describe Josh Freeman and the Bucs offense of late. With New Orleans jumping out to a quick 17-0 lead, the Bucs were pushed into a one dimensional attack as the Saints squashed the Bucs with four interceptions and one fumble recovery. Freeman's inefficiencies with the football killed the fantasy value of all Tampa Bay players. Especially Doug Martin, who ended the day with 16 yards on nine carries in what was touted as a plus matchup (ouch). Further inhibiting the Muscle Hamster were the Saints taking a page out of the Broncos' playbook loading up the box with eight defenders. Nothing we can do as Martin is a must-start RB1 every week.
Mark Ingram had a surprise game delivering 90 yards rushing capped off by a game ending 11-yard touchdown. With a banged and battered Dallas defensive line up next, Ingram suddenly has very low end RB2 status should you need assistance.
Denver 34, Baltimore 17
The Broncos proved too much for the Ravens in all three phases. The only shift in power from the Broncos offense was the resurgence of Eric Decker along with the regressions of Demaryius Thomas. Thomas owners need not worry as it was just that kind of day.
Dennis Pitta did show up in junk time pulling down 125 yards and two touchdowns with the game out of reach. Pitta's recent surge is the benefit of Dennis Dickson's absence as the Baltimore tight end would be a lower TE1 facing the Giants next week.
It's worth noting that Torrey Smith was forced out of the game after sustaining a concussion. The league mandated concussion protocol will require a series of tests before allowing him to return next week. Make sure to watch those practice reports.
Indianapolis 17, Houston 29
Early in the game, the Colts were content utilizing an RBBC giving the newly resigned Mewelde Moore most of the carries in their second possession. Moore ended the drive with a critical fumble at the goal line. Ballard was then given the load the rest of the way proving he is a solid fantasy producer accumulating 105 yards on 18 carries against the league's number one ranked rush defense. Hopefully the Colts learned their lesson as Ballard warrants mid-RB2 starter consideration next week facing Kansas City.
As for the Colts passing game, after getting embarrassed on Monday Night, the Texans came to play limiting Andrew Luck to 186 yards passing and two touchdowns. We should note 61 of those yards came on a touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton taking advantage of busted coverage. Otherwise, a very slow outing.
You know the drill. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. But what about Owen Daniels you ask? He's certainly fallen off of late with one touchdown over the past five games and only topping six fantasy points once in that same stretch. The Texans simply aren't using Daniels down the seam, while the red zone looks have dried up. However, averaging just over seven targets per game puts Daniels in the lower TE1 range. He's only worth sitting if you have a much better option.
Seattle 50, Buffalo 17
My name is Russell Wilson and I'm here to stay. Ok, so his game was a bit fluky, but fantasy owners who went out on a limb and started the rookie in a plus matchup won't complain. Up next is the real test as the mighty 49ers roll into the Emerald City. Only Marshawn Lynch will receive starter consideration for the Seattle offense.
C.J. Spiller proved that when given the load it doesn't matter which defense he's playing. Squared off against the eighth ranked Seattle rush defense, Spiller racked up 103 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. With Fred Jackson gone for the season, Spiller is a must start solid RB1 regardless of matchup.
Detroit 10, Arizona 38
So much for the increased role of Tony Scheffler with Brandon Pettigrew now absent. Despite 50 pass attempts from Stafford, Detroit's newest starting tight end was targeted just seven times. He could have helped the cause had he not dropped a 30-yard pass in the fourth quarter. In what should be a track meet against Atlanta next weekend, and playing on the league's most pass heavy offense,, Scheffler still has intriguing low-TE1 appeal
Raise your hand if you had Beanie Wells scoring three touchdowns in this game? Keep your hand up if you had the Arizona defense scoring two touchdowns. That's how weird this game was. Unfortunately the Cards will face the Bears next week as Wells remains a low end RB3.
Carolina 31, San Diego 7
This game was all Carolina as the Panthers dominated time of possession managing the clock and shutting down the Chargers...