Most fantasy football leagues are down to the last week, and your favorite NFL team has just 4 more games to play this season.
Will the Saints QB break Dan Marino’s record?
Will the Packers go undefeated?
Will the 49ers not blow it at the end?
Will the Colts win the Suck for Andrew Luck contest?
You’re less than a month away from all the answers, my friends.
- Drew Brees – He’s breen great all year, and is on track to overcome Dan Marino, getting back what he couldn’t do in 2008. Brees completed 24-of-38 passes for 363 yards and four touchdowns and added one rush for an eight-yard touchdown Monday against the Giants. Drew was masterful as the Saints racked up nearly 600 total yards of offense against a Giants’ squad that is in shambles right now. Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore both hauled in two touchdowns from Brees, as the Saints rolled. Dan Marino’s single season passing record is in jeopardy again, as Brees will look to stay hot against a Lions’ team that will be without Ndamukong Suh in Week 13. Drew Brees is the 2nd overall QB after his season best 36 point game.
- Tom Brady – Tom Bieber completed 24-of-34 passes for 361 yards with three touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Eagles. He also ran five times for 28 yards. Brady and the 8-3 Patriots face the 0-11 Colts this week, which is a game that could get out of hand early if New England comes out of the gate strong, something that didn’t happen Sunday against the Eagles. You may see Brady sit and the ground game get into action by halftime. Tom Brady ranks at #4 and scored 28 points for his owners.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – The ivy league school boy was 26 of 39 for 264 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Jets. He tossed three touchdowns and no interceptions and finished with a 111.5 rating. This was the best fantasy game Fitz has had since Week 3 against the Patriots. It was nice to see the passing game clicking again, though you shouldn’t go too overboard in thinking he’s going to produce like this the rest of the way, as he did at the beginning of the season. Weather will become an issue where Fitzpatrick’s below average arm will pose a problem, and this team still has a number of injury issues on offense. Still, as Sunday shows, this team still throws the ball enough and he’s a capable enough QB to put up decent days as a spot starter. this Bills quarterback is a surprising #12 after 25 fantasy points.
- Eli Manning & Matt Ryan & Vince Young – All 3 quarterbacks tied for 22 fantasy points.
Manning completed 33 of 47 passes for 406 yards and two scores Monday. He threw one interception and was sacked once. The numbers look nice, and Manning made some good throws, but the Giants were never in the game, and much of the output was in garbage time. Eli is the 6th best quarterback this season.
Ryan completed 27-of-34 pass attempts for 262 yards with three touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Vikings. He was remarkably efficient, and hooked up with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez early and often (they combined to catch 19 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown). Keep in mind that Ryan was able to be so productive with Julio Jones (hamstring) being a non-factor (no catches on zero targets). Ryan has picked up his play significantly as of late with a 9:2 TD:INT ratio in his last four games. Matt Ryan is the 8th overall QB.
Young completed 17-of-29 passes for one touchdown and four interceptions against Seattle on Thursday while running for 32 yards. Vince has mostly been a mess this year, throwing nine interceptions compared to four touchdowns. When Michael Vick (ribs) is at all healthy, Young is headed to the bench. Vince Young, while replacing Vick, is now the 39th best QB on the year.
- Beanie Wells – Chris “Beanie” Wells set a new franchise rushing record in the Cardinals’ Week 12 win over the Rams, going for 228 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. On the down side, he lost a fumble and briefly left the game due to tweaking his injured knee. He broke off massive runs of 71 and 53 yards against a Rams defense that’s allowed the most rush yards in the league — quite a change of fortune for Beanie, who had been slowed by the knee injury over the last few weeks. It’s a good sign that he was able to come back and run well after being sent to the sideline. Beanie is the 9th best RB of the year after his 26-point performance in fantasy.
- Roy Helu – Helu carried the ball 23 times for 108 yards with a touchdown and added seven receptions for 54 yards in Sunday’s win at Seattle. Helu dominated the action for the Redskins, as Evan Royster was the only other running back to record a touch. Coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Helu as the Redskins’ starting running back, Rich Campbell of The Washington Times reports. “He’s our starter, for sure,” Shanahan said Monday. Roy is the 36th best RB of the year after racking up 21 fantasy points.
- Marshawn Lynch – I’ve said it time and time again, he’s a beast when he wants to be. I watched last nights game, and am sure Lynch will be on the top of next week’s top 5. Last week he rushed for 111 yards, added 20 receiving yards and scored a touchdown for the seventh consecutive week Sunday in a loss to the Redskins. Lynch looked as good as he has all season. He attacked holes and ran with power, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Seattle’s offensive line has improved in recent weeks (despite losing two starters), but it’s still mediocre. The Seahawks might have to rely on Lynch more, though, as Taravis Jackson is struggling with a torn pectoral. Marshawn is now the 11th best runner with 19 fantasy points. He’ll break top-10 after this weekend.
- Cedric Benson & DeAngelo Williams – Both players tied for 18 fantasy football points for their teams.
Benson had 21 carries for 106 with a touchdown and caught four passes for 24 yards in Sunday’s win over the Browns. Cedric left the game at one point with a lower leg injury, although he was able to return and finished up. He may have avoided a serious injury, but it’s probably a good idea to check his practice participation later in the week. He is the 17th top RB.
Williams had 15 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Colts. DeAngelo doubled his touchdown total for the year on Sunday and had a season-high 15 carries. It’s not exactly what the Panthers were hoping for when they gave him $21 million in guaranteed money this past offseason, but fantasy owners were happy Sunday.
- Victor Cruz – Being a rookie in the top-5 for receivers in the year doesn’t look much better. He’s 4th overall, and will be a top 2 rounds pick next season in fantasy football, for sure. Cruz had nine catches on 12 targets for 157 yards and two scores Monday night. With the Giants playing no defense, and Eli Manning targeting him frequently and down the field, Cruz looks like a top-five receiver at this point. Hakeem Nicks also saw 12 targets, but Cruz appears to be the team’s downfield playmaker right now. He scored 27 fantasy points for his owners, his best of the year.
- Wes Welker – Brady’s top caught eight passes for 115 yards with two touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Eagles. Welker also ran once for a nine-yard loss. Oops? The touchdowns — Welker’s seventh and eight of the season — were his first since Week 6 and they came in a game where he not-so-surprisingly led the Pats with 12 targets. Wes Welker is the 2nd best receiver of the year after 23 points.
- Johnny Knox – The Chicago speedster caught four passes for 145 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Raiders. Knox was targeted a team-high 10 times en route to his best game of the season. His connection with Caleb Hanie should not be a huge surprise, as they spent most of the year together on the second team, but a breakout display like this was certainly not expected. Though Knox has put in back-to-back solid games, the Bears do not figure to be throwing it 36 times a game again with Hanie at quarterback, so expectations need to be kept in check going forward. Even though he is 40th overall, his 20 fantasy points created a spark on the waiver wire.
- Laurent Robinson – Even though he’s set as the 3rd receiver int he Dallas Cowboys offense, he’s clicking with Tony Romo right now. Against Miami on Thanksgiving he caught 7 passes for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns, on his way to 19th fantasy points. Laurent Robinson is 16th overall.
- Roddy White & Reggie Wayne tied for 5th, with 18 fantasy points.
White caught 10 passes for 120 yards with a touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Vikings. White received a team-leading 13 targets Sunday, and has been terrific in his last two games. He barely missed a long touchdown at one point when Matt Ryan slightly overthrew him. On a side note, Julio Jones (hamstring) was active Sunday, but doesn’t appear to be 100 percent healthy, as he was held without a catch. Roddy is 11th overall.
Wayne caught five passes for 122 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. This was Wayne’s best game of the season, and his first touchdown since Week 1. Even with the big game, it’s tough to recommend Wayne moving forward, especially considering that he’s only received double-digit targets once in the last eight games. See what happens when there’s no Peyton Manning? Reggie is 35th overall.
As is customary, tight ends are announced for a job well done. Jimmy Graham scored 20 fantasy points and is 2nd best overall, and Dustin Keller had 18 of his own and is now 6th.
The end of the season is near, come back next week! Maybe I can do this on time. ;)