Dec 13, 2011
NFL fans were treated to three shootouts in week 14, including an excellent game Sunday Night between the Giants and Cowboys. Eli Manning built upon his reputation as an excellent fourth quarter quarterback with his two touchdown drives in the final 8 minutes to give the Giants a 37-34 win against the host Cowboys. Dallas nearly tied the game on the final play of the game, however Jason Pierre-Paul capped off a career performance with a game clinching block of Dan Bailey’s field goal attempt.
The Detroit Lions kept their playoff hopes alive with a 34-28 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings. Although the Lions nearly blew a commanding 17 point half-time lead, the Lions defense came up big with a sack-fumble on Joe Web in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.
Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos overcame a 10 point deficit with two minutes to play to win their seventh game in the past eight weeks. In typical fashion, Tebow played three plus quarters of sub-par football followed by three minutes of excellent play. Chicago running back Marion Barber aided the miraculous comeback with two boneheaded plays, including an inexcusable mental error stopping the clock by running out of bounds.
Week 14 Top Performers
Quarterback: Tony Romo
321 Yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Tony Romo earned the top fantasy quarterback award for week 14 with his four touchdown performance against the Giants on Sunday Night. Romo connected on 21 of 31 pass attempts, including a 50 yard score to Dez Bryant to extend the Cowboy’s lead in the fourth quarter.
Honorable Mention: Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez and Tom Brady
Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew
85 Rushing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 6 Catches, 51 Receiving Yards. 2 Receiving TDs
Maurice Jones-Drew was the top fantasy running back for week 14, nearly doubling the production of the second place back. Mojo’s breakout game came at a great time for fantasy owners as he likely carried many owners into the second round of the fantasy playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Grant, Brandon Jacobs and LeSean McCoy
Wide Receiver: Marques Colston
8 Catches, 102Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TD
Colston hooked up with Drew Brees for two touchdowns the Saints win over the host Titans. This is the second top receiver award for Colston and the third 100 yard receiving game of the season. Fantasy owners should be salivating at the prospect of Colston’s final games of the season, as the Saints face off against two of the worst pass defenses in the Vikings and Falcons.
Honorable Mention: Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Larry Fitzgerald
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski
6 Catches, 160 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Gronkowski increased his NFL record to 15 receiving touchdowns with another 2 TD performance on Sunday. Fantasy owners lucky enough to own Gronk have been blessed with the greatest tight end performance in the history of fantasy football. Not only is he a TD machine, Gronkowski is also a yardage beast with a 15.3 per catch average.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew and Jake Ballard
Defense/Special Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars
14 Points Allowed, 3 Sacks, 3 Int, 4 Fumbles, 2 Touchdowns
The Jags took advantage of a pathetic Tampa Bay team, forcing seven turnovers and two defensive touchdowns in a 41-14 rout on Sunday. Although one could argue that the poor conditions fueled the poor play by Tampa, I believe the Bucs are a young and inexperienced team lacking a true leader.
Honorable Mention: Detroit, Philadelphia and San Diego
Rookie sensation DeMarco Murray suffered a season ending broken ankle in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. The Cowboys will now rely on Felix Jones to carry the load, with newly acquired veteran RB Sammy Morris likely working in as the third down back.
Other Notable Injuries
1) Greg Jennings – Knee (2-3 Weeks)
2) Ben Roethlisberger – Ankle (day to day)
3) Kevin Kolb – Head (day to day)
Working the Wire
Felix Jones is the top waiver wire addition for the week after DeMarco Murray suffered a season ending ankle injury. CBSsports.com is reporting that Jerry Jones, the supercilious and controlling owner of the Cowboys told reporters on Tuesday that Felix will have a “heavy workload” on Saturday night against the Bucs.
Other Players to Target
1) Demayrius Thomas, WR Denver
2) Doug Baldwin, WR Seattle
3) Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay
4) Donald Driver, WR Green Bay
Plug & Play Defense: Week 15
The following defenses are above average plays this week for owners who opted to utilize a matchup-based strategy.
1) Tennessee vs. Indy
2) Seattle against Chicago
Start of the Week: Rob Gronkowski vs. Denver
The Denver Broncos have given up the 7th most points to opposing quarterbacks, including 32.3 and 29 points respectively to Christian Ponder and Carson Palmer. This should bode well for Tom Brady and his favorite red zone target Rob Gronkowski.
Fantasy Dud: Jermichael Finley TE, Green Bay
It is somewhat shocking that Finley followed up his 87 yard, 1 touchdown performance on week 13 with a no catch dud in week 14, especially when you consider that the Packers scored 38 points against the Raiders. Finley may have decent stats this season for a tight end, closer examination of his play reveals that he is incredibly inconsistent and is the antithesis for what to look for when using our Fantasy CPR draft tool.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Johnson, Willis McGahee and Ryan Fitzpatrick