Fantasy Feedback: Week 17

  • It seems like now that tape has circulated on Tim Tebow, his fantasy value has gone in the tank. The Chiefs shut down the one-time wonder Sunday, holding him to 60 yards passing and 16 yards rushing. Tebow also turned the ball over twice. His stumbles down the stretch likely severely hurt his fantasy value for next season.
  • Ray Rice solidified his status as a top-three running back next season. He blew up on the Bengals Sunday, rushing for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was a simple formula — when the Ravens fed Rice, he produced. And fantasy owners smiled.
  • John Skelton may have earned Arizona’s starting job for next season with a decent finish. The biggest difference between Skelton and Kevin Kolb? Skelton has made it a point to get the ball to his best play maker, Larry Fitzgerald. The two have hooked up five times for 86 yards midway through the fourth quarter Sunday.
  • Speaking of enigmas, there’s LeGarrette Blount. Once again Sunday, the Bucs fell behind big and had to abandon the running game. Early in the fourth quarter, Blount has six carries for 12 yards. When he’s had 13 or more carries in a game this season, he’s performed well. The problem has been Tampa Bay ignoring him early, falling into a hole and having to go away from him the rest of the game. Since coach Raheem Morris will almost surely be fired, perhaps a new coaching staff and a new offensive philosophy could breathe some life into Blount’s fantasy status.
  • Certainly a case of too little, too late for most fantasy owners, but Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates showed they still have some fantasy life, connecting five times for 106 yards and a TD. Neither can be considered an elite fantasy player after this season, but they could have solid mid-round value in next season’s drafts.
  • Michael Turner is trying to shake the label of fantasy disappointment and his 17 rush, 172-yard, two-touchdown performance might have accomplished that. If only it hadn’t come in the final week against a Buccaneers team that has apparently quit. What to make of Turner next season is anyone’s guess.
Observations from the early games
  • Mike Vick and the Eagles offense once again looked like the team they were projected to be. Vick threw for 335 yards and three TDs while Jeremy Maclin had over 100 yards receiving and Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson each had 86 yards and a TD. If they had shown that kind of consistency all season, most owners wouldn’t have given up on them so soon. But it could be just enough to steady their draft value for next season.
  • Just when you thought #shanahanigans were dead, Evan Royster finishes the season strong with 243 rushing yards in his past two games. So just when you thought the Redskins had a settled running back situation, we’ll be right back where we started next year.
  • Unless New England drafts a big-time WR this offseason, next year’s offense could once again be all about the tight ends. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski combined for 15 catches, 246 yards and three TDs Sunday against Buffalo.
  • You never know with Bill Belichick, but Stevan Ridley did his best to wrestle away the Patriots’ No. 1 RB job. He lead the team in carries in each of the last three games and averaged 5.4 yards per carry, including running for 81 yards Sunday against the Bills.
  • Few players had the mid-season turnaround that Percy Harvin experienced. Harvin caught 10 passes for 115 yards and rushed for a TD. He scored seven TDs in his last seven games and re-affirmed some of the early season excitement about his prospects.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew fell in a lot of drafts after concerns about his knee. He proved plenty of people wrong by rushing for 169 yards on Sunday to lock up his first career rushing title. It’s hard to see him getting overlooked next year.
  • Ben Tate ends the season on a fantasy high, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown. He’s certainly worthy of being drafted last next season as a great handcuff for Arian Foster.
  • Similar to their WRs, it’s hard to figure out the Saints RBs. Sunday, it was Chris Ivory’s turn to do big things, rushing for 127 yards and a TD. With Darren Sproles being a consistent performer all year, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas might have to battle with Ivory next preseason for more carries.
  • He may have disappeared for a sizable stretch this season, but Vernon Davis can still remind you that he’s a quality TE. At halftime, he has six catches for 80 yards and is a prime target for Alex Smith.
  • We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the roulette wheel that is the Saints WR corps. But so far today, Marques Colston is reminding people that he’s still the top dog in New Orleans. Midway through the second quarter, Colston has four catches for 73 yards and a TD.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to have the Patriots’ number. In Week 3, he threw for 369 yards and two TDs. Today, he has 156 yards and two TD passes in the first quarter.
  • Arian Foster is the undisputed No. 1 RB in Houston, but since he’s taking Sunday off, the Texans are auditioning a No. 2. Early on, Derrick Ward and Ben Tate are splitting the carries, with both having a fair amount of success.

— Marcas Grant

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