Adam Rank | Tags: Russell Wilson, Adrian Peterson, Blair Walsh, Brandon Weeden, Darren Sproles, David Wilson, Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, Jamaal Charles, Josh Gordon, Julio Jones, Kirk Cousins, LaDainian Tomlinson, Matthew Stafford, Michael Turner, Mike Tolbert, Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, RG3, Rich Eisen, Roddy White, Ryan Mathews, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Sebastian Janikowski, Torrey Smith, Trent Richardson
Fantasy football stopped being fun for a lot of us in Week 16. Though, I’ve long contended fantasy football isn’t fun. You’re gutted when your team loses, and you’re merely relieved when your team wins.
Most of us were gutted.
Well, mostly people who played Josh Freeman (or a host of other big-time busts, but we’ll get to them in a moment).
Let’s be honest, if you play a top 10 quarterback going up against the defense which had allowed the most points to fantasy quarterbacks, you have to feel pretty good about the whole thing. Well, until you saw the game total. Freeman scored 1.96 points. Which is fine compared to John Blutarsky‘s grade point average. Not so much when you want to advance to the fantasy Super Bowl.
I mean, I kind of figured Brandon Weeden wasn’t going to do much against the Redskins on Sunday, but I was put into that position because of RG3‘s injury. But you didn’t expect it from one of the best young QBs in the game going against the worst fantasy defense.
Another poor fantasy performance which will go under the radar is the one Peyton Manning put up against the Ravens. This is the second consecutive week Manning’s fantasy point total has suffered because the Broncos have blown the doors off their opponent.
And hey, how about that Joe Flacco?
Instead, the big fantasy performances came from Sam Bradford (great matchup in Week 16 if RG3 doesn’t go), Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins. And to be honest, I never get lucky with that (expletive).
What a fun week. In “OppositeLand.”
Player of the Week
Now I bet many of you expect me to just give this to Adrian Peterson and make some crack about him not being human.
So why would I disappoint you then?
Adrian Peterson isn’t human. And I know I’ve mentioned this on many occasion, but stop with the all the Superman preening NFL players, because Peterson truly is Superman.
Though one person on Twitter made the suggestion Peterson is really Wolverine. But since I don’t care for Hugh Jackman, I’m not ready to make that pronouncement, no matter how great it really is.
But he’s not the player of the week. Oh no, that young man is Russell Wilson.
Funny story. I ran into Rich Eisen in the break room on Sunday morning. He was taking a blow from GameDay Morning before we started NFL Fantasy Live and he asked me who to start between Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Ben Roethilsberger and Flacco.
We immediately eliminated Flacco and Roethlisberger. My choice was to go with Wilson. He kind of leaned towards Kaepernick. I wonder who he went with.
And I wonder if he would tell the truth if I asked him. (Eisen wouldn’t return my tweets, so we fear the worst.)
Wilson carried his team and your fantasy team on Sunday. It’s hard to imagine he was available in a ton of fantasy leagues heading into Sunday.
Backup of the week
Turns out one of the best options for the injured RG3 was the guy the Redskins had to turn to this week, Kirk Cousins, who had a better than solid performance. And he outplayed my choice, Brandon Weeden. But I don’t want to remind Browns fans their team traded up for Weeden, when they could have had Cousins and Wilson much later in the draft.
Trent Richardson had a good game, thanks to two touchdowns. But you have to imagine with the playoffs now out of reach, the Browns would be better served to put Richardson on the shelf and bring him back ready for next year. I’m just looking at the long-term health of Richardson who has played admirably with injuries this season. Shut him down, and make a run again for the playoffs next year.
So much for those splits
Do you remember when Roddy White would only score at home and Julio Jones was only good on the road? I miss those days. I knew the moment White was going to be able to play on Sunday, he was destined for a poor stat line.
And of course, you will now ask, “They why did you play him, dummy?”
It’s just the way I go about fantasy. If I start White and he fails (like he did) I can lament how he let me down. If I bench White and he ends up with 24 points, then I have to kick myself. And I hate kicking myself.
You just made the list, buddy
Let’s not put this all on White. Let’s take time to recognize all of those guys who ended up killing your fantasy team this week.
Eli Manning: I was high on Manning coming into the week, mainly because the Giants have done so well against the elite teams in the NFC. Not so much on Sunday.
David Wilson: He was the hot pick to start this week when Ahmad Bradshaw was ruled out. And he looked like he was going to be a house afire early on. Oh, and let’s go ahead and count all of your Giants starters here. What an utter disappointment.
Matthew Stafford: How do you go into Arizona and have this performance? I guess the Cardinals were due for a bounce-back game so you shouldn’t be surprised they finally won again. But how does Stafford not get loose against the Birds?
Lions D/ST: So much for plugging in a defense to face the Cardinals’ woeful offense. #fireschwartz
Ray Rice: Former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is smiling today because he kept Rice on his fantasy bench.
Torrey Smith: What happened to this guy?
Jamaal Charles: Well, this shouldn’t have been too unexpected. It’s the Chiefs, after all. But hey, the Raiders have such a formidable defense. Oh, right.
Josh Gordon: The Redskins give up a lot of points to fantasy receivers. And then the Browns did go deep and it wasn’t Gordon.
San Diego Super Bummers
The biggest headliner on the list is Danario Alexander. He’s a guy I played instead of Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker and pretty much every player in fantasy football. Anybody other than him and I end up winning my NFL AM matchup, and overcome the loss of RG3.
The worst part is that I heeded my advice to not overthink things. Alexander was a spare on my team, and I had no business having him in my lineup. There was no reason for it, but Alexander had been solid in recent weeks. Truth be told, it was a bad call. Should have put in the running back. This isn’t even a situation where I can blame the player, I knew better, and I blew it.
Ryan Mathews also was a disappointment again for the Chargers, as he left the game early with an injury. Oh, and if you keep track of these kind of things, Darren Sproles, Michael Turner, Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert all scored touchdowns on Sunday. I think I even saw LaDainian Tomlinson get into the end zone, too.
Tolbert, of course, scored twice against the Chargers.
And finally …
Let’s hear it for Blair Walsh and Sebastian Janikowski who could have kicked more than a few teams into the fantasy playoffs. As of this posting, I’m still alive in the NFL.com experts league. If I ended up winning, I might need to get a Seabass jersey.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 90,000 followers, and Fabiano has nearly 100k. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (oh wait, I told you to stop going to Facebook). Go instead to Google+. Also be sure to catch the latest “Dave Dameshek Football Program.”