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Lynch carried the ball 20 times and became Seattle's first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander in 2005.
Lynch has been the NFL's most productive running back since Week 9. He has 706 yards, 133 ahead of Tennessee's Chris Johnson, has touchdowns in nine straight games and is 31 yards shy of his third-career 1,000-yard season. It would be his first since 2008.
The Bears are allowing 103.3 yards on the ground during its three-game skid after allowing 66.8 during the five-game winning streak that preceded it.
Eli Manning threw three interceptions in the loss, as the Giants (7-7) fell for the fifth time in six games. They play at the Jets on Saturday before taking on Dallas at home on New Year's day. A home finale shouldn't provide much solace, however, as New York has lost its last three games at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants' lone win in their last six games came against the Cowboys last Sunday. Manning threw for 400 yards in the 37-34 victory, but his three picks against Washington highlighted a litany of errors and missed opportunities for the home team.
In the teams' last meeting during Week 1, Manning failed to throw a touchdown pass, which has only happened once more this season, but he is ranked sixth in the NFL with 25 touchdown passes entering Sunday's game.
In his last three games, Manning has 1,153 yards passing and seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
Tom Brady watched the resurgent Broncos score on their first three possessions, then led the Patriots to 27 straight points en route to a 41-23 victory to help New England clinch the AFC East for the ninth time in 11 years.
Brady threw for 320 yards with two touchdowns and ran in another score in the sixth straight win for New England (11-3), which trailed 16-7 early in the second quarter before taking control.
The Patriots have historically struggled in Denver, 2-15 there since 1969, and Brady himself is 1-6 lifetime against the Broncos. New England entered Sunday's game with the worst defense in the NFL, so Brady had to be on his game to beat Tim Tebow and whatever high power has propelled him to a 7-1 record as a starter.
Vick found Billy Celek for a 26-yard touchdown to cap off the seven-play, 77-yard march in the first quarter.
Vick was one of the first quarterbacks taken in nearly every fantasy draft to start the season, and as a result has to be considered one of the biggest busts of the year. On top of missing three games with injury, he simply hasn't been playing well, matching his 12 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions on the season. Vick hasn't thrown more than two touchdown passes in any game this season, and with the Eagles struggling, there really isn't much reason to expect a resurgence at this point.
Nicks was targeted 12 times, more than any other Giants receiver. Unfortunately, the Skins pressure kept Eli Manning from making key plays.
Nicks reestablished himself as perhaps the best receiver in fantasy football in Week 14 with an 8-reception, 163-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys. He has solidified himself as the most explosive deep threat on a team that has plenty of them, averaging over 20 yards per reception in three of his last five games. With the Giants holding a tenuous lead in the NFC East, there should be no worries about team potentially resting Nicks. Only weather could be a concern in the coming weeks.
Aaron Hernandez remained Brady's top target with game-highs of nine receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Welker reached 100 receptions for the season last week against the Redskins, the fourth time he has topped the century mark in his last five seasons. He has been fantasy gold this season, especially in PPR leagues where he benefits from a pass-happy system led by quarterback Tom Brady. He should continue to be a must-start as fantasy playoffs roll on, though be wary of potentially bad weather in Foxboro in Week 16 against the Miami Dolphins.
Green Bay (13-1) was chasing the 2003-04 Patriots' all-time record of 21 consecutive victories, but was largely ineffective on offense Sunday in their loss to the Chiefs. Aaron Rodgers threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, and ran for a score with 2:04 remaining but it wasn't enough.
It is telling that Rodgers' two-touchdown performance last week against the Oakland Raiders was technically his worst game of the season fantasy-wise. He went 17-for-30 passing for 281 yards and an interception on top of his two scores--good numbers for anyone else, but hardly up to the ridiculous standard Rodgers has set for himself. He could cost his owners points if the Packers rest him at any point for the playoffs. Be wary of bad weather at Lambeau in Week 16 as well.
Ray Rice carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards while also hauling in nine passes for 55 yards in a losing effort for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Baltimore put up 10 points in the first quarter last weekend versus the Colts and never looked back on the way to posting 358 yards of offense. That was about par for the course for the Ravens' 14th-ranked unit (346.0 ypg), a group that is led by talented running back Rice (1029 rushing yards, 62 receptions). He ran for 103 yards against Indianapolis and scored his 12th total touchdown of the season, one shy of a club single-year record. It marked the first time that the back has run for 100 yards in consecutive games, and he also led the Ravens with six catches. On the season, Rice leads the NFL with 1,622 yards from scrimmage.
Arian Foster gained 109 yards on 16 carries for the Houston Texans on Sunday. He surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the second consecutive season and joined Domanick Williams as the only running backs to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons in Texans history.
Foster fumbled the ball on the game's second play from scrimmage and Anderson recovered for the Panthers at the Houston 26-yard line. The turnover led to Newton hitting a sprinting Steve Smith along the right sideline for an early touchdown.
Prized running back Arian Foster (957 rushing yards, 8 TD) was held to just 41 yards and no touchdowns on 15 carries last week, and didn't score a rushing touchdown after going six weeks with at least one. Foster needs 43 rushing yards to reach the 1,000-yard for the second year in a row.
Adrian Peterson returned to action for Minnesota (2-12) after missing the last three games with a high ankle sprain, and ran for 60 yards on 10 carries. But the Vikings lost their sixth straight game, the first time that's happened since 1984.
Peterson is dealing with a high ankle sprain and has missed the last three weeks because of the problem, but the main focus for the Vikings offensively appears on track to play against the Saints.
Peterson has scored a touchdown in each of his last six games (8 total), and Frazier said this week it would be a boost to get him back. The head coach said there's still more time before Sunday's game to evaluate the running back's status, but he has been practicing in a limited capacity this week.
But there was no fourth-quarter magic that has become commonplace over the past two months in Denver (8-6), which still leads the AFC West by one game thanks to the Raiders losing to the Lions on Sunday.
Tebow is 7-2 as a starter in 2011 and has accounted for 14 touchdowns (10 passing, 4 rushing). He also has an AFC-best 111.0 fourth-quarter passer rating and has helped the Broncos to an NFL-best 156.2 rushing yards per game with his skills as a runner.
By the numbers, the Broncos on offense are 21st in scoring (20.7 ppg), 23rd in total yards (317.1 ypg), 31st in passing (160.8 ypg) and first in rushing (156.2 ypg).
Newton completed 13-of-23 passes for 149 yards and added 55 rushing yards for Carolina (5-9), which has won three of its last four games.
It was a tale of two halves for Newton in last Sunday's tough 31-23 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons, as the No. 1 pick in this past April's draft completed nine of his 14 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns through the first 30 minutes but threw two costly interceptions in the second half. Newton did not rush for a touchdown for only the fourth time this season as well after setting a quarterback record with his 13th score on the ground two weeks ago.
Newton (3,573 passing yards, 15 TD, 16 INT) is tied for third in the league with 16 interceptions and had his fourth multi-pick game of the season last week. Still, the Panthers are averaging 399 yards per game thanks to the former Heisman Trophy winner, who has 28 total touchdowns in 2011, an NFL record by a rookie.
Drew Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns on 32-of-40 passing, leading the New Orleans Saints to a 42-20 drubbing of the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field.
Brees went over the 300-yard mark for the 11th time this season, breaking his own record of 10 set in 2008.
Brees and the Saints target their first six-game winning streak since Oct. 31- Dec. 12 of last season and look to improve to 7-3 against the NFC with a win over the Vikings. Brees leads the NFL with 4,368 passing yards and is on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record of 5,084 yards set during the 1984 campaign. Brady, Rodgers and Manning are also in the running for one of the league's most impressive records.
Last week, Brees extended his NFL-record streak of games with 20 or more completions to 33 as well and became the second quarterback in NFL history to have four consecutive seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes, joining Brett Favre (1994-98). He has 10 games of 300 passing yards or more in 2011, tying the NFL record he tied in 2008 and Rich Gannon set in 2002. Brees also has a touchdown pass in 40 straight games -- second in NFL history behind Johnny Unitas' 47.
After a strong start to the season that saw Turner rush for at least 100 yards four times in the Falcons’ first seven games and at least 96 yards in six of their first 10, the running back has hit a bit of a wall. At the conclusion of his game on Nov. 20, Turner had rushed for 888 yards, scored eight touchdowns and was looking like he might be a contender for MVP.
Heading into Week 15, Turner had rushed for just 180 yards over the three previous weeks and had not scored a touchdown since Week 12.
Turner has failed to even register 80 all-purpose yards in any of those games, causing more than a bit of frustration for his fantasy owners who had no doubt come to rely on his productivity.
For more insight and analysis of Ryan's performance, be sure to check out Falcons blog Falcoholic.
Ryan also threw a touchdown pass to Julio Jones and finished with 224 yards on 19-of-26 passing in less than three quarters. White caught 10 passes for 135 yards, while Michael Turner ran for 61 yards and a score in the rout.
Ryan has yet to develop into the fantasy stud that many had envisioned he’d become after he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 draft, but he came into Week 15 continuing to show signs that he is getting there. Over his past six games, Ryan had been averaging 298.5 yards per game and had thrown 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Last week, Ryan was especially effective. Against the Carolina Panthers, Ryan 320 yards and four touchdowns, while also avoiding any interceptions.
Dating back to Week 4 of last season, Ryan has only thrown fewer touchdowns than interceptions in four games. Over that 26-game span, he had thrown 45 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
For more insight and analysis of Ryan's performance, be sure to check out Falcons blog Falcoholic.
Jones-Drew came into Week 15 among the most consistent and effective running back all season. His lowest rushing total of the season was back on Oct. 30 when the Houston Texans held him to 64 yards. But even then, he managed to score a touchdown and salvage his fantasy value.
In every other game this season, Jones-Drew had rushed for at least 84 yards and had come into this game leading the league in rushing with 1,222 rushing yards. That's an average of 94.0 yards per game. He was also coming off one of his best games of the season, scoring four touchdowns, rushing for 85 yards and racking up 51 more yards receiving against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For more insight and analysis of Jones-Drew's performance, be sure to check out Jaguars blog Big Cat Country.
The Oakland Raiders suffered a brutal loss on Sunday as they blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter en route to a 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. Although the Raiders came up short, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey put together the best performance of his career. He finished the game with six receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.
The former first round pick has received a lot of criticism the last three seasons, but he has begun to emerge as a serious threat this season. He started strong but struggled after the Raiders acquired Carson Palmer. Initially Palmer was looking to Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. When both went down with injuries, it opened the door for DHB to emerge as the team's number one receiver. They got Moore back Sunday and are hoping to get Ford back next Sunday, but DHB looks to be locked in for now as the top receiver.
The Miami Dolphins held off the Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon with a 30-23 victory that was keyed by running back Reggie Bush. While Matt Moore put together a solid day, Reggie Bush dominated with 203 rushing yards and a touchdown. His biggest run was a 76-yarder for the touchdown that would prove to be the difference-maker.
Bush has always been a talented running back, but you could argue he has almost come out of nowhere to dominate in the latter stages of 2011. He was a cast off by the New Orleans Saints and was expected to occupy a complementary role in Miami to rookie Daniel Thomas. Through the first three-quarters of the season, Bush was up and down as he has been much of his career.
However, the last three games, Bush has been playing as well as any time in his career. The last three games, Bush has 406 rushing yards, averaging 6.66 yards per carry (seems fitting that he sold his soul for a few big games!). As fantasy football wraps up with most leagues in their Super Bowl this coming week, Bush has become as good a start as any in the NFL. The Dolphins travel to New England this week to face a highly questionable Patriots defense. Bush could fall apart at any time, but for now he is a must start.
Via ESPN's Next Level:
All 3 of Romo's touchdown passes Saturday were thrown outside of the pocket. Romo entered the game completing 61 percent of his passes outside of the pocket, third in the league among qualified quarterbacks. Romo now leads the league with 10 touchdown passes outside the pocket, along with no interceptions.
Romo had 3,646 passing yards on the season with 26 passing touchdowns entering Week 15. Romo was averaging 280.5 yards passing per game. Romo's receiving yards per game were up nearly 15 yards per game from last season.
Romo was ranked as the 7th ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who rank 27th against the pass, giving up 248.8 passing yards per game.
Via ESPN's Next Level:
Freeman threw 16 of his 27 passes fewer than 5 yards downfield, and averaged 6.1 air yards per throw overall. Coming into Saturday, Freeman had the third-fewest air yards per attempt (7.3) among qualified quarterbacks. When Freeman threw the ball 11+ yards downfield against the Cowboys, he didn't complete any of his 6 attempts.
Freeman had 2,896 passing yards on the season with 12 passing touchdowns entering Week 15. Freeman was averaging 241.3 yards passing per game. Freeman's receiving yards per game were up nearly 15 yards per game from last season.
Freeman was ranked as the 23rd ranked quarterback according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Dallas Cowboys who rank 24th against the pass, giving up 243.2 passing yards per game.
Blount's nine rushes for 21 yards were his lowest outputs since Week 1's five rushes and 15 yards. His poor performance Saturday was a far cry from last week's 18 carries, 74 yards and one touchdown.
Blount had 737 rushing yards on the season with five rushing touchdowns entering Week 15. Blount was averaging 67 yards rushing per game. Blount's receiving yards per game were down nearly 10 yards per game from last season.
Blount was ranked as the 15th ranked running back according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Dallas Cowboys who rank 8th against the run, giving up 101.2 passing yards per game.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin grabbed his sixth touchdown catch of the season just under nine minutes in Saturday's game, a score that put the visitors up for good in a 31-15 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Austin had 466 receiving yards on the season with five receiving touchdowns entering Week 15 and added 53 yards and another touchdown to that total. Austin was averaging 66 yards receiving per game. Austin's receiving yards per game were up nearly five yards per game from last season.
Austin was ranked as the 12th ranked wide receiver according to Yahoo! heading into his match up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who rank 27th against the pass, giving up 248.8 passing yards per game.
Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up today with two games already finished. The Falcons-Jaguars and Cowboys-Bucs contests got the week going, but we now have a full slate of Sunday games. Thursday and Saturday were relatively quiet days for tight ends, with Jason Witten leading the way with 77 receiving yards. It has been an odd season for tight ends. Rob Gronkowski is dominating while traditionally solid tight ends like Vernon Davis and Heath Miller are struggling.
It is worth noting that Scott Chandler and Ben Watson are both out this week. If you are looking for some sleepers, Vikings TE Visanthe Shianco is an intriguing option. He and Ponder have not been on the same page every week, but there remains some decent upside.
Another decent option would be Raiders TE Kevin Boss. He is coming off a 43-yard, one touchdown performance and with the Raiders injury issues, he has some modest upside. Denarius Moore could be returning on Sunday, which could open up the middle of the field a bit more for Boss.
Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up today with a full slate of quality matchups. While NFL teams continue to battle for playoff positioning, fantasy football playoffs are officially in full swing. The NFL schedule is two games in as the Falcons and Jaguars faced off on Thursday and the Cowboys and Bucs squared off on Saturday. Roddy White is the big performer thus far, putting together 135 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The big wide receiver injury this week is Greg Jennings. He went down last week against the Oakland Raiders with a knee sprain that will keep him out the remainder of your fantasy playoffs. The departure of Jennings opens the door for a guy like Randall Cobb. Donald Driver and James Jones are expected to get more looks, but with Jennings out, Cobb has an opportunity to impress. He is not a guy to start this week, but if you have space to stash him on your bench, a big game on Sunday could open the door for Week 16.
Denarius Moore makes his return to the Raiders lineup. The Raiders skill positions have been decimated and the return of Moore could be huge. It would be a roll of the dice to start him right away, but there is some tremendous upside with a rifle like Carson Palmer throwing to him.
Here are the top 30 wide receiver projections for Week 15. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.
Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up on Sunday after the Falcons-Jaguars and Cowboys-Bucs warmed us up. Maurice Jones-Drew and Felix Jones put together strong days, but there is plenty of talent remaining on the board. Fantasy football is officially into the playoffs for virtually any kind of league, which makes getting the right running backs starting essential.
Injuries have been an issue heading into this week, but guys like Adrian Peterson and probably Kevin Smith will all be starting on Sunday, which means the Toby Gerharts, Maurice Morris' and Keiland Williams' of the world will head back to fantasy benches. I would not recommend waiving them entirely, but there is not enough reason to start them.
One of the big question marks this week for some owners is what to do with Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall. He faces a stout 49ers rush defense that has been dominant this season. If you have limited depth, you have to start Mendenhall, but if you have some other options at running back or flex, it might be worth considering alternatives. It is not a must-sit, but given how the 49ers defense has performed this season, it is at least something to mull over.
Chris Ivory is a worthwhile start this week as he is likely to get a nice set of carries with Mark Ingram ruled out. He is not a fantastic start with Pierre Thomas expected to get a sizable share of carries, but if you are short-handed, Ivory has some value this week.
Here are the top 15 running back projections for Week 15. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.
Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up with a full slate of action on Sunday following Thursday's Falcons-Jaguars tilt and Saturday's Cowboys-Bucs game. Fantasy football playoffs are in full swing this week, which means picking the right QB is absolutely crucial. If you do not have an Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, among others, you will potentially have some interesting alternatives.
It is a pretty quiet week for sleeper quarterbacks. Vikings QB Christian Ponder has some intriguing upside this week as he faces a Saints defense that can be a bit questionable on the road. Even though the Saints likely dominate against Minnesota, a shootout could open the door for a strong fantasy performance from Ponder.
Another rookie, Jake Locker, unfortunately will lose out on a chance to build on his Week 14 momentum. Locker filled in for Matt Hasselbeck last week after Hasselbeck suffered a calf strain. However, Hasselbeck got some work in this week and it sounds like he will get the start on Sunday. Hasselbeck would be a solid start against an awful Colts defense.
One of the big question marks has been whether to start Tim Tebow against the New England Patriots. It remains to be seen if Tebow can keep his Broncos in a shootout, but if the Broncos defense can contain the Patriots, Tebow could be in a position for a solid day. He already has the rushing skills, but the poor Patriots secondary opens the door for some solid passing potential.
Week 14 kicks off on Thursday Night Football with the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars with the Falcons looking to solidify their NFC wildcard lead. For fantasy football owners, this game is even more important as just about all fantasy football leagues are in their playoffs.
A lot of fantasy matchups will get off to big starts early this week as this game features a host of quality players. Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones are four big ones. Matt Ryan is generally a guy you start, although it depends in part on your backup. Tony Gonzalez remains a solid tight end start and even Marcedes Lewis is of some value in this game.
The big change with the Falcons the last couple weeks is the return of Julio Jones. This is significant because it makes Harry Douglas just about obsolete. It is entirely possible he could get a big catch or two, but the downside is significant behind White and Jones. If you were rolling with Harry Douglas while Julio Jones was out, you probably want to be benching Douglas this week.
Tony Gonzalez is on a hot streak lately with at least 69 yards receiving in each of the last five games. The Jaguars rank in the middle of the pack defending tight ends so there should be nothing to stop you from starting Gonzalez (barring a big name tight end in front of him on your roster).
The Falcons defense is also a solid start this week as they face a very questionable Jaguars team. The Jags get offense from MJD, but other than that, they do not have very many threats. With Blaine Gabbert's up and down play, there is a chance for some picks and sacks this week.
After Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jacksonville Jaguars are fairly limited for fantasy football purposes. Marcedes Lewis is a decent option, but even his 77 yards last week came off only two catches. He is a big play threat, but against a Falcons defense that is tough against tight ends, I don't expect huge numbers from Lewis. Other than maybe Josh Scobee getting some field goal attempts due to red zone failures, this Jaguars team is pretty depleted when it comes to fantasy options.
Preview and highlighting the best -- and worst -- fantasy performances from Week 15. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Tweet @sbnationfantasy for any sit/start and waiver wire questions.
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