It almost seemed like we could get through the week without a major injury to a star player. We were so close. It's too bad that Rob Gronkowski found himself playing specials teams on a PAT but as far as we know, Bill Belichick thinks a broken arm will toughen up Gronkowski for the playoffs.
He will probably do no more work for your fantasy team in order to get to the playoffs, however.
There was a lot of action around the receiving circuit today. Here are the biggest impacts:
The Jaguars rookie came into this game with 26 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown, making it a rather disappointing rookie campaign so far. Oh how a single game will change the entire perception of Justin Blackmon when historians see his total numbers from 2012.
The 'lottery pick' finished Week 11 with seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown as Jacksonville's upset bid fell just short in overtime. That bumps his total season numbers to 486 yards in ten games, which is a lot less bad than when he was previously doing.
There's no way that anyone is going to top his Week 11 numbers though. Unless you have to look all the way over to the other sideline...
Andre Johnson against the Jaguars (LOL! WELCOME TO THE NFL, ROOK!)
Then again there is the lottery pick from so many years ago, still here and still doing work. Andre Johnson has had his own struggles this year, averaging only 66.3 yards per game, the lowest he's put up since 2005. That's not going to be the case anymore.
Johnson topped Blackmon's numbers with 14 catches for 273 yards, aided by a game-winning 48-yard touchdown in overtime. He was targeted 19 times and increases his total season yardage to 870 yards. Pretty amazing for a guy that came into the game with 597.
Anyone that thought that Johnson's best days might be behind him can look no further than 19 targets, even if it was overtime. Houston has a soft pass-defense schedule ahead and Johnson could be a top 10 receiver for the rest of the season.
Like "Frankie Says Relax" except that it's Dez instead of 'says' and Tony (Romo) instead of 'Frankie'. I should have thought that one out more. There's also a Joe Haden pun in there.
Let's forget about my own disaster and think about Dez Bryant catching 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland in a 23-20 overtime win. Dallas stays in the playoff race and Tony Romo targeted Bryant 15 times, giving hope that Dez will play a big part in the stretch run for the Cowboys. Bryant stayed off of the injury report this week and that's always a good (and sometimes rare) thing for the Dallas star receiver.
He's now over 700 yards in ten games and is a solid WR2 for the rest of the year.
That one was a reference to the eighties hit "Don't you forget about me" by Simple Minds. Because you shouldn't forget that Megatron is still the best wide receiver in the NFL and put up his third straight game over 100 yards. Actually, its 479 yards total for Calvin Johnson in his last three games after adding 143 against the Packers in a loss.
There's nothing left for Megatron to do to help his team win the game, but Matthew Stafford should be detained with the rest of the breakfast club. That was a real Judd Nelson performance for Stafford, but Johnson still put up big numbers for fantasy owners. Which would be like being one of the successful members of the Rat Pack I guess.
He's a real Rob Lowe.
Rob Gronkowski against the Colts (TIGHT END MENTION)
Not technically a receiver, Rob Gronkowski is one of the best receivers of footballs in the NFL. Gronk was targeted seven times and he caught all of them for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He becomes the first tight end in NFL history to score 10+ touchdowns in each of his first three seasons.
And that might be the end of his touchdown total for 2012. Gronkowski broke his forearm on a PAT for the Patriots last score of the game. He hadn't even participated in the scoring drive. He will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks with surgery happening on Monday.
If Aaron Hernandez returns next week, he'll be a major part of the Pats offense down the stretch. Or they'll just be screwed. Like your fantasy team.
The Cardinals took a 13-0 lead over Atlanta and then benched John Skelton for Ryan Lindley. A smart move if you consider that Skelton is terrible, not a smart move if you consider that Lindley went 9-of-20 for 64 yards and the Cardinals lost 23-19.
Also terrible news for Larry Fitzgerald owners. He was targeted seven times and caught one pass for 11 yards. It's been a really rough year for Fitzgerald in an awful passing game for a despicable offense and it doesn't look like it's getting any better. Fitz is putting up his worst production since his rookie season.
He's still one of the most talented players in the league. He can still have a big game (we think). But should you start him every week? That's a difficult decision you're going to have to make but it might be best to wait until Kevin Kolb returns.
Desean Jackson against the Redskins ('52 YEARS OF SUFFERING')
As the bag on the Eagles fans' head said, it's been 52 years of terrible suffering for Philly football fans. It was another low point in a 31-6 thrashing by Washington on Sunday and a low-point for owners of Desean Jackson.
He was targeted nine times and caught two passes for five yards. I guess he hasn't made nice with Nick Foles yet. Jackson owners hoping to make the fantasy playoffs better hope that changes soon.
Jeremy Maclin against the Redskins (ME TOO!)
Maclin too. He was targeted three times and caught zero passes.
Riley Cooper led receivers with 61 yards and LeSean McCoy had 67. Those are the kind of numbers you might expect from the rookie Foles. I expected a sleeper tag on Riley and after a week, that's how things are looking. We've seen how bad it can be if Michael Vick doesn't return soon. That doesn't seem likely right now.
Reggie Wayne against the Patriots (ALL. THOSE. TARGETS.)
Andrew Luck looks at you 18 times, you hope that results in a huge game. That wasn't the case for Reggie Wayne. On 18 targets, Wayne finished with seven catches for 72 yards and no touchdowns. Wayne is still having a great year and this is a good example of how much Luck trusts him, but that's got to disappoint fantasy owners.
Best of luck next week!
Dwayne Bowe was targeted twice, caught zero passes, and left with a neck injury. It's hard to tell what else could go wrong for the Chiefs this season, but this was one of those things. Bowe's value has really gone down with the Kansas City ship and his future fantasy status really depends on if Kansas City lets him go or finds a real quarterback next season.
Danny Amendola left for a bit, we held our breath, and he came back again. Rinse, repeat, we'll see you here again next week Danny.
Pierre Garcon came back from injury, was targeted three times, caught them all, and had five yards.