Next week is the beginning of the fantasy playoffs for many leagues, though admittedly I won't be one of those teams poppin' early champagne. Oh the magic that the Cardinals managed to pull off with Larry Fitzgerald and the quarterback situation this year!
However, that doesn't mean I have to pull you down with me. Some of you are just prepping your starters, maybe you rested some players since you're just that solidly in the league. Even still, there were many good and bad performances on the day and I've got them all covered. Below. Right now. Read it.
Sure, Luck threw three interceptions but he also threw four touchdowns, including two in the final three minutes, as the Colts went to 8-4 on the final play of the game. The Lions find crazy ways to win and lose every week and this week it was another way to lose.
Andrew Luck has more wins for a rookie number one than any player in history, getting to his eighth win almost twice as fast as Peyton Manning. I picked the Colts as a surprise playoff team before the year and I don't care if this is a fantasy post, I'm going to brag about that.
He's got 17 touchdowns on the year with four games left and an outside shot to surpass Manning's rookie record of touchdown passes (26) on the stretch run. I don't know that he'll get there, with two games left against the Texans he's probably going to throw it a lot. It's a risk to start him, but maybe a good one.
Stealing some of the spotlight from Luck and Robert Griffin III is that too-short quarterback that might actually be too tall. It would be an unfair advantage if Russell was 6'1", he's just too good. He's getting better every week and now has 11 TD and 1 INT over his last five games while also improving dramatically on the road. Russell Wilson went on the road to Chicago to face the best defense in the NFL and was 23-of-37 for 293 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT and 71 yards rushing. Even better, Wilson has three of the final four games at home (and a road game against the Bills) so he might be a hot play during the fantasy playoffs.
You shall never doubt Wilson again. He's actually only seven touchdowns shy of Manning's rookie record.
Peyton Manning against the Buccaneers (AND THEN THERE'S THAT GUY I KEEP TALKING ABOUT)
It's not as though the legend himself is done yet. Peyton Manning was 27-of-38 for 242 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT against Tampa Bay, bringing him to 29 TD and 9 INT on the season. If you picked up Manning and Adrian Peterson on an injury discount in the draft, it's paying off.
He's a solid play over the fantasy playoffs as well.
A very nice performance for Quinn (19-of-23, 201 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) in a very tough situation. Feels really good to see the Chiefs get a win on Sunday.
Mark Sanchez against the Cardinals (BENCHED EVEN WHEN TIM TEBOW WAS OUT)
If he had just not given up his ribs, Tim Tebow likely would have taken over for Mark Sanchez on a regular basis today. Instead, it was Greg McElroy that came in for The Handsome One after another all-time low performance. Sanchez finished the day 10-of-21 for 91 yards, 0 TD and 3 INT against the Cardinals and may have finally played his way out of New York as the Jets came back to win 7-6 thanks to the fact that Ryan Lindley is still actually the worst quarterback in the league.
McElroy was 5-of-7 for 23 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT in relief, "leading" New York to the win. Sanchez is quickly going the wrong way in his development, much like a football version of Benjamin Button. Rex Ryan would not say if Sanchez would start next week and only said that he "needed to make a change" during the game, which of course turned out to be the right call.
McElroy wasn't especially great or anything, but he could very well be better than Sanchez, who now has 4 TD and 7 INT in his last six games. Then again, maybe Tebow gets those ribs back this week and The Chosen One era begins.
(I won't even mention Ryan Lindley on this list because he had no business starting in the NFL this year, if it weren't for John Skelton being so bad himself. The total count of bad quarterbacks in this game on both sides, whether injured or not, was at least five.)
Jake Locker against the Texans (UHHH, SO, YEAH... WHAT'S UP WITH THAT HASSELBECK KID?)
Maybe it's time to go back to him. Jake Locker was 21-of-45 for 309 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT and two fumbles lost as the Titans fell 24-10 to the Texans. While Houston has a good defense, that is "holy crap" bad with five turnovers. Who does he think he is? Sanchez-Lindley-Rivers-Vick-Romo-Cutler-Skelton-Stafford-Gabbert-Etc?
Locker now has five interceptions in his last two games and has really struggled since returning. You have to remember that Locker hadn't made a start prior to this year and then missed most of the middle of the season, meaning he is very inexperienced, but you don't see struggles like this from some of the great rookie class of 2012. He's not looking like a strong QB2 at this time.
Well who saw this coming? Few quarterbacks were riding as high as the hype around Kaep coming into today but he finished scoreless with a fumble in the overtime loss to St. Louis. Coming within seconds of going 0-0-2 against St. Louis in the span of a few weeks. I don't know if that sounds better than 0-1-1? My head hurts. Give me concussion tests.
Kaepernick threw for 208 yards and ran for 84 but without a score and one turnover, it's a rather disappointing fantasy performance as the Rams (4-0-1 in the division) establish themselves as a real threat on defense? Ouch, my head hurts again.
Or move to Facepalm Beach because this is getting ugly. I've been wondering which team crapped the bed the most this season, between the Eagles, Cardinals, Chargers and maybe a couple other candidates, but San Diego reaches a different kind of epic levels of fails and Rivers is leading the charge. His 11 turnovers in the 4th Q or OT leads the NFL and he threw a pick to officially end their comeback try against Cincinnati. That's 3,512 interceptions since the start of last season.
I don't even care what the matchups say for the rest of the year, I'd stay away from Rivers. About as far as everyone stays away from Norv Turner right now.
Only the ego of Sanchez.