John Biancardi

Sunday Schooled

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Receiving Frenzy

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Playoffs? You kidding me, playoffs?"

I kid you not, and if your team wasn't fortunate enough to make it, then better luck next year. In looking at the players who made the list this week, I can't help but shake my head at how unpredictable fantasy football can be. Bruce freaking Gradkowski, really? I'll take that and raise you a Devin Thomas. If you still don't believe me, then look for yourself.

Top 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Tony Romo – 392 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs – The Cowboys came in with a game plan, and I think it might have had the words "pass, pass, pass" in it. Although the Cowboys were playing "catchup" late in the game, Romo still threw the ball fifty-five times. It's tough to argue with the results, because Romo picked apart the Giants' secondary all game long.

2. Bruce Gradkowski – 308 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 20 Rush Yds – Where the heck did this come from? Bruce Almighty went into Heinz Field and played like a champ on Sunday, bringing the Raiders back from the dead on multiple occasions. I'm not telling you to go crazy and play him next week, but you can't deny how awesome of a performance this was.

3. Jason Campbell – 367 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT – Campbell has now put together back-to-back great games but, before you go and consider riding his hot streak, remember one word: inconsistency. Campbell could just as easily put up a stinker next week as he could throw for another three scores.

4. Kurt Warner – 285 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs – Warner returned from his concussion and showed no signs of being slowed down at all. In fact, if there was anyone suffering from headaches, it had to be Vikings coach Brad Childress, as he had to see the Cardinals receivers getting open left-and-right for the entire game.

5. Drew Brees – 419 Pass Yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT – Just another day at the office for Mr. Brees. He now has ten touchdowns in his past three games and, if that were any other quarterback, I would be in awe. The MVP race between Brees and Peyton Manning should be as exciting as it gets down the stretch.

Top 5 Running Backs:

1. Brandon Jacobs – 39 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 1 Rec, 74 Yds, 1 TD – It has been an abysmal season for Jacobs, but Sunday provided some consolation. Even though he was saved by the touchdown this week, Jacobs still doesn't have a 100-yard game this season, and is nothing more than a matchup play right now.

2. Jerome Harrison – 35 Rush Yds, 0 TDs, 7 Rec, 62 Yds, 2 TDs – Earth to Mangenious: Can you please make it clear who the starting running is. It looks like Harrison is still above Chris Jennings on the depth chart, but neither back should provide any use next week against an angry Steelers unit.

3. Joseph Addai – 79 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 3 Rec, 17 Yds – Addai continued his bounceback campaign in a big way on Sunday. He only has two games without double-digit fantasy points, and is once again the Colts' every down back. The Colts have been more balanced as of late, and Addai has been the main beneficiary.

4. Knowshon Moreno – 86 Rush Yds, 2 TDs – Moreno now has 80-plus rushing yards in four consecutive games, and he has now catapulted himself into an every-week starter. He'll continue to split carries with Buckhalter down the stretch, but don't let that discourage you.

5. Jonathan Stewart – 120 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 1 Rec, 6 Yds – J-Stew made the most of his opportunity with DeAngelo Williams out. You shouldn't be too shocked though, because his only other 100-yard game this season also came against who else but the Bucs in Week 6.

Top 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Louis Murphy – 4 Rec, 128 Yds, 2 TDs – Somebody break up the Raiders. The Gradkowski-to-Louis combo was absolutely lethal this week, and there is still time to make changes to your Pro Bowl ballot.

2. Devin Thomas – 7 Rec, 100 Yds, 2 TDs – If you could have told me before the week started that Murphy and Thomas would be sitting atop this week's list, I would have laughed in your face. Thomas has been a bust and then some in his pro career thus far, but, if you want to take a flier on him in the final four weeks, be my guest.

3. Anquan Boldin – 7 Rec, 98 Yds, 2 TDs – It honestly doesn't matter if Boldin is covered, because Warner will still throw him the ball. He has picked it up as of late, and his favorable playoff schedule may reward owners for their patience with him this season.

4. Santonio Holmes – 8 Rec, 149 Yds, 1 TD – After only scoring once the entire season, Holmes has now found the end zone in two straight. He has been a solid receiver thus far, and he has a real chance to continue his scoring frenzy against the Browns next week.

5. Robert Meachem – 8 Rec, 142 Yds, 1 TD, 1 RET TD – Depending on your league's scoring format, Meachem may have been the top receiver. His highway robbery on a Drew Brees interception was a thing of beauty, as it looked like Kareem Moore wanted nothing to do with the football. Just like taking candy from a baby, literally.

Top 5 Tight Ends:

1. Vernon Davis – 6 Rec, 111 Yds, 1 TD – I just can't get over how dominant Davis has been this season. On Sunday he scored his tenth, yes tenth, touchdown of the season, and no tight end has been even close to matching his consistency.

2. Antonio Gates – 8 Rec, 167 Yds, 0 TDs – Gates followed up last week's monster game with an encore performance this week. At the end of the day he's still Antonio Gates, and that alone makes him a must start.

3. Jason Witten – 14 Rec, 156 Yds, 0 TDs – After being dormant for the entire season, Witten has woken up the past two weeks, as he has gone over the 100-yard receiving mark in each of the past two. For owners who drafted him, however, it may already be too little too late.

4. Bo Scaife – 5 Rec, 56 Yds, 1 TD – It's no secret that Scaife has been more heavily involved in the offense in the past few weeks, but it was nice to finally see him get into the end zone for the first time this season.

5. Fred Davis – 5 Rec, 53 Yds, 1 TD – No Chris Cooley, no problem. Davis has now scored in two straight games, and he's an interesting option if you're thin at tight end heading into the playoffs.

Top 5 Defenses/Special Teams:

1. Panthers – 6 PA, 2 Sacks, 5 INTs – The Panthers made Josh Freeman look like a rookie for the first time in his young career, and if you played the matchup this week, kudos to you.

2. Broncos – 13 PA, 2 Sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FR, 1 TD – It got ugly for the Chiefs rather quickly on Sunday, and the Broncos made the most of their opportunities. However, you might want to think twice before using them against the Colts next week.

3. Eagles – 7 PA, 2 Sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FR, 1 TD – The Eagles absolutely bewildered Chris Redman and the Falcons all game, as the Falcons could do nothing with the ball until a meaningless touchdown at the end of the game.

4. Bengals – 13 PA, 3 Sacks, 2 INTs, 1 TD – The Bengals defense has been absolutely dominant all season, so what made you think that would change against the Lions? It should be a lot tougher against the Vikings next week, but maybe Brett Favre will be pick happy again.

5. Bears – 9 PA, 3 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR – The Rams can make anyone look good, and that was the case this week with the Bears. The Bears shouldn't be on your radar next week against Aaron Rodgers and Co., so enjoy this while it lasts.

Bottom 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick – 98 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 32 Rush Yds, 1 FL
2. Matthew Stafford – 143 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
3. Josh Freeman – 321 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 5 INTs, 30 Rush Yds
4. Carson Palmer – 220 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 FL – Terrible fantasy numbers in a favorable matchup.
5. Jay Cutler – 143 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 0 INTs – All hope is lost if he can't deliver against the Rams.

Bottom 5 Running Backs:

1. Marion Barber – 36 Rush Yds, 3 Rec, 7 Yds, 0 TDs, 1 FL
2. Chris Wells – 28 Rush Yds, 0 TDs – Tough matchup, but I expected a little more.
3. LeSean McCoy – 2 Rush Yds, 3 Rec, 24 Yds – Leonard Weaver stole the show.
4. Frank Gore – 25 Rush Yds, 5 Rec, 37 Yds, 0 TDs, 1 FL
5. Adrian Peterson – 19 Rush Yds, 6 Rec, 46 Yds, 0 TDs

Bottom 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Steve Breaston – 19 Rush Yds, 1 Rec, 8 Yds, 0 TDs
2. Mike Sims-Walker – 1 Rec, 12 Yds, 0 TDs
3. Chris Chambers – 2 Rec, 11 Yds, 0 TDs – First bad game as a Chief.
4. Laveranues Coles – 2 Rec, 25 Yds, 0 TDs
5. Terrell Owens – 3 Rec, 31 Yds, 0 TDs – The Darrelle Revis factor cannot be overlooked.

Bottom 5 Tight Ends:

1. Greg Olsen – 2 Rec, 1 Yd, 0 TDs
2. Tony Scheffler – 1 Rec, 19 Yds, 0 TDs – Has been absolutely awful this season.
3. Kevin Boss – 16 Rush Yds, 1 Rec, 10 Yds
4. Dallas Clark – 2 Rec, 25 Yds, 0 TDs – Not used to seeing him here.
5. Dustin Keller – 1 Rec, 5 Yds, 0 TDs

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