John Biancardi

Sunday Schooled

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Marshall Law

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and in the fantasy playoffs that's the case more often than not.

For those of you who advanced, congratulations, but if your season is over (like mine), fantasy baseball is right around the corner. With that said, lets take a look at some of the first round heroes who took full advantage of their matchups.

Top 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Eli Manning – 391 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 18 Rush Yds, 1 FL – Eli torched the Eagles' secondary all game, and has now thrown for multiple scores in three of his past four games. There is no question that he has a ton of weapons around him, and today he managed to find them all.

2. Drew Brees – 296 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs – Old reliable delivered just like he does every single week. He has now thrown for multiple scores in five straight, and there won't be any signs of slowing down next week against the Cowboys.

3. Matt Schaub – 365 Pass Yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT – Most of Schaub's damage was done in the first half, but you won't hear any complaints from his owners. If you have Schaub, you should be licking your chops at the thought of him picking apart the Rams' secondary next week.

4. Peyton Manning – 220 Pass Yds, 4 TDs, 3 INTs – Enter a fantasy owner's worst nightmare. With nothing left to play for, and no clear-cut answer in sight, there is a very real possibility that Manning will see limited snaps next week. I don't envy you if you're in this situation.

5. Jason Campbell – 222 Pass Yds, 2 TDs, 20 Rush Yds – Who is this guy and what has he done with Jason Campbell? I know what you're thinking, but stop thinking it. Unless your quarterback situation is absolutely abysmal, Campbell still remains a risky option going forward.

Top 5 Running Backs:

1. Chris Johnson – 117 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 3 Rec, 69 Yds, 1 TD – Say hello to next year's hands down number one overall pick. This guy is playing like he's in a game of Madden right now, and there is no one that can stop him. The Holiday season may have started a couple of weeks ago, but Johnson has been in the giving spirit all season long.

2. Ray Rice – 166 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 4 Rec, 53 Yds – After his worst game of the season last week, Rice showed up just in time for the playoffs. McGahee managed to vulture two touchdowns, but Ray Ray Jr. still managed to have an extremely productive day.

3. Ryan Grant – 137 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 2 Rec, 7 Yds – So much for the Packers always throwing it for touchdowns. Grant looked explosive on a 62-yard score on the Packers first drive, and added another late score to cap the Packers come from behind win. It will be a lot more difficult next week against Pitt, so enjoy this while it lasts.

4. Adrian Peterson – 97 Rush Yds, 2 TD, 3 Rec, 40 Yds – AP bounced back with a typical AP performance. He should build off this week's performance fairly easily heading into next week against the Panthers. He hasn't been as dominant as most would've liked, but he has still managed to total double digits in all but 4 games this season.

5. Jamaal Charles – 143 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 7 Rec, 38 Yds – Start this man with confidence! Since being handed the starting gig, Charles has gotten 17-plus fantasy points in five out of his past six games. Even though the Browns bottled up Mendenhall this week, look for Charles to have a little more success and break off a long run or two.

Top 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Brandon Marshall – 21 Rec, 200 Yds, 2 TDs – It has been a strange year for Marshall, but when he has had a big game he's made it count – setting an NFL record isn't bad for a day's work. When a guy has a performance like this, there isn't much you can do as a fantasy owner other than laugh, because my condolences go out to those of you who went up against him this week.

2. Andre Johnson – 11 Rec, 193 Yds, 2 TDs – It's pretty tough to have a performance like this overshadowed but, because of Marshall, Andre's 193-yards flew under the radar – if that's even possible. AJ has been hot lately, and there will be no signs of cooling off next week against the Rams.

3. DeSean Jackson – 6 Rec, 178 Yds, 1 TD, 1 Ret TD – Absolutely explosive! D-Jax gave the Giants fits all game long, and he seems to have put his concussion behind him. This guy has taken enormous strides in his second season, and it's clear that he doesn't need many touches to change a game.

4. Hakeem Nicks – 4 Rec, 110 Yds, 1 TD – Hakeem the Dream dropped a few passes early on, but he responded by going up to snag a pass from Manning and shed some tackles on his was to the end zone. If it wasn't for Percy Harvin, Nicks would be a serious candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

5. Derrick Mason – 5 Rec, 94 Yds, 1 TD – How Mason stayed on his feet for his touchdown is really making me question how old he really is. The ageless wonder has gotten 12-plus fantasy points in three of his past four games. Say what you want, but Mason has been extremely productive this season.

Top 5 Tight Ends:

1. Dallas Clark – 5 Rec, 43 Yds, 3 TDs – It's never a bad ratio when three of your five catches go for touchdowns. Last week's 25-yard performance was a fluke, because Clark is as consistent as an option as you'll see from the tight end position.

2. Fred Davis – 3 Rec, 50 Yds, 2 TDs – Somebody break up the Redskins, and in particular Campbell and Davis. Fabulous Fred has now scored in three straight games, and he has emerged since Cooley hit the shelf a few weeks back.

3. Kevin Boss – 7 Rec, 70 Yds, 1 TD – The Bossman added a cheap late score, but you won't hear any complaints from his owners. After two terrible games, Boss got back in the end zone. Because so much of his value depends on whether or not he scores, he's tough to get a read on.

4. Brent Celek – 4 Rec, 60 Yds, 1 TD – Celek took advantage of the Giants poor secondary, and he is a threat to score every single time the Eagles are in the red zone. He has been awesome all season long, while providing owners who took a shot in the dark on draft day a huge reward.

5. Antonio Gates – 4 Rec, 44 Yds, 1 TD – Talk about turning it on as of late. Gates has more than made up for his slow start to the season, and it was only a matter of time. He showed up for playoff time, and that's all you can ask for.

Top 5 Defenses/Special Teams:

1. Titans – 7 PA, 1 Sack, 5 INTs, 1 TD – Keith Null never really had a shot. The Titans D cane out hungry and made the most of their favorable matchup. Use them at your own risk next week against the Dolphins.

2. Bills – 10 PA, 4 Sacks, 4 INTs – Another classic case of just how beneficial playing the matchup can be. This unit won't be worth starting in the remaining three games, but not too shabby for a one week fill-in.

3. Jets – 3 PA, 3 Sacks, 3 INTs – Three was the charm for the Jets on Sunday as they made Josh Freeman look bad once again. Darrelle Revis struck again, and he has made his case for Defensive MVP.

4. Browns – 6 PA, 8 Sacks – Talk about a major upset. Watching Big Ben hit the ground play-after-play was as shocking a sight as I have seen all season. Just realize that this was an anomaly.

5. Texans – 7 PA, 3 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD – You better believe that if you started the Texans this week you'll be stating them again next week against the Rams. The Texans haven't been great, but when they've had the right opponent they've managed to capitalize.

Bottom 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Daunte Culpepper – 135 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 11 Rush Yds
2. Brady Quinn – 90 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs – Managed the game and it was good enough to win.
3. Aaron Rodgers – 180 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 two-pt conversion, 1 FL – Timing couldn't have been any worse to have his worst game of the season.
4. Carson Palmer – 94 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 10 Rush Yds
5. Tom Brady – 192 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Bottom 5 Running Backs:

1. Jonathan Stewart – 29 Rush Yds, 0 TDs
2. Jerome Harrison – 9 Rush Yds, 2 Rec, 10 Yds, 0 TDs – Thank you once again, Eric Mangini for doing the complete opposite of what you said you would do.
3. Carnell Williams – 14 Rush Yds, 0 TDs
4. Steven Jackson – 47 Rush Yds, 2 Rec, 6 Yds – Again, terrible timing.
5. LeSean McCoy – 28 Rush Yds, 4 Rec, 26 Yds, 0 TDs

Bottom 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Mike Sims-Walker – 1 Rec, 6 Yds, 0 TDs
2. Randy Moss – 1 Rec, 16 Yds, 0 TDs, 1 FL – Uh oh, trouble brewing? Negative points, really?
3. Donnie Avery – 2 Rec, 14 Yds, 0 TDs
4. Donald Driver – 2 Rec, 11 Yds, 0 TDs – very surprised at this.
5. Antonio Bryant – 2 Rec, 22 Yds, 0 TDs – Darrelle Revis, enough said.

Bottom 5 Tight Ends:

1. Tony Scheffler – 0 catches – Becoming far too common.
2. Anthony Fasano – 0 catches
3. Greg Olsen – 2 Rec, 14 Yds, 0 TDs
4. Visanthe Shiancoe – 2 Rec, 19 Yds, 0 TDs – Lives and dies by the touchdown.
5. Kellen Winslow – 4 Rec, 26 Yds, 0 TDs

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