John Biancardi

Sunday Schooled

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Tis' the Season

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's all over, unless your league championship is next week.

The fantasy season came and went just as fast as the Holiday season and, if you were fortunate enough to win your league title, then congratulations. If not, better luck next year, and it's not too early to get a jumpstart on baseball.

Check back next week for an awards edition of Sunday Schooled, but here are the studs and duds from Championship Weekend. Happy New Year everyone!

Top 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Tom Brady – 267 Pass Yds, 4 TDs, 0 INTs – After two consecutive subpar games, Brady delivered in a big way when it counted most. He may not have been as reliable as many of his owners would've liked, but some of his big games have made up for the mediocrity that was Brady's '09 campaign.

2. Donovan McNabb – 322 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 29 Rush Yds, 1 FL – McNabb has been absolutely money in the fantasy playoffs, and Sunday was no exception. After battling an early season injury, McNabb managed to have an extremely productive season, and owners rode him and the rest of the Eagles' offense into the sunset.

3. Matt Ryan – 250 Pass Yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs – 2009 has been a huge disappointment for Matty Ice, but he still managed to go out with a bang if you had him in your lineup. With the sophomore slump out of the way, Ryan should be drafted with confidence heading into next season.

4. Kurt Warner – 313 Pass Yds, 2 TDs, 10 Rush Yds, 1 FL – Similar to Brady, Warner finally bounced back after two atrocious performances. It may have already been too little too late for some of his owners, but that's fantasy.

5. Philip Rivers – 264 Pass Yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs – There is no surprise here, as Rivers has been lights out as of late. He has catapulted himself into one of the top players in the league, and the sky is the limit with the weapons he has around him.

Top 5 Running Backs:

1. Jonathan Stewart – 206 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 2 Rec, 16 Yds – Without DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers' offense hasn't missed a beat, and that is because of J-Stew. The timeshare is sure to be even greater next season, and it's just another situation to drive fantasy owners crazy.

2. Darren Sproles – 38 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 2 Rec, 23 Yds, 1 TD – Sproles doesn't need many touches to make a difference, and that big play potential was on full display this week. He has been extremely inconsistent this season, but he should continue to see his role in the offense increase with LT2 getting another year older.

3. Chris Johnson – 142 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 3 Rec, 37 Yds – CJ is not human! With ten straight 100-yard games and just 128-yards left until the 2000-yard plateau, Johnson has provided the best value by far for fantasy owners this season. He should be next season's clear-cut number one pick, and if you'd be crazy to think otherwise.

4. Ryan Grant – 97 Rush Yds, 2 TDs – Grant turned it on at the right time, totaling five scores in the fantasy playoffs. It's no secret that the Packers are a pass first team, but Grant showed that he still has some burst whenever his number is called.

5. Brandon Jackson – 20 Rush Yds, 2 TDs, 3 Rec, 19 Yds, 1 TD – This is a classic case of garbage time production, as the Packers got out to a huge lead and never looked back.

Top 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Roddy White – 8 Rec, 139 Yds, 2 TDs – Roddy got back to being Rowdy on Sunday, as he and Matt Ryan partied like it was like last season. This duo will most definitely bounce back next season, so there is no need to fret.

2. Randy Moss – 4 Rec, 45 Yds, 3 TDs – Four receptions and three touchdowns – not a bad ratio. After his abysmal negative fantasy performance two weeks ago, Moss has answered concerns about his character with a bang, notching four scores in the past two weeks.

3. Jabar Gaffney – 7 Rec, 69 Yds, 2 TDs – Surprise! Gaffney was non-existent the entire season, but managed to find the end zone for the first time this week (not once, but twice). He hasn't been a fantasy option all season long, so don't beat yourself up over this.

4. Santonio Holmes – 5 Rec, 86 Yds, 1 TD – Holmes has shown flashes of explosiveness this season, but if I had one word to describe him it would be "solid". Fantasy owners have come to expect anywhere from 7-10 points per week, taking anything more as a bonus.

5. Wes Welker – 13 Rec, 138 Yds, 0 TDs – After hauling in just four passes last week, Welker was back to his double digit catches and 100-yard games that we're accustomed to seeing – he has done it six times this season. The little engine that could keeps chugging along, one catch at a time.

Top 5 Tight Ends:

1. Brent Celek – 4 Rec, 121 Yds, 1 TD – Celek has now scored in three of his past four games, and you better believe that he'll be a hot commodity come draft day next season. We knew he would be good, but I don't think anyone foresaw just how quick it would all come together.

2. Todd Heap – 2 Rec, 37 Yds, 2 TDs – Heap made the most of his two catches, as he matched his two scores from last week. If you had him in your lineup then you played with fire and didn't get burnt. Congrats.

3. Antonio Gates – 3 Rec, 74 Yds, 1 TD – Not a bad way to finish the season, huh? Three scores in his past three games have his owners smiling, as Gates has been, well, Antonio Gates.

4. Jason Witten – 6 Rec, 117 Yds, 0 TDs – Witten has gone over the 100-yard mark in three of his past five games. While he only has one score on the season, the yardage totals have made him worthwhile to use.

5. Zach Miller – 9 Rec, 110 Yds, 0 TDs – Miller was cleared to play, and play he did. He posted a season-high in catches, and you have the Browns to thank for that one.

Top 5 Defenses/Special Teams:

1. Falcons – 3 PA, 2 Sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FR, 1 TD – Back-to-back dominant performances to close the season. This unit will only get better heading into next year.

2. 49ers – 6 PA, 2 Sacks, 3 INTs, 3 FR – The Niners' defense has gone over 20-points in two of the past three weeks, as the Mike Singletary era continues to instill hardnosed football as an identity.

3. Jets – 15 PA, 2 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 2 TDs – The league's number one defense further solidified its status, although it would've been a different story if Peyton Manning played the whole game.

4. Panthers – 9 PA, 4 Sacks, 2 INTs, 2 FR – This team finished the season with some pizzazz, and Sunday the Giants were the latest victim.

5. Cowboys – 0 PA, 3 Sacks, 1 INT – All is well in Big D as the Cowboys clinched a playoff birth, and that is due in large part to how well the defense has been playing.

Bottom 5 Quarterbacks:

1. Matt Hasselbeck – 198 Pass Yds, 1 TD, 4 INTs – Back-to-back four interception games. Yikes!
2. Josh Freeman – 271 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
3. Jason Campbell – 199 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 13 Rush Yds
4. Drew Stanton – 130 Pass Yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 23 Rush Yds, 1 FL
5. Peyton Manning – 192 Pass Yds, 0 TDs – My condolences to those of you who started him.

Bottom 5 Running Backs:

1. Quinton Ganther – 13 Rush Yds, 1 Rec, 16 Yds – With starting running back duties come starter running back fantasy responsibilities.
2. Fred Jackson – 39 Rush Yds, 2 Rec, 14 Yds, 1 FL
3. Michael Bush – 52 Rush Yds, 1 Rec, 7 Yds – Had the right matchup and couldn't deliver.
4. Brandon Jacobs – 1 Rush Yd – Fitting ending to a forgetful season.
5. Maurice Morris – 37 Rush Yds, 4 Rec, 29 Yds

Bottom 5 Wide Receivers:

1. Mike Sims-Walker – 2 Rec, 19 Yds – Has been very inconsistent as of late.
2. Kenny Britt – 1 Rec, 13 Yds
3. Braylon Edwards – 2 Rec, 18 Yds, 1 two-point conversion
4. Brandon Marshall – 8 Rec, 39 Yds – Not as bad if you're in a PPR league
5. Reggie Wayne – 3 Rec, 33 Yds

Bottom 5 Tight Ends:

1. Anthony Fasano – 1 Rec, 8 Yds
2. Bo Scaife – 0 catches
3. Tony Gonzalez – 2 Rec, 17 Yds – Not used to seeing him here.
4. Fred Davis – 2 Rec, 29 Yds – The four game scoring streak comes to a loud thumping end.
5. Heath Miller – 3 Rec, 35 Yds

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