This Sunday was one of the worst for fantasy production in a while. If you take a look at the overall fantasy leader board for standard leagues, eight of the top 11 scorers played on Thanksgiving. And two of the top scorers in Sunday’s games were the D/ST’s for St. Louis and San Francisco. So, like many of you, I had teams that got down big on Turkey Day and after today’s games, are still down big. Thankfully there were some fantasy studs that gave it their all this week, and one of the best was one Mr. Julio Jones.
Jones has been hampered the last two games by an ankle sprain, so coming into this week against Tampa, fantasy owners were worried. So hopefully you got him in your lineup because he was just fine going off for six receptions, a career high 147 yards and a touchdown. Now, in his last three healthy games, he is averaging 5 receptions for 133 yards and has two touchdowns, with the Saints on the horizon.
The man throwing him the ball was coming off his worst game as a pro and even though he didn’t light the fantasy world on fire, he did complete 26-of-32 passes for 353 yards, one touchdown and one interception. That puts him on pace for 4,981 yards and 30 touchdowns, which would both be career highs.
Andy Dalton – The Ginger General has come on strong of late. He had thrown an interception in each of his first eight games, but in his last three has thrown nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. In those three games he ranks as the third best fantasy quarterback.
Eli Manning – Little Brother needed the bye like nobody’s business. He had gone three games without throwing a touchdown and hadn’t thrown multiple touchdowns since week five against the Browns. Some rest and Green Bay coming to town helped him to 249 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Giants get Washington and New Orleans the next two weeks, which should keep Eli in the money passing stats.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Law Firm had the best rushing day of Sunday’s games with 129 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. After never topping 33 yards on a single carry in his career, he did it twice against the Raiders. What we need to take from this game is that Trent Richardson gets the Raiders next week.
Reggie Wayne – Wayne just continues to accumulate targets and receptions this season. His eight receptions on 14 targets for 102 yards puts him at a league leading 84 receptions and league runner-upping 1105 yards.
Doug Martin – He didn’t put up huge yardage numbers, but found the end zone twice. That is often the way of elite fantasy running backs, they always find a way to give you fantasy points. Martin is quickly becoming an elite fantasy back.
Michael Bush – The Bears backup running back started the game back to his touchdown vulturing ways after not finding paydirt since week three, but ended up as lead back after Matt Forte went down with an ankle injury. He finished the day with 21 carries for just 60 yards, but two touchdowns vaulted him into fantasy relevance.
Knowshon Moreno – After living in the doghouse most of his career Moreno was called on to start this week against the Chiefs. His pass blocking skills seem to be the biggest reason for the decision, but Moreno ended up topping 100 total yards. He didn’t do anything to hurt his starting status going forward.
Cecil Shorts – Shorts amazingly continues to play at a high fantasy level and most importantly, consistently, which for the Jaguars passing game isn’t something I thought was possible. He caught four passes for 105 yards and a touchdown which was his third 100 yard game in the last five and his fourth touchdown in the last six. And this all comes with a new quarterback in Chad Henne at the helm the last two weeks.
Trent Richardson – Mr. Richardson is one of the few bell-cow backs in the league. Over his last four games he has a league high 30.8 touches a game and this week against the Steelers he had 33 touches for 112 total yards and a touchdown. His usage makes him fantasy gold.
Beanie Wells – Beanie didn’t take long to get back into the touchdown groove with two touchdowns in his first game since Week three. It was a good sign that Ryan Lindley was able to move the ball (while throwing many, many interceptions), so maybe Beanie will continue to see some goal line looks. Feel free to drop LaRod-Stephens Howling.
Demaryius Thomas – The Broncos weren’t able to blow out the hapless Chiefs, but their superiority was still evident. Thomas led the way with four receptions for 82 yards and a spectacular 30-yard touchdown reception. He should help out a lot of fantasy teams down the stretch.
C.J. Spiller – Spiller took over the starting job finally, but still wasn’t given enough looks. But at least he didn’t have to split work with Fred Jackson. He finished the day with 14 carries for 107 yards and pushed his record pace 6.6 yards per carry to 6.8 yards a carry. That would easily beat Jim Brown’s record of 6.4 yards per carry.
Colin Kaepernick – Kaepernick’s game wasn’t the stuff of fantasy legends, but he continues to show the skills that make fantasy legends. Right now he sits as the 7th best fantasy quarterback of the week and only threw for 231 yards and a single touchdown. But when you add in 27 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown, you get yourself a top-10 fantasy day. His upside in fantasy is tremendous.