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There were some great Weekend Winners winning this weekend. At this point we should just carve Peyton Manning’s name into this column, but that might mess up my laptop. So let’s see who went above and beyond the call of duty this weekend.
Kenbrell Thompkins was left for dead after two games, but games three and four have been a slight bit better in the fantasy column. Thompkins isn’t a polished receiver, but he does make plays and he made plenty of them Sunday night, catching six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. You can see the undrafted free agent getting better each week and in this offense, if he can get fully integrated, even with Rob Gronkowski back, he should be able to keep putting up numbers.
Peyton Manning is unstoppable now that he has a few fused vertebrae and is 37 years old. Facing a weak Eagles defense it only took him three quarters to complete 28-of-34 passes for 327 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. A quarter of the way through the season he is the runaway MVP with 117-of-156 completions for 1,470 yards, 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. If you take those numbers through 16 games he would break every record known to man with 5,880 yards passing, 64 touchdowns and yes, no interceptions. Of course he won’t get those numbers, but his upcoming schedule of Dallas, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Washington and San Diego should keep him on an insane pace for a while longer.
Tony Gonzalez had been held under 36 yards his first three games, but broke out on Sunday night in a big way with Bill Belichick trying to shut down Julio Jones and Roddy White still hampered by his ankle, it gave Gonzo all the work he could handle. And he handled 12 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Adrian Peterson looked like the Peterson of last season as he rushed 23 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. His 60-yard touchdown showed his long speed and manimal-like running style. Even on a team with little passing game to speak of he’s just going to beat you over the head then run past you.
Philip Rivers has had a resurgence almost nobody foresaw. Against the Cowboys he completed an amazing 35-of-42 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. New head coach Mike McCoy has brought this team from the brink of destruction with the help of Rivers and amazingly enough, Danny Woodhead. Woodhead had five carries for 32 yards and five receptions for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He is now third in running back receptions with 22 on the season. The touchdowns aren’t always going to be there, but it looks like the receptions will.
Reggie Bush sat out last week as a precaution to get healthy and get healthy he did. He made one of the better runs I’ve ever seen on a 37-yard touchdown. He did most of his damage on the ground with 139 yards on 18 carries and adding four receptions for 34 yards. The good news is he came out of the game without any noticeable injuries.
Ben Tate once again looked like he had a bit more burst than Arian Foster, but Foster was the main man and put together a big game on 27 carries and six receptions, which he turned into 171 total yards and a touchdown. This was the kind of game we remember from Foster.
The New York Giants are 0-4, but Victor Cruz leads all wide receivers in fantasy points after catching 10 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City. That makes for four touchdowns and three games of over 100 yards receiving. His position in the slot is helpful when the offensive line gives Eli Manning very little time to throw the ball.
Dez Bryant caught six passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to fight for and catch the ball in coverage is as good or better than anybody in the league and if the Cowboys are in the red zone, don’t score, and haven’t targeted Dez Bryant, well, they did something wrong.
Antonio Gates is having resurgence right along with his quarterback. He caught all 10 of his targets for 136 yards and a touchdown. He currently has the most receiving yards for a tight end (Jimmy Graham plays Monday night). Rivers was amazingly accurate in this game and Gates is reaping the benefits.
Jamaal Charles may not have a ton of rushing yards this season, but he sure is going to make up for it with receiving yards and touchdowns. Against the Giants he had a whopping 11 targets and caught five for 62 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing 18 times for 65 yards. He leads all running backs with 213 yards receiving and is just one reception behind Matt Forte with 23.
Speaking of Matt Forte, he put up good numbers against the Lions with 117 total yards and a touchdown. He also caught five of six targets and his 24 receptions do lead all running backs. Marc Trestman has been the perfect coach for his fantasy relevancy this season.
Jordan Cameron caught 10 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in a win over the rival Bengals. Cameron is on pace for 120 receptions, 1,440 yards, and 20 touchdowns, which would be pretty okay.
Steelers’ rookie Le’Veon Bell was a huge question mark coming into this game, but found the end zone twice and totaled 84 yards, including a nice four receptions for those PPR leaguers.