Week 15 was rough on many fantasy football teams playing in their playoffs. For those who rode Aaron Rodgers to the Promised Land, that trip most likely ended with a thud. Peyton Manning also had another soft week, though many of us didn't know he was illin' going in. If you started those guys, you may have been able to weather the storm with a second or third stud. However, many of those players also ended up watching a teammate rack up fantasy points that could have proven helpful.
This is where the TD Vultures made a big difference this week. They generated some nice points...for the waiver wire. LeSean McCoy did a lot of the heavy lifting versus Dallas only to watch Chris Polk punch the ticket twice. Sadly, Polk and Sproles netted 3 TDs off a meager 5 carries. Knile Davis took advantage of a banged up Jamal Charles and netted 2 TDs of his own. Drew Brees watched the Bears load up their spotty defense on Jimmy Graham and found Josh Hill for 2 TDs of his own as well. Those are the kind of days that will leave you pulling your hair out in this game.
Elsewhere in week 15:
- A few games actually were won and lost by the extra yardage racked up by TE Delanie Walker on the last play of the game in Tennessee. Titans fans were upset with Walker when he ended the flea-flicker by running out of bounds with the ball but, in retrospect, those fantasy owners were damn happy that he didn't throw the ball up for grabs and get credited with a lost fumble. Pretty wild how those plays can affect the outcome of a game.
- The passing numbers were mediocre, but Kyle Orton seems to own the Green Bay Packers. He knocked them off when undefeated when he stepped in for the Chiefs a few years ago and knocked them back to the 6th playoff seed this year. Of course, all the credit this year goes to a phenomenal defensive effort put forth that stymied Aaron Rodgers a week after stifling Peyton Manning. HC Doug Marone and DC Jim Schwartz need to get more credit this year. I am pulling for them to work their way into the playoffs. They deserve it...unless they lose to Oakland this weekend.
- The end of the first half in New York was crazy with RGIII losing the ball before crossing over the end zone pylon. Unfortunately, these are the rules that the game follows now; like it or not, and they were administered correctly. I can't imagine what Santana Moss was thinking by blowing up like he did and what sort of argument he put forth. He had one catch in the first half and was probably exhausted from making any contribution for a change and really just wanted the rest of the afternoon off.
- Oh, Johnny Manziel. You made my day on Sunday. I really wanted to see an effort like that to shut people up. You may become a decent QB one day, but you have a long way to go and will need to work hard at it. Methinks LeBron should stick to basketball as he is not very good at assessing a football player's readiness. Props to Johnny for handling the press conference properly and showing some humility though.
- Way to stick it to your former team, Chris Johnson! The Titans fans made be down in the dumps from having to watch the Jets and Titans battle of futility, but they were definitely happy to be reminded of why they let you go.
- I did love all the comments this week by the media when showing RB Jeremy Hill getting stuffed by a Browns' fan when trying to leap into the stands! Not sure where he thought he was but he did know where the holes in the defense were all game.
- It appears that the media in Chicago has its limits. After watching Jay Cutler disgrace the team, the fans and the game on Monday night, no one in the media could stomach listening to him talk after the game and let him walk out. The Lions couldn't be happier about their opponent this week.
- After Philly came out roaring on Sunday night after halftime, I wondered if they had lined the Cowboys locker room with calendars highlighting that they were playing in the month of December. Kudos to the Cowboys though after they got off the mat after a standing eight-count and rallied back for a key win. Undefeated on the road is an impressive accomplishment. They have one more minor test to pass in 2 weeks in Washington to close it out.
For the majority of head-to-head leagues, this is your Championship week. For the old-school guys like me, we want to play in week 17 so we still need to worry about player moves. With a new spate of injuries, there are some players that may be able to help you out this week and/or next.
QB: Robert Griffin III (WASH) - assuming that Coach Gruden follows Owner Daniel Synder's wishes and keeps RGIII as the starter this week, it is possible that you could ride him to victory if you need a QB. He looked a bit like his former self last week and put up serviceable numbers without really utilizing DeSean Jackson. He gets Philly at home this week so it is a good matchup. Philly's secondary is not good and it should be a high-scoring game.
RB: Toby Gerhart (JAX) - Gerhart is the poster-boy for Bust this season but he could pay off if you need to replace a RB this week. Denard Robinson is done for the year and Gerhart saw the bulk of the rushing workload last Sunday. He has fresh legs from minimal work this season and gets Tennessee at home Thursday night.
RB: Lance Dunbar and Joseph Rangle (DAL) - many a fantasy owner, and Cowboys fans, were misty-eyed on Monday morning when they learned of Murray's broken hand. That was news that no one expected. Unfortunately, Murray has not been ruled out and, if he is, Dunbar will split the workload with Joseph Randle. Dunbar is more of the scat-back and Randle is more of the traditional back. This is a tough situation to predict but you want at least one of the backs if you have Murray and no one to replace him if ruled Out this weekend.
WR: Malcom Floyd (SD) - Keenan Allen is done due to a broken collarbone. If you are looking for a replacement, Floyd is your man. If he is not available, you could also try Eddie Royal.
WR: Donte Moncrief (IND) - Moncrief was a hot pickup in prior weeks but let owners down last week with a goose egg (He did have a 46-yard TD called back). However, the Colts will be in a shootout in Dallas and both T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne are banged up and uncertain if they will play and, if so, if they will be effective. If Moncrief is not available, Hakeem Nicks is your fallback.
TE: Charles Clay (MIA) - Clay has been battling injuries all season but is one of the few remaining pass-catching tight ends available right now. With the Dolphins' run game stagnating, Clay should see a good number of passes thrown his way on Sunday.