Fantasy Football: Julio Jones Leads 'Sunday Dream Team' from Week 12

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 26, 2012

Fantasy Football: Julio Jones Leads 'Sunday Dream Team' from Week 12

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    The following countdown touts the 14 most decorated fantasy stars from the Sunday portion of NFL Week 12 (standard-scoring leagues).

    The exclusive list includes one opportunistic defense, one tight end, three big-armed quarterbacks, four explosive wide receivers and five game-breaking rushers—including the hottest rookie tailback on the planet.

    This Sunday's most notable omissions include: Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco (quarterback); Steven Jackson, Michael Bush, Beanie Wells, Frank Gore, Reggie Bush (running back); A.J. Green, Reggie Wayne, Mohamed Sanu, Demaryius Thomas, Hakeem Nicks, Justin Blackmon, Davone Bess (wide receiver); and Titans kicker Rob Bironas (four field goals).

    Maybe next time.

    Enjoy the show!

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Sunday Stats: 267 Yards Passing, 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. For a third consecutive game, Drew Brees accounted for three touchdown passes. (Curiously, he hasn't thrown for 300-plus yards in that span.)

    2. Brees helped Darren Sproles (seven catches, 65 yards) and Marques Colston (four catches, 36 yards, one TD) post solid PPR numbers.

    Brees also played a key role in the 49ers taking Sunday honors with D/ST points (19)—thanks to a pair of pick-sixes.

Quarterback: Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    Sunday Stats: 249 Yards Passing, 3 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. In standard-scoring leagues, Eli Manning tallied the most fantasy points (25.7) of any quarterback playing on Sunday.

    2. Along those lines, Manning posted his highest point total since Week 2 against the Bucs (510 yards passing, three TDs).

    3. Against the Packers, Manning registered more passing touchdowns (three) than his previous five games combined.

    Think about that for a second.

Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

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    Sunday Stats: 258 Total Yards (231 Passing), 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. In his first NFL start on the road, Colin Kaepernick fell just short of the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns.

    2. As the 49ers' starter (two games), Kaepernick has averaged 257 total yards and two touchdowns.

    3. On Sunday, Kaepernick outperformed elite-level fantasy stars like Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers.

Running Back: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Sunday Stats: 138 Total Yards (129 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. For Week 12, BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for the second-most yards of any NFL tailback (trailing only Steven Jackson).

    2. Along those lines, Green-Ellis trailed only Arian Foster in tailback points for the weekend (standard-scoring leagues).

    3. For the first time in his career, Green-Ellis notched 100 yards rushing in back-to-back outings.

Running Back: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

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    Sunday Stats: 164 Total Yards (97 Rushing)

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Ray Rice amassed the most total yards (164) of any NFL tailback from Week 12.

    2. For PPR leagues, Rice (eight catches, 67 yards) also accounted for 24.4 points.

    3. Five years from now, Rice's amazing output will be a mere footnote to the signature moment of Ravens-Chargers—the incredible 29-yard catch/run on 4th-and-29 late in the game.

Running Back: Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants

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    Sunday Stats: 119 Total Yards (58 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Ahmad Bradshaw played a crucial role in the Giants' 38-10 rout of the favored Packers.

    2. Bradshaw ended a three-game touchdown drought heading into Sunday.

    3. Against Green Bay, Bradshaw accounted for 10 yards per touch, highlighted by a 59-yard catch in New York's opening drive.

Running Back: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Sunday Stats: 63 Total Yards (50 Rushing), 2 TDs

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Despite only 63 total yards against Atlanta, Doug Martin finished with the fourth-most tailback points for Week 12 (excluding Monday's results).

    2. In the last five weeks, Martin has accounted for nine touchdowns (eight rushing).

    3. Of his last six games, Martin has absurdly averaged 145 total yards per outing.

    4. Martin gets the countdown nod over Beanie Wells and Michael Bush—two tailbacks who also accounted for two touchdowns on Sunday...but less than 70 total yards.

Running Back: Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

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    Sunday Stats: 112 Total Yards (85 Rushing), 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Trent Richardson notched his fourth straight game of 100-plus total yards on Sunday.

    2. Of his last 10 games, Richardson has seven touchdowns and seven outings of 100 total yards.

    3. The Browns rookie is a healthy bet for 120 total yards and one TD next week (against the Raiders).

Wide Receiver: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

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    Sunday Stats: 6 Catches, 147 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Julio Jones recorded the most receiving yards (147) of any pass-catcher playing on Sunday.

    2. Of his six road games this year, Jones has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown five times.

    3. This countdown pick comes with some consternation for yours truly:

    For Sunday's final rankings, I was a little worried about Jones' tender ankle before kickoff.

    In fact, I figured Atlanta would play it safe against Tampa Bay...with the intent of having Jones fully healthy for the Saints-Falcons showdown on Thursday.

    Wow...was I wrong! Jones was truly a beast among men.

Wide Receiver: Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens

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    Sunday Stats: 7 Catches, 144 Yards

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. Against the Chargers, Torrey Smith racked up a season-high 144 receiving yards. His long catch in overtime also set up Justin Tucker's game-winning kick.

    2. For Week 12, Smith was only one of 10 NFL wideouts to tally 13 or more targets.

    3. Smith has now collected double-digit targets four times this season.

Wide Receiver: Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams

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    Sunday Stats: 5 Catches, 115 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. For Week 12, Chris Givens was only one of five NFL wideouts to rack up 100 yards receiving and one touchdown.

    2. The five receptions and 115 yards were both career highs for the rookie Givens.

Wide Receiver: Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Sunday Stats: 4 Catches, 105 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. For the second time in three weeks, Cecil Shorts tallied 105 receiving yards.

    2. Along those lines, Shorts has scored a touchdown in three straight games.

    3. Shorts was only one of five wideouts to collect 100 yards receiving and one TD in Week 12.

    4. Of his last six games, Shorts has collected six-plus targets five times.

Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

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    Sunday Stats: 5 Catches, 55 Yards, 1 TD

    Fantasy Reasons For This Honor

    1. On Sunday, Kyle Rudolph was the only NFL tight end to account for 50-plus yards and one touchdown.

    2. As a result, Rudolph finished with the second-most fantasy points (standard-scoring leagues) among his positional brethren.

Defense/Special Teams: San Francisco 49ers

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    Sunday Highlights

    1. The 49ers sacked Saints QB Drew Brees five times.

    2. San Fran held high-powered New Orleans to only 21 points at home.

    3. Both Brees interceptions were returned for touchdowns (Ahmad Brooks, Donte Whitner).