Fantasy Football's Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 13
The 13th week of the 2012 NFL season is winding down, and as hard as it is to believe, that means that the regular season has come and gone in many fantasy football leagues.
This week was a huge one for many fantasy owners who needed their starters to come up big and get them that one last win that would propel their squads into the postseason.
Some of those teams got just that, while others were left reeling by a dud of a performance at the worst possible time.
So, keeping that in mind, let's take a look at the players that picked up the slack and the ones that left their fantasy owners slack-jawed with fantasy football's winners and losers from Week 13.
Andrew Luck and the Winners at Quarterback
Fellow rookie Robert Griffin III has grabbed the lion's share of the headlines, but not only is Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts having a fine season all his own, but Luck also has the Colts poised for a playoff berth.
The former Stanford standout had a huge game in Sunday's wild win over the Detroit Lions, throwing for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner to wide receiver Donnie Avery on the game's final play.
Other winners at quarterback: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (303 passing yards, 3 touchdowns) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (293 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 71 rushing yards); Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (232 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 78 rushing yards); Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (313 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception)
Drew Brees and the Losers at Quarterback
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has made plenty of appearances on this list this season, but usually Brees' name is listed among the fantasy "winners" at the quarterback position.
However, in Week 13 Brees picked an awful time to have his worst game of the season, failing to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in over three years while tossing a career-high five interceptions in a performance that broke the playoff backs of both the Saints and many fantasy teams.
Other losers at quarterback: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (165 passing yards, 1 touchdown); Tom Brady, New England Patriots (238 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception); Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (188 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 1 fumble lost)
Adrian Peterson and the Winners at Running Back
OK, so it's now pretty safe to say that the debate as to who the best running back in the National Football League is has been settled.
And then some.
Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings entered Week 13 as the NFL's leading rusher, and the sixth-year pro only widened the gap with his 210-yard explosion against the Green Bay Packers, which included a career-high 82-yard touchdown run.
Other winners at running back: Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (183 total yards, two touchdowns, lost fumble) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (98 total yards, touchdown); Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (96 total yards, touchdown); Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (138 total yards); BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (132 total yards); Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (117 total yards)
Beanie Wells and the Losers at Running Back
To say that the Arizona Cardinals are struggling would be something of an understatement, as I'm pretty sure that the Cardinals passed "struggling" about four games into their eight-game losing streak.
Part of Arizona's many problems has been the inability to run the ball consistently. While the return of running back Beanie Wells was supposed to help in that regard, I don't think 22 yards on 15 carries is what the team had in mind.
Other losers at running back: Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (9 carries, 26 yards); Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders (7 carries, 36 yards); Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins (5 carries, 10 yards)
Calvin Johnson and the Winners at Wide Receiver
You remember when we were lamenting Calvin Johnson's slow start and wondering what was wrong with the Detroit Lions wide receiver?
For the fifth straight week, "Megatron" topped 125 receiving yards in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, hauling in 13 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.
Other winners at wide receiver: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (6 catches, 98 yards, 2 touchdowns) Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (8 catches, 99 yards, 2 touchdowns); Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts (5 catches, 91 yards, 2 touchdowns); Wes Welker, New England Patriots (12 catches, 103 yards, touchdown); Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (5 catches, 120 yards, touchdown); Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (10 catches, 165 yards)
Roddy White and the Losers at Wide Receiver
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been fantasy gold for the past several seasons, as his five straight seasons of over 80 catches and 1,100 yards affords a level of consistency that can be very hard to come by at the wide receiver position.
That made Thursday night's stinker that much more of a gutpunch to the playoff dreams of fantasy squads, as White managed only one catch for 20 yards in a primo fantasy matchup with the New Orleans Saints.
Other losers at wide receiver: Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars (1 catch, 9 yards); Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (1 catch, 23 yards); Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (2 catches, 17 yards)
Brandon Myers and the Winners at Tight End
Many years in fantasy football, it's not the first-round draft picks that can put a team over the top so much as the late draft choice or waiver-wire pickup that comes from nowhere to become a viable weekly starter.
Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers is one of those players.
The fourth-year pro has emerged as the most dependable fantasy asset in the Oakland passing game this season, and that was plainly evident in Week 13's loss to the Cleveland Browns, where Myers reeled in 14 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Other winners at tight end: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (5 catches, 97 yards, touchdown); Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (8 catches, 97 yards); Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (9 catches, 89 yards), Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (6 catches, 108 yards)
Vernon Davis and the Losers at Tight End
When Colin Kaepernick took over as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, it appeared to be great news for tight end Vernon Davis, who had one of his best games of the season in Kaepernick's first start.
However, since then Davis has been a complete non-factor, and his disappointing year continued with a measly two catches for 15 yards in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Other losers at tight end: Dustin Keller, New York Jets (2 catches, 17 yards); Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (1 catch, 19 yards)