Here are nine forward-thinking revelations off the Sunday portion of Week 16 action—none of which lament the Jets' three-headed stoogefest at quarterback.
1. Generally speaking, drafting a quarterback high in Round 1 is a failed concept when the signal-caller falls short of 4,800 total yards and 43 touchdowns. But try telling that to Aaron Rodgers' owners, just one day after the reigning NFL MVP racked up his second-most prolific outing of the season—342 yards passing, four touchdowns (one rushing) and 36-plus fantasy points in the Packers' 55-7 demolition of the Titans.
2. I was dead wrong about criticizing the Seahawks for choosing Russell Wilson (200 total yards, four TDs vs. San Francisco) over Matt Flynn during training camp, just like I was off base for doubting that a rookie quarterback could carry teams to fantasy titles in mid-December.
On the flip side, I was right to assign Wilson a No. 11 ranking for Week 16. Whew!
3. Reggie Bush's audition tape, er DVD, for potential NFL suitors in 2013 got a little longer after he torched the Bills for 107 total yards (65 rushing) and three touchdowns. But for fantasy purposes, it's hard to quantify the relevance of Sunday's shakedown, given the uncertainty of the free-agent market in February. Especially with aging tailbacks (Bush is 27).
4. For next year's points-per-reception drafts, Doug Martin (119 total yards vs. St. Louis) shall rank no lower than my No. 4 running back. As a rookie, Martin posted 45 catches (for 454 yards), 11 touchdowns, nine outings of 118 total yards or more and seven games of five-plus targets. That's light-years ahead of Ray Rice during his rookie campaign (2008).
5. Just think of the damage Jamaal Charles (230 total yards vs. Indy) could inflict on opponents if the Chiefs weren't such a hot mess at quarterback, receiver and along the offensive line. While Adrian Peterson certainly merits consideration for NFL MVP...just remember that Charles (1,678 total yards, six TDs through 15 games) is this year's only tailback with two outings of 220-plus rushing yards.
6. I will not invest a Round 4 or higher pick on Eli Manning next summer, citing two reasons: his combined numbers for Week 15 and 16 (311 yards passing, one TD) were dreadful...and for Weeks 6 through 16 (spanning 10 games), Manning tallied 16 or fewer completions six times. Ouch.
7. From a real-world perspective, the Bills warrant a serious upgrade at quarterback during the offseason...and this is coming from someone who appreciates Ryan Fitzpatrick's place in the fantasy realm (preferred-status QB2). Bottom line: Six straight outings short of 250 yards passing doesn't pass the smell test.
8. At this moment, there are five must-have tailback handcuffs heading into next year's drafts: C.J. Spiller-Fred Jackson (Bills), LeSean McCoy/Bryce Brown (Eagles), Ahmad Bradshaw-David Wilson (Giants), Marshawn Lynch-Robert Turbin (Seahawks) and Ray Rice-Bernard Pierce (Ravens).
9. Memo to self: Avoid drafting Eric Decker (six catches, 65 yards, two TDs vs. Cleveland) in standard-scoring leagues next year...unless it completes the QB-WR handcuff with Denver's Peyton Manning (339 yards, three TDs).
For PPR leagues, though, anytime after Round 3 would suffice for Decker, who has crossed the PPR- elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown 10 times.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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