There was never a dull moment during Week 15 of the 2013 NFL season, as there were some shocking results and breakout fantasy players who posted huge numbers.
Of course, it wouldn't be fantasy football playoff season without some incredible performances nobody saw coming.
Among the biggest surprises in Week 15 was Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, who broke a franchise record by passing for 382 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, per the Vikings on Twitter:
Matt Cassel's 382 yards is the most in #Vikings team history against the Eagles.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 15, 2013
Cassel also scored three touchdowns, and he was the second-highest fantasy producer at any position during the early games on Sunday.
Here's a look at the entire slate of games for the action on Dec. 15, followed by an examination of the top fantasy stars from each game.
NFL Week 15: Results for Sunday's Action
|San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||33-14|
|Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||23-0|
|Minnesota Vikings||Philadelphia Eagles||48-30|
|Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||24-20|
|Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars||27-20|
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||25-3|
|Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||38-31|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||56-31|
|Green Bay Packers||Dallas Cowboys||37-36|
|Arizona Cardinals||Tennessee Titans||37-34|
|Carolina Panthers||New York Jets||30-20|
|St. Louis Rams||New Orleans Saints||27-16|
Different Quarterback, Same Result for the Chicago Bears
There was a lot of negative chatter around the web and on television about Chicago Bears head coach Mark Trestman's decision to start Jay Cutler over the red-hot Josh McCown.
McCown most recently passed for 348 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions against Dallas in Week 14, and he'd been brilliant since taking over for the injured Cutler, throwing nine touchdowns and just one interception in four games.
During Chicago's game against the Cleveland Browns, it appeared Trestman had indeed, made a fatal error in judgement. Cutler threw two early interceptions to Tashaun Gipson—one of which was returned for a touchdown—and Cleveland took a one-touchdown lead into the fourth quarter.
However, Cutler turned in a fantastic second-half performance, leading his team to a thrilling 38-31 victory.
FINAL: CHI 38 - CLE 31 -Jay Cutler 265 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT -Brandon Marshall 6 Rec, 95 yds, TD pic.twitter.com/u95GadTsX2— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 15, 2013
His performance on third downs was especially outstanding, as detailed by ESPN Stats & Info:
Jay Cutler on 3rd down for Bears in win today: 11-for-12, 151 yards, 2 TD passes— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 15, 2013
In a game the Bears had to have in order to keep pace with the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, per Tony Dungy, Cutler jumped right into the fray to deliver a playoff-caliber performance:
Chicago wins and gets Jay Cutler going. That puts the pressure on Detroit tomorrow night against Baltimore— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) December 15, 2013
Heading into Monday night's game featuring the Baltimore Ravens in Detroit to take on the Lions, Chicago holds a tenuous half-game lead over its rival. Up next are the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 and the Green Bay Packers to finish off the season in Week 17.
NFL Week 15: Sunday's Top Fantasy Scorers
|Redskins at Falcons||Kirk Cousins||QB||WAS||21||381 yards, three TDs, two INTs|
|49ers at Buccaneers||Colin Kaepernick||QB||SF||19||242 yards, two TDs|
|Seahawks at NY Giants||Seahawks Defense||DEF||SEA||22||Four sacks, five INTs, zero points allowed.|
|Eagles at Vikings||Nick Foles||QB||PHI||33||469 yards, three TDs, one INT|
|Patriots at Dolphins||Ryan Tannehill||QB||MIA||24||311 yards, three TDs|
|Bills at Jaguars||EJ Manuel||QB||BUF||20||230 yards, three TDs, one INT|
|Texans at Colts||Colts Defense||DEF||IND||16||Four sacks, two INTs, one safety, three points allowed.|
|Bears at Browns||Jay Cutler||QB||CHI||19||276 yards, three TDs, two INTs|
|Chiefs at Raiders||Jamaal Charles||RB||KC||51||215 yards, five TDs|
|Packers at Cowboys||Matt Flynn||QB||GB||25||296 yards, four TDs, one INT|
|Cardinals at Titans||Ryan Fitzpatrick||QB||TEN||30||424 yards, four TDs, two INTs|
|Jets at Panthers||DeAngelo Williams||RB||CAR||22||168 yards, one TD|
|Saints at Rams||Zac Stacy||RB||STL||20||143 yards, one TD|
Who's Matt Asiata, and Should You Snag Him for the Playoffs?
What do you get when Minnesota Vikings running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are both ruled out of a game? Apparently, you get Matt Asiata, who did his best "All Day" impression during Week 15's contest against the Eagles, rushing 30 times for 51 yards and three touchdowns.
Not bad for a guy who was just signed off the practice squad the day before the game, as ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed:
So Minnesota's RBs today will be Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard, signed off practice squad Saturday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 15, 2013
Not surprisingly, the former undrafted free agent out of Utah was nervous before the game, and he didn't expect to score three touchdowns, according to K-TWIN's Sean Jensen:
Matt Asiata: "I woke up early and had butterflies." Added he never dreamed of a 3-TD NFL debut. #Vikings— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) December 15, 2013
Heading into the game, Asiata had only touched the ball four times in an NFL contest, accounting for 11 yards. Fans shouldn't expect a repeat performance in Week 16, however, as both Peterson and Gerhart are dealing with short-term injuries and have a better chance at playing after resting in Week 15.
Note: Fantasy stats and information courtesy of ESPN.com (standard scoring).
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