We are now well into the fantasy football playoffs for most people so I'm here with another "just the games" edition of Fantasy Aftermath. This is the time of the season where even the best laid plans can go awry in this crazy game we call football. Just look at some of the unexpected performances this week:
Reading The Box Scores & Watching The Highlights
Indianapolis 35, Jacksonville 31
Well the Colts improve to 14-0 and as a Patriots fan, I get a little bit nervous of somebody else to share the 16-0 perfect season with. Dallas Clark follows up his three TD game in week 14 with a two TD game in Week 15. It is not news that he is a stud tight-end, but some may have noticed that perhaps his receptions were eating into Reggie Wayne 's stats.
Well, in this shootout, Wayne got his own with 132 receiving yards that were fueled by a 65-yard touchdown catch. It does concern me that Joseph Addai has been cooling off after what looked like a potential hot streak.
Things that surprised me: Maurice Jones-Drew hauled in two touchdowns via air and ground, maybe he should do some holiday work with Fed-Ex. David Garrard bounced back to have another solid game, but that interception kept the Colts perfect in the defeat. I'd be cautious starting him against the Patriots next week however.
Dallas 24, New Orleans 17
I was watching this game in a Chinatown restaurant during snomageddon this past weekend. For the same reasons as above I was rooting for Dallas to upset the perfect Saints, and they managed to stop a last minute Saints' comeback.
Things that surprised me: The Cowboys went back to running the ball (Marion Barber: 62 rushing yards, 2 TDs); Nick Folk made a field goal (but missed a key one as well.); Lance Moore returns to the field and scores a TD; Dallas managed to win a game in December.
Patriots 17, Buffalo 10
Patriots finally win one on the road (in the country). Again it was a tough victory that almost was lost in the second half, so I'm still not feeling good about this team right now.
Things that surprised me: L-Mo (23 carries, 81 rushing yards, TD), who's Sammy Morris? I've already written that it looks like Maroney is standing out as the Pats top back but it's not even close when it comes to the time share. Jonathan Wilhite caught an interception—does this mean we can stop picking on him?
Things that did not surprise me: Fred Jackson had a better day vs. Marshawn Lynch—party is over for Lynch owners (including me); Randy Moss caught a TD—after a rough couple of weeks, Brady was going to get the ball to Moss; Tom Brady had another blah day—Brady's slump has to be killing fantasy seasons right now.
Cleveland 41, Kansas City 34
Classic two-terrible-teams shootout here folks. Lots of surprises to be had in the stats sheet.
Things that surprised me: Jerome Harrison had 286 rush yards, 3 TD; now how many players started him? I thought so. Of course he'll be the hot pickup this week; the fact Jamaal Charles' 154 yards rushing wasn't the best performance of the game.
Things that did not surprise me: Josh Cribbs is a machine: Two return TDs; Dwayne Bowe's slow start coming back from suspension—I was hoping he'd be back up and running but at least he got targeted 10 times so he's back as the top receiver on the team.
Atlanta 10, New York Jets 7
The Sanchise continues to struggle late in his rookie season with three interceptions, but hey, he's a rookie. Both Matt Ryan and Michael Turner return to the field but both were a shell of what you would normally expect, not surprised by either. Ryan fought against a tough Jets defense and Turner is definitely not 100 percent healthy yet.
Did anything surprise me about this game? Probably that Atlanta (thanks to Tony Gonzalez), won but this was a snoozer.
Houston 16, St. Louis 13
Fantasy owners were licking their chops for this matchup: a high powered offense playing one of the worst teams in the NFL? Fantasy point for everyone right? Not so much.
What surprised me: The score—really Matt Schuab? Only one TD? You are playing the Rams! Really Keith Null? Only one pick? I played the Houston defense hoping you'd throw another three to four picks! Way to improve.
What did not surprise me: Andre Johnson. You didn't score but you always make it worth the start with 195 yard receiving. I'll take that any day. A Houston running back fumbles the ball (Arian Foster ) and Ryan Moats comes in and takes over. This sounds familiar...
Miami 24 Tennessee 27
Patriots got some help from Tennessee as they take care of the Dolphins and both teams go to 7-7.
What surprised me: Vince Young : (236 passing yards, 3 TDs)- Young has the upside to produce elite numbers but I didn't expect it against the Dolphins. I also didn't expect two of those touchdowns to go to Justin Gage. Sorry Kenny Britt.
Arizona 31, Detroit 24
Arizona continues to dominate on the road—who needs time zones? Detroit continues their quest for a top draft pick.
What surprised me: Maurice Morris: really, 128 yards and a TD? I picked him up after the Kevin Smith injury but I didn't expect you to perform like that. He's definitely worth a place on your bench just in case, I can see Detroit running the ball more as long as Matt Stafford is out.
What did not surprise me: Beanie Wells was a popular start option coming into the week and he proved experts right (17 carries, 111 yards rushing, TD); Calvin Johnson (3 receptions, 35 yards) here's why I traded him away—his schedule to end the season is tough.
Oakland 20, Denver 19
Everything about this game was a surprise, but then again Oakland upsetting a team every once in awhile shouldn't be.
What surprised me: Michael Bush (133 rushing yards, 1 TD)—you couldn't even put up one fantasy point in the past four weeks now you put up 20? I call fluke. Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas are two reasons I'd leave Bush on the waiver wire. JaMarcus Russell: wait, the QB that got benched for Charlie Frye (who left the game- not a surprise) won the game for the Raiders? Maybe he wants to play after all.
Cincinnati 24, San Diego 27
Cincinnati played a very emotional game after the loss of wide receiver Chris Henry . Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for a red hot Chargers team.
What surprised me: J.P. Foschi—the Bengals tight end led the team in receiving with 82 yards. Does it mean anything? Not really. Chad Ochocinco and Laveranues Coles caught the TDs for the team. Ochocinco celebrated his touchdown by breaking into tears on the bench. I don't think he'll get fined for that, an emotional gesture in honor of his departed teammate.
Chicago 7, Baltimore 31
The Ravens pour it on for a second straight week. Baltimore got hit hard by snow just like DC but managed to dig themselves out after moving the game back.
What surprised me: Joe Flacco: (234 passing yards, 4 TDs)—well, welcome back Joe, we missed you for a good few weeks. Devin Aromashodu—after a great start filling in for Devin Hester last week, he came back down to earth. What was surprising was that he was still targeted 10 times.
What did not surprise me: Jay Cutler: (QB rating 7.9, 3 interceptions)—can you believe he was a top 10 QB last year?
Tampa Bay 24, Seattle 7
What surprised me: The fact Tampa Bay won. If you told me one of the two quarterbacks in this game threw 4 picks—I would of guessed Josh Freeman , not Matt Hasselbeck.
San Fransisco 13, Philadelphia 27
What surprised me: Leonard Weaver getting the majority of the carries compared to LeSean McCoy—this is definite cause for concern if you own Shady McCoy.
Green Bay 36, Pittsburgh 37
What surprised me: Lack of running game: With both teams having great running backs in Ryan Grant and Rashard Mendenhall, it was sad to see them only go for 37 and 38 yards rushing. At least each had a score to tack on as well. Pittsburgh's crazy passing game: both Hines Ward and Heath Miller went over 100 yards receiving but Mewelde Moore and Mike Wallace caught the touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards and 3 TDs.
Minnesota 7, Carolina 26
What surprised me: Um, Carolina beating Minnesota? The Matt Moore-led Carolina Panthers? No way. The game was a 7-6 snoozer until Carolina put up 20 points in the fourth quarter.
What surprised me: All the Minnesota receivers—Adrian Peterson led the team in rushing and receiving, something that shouldn't happen when you have young talent that have been hot all season long. Matt Moore really? Three TDs?
What doesn't surprise me: Jonathan Stewart—once again DeAngelo Williams disappoints me with that ankle injury and the Daily Show got all the action with two TDs.
New York Giants at Washington
Washington's newly found offense goes up against a Giants team that has been struggling to put something consistent together. With two defenses in the top ten against the pass, I think it'll come down to the run game. Washington is weaker against the run so this may be an OK matchup for Brandon Jacobs. I am starting Quinton Ganther but there's not a whole lot of great matchups anywhere in this game.