For many of you, this was the last fight for a playoff spot in your fantasy football leagues. For the rest of you, it was most likely the second to last week.
Every week in fantasy football is important.
In one of my money leagues, I lost three straight games by a total of five points. I was the second highest scoring team in the league in two of those three weeks.
The bad luck I had was unbelievable, but I’ve come back and I’m fighting for that last spot.
If I had just one of those games back, I’d already have been guaranteed a spot.
But it’s the surprises in the NFL that get us.
Sometimes you wonder why Randy Moss had zero catches as the Patriots put up 40-plus points in a game, and why Steve Johnson caught two touchdowns and 110 yards despite the Bills scoring just 17 points.
Peyton Manning owners have been surprised.
He’s thrown 11 of his last 13 interceptions against teams running the 3-4 defense. He’s always struggled against 3-4 teams, but he’s never struggled this badly. Luckily for Manning owners, he generally makes up for it with solid yardage and a couple of scores.
Here are this week’s Top Fantasy Football Surprises
10. Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints
Ivory isn’t afraid of Pierre Thomas coming back. He’s not fearing Reggie Bush’s return either. In fact, he’s going to continue to score. Ivory rushed just 15 times in Week 13 against the Bengals.
But those 15 rushes totaled 117 yards and included two touchdowns on the ground. It’s not that we’re really that surprised. We’re just a little shocked that he’s still producing despite the Saints offense getting healthier, and still succeeding in the passing game.
Ivory totaled 23 points for fantasy owners.
9. Sidney Rice, WR, Minnesota Vikings
At around 11:40 Sunday morning, NFL Soup got word about Percy Harvin sitting. After that, we encouraged all Rice owners to start him. Hopefully you listened to us. I was lucky enough to pick him up in a league right before game time, as he put me ahead.
Rice caught five passes, but recorded 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 31-yard pass and catch for a touchdown, as well as a 46-yard gain.
Rice amassed 22 points in standard scoring leagues.
8. Ben Watson, TE, Cleveland Browns
Watson could be higher on this list, but honestly, he’s emerged as the top pass catcher for the Browns in 2010. Teams hurting with guys like Zach Miller or Jermichael Finley should be utilizing this guy.
Watson caught a season high 10 passes for 100 yards, including one touchdown. He continues to get open in the middle of the field, rack up consistent yardage and provide a nice goal line target for the mediocre quarterbacks in Cleveland.
Watson totaled 16 fantasy points for owners who started him.
7. Robert Meachem, WR, New Orleans Saints
I’ve come to the conclusion that Sean Payton doesn’t play NFL games just to win. He plays to win, AND make sure that you can’t predict what his offensive players do statistically.
Meachem has bounced back and forth between one catch and six catches in a game. He’ll have no touchdowns for a few weeks, and then catch two in one game. Against the Bengals, Meachem only saw three receptions. But they were big receptions as he totaled 106 yards and a 52 yard touchdown pass.
Meachem tallied 16 points for fantasy owners.
6. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Blount was quite surprising. I can honestly say that I was hesitant to even start him as a Flex. He’s been somewhat inconsistent, and was stonewalled against Atlanta in Week 9.
But Blount led the Buccaneers to a near victory rushing for 103 yards on 20 carries. He recorded a touchdown as well, and did all of this against the sixth ranked rush defense in the NFL.
If you took a chance on Blount, you were rewarded with 16 fantasy points.
5. Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
I have to hand it to Palmer. He played a very solid game as the Bengals lost in a heart-breaker. Palmer wasn’t “lights out” in this match-up, not by any means. But he didn’t turn the ball over against third best pass defense in the NFL.
Palmer threw for 249 yards and one touchdown as the Bengals lost 34-30 against the Saints.
Palmer rewarded owners with 15 fantasy points.
4. Cowboys Defense/ST
What a performance for the resurgent Dallas Cowboys. They have really put on a good show since ridding themselves of the cancer that was Wade Phillips.
The Cowboys 3-4 defense intercepted future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning four times. What’s more impressive is that they had two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Despite giving up 35 points, the Cowboys managed to score 20 points for fantasy owners who risked starting them against Manning.
3. Drew Stanton, QB, Detroit Lions
I have to hand it to Stanton, I didn’t really think he had it in him. But he played a solid game against a tough Bears defense. While he only threw for 178 yards, he still recorded a pass touchdown and a rushing touchdown.
Stanton nearly led the Lions to an upset over the Bears, who played somewhat of a sloppy game.
If you took a chance with Stanton, you were rewarded with 18 fantasy points.
2. Tashard Choice, RB, Dallas Cowboys
You thought we were done with the Cowboys, but you were wrong. Tashard Choice split time with Felix Jones in the Cowboys 38-35 overtime win over the Colts. What’s surprising about this is that Choice hasn’t rushed for more than 18 yards or had more than five carries all season.
With Marion Barber sitting, the window of opportunity opened for Choice who rushed for 100 yards on just 19 carries, including a first quarter touchdown.
Those of you who used Choice in the Flex were satisfied with 16 points.
But you most likely didn’t take that chance.
1. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
If I told you that Lynch is the third leading scorer in fantasy for Week 13, would you believe me? Probably not.
Lynch didn’t have a HUGE game, but he scored three rushing touchdowns after rushing 21 times for 83 yards.
Don’t get used to this production, as this was against the lowly Panthers. But it is nice to see a change of pace at the top of the fantasy scoring leaders.
Lynch owners were rewarded with 27 fantasy points.
Don't forget to check out our 2011 NFL Draft coverage as well!