The 2017 NFL postseason is right around the corner. And Week 15's action helped to solidify the playoff picture for both the AFC and the NFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs regained control of the AFC West. And the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints solidified their spots in the NFC, just to name a few.
Plus, individual players all over the league had the kinds of performances that put smiles on the faces of fans and fantasy managers alike.
Each game's top fantasy scorer, playoff standings and the week's most productive players can be found below.
|Week 15 NFL Scores, Fantasy Stars|
|Broncos||25-13||Colts||Brock Osweiler||12-of-17, 194 yds, 2 TDs; 17 rush yds, TD|
|Bears||10-20||Lions||Matthew Stafford||25-of-33, 237 yds, 2 TDs|
|Chargers||13-30||Chiefs||Kareem Hunt||155 rush yds, TD; 7 rec, 51 yds, TD|
|Bengals||7-34||Vikings||Case Keenum||20-of-23, 236 yds, 2 TDs; 20 rush yds|
|Cardinals||15-20||Redskins||Phil Dawson||5-of-5 FGs|
|Dolphins||16-24||Bills||Tyrod Taylor||17-of-29, 224 yds, TD; 42 rush yds, TD|
|Ravens||27-10||Browns||Joe Flacco||26-of-42, 288 yds, TD; 3 rush yds, TD|
|Texans||7-45||Jaguars||Blake Bortles||21-of-29, 326 yds, 3 TDs|
|Packers||24-31||Panthers||Cam Newton||20-of-31, 242 yds, 4 TDs; 58 rush yds|
|Jets||19-31||Saints||Mark Ingram||74 rush yds, 2 TDs; 5 rec, 77 yds|
|Eagles||34-29||Giants||Eli Manning||37-of-57. 434 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT|
|Rams||42-7||Seahawks||Todd Gurley||152 rush yds, 3 TDs, 3 rec, 28 yds, TD|
|Patriots||27-24||Steelers||Le'Veon Bell||117 rush yds, TD, 5 rec, 48 yds|
|Titans||23-25||49ers||Robbie Gould||6-of-6 FGs, 1-of-1 XPs|
|Cowboys||20-17||Raiders||Derek Carr||21-of-38, 171 yds, 2 TDs, 47 rush yds|
|Week 15 Playoff Standings|
|AFC Division Leaders||W||L|
|AFC Wild Card||W||L|
|NFC Division Leaders||W||L|
|NFC Wild Card||W||L|
Wait, Brock Osweiler? Yes, indeed.
After finishing 20th in passer rating among the 20 quarterbacks with at least 500 attempts last season, per Pro Football Reference, and spending most of this season as a backup to Trevor Siemian, Osweiler went off for nearly 30 fantasy points in the Denver Broncos' 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.
And Osweiler didn't even start that game either.
After Siemian went down with an injury, Osweiler piloted the Broncos offense to one of its best days of the season. He went 12-of-17 for 194 yards and two touchdowns, plus he ran for another score.
"I was a little kid having fun tonight," Osweiler said, per Aric DiLalla of the Broncos website. "That's really what it was. You guys all know—I've been on a little bit of a roller-coaster ride for the last two years. Just to go out there, Thursday Night Football with my teammates who I love...I was just having fun."
Is early-season Kareem Hunt back?
During the Chiefs' first three games of the season, Hunt averaged 146 yards from scrimmage and two total touchdowns. Over the next nine, he averaged 84.3 yards from scrimmage. He didn't score a single touchdown in that stretch.
Well, if the last two weeks are any indication, the guy who took the league by storm in those first three games is back. And it couldn't have come at a better time for the Chiefs.
After piling up 138 yards from scrimmage and one rushing touchdown in Week 14, Hunt went off in Kansas City's 30-13 win over the Chargers on Saturday.
He finished with 155 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, seven receptions, 51 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.
And he made a little history in the process, per the Chiefs' Twitter:
With its most dangerous weapon back on track, it looks like Kansas City may be peaking at just the right time.
Remember that stat about Osweiler's passer rating? Well, Newton was the guy who finished 19th out of 20 last season. And he's bounced back too.
In fact, he's more than bounced back.
On Sunday, Newton went 20-of-31 for 242 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He added another 58 yards on the ground.
In standard scoring formats, it was his third game with at least 30 fantasy points this season and his seventh game with at least 20.
When he's healthy, Newton's dynamic, dual-threat ability—in combination with Greg Olsen, Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Stewart and the rest of Carolina's weapons—makes the Panthers a dangerous offense come playoff time.
The Saints have a dynamic offense. That's not news for a Drew Brees/Sean Payton-led team. What is different is where that dynamism comes from.
On any given week, running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara might light a defense up. Kamara's topped 19 fantasy points five times this season. And after Sunday's monster performance, Ingram's topped 17 fantasy points on six different occasions this season.
In New Orleans' 31-19 win over the New York Jets, Ingram totaled 151 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns. And he was even more valuable in point-per-reception leagues, thanks to his five catches.
With Brees still slinging it at a high level and this seemingly unstoppable running game behind him, the Saints look like as tough an out as any in the NFC.
Once upon a time, the New York Giants benched Eli Manning for Geno Smith, ending a 210-game streak of consecutive starts for the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
The move accomplished nothing. Manning went right back to starting in Week 14 after Ben McAdoo was fired as head coach, and on Sunday, he looked like his old self against the Philadelphia Eagles.
New York came up short in a 34-29 loss, but Manning went 37-of-57 for 434 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
The 2-13 Giants aren't headed to the playoffs and Manning's likely near the end of his time in The Big Apple, but games like this could intrigue teams in need of a quarterback this offseason.
The monster performance of the week belongs to Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who went bananas for 152 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, three receptions, 28 receiving yards and one receving touchdown.
For Gurley, it was his ninth game this season with at least 15 fantasy points, seventh with 20, second with 30 and first with 40.
Prior to this week, the best single-game fantasy performance was Hunt's 40-point Week 1 explosion against the Patriots. Gurley just passed that with this 43-point masterpiece.