There are only two more weeks left in the NFL regular season and potentially only a championship game remaining in your league. That leaves about 12% of you still fighting for a trophy based on a standard 12-team league, but if we are at Faketeams have helped like you like I think we have, then 100% of you are fighting for the title!
My math is absolute and never incorrect. Though I've already lost in three of four leagues, which is what we call an anomaly. A complete fluke.
There was a lot of action in the second-to-last week in most leagues and next week there will be nearly a full slate of games on Christmas Eve. Make sure to come to FakeTeams during the holidays, and we'll do our best to be a good escape from your family.
Let's get onto the recaps:
Bucs Can't Wait to Lose, Get It Out of the Way on Saturday
Tampa Bay was getting tired of losing on Sundays, so they just moved the L ahead to Saturday in a Cowboys 31-15 win. Last week Dallas was all of a sudden the underdog in the NFC East because of a loss to the Giants, and just a week later it looks like New York will be on the outside looking in. Let's just say, stop making such snap judgments week to week and look at the bigger picture.
The bigger picture showed that the Cowboys are better than the Giants, now a game up with two games left. Dallas can clinch the NFC East next week.
Tony Romo was 23 of 30 for 249 yards, 3 TD/0 INT. Romo is posting the highest QB rating of his career at 102.6.
Felix Jones returned to the role of starter in place of DeMarco Murray and ran for 108 yards on 22 carries, his second straight 100-yard game. Miles Austin led the team in targets with 8, and caught 5 for 53 yards and a TD. Dez Bryant caught 4 of 4 targets for 40 yards and a TD. Laurent Robinson caught 3 of 3 for 29 yards and a TD. Jason Witten caught 4 of 6 for 77 yards.
The Buccaneers sad stats and the rest after the jump...
Josh Freeman didn't throw an interception for the first time since week 9. He was 17 of 27 for 148 yards, 1 TD/0 INT.
LeGarrette Blount ran for 21 yards on 9 carries. Blount is too inconsistent and will be low on my RB rankings next year. Dezmon Briscoe caught a TD and that's as much as I care to say about the rest of the Bucs offense.
Police Still Looking for Reggie Bush, Who Went Missing Midseason and Replaced by Productive Robot
The "man" you see running for Miami with success of the last eight weeks could not possibly be the real Reggie Bush. Scientists have determined with 100% certainty that he is in fact a Reggiebot. This version of Reggiebot has rushed for 741 yards over the last eight games. His career high for rushing in a season before this year was 581.
Bush ran for 203 yards against the Bills in a 30-23 victory with a TD. Reggie was productive at times with New Orleans, but he was never this productive on the ground and used to struggle getting into the end zone as a running back. He'll probably shoot up draft boards next season and seen as a guy that could possibly top 2,000 yards from scrimmage. We'll see...
Matt Moore was 10 of 20 for 217 yards, 2 TD/0 INT. Brandon Marshall caught 3 for 84 yards and a TD. Anthony Fasano caught his fifth TD of the season. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins finish out the year and who the head coach is next season. They have enough talent to compete for the playoffs in 2012.
The Bills do not.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 31 of 47 for 316 yards, 2 TD/3 INT. The Bills are committed to Fitzpatrick as the QB next season, and he has 19 interceptions now against 21 TDs.
C.J. Spiller was one bright spot. He had 91 yards and a TD on the ground, 76 yards and a TD in the air. Seeing good progression from him for the rest of the year will make him a nice sleeper behind Fred Jackson next year, with potential for more.
The Hawks might not have a franchise QB in tow right now, something they sorely lack if they want to return to annual NFC West contention and playoffs, but facing Caleb Hanie helps. Things got so bad that Josh McCown made an appearance, and Seattle won 38-14.
Tarvaris Jackson, the current stopgap at QB, was 19 of 31 for 227 yards, 1 TD/0 INT.
Marshawn Lynch, perhaps the most consistent fantasy running back this season, had only 42 yards on 20 carries, but with 2 TDs. He has scored in ten straight games.
By beating the Bears, the Hawks moved up to 7-7 and Chicago went down to 7-7. The Bears playoff hopes are basically crushed and the Giants at 7-7 mean that Seattle has jumped back into the playoff talk for real. (Ya buddy!)
Facing Hanie has helped a lot of teams in the last month.
Caleb went 10 of 23 for 111 yards, 1 TD/3 INT. He has 9 interceptions in four starts.
Marion Barber gained just 33 yards on 11 carries and Khalil Bell had 65 yards on 15. Bell also caught a TD.
Well, Houston finally made the playoffs, so why not get some losses out of the way?
The Panthers have won three of their last four games, all three wins coming on the road. Cam Newton legend would be growing if it weren't being overgrown by Godma... I mean, Tebowmania
Newton was 13 of 23 for 149 yards, 2 TD/0 INT. He ran for 55 yads. It's only the second time of his young career that he's thrown more than 1 TD pass without an interception.
DeAngelo Williams ran for 61 yards and a TD. It's his fourth score in the last four games. Jonathan Stewart had 43 yards on 11 carries. I would avoid both backs in drafts next year unless you're getting really good value or one of the goes away.
Steve Smith had 5 catches for 82 yards and a TD. Jeremy Shockey had 35 yards and a TD.
Will the Panthers draft a receiver in the first round next year (something they really need) or a defensive player (something they really need)? I could see them making the playoffs if they find the right pieces. Cam Newton is for real.
The Texans are going to the playoffs this year, but how many games they win once they get there will rely heavily upon how well T.J. Yates plays. If he plays like he did yesterday, the answer will be: 0.
Yates was 19 of 30 for 212 yards, 0 TD/2 INT.
Colts Win, Colts Win! Don't Miss Peyton Manning At All!
Who needs Manning? These Colts are dynamite! Not only did they win, they beat the Titans 27-13, a team that desperately needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. After losing, Matt Hasselbeck may be replaced as starter for the final two weeks? (I'm writing this potentially before news breaks on that issue.)
Hasselbeck was benched after going 27 of 40 for 223 yards, 0 TD/2 INT. Jake Locker came in and was 11of 16 for 108 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. He seems to spark something in this team and while he may not be ready to replace Hass, what do they have to lose?
Chris Johnson ran for 55 yards on 15 carries. He has 78 yards over his last two weeks combined. He did add 54 yards in receiving.
The Colts offense was sparked by a "red hot!" Dan Orlovsky, who was 11 of 17 for 82 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. Release Manning and trade Luck!
Donald Brown, a sleeper for next season, had 161 yards and a TD. He had an 80 yard run.
It would still take a miracle for the Colts to not get the #1 pick.
Kyle Orton Beats Aaron Rodgers, Giant Baby Eats Manhattan, Locusts Storm Paris, MADNESS MADNESS MADNEESSSS!!!!
It's the end of the world as we know it.
Rodgers and Tim Tebow are apparently human and the Chiefs, a team that at times has looked like the worst in the NFL beat the Packers; the team that was definitely the BEST in the NFL. But thirteen weeks of game tape on Rodgers, a new coach, a new quarterback, weird things like this do happen.
Orton was 23 of 31 for 299 yards, 0 TD/0 INT.
Thomas Jones led the team in carries and yards: 15 for 48. Jackie Battle had 37 yards and a crucial touchdown. Leonard Pope led the team in receiving with 72 yards on 2 catches. Dwayne Bowe was held to 4 for 49 yards. Steve Breaston had 4 for 50.
Aaron Rodgers was actually pretty bad on the stat sheet until he came on late in the game. He finished 17 of 35 for 235 yards, 1 TD/0 INT.
Ryan Grant had 12 carries for 66 yards. Rodgers scored a TD on the ground, keeping his fantasy owners somewhat alive.
Teams will be studying the hell out of the Chiefs defense over the next two weeks and into the playoffs. The same defense that gave up 89 points in the first two games and 37 points to the Jets.
Saints are New Clear Favorite in NFC Until Next Week When I Change My Mind Again!
The first game in the NFC this year was the Saints versus the Packers. It might be the last game in the NFC this year too. Green Bay won that game 42-34, and the Saints have gone 11-2 since, compared to 12-1 by the Pack. New Orleans has won six straight games and is 6-0 at home. They actually lost to maybe the two worst teams in the conference in Tampa Bay and St. Louis. They'll want to be at home in the playoffs as much as possible.
Yesterdy they beat the Vikings 42-20 behind a 32 of 40 for 412, 5 TD/0 INT performance from Drew Brees. Right or wrong, the MVP discussion will be up for debate and Brees is finishing strong. Over his last 5 games, Rodgers has thrown 12 TD/3 INT. Over Brees' last 5: 16 TD/0 INT.
Chris Ivory ran for 74 yards and Pierre Thomas scored a touchdown with 44 yards. Darren Sproles had 33 yards rushing and 79 yards receiving with a touchdown. Which Saints running back will I draft next year? None. Screw the committee.
Marques Colston would be a fine draft pick though (if you mind his injuries) and had 8 catches for 91 yards. Lance Moore had a season-high 91 yards and two touchdowns. He has 7 TDs in his last 7 games.
Jimmy Graham had 70 yards and a TD.
Adrian Peterson returned but if you forgot to take Toby Gerhart out of your lineup, you were lucky. Peterson had only 60 yards rushing and nothing else. Gerhart had 12 yards rushing but 46 yards and 2 TDs receiving. The danger will starting Peterson after injury was that they were facing the Saints and Peterson potentially being rusty would have been taken out of the flow of the game early if it was a blowout. It was a blowout.
Remember When the Giants Beat the Cowboys on Sunday Night and Were New Favorites in the East? Yeah, Me Neither
"Giants Win! They're back! Cowboys suck!"
Just like that the Giants lose at home to the Redskins 23-10. New York has had a brutal schedule, but playoff teams don't lose at home to the Redskins when they absolutely need a win. I thought Eli had turned a corner?
Manning was 23 of 40 for 257 yards, 0 TD/3 INT. He has thrown 0 TD/4 INT in two losses to Washington this year.
Things weren't a whole lot better for the Redskins offense, but that was never their strong suit anyway. Rex Grossman was 15 of 24 for 185 yards, 1 TD/2 INT. Roy Helu had 53 yards rushing and 16 receiving. Random rushing touchdown for a guy named Darrel Young.
The Giants finish their season with the Jets and Cowboys, two games that will be very hyped and yet I'll probably hate watching both of them. The Giants don't have almost no shot at a wild card and will need to win out for the division.
Oh Hi Bengals, Sorry, I Didn't See You There. Playoffs?! Playoffs?! You're Talking About the Playoffs?!! Oh Crap, I Guess You Can Still Go.
I had pretty much written Cincinnati off from playoff contention because of their brutal second half schedule, but they are winning the games they should win. (And losing the ones they should.) They beat the Rams 20-13 and their 8-6 record keeps them tied with the Jets for the second wild card.
They finish with two home games: against the red-hot Cardinals and the #1-looking-seed Ravens.
Andy Dalton was 15 of 26 for 129 yards, 0 TD/1 INT. Thus far, his numbers are very similar to the rookie season of Joe Flacco.
A.J. Green had 6 catches for 115 yards. He has 1,006 yards this season making him a rare 1,000 yard rookie receiver. Not even many of the greats have done that. Jerry Rice had 927 yards as a rookie. Marvin Harrison had 836. Torry Holt had 788. Chad Johnson had 329. Andre Johnson had 976. Larry Fitzgerald had 780. Calvin Johnson had 756.
Good job rookie!
Kellen Clemens, who was cut from the Texans earlier the season and making his debut with the Rams, was 25 of 36 for 229 yards, 1 TD/0 INT.
Steven Jackson had 71 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving. He's 34 yards shy of his seventh straight 1,000 yard season. He's also 28 years old, meaning he might have one or two years left in the tank.
The Rams are a good bet to add a fantasy rookie stud in the draft next year.
Calvin Johnson Saves Best for Too Late You A-HOLE!!!!!!!
Oh, so you were just waiting to unleash the beast until after I was eliminated? Thanks Megatron. Megasuck. Megahate. Megalate. MegaWHY?! Megalol. MegaIForgiveYou. MegaMadAgain. Mega7StagesofGrief.
Johnson caught 9 passes for 214 yards and 2 TDs. He hadn't topped 100 yards since week 8 and he had scored only once since then.
Carson Palmer looked like the hero that would bring the Raiders back into first in the AFC West, and was 32 of 40 for 367 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. He became the goat when the Raiders lost on a blocked (albeit really long) FG attempt from Sebastian Janikowski.
Michael Bush had 77 yards rushing and 62 yards receiving. Darrius Heyward-Bey had a monster day with 155 yards and a TD, a career high in yards and catches with eight. DHB will be an interesting pick next year, the third-year player now has 51 catches, 775 yards, and 3 TDs.
Cardinals Will Now Start Every Game in Overtime
Arizona has won an unbelievable 6 of their last 7 games after a 20-17 OT win against Cleveland. It's their third OT win of the streak. It's also the third time they've won a game during that time by 3 points or less.
The Cards started 1-6 and Seattle started 2-6. They're both now 7-7 with a week 17 showdown looming. If the Lions lose to the Chargers this week, that game could actually decide a wild card berth, which is just unreal.
John Skelton was 28 of 46 for 313 yards, 1 TD/1 INT. Skelton hasn't played very good on the stat sheet (8 TD/10 INT) yet the Cards are 5-1 in games he has played in. He didn't start against San Francisco last week in the win, but played most of the game in that upset victory.
Beanie Wells had 51 yards and a TD.
Seneca Wallace made the start for Cleveland and nearly won. He was 18 of 31 for 226 yards, 1 TD/0 INT.
Peyton Hillis finally looked like himself and had 99 yards and a TD. He still hasn't topped 100 yards this season but it's an encouraging performance for next year.
Greg Little had his best game of the year: 5 catches for 131 yards and a TD. He'll be a very, very, VERY nice sleeper next season.
Tebow? More like Te-No! AMIRITE?! AMIRITE YOU GUYS!? BECAUSE HE LOST DO YOU GET IT?!! IM SORRY PLEASE STILL BE MY FRIEND!
Like the Cards winning streak, the Broncos had won 3 games in OT with Tim Tebow. There would be no overtime and no exciting finish against a Patriots team that's actually really good. Denver had beaten good teams but all of them had serious and exploitable flaws. The Patriots flaws are in pass defense (though they intercept a LOT of passes, so that flaw is guarded against) which also happens to be a flaw that Tebow can't exploit.
The Broncos better seriously consider not making the playoffs if San Diego decides to win its last two games.
Tebow was 11 of 22 for 194 yards, 0 TD/0 INT and 93 yards rushing with 2 TDs and a fumble lost.
Lance Ball had 64 yards and a TD. Willis McGahee had 70 yards. Demaryius Thomas had 7 catches for 116 yards. If Tebow is the starter next year, consider Thomas a strong WR3, as he seems to be a favorite of Tebow by a longshot right now. Not so much Eric Decker, who had 1 catch for 22 yards.
Tom Brady was 23 of 34 for 320 yards, 2 TD/0 INT.
Aaron Hernandez did his best Rob Gronkowski impression with season-highs of 9 catches for 129 yards and a TD, his first score since week 9. The actual Gronkowski had 4 for 53. Wes Welker had 4 for 41. And Chad Ochocinco caught his first TD as a Patriot. That seems like it should be a bigger story, but Ochocinco has been so terrible this season that who really cares anymore? We don't care about you anymore Chad. We forget you existed.
J-E-T-S, LOL! LOL! LOL!
If Peyton Manning hits the block this off-season, expect the Jets to be serious suitors. On the surface, Mark Sanchez's 23/13 TD/INT ratio may seem like an improvement towards being a legit NFL starter, but 57% completion and 6.7 yards per attempt are rookie numbers at best. And he's a 25-year-old third-year player.
Not to mention the Jets can't beat a good opponent. If they make the playoffs it will be one-and-done.
Sanchize was 15 of 26 for 150 yards, 2 TD/2 INT. The highest salaried QB in the NFL this season, everybody.
Shonn Greene had 73 yards rushing and is 59 yards shy of his first 1,000 yard season.
Dustin Keller led the team with 73 yards receiving. Santonio Holmes had 40 yards and a TD. Plaxico Burress had 9 yards and a TD. They each have 8 scores this season and neither are close to 1,000 yards.
Michael Vick was 15 of 22 for 274 yards, 1 TD/1 INT and his first rushing TD of the season in the 45-19 victory. Vick has been decent this season, but a far cry from what he did last year for fantasy owners. Which could make him a good "sleeper" QB next season.
LeSean McCoy was a beast again with 102 yards and 3 TDs. He has 1,274 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season, with 20 total scores on the year.
If the Eagles win out and finish 8-8, beating the Cowboys, and the Cowboys lose to the Giants in week 17, and the Giants lose next week to the Jets then all 3 teams will be 8-8 and I believe the Eagles will actually make the playoffs. What the hell?
Why Don't The Chargers Schedule All Games for December?
Seriously, this running joke about San Diego only playing well at the end of the year is getting ridiculous. A six-game losing straewk in October and November followed by 3-0 in December with a dominating 34-14 win over the Baltimore Ravens?
I still don't think Norv Turner can save his job. Even if they make the playoffs, it shouldn't matter.
Philip Rivers was 17 of 23 for 270 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. He threw 17 INTs in his first 10 games but has thrown 8 TD/0 INT in his last four.
Is Joe Flacco's job in danger for next season? The Ravens are great, but how much better would they be with a not-just-average QB? Flacco was 23 of 34 for 226 yards, 2 TD/2 INT. His 6.71 yards per attempt is the lowest of his career, as is his 57.3% completions and his 80.0 QB rating. He's one INT shy of his career high for that category too.
Ray Rice had just 57 yards rushing but added 55 yards receiving on 9 catches.
The Chargers can win out, go 9-7, and only have to chase down Tim Tebow and Carson Palmer. Not that intimidating,.
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- I was so focused on my money leagues that I had forgotten about my keeper league, the only league that I had cared about LAST year. I am actually on my way to defending my championship and I hardly paid attention to that league. Thanks to Michael Vick, Ray Rice, Beanie Wells, Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Jimmy Graham, Brandon Marshall, Jason Pierre-Paul, and others, I put up a ridiculous 215 points. Championship game next week.
- Steelers at 49ers tonight. Should be a good game, but San Francisco is looking softer and softer. Alex Smith has been good, but good at QB doesn't win you a Super Bowl unless your defense is elite. Is the Niners defense really ELITE? It's super good, maybe the best in the league, but can you compare it to the 2000 Ravens? If they face a tough defense, can they put up 20 points? It's a good thing they already wrapped up the division so long ago with Arizona and Seattle on fire.
- Steelers need a win to get ahead of Baltimore and an inside track on the 2 or 1 seed. Niners need a win to stay in contention for a bye week. They'll need one. If Atlanta travels to San Fran, do Niners fans like those odds?
- How many of you are playing for a championship next week? How many of you depend on Gore to do something or nothing tonight? Will Rashard Mendenhall be the first player to score a rushing touchdown against San Francisco?
- What are your picks for the playoff teams?
- Join Fake Teams and Comment. :)