NFL Fantasy Player of the Week - Week 16
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - With the fantasy championship trophy on the line, one man stood out above the rest, as he has all season long.
Peyton Manning, Denver - Manning finished the fantasy season as he started it - in magnificent fashion (35-of-51 for 400 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs). Sunday was his fourth game of the season passing for 400 yards or more and his eighth game with four touchdown passes or more.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati - If not for Manning, fantasy owners would be gushing about how well Dalton played in taking apart a Minnesota defense for 366 yards and four scores. Alas, this is Manning's year and the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL will just have to deal with playing for second-best.
Running backs -
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia - It's as if the Chip Kelly offense was designed just for McCoy. But of course we know better having watched LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner perform in the same offense at Oregon from 2009-2013. The Eagles' running back leads the league in rushing attempts (287), rushing yards (1,476) and yards from scrimmage (2,012) - all personal bests. Sunday was another big-time effort as he rushed for 133 yards and two scores and caught six balls for another 29 yards (34 fantasy points).
Joique Bell, Detroit - After Reggie Bush was benched for fumbling early in Sunday's game with the Giants, Bell took over and played at a very high level showing everyone that he can carry an offense if given the chance. Sunday, Bell rushed 20 times for 91 yards and a score and caught 10 balls for 63 yards.
Wide Receivers -
Eric Decker, Denver - Decker has become a boom-or-bust player and fortunately for fantasy owners still alive for the championship round he blew up Sunday with 10 catches for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns worth 34 fantasy points.
Pierre Garcon, Washington - Kirk Cousins was focused in on his No. 1 target for 60 minutes and it showed as he threw 18 passes toward Garcon. The Redskins' receiver caught 11 of them for 144 yards and a touchdown. In an impressive display of consistency, Garcon has caught at least five balls in all 15 games this season. His 107 receptions leads the league and broke Art Monk's single-season franchise record (106 in 1984).
Tight Ends -
Julius Thomas, Denver - It wasn't a great day for tight ends as no one managed to earn the 100-yard bonus, but Thomas was the best at the position with six receptions for 78 yards and a score.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans - Graham did very little for three quarters, but came up big in the Saints' only touchdown drive with 62 of his 73 yards and the touchdown.
Josh Brown, New York Giants - Brown kicked three field goals from over 40 yards, including a 52-yarder in the second quarter, to stick a dagger in the Detroit Lion's playoff chances.
New England Patriots - The Patriots already had the game well in hand when their defense and special teams put the "icing on the cake" with a fumble recovery in the end zone and a "pick-six" in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
And the winner of the TSN NFL Fantasy Player of the Week is ... Denver signal caller Peyton Manning. Manning was brilliant once again as he broke Tom Brady's single-season touchdown passing record when he hit Thomas with a 25- yard strike late in the fourth quarter. It was Manning's 51st touchdown pass of the season to go along with 5,211 passing yards. While other players have had pretty good seasons is there any doubt that Manning will win his fifth NFL MVP Award? He's certainly been the fantasy MVP.
12/24 10:25:56 ET