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Mother Nature wins

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - On a day when the weather was the main topic of discussion for fantasy owners...staying out of the blizzard covered northeast proved to be the recommended strategy.

The first bit of strategy came not from a fantasy owner's decision but from the NFL. After meeting all morning with city officials, the league decided not to try and to play the Minnesota-Philadelphia game on Sunday night - in the middle of the aforementioned snowstorm. Instead they opted for a Tuesday night schedule when the weather will be much better for the fans and for fantasy statistics. It would have been a no-win decision for fantasy owners, many of whom got into this week's fantasy championships on the back of the Philadelphia Eagles prolific offense.

Once the decision was made, around noon eastern time, fantasy owners who had taken their Eagles out of the lineup, could re-insert them with confidence. And it also gave Adrian Peterson owners a reason to smile because the extra couple of days rest should mean he'll be on the field, something that wasn't a guarantee for a Sunday contest.

The highest scoring game of the day turned out to be in "balmy" Chicago where it was cold, but not windy and just a few flurries. The game was a 38-34 thriller, but more importantly saw solid fantasy results from at least six starters. Matt Forte scored the most fantasy points in the contest with 113 yards rushing (one TD) and 56 yards receiving for 25 fantasy points. Jay Cutler was solid and as I predicted on Friday, Johnny Knox (4-92-2) would make an appearance worth 23 points.

It was cold, but sunny, in Kansas City where the Chiefs put together a productive afternoon. Since quarterback Matt Cassel returned from injury, the Chiefs have been much better and against Tennessee, Cassel (314 yards, 3 TDs, 26 points) along with Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe came up big.

Bowe had the highest fantasy score through the Thursday, Saturday and early Sunday games with 32 fantasy points. He hauled in six balls for 153 yards, including a 75-yard scoring strike.

Charles (23 points) didn't break 100 yards on the ground, but caught two touchdown passes to go along with a combined 117 yards from scrimmage.

New England's running game produced nicely against the league's worst run defense and both BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead posted double-digit totals in the Buffalo cold. Even Brady, who only threw sparingly in the 34-3 rout of Buffalo, still tossed three more touchdown passes, though not for many yards (140).

The five late starts, none played in the northeast, averaged 56.6 ppg - an improvement from earlier in the day.

But not surprisingly with the cold weather throughout most of the country, there were few big passing performances. On Sunday there was just four 300- yard passer added to the week's list - Cassel, Tim Tebow, Matt Schaub, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers in his first game back from a concussion, posted a week-to-date high of 36 fantasy points as the Packers kept their playoff hopes alive with a solid 45-17 win over the New York Giants. He threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Despite the lack of 300-yard throwers, there were a solid number of 100-yard receivers - 12 in all.

With passing a problem, you would have thought the ground games would have excelled, but you would be wrong. There were just three 100-yard rushers, the previously mentioned Forte, Green-Ellis and Tampa Bay's LaGarrette Blount, who ran for 164 yards but failed to get into the endzone and scored just 19 points.

All told, there were just 10 players who scored 25 fantasy points or more. That's well below the season average. Apparently, Mother Nature, be it her snow, wind or cold, is better at keeping scoring down than opposing defenses.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


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