Week 14 Fantasy Insights

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

Indianapolis at Baltimore

Routine win for the Ravens with Rice doing a lot of the damage (103 yards on the ground, 46 receiving) as expected.

Dan Orlovsky or Curtis Painter - it really doesn't matter who starts for Indianapolis. At halftime, no receiver had more than one catch and no one had 50 yards receiving by game's end despite being behind by multiple touchdowns.

Atlanta at Carolina

Newton stayed in the pocket, letting his running backs to the heavy lifting and had a great passing first half, throwing for 147 yards and two scores. In the second half he looked like a rookie.

The Panthers supposedly mediocre-at-best run defense held the Falcons run game to 37 yards on 13 attempts in the first half. Atlanta finished with just 86 yards rushing, but won the game on the strength of Matt Ryan's arm.

Ryan threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He kept trying Julio Jones until the combination clicked. After three quarters of frustration he hit the rookie wideout for two fourth quarter touchdowns including the game-winner. Jones finished with 100 yards on three receptions - yes, he's the team's deep threat, not Roddy White.

Houston at Cincinnati

In the first half, Cedric Benson (92 yards) out-rushed both Arian Foster and Ben Tate combined (83 yards). Needless to say the Bengals were up after 30 minutes. But Benson finished the game with 91 yards, one less than he entered with at halftime and the Bengals lost the game in the final seconds.

The Texans put former Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph on A.J. Green and he held the rookie to minimal damage (5-59-0).

Third-string quarterback T.J. Yates threw for 300 yards...say what?

Minnesota at Detroit

Two early Lions turnover touchdowns and two touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford made it look easy. Unfortunately, Calvin Johnson's many talents weren't needed. Good for his future health, but bad for fantasy owners.

Percy Harvin (109 yards from scrimmage, one TD) continues to shine without Adrian Peterson in the lineup. Next week when "AP" returns, if Harvin keeps playing this well, this could be a potent offense.

Toby Gerhart ground out another double-digit fantasy day despite doing nothing impressively.

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville

Two defensive touchdowns put the Bucs in a hole, which means we don't see LeGarrette Blount in the second half. Good thing he hit double-digits in the first half.

Maurice Jones-Drew was at his best on Sunday, rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns and catching six balls for 51 yards and two more scores. He's the only Jaguars player to own or start.

Philadelphia at Miami

Vick's return certainly helped DeSean Jackson play more like the guy we drafted back in August.

LeSean McCoy (just 38 yards rushing) continues to prove he can get it done in goal line situations with two more short touchdown runs.

Reggie Bush needed to get the ball more, he was the only Dolphins player doing any damage.

Kansas City at New York Jets

The Jets yielded just four yards in the first half and yes the game should have been called after 30 minutes - mercy rule.

Shonn Greene was not only involved in the running game (12-67-1), but he also caught three balls for 58 yards and that was before halftime. He finished with 129 yards rushing, just the fourth time in his career that he's earned the 100-yard bonus.

Dwayne Bowe had to work hard to get 69 yards receiving, which is more than I expected given the combination of Tyler Palko and Darrelle Revis.

New Orleans at Tennessee

Brees threw for 149 yards in the first half, but failed to get into the end zone. But the Saints quarterback didn't get deflated and in the second half hit Marques Colston twice for touchdowns. Brees finished with 337 yards as he continues his assault on Dan Marino's all-time mark of 5,084 yards in a single season.

In a rarity, tight end Jimmy Graham was out-gained by both Colston and Sproles though he still saw a team-high nine targets. After the monster day by Rob Gronkowski, Graham has fallen to second in fantasy points by a tight end.

Jake Locker is ready for a prime-time starting gig as the team isn't going anywhere under Matt Hasselbeck. With games against Atlanta, Tennessee and Indy on the schedule, he might be worth a waiver claim.

The early-season Chris Johnson appeared again - rushing for five yards on five carries in the first half and finishing with 23 yards on the ground.

New England at Washington

Another Rob Gronkowski touchdown catch...ho hum. Make that two and 160 receiving yards as he's overtaken Graham as the best tight end in the NFL - real or fantasy. His 16 touchdown catches this season is an all-time single- season record for tight ends.

Brady only needs one receiver and his two talented tight ends to throw for 300+ yards each week. He proved it again today with 357 yards and three touchdowns.

There was a Donte Stallworth sighting. He joined Jabar Gaffney and Santana Moss in making up for the loss of No.1 target Fred Davis. All three were fantasy worthy, but that was a one-week-only happening against the league's worst defense.

San Francisco at Arizona

Does David Akers kick four-or-more field goals every week?

Frank Gore said this week that he was satisfied with his mediocre running totals as long as the team wins. Nice team-first thought in real life, but it doesn't work for fantasy owners. We like it better when he runs 37 yards for a touchdown like he did in the third quarter. It was his first touchdown since Week 8. He still didn't get to 100 yards.

Larry Fitzgerald could catch balls from the janitor and still be a viable fantasy option.

Chicago at Denver

The game was 0-0 at halftime. What did you expect with a Caleb Hanie-Tim Tebow matchup? Nineteen passes, nine completions, 82 combined yards.

Tebow leads the Broncos to 10 fourth-quarter points and into overtime. With an assist from Marion Barber. Barber gave him another assist in overtime, but Tebow & Co. did take advantage.

Tebow, however, is not fantasy-worthy.

Oakland at Green Bay

Rodgers and the Packers are just too good for any defense in 2011. The soon- to-be 2011 MVP threw for 219 yards and two scores...through the first 30 minutes. With four minutes left in the first half, Rodgers threw four incomplete passes in a row for the first time all season. We're in Week 14 folks!

Rodgers was gone while the game was still in the third quarter to the dismay of his fantasy owners - 19 yards short of the 300-yard bonus.

Ryan Grant, with James Starks inactive, made a rare appearance with 85 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Buffalo at San Diego

Ryan Mathews is beginning to show why he was a first round pick in 2010 with his third consecutive 100-yard game. He's not a first-round fantasy pick because Mike Tolbert is still stealing his goal line opportunities.

Philip River is getting more time fro his offensive line and it shows in his statistics. This week he threw for three touchdowns and 240 yards. Not Rodgers or Brees like, but certainly worthy of a fantasy spot in the lineup.

I think we see the true value of Fred Jackson.

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

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