Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Frequently, the NFL regular season final week consists primarily of backup players because of injuries, teams preparing for the playoffs and teams who are simply playing out the string and want to see what their younger players can do.
That didn't happen this year.
The league's No.1 fantasy quarterback, Drew Brees, was stellar in leading his team back from a 30-10 deficit. He guided his team to three second-half scoring drives taking a 31-30 lead with just over three minutes remaining, but his New Orleans Saints eventually lost on a late John Kasay field goal.
Brees, who was 30-for-49 for 386 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, had one shot to crack the all-time single-season passing mark of 5,084 yards held by Dan Marino (1984) when Carolina's kickoff slid out of bounds, but his final throw fell incomplete and he finished 15 yards short of the mark.
Still, Brees led all of fantasy football with 305 points (based on four-point TD passes and one point for every 25 yards). Brees (24.7 Average Draft Position) was the fourth quarterback selected in most leagues, behind Tom Brady (5.8 ADP), Peyton Manning (14.1 ADP) and Tony Romo (17.9 ADP).
It was the same story at running back where Carolina's DeAngelo Williams came into the day as the No.1 fantasy and did nothing to hurt that position. All he did was carry the ball 25 times for 178 yards (20 points) and finished the season with 1,518 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. All told he accumulated 320 points - not bad considering he had just 201 yards an no touchdowns after the first four weeks.
But Williams' 178 yards wasn't the best day at the tailback position as No.2 Michael Turner had a great day in leading his Atlanta Falcons to a playoff berth. Turner bested Williams with 25 carries for 208 yards and one score (29 points), but will finish the year nine points behind.
Following the theme of the day, No.1 fantasy wide receiver Andre Johnson posted 10 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns (35 points). Johnson finished the season with 1,575 yards and eight touchdowns, not bad for the fifth receiver selected in your draft (18.6 ADP) following Randy Moss (8.6), Terrell Owens (11.6), Reggie Wayne (14.0) and Braylon Edwards (15.9).
Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez, who led all tight ends in scoring by a wide margin, posted his TE league-leading 10th touchdown catch among five receptions on Sunday. With a 55-point lead over No.2 TE Jason Witten (43.1 ADP) entering this final week, Gonzalez (61.8 ADP) will again finish the season as the No.1 tight end - the fourth time in his career.
I would be remiss if I didn't also note some other very good Week 17 outings - Matt Schaub (27-for-36 for 328 yards and two TDs), Aaron Rodgers (21-for-31 for 308 yards and three TDs), Michael Bush (27-177-2), Steven Jackson (30-161-2) and Marques Colston (7-123-1).