Fantasy Insights from Wild Card Sunday

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While Saturday's games went about as expected, who would have predicted Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas as the leading fantasy producers on Sunday? Certainly not me.

Atlanta at New York Giants

Michael Turner's 172-yard Week 17 effort was just a mirage. When his team needed him the most in the first round of the playoffs, he was nowhere to be found.

Matt Ryan is now 0-for-3 in playoff games and in none of the games did he throw for 200 yards. Sure he's only 26-years old, but he's becoming a playoff fantasy pariah.

Roddy White caught just five of 12 balls thrown his way for 52 yards - not a playoff-worthy performance.

The Giants' defense deserved a shutout, but the offense gave up a safety to steal points away from Giant owners' fantasy defense.

Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw didn't score, but combined for 155 yards on the ground.

The Falcons held Victor Cruz in check, but Hakeem Nicks was a fantasy star with six catches for 115 yards and two scores worth 25 fantasy points.

Mario Manningham was a pleasant surprise, hitting for 12 fantasy points after being invisible for most of the season. It was just his fourth double-digit effort of the year.

Eli Manning didn't put up Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford numbers, but he didn't have to. Manning was a solid fantasy performer, with three touchdowns and 277 yards worth 26 fantasy points.

Pittsburgh at Denver

The multitude of Steelers injuries took away a lot from their performance, none more than the lack of mobility from Ben Roethlisberger. His passes were inaccurate and threw many balls earlier than his receivers expected causing more drops than usual.

Rashard Mendenhall who? Isaac Redman was excellent in relief of the injured Mendenhall posting 121 rushing yards and 17 fantasy points.

Mike Wallace scored on a one-yard end around play, but was a non-factor for most of the day catching just three of 10 passes thrown his way for 26 yards.

Willis McGahee tried to give the game away with a fumble and was mostly a non- factor with 61 yards on 19 carries.

I thought the Eric Decker injury would be more of a problem than it was for the Broncos offense, but Demaryius Thomas took care of things with a 36-point day (4-204-1). Only Calvin Johnson posted better numbers at the receiving position this weekend. Don't overlook Thomas in next week's matchup with the 31st-ranked (out of 32 teams) New England Patriots' pass defense.

Tim Tebow only managed 10 completions, but averaged 31.6 yards-per-catch. In one of my playoff leagues I was stuck with him as the last quarterback off the board and he proceeded to earn me a stunning 31 fantasy points. Tebow has a chance to post solid numbers again next week in New England too.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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