Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
While 2009 fantasy superstar Chris Johnson was "held" to 19 points, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees continued his assault on defenses, this time picking on the Washington Redskins defense for 32 points. All the Saints quarterback did was pass for 419 yards and two scores to bring New Orleans from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to win in 33-30 in overtime.
He did it not against one of the weak defenses in the league, but against the No.1 pass defense in the NFL. The Redskins were giving up just 170.4 ypg through the air, but Brees went 35-for-49 for more than 400 yards. It was his first 400-yard game of the season and fifth of his career.
Brees edged out Tom Brady (19-for-29 for 352 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) for most QB points when Brady was picked off in the final drive and the New England Patriots lost 22-21 to the Miami Dolphins.
Philip Rivers probably could have surpassed both Brady and Brees in points had his team dominated the inept Browns. At the end of the third quarter, Rivers already had 317 yards and two scores, but just handed the ball off the LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles the rest of the way and finished with 373 yards and 29 points.
Tony Romo, 41-for-55 for 392 yards and three scores, posted 28 points in a losing effort, which continued his December frustrations.
There were nine quarterbacks who cracked the 300-yard mark, although five were in losing efforts.
Jonathan Stewart took advantage of the inactive DeAngelo Williams and posted 21 fantasy points, rushing for 120 yards and a score. He nosed out Joseph Addai and Knowshon Moreno, who both scored twice, but couldn't reach the 100-yard bonus.
Interesting happenings at wide receiver where two lightly regarded fantasy players led all scorers. Washington's Devin Thomas (7-100-2, 34 points) and Oakland's Louis Murphy (4-128-2, 32 points) put up the most points, but were started by almost nobody. Thomas is only owned in 0.3% of all leagues and Murphy in 2.0%. Thomas had scored just 26 points all season, while Murphy had produced 42, but never more than eight since an opening day 19-point effort.
The top player who was actually started by a significant number of fantasy owners was Robert Meachem of New Orleans who caught eight balls for 142 yards and a score (31 points). His 53-yard TD catch tied the game with 33 seconds remaining in regulation. Other receivers who posted solid numbers included: Calvin Johnson (6-123-1, 29 points), Wes Welker (10-167-0, 27 points), Davone Bess (10-117-1, 27 points) and Santonio Holmes (8-149-1, 26 points).
Tight end Antonio Gates has finally put together back-to-back performances worthy of his talent. After going 7-118-2 last week (29 points), Gates abused the Cleveland Browns secondary for eight catches worth 167 yards and 22 points. It's his first back-to-back 100-yard games since Weeks 8 & 9 of 2005.
This was not a huge day for fantasy production with a lot of "non-starters" doing most of the damage, but it's possible that the Sunday night game, featuring the high scoring Minnesota Vikings and the high-powered passing offense of Arizona will help those statistics.