Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
If Aaron Rodgers wants to repeat as fantasy playoff MVP, he's got his work cut out for him. Saturday was a day that three quarterbacks and three tight ends shone more brightly than the rest.
New Orleans at San Francisco
Wow, it will be hard to top this game or the performance of the teams down the stretch.
Okay, Drew Brees threw a couple of early interceptions, but when the game was on the line he led his team on two scoring drives. His 462 yards and four touchdown passes surely must have put your fantasy team in position to win the week.
As expected, the Saints couldn't run the ball, but also as I pointed out in this week's "Start Them, Sit Them" Darren Sproles would get his yards via the passing game. Sproles posted just three yards on the ground, but was targeted 19 times through the air, catching 15 of them for 119 yards and a touchdown worth 29 fantasy points.
Jimmy Graham fought off injury to put the Saints ahead with just 1:37 left on the clock. Graham is simply physically better than anyone who covers him. He runs right by the linebackers and out-jumps the safeties. His 66-yarder was a thing of beauty.
Despite Graham's great play, he was only the second best tight end on the field. Vernon Davis was the best tight end in San Francisco on Saturday. Davis caught seven balls for 180 yards and the game-winning score worth 33 fantasy points.
Who knew that you could get almost as many fantasy points from Alex Smith as Brees? Smith threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns. Hey official scorer...you couldn't find one more passing yard anywhere?
Michael Crabtree needs some "Stickum." He must have dropped at least four balls.
Frank Gore had one nice run, but was held in check for most of the day.
When you are plus four in the turnover game, you are going to win 99% of the time.
Denver at New England
This was not a game, it was a massacre. Perhaps Tom Brady and his Patriots were upset that the opposing quarterback got the majority of the press coverage.
If you thought Alex Smith played the perfect game in the first contest of the weekend, you probably ran out of superlatives to describe Brady. Brady had five first half touchdown passes and a record-tying six for the game...even with "calling off the dogs" in the fourth quarter.
Its going to be fun watching tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Graham over the next decade. Following the "Graham and Davis Show" in the first game, Gronkowski made his statement for being the best tight end in football, catching 10 balls for 145 yards and three touchdowns worth 41 fantasy points.
Interesting move putting Aaron Hernandez in the backfield. It worked for fantasy owners as he accumulated 116 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. It's a strategy that will make opposing defensive coordinators work a few hours longer in preparation for next week's game.
Willis McGahee (17-76-1) posted respectable numbers but Demaryius Thomas (6-93-0) failed to get into the endzone and didn't give you double-digit fantasy points after last week's monster 36-point effort.
Thank goodness we can put away all the Tim Tebow talk for the year and focus on fantasy football.