Fantasy
Week 13 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - While Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson and Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson continue to dazzle defenses as we have come to expect, two rookies, Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden threw for the most passing yards. Just another crazy weekend in the world of fantasy football.

Jacksonville at Buffalo -

Chad Henne returned to earth with an ugly 18-for-41 afternoon for just 208 yards.

Your new starting running back in Jacksonville is Montell Owens! Wait, who?

Cecil Shorts continues to be a solid option for fantasy owners although after eight productive weeks in a row it should no longer be a surprise.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson's fantasy owners were extremely disappointed when Ryan Fitzpatrick ran one in from a yard out instead of using a running back to get the job done. It was Fitzpatrick's first rushing touchdown in three season.

By-the-way, despite Spiller starting, the backfield workload still favored Jackson. Spiller received 14 rushing attempts while Jackson ran it 25 times.

Seattle at Chicago -

What figured to be a defensive struggle was just that, although stars Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice and Brandon Marshall did manage to put up their usual big totals.

Golden Tate caught his fourth touchdown in four weeks and has become a viable WR2.

The Bears defense, minus injured starters Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings, couldn't keep the Seahawks out of the end zone on their final two drives.

Indianapolis at Detroit -

It was an aerial shootout as expected with host Matthew Stafford throwing for 313 yards and Luck responding with 391 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

Coby Fleener made his return to the field after missing multiple games due to injury by scoring with a 26-yard scoring play. But it was his only catch of the day.

While the Lions doubled-teamed Reggie Wayne all day, Luck featured T.Y. Hilton (6-100-0) and Donnie Avery (5-91-2).

Mikel Leshoure scored for the sixth time in four games and is becoming a must start running back.

Calvin Johnson earned his fantasy owners the 100-yard bonus for the fifth consecutive game. He's averaged 158 ypg over that span.

Minnesota at Green Bay -

Adrian Peterson was, well, Adrian Peterson. An 82-yard touchdown run highlighted another monster 210-yard effort for the Vikings' star running back.

James Jones, who figured to lose some targets with the return of Greg Jennings, opened the scoring by going over the top of a Vikings' defender to score from 32-yards out.

Green Bay certainly tried to run the ball, giving James Starks and Alex Green a combined 27 attempts. The result was Aaron Rodgers threw the ball only 35 times and failed to reach the 300-yard mark for the fifth consecutive game.

Carolina at Kansas City -

Cam Newton didn't cool down over the week. After putting up a season-best total against Philadelphia, he continued against Kansas City with three touchdown passes and 78 yards rushing, but the Panthers still lost to the Chiefs.

Jamaal Charles was once again the best player on the field for the Chiefs, rushing for 127 yards.

New England at Miami -

Tom Brady throttled the Dolphins when he visited Miami back in 2011 (four TDs, career-high 517 passing yards). This trip to Florida wasn't nearly as pleasant for the Michigan product as Brady struggled to just 238 yards on 24-for-40 passing. His second quarter interception broke up a string of 202 passes in a row without a pick.

Brian Hartline got back on track Sunday by catching a team-high five passes for 84 yards. He's within 110 yards of his first 1,000-yard receiving campaign.

Speaking of 1,000 yard seasons, Wes Welker reached that threshold Sunday with 103 yards on 12 catches. Welker has now hauled in at least six passes in each of his last 10 games.

Aaron Hernandez got off to a slow start with a couple of dropped passes in the first quarter, but he bounced back nicely, and came away with his highest yardage total of the season (97 yards on eight receptions).

New England was able to clinch its fourth division title in a row with the victory on Sunday. The Patriots have now won the AFC East 10 times in Bill Belichick's 13 seasons as head coach.

Arizona at New York Jets -

If you were able to sit through this entire game without changing the channel you must have a very high tolerance for pain. The two starting quarterbacks in this game combined for four interceptions and a cringe-worthy 15.9 QB rating.

Arizona's leading rusher on Sunday wasn't who you'd expect it to be. In fact, it wasn't even a running back. It was safety Rashad Johnson, who led the Cardinals with 40 rushing yards on just one attempt. The 40-yard rush came on a fake punt late in the second quarter.

All hail Greg McElroy. The former Alabama star completed five of seven pass attempts after Rex Ryan benched Mark Sanchez late in the third quarter. His one-yard flip to backup tight end Jeff Cumberland resulted in the game's only touchdown.

Shonn Greene isn't the flashiest of fantasy running backs but he's getting the job done. On 24 attempts, the 27-year-old muscled his way to 104 rushing yards. That's the second time this season he's made it over the 100-yard hump.

San Francisco at St. Louis -

We were 26 seconds away from seeing the 49ers and Rams tie for the second time this season. That would have been the first time since overtime was introduced in 1974 that two teams tied each other twice in the same year.

It was an up and down day for Colin Kaepernick. His intentional grounding penalty led to a safety and later he botched a pitch that St. Louis recovered for a two-yard touchdown. On a more positive note, his 50-yard scramble set up a field goal that put the 49ers ahead 13-10 with 1:34 left in regulation.

No Danny Amendola, no problem for the Rams. Sam Bradford made do with Chris Givens, who was able to haul in 11 catches for 92 yards in the victory. Givens has now gone over 90 yards receiving twice in a row.

Michael Crabtree led the Niners with 11 targets on Sunday. He reeled in seven of them for a game-high 101 yards through the air.

Houston at Tennessee -

Finally someone was able to slow down Andre Johnson. After producing an absurd 461 receiving yards in his previous two contests Johnson had a much quieter game Sunday in Tennessee, capturing just five catches for 56 yards.

Second-year wideout Lestar Jean snagged a 54-yard pass from Matt Schaub for his first NFL touchdown. The first quarter score was Jean's only reception of the game.

Jake Locker has seen better days. He gave the ball away five times Sunday on three interceptions and two fumbles. Since his return from injury in mid- November, the Tennessee quarterback has completed just 50 percent of his passes for a 63.9 QB rating.

Chris Johnson doubled his season fumble total with two miscues on Sunday. Luckily for fantasy owners, only one of them resulted in a turnover.

Tampa Bay at Denver -

Dallas Clark isn't putting up the yards he used to with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, but he has scored in three of the last four games.

Last weekend Doug Martin didn't run for many yards, but his fantasy total was high because of two short touchdown runs. This week he failed to reach the end zone and fantasy owners are feeling the drop in his production.

Mike Williams overshadowed Vincent Jackson this Sunday, but unfortunately it's his first double-digit game in the last month.

The Bucs and Broncos figured to play a high-scoring game, but the first half was a pedestrian 10-7. Manning did throw a touchdown pass, but not to a fantasy-worthy receiver - it went to tackle Mitch Unrein.

The Manning-to-Demaryius Thomas combination clicked in the third quarter for two picture-perfect touchdowns to break open a close game.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore -

Charlie Batch improved by leaps and bounds in his second start. Not only did he throw for 276 yards, but he only turned it over one time. Of course, it's unlikely that anybody started him after his ugly debut.

Batch's favorite target was Heath Miller who caught five balls for 97 yards and a touchdown. But like his teammates Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, Miller was probably was sitting on most fantasy sidelines.

Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman manned the running game while Rashard Mendenhall was a healthy scratch. That can't be a good sign for his fantasy owners and his future in Pittsburgh.

A 34-yard, second-half touchdown run by Ray Rice saved fantasy owners from a poor total. The Ravens have begun to give backup Bernard Pierce more of the workload which has to make Rice's fantasy owners uneasy.

Cleveland at Oakland -

Josh Gordon scored once in the first half, but beat his defender a second time only to be horribly under-thrown and it ended up being an interception. Gordon finished with six receptions for 116 yards, but it could have been a much bigger game.

Trent Richardson isn't exciting, but he wears down a defense. He totaled 95 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 23 touches.

Another poor afternoon for Palmer turned into decent fantasy numbers courtesy of garbage time (34-of-54 for 351 yards and 2 TDs).

Brandon Myers was the recipient of most of the late-game yardage and finished with 14 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown with one second remaining.

Cincinnati at San Diego -

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has suddenly become a yard-eating machine. In the first half he averaged seven yards-per-carry and he finished with 118 yards. It's his third consecutive 100-yard game and the first time in his career that he's accomplished the feat.

High draft choice Ryan Mathews continues to disappoint fantasy owners while free-agent pickup Danario Alexander plays much better. Alexander caught six balls for 102 yards. It is Alexander's third double-digit performance in the last four weeks.




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