The fake football dominance of Adrian Peterson is well documented, but Peterson is still one of the few players that constantly elicits feelings of amazement while on the field, or in our case, when digging through a Minnesota Vikings box score. The best running back in the fantasy universe chalked up another monumental performance this week, and is undoubtedly the crown jewel of countless fake football playoff teams. The road to a 2012 fantasy football title will most likely go through the owner of the most feared skill position player in the game, and that is one frightening proposition. Continue below for a rundown of Sunday’s most notable performances…
Adrian Peterson: Peterson continued his sizzling hot season (in which he is now averaging over 120 rushing yards per game) with his best performance of the 2012 season thus far. 21 carries, 210 yards and a score for the best running back in the NFL, who also averaged over 10 yards per carry for the 2nd time this season. Do NOT be frightened by the CHI and HOU matchups facing Peterson in the fantasy playoffs. No matchup can contain this beast.
Andrew Luck: The Indianapolis rookie not only led the Colts to victory on Sunday, but led the NFL in passing yardage (391), which is much more important to us fake football folks. Luck also recorded his first career 4 touchdown performance in an all-around impressive fantasy day. There were 3 interceptions involved in Andrew’s afternoon, but he chipped in with 33 rushing yards, so keep those complaints to a minimum!
Tony Romo: In the last 6 Dallas Cowboy games of American football, Tony Romo has averaged 337.3 yards passing in what has been a very respectable stretch of fantasy performance for the Cowboys quarterback. Despite being a well-oiled turnover machine, Romo has even been interception free in 4 of his last 5 games. It should be no surprise that Romo’s surge has coincided with the explosion of the man below…
Dez Bryant: Owning Dez has been quite a treat over the last month. His performances have been so incredible, it has reached the point where his owners are almost expecting huge fantasy games, ala the great Megatron. On Sunday night, Dez reached the half with just one catch and then erupted on the Eagles for a final stat line of 6 catches, 98 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Dez is now on a 4 week heater, averaging 7.3 catches and 118.8 yards per game, while scoring 6 touchdowns. This monstrous wide out will be deciding boat loads of fantasy championships when the Cowboys host New Orleans’ silky soft defense in week 16, so the enjoy the ride.
Russell Wilson: Wilson hasn’t been the flashiest rookie quarterback in fantasy land, but he is rounding into shape as the season progresses. Sunday saw the rookie tie his career high in passing yards (293) and record his 5th straight game with multiple touchdown passes. The kicker in this fantasy stew, is that Wilson can cruise on the ground as well, as a career high 71 rushing yards on Sunday highlighted a nice fake football performance. The fantasy world is excited about Colin Kaepernick for the exact reasons they SHOULD be excited about Russell Wilson, who will be a nice upside pick in 2013 fantasy drafts.
Colin Kaepernick: Despite not carrying the 49ers offense like San Francisco fans had hoped, Kaepernick did turn in a decent fantasy day, by adding 84 rushing yards to his 208 passing yard performance. Rushing yards are the great fantasy quarterback equalizer and will keep “Kaep” in the fringe QB1 debate down the stretch.
Mark Sanchez: Sanchez isn’t and should not be a part of any fantasy conversation, but it is always fun to remind people of the Jets’ misery!
Bryce Brown: LeSean McCoy received more than 23 carries in a single game exactly ONCE during his 10 games on the field this season. On Sunday night, in his 2nd career start, Bryce Brown received 24. Brown has been mighty impressive, racking up 347 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns in just two games, but the newfound Philly commitment to running the football is frustrating to McCoy owners who whiffed on the Bryce Brown waiver sweepstakes. With no true incentive to rush “Shady” McCoy back, Brown has the look of a playoff punisher.
DeMarco Murray: Reports out of Dallas on Sunday morning said Murray was to be “limited” in Dallas’ battle with Philadelphia. Limited, huh? Naturally, Murray blasted out of the gates with 23 carries for 83 yards and a touch, and even added 4 catches for you PPR patrons out there. Murray owners will now be rewarded for their patience in the fake football playoffs, as the Cowboy back looked fantastic while treating Dallas fans to less Felix Jones.
Marcel Reece: The Marcel magic appears to have run out, as he totaled only 56 total yards after a huge four game stretch in the absence of Darren McFadden. DMC will be making his return on Thursday, meaning the end of the PPR gold mine that has been Mr. Marcel Reece. Don’t cut him quite yet, as one ding to the Raiders’ Tin Man could mean a return for Reece.
James Starks: Scoring on a 22 yard touchdown scamper on Sunday was our early summer mock draft buddy, James Starks. Starks ended up with 66 yards on the ground, which should be completely ignored due to the fact that Alex Green received 12 carries and James Starks is, in fact, very craptacular. Move along…
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: As strange as it seems, the sluggish BGE has found some spring in his step over the last three weeks and has been a reliable fantasy asset. A three game average of 116 rushing yards per game is nothing to sneeze at (in case you enjoy sneezing at football stats), and either is a ypc average north of 5.0. Green-Ellis faces Dallas and Philadelphia in weeks 14 and 15, which means this streak could easily continue. I am growing less skeptical of this Bengals back by the day.
Calvin Johnson: It was only fitting that Adrian Peterson’s wide receiver counterpart exploded on Sunday as well, as the mighty ‘Tron hauled in 13 of his NFL leading 20 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. Johnson has averaged 158 receiving yards per game over his last five outings. Simply incredible.
Brandon Marshall: At times, it appears that Marshall is the only wide receiver running routes for the Chicago Bears, as Jay Cutler rarely looks toward another target. Week 13 was no different, as Marshall was targeted 14 times, giving him 10 or more targets in 9 of the 11 games Cutler has started. Marshall turned the heap of targets into 165 yards, and is now second only to Calvin Johnson in receiving yards per game (98.5).
Chris Givens: The St. Louis burner caught 11 of 14 targets for 92 yards on Sunday and is quickly becoming a nice receiving option for Sam Bradford. It will be interesting to see how Bradford can perform with Givens alongside a fully healthy Danny Amendola. A solid week 14 matchup (@BUF) means Givens could make it three big time fantasy performances in a row, whether Amendola is healthy or not.
Brandon Myers: Myers caught 14 of 15 targets for 130 yards and a score in the biggest performance of his surprisingly solid season (4th in tight end receiving yards) . Denver, who gets torched by fantasy tight ends, is up next for the Raiders, so get ready to rake up another big pile of fantasy points.
Jason Witten: Tony Romo’s fuzzy security blanket is now averaging 10 targets per game this season and leads NFL tight ends in catches, targets, and receiving yards. Witten chalked up another 6 grabs and 108 yards against Philly on Sunday and proved, yet again, that he is a rock solid tight end option, despite the alarmingly low TD rate (which is sure to rise).
Jacob Tamme: Tamme had a very productive game on Sunday, setting season highs in receptions (9), targets (13) and yardage (89). A recent statistical uptick has slid Tamme to the high end TE2 region, which means big things for you crazy deep leaguers!
Vernon Davis: Davis tossed out another clunker this week, catching a whopping 2 passes for 15 yards. No matter the San Francisco quarterback, Davis is simply not in the game plan. The fantasy playoffs are no place for players like this, so feel free to cut Davis and snag a hot waiver wire tight end if you’re hard pressed for production.
Larry Fitzgerald: Ryan Lindley stinks, John Skelton stinks, and Kevin Kolb (who doesn’t smell great either) is hurt. I am officially done endorsing Larry Fitz as a fantasy starter, and I certainly hope he regains his top tier fake football ways in 2013.