Week 16 Recap: Another Manning Masterpiece
December 23, 2013 | Jeff
Only one game remains on the Week 16 schedule. Hopefully Sunday’s slate of games treated you well as we suited up for fake football battle and sent out our most fearsome lineups to bring home fantasy championships. Hopefully it was the type of Sunday that has you already drafting emails to your league mates, putting champagne on ice, and doing the robot furiously in your living room. While the 2013 fantasy football season is quickly coming to an end, we should all take a second to admire the handy work of the great Peyton Manning once again. Week 16 was another flawless effort from big brother Manning, as he topped Tom Brady’s NFL single season record for passing touchdowns with 51, and trounced the Houston Texans along the way. Let’s dig in and check out the title winning highlights and gut wrenching lowlights from Week 16’s fake football action:
Peyton Manning: With one week to spare, Manning broke the single season passing touchdown mark as he chucked four scores on Sunday on his way to an astounding 51 for the season. Manning was his usual brilliant self as he threw for an even 400 yards with no interceptions as Denver spanked Houston 37-13. Manning and the Broncos face Oakland in Week 17 before embarking on their quest for a title. Manning will be widely considered as a first or second round fantasy pick in 2014, and the fine folks at The Fake Football will be wagging our fingers and saying, “au contraire mon frère!”
Fred Jackson: Freddie Jack received a season-high 19 carries on Sunday and responded with 111 yards rushing (5.8 ypc) and a touchdown. Fellow Buffalo backfield mate C.J. Spiller received 20 carries, so it was almost an even split (check out those math skills) as the Bills steam rolled Miami. Jackson has been solid in his old age but will hit his 33rd birthday a couple weeks after the super bowl so perhaps our C.J. Spiller “bell cow back” dreams will finally come true. Jackson is under contract in Buffalo through 2014 so another summer of Spiller speculating is likely on deck.
Andy Dalton: As the Bengals were busy hammering on the Vikings, quarterback Andy Dalton chucked a four pack of touchdowns and rolled up 366 passing yards. It was a nice matchup for Dalton, and big red certainly didn’t disappoint as he spread the ball around with six different Bengals totaling 35 or more receiving yards. Dalton hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 13 and has nine touchdown passes over Cincinnati’s last three contests. Andy finishes off the regular season at home against Baltimore and will likely enter the 2014 fantasy season in middling QB2 territory much like he entered 2013.
Jamaal Charles: It is hard to deliver an adequate encore after dropping a fifty burger on the fantasy world, but JC Superstar put forth his best effort. 144 total yards and a touchdown was the final stat line for Charles, as Kansas City put up a clunker at home against Indianapolis. Charles is likely gracing the rosters of mountains of fantasy football championship squads as the running back was a one man wrecking crew in the fake football playoffs. Charles will be leading the charge this offseason in the endless “who should be the #1 fantasy pick” debate.
Zac Stacy: While the man doesn’t have an “H” or “K” for his first name, he does have some serious running back skills. Fantasy owners who snagged Stacy late in drafts or were quick to grab him off waivers after the Isaiah Pead/Daryl Richardson experiment failed miserably have been handsomely rewarded in the playoffs. Stacy ran for 104 yards and a score on Sunday after racking up 133 yards and a score in Week 15. Stacy will be a top 10 running back in 2014 and will remain a staple in St. Louis’ young and (potentially) potent offense.
Pierre Garcon: Nutty Mike Shanahan’s zany quarterback scheme has been a holiday blessing for Pierre Garcon owners. Pierre racked up 11 catches on 18 targets on Sunday as he was on the receiving end of 144 of Kirk Cousins’ 197 passing yards. Not only did 73% of Cousins’ yardage belong to Garcon, but half of his passes (18 out of 36 attempts) were intended for Garcon as well. With a total of 273 yards receiving in two Cousins starts, Garcon owners haven’t missed Robert Griffin III one bit and will be sending holiday cards to the Shanahan household.
Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD came back from injury for Jacksonville’s Week 16 game against Tennessee and promptly ruined the Sunday of Jordan Todman owners. Todman ended up with just six carries for six yards and MJD handled 13 carries and four catches for 69 total yards, in a largely useless day for both backs as pregame uncertainty led to both being relatively unplayable. Jacksonville finishes off the 2013 season at Indianapolis before Jones-Drew jets off to a new team for 2014. There won’t be a huge free agent market for a (soon to be) 29 year old running back with the wear and tear of a 73 year old running back, but MJD will end up somewhere and be fantasy’s 2014 version of 2012 Michael Turner.
LeSean McCoy: As the Chicago Bears decided to use the “flag football” approach to NFL defense on Sunday night, McCoy and the rest of the Philadelphia offense carved them up at will. McCoy took 18 carries and ran for a whopping 7.4 yards per rush on his way to 133 yards and two scores, while an additional six catches for 29 yards made this effort extra juicy for PPR players. McCoy and the Eagles get Dallas in Week 17, where McCoy will likely run wild again and run right into the 2014 fake football first round.
Matthew Stafford: Sunday was an all-around horrendous day for Detroit and it should finally cost Head Coach Jim Schwartz his job. The Lions were booted from playoff contention at home by the hapless Giants who looked miserable in Week 15 as they were shut out at home. Stafford threw for only 222 yards and two interceptions, Megatron was hobbled and limited to 43 yards, and Reggie Bush was up to his old fumbling tricks yet again. Hopefully Detroit can bring in a leader to coach this crew of fantasy football studs into a real NFL football team. Maybe Rick Moranis is available?
LeGarrette Blount: In a fantasy title week development that helped absolutely nobody, LeGarrette Blount rumbled for 76 yards and two scores for New England. The Patriots backfield was split nearly even on Sunday, with Stevan Ridley handling 15 carries as he takes his hammer to the door of Bill Belichick’s dog house. Shane Vereen is the only New England running back I would be comfortable drafting next season, although Ridley’s value may be depressed to a point in which it provides a nice value. Don’t worry too much, we will have all offseason to debate that topic!