Wow! What a weekend of football in the National Football League…or is it the National Fight League? Once again, the NFL has found itself having to discipline players for violence on the field. Oops, excuse me, excessive violence on the field.
In week 11, Oakland’s resident hoodlum-in-training, DE Richard Seymour, slapped Pittsburgh’s controversial Ben Roethlisberger after Ben tossed a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders just prior to the end of the half. Now, a week later, more unsportsmanlike conduct. This time even more violent than before.
The extracurricular activity between Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Flannegan and Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson is nothing new. It has only managed to escalate from previous penalty flags and fines to the brawl we saw on Sunday. What is going on with these young millionaires nowadays? I’ve been in fights and was arrested! Why are they fined, and possibly suspended, yet the average fan would be waiting at the local pokey for his/her bond to be posted while the game went on without him/her?
Hey! Enough of this nonsense. Let’s get on to the “Yahoo! Sports Fantastic Five” list for week 12.
This week wasn’t much different than most others because of the scoring settings in Yahoo! Sports’ fantasy football leagues. Quarterbacks tend to dominate the standings even though they only receive one point for every 25 yards of passing and four points per passing touchdown, followed by the occasional RB or WR who just eats up the defense.
There are weeks, such as week 12, when an outstanding player really rips up the field and lights up the fantasy boards. Jamaal Charles did just that this week for Kansas City against Seattle’s porous defense. In the same game, the Seahawks’ Ben Obomanu had an otherwise respectable 159 yards receiving and a TD, but he needed 300 yards and five touchdowns for Seattle to win. Charles, the Chiefs’ third-round pick in the 2008 draft, on the other hand, rushed for an amazing 173 yards and scored a touchdown in the double-digit win, but he lost the ball, and that cost him some valuable fantasy points (-2) in my leagues. His 21.60 was only good enough for 15th place on the fantasy board’s points standings, two points behind the NFL’s rushing leader, Arian Foster.
Rookie receiver Jacoby Ford was another guy to have a “barn-burning” day, yet fall short when it comes to fantasy rewards for the owners. Oakland’s athletic WR made a spectacular catch while landing on his back and returned one for a TD. His 24.10 would have made me happy, but it only ranked 10th.
Surprisingly, the Chicago Bears’ unpredictable QB, Jay “Don’t trade me” Cutler, had a really good performance Sunday against Philly, earning a 146.2 passer rating (for the game) on 14 of 21 for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns. I guess being born in Santa Claus, IN, has its advantages in December, huh? The Bears’ defense may keep the game from being close next week against the Detroit Lions, thus preventing the need for a ton of passing. But it could be more of the same if Detroit can’t fix the QB position. Unfortunately, by rule, they have to play the game. I can’t just give it to ’em. His 27.58 just beat-out Aaron Rodgers for fifth on my list.
Another quarterback making a surprising debut on the list is Matt Cassel. I actually have him on one of my teams but couldn’t start him because I also have Philip Rivers. Anyhow, Cassel also had four TDs on the day, throwing three of them to Dewayne Bowe. The Chiefs rank first in rushing yards per game and 25th in passing, but it was Cassel’s 22 completions out of 32 attempts (68.8 percent) and 0 turnovers, field-of-vision, and decisions that made a difference. Cassel’s 28.12 puts him at number 4 on the list this week. Sunday’s game against division rival Denver should give owners the same results or better. Maybe I’ll give Rivers’ arm a break a rest this week.
Third on the list this week of Fantasy Football’s Fantastic Five top performers is the great Tom “Hey! Watch the hair” Brady. Once again, Brady threw for over 300 yards and four TDs. This time it was against the lowly, confused Detroit Lions. Detroit (2-9) can’t seem to keep their quarterbacks healthy, and their defense gives up 225 yards per game passing. Not that Brady didn’t make it look easy, but I think I could have gotten at least 200 yards against them. Brady’s 29.74 points was tops this week for QBs, and it might be the last time he’s on my list for some time, as the Patriots host the Giants next, then travel to defensive powerhouse Chicago. It’s hard to bet against Brady, but if you have a chance, you might want to start a QB with lesser opponents.
Week 12’s finalist is the aforementioned Dewayne Bowe. The once-boisterous WR for the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who helped his team lead the NFL in passes dropped in 2009, caught 13 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns, extending his streak of at least one touchdown catch per game to seven consecutive games. One AP report on NFL.com quoted Matt Cassel as saying, “I’m just so proud of Dewayne and how he’s stepped up and the receiver he’s become. He’s still growing” Bowe’s astonishing 35.00 fantasy points gave me the edge in one match up this past week. Thank God I didn’t sit him over Buffalo’s Steve Johnson.
The top dog in week 12, not only in fantasy football league but the NFL period, is ex-Bronco and now Cleveland’s finest, Peyton Hillis. There isn’t enough room left in this article to properly express how impressive the Browns’ “Albino Rhino” RB has been so far this season. Not only did the Browns need this kid, the city of Cleveland needed this guy! He’s a rock star! The former seventh-round pick is definitely, without question, one of the top three fantasy surprises of the season.
Hillis continues to amaze everyone as he regularly finds the end zone, pushes the defensive lines back, and then he’ll run out for a pass. In Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, Peyton managed to rush 26 times for 131 yards and three TDs. His 131 rushing yards was a career-high for him, and the three TDs give him 11 for the season, placing him in the company of Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly as the only Cleveland RBs to have 11 touchdowns in a season. The Browns better loosen the purse strings and sign this guy to a long-term contract worth something. The $391,370 salary may have been a great business decision a year ago, but it’s not going to hold up for long. Hillis had 37.40 fantasy points this week. I can hardly wait. Two of the Browns’ last five are against below .500 teams. This should be interesting.