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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY WRAPUP: LIONS/RAVENS

                                             

Monday night's game between the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens brought to a close fantasy football Week 15 which means its on to the Super Bowl week for those still alive in their league.  Let's get to all the storylines coming out of the game.

-As a Matthew Stafford owner, I am thankful I was blown out to the point I didn't have to rely on him for a late game comeback in my semifinal loss last night.  Stafford was brutal as he threw three more interceptions and only 1 touchdown among his 235 yards.  The Lions QB has been a turnover machine and has played his worst when his fantasy football owners needed him the most.  Having the strongest arm in the league can be a curse sometimes and Stafford clearly at times has channeled his inner Brett Favre with all the picks.  He does remain a top 6 or 7 fantasy football QB for next season though and his rough finish to the season will likely put him in value mode with Tony Romo and Matt Ryan.  Meanwhile Joe Flacco was his ordinary self with no touchdowns or interceptions among his 222 yards.  Flacco has failed to build on his Super Bowl win to be more than his usual QB 2.

-Ray Rice has had a completely ugly season to forget which continued last night.  The former top two pick overall has had only a game or two where he looked like his old dominant self.  You can only blame the leaky offensive line of the Ravens so much before you realize that Rice has lost a step.  A full season of mediocre play completes that line of thinking and remember having such a smallish frame has historically shortened careers in the past.  Rice no longer can be considered a RB 1 and with his poor play this season, Bernard Pierce is likely to get even more work for 2014.

-Jacoby Jones has been a nice late season add, especially in leagues that count return yardage and touchdowns.  Jones led the Ravens in receiving last night with 6 catches for 80 yards.  Meanwhile Torrey Smith managed only 4 catches for 69 yards.  Very disappointing Smith didn't do better in a dome game.  Finally, Dennis Pitta caught only 2 balls for 24 yards but I am already telling you I will be slobbering all over his name before next season as a prime sleeper.

-On the other side of the ball, Calvin Johnson caught 6 balls for 98 yards but he failed to get into the end zone.  If you played against a Megatron owner, this is about as good a result as you could ask for.  Johnson has seen his scores dry up in the second half as Stafford has played is worst football. 

-As far as the Detroit running game is concerned, Reggie Bush returned from his calf injury to rush for 86 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.  He also chipped in 2 catches for 15 yards.  Ask any Bush owner and they will say they were disappointed in his production.  However Bush is fourth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage per game this season so he has been very solid. 

-Hope you had Justin Tucker as your kicker.  Kicked 6 field goals including his ridiculous 61-yarder to win.  Queue up the Mike Tirico call.  Was a terrific listen.

There you have it.  One more week to go and than it is full fantasy baseball mode. 

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