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Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 WRAPUP

-Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton had nothing going Sunday as he was pulled early for backup A.J. McCarron as the team was blown out by the Chicago Bears.  Prior to his removal, Dalton completed just 14-of-29 throws for 141 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  This is par for the course for Dalton however as he runs very hot-and-cold and can't ever be trusted consistently in the fantasy football world.  The Bengals may also be at the end of their rope with him as their QB as well.

-Bengals ace wideout A.J. Green was dragged down by Dalton's struggles as well as he grabbed just 5 balls for 64 yards.  That was a real letdown as Green had been running very hot of late and especially since these are now the fantasy football playoff weeks.  Be that as it may, he remains a top WR 1 in the semis next week.

-While he was likely on the bench of most of his fantasy football owners, Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart had his best game of the season in rushing for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries in the team's win over the Minnesota Vikings.  Annually a FLEX/RB 3 given his lack of flash, Stewart should not be suddenly elevated to a higher status moving forward.

-Overall it has been a struggle for Chicago Bears running back (and first round fantasy football pick) Jordan Howard this season but Sunday was a good day as he rushed for 147 yards and two scores on 23 carries.  Adding one catch for 8 yards, Howard showed the ability that made him a popular first round pick in many drafts this past summer,  Somewhat of a mulligan needs to be given to Howard though due to the fact he is facing 8 men in the box on a weekly basis and he should net RB 2 status next week.

-Someone has to catch the football in Chicago for rookie QB Mitch Trubisky and Week 14 saw wideout Kendall Wright be that guy as he hauled in 10 balls for 107 yards.  We have seen flashes of PPR ability from Wright in the past going back to his Tennessee Titan days but he remains a desperate play if needed.

-Minnesota Vikings wideout Adam Thielen kept up his streak of appearing in this space each week as he hauled in 6 balls for 105 yards and a score Sunday.  Thielen actually should have had two more scores but one was a drop and the other was ruled a non-catch after the ball wobbled when he hit the ground.  Be that as it may, Thielen is now up to 80 catches on the season as one of the very best secrets in fantasy football.

-The San Francisco 49ers have their QB of the future as Jimmy Garoppolo has been as good as advertised.  He once again led the 49ers to victory in completing 20-of-33 passes for 334 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT and the future seems very bright here.  In fact those who just lost Carson Wentz for the remainder of the season and are still in the championship hunt in their league need to be all over this.

-Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins is just ridiculous.  Despite having arguably the worst batch of QB's throwing to him in the whole league the last two seasons, he is almost impossible to stop as he hahueld in 11 balls for 149 yards and two scores Sunday.  When the Texans get back a healthy DeShaun Watson next season, Hopkins will be right there as the next wideout off drafts boards behind Antonio Brown.

-The Bears have to like what they have seen from rookie QB Mitch Trubisky who completed 25-of-32 throws for 271 yards and one score Sunday in the team's easy win over the Bengals.  He added a rushing touchdown as well as Trubisky is showing there is quite a bit to work with here with his arm and legs.  Not a story for 2017 but maybe next summer. 

-Not even an injured hand could hold back Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford who shredded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense to the tune of completing 36-of-44 passes for 381 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT.  While the INT's were annoying, Stafford was playing pitch-and-catch for most of the afternoon and showed he can be trusted next week in the semifinals. 

-Speaking of the Buc's, QB Jameis Winston is becoming a problem for the team and he has been a big one for those who still own him in fantasy football.  Winston was abysmal Sunday in completing just 26-of-38 throws for 285 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT and he showed no ability to read defenses or remain accurate.  A major step back for Winston this season for sure as he has erased any optimism generated from 2017.  In fact Winston is just a product of what has been a team-wide disgrace there that will cost Dirk Kotter his gig.  Count on Matt Ryan calling him right away as soon as that happens. 

-Leave it to Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy to go crazy in the snow again.  The last time McCoy played in the snow, he ran for over 100 yards and he was tremendous again Sunday in rushing for 156 yards and a score on a massive 32 carries in the blizzard.  In what was an instant classic given the weather, McCoy went over the 1,000-yard mark for rushing yards and is showing he is far from slowing down despite his age and high mileage. 

-Those who took a gamble on Cincinnati Bengals running back Gio Bernard Sunday were rewarded nicely as he led the team both in rushing and receiving.  Bernard racked up 62 rushing yards on 11 carries; while also adding 6 catches for another 68.  Unfortunately it may just be a one game deal as Joe Mixon should be able to return next week from his concussion. 

-All fantasy football owners of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers who are still in the playoffs need to salute the work of the team's backup Brett Hundley who kept the team afloat to the point the All-Pro now can come back with something to play for in Week 15.  Hundley was excellent Sunday in completing 35-of-46 passes for 265 yards and 3 passing scores in the OT win over the Cleveland Browns. Adding 31 yards rushing on 7 carries, Hundley did his job perfectly in now leaving the team back in Rodgers' hands. 

-Rodgers will have a nice new weapon at his disposal in running back Jamaal Williams who was spectacular himself Sunday in rushing for 49 yards and a score on15 carries; while also adding 7 catches for another 69 yards and an additional score.  This was quite unexpected work from Williams who look like nothing but a plodder when given some chances previously but now he is fully in the RB 2 class for Week 15. 

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