Running down Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Steelers 27, Falcons 20
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
At this point, the only question is how many fantasy-league championships is Le’Veon Bell going to be a part of? The RB fell well short of a fourth straight 200-total-yard game with 119 on 25 touches, including only 20-47 on the ground, but he scored a pair of touchdowns to up his total to five scores over the last two weeks.
Extra points: Ben Roethlisberger was 27-of-35 for 360 yards for his third consecutive contest with 350 yards-plus, but didn’t throw a TD pass or a pick. … Antonio Brown (10 receptions-123 yards) continues to roll along, catching all of his team-high targets, while Heath Miller (4-68) and Markus Wheaton (5-66) outperformed Martavis Bryant (3-31). … For the Falcons, Julio Jones (hip) was unable to go after not practicing all week, but his WR compatriots – Harry Douglas (10-131 on a team-high 14 targets), Devin Hester (5-85-1) and Roddy White (7-58-1) – filled in admirably, making for a solid day for Matt Ryan (310 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception and 3-27 rushing). … Steven Jackson led the Falcons on the ground (11-46) but didn’t do much for his fantasy owners with 57 total yards on 12 touches.
Giants 24, Redskins 13
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Battling Bell for the top position on the fantasy-stud list is N.Y. wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who caught 12 of his game-high 15 targets for 143 yards and three TDs – his seventh straight game with at least six catches and 90 yards. He also has six scoring grabs during that span.
Extra points: Eli Manning vs. Washington this year: 550 passing yards, seven TD tosses and a rushing score after throwing for 250 yards and a trio of TDs Sunday. … Meanwhile, just when you thought Rashad Jennings was healthy again, his ankle flared up, and he finished with one rush for 3 yards. That left 18 carries for Andre Williams, but unlike Week 14, the rookie couldn’t do much with the workload rushing for only 44 yards and adding a 9-yard reception. … For D.C., Colt McCoy (4-of-7 39 yards) and his neck issue didn’t make it through the first quarter, and he was replaced by Robert Griffin III who had his best outing of the season with 236 yards and a TD through the air and 5-46 rushing with lost fumble. … RB Chris Thompson (3-12, 3-22) caught RGIII’s scoring pass, while Alfred Morris (14-49) led the team in rushing and Andre Roberts (2-81) paced the squad in receiving yards. … WR DeSean Jackson played and led the team with eight targets but finished with only three catches for 15 yards.
Patriots 41, Dolphins 13
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Tom Brady (287 yards), Rob Gronkowski (3-96) and Julian Edelman (7-88) all started slow but picked things up in the third quarter with the former hooking up with his two pass-catchers for a scoring pass apiece.
Extra points: LeGarrette Blount (8-17, 2-7) and Shane Vereen (6-5, 1-12) both ran for touchdowns, but naturally, Jonas Gray (11-62) led the Pats in rushing yards and RB touches. … For the visitors, Ryan Tannehill finished with the second-highest passing-yardage total (346) of his career in a 29-of-47 outing, but threw for only one TD and was picked off twice while rushing for 21 yards on three carries. … Mike Wallace (5-104) caught the scoring pass with a nifty one-handed grab late in the first half. Meanwhile, rookie Jarvis Landry (8-99) continues to lead the team in targets with 11. … TE Charles Clay was involved with six receptions for 59 yards on seven targets, while RB Lamar Miller (16-47, 1-10) was held in check.
Chiefs 31, Raiders 13
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
So K.C. tops 30 points for the first time in two months, and Jamaal Charles (12-52, 1-1) doesn’t find his way into the end zone for the first time in nine games? That’s called extremely unfortunate fantasy timing for J.C. owners.
Extra points: With everyone understanding that the Chiefs’ WRs don’t catch TD passes, that must’ve meant Knile Davis and Travis Kelce scored – and they did with Davis (9-11, 1-70) finding paydirt via the ground and air and Kelce (5-56) hauling in the other TD toss from Alex Smith (season-high 297 passing yards, 2-17 rushing). … WR Dwayne Bowe led K.C. with seven targets, but caught only three for 69 yards. … For the Raiders, Derek Carr completed just 27 of his 56 passes for 222 yards and a TD – yet another garbage-time (34 seconds remaining) scoring pass to James Jones (8-57-1). … Latavius Murray got 12 of Oakland’s 16 RB carries and led the team with 59 yards while adding 17 more on a pair of receptions. … WR Andre Holmes (5-70) and TE Mychal Rivera (7-39) were each targeted a team-most 12 times.
Colts 17, Texans 10
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
It was bad timing for Andrew Luck’s second-lowest passing-yardage total (187 yards on 18-of-34 passing) of the season as the Indy QB overcame his early pick-six to connect with TE Dwayne Allen (2-16) and – surprise! – Hakeem Nicks (2-44) on scoring tosses.
Extra points: WR T.Y. Hilton was targeted a team-high eight times and caught four for 50 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. TE Coby Fleener (2-32) and WR Reggie Wayne (4-24, fumble) didn’t do much but were at least better than rookie wideout Donte Moncrief (0 catches) who was targeted four times and had a TD reception nullified by a penalty. … No surprises with the Colts’ RBs as Dan Herron (13-72) easily outgained Trent Richardson (11-41) on only two more touches. … Two weeks after his six-TD explosion, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s season came to an unfortunate end with a broken leg early in the second quarter. Rookie Tom Savage stepped in and completed 10-of-19 passes for 127 yards and an interception while losing one of his two fumbles, but couldn’t lead the Texans into the end zone. … Andre Johnson (concussion) was held out, and Arian Foster (26-99, 3-18) and DeAndre Hopkins (5-77 on 13 targets) did OK for not scoring.
Bengals 30, Browns 0
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Many touted wild-card Johnny Manziel’s high fantasy upside as he made his first start, but the rookie’s downside reared its ugly head as he completed 10-of-18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions while rushing for only 13 yards on five carries. Ouch.
Extra points: Rookie Jeremy Hill was designated Cincy’s No. 1 back earlier in the week, and he delivered his third 100-yard rushing outing with 148 yards and two TDs on 25 carries. Giovanni Bernard didn’t do too bad either, at least in the yardage department, as he had 103 total yards on 18 touches. … Andy Dalton wasn’t the disaster he was in the first Cincy-Cleveland meeting, but he certainly didn’t little to benefit his fantasy owners, finishing 14-of-24 for 117 yards and an interception. … A.J. Green was targeted 11 times but finished with only five catches for 49 yards despite nemesis Joe Haden, the Browns’ top CB, leaving midway through the game with a shoulder issue. … TE Jermaine Gresham (toe) was inactive, while RB Rex Burkhead (3-14) scored a garbage TD with 23 seconds remaining. … The Cincy D, of course, made for a profitable start with two sacks, two interceptions and the shutout.
Ravens 20, Jaguars 12
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Unless you were starting TE Owen Daniels (4-62-1) or the Ravens’ defense (8 sacks, interception, blocked-punt return TD), Baltimore’s ugly win did fantasy GMs little good.
Extra points: Joe Flacco was a pedestrian 20-of-30 for 221 yards and a TD, while Justin Forsett (16-48) and Marlon Brown (5-66) led the Ravens in rushing and receiving, respectively. … The WR Smiths? Steve Sr. caught all five of his targets for 37 yards, while Torrey (2-16) was targeted only three times while playing through a lingering knee issue. … The Jags, meanwhile, scored on four Josh Scobee field goals as Blake Bortles (21-of-37, 210 yards, interception) struggled to stay upright against the Ravens’ pass rush. … Toby Gerhart (13-54), Storm Johnson (6-19) and Jordan Todman (3-7) handled the J’ville RB workload in the first game since Denard Robinson (foot) was lost for the season, while WRs Cecil Shorts (6-76) and Allen Hurns (6-70) paced the pass-catchers on a combined 20 targets.
Bills 21, Packers 13
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, N.Y.
We knew it wasn’t going to be an Orchard Park picnic for red-hot Aaron Rodgers and Co., but 17-of-42 for 185 yards, no touchdowns two picks and a bevy of drops? Uh, wow.
Extra points: As usual, Randall Cobb (7-96) and Jordy Nelson (5-55) received 25 of the 41 targets, but were shut out of the end zone for only the third time this season. … Eddie Lacy did just fine with 15-91-1 on the ground and two catches for 11 yards, especially for a banged-up RB who many thought would split touches with James Starks (4-19, 1-10). … For the Bills, we have to start with the D/special teams which had a sack, a safety, the two interceptions and a 75-yard punt return TD from Marcus Thigpen. … Other than that, it was four Dan Carpenter field goals and less-than-fruitful, TD-less outings for Kyle Orton (14-of-27, 158 yards, interception), Fred Jackson (20-71, 3-27) and Sammy Watkins (1-28 on 6 targets).
Panthers 19, Buccaneers 17
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
He certainly wasn’t Week 14 Cam Newton by any means, but Derek Anderson definitely held his own, finishing 25-of-40 for 277 yards and a TD without turning the ball over. He also added 14 rushing yards on five carries.
Extra points: The Panthers’ top pass-catchers, TE Greg Olsen (10-110) and WR Kelvin Benjamin (8-104), were each targeted 13 times, but it was WR Jerricho Cotchery (5-47), who scored the team’s lone TD. … Jonathan Stewart got 23 touches with DeAngelo Williams out again, but produced only 79 total yards and lost a fumble. … For the second straight week, Vincent Jackson led the Bucs in targets (10) and receiving (6-70), but it was rookie Mike Evans (2-13) catching the lone TD pass. It was Evans’ ninth scoring grab in the last seven games. … Thanks to a 63-yard run, the disappointing Doug Martin (14-96, 1-3) produced his best outing of the season, while Josh McCown had quite the up-and-down afternoon, completing 13-of-28 for 154 yards, a TD and an interception and rushing for 21 yards and a TD while losing two fumbles.
Jets 16, Titans 11
LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
Chris Johnson’s Nashville homecoming produced a team-high 55 yards on 10 carries and no catches. So fantasy fruitful it was not even though his new team got the road win.
Extra points: FB John Conner (1-0, 1-9-1) and RB Chris Ivory (12-25, 1-1) scored the Jets’ TDs, while Eric Decker (7-100 on 11 targets) set the pass-catching pace. … Percy Harvin did play, but you’d hardly know it by the stat sheet as he rushed once for 10 yards and didn’t catch any of his three targets while Geno Smith was, well, Geno Smith – only without the turnovers – completing 16-of-28 for 179 yards and a TD and rushing for 16 yards on four attempts. Oh, and he also was whistled for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a Tennessee safety. … As for those Titans, it basically was summed up by another shoulder injury and early departure for Jake Locker (6-of-11, 57 yards; 2-7 rushing) and a trio of Ryan Succop field goals. … Charlie Whitehurst came in for Locker and went 10-of-24 for 203 yards, while Shonn Greene (16-50, 1-13) and Nate Washington (6-102 on 10 targets) served as the rushing and receiving leaders, respectively.
Broncos 22, Chargers 10
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Those fantasy GMs banking on a bounce-back game from Peyton Manning, had to settle for 14-of-20 for 233 yards and a TD as the QB battled through the flu and a reported thigh injury.
Extra points: Demaryius Thomas did bounce back from his disappointing Week 14, catching six of his team-high 11 targets for 123 yards and a TD while fellow wideout Emmanuel Sanders had a 3-53 outing. Meanwhile, TE Julius Thomas actually did get into a game for the first time in a month but was only targeted twice and finished with a 30-yard reception. … C.J. Anderson got 31 touches but didn’t score and didn’t even get to 100 yards with 96 total, including 85 on the ground. … For the Bolts, Ryan Mathews (ankle) didn’t play, and WR Keenan Allen (3-18) was unable to finish the game, getting carted off in the third quarter with an ankle issue of his own. … That left Branden Oliver (12-26, 4-44) and TE Antonio Gates (6-54 on 7 targets) to pace the squad in rushing and receiving, respectively, while Philip Rivers struggled through a 24-of-41, 232-yards, one-TD, two-interception outing.
Lions 16, Vikings 14
Ford Field, Detroit
Matthew Stafford had been killing it with 701 passing yards and five scores over the last two games but reverted to 17-of-28 for 153 yards and a TD here, connecting with WR Golden Tate (7-38 on a team-high 7 targets) on the scoring throw.
Extra points: Joique Bell (15-62, 4-41) topped 100 total yards for the third straight game, but it continues to be an absolute struggle for Reggie Bush (3-7, 1-10). … Meanwhile, no Megatron Sunday, just Calvin Johnson as the WR had a ho-hum four catches for 53 yards. … For the Vikes, Teddy Bridgewater had his second straight 300-yard passing day with 315 and a TD on 31-of-41 passing while rushing for 30 yards on three carries. He also, however, threw a pair of costly picks. … Matt Asiata ran for 36 yards and a TD and added 50 yards on seven catches. … Greg Jennings (3-43) accounted for the scoring reception, while Charles Johnson (5-72) led the team in receiving yards and shared the target lead with Asiata and TE Kyle Rudolph (7-69).
Seahawks 17, 49ers 7
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Yeah, the Seattle D stands for dominant, and the San Fran struggles are definitely for real and will keep the Niners out of the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Those items were affirmed in this Sunday slugfest which featured 24 points, 11 sacks and 535 total yards.
Extra points: Marshawn Lynch (21-91, 1-7) and Frank Gore (11-29) each rushed for TDs, but the latter departed in the second quarter with a concussion. … Russell Wilson threw for 168 yards, a TD and an interception and rushed for 27 yards on five carries while counterpart Colin Kaepernick (141 yards passing, 9-46) failed to reach 200 aerial yards for the fourth time in five games. … Seattle rookie wideout Paul Richardson (3-30) had his first scoring reception while Jermaine Kearse (5-78) and Doug Baldwin (3-53) shared the team lead with six targets apiece. … Meanwhile, rookie Carlos Hyde (6-55) led the Niners in rushing after taking over for Gore, but he too was unable to finish the game because of an ankle injury. … The San Fran pass-catching corps remains a fantasy wasteland with FB Bruce Miller – yes, FB Bruce Miller – leading the team with six targets, four receptions and 56 yards.
Cowboys 38, Eagles 27
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Those fantasy owners who needed a big Sunday nighter from Dez Bryant got a career one as the WR had his first three-TD receiving game while catching six passes for 114 yards in Dallas’ huge road win.
Extra points: DeMarco Murray only gained 81 yards on 31 attempts and only had one reception for three yards but did punch in a pair of short scoring runs. … Most of Tony Romo’s production (22-of-31, 265 yards, 3 TDs, fumble), of course, came via the Bryant connection, but TE Jason Witten did catch a season-high seven passes for 69 on a team-leading nine targets. … For Philly, Chris Polk (2-6, 2 TDs rushing) was the fantasy headliner, and Darren Sproles (3-5-1, 2-8) scored the other TD, disappointing the owners of LeSean McCoy (16-64, 1-1) Jeremy Maclin (4-98), Zach Ertz (3-32) and – yikes – Jordan Matthews (0-0 on 1 target). … It also was the second straight poor home outing for Mark Sanchez, who finished 17-of-28 for 252 yards and two interceptions.