A rundown of Sunday’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Ravens 20, Browns 10
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Joe Flacco bounced back from his Week 16 disaster but didn’t do so until late with two fourth-quarter TD passes as part of a 22-of-36, 312-yard, no-turnover effort.
Extra points: On the ground, Justin Forsett (17-119 rushing, 2-17 receiving) had his first 100-yard outing in a month, but the Ravens’ TDs were scored by WRs Torrey Smith (4-83) and Kamar Airken (2-13). … Steve Smith Sr. led Baltimore in targets (12), receptions (8) and receiving yards (90). … Undrafted rookie Connor Shaw became the third QB to start for the Browns this season and finished a predictable 14-of-28 for 177 yards, an interception and a fumble while being sacked four times. … Terrance West completed an all-over-the-fantasy-map season for the Browns’ RBs by rushing 18 times for 94 yards and a TD, while Isaiah Crowell had all of six yards on four carries. … With Josh Gordon finishing the season like he started – on suspension – WRs Taylor Gabriel (3-66) and Andrew Hawkins (4-33) were targeted a team-high seven times apiece, while TE Jordan Cameron (3-41) had six passes thrown his way.
Cowboys 44, Redskins 17
FedEx Field; Landover, Md.
So with little chance of improving their third seed, the Cowboys played for keeps and played well, with Tony Romo (299 yards, interception) hooking up with Dez Bryant (4-99) on a pair of scoring tosses, while DeMarco Murray (20-100-1, 3-21) got 23 touches to set the franchise single-season record with 1,845 rushing yards.
Extra points: Joseph Randle (4-69, 1-3) capped the rout with a 65-yard TD run in the final minutes. … Robert Griffin III (27-of-41, 336 yards, 2 TDs) had his first 300-yard passing game since Week 3 of last season and ran for 19 yards and a score on six carries but also had three ugly turnovers, including a fumble that was returned five yards for a TD by Dallas’ Anthony Spencer. … Courtesy of a 69-yard scoring reception, DeSean Jackson led D.C. with 86 yards on two catches while TE Jordan Reed (9-70) was targeted a team-most 10 times. … And if you started Alfred Morris, you received a ho-hum 62 total yards on 14 touches.
Colts 27, Titans 10
LP Field, Nashville
Those anticipating a big rebound effort from Andrew Luck after his Week 16 dud got a 10-of-16, 160-yards, two-TD performance, but with Colts locked into the AFC’s No. 4 seed, he only played a half, and veteran Matt Hasselbeck mopped up with 155 yards and a TD pass.
Extra points: Even with Dwayne Allen injured and inactive, tight ends accounted for all three Indy TDs with Coby Fleener (5-56 on a team-high 7 targets) hauling in two and Jack Doyle (4-21) snaring the other. … The Colts’ RBs, meanwhile, didn’t take advantage of a juicy matchup with Dan Herron (10-35, 3-31) leading the way in touches and total yardage. … T.Y. Hilton was back after missing Week 16 with a sore hamstring but didn’t catch any of his three targets. … WR Kendall Wright (2-9) scored the Titans’ only TD on a pass from Charlie Whitehurst (12-of-28, 72 yards) while Shonn Greene (11-94) and TE Delanie Walker (7-43 on 10 targets) led the hosts in rushing and receiving, respectively.
Texans 23, Jaguars 17
NRG Stadium, Houston
Arian Foster (5-23, 1-10) at least caught an early TD pass before leaving with a hamstring injury, and Alfred Blue (17-39-1, 6-37) and Jonathan Grimes (11-45, 2-23) finished up.
Extra points: Andre Johnson (10-134-1 on a team-high 15 targets) waited until the regular-season finale to have his best game and first 100-yard outing of the season. DeAndre Hopkins, meanwhile, only had two catches for five yards on six targets. … Case Keenum was semi-respectable, finishing 25-of-35 for 250 yards, two TDs, an interception and fumble while rushing for 16 yards on six carries. … The Jags? Jordan Todman (7-52, 5-46) scored for the second straight game after yet another early injury exit for Toby Gerhart (4-8). … Through the air, Cecil Shorts (5-47) led the team in receiving and also threw the 23-yard scoring pass to Todman. … That meant another disappointing day for rookie Blake Bortles (14-of-33 for 117 yards) who did lead the team with 61 rushing yards on only three attempts.
Chiefs 19, Chargers 7
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
Here’s how the season went for the K.C. WRs: Early in the second quarter, Dwayne Bowe (3-30) appeared to catch the first TD reception by a Chiefs’ wideout this year, but alas, it was ruled a goal-line fumble recovered by TE Travis Kelce for the Chiefs’ lone touchdown of the game.
Extra points: Chase Daniel made his second career start in place of the injured Alex Smith and finished 16-of-27 for 157 yards while rushing for 16 yards on three carries. … Jamaal Charles was quiet with 54 yards on 13 rushes and eight yards on a pair of catches while Kelce (7-84) paced the K.C. pass-catchers on a team-most eight targets. … The Chargers were playing for a playoff berth, but the injuries – and certainly the Chiefs’ defense with seven sacks – appeared to catch up to Philip Rivers (20-of-34, 291 yards, two interceptions, fumble). … Starting in place of the injured Ryan Mathews, Branden Oliver (14-71, 2-4) scored the Bolts’ only TD, while Eddie Royal (4-95), Dontrelle Inman (5-79), Antonio Gates (4-67) and Malcom Floyd (3-29) were the receiving leaders, with the three wideouts attracting eight targets apiece.
Jets 37, Dolphins 24
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
That’s not a sick joke; that really is Geno Smith atop the Week 17 fantasy QB leaderboard with a career-high 358 yards and three TDs in a 20-of-25 outing. He also added 18 yards on five rushes – all after it appeared it was going to be another dismal Geno day after he lost an early fumble.
Extra points: Speaking of career days, WR Eric Decker rolled up 221 yards and a TD in hauling in 10 of his game-high 11 targets. … Meanwhile, WR Chris Owusu (1-23, 1-36) scored on a run, RB Chris Ivory (13-29, 1-8) scored on a reception and TE Jeff Cumberland had the team’s other TD. … For the Dolphins, Lamar Miller ran for a career-high 178 yards on 19 carries – with 97 and a TD coming on the league’s longest play from scrimmage this season – and TE Charles Clay (5-45) and RB Daniel Thomas (1-1, 1-1) also found their way into the end zone. … Jarvis Landry (5-55) was targeted a team-high nine times by Ryan Tannehill (23-of-39, 259 yards, TD, fumble) as fellow wideout Mike Wallace (0-0 on 1 target) was reportedly benched for “attitude” reasons.
Vikings 13, Bears 9
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
So who had Minnesota reserve wideout Adam Thielen (3-68) scoring the only touchdown in this one?
Extra points: It made for a quiet day for rookie Teddy Bridgewater (17-of-25, 209 yards, interception; 6-18 rushing) while Matt Asiata (19-91, 2-17) led the team in rushing and found his way into fantasy double digits for the third straight game. … WRs Greg Jennings (3-45), Jarius Wright (3-23) and Charles Johnson (2-22) didn’t do much with their 12 combined targets. … For the visitors, Jay Cutler was back at the helm, but he was unable to guide the Bears into the end zone on a 23-of-36, 172-yard performance, that most surprisingly, didn’t involve a turnover. … TE Martellus Bennett led the team with 59 receiving yards on eight grabs, while Matt Forte – despite being held to 51 yards on 17 carries – caught eight of his team-high 12 targets for all of 23 yards to eclipse Larry Centers’ NFL single-season RB receiving record with 102 catches. … WR Alshon Jeffery finished with a whimper, catching two of his five targets for 34 yards.
Bills 17, Patriots 9
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
As expected, Tom Brady only played a half, completing 8-of-16 passes for 80 yards, before giving way to rookie Jimmy Garoppolo (10-of-17, 90 yards). Neither, though, was able to produce a TD for the Pats, who sat Gronk, Julian Edelman and Jonas Gray while suffering a rare home loss.
Extra points: LeGarrette Blount (10-62) led N.E. in rushing while Brandon LaFell (4-70) was the leading receiver. Danny Amendola was targeted a team-high seven times but finished with only four catches for 24 yards. … The Bills did play their regulars, of course, but the big fantasy numbers were nowhere to be found with Anthony “Boobie” Dixon (7-27, 1-8) and WR Robert Woods (4-39) accounting for the game’s only TDs. … Kyle Orton threw for 176 yards and a TD while losing a fumble, Fred Jackson (18-58, 1-4) led Buffalo in rushing and Sammy Watkins (3-57) was the top pass-catcher on a team-leading five targets.
Eagles 34, Giants 26
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
In redefining finishing with a flourish, here’s Odell Beckham Jr.’s closing six-game run following his 12-catch, 185-yard, one-TD outing on a whopping 21 targets Sunday: 60 receptions for 842 yards and nine TDs. How many fantasy championships did those numbers add up to?
Extra points: Both QBs had top-10 days here with Eli Manning throwing for a season-high 429 yards, the TD and a pick while Mark Sanchez finished with 292 yards, two scores, an interception and 22 rushing yards on seven carries. … LeSean McCoy led Philly with 99 rushing yards on 17 carries, but once again Chris Polk (7-38) got the short-yardage score while rookie wideout Jordan Matthews paced the team in targets (10), receptions (8) and receiving yards (105). … TE Zach Ertz (4-56) and WR Jeremy Maclin (3-49) were targeted six times apiece. … In addition to ODB, Rueben Randle (6-158) went over the century mark for the second straight game on a healthy 13 targets. … In the N.Y. backfield, Rashad Jennings returned and wound up with 54 total yards on 13 touches, but rookie Andre Williams (15-43, 3-19) got the rushing TD and had the better fantasy day.
Saints 23, Buccaneers 20
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Drew Brees’ final 2014 outing perfectly summed his disappointing season: 281 yards but three times as many interceptions (3) as TD passes. Still, it was just enough to rally the Saints here and wrap up the upcoming No. 1 overall draft pick for the Bucs.
Extra points: Marques Colston (2-51 on 7 targets) caught Brees’ scoring toss, while Mark Ingram (14-57, 2-14) and Khiry Robinson (7-15, 2-22) had rushing scores with Pierre Thomas out. … Kenny Stills (5-82) and Jimmy Graham (6-54 on a team-high 9 targets) paced the team in receiving. … For the Bucs, Mike Evans (5-54 on 6 targets) caught a TD pass after fellow WR Vincent Jackson (1-11) left early with a groin injury. … Rookie RB Charles Sims (18-69, 1-6) had his first career TD, while the first 100-yard rushing game of the season came far too late for those owning the deeply disappointing Doug Martin (19-108).
Packers 30, Lions 20
Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wis.
Aaron Rodgers certainly caused the most fantasy – and, in Cheesehead Country – panic after aggravating his calf strain and leaving the field on a cart in the second quarter. Rodgers, however, wasn’t about to abandon the division title and NFC second seed chase, returning to throw a TD pass and rush for another. He finished with some of his worst home numbers of the season – 17-of-22 for 226 yards, 2 TDs and 2-14 rushing – but there was nothing but R-E-L-E-I-F in the end.
Extra points: Randall Cobb (4-80) caught both of Rodgers’ TD throws but lost a fumble while Jordy Nelson led the squad in targets (8), receptions (6) and yards (86). … Eddie Lacy (26-100, 3-26) also coughed up a fumble but finished the regular season with nine straight 100-total-yard games. … For the Lions, Calvin Johnson caught only four of his 11 targets for 39 yards but two of the grabs resulted in TDs. … Matthew Stafford (20-of-41, 217 yards) wound up with his second three-TD-pass game of the year, also connecting with RB Theo Riddick (5-34) for a late score. … Leading the Lions in rushing and receiving yards were Joique Bell (13-60) and Golden Tate (3-45), respectively.
Panthers 34, Falcons 3
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
The Carolina D – a mediocre unit at best all season – certainly saved its best for last, sacking Matt Ryan six times, forcing three turnovers and returning a pair of interceptions for scores in this stunning NFC South title-game road rout.
Extra points: Cam Newton completed only 10 passes for 114 yards but threw for a score and ran for another while leading the team in rushing with 51 yards on six carries. … Newton’s TD toss was caught by a TE, but it was Ed Dickson (1-5) and not Greg Olsen (2-27). Rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin (1-9 on 5 targets) and Jonathan Stewart (13-49, 2-20) also had disappointing days to varying degrees. … Speaking of disappointments, Ryan was harassed into a 29-of-47, 260-yard, two-pick outing, thereby limiting the fantasy upside for Roddy White (8-104, fumble on 12 targets) and Julio Jones (4-58). … With Steven Jackson out with a quad injury, RBs Jacquizz Rodgers (9-44, 3-19) and Devonta Freeman (6-13, 2-3) split the workload with very meager fantasy success.
Seahawks 20, Rams 6
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Those banking on Russell Wilson approaching his huge Week 16 numbers had to settle for 17-of-25 for 239 yards, an interception and a season-low seven rushing yards on six carries.
Extra points: Naturally, the Seattle TDs were scored by Marshawn Lynch (14-60, 3-36) and the swarming D, which forced three turnovers and notched four sacks while limiting the Rams to a pair of field goals. … Rookie wideout Paul Richardson was targeted a team-high seven times and led the ’Hawks with five receptions for a season-high 60 yards. … As for the Rams’ ugly details, Shaun Hill finished 26-of-37 for 243 yards and two interceptions, Tre Mason (11-28, 3-29) led the team in rushing and fellow RB Benny Cunningham (4-10) was the top pass-catcher with seven grabs for 57 yards. … Kenny Britt (4-38) and Jared Cook (3-37) didn’t do much with their combined 12 targets.
Broncos 47, Raiders 14
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver
Ultimately capping the season-ending frustration for Peyton Manning owners was this performance Sunday. Manning finished 21-of-37 for 273 yards and a fumble as the Broncos scored a season-high 47 points but somehow didn’t throw a TD pass while backup Brock Osweiler did while attempting only two passes. Go figure.
Extra points: On the fantasy flip side, C.J. Anderson (13-87, 2-20) had his second three-TD game in the last month, even though Ronnie Hillman (15-56, 1-2) returned from a five-game absence to lead the Denver backs in touches. … Demaryius Thomas was targeted a game-high 17 times and finished with eight catches for 115 yards while Emmanuel Sanders had six grabs for 73 yards. … Run-blocking TE Virgil Green (3-46) caught Osweiler’s TD pass as a clearly-hurting Julius Thomas went without a target and finished with only five catches for 66 yards and no TDs over the regular season’s final six weeks. … The Raiders, meanwhile, closed out a winless road campaign with a decidedly fantasy-unfriendly defensive TD and a 1-yard scoring reception by backup RB Jamize Olawale. … Derek Carr finished 18-of-36 for 158 yards, a TD, interception and fumble while Latavius Murray led the team in rushing (10-37) and receiving (4-60).
49ers 20, Cardinals 17
Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.
Big news here as Colin Kaepernick (204 yards, 7-63 rushing) and Ryan Lindley (316 yards) threw two TD passes apiece. Kaepernick hadn’t had a multi-TD pass game since Week 6, while Lindley had never had an NFL scoring toss, period. Lindley, alas, did throw a trio of interceptions that swung the game in the Niners’ favor.
Extra points: Much to the consternation of many Frank Gore owners, the RB had his two largest workloads of the year in the season’s final two weeks as he closed out the Jim Harbaugh era with 144 yards on 25 totes in this one. … WR Anquan Boldin (2-81 on 9 targets) and FB Bruce Miller (3-17) caught Kaepernick’s scoring passes while Michael Crabtree caught a team-high four receptions for 41 yards. … Much like Gore, Cards WR Michael Floyd capped a disappointing season with a too-late flourish, catching eight of his game-high 12 targets for 153 yards and the two scores. Fellow WRs John Brown (4-51) and Larry Fitzgerald (2-29) didn’t do much with their combined 13 targets… And, for what it’s worth, Kerwynn Williams (17-67) led Arizona in rushing.
Steelers 27, Bengals 17
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
There’s been no letdown for NFL receiving leader Antonio Brown all season and there certainly wasn’t one here, as he snared seven of his 13 targets for 128 yards and a TD while also throwing in a punt-return score.
Extra points: Meanwhile, fellow fantasy studs Le’Veon Bell (knee, third quarter) and A.J. Green (concussion, fourth quarter) were unable to finish the contest. Bell finished with 20 yards on eight rushes and 80 yards on six receptions while Green had team-most eight catches for 82 yards and a fumble for Cincy. Things could be iffy with both teams playing in the wild-card round this coming weekend. … Ben Roethlisberger threw for 317 yards and two scores, with his other TD toss going to rookie WR Martavis Bryant (1-21). Big Ben also threw an interception and lost a fumble. … TE Heath Miller had three catches for 41 yards on seven targets. … For the Bengals, Andy Dalton threw for 244 yards and two TDs, but of course since the game was in prime time, also had a pair of picks. His TD throws went to Giovanni Bernard (3-8, 7-56) and Jermaine Gresham (3-20). … Add the rushing prowess of rookie Jeremy Hill (23-100) to Bernard’s pass-catching skills and Cincy arguably has the league’s best 1-2 RB punch.