Panthers 21, Falcons 20
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Roddy White started achingly slow but finished the season with a flourish, hauling in 8 catches for 91 yards and a TD Sunday, giving him 43 grabs for 502 yards and a pair of scores over his last five games.
Extra points: Cam Newton only threw for 149 yards, but did toss two TD passes and led the Panthers with 72 rushing yards on 12 attempts. … With WR Steve Smith out with a knee issue, it was no surprise that TE Greg Olsen (6-42, TD) was Newton’s top target. … Ted Ginn (2-6) also caught a TD pass, while fellow wideout Brandon LaFell failed to make a catch. … RB DeAngelo Williams (10-33 rushing, 2-75 receiving) topped 100 total yards but failed to score and lost a fumble. … Matt Ryan (280 passing yards, 2 TDs, pick) and Steven Jackson (18 touches-94 total yards) were so-so for the Falcons, as was TE Tony Gonzalez (4-56 on 4 targets) in the finale of his Hall-of-Fame NFL career.
Vikings 14, Lions 13
Mall of America Field, Minneapolis
No Adrian Peterson and no Calvin Johnson meant fantasy points were at a minimum in this one. The unquestioned standout was Minny rookie WR Cordarelle Patterson, who rushed for 54 yards and a score and caught two passes for 31 yards and another TD.
Extra points: With Toby Gerhart also sidelined, it was Matt Asiata time once again in the Minnesota backfield and he rushed for 115 yards on only 14 carries. … QBs Matthew Stafford (217 yards) and Matt Cassel (189) each threw for a TD and an interception. … The leading receivers were the Lions’ Kevin Ogletree (5-75), who got the start in place of Megatron, and the Vikes’ Greg Jennings (5-44).
Titans 16, Texans 10
LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
The general view is that Chris Johnson had a disappointing fantasy season, but he’s going to finish among the top eight RBs after putting up 141 total yards and a TD Sunday in a win over the first-dradft-pick-bound Texans.
Extra points: Houston was down to it No. 5 RB, but Jonathan Grimes came through with 50 rushing yards, 76 receiving yards and a TD for those who gambled on him. … Neither QB did much of anything, and that wasn’t good news for wideouts Andre Johnson (6-49) and Kendall Wright (5-50).
Steelers 20, Browns 7
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Antonio Brown was a fantasy standout and a model of consistency. He had a game-high nine receptions for 87 yards Sunday and finished the season with at least five catches and 50 receiving yards in every game this season.
Extra points: Pittsburgh rookie RB LaVe’on Bell had 90 rushing yards, 6 receiving yards and a TD and finished with at least eight fantasy points in 12 of his 13 games this season. …. Ben Roethlisberger (179 yards, TD, 2 interceptions) struggled in his finale. … For the Browns, Josh Gordon caught seven of his team-high 10 targets for 82 yards but couldn’t add a final TD to his spectacular season. … Second-year RB Edwin Baker (18-69) gave the Browns some season-ending promise in the backfield, while fellow back Fozzy Whittaker (2-38 receiving) had the team’s lone TD.
Giants 20, Redskins 6
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Fantasy owners who took a late-season flier on Giants wideout Jerrel Jernigan were rewarded handsomely as he led N.Y. in receiving (6-90) and rushing (2-57, TD) in the rain here. He had 21 touches for 294 total yards and two TDs over the final three weeks.
Extra points: Jernigan was the saving grace for the G-Men who entered the game without WR Victor Cruz and saw Eli Manning (152 yards, TD, pick) and WR Hakeem Nicks (2-50) leave early with ankle injuries. Nicks finished the season without a TD catch. … N.Y. starting RB Andre Brown (13-11) had an early fumble and gave way to Peyton Hillis (17-56) until the team’s final possession of the contest. … For the ‘Skins, it was a struggle for QB Kirk Cousins (169 yards, 2 interceptions, fumble) and Alfred Morris (16-62 rushing), while wideout Pierre Garcon (6-56) — like Antonio Brown — finished the season with at least five receptions in all 16 games.
Bengals 34, Ravens 17
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Fittingly, Good & Bad Andy Dalton showed up here, as the Cincy QB threw for 281 yards and 2 TDs and added 23 rushing yards and a score on the ground. He also tossed four interceptions to keep the Ravens within reach most of the contest.
Extra points: With TEs Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert inactive, wideouts A.J. Green (4-61) and Marvin Jones (5-61) hauled in Dalton’s TD passes. … RBs Giovanni Bernard (18 touches-73 total yards) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (11-66) were merely OK, but neither got that TD to reach fantasy double digits. … The Ravens, meanwhile, scored one TD — a scoring strike from Joe Flacco (192 yards, 3 picks) to WR Marlon Brown (5-30) — while the the rest of team’s top players, including Ray Rice (50 total yards, 2-point conversion run) and WR Torrey Smith (3-27 receiving), did little. … TE Dennis Pitta (8-63) was the Birds’ top pass-catcher.
Jets 20, Dolphins 7
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
It was Geno Smith over Ryan Tannehill on both scoreboards — reality and fantasy — as the N.Y. rookie threw for 190 yards and rushed for 44 yards and a TD while the second-year Miami starter threw for 204 yards and a TD, rushed for 19 yards but was intercepted three times.
Extra points: Rookie DT Sheldon Richardson (2-2) picked up his second rushing TD of the season and he and Smith combined for twice as many ground scores (8-4) than the team’s top RBs, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell this season. Powell (22-76) was the Jets’ featured back here, leaving Ivory with only five carries for 19 yards. … David Nelson (5-66) was the Jets’ top pass-catcher. … For the Dolphins, Lamar Miller (17-73) was the top rusher, and Rishard Mathews (4-58) was the top receiver, while Mike Wallace (5-25 on a team-high 12 targets) was a fantasy flop. … It didn’t help Miami’s cause that leading receiver Brian Hartline (2-38) left in the first quarter with a knee injury.
Colts 30, Jaguars 10
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
T.Y. Hilton struggled most of the late season but finished with a flourish, hitting career highs in catches (11) and receiving yardage (155) on a team-leading 15 targets. The only thing missing was a TD.
Extra points: Indy RBs Donald Brown (15 touches-35 total yards) and Trent Richardson (10-42) had limited yardage success, but both rushed for touchdowns. … There wasn’t much fantasy impact from the opposing unit, unless you count Chad Henne’s season-high 331 passing yards. He had a TD pass — to unknown wideout Kerry Taylor (team-leading 8-75) — but also had an interception. … Maurice Jones-Drew racked up 90 total yards on 18 touches but didn’t score and lost a fumble.
Seahawks 27, Rams 9
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
The ‘Hawks rebounded from their only home loss in two seasons, but it wasn’t necessarily reflected in Russell Wilson’s fantasy numbers as the QB threw for only 172 yards and a TD, while rushing five times for a loss of 1. In fact, his stats weren’t much better from those of losing QB Kellen Clemens (157 yards, TD) aside from the St. Louis QB’s pair of picks.
Extra points: Marshawn Lynch was, well, Marshawn Lynch with 23 carries for 97 yards and a TD, while wideout Golden Tate hit season highs with eight receptions for 129 yards and a TD. … Zac Stacy didn’t figure to find much running room against the Seattle D, and didn’t, finishing with 15 yards on 15 carries. He added 23 yards on four catches. … Rams’ TE Jared Cook started the season strong and finished with a solid 5-30 and a TD here but did little in between.
Packers 33, Bears 28
Soldier Field, Chicago
Twenty-five completions in 39 attempts for 318 yards and two TDs, including the game-winning 48-yard scoring strike to Randall Cobb (2-55, 2 TDs) in the final minute. Yeah, Aaron Rodgers’ return probably came a game or three too late for the majority of his fantasy owners, but it was definitely worth the wait for those still alive.
Extra points: Cobb, playing his first game since Week 6, had the two TD grabs, but Rodgers’ favorite target was far and away Jordy Nelson, who had 10 catches for 161 yards on 16 targets. … Eddie Lacy (ankle) played and played well with 81 total yards and a TD, but backup James Starks actually gained more total yards with 95. … For the Bears, QB Jay Cutler (226 yards, 2 TDs, interception) fell to 1-8 vs. the Packers since coming to Chicago in 2009. … Matt Forte, meanwhile, more than held up his end of the bargain with 157 total yards and three TDs and finished the season with 12 scores — matching his career high set in his rookie season of 2008. … Forte and Brandon Marshall (6-74) had the Bears’ TD catches, while Alshon Jeffery (3-80) should’ve had one had the Bears’ not inexplicably taken a timeout instead of challenging the end result of the WR’s 67-yard reception that appeared to be 68. … Those starting Chicago TE Martellus Bennett were left with a one-catch, 15-yard dud.
Patriots 34, Bills 20
Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
LeGarrette Blount emerged with authority from the Pats’ backfield quagmire down the stretch, saving his best for last Sunday, rushing for a career-high 189 yards and two TDs on 24 carries.
Extra points: Meanwhile, fellow RB Shane Vereen played and found the end zone as part of his five-touch, 45-yard effort. … Tom Brady only was 14-of-24 for 122 yards, a TD and an interception, with more than half of his passing yards going to PPR machine Julian Edelman (9 catches). … Danny Amendola (1-9) added a finishing dud to a season full of them. … For the Bills, it was a familiar scenario as C.J. Spiller (24 touches-133 total yards) outgained backfield mate Fred Jackson (17-113), but it was the latter who got into the end zone. … No. 1 wideout Stevie Johnson missed a second straight game, and T.J. Graham (3-62, TD) finished as Buffalo’s leading WR in his stead while rookie Robert Woods (1-27 on 6 targets) fizzled.
Saints 42, Bucs 17
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Whether you were starting him or facing him Sunday, you had to have seen a big Drew Brees game coming a mile away. Brees was back in the cozy confines of the Superdome following back-to-back road disappointments, and he responded with a 24-of-31, 381-yard, five-total-TD outburst that decided many a fantasy championship matchup.
Extra points: TE Jimmy Graham (5-71) and wideouts Kenny Stills (1-76), Lance Moore (4-73) and Robert Meachem (1-41) were on the receiving end of Brees’ TD throws, while Marques Colston owners had to settle for a 6-67 finale. … Khiry Robinson (12-50) paced the Saints in rushing, but Pierre Thomas somewhat salvaged a 23-total-yard outing with a rushing score. … For the Bucs, Mike Glennon threw for 219 yards and a pair of TDs, but didn’t get much help from RB Bobby Rainey (11-35 rushing) or No. 1 WR Vincent Jackson (4-35 on 12 targets). … WR Tiquan Underwood (5-93) and TE Timothy Wright (5-58) scored the Bucs’ TDs.
Broncos 34, Raiders 14
O.Co Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.
Peyton Manning opened the regular season with seven TD passes and finished with four scores and 266 passing yards — in a half. In total, he finished as fantasy’s runaway No. 1 scorer and set NFL single-season marks for TD passes (55) and passing yards (5,477) while guiding the first NFL offense to top 600 points (606) in a season.
Extra points: Demaryius Thomas (6-113, 2 TDs) finished as Manning’s top weapon, while Eric Decker (4-27) and RB Knowshon Moreno (11 touches-64 total yards) also had scoring receptions. … With Moreno resting most of the second half, Montee Ball led the team’s backs with 94 total yards. … Terrelle Pryor was back at the helm of the Silver & Black and acquitted himself well with 207 passing yards, 2 TDs and a team-leading 49 rushing yards on nine carries. … If you started an Oakland RB, you were left disappointed as Rashad Jennings (6 touches-17 total yards) and Darren McFadden (10-21) went nowhere. … WR Denarius Moore was back in the Raider lineup and led the squad with 63 yards on four catches, but fellow wideout Rod Streater (5-40, TD) had the best fantasy day.
49ers 23, Cardinals 20
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Believe it or not, Colin Kaepernick (21-of-34, 310 yards, 2 TDs) had his first 300-yard passing game since Week 1 — likely far too late for most of his fantasy owners.
Extra points: Wideout Quentin Patton (1-26) and Kaepernick (4-24) were the Niners’ leading rushers, meaning it was a dud of a day for Frank Gore (13-14). … As usual, WR Anquan Boldin (9-149, TD) and TE Vernon Davis (3-45, TD) were the top-producing San Fran pass-catchers, while the Michael Crabtree fantasy momentum slowed to a 3-27 crawl. … For the Cards, Carson Palmer (407 yards, 2 TDs, pick) paced all Week 17 passers in yardage thanks largely to wideouts Larry Fitzgerald (6-113) and Michael Floyd (6-91). … However, WR Andre Roberts (3-74) and TE Jake Ballard (1-1) caught Palmer’s TD tosses. … Neither Arizona RB — Rashard Mendenhall (12 touches-60 total yards, fumble) nor Andre Ellington (12-42) — had a banner, or even solid, outing.
Chargers 27, Chiefs 24 (OT)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Jamaal Charles, fantasy’s No. 1 RB was healthy scratch along with most of the other K.C. notables, but those who picked up and started backup Knile Davis (86 total yards, 2 TDs) hardly missed a fantasy beat.
Extra points: QB Chase Daniel made his first NFL start in four pro seasons, and acquitted himself fairly well with 200 passing yards, a TD and 59 yards on seven rushes. … Without Dwayne Bowe, A.J. Jenkins — yes, A.J. Jenkins — had a team-leading 67 receiving yards on three receptions but wideout Dexter McCluster, one of the few K.C. regulars who played, had six catches for 62 yards and a TD. … On the San Diego side, Philip Rivers was sharp with 229 yards and three scores, while RB Ryan Mathews (24-144 rushing, 2-11 receiving) had his fourth straight 100-total-yard outing. … Rookie Keenan Allen capped his superb rookie season with a team-leading five receptions for 89 yards, but Eddie Royal (3-34) and TEs Antonio Gates (4-31) and Ladarius Green (1-22) had the TD grabs.
Eagles 24, Cowboys 22
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
Hey, Kyle Orton (30-of-46, 358 yards, 2 TDs, 2 picks) didn’t hold back the Cowboys’ leading pass-catchers as Dez Bryant (8-99, TD) and Jason Witten (12-135) both had strong finales, but like the Cowboys’ injured starter, Orton couldn’t deliver a big season-ending game victory.
Extra points: Philly QB Nick Foles was predictably proficient (17-of-26, 263 yards, 2 TDs, no turnovers) in guiding the Eagles to the NFC East crown, while running mate LeSean McCoy (134 total yards, TD) wrapped up the NFL rushing title and notched his 10th 100-total-yard game of the season. … TE Brent Celek (3-71) paced Philly’s pass-catchers, while wideouts Riley Cooper (3-39) and DeSean Jackson (3-28) were both strangely silent. … DeMarco Murray had 22 touches but fell short of double-digit fantasy points (90 total yards, fumble) for the first time in seven games.