Your fantasy studs only scored once? Well, that’s just child’s play. The real studs scored twice or more on Sunday, and they should easily do the same a time or two before the fantasy football playoffs are over. Start ’em if you got ’em.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: 275 passing yards and 3 TDs, 55 rushing yards and 1 TD vs. Raiders
Much like a high school girl at her prom, Big Ben hates it when other teams dress up like the Steelers. The Raiders have been wearing black and putting teams away with a running game and a defense. That just won’t fly. So I guess Big Ben was trying to make a point when he exposed them on Sunday.
The Steelers walked all over the Raiders all day long. Roethlisberger benefited from the absence of Nnamdi Asomugha. When this offense is firing on all cylinders, as it seems to be now, they’re hard to stop.
Greg Jennings, WR, Packers: 7 catches for 152 yards and 3 TDs vs. Vikings
Aaron Rodgers reminded all Jennings’ owners why they drafted him: He’s the No. 1 wide receiver on a highly explosive offense. They got rolling against the Vikings in a blowout, and Jennings was doing damage in both big and small chunks.
It was good to see him targeted in the red zone in addition to his targets from long-range. He should continue to produce down the stretch since he is Rodgers’ most reliable target for now.
Steve Johnson, WR, Bills: 8 catches for 137 yards, 3 TDs vs. Bengals
I thought this Bills passing game would have cooled off by now, but just when you think they’re done, they come roaring back. Steve Johnson absolutely destroyed the Bengals in the second half.
Johnson’s probably going to end up being the waiver wire pickup of the year. He’s scored in almost every game he’s played in with Fitzpatrick under center. Those numbers are going to be hard to beat as long as this passing game stays red-hot throughout the playoffs, even as Buffalo freezes over.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: 301 passing yards and 4 TDs, 21 rushing yards vs. Vikings
A big fantasy day for Jennings means a big fantasy day for Rodgers, but you know this. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy. This stat line is what you expected out of him in easy matchups when you drafted him. He poured it on the Vikings, led by the man he replaced, Favre.
This game was like watching a little kid jump up and down on Brett Favre’s sandcastle, all while Brett had to watch his creation go to pieces. I kind of enjoyed it.
Without a doubt, we can say that the Packers made the right call in moving on from Favre to Rodgers when they did. No team that’s tried to make it work with Favre has succeeded.
The Packers have turned into a very scary team just at the right time as fantasy playoffs (and the real NFL playoffs) approach.
Jon Kitna, QB, Cowboys: 147 passing yards and 3 TDs, 40 rushing yards and 1 TD vs. Lions
I played it safe this week by starting Shaun Hill out of fear that the Cowboys would concentrate on their running game after establishing an early lead. They didn’t, unless you count that late rushing score by Kitna as the running game. Jason Garrett’s perfectly comfortable calling passing plays the whole game, and that works for Kitna’s fantasy owners.
Kitna ended the day without much yardage, but he scored a ton, making him the better play over Shaun Hill. It seems they’ll both be great plays down the stretch, as both the Cowboys and Lions love to throw the ball.
Kitna should be owned in all leagues and has a great schedule in Weeks 15 and 16 of the fantasy playoffs as long as Romo doesn’t return.
This part is the place where I would list Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but I’ll skip them. I assume you know the drill when it comes to those guys.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: 316 passing yards and 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 11 rushing yards vs. Bengals
What looked like a quiet performance turned into a fantasy explosion late when the Bills mounted a comeback. I don’t know whether to be impressed with how overpowering the Bills were in this one or to just acknowledge how absolutely horrid the Bengals are. No one wants to win badly enough in Cincy. Too bad.
Fitzpatrick has had a few rough patches along the way, but if he keeps playing this aggressively, it’s hard to say he won’t produce another fantasy day or two like this one in the next few weeks.
Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets: 7 catches for 126 yards, 2 TDs vs. Texans
Another week, another come-from-behind victory capped off by a Holmes touchdown pass from Sanchez. The Jets’ unpredictable performance in winnable games has become predictable again. And you can count on Holmes to remain the focus in the passing game from here on out.
Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: 116 rushing yards and 2 TDs, 3 catches for 13 yards vs. Bengals
Even Jackson got in on the fantasy field day to be had against the Bengals. His schedule isn’t so easy, and he faces the Steelers this week after they just completely stuffed Darren McFadden…but if you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, Jackson has a game like this left in him.
He still has matchups against the Vikings and Patriots on the schedule, and I’m not too worried about C.J. Spiller cutting into his production when he returns later this season.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets: 315 passing yards and 3 TDs, 1 INT, 22 rushing yards vs. Texans
The Texans are horrible, and Sanchez took advantage. Moral of the story: Always start the quarterback playing the Texans. Enough said.
A note on D/STs that did well…
If you were looking for an impressive D/ST performance, you got it out of the Browns and Ravens. If they’re not owned, the Browns make for an intriguing play the rest of the way, and they face the Panthers this week.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: 6 catches for 109 yards, 2 TDs vs. Cardinals
Okay, okay. I keep saying he’s going to fade down the stretch, and yet, here we are with another huge fantasy day and multiple touchdowns for Bowe. I guess you have to start him until he cools off. That’s not such a bad problem to have, is it?