Mark Brunell completed only 12 passes on Sunday, but four of them were TDs to his tight ends. Brunell's four touchdowns were enough to lead most of his fantasy owners to victory and put Brunell at the top of our fantasy quarterbacks for week 15. The Seattle Seahawks squeaked out a win over the Tennessee Titans thanks to Matt Hasselbeck's 285 yards and three scores. Carson Palmer picked apart the Detroit Lions' defense with 274 yards and three TDs before being replaced by backup Jon Kitna as the Bengals went off in a rout at Ford Field. Superbowl MVP Tom Brady looked back in form against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Brady led his team with three TDs and 250+ passing yards at home. Kyle Boller had arguably his best game as a pro with 250+ yards and three TDs against the sinking Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. Brooks Bollinger gave the N.Y. Jets some life with 327 passing yards and a couple of scores. Steve McNair gave the Seahawks a run with two touchdowns and 300+ yards. Jake Plummer helped keep the Broncos in contention for a #2 seed in the AFC playoffs with his 250+ yard and two TD effort over the Buffalo Bills.
Most running backs would be happy to gain 249 yards in a three game stretch, but Tiki Barber was able to get his in one game. Barber also had two TDs against the Chiefs and solidified his lead in total yards from scrimmage for this season. Larry Johnson was the man on the Kansas City side of the ball with a whopping 167 rushing yards and two touchdowns, but was again on the losing side of the scoreboard. Rudi Johnson combined 117 rushing yards and two rushing TDs to go along with QB Carson Palmer's fine game in a rout of the Lions. Shaun Alexander had 172 rushing yards against the Titans to strengthen his lead on the NFL rushing title...Alex the Great also had a score in the game to increase his league leading touchdown total to 24. Denver's Mike Anderson continues to look like the dominant fantasy back for the Broncos...Anderson rushed for near 100 yards and had two touchdowns in the effort. Domanick Davis was replaced just prior to gametime with backup Jonathan Wells...and Wells made the most of his opportunity with nearly 100 total yards from scrimmage and two TDs to lead the Houston Texans over the Arizona Cardinals. After a tough 14 weeks, Jamal Lewis decided to shine in week 15 on MNF with 114 total yards and a TD...although probably too late for his fantasy owners who most likely missed the playoffs due to Lewis' early lack of performance. Michael Turner gained his TD and nearly all of his 113 rushing yards on one play for the Chargers. Corey Dillon's two TDs helped the Patriots wipe out the Bucs on Sunday. LaMont Jordan ran all over the Cleveland Browns for 132 yards and added catches for another 40 yards, but was unable to find the endzone. The Bears and Thomas Jones had another solid game with a win...Jones rushed for nearly 100 yards and a score. Ryan Moats and Ricky Williams both had 70+ yards and a score apiece. Frank Gore, Cedric Houston, Clinton Portis, Marshall Faulk, and Aaron Stecker all put up over 100 all-purpose yards, but none were able to make it across the goal line.
Steve Smith continued his reign as the top fantasy wide receiver of 2005. Smith decided he would include a rushing touchdown as one of his two scores in week 15. Drew Bennett added two touchdowns to his 93 receiving yards as the Titans narrowly lost to the Seahawks. Rod Smith and David Givens had identical receiving yards (137) and a score apiece to help lead the Broncos and Patriots to victories. Anquan Boldin caught balls for 134 yards and a TD, but the Arizona Cardinals ended up losing the game and QB Kurt Warner for the season. Donte' Stallworth looked like the top wide receiver in New Orleans with his five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Chad Johnson and Keenan McCardell both had nice yardage and a score for the Bengals and Chargers in their victories, but Johnson had eight more catches than McCardell in the effort. The other half of the top receiving duo in Arizona (Larry Fitzgerald) still had a TD and decent yards, but finished with 50 less yards than Boldin. Marvin Harrison gained 135 receiving yards without a score...however, the Colts lost the game and Harrison broke his hand. Darrell Jackson returned from injury and played his first game in months...Jackson responded well with six grabs for 72 yards and a score. Charles Rogers finally showed some of his raw talent on Sunday against the Bengals with a nice TD, but the effort was too little and too late as the Lions were routed early. Amani Toomer, Marty Booker, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh all helped their teams to wins as each scored with 60+ receiving yards. Eric Moulds had 110 receiving yards on nine catches for the Bills, but was unable to score.
The top two tight ends this week put up more yards and more scores than the top two wide receivers...Chris Cooley and Todd Heap both broke the one-touchdown barrier for their fantasy owners and may have been enough to boost their teams to fantasy playoff bliss. Cooley caught six balls for 71 yards and three touchdowns as the Washington Redskins torched the Dallas Cowboys in a critical game for both teams. Todd Heap did his part to match Cooley's effort on MNF...Heap caught nine for 110 yards, but was only able to score two touchdowns. Doug Jolley caught nine balls for 102 yards and a touchdown in a nice effort for the New York Jets. Tennessee tight end Ben Troupe had 116 yards without a score against the Seahawks. Jerramy Stevens, Dallas Clark, and Jason Witten all had 40+ yards and a TD. Fantasy no-name tight ends Mike Bartrum, Mike Sellers, and Duke Wesley all scored for their NFL teams...but my bet is that none of the three scored fantasy points for anyone (in fact, most NFL fans can't even name which teams these guys play for).
News and Notes - The Chicago Bears recovered from their loss against the Steelers to handily defeat the Falcons and lock up their division...Rex Grossman replaced Kyle Orton in the 2nd half of the Bears game and looked impressive - coach Lovie Smith has already named Grossman in week 16 against the Packers...The Indianapolis Colts lost to the San Diego Chargers and erased any chance of a perfect record...coach Tony Dungy is considering playing time for starters for weeks 16 & 17 and has stated that they will play against the Seahawks; however Marvin Harrison suffered a broken hand in his hand on Sunday and may be benched as a precaution - Manning also suffered some swelling in his knee and may be played cautiously - in addition, Dwight Freeney, Cato June, and others on defense will be rested (watch this situation closely for further news affecting both Seattle and Indy)...Brad Johnson led the Vikes to six straight, but met his match against the Steelers (who seem to have righted the ship)...Tiki Barber's 249 total yards against the Kansas City Chiefs secured him as a near lock for total yards from scrimmage with 1998...Shaun Alexander's 172 rushing yards boosted him to 1668 on the season with two games left of the regular season...Kurt Warner sprained his MCL on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season...Samkon Gado tore his MCL in his right knee, thus ending his season
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