Fantasy Awards for Week Fifteen
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
Here we are! It is the week you have all been waiting for all season long! This is the championship. By now most of you are not playing and have to wait until next year to try your luck at a fantasy football championship. Even for you, this is an interesting week. You get to see who came out as the league’s champion. The champion is going to have a target on his or her back for an entire year. This is why we play though. We enjoy the rush of putting together the best team each week for a chance to be the top dog. Last week’s games brought a ton of excitement and another ton of headaches depending on who your players were. Here are the players that top our list of fantasy awards for the semi-finals weekend.
Quarterback of the Week- Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles)
In a season filled with break out stars, Nick Foles has become fantasy football gold. He started this season on the Eagles’ bench and on the fantasy free agency. Now he is a must start player week in and week out. This past weekend, Foles threw for 428 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 41 rushing yards and a successful two point conversion to his stat sheet. His matchup during the fantasy football championship comes against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have a strong passing defense and struggle against the run. LeSean McCoy is primed to have a great game, but the expectations for Foles cannot be as high. Still, Foles definitely needs to be in the starting lineup and should put up pretty good stats this week.
Running Back of the Week- Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs)
No surprise here. Jamaal Charles was a monster last weekend in Oakland. He only rushed for 20 yards, but that makes no difference as he had 195 receiving yards and five total touchdowns. The most impressive part of this is Charles only touched the ball sixteen times throughout the game. He has showed he is the best player in fantasy football and is a must start again the Indianapolis Colts. Not only will Jamaal Charles be one of the top running backs in week sixteen, he is also going to be the top overall pick in fantasy football in 2014 drafts.
Wide Receiver of the Week- DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)
DeSean Jackson put up another huge performance in week fifteen. The Eagles’ wide receiver caught ten passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. These statistics tie a stat line Jackson put up earlier in the season. He is definitely a candidate for the comeback player of the year. He has become a legitimate number one wide receiver in fantasy football and he was more than likely drafted as a number three or a backup. Next week the Eagles will be playing the Chicago Bears and their 9th ranked passing defense. Jackson should be able to have another good game this week. He might not push 200 receiving yards, but there is no reason to think he will not see the endzone.
Tight End of the Week- Timothy Wright (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The Buccaneers have a lot to look forward to next season. They are being led by a lot of young players who surely will do better next season after a full year to look back upon and learn from. Timothy Wright is a young guy with the potential to do some big things in this league. He caught seven passes for 82 yards and a touchdown against the rock solid 49ers defense. He probably was not in anyone’s starting lineup this past weekend, but he is a definitely a name to remember in the future. The Bucs are travelling to St. Louis this weekend. The Rams field a bottom-of-the-barrel pass protection, but they are coming off a big win against the New Orleans Saints which showed they have the ability to stop the pass when needed. It is very possible Wright could have another good day in this matchup. However, with a championship at stake, it is not a time to try to chase his past production. It is best just to pass on him this week.
Kicker of the Week- Dan Bailey (Dallas Cowboys)
Dan Bailey put up an MVP caliber performance in week fifteen. He kicked five field goals, two of which were beyond fifty yards from the goal posts, and tacked on three successful point-after attempts. This equates to over 20 fantasy points in standard leagues. Kickers are just not supposed to be able to produce this many points. When they do, it is a fantasy football miracle. Bailey is just one of those kickers who you cannot afford to sit any week because of his potential to put up stats like this.
Team Defense of the Week- Seattle Seahawks
The most highly reward statistic in fantasy football in a shut out by a team defense. The Seattle Seahawks accomplished that feat last weekend. It was the first time this season that a team was held without any points the entire game all season. This showed how rare a shut out is and why they are so highly valued. The Seahawks also recorded five sacks and four interceptions in the game. During the first half of the season, the Chiefs were considered to be the most valuable fantasy defense. The Seahawks have changed this. They are without a doubt the best defense one can have on their roster. They are hosting the Arizona Cardinals this week. The Cardinals have a lot of offensive weapons to account for, but there is no reason to think the Seahawks are going to falter in this game.
Rookie of the Week- Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers)
Eddie Lacy is the Packers’ player of the year. He was having a great season before Rodgers got injured and he has continued to be a stud even now defenses can focus more on the run. Dallas relinquished 141 rushing yards, one touchdown, and 30 receiving yards to the Packers’ rookie. Lacy is fantasy football’s rookie of the year. He is one of the few running backs in the league that does not compete for carries and can put up great numbers any given week. This week is looking pretty good for Lacy. The Packers are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers who rank 24th against the run. Their front seven is banged up and aging. Lacy is a bruiser style back who should easily be able to wear down this defense.
Sleeper of the Week- Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tennessee Titans)
Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of those backup quarterbacks that actually have fantasy value. He was a long time starter in the league and still has potential to put up a good amount of fantasy points when he comes off the Titans bench. He threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns against the Cardinals this weekend. He did unfortunately throw two interceptions, but he almost made up for them with his 22 rushing yards. If you are in the championship this weekend, you more than likely do not need a quarterback. If your do, however, Fitzpatrick might be a good option. He has a favorable matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bust of the Week- BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cincinnati Bengals)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has not been a fantasy stud this season. The presence of Giovanni Bernard has definitely hurt his value. However, he is still a decent option at running back. He gets the goal-line carries and is still good for about thirteen or fifteen carries a game. He has put up a number of games where he produced 80 yards and a score. In week fifteen, he only ran for four yards. If he was a starter in your lineup, he might have killed you. Next week’s matchup is very favorable. The Bengals are playing at home against the Vikings who have been trampled by running backs this season. Unfortunately, it appears the Bengals have turned the backfield over to Bernard. Last weekend might have signified the end of Green-Ellis’ fantasy value.
Comeback Player of the Week- Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)
In his old age, Greg Jennings’ fantasy value has slowly been slipping away. It not uncommon and it happens to a lot of player. Even these older guys will have their days though. Jennings went off against the Eagles in week fifteen. He burned them for 163 yards on eleven receptions and scored a touchdown. This touchdown was his first in a Vikings’ uniform. Jennings has seen his number of targets increase for the past three weeks. This makes him a very tempting option as a flex player this weekend. For this reason, he would make a decent starter this weekend if nothing else is available. However, if there is something else out there is would be advised to take that player over Jennings because he is playing the Bengals this weekend.
Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of the Semi-Finals- Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs)
Jamaal Charles performance was one of the best in fantasy football history. In fact, it can be argued it was the most valuable ever. In standard scoring formats, Charles scored about 51 fantasy points. This total ranks third all-time behind Clinton Portis and Shaun Alexander. The difference between these two players single game totals and Charles’ is when they came in the season. Both Portis and Alexander lit up their stat sheets in the fourth week of the season. Jamaal’s came during the fantasy playoffs. He was definitely responsible for sending a lot of owners to the championship and crushing the dream of some too. His performance was the best of any player this season and will not be matchup any time soon, be it this season or the next. That was a once in a lifetime game for the Chiefs’ running back.