Fantasy Clicks: Week 15 Revelations
Randy Moss: Greg Trott/Getty Images
Regarding the Raiders ... congrats to QB JaMarcus Russell for his 242-yard, 2-TD effort in the rain; but he'll need an extremely strong finish to even warrant a mid-round draft pick in 2009. Minor kudos are also extended to RB Justin Fargas (70 rushing yards), TE Zach Miller (5 catches for 60 yards) and RB Darren McFadden (114 total yards, 1 TD) -- although I'm a little leery over D-Mac's penchant for catching balls instead of running off-tackle, up the gut. Memo to whichever Al Davis lackey gets the head coaching job next year: The Raiders can only become consistent winners once McFadden logs the majority of carries and averages 22-25 touches per game. It's as simple as that.
Minnesota 35, Arizona 14
As for the Cardinals ... Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston combined for only 15 catches and 132 yards, a stunning flameout considering the Vikings' pass defense is more opportunistic than stout; and Kurt Warner (270 passing yard, 1 TD) fell short of my pie-in-the-sky projection of 350 yards and two touchdowns. But there's no reason to believe Arizona's four studs -- plus slumping RB Tim Hightower -- won't turn on the jets against New England in Week 16 -- unless the Foxboro weather is equal parts rain, snow, sleet, wind or just plain ugly.
Indianapolis 31, Detroit 21
Speaking of Calvin ... there is no hotter receiver -- or NFL player, for that matter -- getting less press than No. 81 these days, and rightfully so, given Detroit's devilish dance with an unprecedented 0-16 season. In his last 10 games, Johnson (9 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD vs. Indy) has scored eight touchdowns, while racking up at least 65 receiving yards in nine of those losing tilts. But there's more to the Lions: Rookie RB Kevin Smith (119 total yards, 1 TD) continues to feast on the opposition, while simultaneously bolstering his resume for the '09 fantasy drafts; and QB Dan Orlovsky (233 yards, 1 TD) can be a decent fantasy No. 2 guy next year ... provided he's The Man and not Drew Stanton ... or even University of Georgia star Matthew Stafford, the likely No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
San Diego 22, Kansas City 21
Regarding the Chiefs ... there's really nothing new to report. Tony Gonzalez (6 catches, 62 yards, 1 TD vs. San Diego) is the redoubtable No. 1 tight end in fantasyland, WR Dwayne Bowe (6 catches, 44 yards, 1 TD) should be a top-40 pick in '09, Tyler Thigpen (211 total yards, 2 TDs) remains a No. 2 QB option for the foreseeable future and Larry Johnson -- despite his recent struggles -- is a solid candidate for 120 yards and one touchdown in Week 16 against Miami. Just don't expect him to throw another TD pass.
Andre Johnson: AP
Carolina 30, Denver 10
N.Y. Jets 31, Buffalo 27
Cincinnati 20, Washington 13
Dallas 20, N.Y. Giants 8
Michael Turner/Photo Courtesy of Icon SMI
As for Week 16, I highly recommend Matt Ryan, Roddy White (4 catches for 61 yards) and Turner as starting options with Atlanta (vs. Minnesota). And Griese (269 passing yards, 1 TD on Sunday), Bryant (8 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD) and even Cadillac Williams (59 rushing yards) serve as excellent choices with Tampa Bay (vs. San Diego).
Pittsburgh 13, Baltimore 9
Seattle 23, St. Louis 20 (OT)
Miami 14, San Francisco 9
Jacksonville 20, Green Bay 16