Manningham, CJ2K Week 11 fantasy flops
Can I eliminate a ton of writing by just indicting the state of New York? Seriously, I can spew off a few thousand words to dissect the abject failures that were the efforts of the Giants, Jets and Bills in Week 11. I could, but I’ll let the scribes in New York painstakingly take you through the play-by-plays and fallout from these losses and the large-scale ramifications.
Instead, I’ll roll through the bad and ugly stat lines put forth in fantasyland during Sunday’s game. Let’s start with the fumble heard around the NFC.
Eli Manning was betrayed by his receivers early in Sunday’s home loss to the Eagles. Receivers dropped a handful of first-half passes to send Manning into the locker room with a tepid yardage total. Manning still had a chance down the stretch to even the score in the final minutes, but was chased down by Jason Babin while on the move and fumbled the ball away. Manning completed 18-of-35 attempts for 264 yards with one touchdown, one interception and three sacks.
Mario Manningham was a virtual bystander in Sunday’s loss. He came into the game with a three-game scoring streak. Alas. Manningham was targeted just twice by Eli Manning and finished the game with one reception and four receiving yards. I’ll pause while you scream.
You can take a short breath and start yelling again as I invoke the name of running back Brandon Jacobs, who failed miserably in a big spot against the Eagles. The Giants could have buried the Eagles once and for all. Instead, Jacobs earned a paltry 21 yards on 12 carries, adding three receptions for 11 yards. He’s averaged 3.08 yards per carry in three games while substituting for Ahmad Bradshaw.
Jason Avant had become a solid go-to option for Michael Vick in the first half of the season. Avant caught a single pass for 13 yards against the Giants, his third straight disappearing act. In the past three weeks, Avant has accrued just four receptions for 35 yards.
Owners of Matt Forte are still recovering from the sight of Jay Cutler’s end zone plunge in Chicago’s win over San Diego. Forte produced a respectable 85 total yards on 25 touches in Week 11, but owners needed more. He earned just 59 rushing yards on 21 carries, a season-low 2.8 yards per carry average. Injuries on the offensive line (and now Jay Cutler) have led to a sharp decline in Forte’s rushing average in the past two weeks.
Nobody expected fireworks from Chris Johnson against the stout Atlanta run defense in Week 11. Then again, nobody anticipated such a dismal and pathetic effort from Johnson, either. The Falcons limited Johnson to 13 rushing yards on 12 carries. That’s right. He averaged 1.08 yards per carry. His 15 receiving yards on three receptions hardly get you excited.
* Johnson has a much better matchup on tap in Week 12 against the run-deficient Tampa Bay defense. I suspect many owners will still linger on the Sit/Start toggle for quite some time this Sunday.
Damian Williams was on the board as a “Ninja” option against the Falcons following a recent run of success in support of Matt Hasselbeck (13 receptions for 201 yards in the three weeks preceding this Week 11 tilt). He certainly had his opportunities on Sunday with 11 targets. Alas, Williams recorded just a single reception for 16 yards.
Everyone in fantasyland banged the drum for Oakland wide receiver Denarius Moore against the injury-depleted Minnesota secondary. Jacoby Ford was unavailable to the Raiders, yet Moore was targeted only twice in Week 11. Moore finished with one reception for 14 yards, leaving many fantasy owners flat and cowering in a corner.
Ryan Mathews’ strong run of games ahead of the Chargers’ Week 6 Bye seem like they occurred a lifetime ago. Once again, San Diego failed to surmount much of a rushing attack behind a banged-up offensive line and the Bears outperformed their season totals. Remember, Chicago had been allowing opposing rushers nearly five yards per carry.
Mathews finished Sunday’s loss with 37 rushing yards on 13 carries, a total that included a 23-yard run. He caught two passes for 14 yards and lost a fumble. Mathews hasn’t scored since Week 3.
Expectations were lower for Mathews’ backfield mate, Mike Tolbert, but he remained on the radar because of the shifting landscape at the running back position. Tolbert offered five receptions to owners in PPR leagues, but achieved just 24 receiving yards. He added three carries for 14 yards.
How much of that contract extension was guaranteed again? Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Bills struggled terribly against the Dolphins in the blowout road loss. He completed 20-of-39 attempts for 209 yards with two sacks and two interceptions. In the past three weeks, Fitzpatrick has thrown two touchdown passes while flinging seven interceptions. The Bills scored a total of 26 points in these three outings.
Stevie Johnson was a question mark coming into Sunday’s game because of a shoulder injury. Once he was cleared, owners inserted Johnson into their rosters and waited for Buffalo to right recent wrongs against the Miami secondary. They’re still waiting following Johnson’s terrible two-reception, 16-yard performance. In the past two weeks, Johnson has produced 24 receiving yards on four receptions. He has a return trip to Revis Island (three receptions for 84 yards in Week 9) this weekend.
Week 10 highlight hero David Nelson saw his recent run of PPR-worthy performances come crashing to an end. He finished Sunday’s loss with one reception for zero yards. Nelson was targeted four times.
Fred Jackson was limited to a season-low 67 total yards on 12 touches in Sunday’s crushing loss to the Dolphins. He carried the ball just seven times for 17 yards, a far cry from his previous season-low of 66 yards achieved in Week 4. Jackson’s scoreless streak extended to four games.
Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson disappeared from fantasy significance as quickly as he rose in Sunday’s win over the Bengals. Dickson recorded two receptions for 21 yards, a huge disappointment following his breakthrough 10-reception, two-touchdown performance against the Seahawks. On the bright side, Dickson ran his streak of consecutive games with multiple receptions to 10.
Washington tight end Fred Davis posted solid, albeit unspectacular, day for owners in PPR leagues with his six receptions for 49 yards. Alas, owners in standard leagues lost two points for Davis’ lost fumble to essentially negate his yardage total. Davis’ scoreless streak extended to four games.
Roy Helu of the Redskins doesn’t count, does he? I received a Tweet for this week’s “Fact or Fantasy” segment predicting that Mike Shanahan would play a street free agent in Week 11. It turns out that that prediction wasn’t far off. Helu carried the ball eight times against the Cowboys for 35 yards.
Preston Parker was on the board as a potential “Ninja” play with the expectation that the Packers would obliterate the Buccaneers. Fantasy owners watched as the game remained close and Parker was a non-factor for Josh Freeman. He finished the game with two targets and a single reception for 20 yards.
The Packers extended their record to 10-0 with a 35-26 win over the Buccaneers. Alas, the high point output didn’t translate into fantasy heroics for two of the Packers’ chief weapons, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley.
• Jennings sustained a shin bruise in Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay (insert the shot of Peter Griffin lying on the sidewalk in pain) and was limited to two receptions for six yards on six targets. His three-game scoring streak fell to the wayside in this contest. However, it should be noted that Jennings has produced just 11 receptions for 84 receiving yards in his past three starts. Jennings is expected to play in the huge NFC North showdown against Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.
• Finley was targeted just three times in the victory, producing a single reception for 30 yards. He’s been limited to 30 receiving yards or fewer in three of the Packers’ past five games.
Greg Olsen was targeted nine times in the Panthers’ meltdown against the Lions. He finished with three receptions for 23 yards. Following a fantastic start to the season, Olsen has logged just a single touchdown in his past five starts. He’s produced more than 45 receiving yards just once in his past six outings.
As expected, Beanie Wells of the Cardinals was crushed under the force of the San Francisco defense. The 49ers cruised to a 23-7 home victory, leaving Wells as a veritable spectator in the second half. He finished the game with just eight carries for 33 yards. He’s finished three of his past five starts with 42 yards or fewer following a fantastic start to the season.
Alas, Steven Jackson’s recent run of dominance (three straight games with at least 128 rushing yards) ended with a resounding thud against the Seahawks. Seattle limited Jackson to 42 rushing yards on 15 attempts, his lowest output since Week 4. He added three receptions for 19 yards.
The Dolphins obliterated the Bills in Week 11 to continue their second-half surge. Matt Moore took advantage of numerous Buffalo mistakes and threw three touchdown passes. Alas, Brandon Marshall didn’t get to perform a touchdown celebration, at least not one that counted. Marshall had a touchdown reception erased on review. He also had another red zone target earlier in the game. Marshall finished with a single reception for five yards on three targets.