2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Studs and Duds: Championship Games

2012-01-23 10:26:28
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Another big game for Cruz

Wow. That is about all you can say about the games this weekend. You couldn't have asked for two better games. One gets decided in overtime and the other is won on a missed field goal with time running out. These games certainly had you on the edge of your seat, which is about all you can ask for at this time of year.

The games also were a little bit away from the norm for the season. We didn't have offensive shootouts as defenses showed up to play. All four teams played pretty well defensively throughout the games. Sure, we had some good offensive performances but ultimately, the team defenses won out this week. Don't expect this to be a trend going forward but just remember good defenses can still win games for teams.

Patriots 23, Ravens 20

Fantasy Stud: Joe Flacco. Not many would have predicted Flacco outplaying Tom Brady but that was the case in this one. Flacco was extremely sharp, going 22-of-36 for 306 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Flacco also setup the Ravens for the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game, but the ball was dropped in the end zone by Lee Evans. So Flacco could have scored three touchdowns. He proved a lot in this game, showing he can carry the offense if needed. Hopefully, this gives him some confidence going into 2012.

Fantasy Dud: Tom Brady. Brady had a really disappointing game for his standards. He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time all season. He was 22-of-36 for 239 yards with two interceptions. He did rush in a score, which helped some, but his overall game was still disappointing. His yardage total was his second lowest of the season and he had multiple interceptions for just the fourth time all year. It was a tough matchup, though, so we wouldn't look too much into this. He remains an elite signal caller in this league.

Game Notes: Rob Gronkowksi apparently left the locker room in a boot but said the injury isn't a big deal and he'll be fine. Gronkowski played the entire game and performed, so the injury doesn't appear too serious. He caught five passes for 87 yards.

With Steven Ridley a surprise inactive, BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the load at running back for the Patriots. Green-Ellis had a very good showing against a good Ravens rush defense, rushing 15 times for 68 yards and a touchdown. His yardage total was his highest since Week 11.

Giants 20, 49ers 17

Fantasy Stud: Vernon Davis. Davis had his second straight big showing in the playoffs, scoring both touchdowns for the 49ers. He caught three passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Davis really put on a show in his two playoff games, catching 10 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns. He had three straight 100-yard games to end his season. Davis had a bit of an up and down season for the 49ers but could have a big role in the offense from day one in 2012.

Fantasy Dud: Michael Crabtree. Crabtree was the only 49ers' receiver to catch a pass, but it was for just three yards. So he finished the game with one reception for three yards. He did score a touchdown in the playoff opener for the 49ers but finished the two playoff games with just five receptions for 28 yards. Crabtree has a lot of potential and upside but hasn't quite lived up to the hype just yet. Next season could be a make or break year for him.

Game Notes: Eli Manning remains red hot, going 32-of-58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. Manning has 300-yard games two of three playoff games and eight touchdowns to just one interception in all playoff games this season.

Victor Cruz was the go-to receiver for the Giants. He caught 10 passes for 142 yards. Cruz has 140-plus yards three of his past five games. He has an amazing eight 100-yard games this season.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

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Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

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DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

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Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

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Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Philip RiversDec 17 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest, back) took part in a walkthrough Wednesday, Dec. 17, but didn't take part in practice, but he fully expects to play in [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 05:43p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (knee, back) received good news from his MRI results, but he said it would take a miracle for him to play in Week [ More ]

Robbie GouldDec 17 04:53p

Chicago Bears PK Robbie Gould (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Cam NewtonDec 17 04:13p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

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