Fantasy Football: Le’Veon Bell, Peyton Manning Top Week 14 Studs, Duds
Fantasy football can be a cruel game. But in Week 14, the fantasy gods saved their biggest twist for the most inopportune moment.
With fantasy owners facing do-or-die matchups to get into their leagues’ playoffs, Sunday’s slate of games featured a wild range of unpredictable outcomes, highlighted by Peyton Manning making history — and not in a good way.
Manning failed to throw a touchdown pass in the Denver Broncos’ win, breaking his streak of 51 consecutive games with a scoring toss. That’s also bad news for anyone who owns a Broncos pass-catcher, as the usually-potent group suffered a massive collective letdown in the fantasy department.
A high note from the Denver game was the continued excellence of running back C.J. Anderson, who picked up Peyton’s slack with three rushing touchdowns. And it’d be impossible not to mention Le’Veon Bell, whose fantasy output was one for the ages. Yet it was tough sledding for other elite backs, as Alfred Morris and LeSean McCoy had uncharacteristically quiet performances.
Sunday certainly had plenty of unexpected moments. Did your team benefit or get left out in the cold? Let’s find out by checking out this week’s big winners and losers.
Cam Newton, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers: Who saw THAT coming? Entering the game on a five-game losing streak, Newton pulled his team out of the gutter by throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for a fourth to lead all fantasy scorers at his position through Sunday.
Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bell continues to be an absolute animal. The Steelers back churned for 185 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and added 50 yards and a touchdown in the pass game, giving him a whopping 41 points in standard-scoring leagues.
C.J. Anderson, Running Back, Denver Broncos: Anderson didn’t top 100 yards against the stout Buffalo Bills defense, but it didn’t matter. The fantasy stud racked up three rushing touchdowns, giving him 23 or more fantasy points in standard leagues for three consecutive weeks.
A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton threw for 302 yards Sunday. Green had 224 of them. The All-Pro wideout added an 81-yard touchdown catch to boot, giving him three touchdowns in his last four games. What injury?
T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton was a monster in the second half, hauling in nine of his 10 catches after halftime and finishing the game with 150 yards. He also snagged two touchdown passes and dropped what would have been a third score.
Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Broncos: In every fantasy owner’s worst nightmare, Manning took a backseat to the running game Sunday. He threw for just 173 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions for a grand total of four fantasy points in standard leagues.
Alfred Morris, Running Back, Washington Redskins: Morris’ production had been decent of late. Until Sunday, that is, when he managed just 6 yards on eight carries. That’s not going to get it done, Alfred.
LeSean McCoy, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles: After a few weeks on top, the LeSean McCoy roller-coaster took another dive Sunday. Shady was stymied by the Seattle Seahawks’ run defense, gaining just 50 yards on the ground while coughing up a fumble.
Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver, Broncos: No surprise here, as Thomas can’t score touchdowns if Manning doesn’t throw any. The big wideout was out-gained by both Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders, finishing with just two catches for 11 yards.
Josh Gordon, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns: It was a disappointing day for Gordon owners, as the receiver caught just two of the seven balls thrown his way in his third game back from suspension. Let’s hope that’s just an aberration.
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