Week 15 Fantasy Football Surprises
The NFL is full of surprises on a weekly basis. Week 15 was no different having perhaps two of the biggest surprises of the season happening.
The Indianapolis Colts won. The Green Bay Packers lost. Most importantly, Tim Tebow lost.
Ok, the last part was more of a joke. Tim Tebow did not lose. The Denver Broncos lost. Regardless, there will be no perfect season for the Green Bay Packers, and there will be no winless season for Jim Caldwell and Indianapolis.
The Broncos fought a tough battle against the Patriots, but it wasn’t tough enough as Tom Brady and New England prevailed.
Cam Newton also led a Carolina victory over an unsuspecting Houston Texans club that struggled offensively.
You’ll notice this week that this list will be running back heavy. On that note, here are Week 15′s biggest fantasy football surprises:
10. Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
I’m not completely shocked that Bush had a productive performance against a poor rush defense in Buffalo.
However, I am surprised that Bush managed to rush for 203 yards and a touchdown.
Bush has been on fired in 2011 and has shown no signs of slowing down. This performance was just icing on the cake as he scored 24 fantasy points.
9. Seneca Wallace, QB, Cleveland Browns
Wallace got the start for the injured Colt McCoy (concussion) and had a fair performance given the circumstances.
En route to 13 fantasy points, Wallace threw for 226 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 21 yards. He did fumble once taking him from 15 to 13 points, but it was still an admirable effort.
8. Kellen Clemens, QB, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams held Sam Bradford inactive in Week 15, and with A.J. Feeley out as well, they were forced to start Clemens.
Clemens actually wasn’t terrible (from a statistical standpoint) against a tough Cincinnati defense that has done well against the pass in 2011.
He threw for 229 yards and a touchdown and rushed for nine yards compiling 13 fantasy points.
7. Lance Ball, RB, Denver Broncos
Lance Ball is slowly working his way into the mix for touches in Denver, and against a poor New England Patriots defense he performed quite well.
Ball ran for 64 yards on just 11 carries, and added 41 yards out of the backfield receiving. He fumbled taking two points away, but he still ended up with a very solid 14 fantasy points.
6. Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Celek has redeemed himself in 2011, and Week 15 was huge for the talented tight end.
The Eagles veteran caught just five passes in a blowout win over the New York Jets, but finished with 156 yards and a touchdown, and was the only Eagles receiver to go over 100 yards on the day.
Celek recorded an exceptional 21 fantasy points which puts him at “Gronkowski” status for Week 15.
5. Kahlil Bell, RB, Chicago Bears
Bell is trying to take over the starting role in Chicago with Matt Forte out, and he’s making a convincing case.
Marion Barber was effective in Week 14 outside of the fumble in overtime, but Bell was the productive back this week.
Bell ran for 65 yards on just 15 carries, and recorded five receptions for 43 yards and a receiving touchdown. His performance earned him 16 fantasy points.
4. Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Now, I’m not surprised that Gerhart scored based on his ability, because he is a very talented running back.
But he wasn’t projected to do much this week with Adrian Peterson back in the lineup.
The best part is that he only had six total touches in the game, and he only rushed for 12 yards. But he caught four passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns putting him over the top for 17 fantasy points, which were quite unexpected.
3. C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Spiller seems to be emerging as a top notch back in the NFL with his recent performances since Fred Jackson has been out.
Against a solid Miami Dolphins rush defense, Spiller rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. He also caught nine passes for 76 yards and a touchdown and had a whopping 11 targets.
Spiller finished with 28 fantasy points and looks to be the highest scoring fantasy running back in Week 15.
2. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland Raiders
Heyward-Bey may be one of the most inconsistent receivers in the NFL. The Raiders have so much speed and so many big play threats, but the injuries to the receivers has made for tough predictions of each receiver in Oakland.
This week was DHB’s to make plays, and he did just that. Heyward-Bey caught eight passes in a last minute loss to Detroit.
Those eight passes led to 155 yards and a touchdown for the speedster as he managed a fantastic 19 fantasy points for owners on the bench or in the waiver wire.
1. Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Donald Brown has been a second half hero for quite a few fantasy owners as a Flex play.
He hasn’t been dominant, but he’s scored touchdowns here and there and has had respectable yardage.
In Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans he went off. The Titans defense has been inconsistent, but generally they are a lot better than they looked on Sunday. Part of it was Matt Hasselbeck’s blame as he was ineffective, as was Chris Johnson.
Because of that, the Titans defense was on the field too much, and seemed quite tired.
Brown rushed just 16 times in the game, but he managed a huge 161 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers led to a 22 point performance giving him a career high in yardage and fantasy points.