Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The difficulties of playing fantasy football in Week 17 were illustrated by the following; Tom Brady played, although he and his Patriots had nothing to play for, and went 10-for-16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns, but Wes Welker didn't.
Or how about LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene sitting out the New York Jets finale and allowing little-used Joe McKnight to carry the workload and put up a 158-yard day on the ground.
Or the Saints pulling Drew Brees with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter down by just 20-13 to Tampa Bay. (The Atlanta Falcons were blowing out Carolina and New Orleans was locked into their No.5 seed and a date with the St. Louis-Seattle winner.)
What with teams sitting players in preparation for the playoffs or pulling them after getting big leads, there wasn't a lot of scoring in Week 17.
In the eight one o'clock games there was one 300-yard passers - Carson Palmer. Ben Roethlisberger earned the most points of any quarterback, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns (24 points), but his Steelers crushed the Browns (41-9) and Byron Leftwich finished up the game leaving "Big Ben" with no chance to post a huge number.
There were just two 100-yard rushers in those eight games, McKnight, who hardly anybody started or even owned and Michael Bush (25-137-1) who was a solid pre-game selection with Darren McFadden sidelined by injury. Bush finished the day with 25 points.
Only three early-game receivers reached the 100-yard bonus, rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski (22 points), Jerome Simpson (23) who replace Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati and Mike Wallace (24) who is quickly making people forget Santonio Holmes in Pittsburgh.
With no Monday night game, there were seven late games on the schedule, which included most of the top-ranked fantasy quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub). Despite the stars, 300-yard passers were scarce. Rivers did it. So did Rex Grossman and Kerry Collins, but who among us started them?
Finally we saw our first big game of the afternoon when the league's leading rusher, Arian Foster, went 35 yards for his second touchdown run of the day. He finished the day with 180 yards and two scores worth 34 fantasy points.
Minutes later, Chargers rookie Ryan Mathews crashed into the endzone for his third score of the day and his 26-carry, 120-yard rushing day totaled 34 fantasy points as well. But they were the only two 30-point scorers in Week 17.
There were a total of five 100-yard rushers and five 100-yards receivers in this very confusing day.
It's been a great regular season and for those who continue to play fantasy football into the playoffs, we'll be there for you.
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