Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
As we head towards the end of the fantasy regular season, it's interesting to note how many unexpected names appear on this page. While the quarterbacks are familiar to all, none of the other position winners were selected in the top 20 at their position on Draft Day.
Tom Brady, New England - Brady showcased his talents in front of a national television audience and didn't disappoint. Although the Lions' defense has been improved over 2009, it was no challenge for Mr. Gisele Bundchen. He went 21-for-27 for 341 yards, four scores and no interceptions to earn a position high 34 points. He'll have his work cut out for him over the next three weeks facing the Jets, Bears and Packers.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - Rodgers was the No.1 quarterback off the board because of his running ability and in Week 12 showed why that was important distinction between himself and quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Kyle Orton. His 12 carries for 51 yards and a score led his team on the ground and added 11 points to his total.
Running Backs -
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland - Hillis has yet to score less than 10 points in any week and since coming back from a bye in Week 8 is averaging 28.25 ppg. he was the Browns' entire offense, rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns and catching six balls for another 63 yards. That's 194 yards out of the team's 379-yard total.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo - Few expected Jackson to run through the Pittsburgh Steelers defense as he had through Detroit and Cincinnati in the previous two weeks and he did struggle on the ground, rushing for just 59 yards on 12 carries. But Jackson found a way to be useful in the passing game, catching five balls for 104 yards and a touchdown. His 32 points was second to Hillis in Week 12.
Wide Receivers -
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City - Over the past three weeks there is no hotter fantasy player than Bowe. In the last three games he has 32 receptions for 465 yards and seven scores. On Sunday he posted 13-170-3 to lead all fantasy scoring with 44 points. If you are Denver next week, shouldn't all your attention be on Bowe?
Deion Branch, New England - Branch didn't see many passes come his way (five targets), but he caught three of them for 113 yards and two scores. With Randy Moss out of town, Wes Welker, a possession receiver, and Brandon Tate, a failed experiment, Branch is the Patriots deep threat.
Nate Kaeding, San Diego - Kaeding's five-for-five effort, including one from 50 yards in the second quarter showed he is completely healthy again. His 20 points led the position.
Defense/Special Teams -
San Diego - You won't hear the following statement too many times in your lifetime - the Chargers "own" Peyton Manning. They seem to be the only team that knows how to keep the four-time MVP uncomfortable and on Sunday night they picked him off four times and ran two of them back for scores. Their 24 fantasy points was tops at the position.
And the winner is...Kansas City wideout Dwayne Bowe. For the first five weeks of the season, Bowe was a fantasy non-entity totaling 22 fantasy points. Starting in Week 6 against the inept Texans defense, Bowe came alive and has demolished defenses ever since. He could easily return as a back-to-back winner as his Chiefs face the Broncos in Week 13 who have given up the most points in the NFL this season (323 pts).