Fantasy Impact: For whom Le'Veon Bell tolled and the Week 14 QB-pocalypse

There are fantasy owners who owned Le'Veon Bell and those that lost Sunday.

With the playoffs underway for most leagues, it was the worst possible time for the bad performances many of us suffered through Sunday. It wasn't just the bad quarterback play, but plenty of others who also disappointed.

And even on a good fantasy Sunday, Bell's performance would have been one for the ages. But in a situation like Sunday where so many epic fails, his star shined even brighter. Owners who took the pinch with the three-game suspension to start the year got richly rewarded.

Bell churned out almost 300 total yards with three touchdowns in the Steelers win over the Bills. This pretty much proves the point that regardless of suspensions, pre-existing injuries or anything else, Bell is a first round pick and likely a top-3 pick in every 2017 draft - no matter what.

No passing fancy

We have to talk quarterbacks. In fact the lack of almost any good performances by most of them. Who knew that a horrid Derek Carr outing in the Thursday night game would set the tone for the entire weekend? Two longtime established standard-bearers Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and on Monday, Tom Brady helped keep a little bit of order - but after them it got messy.

Drew Brees had his second straight game without a touchdown pass and with three interceptions instead. The quarterback that beat him? Jameis Winston had 184 yards with no touchdowns.

The Seattle rollercoaster continued, this time with Russell Wilson throwing five interceptions - and just to add insult to injury, was stuck on 19 rushing yards.  Dak Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota and not to mention when does a QB playing the Browns finish with under 200 yards? Andy Dalton - we're looking at you.

And while Collin Kaepernick has struggled recently his halftime numbers were solid against the Jets. Then he crashed and burned in the second half with 17 passing yards. In two quarters. Other QBs like Andrew Luck, Phillip Rivers or Kirk Cousins were merely average - at a time when their owners need them the most.

And quarterbacks weren't the only goats Week 14, here are some other notable no-shows

Devonta Freeman, Falcons (six yards really?!) – Inexplicable.  Tevin Coleman will haunt my dreams.

Mike Evans, Bucs – Just 42 yards vs. horrid Saints pass defense. Winston’s struggles hurt.

Brandin Cooks, Saints – Five catches and 61 yards during Brees’ bad day.

Mark Ingram, Saints – Only 14 yards and Tim Hightower stealing carries doesn’t help.

Jamison Crowder, Redskins – Pierre Garcon out-produced him. Yes, he’s still in the league.

Jordan Reed, Redskins – One catch for the elite tight end battling a shoulder injury.

Devontae Booker, Broncos – Thanks for nothing Justin Forsette, Gary Kubiak.

Amari Cooper, Raiders – Skycam interference or not, 29 yards doesn’t get it done.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys – One catch on nine targets.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks – Just 7 yards per catch during Russell Wilson implosion.

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks – 1 catch despite 39 pass attempts by Seattle playing catch-up.

Julio Jones, Falcons - sure he was an injured DNP but we're allowed to be bitter here.

Matt Forte, Jets (injured but ditto)-  Just eight yards before getting injured.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cards – Miami monsoon didn’t help, neither did erratic Carson Palmer.

Terrelle Pryor, Browns – RG3 is reason enough to bench Pryor in Fantasy.

Antonio Brown, Steelers – Just short of 80 yards is disappointing for spoiled owners.

The only silver lining of such a dark weekend of epic fails is that the sadness was so widespread there was a good chance some league opponents were also struggling. This meant some brutal ugly low scoring games, but at least a puncher's chance in some cases.

Let's not forget Melvin Gordon - Gordon didn't wait to crush our dreams, he did it right after kickoff after being carried off after a pileup recovering a Phillip Rivers fumble. Owners need to pick up Kenneth Farrow who took over Gordon’s workload Sunday. He may platoon with Ronnie Hillman, but Gordon is expected to return after the team said he had a knee sprain and hip sprain Monday,

Pick this guy up: Bilal Powell. With Matt Forte day to day with a knee injury owners would be wise to grab his backup. Sure Powell was playing the 49ers, but he rolled up 145 yards and two touchdowns in the comeback win. In most leagues he should be available after being a popular late-round draft day gamble. But after not being much of a factor this season many gave up on him. Keep checking Forte's status but grab Powell if you can.

Bright spots

DeMarco Murray, Titans – Naysayers waited for the injury that never came. Legit performance vs. Broncos with zero help from Mariota, receivers.

Davante Adams, Packers – He is a legit top 10 receiver in 2017 (in 2016 as well)

Lamar Miller, Texans – One of the best backs in fantasy despite his team’s passing “attack.”

Jordy Nelson, Packers – Smooth and steady even if his yards don’t wow you, his TDs do.

Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys – Rookie of the year … and Fantasy MVP?

Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants – Well worth the early season headaches he gave owners. A distant memory.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts – The No. 1 target for Andrew Luck delivered a clutch TD.

David Johnson, Cardinals- Top 3 pick in 2017, DJ showed he is truly matchup proof.

LeSean McCoy, Bills – Even if his rushing yards faltered, his receiving didn’t.

Latavius Murray, Raiders – Heating up and commanding the lion’s share of the carries.

Doug Martin, Bucs – Finally signs of life after a mostly disappointing year.

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs – Slot receiver dynamite deserves more targets.

Taylor Gabriel, Falcons – Took advantage of no Julio, Sanu and has 5 TDs in last 6 games.
 

About the Author:
 
David Komer is a web producer/multimedia journalist for FOX 2. He is a former fantasy sports columnist for SportsIllustrated.com and has won more than 20 Michigan Press Association awards in news and sports coverage in his career.

 

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