Thursday Night Football has produced some wild games this season and last night was no different. The San Diego Chargers held Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos offense (sans Wes Welker) to just 20 points. Andre Caldwell did his best Welker impersonation with 6 catches for 59 yards and both of Denver's touchdowns. He led the team with 10 targets. Well that is useless for us fantasy owners, but fantastic news for Manning owners that were going up against Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas or Julius Thomas.
Peyton completed 27 passes, second most since October and PPR savior, yet still couldn't move the Broncos on offense. His 289 passing yards were the second lowest total all season. In the first 8 games of the season, Manning averaged 29.6 completions and his 295 yards in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a blowout, was his lowest total.through Week 11.
Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno were second on the team with 5 receptions each for a total of 85 yards. They ran the ball just 11 times for 18 yards. That is now 2 of the last 3 weeks Moreno rushed for less than 20 yards. Actually, only 6 times this season did he rush for at least 75 yards and only three times over 80! The only time he rushed for over 100 yards this season was in his 224 yard explosion against the New England Patriots. Outside of that matchup he averaged just 55 yards and only had 2 multi TD games. All that being said, in my PPR league he is ranked #2 overall thanks to 53 receptions and 12 total TDs.
Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas caught 4 passes each and totaled just 9 receiving yards! That is a fantasy killer right there. Especially for owners like me, who have both of them on my team. The other two times D. Thomas had 4 catches he at least caught a TD! Demaryius has dissapointed before though. There were two games this season (Week 6 & 12) in which he caught just 3 passes but he did total 184 receiving yards.
J. Thomas had gone three straight games with a TD, but hasn't produced many yards. Last night he did not produce many yards and he did not score a TD. Eric Decker had an even worse game with just two catches for 42 yards. This after back to back 8 reception weeks tallying 291 yards and 5 TDs.
Matt Prater, the Broncos kicker, of all people had the best fantasy day. Caldwell doesn't count because no one should have had him in their lineup. Prater knocked in field goals from 32 and 42 yards and hit two extra points.
San Diego did a great job milking the clock and kept Peyton and Co. on the sideline for nearly 39 minutes! Ryan Mathews took 29 carries for 127 yards and ran one in for a score. Philip Rivers only completed 12 passes (sorry PPR guys), but 2 of them went into the endzone thanks to a great game from Keenan Allen. Those were his only receptions and he only gained 29 but TDs are the most important thing in fantasy football. That was just the 3rd time all season Rivers had completed less than 20 passes and the 3rd time he threw for under 200 yards. Both his completions and yards were season lows. Not a good time to do this in fantasy.
Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal led the Chargers with 3 receptions each for 100 total yards. Antonio Gates gained just 23 yards on 2 catches. Even Danny Woodhead struggled in this one, gaining 42 total yards with 1 reception.
Nick Novak knocked in 35 and 38 yard field goals and hit all 3 XPs.
Did Manning or Rivers potentially cost you your fantasy football championship? What about the Broncos receiving corps? Did Keenan Allen save your day? Was Woodhead your flex play this week? Let us know! Talk about your fantasy playoff matchup in the comment section!