Brady, Romo fail fantasy owners in Week 15

The New England Patriots seem destined for a Super Bowl championship this season.

The same can't be said of fantasy footballers who have Tom Brady on their roster.

In what has to be one of the most unbelievable turn of events in fantasy football history, Brady put coal in the stockings of his owners with an awful 140-yard, no-touchdown, one-interception dud against the New York Jets.

A total of 27 quarterbacks, a list that includes former backups Shaun Hill, Brodie Croyle, Matt Moore and Todd Collins, all had more points than the new Stetson man.

What's more, a recent NFL.com poll shows that more than 70 percent of teams that had Brady failed to reach their league's championship week.

That is a shock for fantasy footballers who rode on Brady's back throughout the regular season and into their league's postseason competition.

Headed into the weekend, Brady led all players in fantasy points with 428 on NFL.com. His lowest point total before this week was 21, which came back in Week 13. He had averaged 30.5 points in his previous 14 starts, and his status as the No. 1 overall selection in all 2008 drafts was and still is secured. He also had 40-plus points three times and was considered a lock to shatter Peyton Manning's record for touchdown passes in a season.

Brady still needs four scores to tie and five to pass Manning's mark of 49 touchdown passes over the next two weeks. Even if he reaches that mark, it won't be enough to heal the wound inflicted from his three-point disaster smack in the middle of the fantasy football postseason.

If it weren't bad enough that the top point producer in fantasy football fell on hard times at the worst time, the second-most productive player had the same exact result.

Tony Romo, who entered this week's start against Philadelphia with 336 fantasy points on NFL.com, threw for 214 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 10-6 loss. Romo injured his right thumb in the contest and didn't look like the same quarterback for much of the second half.

He might have also endured the dreaded "minx jinx" ...again.

Romo's new main squeeze, hottie singer/actress Jessica Simpson, was in attendance with a white and pink Romo jersey. She was on camera during the FOX telecast more than once, so it was no secret that she had been there to cheer on her man. And she sure looked as good as ever.

Heck, even the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders had to be in awe.

But fantasy footballers and Dallas fans alike probably wish she had stayed with Nick Lachey.

The "minx jinx" has happened to Romo before, when former girlfriend Carrie Underwood was in attendance at (ironic enough) a Philadelphia-Dallas clash last Christmas. Romo threw for 142 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in that contest and had a passer rating of 45.5. The 22.2 passer rating he recorded with Simpson in the crowd in Week 15 was his worst since (yeah, you guessed it) the week Underwood came to see him in action.

As FOX commentator Joe Buck said, "It's never easy to play in front of your girlfriend."

The failures of Brady and Romo had a trickle down effect to their top wide receivers as well.

Randy Moss finished with seven fantasy points and failed to find the end zone for only the second time in his past nine starts. Terrell Owens was even worse, as he hauled in two passes for 37 yards and didn't score a touchdown against his former team.

In what has to be the most unpredictable statistic of the entire season (or maybe ever), Dolphins wide receiver Greg Camarillo (who in the heck is Greg Camarillo?) scored more points on NFL.com than Moss and Owens combined.

What are the odds of that?

Furthermore, Dennis Northcutt, Samie Parker, Brandon Middleton and Nate Washington outscored the duo of Moss and Owens.

And I'm supposed to predict this stuff?

Lost in all of the Brady and Romo hoopla is the performance of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Remember him?

That running back that had what was the greatest fantasy football season ever in 2006? You know him. He broke the NFL record for touchdowns in a single season and was considered the consensus No. 1 overall selection in all 2007 drafts.

Tomlinson rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the first half against Detroit to finish with 23 points. The kicker is that L.T. sat out about half the contest in what was an absolute blowout. Over the past three weeks, Tomlinson has scored a total of 82 points on NFL.com.

That's more than any other player in that timeframe, and it's 19 more than Brady and 20 more than Romo.

So in an unpredictable and bizarre season that has seen quarterbacks dominate and running backs flounder, it only makes sense that Tomlinson, the forgotten superstar, came up huge when fantasy footballers needed a hero.

Waiver wire focus

Reggie Brown, WR, Philadelphia: Brown caught four passes and scored a touchdown in a 10-6 win over Dallas, but his real value lies in a matchup against New Orleans in Week 16. The Saints have one of the worst pass defenses in the entire NFL, so Brown is a legitimate sleeper candidate in some formats.

Samkon Gado, RB, Miami: Gado scored a touchdown in the absence of Jesse Chatman in Week 15 and now has three scores in two weeks. There is a chance that Chatman will return to face New England, but Gado is still well worth a look in larger formats. He's still a free agent in most NFL.com leagues.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Indianapolis: Gonzalez found the end zone in a win over Oakland and has now scored three touchdowns in the past two weeks. It looks like Marvin Harrison could miss the rest of the regular season, and the rookie Gonzalez now has a much better rapport with Peyton Manning.

Dennis Northcutt, WR, Jacksonville: Northcutt found the end zone for the second time in three weeks in Jacksonville's win over Pittsburgh. With David Garrard under center and in a real groove over the past three weeks, Northcutt now warrants a serious look in leagues with 12-plus teams.

David Patten, WR, New Orleans: Patten has totaled 13 catches, 193 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games, so his value is back on the rise after a four-week slide. The veteran wideout is now a viable No. 3 or 4 fantasy option in leagues with 12-plus teams when New Orleans faces Philadelphia.

Dominic Rhodes, RB, Oakland: Justin Fargas injured his knee in a loss to Indianapolis, so Rhodes could become the starter in Oakland. There's also chance that role could be handed to LaMont Jordan, but he was deactivated in favor of Rhodes in Week 15. Rhodes is still a free agent in over 80 percent of NFL.com leagues.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Denver: No tight end had more points on NFL.com than Scheffler in Week 15, as he totaled 100 yards and one touchdown last Thursday night. While he has been inconsistent at times, Scheffler is still a favorite target of Jay Cutler and a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end.

Tampa Bay defense: The Buccaneers have scored the second-most among defenses on NFL.com over the past three weeks, and a matchup against Shaun Hill and San Francisco is attractive. This unit remains available in close to 30 percent of NFL.com leagues and should be added now for championship week.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina: Williams rushed for 61 yards and scored a touchdown in a win over Seattle. Carolina's season is all but over, so Williams could see a spike in carries over the final two weeks. He's a viable flex starter in leagues with 12-plus teams this week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Reggie Williams, WR, Jacksonville: Williams scored in Week 15 and has found the end zone in four of his last five games. His yardage totals can lack at times, but his magnet-like prowess for touchdowns is hard to ignore. He has some value in larger leagues as a No. 3 fantasy wideout against Oakland in Week 16.

Mailbag

Should I sit Joseph Addai in favor of Aaron Stecker or Kolby Smith since the Colts could rest their starter in Week 16? -- B. Hollenbeck, Washington, D.C.

M.F.:Colts head coach Tony Dungy told the Indianapolis Star "a month is a long time" for his starters not to see action, which would be the case if he sat them against Houston. There's a chance he will allow his starters somewhat fewer snaps, however, but that's always impossible to predict. As a result, I'd still start Addai.

Which two running backs should I start from Marion Barber, Steven Jackson or Marshawn Lynch? -- M. Barnes, Chicago, Ill.

M.F.: Jackson is a must-start runner even against a tough Pittsburgh defense, and I'd start Lynch over Barber based on a matchup against a New York Giants defense that Clinton Portis dominated in Week 15.

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