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Fantasy rewind: Brady inches closer to NFL record

Here's a line that fantasy football owners have to be familiar with by now: Quarterbacks dominated the stat sheets around the NFL.

Believe it or not, but a total of five quarterbacks threw four touchdown passes, one of which was active in less than five percent of leagues. Two other quarterbacks (Sage Rosenfels, Kurt Warner) had three touchdown passes, but neither made our list of the top 10 performances. LaDainian Tomlinson had his second consecutive monster stat line, and Jamal Lewis continued to help owners in their quest for a title.

The news wasn't all positive, however, as several top-notch fantasy footballers posted less-than-stellar stat lines in what was the first week of the postseason in most formats. One name in particular, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, had his worst single-game numbers of the season and broke the hearts of countless owners who leaned on him for production.

Without further adieu, let's take a look at the best and worst performances from Week 14.

Best performances

1. Tom Brady, QB, New England (39 points): Brady on top of our list of top fantasy football performers? No shock here, as the Patriots quarterback threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-13 win over Pittsburgh. Brady, who remains on pace to pass Peyton Manning's record of 49 touchdown passes in a season, threw for scores of 4, 63, 56 and 2 yards. Owners now have to hope the Patriots look to run the table and finish the season undefeated, or else Brady could be rested in Week 16 or 17.

2. Jay Cutler, QB, Denver (35 points): Cutler's success this week was a bit of a surprise, as he faced a solid (at least on paper) Kansas City pass defense at Invesco Field. The Vanderbilt product threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns, which came on strikes of 21, 8, 2 and 13 yards. In what was his best performance of the season, Cutler connected on 20 of 27 of his passes (74 percent). He has been inconsistent overall, but Cutler should be considered a low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback in Week 15 at Houston.

3. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle (34 points): Four touchdown passes was a ho-hum total this week, as Hasselbeck was one of five quarterbacks to reach that total. The veteran completed 22 of 33 passes and recorded 272 yards and the four scores in a 42-21 win over Arizona. He connected on scores of 7, 15, 17 and 3 yards, all to different receivers, and his success led countless fantasy football owners to an important win in the first round of the postseason. Hasselbeck is a must-start in Week 15 at Carolina.

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4. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis (33 points): Manning had a mediocre two-week stretch last month that had some fantasy football owners worried, but he has turned it around in recent weeks. Headed into his start in Baltimore, Manning had recorded seven touchdown passes in his past two contests. Well, we can now make that 11 touchdowns passes in three contests after his 249-yard, four-touchdown performance on Sunday night. Manning should of course be active across the board next week when the Colts travel to Oakland to face the Raiders.

5. Trent Edwards, QB, Buffalo (30 points): When we think about stud fantasy football quarterbacks, we think about Brady, Tony Romo and Peyton Manning. One name we don't think about is Edwards, but he went off against Miami with 165 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-17 win. Edwards connected on scoring passes of 13 and 28 yards to Robert Royal and 9 and 70 yards to Lee Evans. Despite what was a fabulous performance, Edwards will warrant minimal consideration in standard 12-team formats next week in Cleveland.

T-6. Marion Barber, RB, Dallas (28 points): What a week it was for MB III, who totaled 104 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns in a 28-27 thriller over Detroit. His scores came on a 20-yard run, an 8-yard pass from Tony Romo and a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. Barber now has 11 total touchdowns and is on pace to record his first 1,000-yard rushing season at the NFL level. While he can be inconsistent at times, Barber remains a No. 2 back or flex starter in Week 15 when Dallas hosts Philadelphia.

T-6. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego (28 points): Tomlinson made mincemeat of what was a formidable Tennessee run defense, as he totaled 173 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in a 23-17 come-from-behind win over Tennessee. L.T. scored on a 7-yard pass from Philip Rivers in the fourth quarterback and won it in overtime on a 16-yard run. While he did have some less-than-attractive stat lines earlier in the season, Tomlinson has been a beast in recent weeks. His success should continue against Detroit.

T-8. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas (25 points): The legend of Romo took another step forward this week, as he threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Lions. He started off slow but finished hot with two touchdown passes (1, 16 yards). His last score came on a connection with Jason Witten on what was an impressive last-minute drive that won it for Dallas. Romo is a must-start quarterback in all fantasy leagues next week when the Cowboys host the Eagles at Texas Stadium.

T-8. Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis (25 points): Addai's total yardage (32 rushing yards, 49 receiving yards) weren't too impressive in his team's blowout win over Baltimore, but his three touchdowns sure made up for it. The former Louisiana State standout scored on a 1-yard run, a 19-yard catch and an 11-yard run, all in the first half. Addai now has 14 total touchdowns on the season, and his chances to add to that number are solid in Week 15 against an Oakland defense that's one of the league's worst against the run. He should be considered a solid No. 1 fantasy runner.

T-8. Randy Moss, WR, New England (25 points): When Brady's name is on our list of the top fantasy performers (and it has been often), Moss is not too far behind in most cases. The talented wideout went for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Pittsburgh, one of which came on a 63-yard strike from Brady in the second quarter. While it's true that defenses have to focus on Moss more than most wideouts, it's performances like this that prove he is far too valuable to reserve. He'll face the N.Y. Jets in Week 15.

Worst performances

T-1. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (0 points): Young's roller-coaster season continued in Week 14, as he threw for 121 yards, rushed for two yards, failed to score a touchdown and committed two turnovers in a 23-17 loss to San Diego. The "Madden '08" cover athlete was injured in the contest as well, but he didn't miss much time. This unimpressive (and unproductive) performance broke the hearts of owners who started Young in hopes of a repeat of his Week 13 success. He's a risk next week in Kansas City.

T-1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota (0 points): Peterson picked an awful week to put coal in the fantasy football stockings of owners, but he did just that with a 3-yard stat line in a 27-7 win over San Francisco. A.P. had 14 carries overall, and his longest run was just four yards. He also lost carries to Chester Taylor, who was far better than his rookie teammate with 101 rushing yards and one touchdown. Nevertheless, if you survived this stinker, be sure to keep Peterson active in Week 15 when he face Chicago.

T-1. Jeremy Shockey, TE, New York Giants (0 points): This was the worst time for Shockey to produce zilch in the box scores, but the veteran tight end did just that in a 16-13 win over Philadelphia. Shockey caught one pass for four yards. He has only 12 catches in his four starts since recording a monster 12-catch performance against Dallas, but it's still hard to sit him in most formats next week against Washington.

4. Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas (2 points): When fantasy footballers see the numbers of Romo (302 yards, two touchdowns), one would assume that Owens would have had a monster stat line, as well. However, it was Jason Witten (15 catches, 138 yards one touchdown), not Owens, that made the most out of his quarterback's stat line. T.O. had three catches for 21 yards and didn't score in the win over Detroit. This was Owens' worst stat line since Week 5, and it came at a bad time with the fantasy postseason at full tilt.

T-5. Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati (3 points): In what was a perfect example of how bad weather can have an adverse affect on your fantasy football team, Palmer endured rain and cold conditions and finished with 189 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 19-10 win over St. Louis. This was the second consecutive week he struggled in the rain, as he had no touchdowns last week in a loss to Pittsburgh. Palmer does face San Francisco on the road next week, however, so he should still be active in most formats.

T-5. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle (3 points): Alexander had a decent stat line last week in a win over Philadelphia, but he did little against Arizona. The former stud back rushed for 38 yards on 10 carries, and he lost 13 looks out of the backfield to Maurice Morris. A shell of the back that lit the fantasy football world on fire in 2005, Alexander has become more of a risk-reward starter in most formats. Consider him a viable flex option in Week 15 when Seattle travels to Carolina to face the Panthers.

T-5. Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay (3 points): It has become clear that the top fantasy wideout in Green Bay is Greg Jennings, not Driver. The veteran out of Alcorn State had three catches for 38 yards and didn't score a touchdown in a 38-7 win over Oakland, while Jennings had 100 yards and one score. Driver has scored double-digit fantasy points on once in his past nine starts. While he is on pace for a 1,000-yard season, Driver has found the end zone only twice. Still, he's a viable option next week in St. Louis.

T-8. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina (4 points): In what was his seventh consecutive week with single-digit fantasy points on, Smith recorded six catches for 44 yards (7.3 YPC) and no touchdowns in a 37-6 blowout loss to Jacksonville. Smith didn't find the end zone for the sixth consecutive week, as the absence of quarterback Jake Delhomme has turned him into no more than a No. 3 fantasy wideout. It's hard to sit a wideout of his skills and abilities, but Carolina's quarterback situation has killed his overall value.

T-8. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville (4 points): Jones-Drew has had a productive season overall, but the smallish runner fell on hard times in Week 14. MJD rushed for only 24 yards on 11 carries, caught two passes for 21 yards and didn't reach the end zone in a win over Carolina. Veteran Fred Taylor, who rushed for 132 yards and had an 80-yard touchdown run, outperformed his backfield mate and has been the better of the two runners in recent weeks. Jones-Drew has a bad matchup in Week 14 in Pittsburgh.

10. Justin Fargas, RB, Oakland (5 points): One of the hotter running backs in fantasy football in recent weeks, Fargas came back to earth with a 57-yard, no-touchdown stat line in a 38-7 loss to Green Bay. The Southern California product also failed to record even a single reception in the contest and had his lowest fantasy point total since Week 7, when he posted a mere one point against Kansas City. Fargas doesn't have a tremendous matchup in Week 15 against Indianapolis, but he's still a viable flex starter.

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