Fantasy rewind: Brady, Romo falter in Week 15

Here's one word to describe Week 15: Unpredictable.

It what has been a bizarre season in the world of fantasy football, the two most productive players (Tom Brady, Tony Romo) combined to score 10 fewer points than Brodie Croyle in what was the postseason semifinals in most formats.

What's more, the most productive player of the week wasn't owned in 99 percent of NFL.com leagues.

Without further adieu, let's take a look at the best and worst performances from an odd Week 15.

Best performances

1. Darren Sproles, RB, San Diego (25 points): No, this is not a misprint. Darren Sproles led all players in fantasy points on NFL.com this week. The smallish back saw a ton of work in the absence of LaDainian Tomlinson, who was rested in the second half of a blowout win over Detroit. Sproles showed some extreme burst and explosiveness with 122 yards on the ground and two touchdown runs. Too bad no one reaped the rewards of this performance -- Sproles was active in zero percent of NFL.com leagues.

T-2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (24 points): Remember when fantasy footballers were worried that Brees would be a bust after a porous start to the season? So much for that line of thought, as the veteran quarterback has now averaged 26.5 fantasy points on NFL.com after a 315-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 31-24 win over Arizona. Brees connected on scores of 19 and 32 yards, the former to Marques Colston. Brees is a must-start option across the board next week (unless the weather is awful) in Philadelphia.

T-2. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh (24 points): Roethlisberger entered this weekend's contest against Jacksonville at less than 100 percent due to an injured shoulder, but he was still effective with 146 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-22 loss. Big Ben connected on scores of 18, 11 and 30 yards, the latter on a fourth-quarter strike to Nate Washington. Barring further issues with his shoulder, Roethlisberger should be considered a solid starter against St. Louis in fantasy football's championship week.

T-4. David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville (23 points): One of the hottest quarterbacks in fantasy football in recent weeks, Garrard fought off bad weather and a formidable Pittsburgh defense to throw for 197 yards and three scores in a 29-22 win. Garrard's scores came on passes of 12, 3 and 55 yards, the last on a 55-yard toss to wideout Dennis Northcutt in the third quarter. Even with a matchup against a solid Oakland pass defense in Week 16, Garrard could be the reason that countless owners take home a championship.

T-4. Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona (23 points): Warner, who is known as "The Warner Machine" here at NFL.com, threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to New Orleans. The veteran quarterback out of Iowa State connected on scores of 1, 18 and 3 yards and kept up a rampant pace that has made him a solid starter in all leagues. Warner has now averaged 21.5 points in his past five starts, and his success should continue in Week 16 against an Atlanta defense that has looked terrible for much of the season.

T-4. Aaron Stecker, RB, New Orleans (23 points): Who needs Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister when you have Stecker? The former third-stringer running back went off for 141 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against a Cardinals defense that looked awful from the start. Stecker, who found the end zone on runs of 1 and 6 yards, has been solid since Bush went down with an injured knee. He should be considered a viable No. 2 fantasy runner or flex starter next week when the Saints march into Philadelphia to face the Eagles.

T-4. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego (23 points): When fantasy footballers needed a hero, it was Tomlinson that stepped up and produced a monster stat line. The stud runner totaled 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 51-14 win over Detroit, and he did it in about two quarters as he was rested in what was a destruction of the Lions. L.T. has now recorded 20-plus fantasy points on NFL.com in four of his past five contests. The superstar back is a must-start option next Monday night against the Denver Broncos.

T-8. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (22 points): Young had a terrible matchup on paper against a Kansas City defense that had held the past three quarterbacks to face them at home to an average of 173 passing yards with two total touchdowns. But in what has been an inconsistent (and unpredictable season) for Young, he mustered 191 passing yards, 32 rushing yards and two touchdowns on passes of 16 and 41 yards in a 26-17 win. He has been unreliable, but Young does have a nice matchup in Week 16 against the New York Jets.

T-8. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis (22 points): Jackson has been an absolute beast for fantasy footballers since his return from an injured groin, which was evident in his 143-yard, one-touchdown performance against Green Bay. The Oregon State product has averaged over 17 fantasy points over his past six starts, and his 22-point effort this week in a loss to the Packers tied his previous season best on NFL.com. Action Jackson should be considered a must-start back next week even against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

10. Roydell Williams, WR, Tennessee (21 points): In what has to be the biggest surprise member of our list of the top fantasy performers, Williams came out of nowhere to record four catches for 94 yards with two touchdowns in a 26-17 win over the Chiefs. His scores came on receptions of 16 and 41 yards, the latter in the third quarter on a strike from Vince Young. Despite this incredible performance, Williams is still not reliable enough to use in what is the most crucial of week in the fantasy football postseason.

Worst performances

T-1. Joey Galloway, WR, Tampa Bay (0 points): When one of the better wide receivers in fantasy football posts a zero in the second week of the postseason, well, it's hard to overcome. That was the case with Galloway, who entered the weekend ranked 14th in points among wideouts on NFL.com, as he caught one lone pass for seven yards in a 37-3 win over Atlanta. Owners who survived this performance should keep Galloway active in Week 16, as he faces a San Francisco defense that has been inconsistent throughout the season.

T-1. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego (0 points): The Chargers declawed the Lions with ease, but the blowout win didn't benefit Gates. The All-Pro tight end caught one pass for eight yards (which he recorded in the second half) and failed to find the end zone in the contest, and his lack of production cost countless owners a chance at a title berth. Believe it or not, but this was the second time in three weeks that Gates has scored zero points on NFL.com. Still, he is a no-brainer for Week 16 when the Bolts face the Broncos.

T-3. Rudi Johnson, RB, Cincinnati (1 point): The chants of Rudi! Rudi! Rudi! were few and far between on Saturday night, as the veteran runner from Auburn totaled a mere 16 rushing yards on seven carries (2.3 YPC) with no touchdowns in a 20-13 loss to the Niners. Johnson, who entered the weekend with scores in three consecutive contests, couldn't find success in a Cincinnati offense that seemed stuck in neutral for most of the game. Despite the bad effort, Johnson remains a viable starter in Week 16 against Cleveland.

T-3. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle (1 point): I'm not sure I've seen a player fall harder from grace in a shorter period of time than Alexander, who rushed for 17 yards on seven carries in a 13-10 loss to Carolina. Outside of a decent 12-point contest in Week 13, Alexander has now recorded zero double-digit performances on NFL.com since Week 3. He went from a must-start back to a borderline flex starter or reserve in less than one season, and it's close to impossible to trust him in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.

T-3. Kevin Jones, RB, Detroit (1 point): One week after a marvelous performance against Dallas, Jones did zilch in a loss to the Chargers. The versatile back rushed for 16 yards on five carries and had one catch for two yards in the contest, as his role decreased once the Lions fell behind and had to abandon the run. Jones' dud in what was the semifinals of the fantasy postseason hurts, but next week's matchup against a bad Kansas City run defense is an attractive one for those owners who survived and moved on.

6. Travis Henry, RB, Denver (2 points): Henry seems to have lost the top spot on the Denver depth chart to Selvin Young, and he's also lost a lot of his fantasy value after a 27-yard, no-touchdown dud in Houston on Thursday night. Henry had found the end zone three times in his previous two contests, but he averaged an awful 2.9 yards per carry average in that time. With an important AFC West contest against San Diego next on the slate, it's hard to use Henry has more than a flex starter in leagues with 12 or fewer teams.

T-7. Tom Brady, QB, New England (3 points): Hell must have frozen over at some point this weekend, because Brady made our list of the worst fantasy performances. The unquestioned No. 1 player in fantasy football this season, Brady mustered a mere 140 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in a 20-10 win over the New York Jets. For a number of owners, it was the end of what will no doubt be a memorable but failed quest for a league championship. Brady faces the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Week 16.

T-7. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas (3 points): Whether is was the presence of his hottie girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, or what appeared to be an injured thumb on his right hand, Romo's numbers took an enormous nosedive in a 10-6 loss to Philadelphia. He threw for 214 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions, and his three fantasy points were his worst single-week total of the season. Unless his thumb is an issue, however, Romo should still be active next week when the Cowboys face Carolina on Saturday night.

T-7. Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas (3 points): Romo's lack of production had a domino effect of sorts for Owens, who had his second consecutive bad stat line for fantasy owners. One week after a two-point dud in Detroit, T.O. posted three points on two catches and 37 yards against his former team. Owens was frustrated throughout the game, as Romo wasn't at all accurate in the pass attack. Much like Romo, however, Owens should remain active in Week 16 against a Panthers defense that is inconsistent against the pass.

10. Derek Anderson, QB, Cleveland (5 points): Anderson has been the biggest sleeper in fantasy football this season, but his stat line was put to sleep due a snow storm in Cleveland. The Browns quarterback threw for 137 yards and didn't have a touchdown in an odd 8-0 win over Buffalo. It was the first time since Week 1 that Anderson was held to single-digit fantasy points, and he didn't even start that contest. Despite this bump in the road, it's hard not to love Anderson next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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