With another week of fantasy football in the books, we've come to the conclusion that the dominance of quarterbacks is not a trend.
It's become the new norm around the NFL.
A total of six field generals finished in our list of the top 10 fantasy performances for Week 12, while two runners earned prominent spots. On the flip side, three backs made our list of the 10 worst performances, one of which was a first- or second-round choice in all drafts. It was also a bad week for wideouts, as a total of five receivers produced unattractive numbers and could have cost fantasy footballers an all-important win.
So without further adieu, let's take a look at the best and worst performances from Week 12.
T-1. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (32 points): Brees entered this weekend with an average of 211 passing yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions in four career starts against Carolina. So much for that lack of success. The veteran threw for 260 yards and scored four touchdowns (3 pass, 1 rush) in a 31-6 win over the Panthers. His scores came on passes of 1, 1 and 4 yards and a rush of 8 yards, which came in the third quarter. Brees has re-emerged into a must-start fantasy quarterback in all formats.
T-1. Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco (32 points): Welcome back to fantasy football relevance Frank! After failing to score double-digit points on NFL.com since Week 2, Gore went off in Arizona with an impressive 214 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in a 37-31 overtime win. His scores came on runs of 11 and 35 yards and were his first trips to the end zone in nine weeks. Here's the real kicker -- because of his recent (and extended) lack of production, Gore was active in fewer than 70 percent of NFL.com leagues.
3. Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay (31 points): Favre continued his dominance of the NFL on Thanksgiving Day, as he threw for 381 yards with three touchdowns and made turkeys of the Lions in a 37-26 win. The future Hall-of-Fame quarterback connected on scores of 11, 4 and 3 yards and is now on pace to finish with an incredible 4,800-plus yards and 32 touchdown passes. His immense success should continue on Thursday night in Dallas (NFL Network, 8:15pm), where he'll face Tony Romo and the Cowboys in a vital NFC contest.
4. Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati (28 points):Fantasy football owners that have Johnson had to be all smiles this week, as Ocho Cino broke out of an extended slide to post 12 catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-6 blowout win over Tennessee. Johnson, whose three scores equaled the total from his previous 10 starts, found the end zone on connections of 10, 2 and 3 yards with Carson Palmer. He does have a very difficult matchup next weekend in Pittsburgh, but Johnson should still be active across the board.
T-5. Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati (27 points): The fact that Johnson had a solid stat line in Week 12 means Palmer also did the same, as he threw for 283 yards and three scores against the Titans. This was Palmer's best fantasy performance since Week 2, when he scored 49 points in a shootout in Cleveland. Like Ocho Cinco, Palmer has a hard matchup next week against the Steelers. However, his potential to post monster numbers even against the hardest of opponents makes him a must-start quarterback in almost all formats.
T-5. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego (27 points): Rivers entered the week with one double-digit start in the past three weeks, but he went off on a solid Baltimore pass defense with 249 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers connected on scores of 35 and 25 yards to Antonio Gates and a 5-yard pass to Chris Chambers, and the three scores equaled his previous season high, which he reached in Weeks 3 and 8. He has been inconsistent overall, however, so owners shouldn't expect Rivers to have another monster stat line in Week 13.
T-5. Kolby Smith, RB, Kansas City (27 points): Who needs Larry Johnson or Priest Holmes when Smith is on the Chiefs roster? The rookie produced a monster stat line in his first NFL start, as he rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-17 loss to Oakland. Part of his success had to do with a Raiders defense that is awful against the run, but Smith showed some skills and will no doubt be a hot name on the waiver wire next week. He's still a free agent in close to 30 percent of NFL.com leagues, but that won't last.
T-5. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona (27 points): Fitzgerald put on an absolute clinic in Week 12, as he caught nine passes for 156 yards and scored two touchdowns in a loss to San Francisco. His scores came on receptions of 28 and 48 yards, both from Kurt Warner. The former Heisman runner-up was second only to Ocho Cinco in fantasy points among wideouts, and he increased his seasonal pace to 1,500-plus yards and an impressive nine touchdowns. His success should continue in Week 13 when he faces a porous Browns defense.
9. A.J. Feeley, QB, Philadelphia (25 points): Out of the two quarterbacks in the Philadelphia-New England contest, who would have guessed that Feeley, not the immortal Tom Brady, would have earned a spot in our top 10 performances? The veteran replaced an injured Donovan McNabb and threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to the Patriots. He connected on scores of 28, 18 and 8 yards, two of which went to Greg Lewis. If McNabb misses another week, Feeley will no doubt become a hot name on the fantasy waiver wire.
10. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis (26 points): A few short days removed from an awful four-point performance in a win over Kansas City, Manning dissected Atlanta with 272 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-13 win on Thursday night. The Super Bowl XLI MVP threw for scores of 23, 8 and 5 yards, and he did it without Marvin Harrison, who remained out with an injured knee. Manning is no longer the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy football, but he's still a must-start option in all formats. He faces Jacksonville in Week 13.
1. Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis (minus-1 point): Bulger completed three of his first five passes and threw an interception in a 24-19 loss to Seattle, but he sustained a concussion in the first quarter and missed the remainder of the contest. His absence was hard for a lot of fantasy footballers to overcome, as Bulger finished the contest with negative points. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, so his status for Week 13 is in doubt. Gus Frerotte will take over the St. Louis offense if Bulger is inactive.
2. Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo (1 point): Evans has been hot and cold all season, and he's now dead in the middle of an Arctic stretch. The veteran out of Wisconsin caught two passes for 19 yards and failed to score a touchdown in a 36-14 loss to Jacksonville, and he's now averaged fewer than four fantasy points on NFL.com in his past three starts. Despite his porous numbers, it's still hard for fantasy owners not to start Evans as a No. 3 fantasy wideout in Week 13 against Washington's patchwork defensive backfield.
3. LenDale White, RB, Tennessee (2 points): White had developed into a solid No. 2 fantasy runner a few weeks back, but the collapse of the Tennessee defense and return of Chris Brown has smashed his value. The Southern California product rushed for 27 yards on eight carries and continued to lose work to Brown in a loss to Cincinnati, and he has now averaged a mere 2.3 fantasy points over the past three weeks on NFL.com. Until he turns it around, White should be considered no more than a flex starter in most formats.
T-4. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston (3 points): The planets seemed to be aligned for Johnson to post an immense stat line in Week 12 against a vulnerable Cleveland pass defense, but he saw just seven targets in the contest and failed to make much noise in the box score. Despite what was his worst start of the season, Johnson has a tremendous chance to bounce back next week when he faces a Titans defense that surrendered three touchdowns to Chad Johnson this weekend. He should remain active across the board.
T-4. Roy Williams, WR, Detroit (3 points): Williams recorded a mere three fantasy points in NFL.com's standard scoring system in Thursday's loss to Green Bay, and he now has a mere two double-digit fantasy performances in his past eight starts overall. Williams has the talent to explode at any time so it's hard to ever reserve him, but the former Texas standout has not met his statistical expectations. However, he should still be considered a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy wide receiver against Minnesota in Week 13.
T-6. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (5 points): Young enticed fantasy footballers with a 27-point performance in last week's loss to Denver, but he fell back to earth against a Cincinnati defense that has been vulnerable all season. The versatile quarterback did throw for a respectable 246 yards, but he failed to score a touchdown and committed a total of two turnovers (one fumble, one interception) in the loss. Young should now be considered more of a risk-reward fantasy starter in Week 13 when he faces Houston at LP Field.
T-6. Clinton Portis, RB, Washington (5 points): Portis had been hotter than a pistol with a total of 40 fantasy points in Weeks 9 and 10, but he's cooled down quite a bit in his past two starts. Portis had three points last week and couldn't improve against Tampa Bay, as he finished with 68 rushing yards, no touchdowns and two fumbles in a 19-13 loss. Portis should rebound and produce better numbers in Week 13, however, as he faces a Buffalo defense in Washington that has been very vulnerable to the run all season.
T-6. Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona (5 points): It's a shock that Boldin is on the worst performances list in a week that saw Kurt Warner throw for close to 500 yards and that Cardinals score 31 points, but his final totals (76 yards, 0 TDs, one fumble) were less than stellar. In fact, Bryant Johnson and even Sean Morey both had more fantasy points than Boldin. It's hard to reserve a wide receiver with his skills and abilities, but Boldin has averaged a miniscule six points on NFL.com over the past four weeks.
T-6. Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis (5 points): Holt has been a consistent fantasy wideout overall, but his 54-yard, no-touchdown performance in a loss to Seattle is one of his worst of the season. In fact, his five points are the worst single-game total he has recorded since Week 7, when he scored seven points against, you guessed it, the Seahawks. Fantasy football owners shouldn't fret, however, as Holt should reverse his statistical fortunes in Week 13 when he and the Rams host CB DeAngelo Hall and the Atlanta Falcons.
10. Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans (6 points): Bush entered the weekend with a bad shin, and the fact that he lost carries to Aaron Stecker proved that he was far less than 100 percent. In fact, Bush was used as more of a third-down back and finished with a mediocre 62 all-purpose yards and no touchdowns. He has a difficult matchup in Week 13 against Tampa Bay, so be sure to keep tabs of Bush's status throughout the week. Steve Smith and T.J. Houshmandzadeh both finished the week six points to tie Bush's total.