Fantasy rewind: Warner, injuries dominate the headlines

The 2007 fantasy football season is all but finished, and it ended much like it started: Quarterbacks continued to dominate the stat sheets.

Seven of the top 10 performances of the week came from signal-callers, one of which didn't even start for his team. On the flip side, injuries to three prominent featured backs and one stud wide receiver all but dashed the title aspirations of countless owners. With postseason seeds almost secured, some players were also rested for the second season.

Let's take a look at the best and worst performances from fantasy championship week.

Best performances

1. Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona (32 points): Has there been a hotter quarterback in fantasy football than Warner? He threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-27 win over Atlanta and finished the fantasy season with 20-plus points in seven of his final eight starts. Warner, whose touchdowns came on passes of 4, 13 and 4 yards, finished as one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL despite not being a starter to open the season. His value will fall in 2008, however, as Matt Leinart will be the favorite to start.

2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis (30 points): Manning made like Santa Claus in fantasy championship week with 311 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-15 blowout win over Houston. The Super Bowl XLI MVP threw two scores to Dallas Clark on connections of 6 and 11 yards, and his final touchdown went to Reggie Wayne on a 7-yard strike. In a season that saw Tom Brady and Tony Romo dominate the quarterback headlines, Manning finished the fantasy football season with almost 4,000 passing yards and an impressive 34 total touchdowns.

T-3. Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia (29 points): McNabb was one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks of the fantasy football season, but he rose to the occasion when he was needed the most. The veteran threw for 263 yards, rushed for 37 yards and tossed three touchdown passes in a 38-23 win over New Orleans on Sunday. McNabb connected on scores of 31, 9 and 7 yards in the contest and finished with 18 touchdown passes for the fantasy season. He'll be considered more of a low-end No. 1 fantasy quarterback in most 2008 drafts.

T-3. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh (29 points): One of the most underrated fantasy quarterbacks of the 2007 season, Roethlisberger threw for 261 yards and tossed three more touchdowns in Thursday night's 41-24 win over St. Louis. His scores came on 17- and 33-yard strikes to Nate Washington and a 12-yard pass to Najeh Davenport. Big Ben thrived under OC Bruce Arians and finished the fantasy football season with a career-best 34 total touchdowns. Roethlisberger will be a solid No. 1 fantasy option in 2008.

5. Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona (28 points): Boldin entered this weekend with one double-digit performance on NFL.com since Week 3, but he sure did offer up some nice gifts for owners when it counted. The Florida State product caught 13 passes for 162 yards and scored twice against Atlanta in what was his best performance since late September. Boldin finished the fantasy season with eight touchdowns in 11 contests. He'll be a nice No. 2 fantasy wideout in most 2008 drafts, though the return of Matt Leinart could hurt his value.

T-6. Najeh Davenport, RB, Pittsburgh (26 points): In one of the bigger surprises of the week, Davenport replaced an injured Willie Parker and recorded an incredible 167 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against a porous Rams defense. Davenport found the end zone on a 12-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger and a 1-yard run in the third quarter. With Parker done for the remainder of the 2007 season, Davenport will inherit a featured role in the Steelers' backfield in Week 17 and throughout the postseason.

T-6. Brandon Jacobs, RB, N.Y. Giants (26 points): The weather couldn't have been worse for pass attacks in Buffalo, so the Giants leaned on Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw (21 points) in their 38-21 comeback win over the Bills. Jacobs rushed 24 times for 145 yards and scored on runs of 6 and 42 yards in the second quarter. While injuries were an issue, Jacobs still finished the fantasy season with 1,089 yards and seven touchdowns. He'll be an attractive No. 2 fantasy back and worth a second- or third-round choice in 2008.

T-8. David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville (24 points): Garrard developed into a must-start quarterback in most leagues down the stretch, and he topped off the fantasy season with 199 passing yards and three total touchdowns in a 49-11 win over Oakland. His scores came on passes of 2 and 37 yards, the latter to Matt Jones, and a 2-yard run. Garrard averaged an impressive 22 points on NFL.com in his final four starts of the fantasy season, so look for him to be selected as a low-end No. 1 quarterback in most 2008 drafts.

T-8. Damon Huard, QB, Kansas City (24 points): Huard didn't start in Detroit (that went to Brodie Croyle), but he sure did produce solid numbers when Croyle went out with an injured hand. The veteran threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Lions, and his scores came on passes of 1 and 34 yards. Since he didn't start, no one even reaped the benefits of this spectacular performance. Croyle will be the favorite to enter next season atop the Chiefs depth chart, so Huard won't have much value in drafts.

10. Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis (22 points): Bulger's presence on our list of the top performers might be a shock, as he didn't finish the Pittsburgh-St. Louis contest Thursday night. But before he was pulled in favor of Gus Frerotte, Bulger threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to the Steelers. His scores came on passes of 12, 12 and 23 yards. Bulger had an awful fantasy season due to the combination of injuries and a patchwork offensive line, so he could be undervalued in 2008 drafts as a result.

Worst performances

T-1. Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh (0 points): Parker's statistical failure in championship week was no fault of his own, but the bottom line is that he was active in over 90 percent of NFL.com leagues on Thursday night when he went down with a fractured right fibula. Parker had minus-1 rushing yard in the contest, and that 0-point performance cost countless owners a chance at their league's title. He'll be back in time for the start of the 2008 season and is slated to be a first- or second-round selection in most formats.

T-1. Plaxico Burress, WR, N.Y. Giants (0 points): The weather outside in Buffalo was frightful, so the numbers of Burress and Eli Manning (minus-4 points) were not so delightful. Burress hauled in just one pass for six yards in a 38-21 win, due in large part to the awful weather conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Burress started the regular season on absolute fire, but an injured ankle caused him to lack a consistent level of production down the stretch. Still, Burress scored 10 times in the fantasy football season.

T-3. Kevin Jones, RB, Detroit (1 point): Much like Parker, Jones was injured in his contest and was forced to miss most of the week as a result. The veteran out of Virginia Tech injured his right leg in the second quarter against Kansas City and failed to return, and in turn finished with 15 rushing yards and no touchdowns in a 25-20 win. While inconsistent and prone to injuries, Jones can be a solid No. 2 fantasy runner when at 100 percent health. He'll be a fourth- to fifth-round choice in most 2008 drafts.

T-3. Willis McGahee, RB, Baltimore (1 point): Notice a trend this week? McGahee was one of several top-notch fantasy performers to miss most of the week due to injuries. The former Miami Hurricanes standout suffered an injured rib in the first quarter against Seattle and was ruled out for the rest of the contest. He finished with five carries, 10 yards and no touchdowns. McGahee, who finished the fantasy season with close to 1,500 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns, will be a viable No. 1 or 2 fantasy back in 2008.

T-3. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans (1 point): Colston entered fantasy championship week as one of the hottest wideouts in the NFL, but he too fell due to injuries. He suffered a chest contusion in the second quarter of a loss to Philadelphia and was forced to miss most of the contest as a result. Colston, who was active in almost 100 percent of NFL.com formats, finished with a mere 16 yards. He did finish with over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns in the fantasy football season and will be a viable No. 1 option in 2008.

T-6. Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay (2 points): Outside of Ryan Grant, every single member of the Green Bay Packers was dreadful for fantasy football owners. Favre threw for a mere 153 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 35-7 loss to Chicago, as wind and snow flurries affected the team's offensive attack. Donald Driver (32 yards) and Greg Jennings (42 yards) were also disappointments, as neither found the end zone. If Favre does come back next season, however, he'll be considered a No. 1 fantasy quarterback.

T-6. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (2 points): Young had a solid stat line in Week 15, so it seemed only natural that he would falter in championship week in what has been an inconsistent season. Young threw for 166 yards, rushed for one yard on seven carries and failed to score a touchdown in a 10-6 win over the New York Jets. His unreliable status will hurt his value next season. Look for Young to be selected as more of a No. 2 fantasy quarterback.

8. Earnest Graham, RB, Tampa Bay (3 points): Graham entered this weekend on fire with a touchdown in six consecutive contests, but head coach Jon Gruden chose to sit his top players for much of the Buccaneers-49ers contest. That decision cost countless fantasy owners, as Graham saw nine carries before he sat for the rest of the afternoon in favor of Michael Pittman. Cadillac Williams will be back from an injured knee next season, so don't be shocked if Graham is in a backfield committee that hurts his 2008 stock.

9. Wes Welker, WR, New England (4 points): Welker was without question one of the better fantasy sleepers of this season, but he struggled to produce down the stretch. He had one double-digit performance on NFL.com in his final four contests, and his four-point dud in championship week was detrimental for some owners. Welker will be considered a nice No. 2 fantasy wideout next season, especially in PPR leagues, but don't be shocked if his overall numbers in 2008 pale in comparison to what he accomplished this season.

10. Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati (5 points): Johnson has a whole lot of name value, but owners that drafted him found out he is one of the most inconsistent wideouts in fantasy football. He had a mere five points in championship week and failed to score double-digit fantasy points on NFL.com in 62 percent of his starts. Compare that to Terrell Owens, who had double digits in 69 percent of his starts. Johnson finished the fantasy season with six touchdowns and will nonetheless be a No. 1 wideout in 2008 formats.

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