We've completed the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, which means the NFL Playoff Challenge is in full swing. Last week, we gave you some strategies to help you succeed as well as unveiling our own lineups. But now that four games are in the books, let's look back at who made fantasy hay in the first week of the NFL Playoff Challenge.
Luck only threw one touchdown pass -- although it was one heck of a throw. But what Luck lacked in scoring strikes, he made up for in yards with 376 of them through the air and another 18 on the ground. In a weekend that was highlighted by spotty quarterback play (Hello Ryan Lindley!), the Colts' signal-caller was the best of the bunch.
A wide majority of people started DeMarco Murray this weekend only to see him upstaged by a pair of backs that hadn't previously inspired a lot of confidence. Jonathan Stewart was the top scorer at the position with a touchdown and 123 rushing yards, which was 45 more yards than the entire Cardinals offense! It was yet another strong rushing effort from Stewart, who has been the most consistent piece of Carolina's offense for the latter part of the season. But it looks like not too many people believe in the Panthers to make a deep run in the postseason. I guess a 7-8-1 record will do that.
While a fair amount of people had faith in Andrew Luck, that belief wasn't equally strong in Dan Herron. The third-year running back did most of his damage as a receiver with 85 yards, but Herron still put in work on the ground with 56 rushing yards and a score. One thing is for sure ... Trent Richardson isn't in Indy's offensive plans. The Colts ran the ball 25 times on Sunday, Richardson had no carries and played just one snap.
Plenty of people started a Dallas Cowboys wide receiver this week. The problem is that the wideout in question was Dez Bryant (61.5 percent started) and not Terrance Williams. Dallas' other option at receiver awoke from his nearly season-long fantasy slumber to explode for a pair of touchdowns and 92 receiving yards in the win over the Detroit Lions. Even though Williams was targeted twice as many times as Bryant in Sunday's game, it's hard to imagine that the second-year Baylor receiver is suddenly going to become the primary receiving threat in the Cowboys' passing attack.
Tate was the only top scorer from the first weekend whose team didn't win. In his first season with the Lions, Tate scored more fantasy points than Calvin Johnson and outdid Megatron again in the playoff defeat. The former Notre Dame star caught six passes for 89 yards -- including a 51-yard touchdown -- capping a very productive fantasy season. If you were one of the very few who took a chance on Tate this week, you're looking for a new wideout. The good news is that there won't be many of you in that situation.
If we were putting together a postseason edition of That Helps No One, Gillmore might take home the win since he literally helped no one with his 21-yard touchdown catch -- his only reception of the game. Let's be honest, most of us were willing to take the zero for this week just to get double points from Gronk next week.
Even at 42-years-old, Vinatieri continues to be a field goal kicking machine. He converted four field goals in this weekend's win, including booting a 53-yarder with ease. As long as the Colts are hanging around the postseason, Vinatieri is a good bet to keep scoring for Playoff Challenge participants.
The Ravens' offense had been inconsistent during the regular season, which explains why so many Playoff Challenge participants stayed away from them. But Baltimore's defense put on a show worthy of its franchise predecessors, forcing three turnovers and logging five sacks. The Ravens could have a tough time duplicating that feat next week against the New England Patriots.