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Unstoppable: Derrick Henry highlights Week 14 action

The fantasy football world wept late Thursday night, as tens of thousands of team owners lamented their seemingly obvious decision to bench Derrick Henry.

He hadn't produced much consistency for the majority of the season, and he was going against the Jacksonville Jaguars' still formidable defense. He was playing on a short week. Sit him, the logic whispered in folks' ears.

Henry promptly exploded for 47.8 points in PPR leagues, the highest mark of any player this season -- that is, until Amari Cooper bested him Sunday evening with 49.7 in the Cowboys' win over the Eagles.

How did they do it? Well, by being unstoppable, of course.

Unstoppable Performer

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

A theme has emerged from the banks of the Cumberland River. Come winter time, the Titans turn from whoever they usually give lead carries to at running back to Derrick Henry.

Thursday qualified as December, which means it's Henry Time. He didn't disappoint.

Henry took carries of all kinds and found success on a variety of gains, rumbling through the defense and running over defenders for one touchdown, hitting the edge for another, taking it in from three yards and gaining healthy yards on non-scoring plays in between.

Oh, and there was also that 99-yard touchdown run.

In all, he finished with 238 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries, dominating a Jacksonville defense that hasn't seen this type of performance in quite some time. And he kept the Titans squarely in the playoff conversation with another late-season performance that's starting to become his modus operandi.

Also considered ...

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys

How much of a boon has the Amari Cooper trade been for the Dallas Cowboys?

Enough to make his quarterback express gratitude for his presence weeks after Thanksgiving.

"He is an incredible player," Prescott said of Cooper, via The Dallas Morning News. "I knew he was good. I knew he was going to get separation and get open and make great catches.

"But when you just see the run after catch and breaking tackles, and being that great of a player. As I said, I'm just thankful we got that trade."

That trade -- which we shouldn't forget was blasted by many who said a first-round pick was too much for Cooper -- has changed everything for the Cowboys, an offensively inept team that has since vaulted to the top spot in the NFC East, twice defeating the defending Super Bowl champions with almost all of the credit due to Cooper. How does one receiver deserve such praise? Well...

Cooper single-handedly (well, he and Dak Prescott) dismantled the Eagles' defense, serving as an unstoppable connection for a Cowboys team that needed a go-to option after struggling early. He even caught the game winner, an improbable catch and run off a tip that sent the Cowboys to a massive victory in the battle for the NFC East title.

Seems like that's worth a first-round pick.

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are not good in 2018, but George Kittle is very good.

How good, you ask? How about best tight end in 49ers franchise history?

That's a title Kittle can at least make an argument for after setting the new single-season mark for most receiving yards gained by a tight end, passing Vernon Davis in a 20-14 win over the Denver Broncos. He did so in impressive fashion, too.

Kittle exploded in the first half, racking up 210 yards and a touchdown on seven catches -- and did it all in two quarters. He was just four yards from tying Shannon Sharpe for the most receiving yards in a game for a tight end in NFL history when he entered the break.

And then, he was stopped.

That would seem to disqualify him for mention in this space, right? Wrong. While Kittle didn't catch another pass in the final two quarters, his presence still made a difference. Kittle commanded attention from Denver's defense, and his existence helped other receivers get open. Case in point: On Trent Taylor's reception to get a first down and ice the game for San Francisco, he ran his route underneath Kittle, who drew more attention. It opened enough space for the completion to secure the win.

Kittle impacted the game in the box score in the first half and in non-statistical ways in the second half. Altogether, it produced a win -- and a new standard for Niners tight ends.

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