Fantasy football top performers

Did any of Tavon Austin’s owners start him on Sunday?

It’s doubtful, considering the rookie from West Virginia had accumulated six fantasy points in the last seven weeks.

Austin now appears to be a down-the-stretch asset, but his two touchdown catches were his only two catches.


Here’s a closer look at Austin’s tremendous day, as well as some other noteworthy performers.

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QUARTERBACKS —It’s never a surprise when Drew Brees — four touchdown passes against Dallas — is one of the day’s top performers. If you know that Luke McCown is Brees’s backup, pat yourself on the back. Don’t sleep on Nick Foles, who certainly didn’t duplicate the seven touchdown passes he had against Oakland, but did throw three more. Considering Philadelphia’s style of offense, and the way it is performing, Foles may be carrying many fantasy teams into the playoffs.

There aren’t many more productive fantasy performers than Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. He’s fourth overall in fantasy points (behind Manning, Drew Brees, and Tony Romo) and against Chicago he tossed three touchdown passes. Ryan Fitzpatrick likely will be the Titans’ starter for the remainder of the season and he’s a worthwhile bench option as the fantasy postseason approaches. Same for Case Keenum of the Texans, who has six touchdown passes in Houston’s last two games.

RUNNING BACKS — Is there a more frustrating running back situation than the one in Indianapolis? Trent Richardson, acquired in a well-publicized trade with Cleveland, has been a below-average performer. He’s typically outgained by teammate Donald Brown, who had a touchdown reception against the Rams. But how can you trust Brown if he’s not getting most of the carries?

Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars had his most productive fantasy effort of the season, with a rushing touchdown and 74 all-purpose yards. Knowshon Moreno is quietly putting up big numbers, averaging 19 fantasy points per game in Denver’s last six games.


WIDE RECEIVERS — The Colts failed miserably in attempting to cover Tavon Austin one-on-one; he burned them for two touchdowns and 138 receiving yards. He also returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown. But those TD catches were Austin’s only receptions, so while it’s fair to wonder if he is merely a one-week wonder, we think he’s worthy of flex consideration. Austin has been considered a disappointment this season but he has been involved (31 catches and two touchdowns prior to Sunday) and it’s always wise to ride the hot hand. Case in point: Philadelphia’s Riley Cooper. Cooper went off last weekend for three touchdown receptions and 139 yards. After collecting two touchdown passes in Green Bay on Sunday, Cooper now has six touchdown catches in his last five games.

TIGHT ENDS — John Carlson of the Vikings was a recommendation last week after starter Kyle Rudolph was injured, and Carlson came through against Washington with 98 yards and one touchdown. One name to watch is Brandon Bostick of Green Bay. The Packers’ quarterback situation is weak but Bostick had three receptions and a touchdown against Philadelphia. He may become a safety valve for Green Bay’s inexperienced signal-callers.