Strong Finishes
By Jeff Tefertiller
August 1st, 2010

There were several players who emerged out of nowhere last year to finish the season strong. Which have the best chance to carry the late success over to the new season? How do I discern between those emerging into future studs as opposed to the players getting hot or a soft schedule?

Well, we will break down each position. We will examine the top finishers for three different lengths of time to end the 2009 season. These spans are: Last half of the season (Weeks 9-17 ), Stretch run (Weeks 12-17), and Fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-17). It will be interesting to see how players move up the rankings as the season comes to an end.

Strong Finishes - Quarterbacks

For the Quarterback position, what players had strong second halves to the season? The table below shows some surprises:

Weeks 9-17

Rk
Quarterback
Cmp
Att
Yds
Y/A
FD
TDs
INT
FPts
1
Aaron Rodgers
203
316
2445
7.7
109
16
5
217
2
Donovan McNabb
187
311
2546
8.2
105
13
9
189
3
Drew Brees
205
283
2389
8.4
117
18
5
187
4
Tony Romo
209
320
2576
8.1
123
14
5
183
5
Brett Favre
189
275
2277
8.3
117
17
4
179
6
Philip Rivers
175
248
2218
8.9
116
17
5
176
7
Ben Roethlisberger
173
273
2266
8.3
108
15
6
173
8
Peyton Manning
206
308
2273
7.4
133
18
12
173
9
Matt Schaub
207
298
2421
8.1
125
13
8
168
10
Jason Campbell
191
301
2137
7.1
105
12
8
166
11
Tom Brady
192
292
2366
8.1
113
13
9
163
12
David Garrard
170
277
1993
7.2
98
10
5
163

Most fantasy owners would have guessed that Aaron Rodgers finished atop the fantasy rankings over the last half of the season. He was THAT dominant. But, who would have fathomed that Donovan McNabb was second? We need a show of hands. Who thought Jason Campbell and David Garrard produced similar numbers to Matt Schaub and Tom Brady over the same time frame? It is surprising since most consider the fantasy production of the Texan and Patriot passers to be elite in comparison. Could it be that the lesser named Campbell and Garrard were just as good?

Weeks 12-17

Rk
Quarterback
Cmp
Att
Yds
Y/A
FD
TDs
INT
FPts
1
Aaron Rodgers
129
200
1646
8.2
74
11
2
143
2
Tony Romo
149
220
1859
8.5
91
11
2
136
3
Brett Favre
147
221
1720
7.8
92
12
4
131
4
Drew Brees
144
193
1649
8.5
83
12
2
129
5
Donovan McNabb
113
194
1624
8.4
64
8
5
126
6
Matt Schaub
150
216
1805
8.4
93
10
6
125
7
Philip Rivers
114
165
1633
9.9
80
11
3
123
8
Jason Campbell
135
216
1492
6.9
73
10
6
122
9
Kyle Orton
141
226
1600
7.1
80
10
7
117
10
Eli Manning
127
195
1567
8.0
71
9
5
112
11
Ben Roethlisberger
100
162
1461
9.0
63
9
2
111
12
Peyton Manning
122
183
1329
7.3
81
12
7
106
13
David Garrard
115
194
1293
6.7
65
7
4
105

How many are surprised to not see Tom Brady in the Top 13 fantasy passers? This is for good reason. Brady only had two games over 12.4 fantasy points from weeks 12 through 17. That is not what his fantasy owners expected when choosing the Patriot passer. The relatively low numbers by Peyton Manning are due to the Colts "resting" their starters down the stretch. This point will be illuminated in the next table as the Indianapolis star is not among the Top13 at the position. Who would have guessed that Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton would be viable fantasy options down the stretch? Their numbers were very similar to Schaub, Rivers, and McNabb.

Weeks 14-17

Rk
Quarterback
Cmp
Att
Yds
Y/A
FD
TDs
INT
FPts
1
Donovan McNabb
78
134
1126
8.4
46
6
4
93
2
Matt Schaub
101
148
1321
8.9
66
7
3
90
3
Ben Roethlisberger
82
138
1183
8.6
51
7
1
89
4
Aaron Rodgers
75
121
1035
8.6
44
5
0
87
5
Kyle Orton
108
173
1175
6.8
59
7
5
86
6
Eli Manning
92
130
1096
8.4
50
7
3
82
7
Tony Romo
90
136
1158
8.5
55
6
2
82
8
Jay Cutler
75
134
852
6.4
43
10
6
80
9
Brett Favre
85
128
1053
8.2
52
7
2
80
10
Matt Moore
66
107
829
7.7
43
8
0
73
11
Philip Rivers
75
112
943
8.4
48
7
3
72
12
Jason Campbell
83
137
894
6.5
43
5
3
69
13
David Garrard
75
130
749
5.8
40
5
4
68

In another surprise, McNabb was the top passer during the fantasy playoffs. He has taken over in Washington, with Campbell now in Oakland. Both could be had for a song right now. McNabb got the most out of his young receivers in Philadelphia and will look to transfer his hot finish to the Nation's Capital. Campbell's strong finish to the 2009 season, without Cooley in the lineup, makes him a player to like in Oakland. The Raiders have arguably better offensive weapons and the ex-Redskin could surprise with a strong season. After taking over for the ineffective Jake Delhomme, Matt Moore's great finish allowed the team to part ways with the veteran. He was red hot over the last four games, averaging over 200 yards and two touchdowns a game. Jay Cutler's monster three games in the last four overshadowed the few previous outings. In the last two games, the strong-armed Bear quarterback threw for a combined 549 yards, eight touchdowns, and only one interception.

With strong finishes, fantasy owners would do well to take a chance on Campbell, McNabb, and Moore at their very low current ADPs. The way they each finished the season strong could be a precursor for a good 2010. Also, the addition of Mike Martz in Chicago could help Cutler have more frequent hot streaks to offset the random implosions.

Strong Finishes - Running Backs

So, which running backs should be on our radar after finishing the 2009 on a hot streak? The table below shows the Top 30 fantasy running backs in terms of total points scored over the last half of the season.

Weeks 9-17

Rk
Running Back
Rsh
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Chris Johnson
238
1176
4.9
55
10
43
32
366
11.4
15
1
220
2
Jamaal Charles
167
1005
6.0
52
7
37
26
177
6.8
7
1
166
3
Frank Gore
164
756
4.6
37
6
55
37
291
7.9
9
2
153
4
Adrian Peterson
150
599
4.0
37
9
35
24
247
10.3
9
0
139
5
Ray Rice
158
813
5.1
35
3
53
40
353
8.8
13
0
135
6
Maurice Jones-Drew
195
747
3.8
37
5
30
26
213
8.2
10
1
132
7
Ryan Grant
153
729
4.8
35
8
11
9
73
8.1
2
0
128
8
Jonathan Stewart
146
771
5.3
37
6
12
6
50
8.3
5
1
124
9
Ricky Williams
163
698
4.3
32
6
33
20
79
4.0
2
1
119
10
Joseph Addai
117
492
4.2
23
6
32
22
176
8.0
11
2
115
11
Jerome Harrison
124
602
4.9
27
5
26
16
109
6.8
7
2
113
12
LaDainian Tomlinson
144
463
3.2
27
9
16
13
122
9.4
6
0
113
13
Rashard Mendenhall
164
690
4.2
28
3
23
17
192
11.3
8
1
112
14
Justin Forsett
96
510
5.3
23
4
42
30
255
8.5
8
1
107
15
Thomas Jones
182
695
3.8
34
6
8
4
9
2.3
2
0
106
16
Fred Jackson
125
618
4.9
27
2
31
26
194
7.5
11
1
105
17
Chris Wells
119
555
4.7
29
6
11
8
126
15.8
5
0
104
18
Knowshon Moreno
137
525
3.8
27
5
28
17
149
8.8
6
1
103
19
Laurence Maroney
132
490
3.7
29
7
9
8
63
7.9
1
0
97
20
Steven Jackson
160
640
4.0
29
3
36
26
128
4.9
4
0
95
21
Jason Snelling
123
492
4.0
29
4
25
19
159
8.4
7
0
89
22
Marion Barber
128
535
4.2
33
3
29
20
164
8.2
9
0
88
23
Matt Forte
138
515
3.7
24
1
42
33
286
8.7
10
0
86
24
Cadillac Williams
134
511
3.8
24
2
20
12
102
8.5
5
2
85
25
Pierre Thomas
77
388
5.0
20
2
37
31
237
7.6
10
1
81
26
Willis McGahee
62
343
5.5
18
7
9
6
23
3.8
1
0
79
27
Tim Hightower
80
392
4.9
21
3
31
24
132
5.5
6
0
70
28
DeAngelo Williams
88
498
5.7
19
2
17
10
76
7.6
4
0
69
29
Kevin Smith
92
354
3.8
17
1
26
17
217
12.8
9
1
69
30
LeSean McCoy
85
343
4.0
18
2
32
25
206
8.2
8
0
67

Chris Johnson had a huge season, especially the last half of the year. But, the large number of touches is a major concern for this coming year. He touched the football a whopping 270 times over just the last eight games of the season. That is more than most backs get in an entire season. Most fantasy enthusiasts knew about Chris Johnson's great finish, but who expected Jamaal Charles to rank so high? Charles was awesome over the final eight games, racking up huge yardage. He and Frank Gore were in a tier to themselves, just below Johnson. Gore saw his production take off as the 49ers transitioned to a run-oriented offense. The conservative game plan employed by coach Mike Singletary should be carried over to the 2010 season. So, which backs had strong finishes that could transfer to the coming year? Jerome Harrison did the vast majority of his damage in the last three games of the season so expect him to rise up the chart as we move along. Fred Jackson was effective replacing Marshawn Lynch. He will also be prominent in the next two tables. There are a couple of surprises to watch. Laurence Maroney finishing ahead of Steve Jackson is more than a mild surprise. He could be a sleeper this season if the carries increase. One other guy who has been a popular topic this offseason is Justin Forsett. He was RB14 over the last half of the season. So, how do the playoff stretch numbers compare?

Weeks 12-17

Rk
Running Back
Rsh
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Chris Johnson
158
758
4.8
39
6
29
20
241
12.1
9
1
142
2
Jamaal Charles
126
807
6.4
41
6
23
17
136
8.0
4
0
130
3
Jerome Harrison
124
602
4.9
27
5
24
16
109
6.8
7
2
113
4
Adrian Peterson
109
384
3.5
26
7
27
18
221
12.3
7
0
103
5
Frank Gore
117
510
4.4
25
4
36
23
186
8.1
5
1
100
6
Jonathan Stewart
110
622
5.7
26
4
9
5
36
7.2
4
1
96
7
Fred Jackson
109
535
4.9
25
2
22
19
151
7.9
6
1
87
8
Ray Rice
106
605
5.7
24
1
32
22
187
8.5
7
0
85
9
Knowshon Moreno
105
347
3.3
20
5
20
14
136
9.7
6
1
84
10
Ryan Grant
92
425
4.6
17
6
6
5
49
9.8
2
0
83
11
Thomas Jones
140
515
3.7
25
5
6
4
9
2.3
2
0
82
12
Maurice Jones-Drew
118
465
3.9
25
2
19
17
136
8.0
6
1
78
13
LaDainian Tomlinson
88
272
3.1
17
6
13
11
114
10.4
5
0
75
14
Rashard Mendenhall
108
419
3.9
17
3
16
11
142
12.9
6
0
74
15
Willis McGahee
43
283
6.6
15
7
8
5
16
3.2
0
0
72
16
Ricky Williams
114
444
3.9
21
3
24
15
52
3.5
1
0
67
17
Marion Barber
91
360
4.0
22
3
20
13
125
9.6
8
0
67
18
Cadillac Williams
93
371
4.0
17
1
15
11
98
8.9
5
2
65
19
Justin Forsett
69
364
5.3
16
2
17
12
104
8.7
4
1
65
20
Joseph Addai
74
314
4.2
16
3
18
14
93
6.6
6
0
59
21
Chris Wells
76
324
4.3
17
3
6
4
83
20.8
4
0
59
22
Darren Sproles
33
133
4.0
7
2
19
15
170
11.3
11
2
54
23
Matt Forte
99
407
4.1
18
1
20
15
72
4.8
3
0
54
24
Steven Jackson
110
393
3.6
20
1
21
15
83
5.5
3
0
54
25
Laurence Maroney
78
302
3.9
19
3
7
6
48
8.0
1
0
53
26
Arian Foster
54
257
4.8
15
3
9
8
93
11.6
5
0
53
27
Jason Snelling
80
355
4.4
19
1
17
13
114
8.8
5
0
53
28
Ahmad Bradshaw
48
229
4.8
16
3
16
11
111
10.1
4
0
52
29
Pierre Thomas
42
209
5.0
11
1
24
22
190
8.6
8
1
52
30
Felix Jones
62
332
5.4
11
2
16
14
56
4.0
3
0
51

Due to the incredible last three games, Harrison made a strong move up the chart. The yards per carry averages by Charles, Ray Rice, and Jonathan Stewart are eye-popping. Fred Jackson is still toward the top, as is Gore. Maroney and Forsett were good options for their respective fantasy owners down the stretch. The two players to notice are Arian Foster, who was an undrafted rookie, and Darren Sproles, who saw more touches with the ineffectiveness of LaDainian Tomlinson. Foster is a legitimate sleeper for 2010. Bradshaw's RB28 ranking is impressive since he was nicked up and even missed week 12. He will rise in the next table. So, who emerged during the fantasy playoffs?

Weeks 14-17

Rk
Running Back
Rsh
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Chris Johnson
113
491
4.3
28
5
17
11
181
16.5
5
1
103
2
Jamaal Charles
94
658
7.0
29
4
17
13
79
6.1
3
0
98
3
Jerome Harrison
112
564
5.0
26
5
8
6
42
7.0
2
0
91
4
Frank Gore
92
452
4.9
22
4
18
11
135
12.3
3
0
83
5
Adrian Peterson
71
280
3.9
18
6
16
10
157
15.7
5
0
80
6
Jonathan Stewart
76
469
6.2
19
3
7
4
30
7.5
4
1
74
7
Ryan Grant
55
322
5.9
13
6
2
2
7
3.5
0
0
69
8
Thomas Jones
93
334
3.6
17
5
2
1
-2
-2.0
0
0
63
9
Ray Rice
73
464
6.4
17
1
21
14
103
7.4
4
0
63
10
Maurice Jones-Drew
79
314
4.0
18
2
12
11
95
8.6
4
1
59
11
Willis McGahee
34
269
7.9
12
5
6
4
15
3.8
0
0
58
12
Fred Jackson
81
431
5.3
19
0
14
11
84
7.6
3
1
58
13
Arian Foster
54
257
4.8
15
3
9
8
93
11.6
5
0
53
14
Marion Barber
62
263
4.2
16
3
12
8
77
9.6
6
0
52
15
Chris Wells
55
276
5.0
14
3
5
3
62
20.7
3
0
52
16
Ahmad Bradshaw
41
182
4.4
14
3
15
11
111
10.1
4
0
47
17
Knowshon Moreno
65
173
2.7
9
2
17
12
117
9.8
6
1
47
18
Jason Snelling
66
311
4.7
17
1
14
11
97
8.8
4
0
47
19
Rashard Mendenhall
64
221
3.5
10
2
14
9
120
13.3
5
0
46
20
Cadillac Williams
66
249
3.8
11
1
11
8
76
9.5
4
1
45
21
LaDainian Tomlinson
55
169
3.1
11
3
10
9
88
9.8
4
0
44
22
Ricky Williams
69
254
3.7
13
2
20
13
46
3.5
1
0
42
23
Maurice Morris
54
239
4.4
8
1
21
16
114
7.1
1
0
41
24
Quinton Ganther
43
111
2.6
8
3
8
7
85
12.1
3
0
38
25
Felix Jones
49
258
5.3
10
1
10
9
42
4.7
2
0
36
26
Lex Hilliard
9
31
3.4
4
1
15
15
128
8.5
4
2
34
27
Reggie Bush
14
119
8.5
5
0
17
14
100
7.1
6
2
34
28
Matt Forte
68
290
4.3
13
0
15
10
33
3.3
1
0
32
29
Darren Sproles
17
89
5.2
6
2
8
6
48
8.0
4
1
32
30
Cedric Benson
60
282
4.7
12
0
7
5
30
6.0
1
0
31

The Baltimore Ravens running game is well-represented with strong finishes by Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. Also, it is surprising that Cadillac Williams was a fantasy RB2 in all three tables. Could he actually be a fantasy option in 2010? His 2009 finish says the answer is a surprising "yes", especially at his current ADP. As noted above, Maroney and Foster are players to consider in 2010 with relatively low ADPs. Each has lesser values because of the uncertainty of the backfield situations. Charles is another player who has seen his value limited by circumstances. Can he duplicate the 2009 finish in order to become a Top fantasy back? Sure, but it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs designate roles for he and newcomer Thomas Jones. Those who are staunch believers in Jonathan Stewart have plenty to be excited about after his strong close to the season. Fred Jackson is a player who is a value play this preseason. He gets little credit for the good games down the stretch. The selection of rookie C.J. Spiller may only serve to help fantasy owners get Jackson on the cheap. He is a legitimate option this season ... at a great price. Frank Gore could be the top running back this coming season with the conservative gameplan utilized in San Francisco.

Strong Finishes - Wide Receivers

For the Wide Receiver position, what players had strong second halves to the season? The table below shows some big surprises.

Weeks 9-17

Rk
Wide Receiver
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Randy Moss
71
40
699
17.5
33
9
124
2
Andre Johnson
91
57
872
15.3
42
5
118
3
Brandon Marshall
103
68
764
11.2
37
6
114
4
Sidney Rice
69
46
727
15.8
36
6
109
5
Miles Austin
82
55
757
13.8
38
5
104
6
Larry Fitzgerald
78
49
580
11.8
37
7
100
7
Robert Meachem
51
37
527
14.2
24
7
100
8
DeSean Jackson
68
39
667
17.1
25
5
99
9
Santonio Holmes
82
49
751
15.3
35
4
98
10
Calvin Johnson
97
45
658
14.6
32
4
93
11
Steve Smith
66
37
563
15.2
24
6
92
12
Roddy White
99
48
610
12.7
30
5
91
13
Wes Welker
100
77
864
11.2
44
0
89
14
Anquan Boldin
71
50
625
12.5
33
4
87
15
Chris Chambers
60
36
608
16.9
25
4
85
16
Reggie Wayne
72
49
575
11.7
34
4
81
17
Hines Ward
82
53
565
10.7
32
4
81
18
Greg Jennings
69
39
676
17.3
27
2
80
19
Derrick Mason
83
43
607
14.1
32
3
79
20
Terrell Owens
59
32
548
17.1
22
4
78
21
Vincent Jackson
50
31
503
16.2
26
4
75
22
Chad Ochocinco
64
33
474
14.4
25
4
74
23
Steve Smith
81
54
558
10.3
27
3
74
24
Marques Colston
53
34
523
15.4
25
3
71
25
Mike Sims-Walker
66
33
462
14.0
26
4
70
26
Donald Driver
62
37
519
14.0
25
3
70
27
Percy Harvin
45
32
421
13.2
21
3
70
28
Davone Bess
75
46
552
12.0
32
2
67
29
Roy Williams
49
24
348
14.5
19
5
65
30
Mike Wallace
39
18
388
21.6
16
4
64
31
Michael Crabtree
71
37
488
13.2
19
2
61
32
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
76
44
528
12.0
30
1
59
33
Kenny Britt
40
22
405
18.4
18
3
59
34
Pierre Garcon
56
29
472
16.3
23
2
59
35
Jerricho Cotchery
52
30
391
13.0
21
2
58
36
Jabar Gaffney
52
33
447
13.5
23
2
57

The names at the top of the list are not a surprise. But, Robert Meachem is a shocker. He was WR7 over the last half of the season. That is incredible. There are other interesting players in this list who we should take note of for the coming season. Chris Chambers was the WR15 since joining the Chiefs last year. He outplayed the higher profile Dwayne Bowe by a wide margin. Chambers is definitely a guy to watch this year at a GREAT price. Davone Bess, Roy Williams, and Jabar Gaffney are all noteworthy as WR3 players. Gaffney is a player to watch as we move toward the fantasy playoffs. His strong finish could be a sign of things to come in 2010 with Brandon Marshall now in Miami. Before we move on to the next table, I would like to call your attention to the top-tier receivers who disappointed in the second half of the season. Reggie Wayne, Greg Jennings, Vincent Jackson, and Marques Colston all let their fantasy owners down during the second half of the season. So, how does it change for weeks 12-17?

Weeks 12-17

Rk
Wide Receiver
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Andre Johnson
67
43
691
16.1
31
4
94
2
Miles Austin
62
46
641
13.9
33
4
87
3
Roddy White
71
34
440
12.9
22
5
74
4
Brandon Marshall
69
49
492
10.0
26
4
74
5
Santonio Holmes
52
29
484
16.7
20
4
71
6
DeSean Jackson
37
21
439
20.9
16
4
69
7
Sidney Rice
53
33
437
13.2
27
4
68
8
Randy Moss
33
20
339
17.0
18
5
64
9
Calvin Johnson
64
28
386
13.8
19
3
60
10
Anquan Boldin
52
34
417
12.3
23
3
60
11
Robert Meachem
41
29
392
13.5
18
3
58
12
Chad Ochocinco
43
22
312
14.2
16
4
58
13
Marques Colston
38
26
387
14.9
20
3
57
14
Steve Smith
39
22
378
17.2
14
3
56
15
Steve Smith
62
42
422
10.0
22
2
54
16
Derrick Mason
50
28
356
12.7
19
3
54
17
Devin Aromashodu
42
23
288
12.5
15
4
53
18
Vincent Jackson
35
21
379
18.0
17
2
51
19
Wes Welker
62
44
494
11.2
26
0
51
20
Jabar Gaffney
39
28
386
13.8
21
2
51
21
Greg Jennings
45
25
444
17.8
16
1
50
22
Percy Harvin
36
24
289
12.0
15
2
50
23
Chris Chambers
45
26
359
13.8
18
2
48
24
Davone Bess
48
30
361
12.0
21
2
48
25
Donald Driver
40
24
358
14.9
17
2
48
26
Larry Fitzgerald
43
25
297
11.9
19
3
48
27
Brian Hartline
33
17
267
15.7
15
2
48
28
Antonio Bryant
43
20
330
16.5
15
2
45
29
Austin Collie
33
21
263
12.5
16
3
44
30
Terrell Owens
38
20
266
13.3
14
3
44
31
Hakeem Nicks
29
19
318
16.7
13
2
44
32
Mike Wallace
23
11
256
23.3
9
3
44
33
Hines Ward
49
32
369
11.5
19
1
43
34
Kenny Britt
31
16
308
19.3
14
2
43
35
Santana Moss
53
30
356
11.9
18
1
42
36
Chaz Schilens
44
24
297
12.4
14
2
42

There were a few receivers who had great stretch runs. It is amazing to think that Marshall actually missed one game and still finished so high. Santonio Holmes was on fire, too. Youngsters Hakeem Nicks, Bryan Hartline, Austin Collie, Kenny Britt, and Chaz Schilens all were productive the last few weeks of the season. The strong finish of Devin Aromashodu pushed him into the good fantasy WR2 range. Miles Austin, DeSean Jackson, and Sidney Rice all emerged from relative obscurity to help their fantasy owners win championships. They were elite during this time span. While Jackson and Rice were high NFL draft picks who finally put it all together in 2009, Austin finally remained healthy and clicked with Tony Romo in order to have a great season. Which receivers dominated during the fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-17)?

Weeks 14-17

Rk
Wide Receiver
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Andre Johnson
41
31
525
16.9
23
3
72
2
DeSean Jackson
35
19
398
20.9
15
3
59
3
Devin Aromashodu
39
22
282
12.8
14
4
52
4
Sidney Rice
27
20
276
13.8
17
4
52
5
Miles Austin
39
29
392
13.5
20
2
50
6
Brandon Marshall
50
36
312
8.7
18
3
50
7
Steve Smith
27
17
300
17.6
12
3
48
8
Roddy White
38
20
279
14.0
14
3
46
9
Jabar Gaffney
34
25
338
13.5
18
2
46
10
Randy Moss
22
15
206
13.7
13
4
45
11
Vincent Jackson
26
17
298
17.5
13
2
42
12
Mike Wallace
16
9
237
26.3
7
3
42
13
Derrick Mason
32
19
281
14.8
16
2
40
14
Greg Jennings
29
15
314
20.9
10
1
37
15
Santonio Holmes
33
15
261
17.4
13
2
37
16
Steve Smith
38
29
241
8.3
15
2
36
17
Calvin Johnson
41
20
253
12.7
14
1
35
18
Chad Ochocinco
24
10
137
13.7
7
3
34
19
Chris Chambers
32
17
278
16.4
11
1
34
20
Anquan Boldin
34
22
266
12.1
15
1
33
21
Wes Welker
40
28
295
10.5
17
0
30
22
Malcom Floyd
33
19
298
15.7
15
0
30
23
Austin Collie
21
13
175
13.5
10
2
30
24
Jacoby Jones
16
11
172
15.6
9
2
29
25
Patrick Crayton
13
8
171
21.4
8
2
29
26
Reggie Wayne
28
17
229
13.5
11
1
29
27
Brian Hartline
19
10
195
19.5
9
0
29
28
Marques Colston
26
20
220
11.0
15
1
28
29
Chaz Schilens
31
19
220
11.6
11
1
28
30
Michael Crabtree
30
16
219
13.7
8
1
28
31
Hakeem Nicks
20
13
215
16.5
8
1
27
32
Nate Washington
23
14
209
14.9
11
1
27
33
Davone Bess
29
17
210
12.4
10
1
27
34
Santana Moss
34
21
260
12.4
12
0
26
35
Muhsin Muhammad
24
15
199
13.3
10
1
26
36
Lee Evans
23
13
138
10.6
8
2
26

It is amazing how Aromashodu came out of nowhere to become the WR3 during the time fantasy owners needed him most. Marshall missed week 17 so his WR6 finish is impressive. As expected, Gaffney finished the season strong. He was incredible the last two games of the season. Mike Wallace made the most of his catches. Out of nine receptions, seven went for first downs ... and three of those went for scores. He is a play maker. Can the strong finish by Malcom Floyd translate to 2010 with Vincent Jackson suspended and holding out? Jacoby Jones is another whose hot streak over the last few games could be a precursor to future success. He could finally be putting things together. For those fantasy owners looking for a rebound candidate, look no further than Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith. His numbers above (300 yards and three scores) occurred in just three games with Matt Moore under center. It is great to see Moore as the unquestioned starter this season.

So, which receivers finished the year strong who fantasy owners need to take notice? Devin Aromashodu, Chris Chambers, Jabar Gaffney, and Jacoby Jones are all players to watch.

Strong Finishes - Tight Ends

Which tight ends should be on our radar after finishing the 2009 on a hot streak? The table below shows the Top 12 fantasy players at the position in terms of total points scored over the last half of the season.

Weeks 9-17

Rk
Tight End
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Antonio Gates
58
42
634
15.1
34
6
99
2
Vernon Davis
74
46
590
12.8
22
6
95
3
Dallas Clark
75
54
522
9.7
35
7
95
4
Brent Celek
62
39
524
13.4
22
5
82
5
Jason Witten
76
57
682
12.0
30
1
74
6
Greg Olsen
63
37
397
10.7
20
5
70
7
Fred Davis
59
33
386
11.7
24
5
69
8
Visanthe Shiancoe
48
34
363
10.7
23
5
66
9
Jermichael Finley
50
38
416
10.9
22
4
66
10
Tony Gonzalez
82
50
474
9.5
29
3
65
11
Kellen Winslow
77
47
589
12.5
33
1
65
12
Kevin Boss
40
25
301
12.0
14
4
56

This table shows why so many fantasy owners are excited about the future prospects of Brent Celek, Fred Davis, and Jermichael Finley. Celek and Finley are now solidified as elite fantasy options for the coming year. Davis performed well while replacing the injured Chris Cooley. Greg Olsen finished the season strong but should struggle with Mike Martz now the Chicago Bear offensive coordinator. This performance over the last half of the year should give dynasty owners hope for the future. Kevin Boss is a player to watch. Last season was his first as a starter. He could be a cheap, yet viable, TE1 option this year. The impact of the lack of touchdowns for Witten is obvious when compared to the other "elite" tight ends. He only scored once over the last half of the season. It was the same for Kellen Winslow. Their respective fantasy production would have been much better with just a couple more scoring grabs. The relative unpredictability of touchdowns could pose a rebound situation for the pair of veteran tight ends.

Weeks 12-17

Rk
Tight End
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Antonio Gates
38
27
448
16.6
23
6
81
2
Dallas Clark
51
35
335
9.6
25
6
70
3
Vernon Davis
46
27
364
13.5
14
5
66
4
Jason Witten
53
40
549
13.7
22
1
61
5
Jermichael Finley
40
31
362
11.7
19
4
60
6
Fred Davis
46
25
286
11.4
18
5
59
7
Brent Celek
41
26
403
15.5
15
3
58
8
Visanthe Shiancoe
34
23
242
10.5
15
4
48
9
Todd Heap
26
17
229
13.5
13
4
47
10
John Carlson
20
17
171
10.1
8
4
41
11
Kellen Winslow
47
30
401
13.4
23
0
40
12
Zach Miller
46
32
310
9.7
13
1
37

This looks like more of the same. Antonio Gates was awesome, having a huge edge over the other top tight ends. Finley, Davis, and Celek all were strong down the stretch. Todd Heap and Zach Miller snuck into the lower rungs of the Top 12. This table, like the other two, shows how a top tight end gives an owner such an advantage. Gates more than doubled the output of Tony Gonzalez, who did not make the Top 12 at the position, during the stretch run. For those in PPR leagues, take note of those with at least 30 receptions (Clark, Witten, Finley, Winslow, and ZMiller) since this is an average of five receptions a game over the last six games.

Weeks 14-17

Rk
Tight End
Trgt
Rec
Yds
Y/R
FD
TDs
FPts
1
Dallas Clark
35
23
247
10.7
17
5
55
2
Brent Celek
28
20
354
17.7
13
2
47
3
Todd Heap
14
11
171
15.5
9
4
41
4
Antonio Gates
22
12
163
13.6
9
4
40
5
John Carlson
16
14
148
10.6
7
4
39
6
Jermichael Finley
26
21
258
12.3
14
2
38
7
Fred Davis
28
16
190
11.9
13
3
37
8
Vernon Davis
28
15
184
12.3
8
3
36
9
Jason Witten
29
21
286
13.6
10
1
35
10
Heath Miller
27
20
268
13.4
12
1
33
11
Visanthe Shiancoe
21
16
177
11.1
10
2
30
12
Greg Olsen
24
11
163
14.8
9
2
28

Heap and John Carlson finished on a high note for fantasy owners. They each could surprise this season with low expectations. To emphasize the relative impact of Clark compared to those finishing lower in the Top12, the points per game difference was almost seven points a game. That is a huge margin for fantasy owners during the playoffs.

Finley and Celek are here to stay. They produced strong numbers over the last half of the season and are now entrenched in their respective offenses. Davis is a player to watch. He has talent, but will he get the much-needed opportunity?

Please feel free to email me at tefertiller@footballguys.com with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter, so feel free to ask me questions there.

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