Here's a quick-hitting recap of key performances and news from Week 12 of the NFL season, complete with in-depth fantasy analysis.
The nifty 19: After Sunday's performance against the Saints, it's clear Michael Vick isn't going to always deliver your fantasy points in the normal manner. Once again, Vick struggled to complete passes, as he couldn't find open receivers, suffered from inconsistent protection, and was plagued by the usual drops from his suspect pass-catchers. So what did Vick do to keep the Falcons in the game as long as he could? He ran! Vick rushed for 166 yards on only 12 attempts, with a long of 51 yards. There has never been a running quarterback like Vick, and in ESPN leagues, where one point is awarded for every 10 rushing yards, Vick ended up with 16 fantasy points for his footwork. But with only 84 passing yards, he finished with only three points in leagues that award one point for every 25 passing yards. It was the third time that Vick rushed for 100 yards this season, but that doesn't make him a good fantasy starter by any means. Any QB who can run for more yards than he passes is not a reliable player at all. This certainly wasn't the first time this season that rushing totals accounted for much of Vick's fantasy production, but you can't bank on these types of performances at the most important points of the fantasy season. If Vick has to run as much as he did Sunday, it obviously means the passing game is breaking down. And you can bet the Falcons will work to correct things for the near future.
Not missing Marques: While his fantasy owners clearly needed him in a crucial week, Drew Brees didn't suffer without outstanding rookie Marques Colston on Sunday. Brees passed for 349 yards, two TDs and no interceptions in the Saints' win over the Falcons. Everything seems to be breaking right for Brees, as one of his scoring passes was an obvious 48-yard prayer that was grabbed by Terrance Copper at the end of the second quarter. Devery Henderson filled in admirably for Colston again, catching four passes for 158 yards, including a 76-yard TD reception. It's apparent that Brees is making his receivers shine, not vice versa. Whoever starts alongside Joe Horn, whether it is Colston or Henderson, will be a must-start player in the weeks ahead. Henderson is clearly more explosive, but Colston is a big target with more well-rounded skills. A healthy Colston will surely cut into Henderson's production, but we don't know for sure when we will see Colston get past his ankle problem yet. Henderson's breakout period could be short-lived, but it might not be over, either. We'll just have to wait and see.