Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2012: Top Week 15 Performers

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Fantasy Football Top Players of Week 15

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, the best fantasy football rosters win by having great overall contributions from every player on the roster. When some players struggle to score near their projected totals, players that exceed expectations and have great outputs help balance out a team’s lower scorers. To win on a frequent basis, top performances are what fuel teams to the top of their respective leagues’ standings.

In Week 15, there were many players who would fit the statements of overachiever and high-scorers. The top performers of this week range from elite options with favorable matchups to the unlikely sources of production. If owners have one or more of the players on this list, they typically put themselves in a great position to win their matchup.

Week 15 provided plenty of scoring opportunities. In total, 12 teams scored at least 28 points, meaning there were plenty of touchdowns to go around for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. This week, Colin Kaepernick threw for four touchdowns in a big win on the road, Arian Foster ran for 165 yards and Brandon Lloyd finished 10 yards shy of 200 receiving yards on the day, yet none of these players make the list as Week 15 fantasy leaders. Here’s a look at the best of the best from this week in the NFL.

* Fantasy points are determined by Yahoo! fantasy football default scoring settings. Ownership numbers are from Yahoo! fantasy football leagues and up to date as of Monday, December 17. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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QB Russell Wilson – 39.40 points (at Buffalo Bills, 35% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 205 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 92 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns

With three rushing touchdowns at the quarterback positions, it is no surprise to see Wilson claim the top spot among quarterbacks. Absolutely crushing the Bills in the first half, he displayed impressive touch and vision as he broke away with one of the top single-game fantasy performances of the season.

Honorable mentions: Drew Brees (29.38 points, 100% owned), Sam Bradford (28.98 points, 22% owned), Tom Brady (26.82 points, 100% owned)

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RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

RB Adrian Peterson – 27.20 points (at St. Louis Rams, 100% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 212 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Peterson continues to put up superb numbers again and again, this time against a solid Rams run defense. Already his fourth 200-yard game of his career, he now has two games to record 294 more rushing yards to break the all-time single-season rushing record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984.

Honorable mentions: Beanie Wells (24.70 points, 43% owned), Alfred Morris (21.30 points, 95% owned), Danny Woodhead (20.40 points, 34% owned)

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WR James Jones, Green Bay Packers

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

WR James Jones – 24.00 points (at Chicago Bears, 83% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 60 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

Jones partnered with quarterback Aaron Rodgers consistently in Week 15 for a big performance during a fantasy playoff week. With Jordy Nelson sitting out this game, Jones was once again elevated to a major role in the offense and capitalized on his great chemistry with Rodgers. He continues to be an effective wideout for an offense that will be busy in the final two weeks of the season.

Honorable mentions: Michael Crabtree (22.70 points, 82% owned), Julio Jones (21.20 points, 100% owned), Andre Johnson (21.10 points, 100% owned)

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TE Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

TE Dennis Pitta – 24.50 points (vs. Denver Broncos</strong>, 32% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 125 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Targeted 10 times in Week 15, Pitta had a monster game against the Broncos, particularly in the fourth quarter. He has really started to ramp up his production as of late after many weeks of low performance in the middle of the season, which is an encouraging sign for owners needing help at tight end and considering him as an option.

Honorable mentions: Aaron Hernandez (15.20 points, 97% owned), Heath Miller (15.20 points, 91% owned), Anthony Fasano (13.60 points, 5% owned)

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K Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings

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K Blair Walsh – 25.00 points (at Rams, 39% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 5-for-5 field goals made (50, 38, 42, 53, 51), 3 extra points made

Walsh continued to showcase his powerful leg with three more made field goals from 50 yards or more out. Now a perfect 8-for-8 from that distance, he’s rejoined the elite group of fantasy kickers after a couple weeks of little action.

Honorable mentions: Sebastian Janikowski (20.00 points, 85% owned), Shayne Graham (18.00 points, 54% owned), Steven Hauschka (14.00 points, 5% owned)

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Arizona Cardinals team defense

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals team defense – 26.00 points (vs. Detroit Lions, 45% owned)

Week 15 statistics: 10 points allowed, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 2 defensive touchdowns

From a couple of sacks to three interceptions, Matthew Stafford’s poor performance gave way to the Cardinals’ elite showing on defense. The two big stars on the Cardinals defense this week include Greg Toler, who had a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown, and Rashad Johnson, who had a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Honorable mentions: Cincinnati Bengals team defense (23.00 points, 59% owned), New Orleans Saints team defense (22.00 points, 6% owned), Tennessee Titans team defense (18.00 points, 10% owned)