FFL: Week 17 Playmakers

Updated: January 3, 2006, 7:12 PM ET
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Fantasy Games
Each Monday on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" show, the crew discusses top playmakers for the week. So why not do the same in fantasy?

Larry Johnson, Chiefs: We're going to somewhat combine the Week 17 stars with the season heroes to get our Playmakers for this week, and certainly Johnson belongs high on the list. He began starting for the injured Priest Holmes in Week 9, and from that game on he was by far the best player in fantasy football. In the Chiefs' final game, which ended up an impressive win over the playoff-bound Bengals, Johnson ran 26 times for 201 yards and scored three touchdowns. His 40 fantasy performance points ranked him in a tie for second for the best fantasy game of the season, with only LaDainian Tomlinson and his Week 3 game with four touchdowns and similar yards topping it. Shaun Alexander ends up the top player in fantasy for the 2005 season, but Johnson comes in second, and considering how different his season was, a case can be made he was the top playmaker of the season.

Tiki Barber, Giants: When it mattered most, Tiki was a fantasy superstar, topping 200 yards rushing in Weeks 15 and 17 (also in Week 8). Barber ends up the No. 2 player of Week 17, as well as second only to Johnson for the duration of the fantasy playoffs, Weeks 14-17. Barber was underrated this season -- he was drafted in round two of most leagues, as the 13th running back taken. Of course, he finished the season ranked fourth in all of fantasy, a pretty impressive feat for the second consecutive year. Will Tiki again be overlooked in 2006? Don't bet on it.


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Eric Karabell | email

ESPN.com Senior Writer

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