Had Brady and the Patriots converted fourth down, there likely would have been few additional fantasy points gained in that game, and Peyton Manning likely would have hit the showers with a respectable 20-point fantasy day (in ESPN standard scoring). Instead, look what happened. Manning trotted back on the field and added 16 more passing yards (getting him past the 325 mark to 327) and a touchdown. Net gain: five standard fantasy points. Reggie Wayne added six points to his fantasy day. Joseph Addai did more damage. Matt Stover kicked another extra point. And then here's something I doubt anyone realizes, but Brady got to come back on the field again and add 9 more passing yards, going from 366 yards to 375, which for most of us meant one more point. The implications on what Bill Belichick decided are unbelievable not just from a game standpoint; it changed fantasy games, too.
Of course, even though I owned numerous players in the Indianapolis Colts 35-34 win over the Patriots, I can honestly say I didn't think about the fantasy repercussions of what was happening one bit. I was too entrenched in the game, which was such a joy to watch. This was one of the best football games of the season, and as a sidebar, fantasy football was affected down to the very last second. This is the way it ought to be. Not that I ever needed reminding, but I saw yet another reason we love fantasy football: The game of football is so great in the first place.
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