Only the Falcons would lose like this. Up one, going for a two-point conversion, Matt Ryan threw a pick that Eric Berry took back to the house to give up the lead. Brutal. At least just about every fantasy option put up a decent day, with Ryan nearly hitting 300 yards with a score, Julio Jones going for 7-113 and Devonta Freeman scoring twice. Last week's sensation Taylor Gabriel had five catches for 44 yards, but had a big play called back. He'll remain a high upside FLEX option going forward.
Spencer Ware was bottled up on the ground, but the Falcons continued their trend of allowing running backs to get involved in the passing game. Ware's two touchdowns more than made up for his lack of total yardage. Tyreek Hill didn't exactly "bust", but 5-for-53 might be more along the lines of what we should expect from him on a weekly basis in this offense. Travis Kelce (8-140) is doing most of the eating.
Dale ZanineDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Stafford (341 yards, 2 TD) probably deserves some more MVP talk. He's engineered plenty of comebacks this year, and given Detroit's complete and total lack of a running game, it's amazing that the Lions look headed for a playoff berth. We've seen this movie before, though. Zach Zenner led the Lions backfield in carries. I give up. Golden Tate's (8-145-1) bounceback from biggest early season bust to legitimate WR2 has been incredible to watch. With Marvin Jones sitting this one out, Tate could be an improbable fantasy playoff hero.
The squeaky wheel got some grease. Brandin Cooks rebounded with a 7-73 line, but New Orleans struggled to convert drives into touchdowns. You won't see Drew Brees be this off at home again. If you started Tim Hightower this week, John Kuhn's rushing touchdown and Travaris Cadet's five receptions had to be annoying. I fell into the trap of trusting Sean Payton with his backs in a big spot. Oops.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Kenny Britt (2-67-1) is a fantasy cockroach. No matter how bad the situation is around him, he finds a way to keep on surviving and putting up WR2/3 numbers. If you managed to find the fantasy postseason with Todd Gurley as your first round pick, congrats. He had 38 rushing yards in the latest of a long season of completely underwhelming performances. So it goes. You can't hold grudges in fantasy, but there will be a lot of owners who won't touch Gurley next year in drafts. It's hard to blame them.
Julian Edelman (8-101) is a clear WR1 for the rest of the fantasy playoffs. With no Gronk and no major competition for targets out wide, Edelman is going to be heavily targeted the rest of the way. That doesn't mean he's the only guy who will get the Tom Brady treatment, though. Malcolm Mitchell now has 17 receptions, 222 yards and three scores over the last three weeks. LeGarrette Blount reigned supreme once again in the Patriots backfield battle. Dion Lewis and James White had the exact same amount of catches and targets in the passing back role. It's hard to play either right now because of that.
This game was a fantasy wasteland. If you were starting Blake Bortles against Denver's secondary, you got what you deserved. We all knew Allen Robinson was going to struggle (3-31), but it's hard to sit someone with his name value. Lesson learned. T.J. Yeldon (14-55) was outtouched by Denard Robinson (17-53) of all people. I know Yeldon isn't at full health, but man. THis tells you everything you need to know about Jacksonville's offense: the Broncos had 104 passing yards...and still won.
Devontae Booker found the end zone, but it took him 18 carries to total 35 yards. Paxton Lynch is a truly terrible QB option right now. Trevor Siemian should be back next week, which is good news for owners of every single skill position player on the Broncos. Don't forget how good Emmanuel Sanders was in Week 12 before you bench him in Week 14 for this week's stinker. It's not his fault.
USA TODAY SportsLogan Bowles
Snow angels for all! Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers still performed well in the snow, with Nelson ripping off a huge 8-118-1 line. Nelson has found the endzone in nine of his 12 games this year, which provides his owners with incredible consistency. Now for the opposite of consistency, let's talk Green Bay's backfield. James Starks had just four carries, Aaron Ripkowski got the goalline score, Ty Montgomery led all runners in yards with 40 and Christine Michael received the most touches. This is a situation to avoid moving forward.
Not to be outdone, Jonathan Grimes led the Texans in rushing yards with 43. Because of course. With Lamar Miller locked up, at least DeAndre Hopkins (3-58-1) found paydirt. If you made your league's playoffs with Hopkins as your first-rounder, props to you. Don't forget C.J. Fiedorowicz if you're in need of a tight end. His 6-for-44 line won't blow anyone away, but he's averaging nearly 7.5 targets a game over the last eight weeks.
The Eagles got down early and Carson Wentz had to throw the ball a whopping 60 times which is...sub-optimal. For all the talk of Wendell Smallwood getting more involved, game-flow limited him to just eight carries. Zach Ertz (9-79-1) benefitted mightily from Jordan Matthews being out racked up a whopping 15 targets. Something called "Paul Turner" led the Eagles in receiving yards. Considering he hadn't recorded a single catch before this game, I wouldn't chase those stats.
Jeremy Hill (23-33-1) luckily found the endzone, but he's not exactly killing it in the lead back role. Andy Dalton led the day in this one, racking up 332 yards and two scores in a surprising effort. I think this was more Philadelphia being bad than Cincy being good, but that's up to interpretation, I suppose. Tyler Boyd is a better option than Brandon LaFell in PPR leagues, but LaFell has the better chance at a touchdown each week.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
The Dolphins were rolling, and then they rolled over. Ryan Tannehill came back down to earth (3 INT) and Jay Ajayi (12-61) was a victim of game-flow. At least Ajayi had six receptions for PPR players. It was good to see Jarvis Landry take control in garbage time (11-87). It doesn't always have to be pretty. Devante Parker was a surprise start and found the endzone. He's a high upside FLEX play.
Dennis Pitta had been held out of the endzone since 2013, but that long streak ended in a big way as he scored twice in this one. In a game where the Ravens won 32, Kenneth Dixon had six carries while Terrance West found the endzone twice. Dixon will go down as one of the biggest teases of the season. It's worth noting that Joe Flacco has all of his weapons healthy, but it's safe to say we won't see him hit 381 yards and four scores again.
USA TODAY SportsMitch Stringer
This isn't a typo: the 49ers had six passing yards. Is that bad? Colin Kaepernick was 1-for-5 and took five sacks in the snow before he was benched. It was a crushing blow for owners who treated him like a QB1 in such an important week. He had been great, so you can't blame yourself. Carlos Hyde's biggest strength (20-92) is that he can find success even with chaos surrounding him.The 49ers had five completed passes in a football game in 2016. Unreal.
A week after going for 8-125-1, Marquess Wilson put up a big fat zero. The snow was cruel for both passing games, obviously, but Jordan Howard didn't seem to mind. The rookie continued his hot run and dropped 117 yards and three touchdowns on one of the worst rushing defenses in league history. An improved Lions defense will offer up a tougher test next week.
Mike DinovoMike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Derek Carr did his best work once the Raiders got down, which has been typical this season. He made fantasy owners happy by getting Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper touchdowns, even if he "only" had 260 yards through the air. Latavius Murray has been a top-5 RB since returning from his injury. Over his last four weeks, Murray has six touchdowns and is averaging over 20 total touches per game. The Chiefs and Chargers will offer up tough tests, but Murray is the guy once the Raiders get inside the five.
LeSean McCoy did most of the heavy lifting (17-130, 7-61) but Mike Gillislee took the two touchdowns in his return back from a hamstring injury. Shady gets Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Miami in the next three weeks and is locked and loaded as a RB1. There isn't enough talk about how good he's been this year. Sammy Watkins (3-38) is a big play option in a running offense. He'll have weeks like this, even when he's healthy.
Thearon W. HendersonGetty Images
Eli Manning is going to struggle to hit 300 yards most weeks in this conservative offense, but it's disappointing he didn't 200 in this matchup. At least Odell Beckham (10-100) was effective, even though he was being held most of the game. Paul Perkins received one more carry than Rashad Jennings, but Jennings got the score and was more involved in the passing game. There's a role for Shane Vereen here, who should be returning soon. It will be tough to start him in a fantasy playoff game, though, until we see his role.
Ladarius Green had been slowly ramped up the last few weeks and exploded in a big way in this one. Green (6-110-1) was targeted a whopping 11 times and was clearly part of the game plan against a Giants team that struggles to contain tight ends. Le'Veon Bell (29-118) and Antonio Brown (6-54-1) will demand enough attention to leave Green in great situations. He's a TE1 the rest of the way. If you don't have Bell, Ezekiel Elliott or David Johnson on your fantasy team, you're fighting an uphill battle in the fantasy playoffs.
George GojkovichGetty Images
David Johnson would be a WR2 if he only lined up there. 9 catches, 91 yards and a score through the air is insane for a running back, and his 84 rushing yards and a score aren't too shabby, either. You had to try pretty hard to lose this week with Johnson in your lineup. It was nice to see Carson Palmer (300 yards, 3 TD) put together a good showing in a big spot. A struggling Miami defense and the Saints are up next, so maybe he'll get hot at the right time.
The Redskins offense missed Jordan Reed, who consistently can move the chains in third down situations. Reed should be back next week, which will put Vernon Davis back on the wire. Jamison Crowder (3-42-1) salvaged his day with a score, but Robert Kelley (14-63) wasn't quite as fortunate. The schedule just hasn't been fantasy friendly for Kelley as of late.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
The Buccaneers got a big win, but it was a little underwhelming from a fantasy standpoint. Jameis Winston only threw for one score, Mike Evans had just three catches and Doug Martin had only 45 yards, but at least he scored. Cameron Brate (6-86-1) was Winston's favorite target and is an underrated fantasy asset. Yes, he'll need to find the endzone, but he does it a lot. Mike Evans will be fine, but hopefully his dud didn't knock you out of contention. With two matchups on deck against the Saints, he's a great candidate to be fantasy's best player down the stretch.
Melvin Gordon (17-84-1) was a workhorse and led the Chargers in receiving yards, but Philip Rivers had some untimely turnovers that led to a loss. Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman both scored, but Tampa Bay's secondary held up better than expected in this one. Rivers has a great chance to get back on track in the next three games with Carolina, Oakland and Cleveland on deck.
Cam Newton was benched the first play of the game for a dress code violation. Derek Anderson threw a pick. Your 2016 Carolina Panthers, everyone! The Panthers got smacked by 33 and fantasy futility was everywhere, with Ted Ginn excluded. He's now scored a touchdown in three straight games and has been quietly consistent over the last six weeks. The Panthers are packing in the season, it appears, which is troubling for Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin, Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart. No one in this offense is a must-start next week with a relatively tough San Diego defense on tap.
Now there's the Thomas Rawls his owners were waiting on. Rawls gashed one of the best run defenses in the league for 106 yards and two scores. The Packers have been hit or miss against the run as of late, but Rawls is going to get a big workload going forward. Jimmy Graham is a top-three tight end with Jordan Reed banged up, Rob Gronkowski out and Greg Olsen dealing with a bad offense. That was tough to see coming at the beginning of the year, but here we are.