Mon Dec 30 10:16am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Derrick Henry tops 200 yards
It is hard to believe, but that is it. The regular season is over. It was quite the finish to the season, though, with several great games ending the NFL regular season. There were some great games in Week 17, making for some great entertainment if your fantasy season was over. But if you played fantasy games this week, there also were some good performances for fantasy teams. We had plenty of high scoring games and big-time fantasy performances.
Bears 21, Vikings 19
Fantasy Stud: Mike Boone. Boone was supposed to have his huge game last week but that didn’t happen. He showed his potential in this one, though, rushing 17 times for 148 yards and a touchdown as the starter for the Vikings. He also caught two passes for 12 yards, giving him 160 total yards. Boone has a lot in front of him on the depth chart in Minnesota but certainly looks like a talented player deserving of playing time.
Fantasy Dud: Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky was playing against backups much of the game, but that didn’t lead to good fantasy numbers for him. He didn’t score a touchdown and lost a fumble. Trubisky was 26-of-37 for 207 yards. It was a fitting end to his uneven season.
Game Notes: David Montgomery had his second 100-yard game of the season. He ran 23 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. Montgomery did not have a huge rookie year but established himself as the No. 1 back for the Bears.
Bengals 33, Browns 23
Fantasy Stud: Joe Mixon. Mixon took some time to hit his stride but played his best football late in the year. He had his best showing the last week. Mixon ran 26 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a catch for 14 yards. Mixon had 17-plus fantasy points three of his last four games. He also had three 100-yard rushing games during that stretch. He is looking better and better for the 2020 season in this offense.
Fantasy Dud: Nick Chubb. Chubb had a rare down game, rushing 13 times for 41 yards. He also caught just a pass for a yard. Chubb finished his season with two straight dud games, having fewer than 50-rushing yards two straight. He had fewer than six fantasy points each game. Chubb still had a great season, leading the AFC in rushing with nearly 1,500-rushing yards.
Game Notes: Odell Beckham found the end zone for the second straight game. He had three receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Beckham had a down year but still topped 1,000 yards for the season.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 21
Fantasy Stud: Damien Williams. Williams had some spectacular runs in this game, leading to a big performance. He ran 12 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including a 84-yard touchdown run. He averaged 10.3 yards per carry. Williams also had four receptions for 30 yards. Williams has played better the last two weeks as the lead back for the Chiefs, having 246 total yards and three touchdowns. He is making a case once again to be the top back of the Chiefs going forward.
Fantasy Dud: Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was not much of a help to his fantasy teams, having a very poor showing for his standards. He was 16-of-25 for 174 yards and a touchdown with an interception. His passing yard total was a season low. Mahomes scored just over 13 fantasy points after having 27-plus fantasy points two straight before this showing. Mahomes had a fine season but wasn’t quite as prolific as last year.
Game Notes: Philip Rivers played a pretty solid game on the road against a good pass defense. This might have been his last start as a Charger. Rivers was 31-of-46 for 281 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Dolphins 27, Patriots 24
Fantasy Stud: Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had some magic once again, leading his team to one of the biggest upsets of the season. Fitzpatrick was 28-of-41 for 3120 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. He also ran in a score, giving him two total touchdowns. Fitzpatrick had a solid fantasy season as the starter for the Dolphins, having 25-plus fantasy points five of his last six games.
Fantasy Dud: Julian Edelman. Edelman was surprisingly quiet in this favorable matchup, catching three passes for 25 yards. His fantasy point total was his second lowest of the season. He was banged up late in the year, though, and it showed in his fantasy production. Edelman had fewer than six fantasy points two of his last three games.
Game Notes: DeVante Parker continued his great play against a top defense, catching eight passes for 137 yards. Parker had two straight 100-yard games to end his season, topping 1,200 yards for the year.
Falcons 28, Bucs 22
Fantasy Stud: Breshad Perriman. Perriman had a spectacular touchdown catch in the corner of the season, helping to give him another good fantasy game. He had five receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown. Perriman had three straight 100-yard games to end his season. He excelled as the No. 1 receiver for the Bucs.
Fantasy Dud: Matt Ryan. Ryan had a pretty mediocre showing in what looked liked a great matchup for him. He was 30-of-51 for 313 yards and a touchdown without an interception. He did lose a fumble, though. Ryan had fewer than 20 fantasy points, breaking a streak of four straight games with 20-plus fantasy points. He had a solid overall season but his numbers were down a little from last year’s big season.
Game Notes: Jameis Winston had maybe the most fitting end to any season, getting picked off in overtime. The Falcons returned the interception for a touchdown, ending the game. Winston was 13-of-24 for 201 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Winston finished the year with 33 passing touchdowns and 30 interceptions, which was an NFL first.
Packers 23, Lions 20
Fantasy Stud: Davante Adams. Adams had a big game to finish his season, catching seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Adams had a great finish to his season, topping 22 fantasy points three of his last four games. Adams scored touchdowns four of his last six games. He missed four games because of injury but still finished three yards shy of a 1,000-yard season and scored five touchdowns.
Fantasy Dud: Danny Amendola. Amendola was really the last man standing for the Lions passing game but didn’t take advantage of that scenario. He had a chance to get a lot more targets but was unable to get open, catching two passes for 16 yards. You had higher hopes for Amendola with Marvin Jones out and Kenny Golladay leaving early because of injury.
Game Notes: Kenny Golladay was on his way to a big game but suffered a concussion, leaving early in the game. He had three receptions for 72 yards before departing with the concussion.
Jets 13, Bills 6
Fantasy Stud: Duke Williams. With the Bills resting starters, Williams took advantage of his opportunities. He had six receptions for 108 yards. Williams had just six receptions all season heading into this game, so it was a big surprise to see Williams produce such good numbers. Don’t expect a repeat in the playoffs.
Fantasy Dud: Robby Anderson. Anderson had his struggles, catching three passes for 18 yards. He had shown some signs of life late in the year, but was unable to get much going against the backup for the Bills. The conditions weren’t the best, though, because of rain and wind. Anderson had a really uneven season as the No. 1 target for the Jets.
Game Notes: Jamison Crowder had eight receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Crowder scored touchdowns two of his last three games.
Saints 42, Panthers 10
Fantasy Stud: Drew Brees. Brees was 19-of-30 for 253 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. Brees had four straight three-touchdown games to end his season. He had a big year despite missing five games because of injury. He had 28 total touchdowns to just four interceptions. Brees showed he still has plenty left in the tank at this stage of his career.
Fantasy Dud: Curtis Samuel. Samuel was supposed to be the top target in the passing game with D.J. Moore out, but didn’t lead the way in receiving by any means. He had just two receptions for 13 yards. Samuel seemed setup for a much better showing but was unable to get it going the last game of the season.
Game Notes: Will Grier was a disaster as the starter, going 1-of-8 for four yards. He also was banged up in the game, taking several big hits. Kyle Allen was a little better in relief, going 25-of-41 for 295 yards with an interception.
Cowboys 47, Redskins 16
Fantasy Stud: Michael Gallup. Gallup sure finished his season on a high note, scoring three touchdowns. He had five receptions for 98 yards and three scores. Gallup had 95-plus yards three of his last four games. He had more than 1,100 yards this year and six touchdowns. He had a breakout season as the No. 2 receiver in this offense. Things are looking up for Gallup.
Fantasy Dud: Jason Witten. With this possibly being his last game, many thought Witten might go out with a bang. That wasn’t the case, though. He had four receptions for 24 yards. He was pretty quiet much of the season, having fewer than 50 yards eight straight games to end his season. This probably was his last game in the NFL, ending a great career as the top tight end for the Cowboys.
Game Notes: Dak Prescott was 23-of-33 for 303 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Prescott had his best fantasy season to date, finishing 88 yards shy of a 5,000-yard season while scoring 33 total touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.
Broncos 16, Raiders 15
Fantasy Stud: Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow had six receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. He had 100-yard games and touchdowns each of his last two, ending his season with his best numbers of his rookie year. Renfrow looks to be a big part of this offense for years to come, serving as the top slot receiver for the Raiders.
Fantasy Dud: Courtland Sutton. Sutton had a pretty mediocre finish to his season, catching four passes for 52 yards. He had a breakout year, topping 1,100 yards, but was a little down late in the year. He had fewer than 55 yards three of his last four games. He still has a very bright future as the top target in this passing game.
Game Notes: Darren Waller had six receptions for 107 yards. This was his fifth 100-yard game of the season.
Rams 31, Cardinals 24
Fantasy Stud: Tyler Higbee. Higbee continued his red hot play down the stretch, catching eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Higbee was arguably the best fantasy tight end in the game the last five games of the season. Higbee had 43 receptions for 522 yards and two touchdowns his last five games. It was some finish to the season for Higbee, who start get to start from day one in 2020.
Fantasy Dud: Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is another player that might have played his last game but finished with a bit of a thud. He had four receptions for 45 yards. You expected better from Fitzgerald, especially with the Cardinals throwing for more than 300 yards. Fitzgerald had four straight games with fewer than 50 yards to end his season.
Game Notes: Kyler Murray was able to play with his hamstring injury and did pretty well, finishing 26-of-42 for 325 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. The injury did limit him on the ground, though, rushing two times for no gain.
Eagles 34, Giants 17
Fantasy Stud: Boston Scott. Scott took advantage of more chances because of an injury to Miles Sanders. Scott had big game, finding the end zone three times. He ran 19 times for 54 yards and three scores. He also had four receptions for 84 yards, giving him 138 total yards and three touchdowns. Scott could be the starter next week if Sanders is unable to go.
Fantasy Dud: Dallas Goedert. Goedert seemed setup for a ton of work with Zach Ertz out, but he was unable to capitalize with a big fantasy performance. He had four receptions for 65 yards. His numbers weren't terrible but you just thought better things were coming from Goedert in Week 17.
Game Notes: Saquon Barkley topped 100 total yards for the third straight game. He ran 17 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 25 yards, giving him 117 total yards.
Jaguars 38, Colts 20
Fantasy Stud: Gardner Minshew. Minshew made a strong case to be the starter from day one next year for the Jaguars. He had a great last game, going 27-of-39 for 295 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. He had a little bit of an up and down rookie year, but showed some very good things along the way. He could be the starter for the Jaguars in 2020.
Fantasy Dud: D.J. Chark. The Jaguars had three passing touchdowns and threw for nearly 300 yards, but Chark was not part of the fun. He had four receptions for 34 yards. Chark had a great rookie season, hitting the 1,000-yard mark. He was a little banged up down the stretch, though, leading to a poor finish. He had fewer than 50 yards four of his last five games.
Game Notes: Marlon Mack had his first multiple touchdown game of the season. He ran 15 times for 77 yards and two scores. He found the end zone three of his last four games.
Ravens 28, Steelers 10
Fantasy Stud: Benny Snell. Snell was one of the few bright spots offensively in this game. He ran 18 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. Snell showed pretty well his rookie year, finishing with 426-rushing yards despite having double-digit carries just five times all year. He could have an expanded role from day one next year.
Fantasy Dud: Robert Griffin. Griffin didn’t have quite the start as expected, but tough conditions (rain, wind) were a big factor in his poor fantasy production. He was 11-of-21 for 96 yards with an interception. The only positive for Griffin was his rushing totals, running eight times for 50 yards.
Game Notes: Gus Edwards led the way at running back for the Ravens and ran 21 times for 130 yards. Edwards was not the starter for the Ravens all season but still managed 711-rushing yards as the No. 2 back for the Ravens.
Titans 35, Texans 14
Fantasy Stud: Derrick Henry. Henry had his first 200-yard rushing game of the season, running 32 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns. This is the second straight season Henry had monster numbers to end his year. He had 100-yard games five of the last six games he played. He led the AFC in rushing and scored 18 touchdowns. Henry was one of the best fantasy backs in the game.
Fantasy Dud: Jonnu Smith. Smith started to get more touches down the stretch but was a nonfactor in this game. He didn’t even catch a pass. He wasn’t even targeted. Smith did run once for seven yards, though, so at least he got some yards. Smith is a big-play threat at the position but hasn’t enjoyed the consistency to earn a starting job just yet.
Game Notes: A.J. Brown hit the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season. He had four receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. He went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season with his big performance.
49ers 26, Seahawks 21
Fantasy Stud: Deebo Samuel. Samuel just seems to get better every week. He had five receptions for 102 yards. Samuel also ran two times for 33 yards and a touchdown, giving him 135 total yards in the game. Samuel has touchdowns two straight and three 100-yard receiving games this season. He is a playmaker that should be a big part of this offense for years to come.
Fantasy Dud: Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo didn’t have a bad game but it wasn’t a good one for fantasy teams. He failed to score a touchdown, going 18-of-22 for 285 yards without a touchdown or an interception. He moved the offense and won the game on the road, but didn’t score many fantasy points in the victory.
Game Notes: Marshawn Lynch just signed this week but led the Seahawks backfield in carries. He ran 12 times for 34 yards and a touchdown. Lynch looked pretty good considering he had not played a game all season.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Hot Starts: Week 3
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday but is in line to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Golladay suffered a strained hamstring in practice on Sept. 9 and has missed the first two games of the season. Normally a pretty solid WR1 option for fantasy lineups, the Lions No. 1 wideout will carry a bit more risk with him if he makes his 2020 debut this weekend. Plus, Golladay will likely be covered by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, which won't be an easy task by any means. You're probably starting Golladay if he's active, but it might be wise to temper expectations a bit. If he's back, it'll be bad news for Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) missed his second straight practice on Thursday. It's not a good sign for the 23-year-old after he missed the Week 2 game. Brown will need to get in at least a limited practice on Friday to have a shot at suiting up this Sunday against the Vikings. Have a backup plan in place if you own him. Corey Davis will be worth flex consideration if Brown misses another game, Adam Humphries would have some sleeper potential in DFS and deeper leagues, and tight end Jonnu Smith would have real TE1 appeal after going for four catches, 84 yards and two touchdowns without Brown in the lineup last weekend.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was a popular pick to have a breakout game against the Dolphins in Week 3, but it didn't happen, as he finished with just 33 receiving yards. Shenault did record five receptions, but with his usage mainly coming in the short-yardage passing, Shenault didn't have the chance to do much with the opportunities he received. Moving forward, Shenault is a low-ceiling fantasy option until we actually see him used in a way that offers a chance for him to produce more than just a handful of yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Thompson continued to see his role expand on Thursday night, catching five passes for 35 yards and adding three rushing yards on two carries. Thompson isn't the same receiving threat that he was in Washington, but he's becoming a larger part of things for the Jaguars. That doesn't mean you need to rush out and put him in your fantasy lineups moving forward, but it's worth keeping an eye on what Thompson does in Week 4 against the Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole caught four passes for 43 yards in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was Cole's first game this year without a touchdown. Thursday showed us what Cole's floor this year likely looks like: a handful of catches with an average of around 10 yards per reception. You'll take that in deeper leagues, but he's likely just a tad too inconsistent to be a weekly start in 12-team leagues, especially when you consider this was a matchup that felt ripe for the taking for the Jaguars passing game and they responded with their worst offensive output of the season.
With D.J. Chark Jr. (chest/back) out, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley was a popular pick to see an expanded role on Thursday night. And he did, as he led the team in targets with eight. The problem? Drops and some poor positioning led to Conley catching just three of those passes for 34 yards. This was his chance to impress and show he deserved a larger role, and it just didn't happen. Conley's on the fringes of rosterability in season-long leagues at this point, with his value fully dependent on Chark missing more time.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson was the only consistent source of production in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. The undrafted rookie ran the ball 11 times, finishing with 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions, catching six of them for 83 yards. Robinson might be the only player who can be a weekly starter on this offense right now and should be considered a fantasy RB2 going forward. Even when the Jaguars offense looks like a train wreck, Robinson manages to get his numbers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars weren't supposed to be blown out by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, but they were, as the Dolphins took the 31-13 victory. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggled all night, going 30-for-42 for 275 yards with no touchdowns while throwing an interception and narrowly avoiding throwing a second. He also added 22 yards on the ground. Minshew was a huge disappointment to fantasy managers, and now we have reason to doubt the mustached passer, who we thought was on his way to being a consistent fantasy QB2.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has his most formidable challenge of the 2020 season thus far against the Chiefs on Monday night. The third-year signal-caller has played relatively well against Kansas City throughout his career (two games), throwing for 414 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 22 carries for 113 yards and an additional score. While his previous performances against the squad doesn't guarantee a similar output, it is reasonable to assume that fantasy managers may see the same type of production once again. In case there was any doubt, keep him starting in all formats.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample caught seven of his nine targets for 45 yards against the Browns in Week 2. Although it's unlikely that rookie quarterback Joe Burrow will throw 61 passes against the Eagles as he did against Cleveland, the sophomore will likely be in line for an uptick in production after Cincy lost C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. While Sample probably can't be depended on for consistent production moving ahead, he is a suitable dart throw for those in need of a tight end in Week 3 and the remainder of the year.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has racked up 11 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown throughout his first two games of the year. With A.J. Green back in the mix after missing some time due to injury, concerns emerged as to whether or not Boyd would be able to produce a third-straight 1,000-yard season. Nonetheless, as the 25-year-old builds a familiar rapport with rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow, the door could open for an uptick in fantasy production moving head. While Green, John Ross III, and Tee Higgins will also be looking for Burrow's attention, Boyd may emerge as the undisputed No. 1 wideout for the team from a production standpoint. As far as his Week 3 outlook against the Eagles, fantasy managers should keep him starting, regardless of format.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley continues to get work as the No. 2 running back. Kelley received 52% of the snaps out of the backfield and 23 carries compared to the 16 that starter Austin Ekeler got. Kelley has now recorded 124 rushing yards on 35 attempts and has scored one touchdown in two games. He has also chipped in with a pair of catches for 49 yards. The Chargers have a favorable matchup against a Panthers Defense that has given up the sixth most points per game this season. Kelley is a solid option at the flex position for managers in Week 3.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will look to build off of a strong Week 2 outing in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers. Allen was a beneficiary of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert drawing the last minute start over Tyrod Taylor (chest) this past Sunday. Allen capitalized by hauling in seven of his 10 targets for 96 yards. The Panthers Defense is 10th in the league in allowing the fewest receiving yards per game, but that same defense has allowed 32.5 points per game this year and that would increase the odds of Allen getting a chance for his first touchdown. Allen should be considered a low-end WR2 in Week 3.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has been off to a hot start in 2020, but will have a tough challenge against the Panthers in Week 3. Henry has been one of the better options at a tough position and most importantly has looked healthy in two games. The Panthers have been successful in shutting down the tight end position thus far and have held Darren Waller, Jason Witten, O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski to just eight catches and 58 yards over the first two weeks. Henry should still be considered a TE1, but this will be his toughest test so far this season.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green hasn't had the most spectacular 2020 campaign but will attempt to get on track against Philadelphia in Week 3. Despite being targeted 22 times by rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow throughout the first two games of the year, the veteran has hauled in only eight of them for an unimpressive 80 yards. After having not played for nearly two years due to injury, the 32-year-old may have needed a game or two to get rid of any residual rust. While many are likely apprehensive about starting him against the Eagles due to his underwhelming play thus far, he has done enough throughout his career to earn another start or two before fantasy managers decide whether or not to pull the plug. For now, keep him starting.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler will look to continue his strong season with a matchup against the Panthers in Week 3. Ekeler has been sharing work with rookie Joshua Kelley and received 56% of the snaps in Week 2. Kelley also got a big chunk at 52% last Sunday. The backfield has worked out well so far for fantasy managers and Ekeler should be considered a low-end RB1 against a defense that is allowing 127.5 yards per game and 32.5 points. Ekeler has rushed for 177 yards on the season with five receptions for 58 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get things going against Philadelphia on Sunday. The 24-year-old has been a colossal disappointment through the first two games of the year, racking up an underwhelming 115 yards off of 35 attempts for a miserable 3.3 YPC. He has also hauled in just five catches for 42 yards. The former Sooner isn't a stranger to slow starts, especially since he didn't score on the ground until Week 11 of the 2019 campaign. Although Mixon hasn't done much to earn the trust of fantasy managers, there aren't many options with an upside as high as his. Keep him starting in all formats against the Eagles in Week 3.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will look to keep things on track in Week 3 against the Eagles. The rookie has had an impressive inaugural season, throwing for 509 yards, three touchdowns, and only one interception throughout his first two games. He has also racked up 65 yards and an additional score on 15 attempts on the ground. The 23-year-old has displayed maturity and game-management skills well beyond his years. Although he may have a few rough performances over the team's next 14 games, fantasy managers, especially in deep, Superflex leagues, shouldn't hesitate to roll with Burrow against Philadelphia on Sunday as the upside is certainly there.
The Cleveland Browns Defense is a solid fantasy option for their Week 3 matchup against the Washington Football Team. Washington's offense has not been very potent through two weeks, scoring 42 total points and while allowing seven sacks and committing two turnovers. Cleveland is installed as a seven-point home favorite in a game that could be rather low-scoring. Fire up the Browns defense as a top-10 fantasy option for Week 3.
Jacksonville Jaguars LB Leon Jacobs (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 3 game and has been ruled out.