Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football Divisional Round Sunday Recap: Travis Kelce goes over 100 yards again, Leonard Fournette continues to impress

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the second half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

I believe I speak for all fantasy football fanatics when I say that Divisional Weekend paled in comparison to last week’s six games of action. We hardly saw any offensive shootouts, and our hearts stopped when Patrick Mahomes was ruled out with a concussion.

But there were plenty of awesome DFS performances across the board during Sunday’s action. Travis Kelce went for over 100 yards receiving, essentially cementing his status as a first-round pick in 2021 redraft formats. Leonard Fournette continued his impressive stretch of postseason success with over 100 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches with a receiving touchdown.

Let’s dig into both Sunday games to see who else stepped up as we look forward to conference championships and 2021 fantasy football redraft season. I'll hit on fantasy points, snap counts, routes run, goal-line usage, targets, target shares and other major takeaways.

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The major takeaway in this game was Mahomes' second-half concussion. The superstar QB left and did not return, but the team was able to emerge victorious with Chad Henne taking over to finish the game. 

Henne looked shaky to start, especially after throwing an awful interception right to the Browns in the end zone. Still, the career journeyman was able to pick up the game-clinching first down on a pass to Tyreek Hill to send Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game.

That pass was one of eight that Hill caught on Sunday. The Chiefs’ speedy wideout compiled 110 receiving yards, which does not come as a surprise against a barren Cleveland secondary.

What’s more surprising is that Mecole Hardman’s usage was way up in this contest. He ran just two fewer routes than Kelce (35) — his highest total since Week 9. He also tied Darrel Williams for third on the team in total targets (four). 

But Hardman's role was almost exclusively as a receiver on designed plays. He was repeatedly targeted on short throws behind the line of scrimmage and finished with a -2.5 aDOT.

Williams played 80% of the snaps and totaled 18 touches in the win. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was ruled out before kickoff, which slid Williams into the starting role over Le’Veon Bell

Bell played just 17% of the snaps and saw only two carries and two targets. 

The process was there for Austin Hooper to have an uber-productive outing versus the Chiefs, but alas he fell victim to another tight end on his team hogging all the targets. David Njoku ran five fewer routes and played 10 fewer snaps but was by far one of the Browns’ best receivers on the day.

The athletic tight end hauled in four of his six targets for 59 receiving yards while Hooper finished with just two catches for 16 yards.

Jarvis Landry did his best low-aDOT JuJu Smith-Schuster impression with 11 targets, seven catches and 20 yards, and Rashard Higgins flashed explosiveness on the outside. The Browns’ X receiver caught five balls for 88 yards; four of his catches were chunk gains of 15 yards or more. 

My concerns about Kareem Hunt’s passing game usage also came to fruition. Nick Chubb out-targeted (five vs. two) Hunt despite running five fewer routes. Chubb also out-carried Hunt 13 to six. 

Don’t go into next season thinking that Hunt has the pass-catching role in the Browns’ backfield all to himself. 

Rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones emerged as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver playing clearly ahead of KhaDarel Hodge. With rumors that Odell Beckham Jr. could move on and with Higgins an impending free agent, DPJ could find himself in a larger role come 2021. 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Jan 17, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter in a NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In what was likely the final chapter of Drew Brees career, the Saints’ quarterback could not have gone out in a worse fashion. Brees posted a 37.0 PFF passing grade, throwing three interceptions and averaging an abysmal 3.6 yards per attempt.

His ineffectiveness was felt most by Michael Thomas, who didn't manage a single catch on five targets. This was the first game in Thomas’ career in which he failed to catch at least two passes. 

The only offensive production the Saints got from their receivers came from Tre’Quan Smith, who caught both of the Saints touchdowns. One was on a trick play on a pass from Jameis Winston, who will be a free agent in 2021.

Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook led the team in targets, but neither amassed more than 50 yards. Sanders’ role seems destined to remain inconsistent with a new quarterback under center next year, and Cook may not be re-signed by New Orleans as they turn the keys over to rookie tight end Adam Trautman

Deonte Harris started this game where he picked up last week, looking electric on kick returns. Unfortunately, the special team star was forced out of action early due to a neck injury. He’s a name to keep tabs on this offseason because he was always flashed elusiveness when given opportunities. 

Alvin Kamara had his third straight game with at least 20 touches, but it was still not enough to help get the team the win. The Saints’ running back is going to be one of the most debated players all offseason — if Taysom Hill ends up under center full time, it will be extremely tough to project Kamara for his usual receiving workload.

The Saints turned the ball on four separate occasions, so Tom Brady didn’t have to do much to get the job done for Tampa. He threw for 199 yards and two scores, while also adding a rushing touchdown. He totaled three big-time throws. 

Mike Evans was basically shut down by Marshon Lattimore for the majority of the game, but did come away with one 3-yard touchdown grab to earn the last laugh. Chris Godwin led the Buccaneers in targets (seven) and was extremely close to making a fantastic catch in the end zone but was ultimately unable to hold on as he went to the ground. 

Antonio Brown was a non-factor in the second half due to an injury. He tweaked something during the first half of the game, so the team used more of Tyler Johnson and Rob Gronkowski after the break. 

Cameron Brate and Gronk split tight end snaps almost 50/50 with both players commanding five targets. Brate was more productive (four catches for 50 yards) than Gronk (one catch for 14 yards), but two of Gronk’s targets were inside the 10-yard line.

Gronkowski also ran more routes than Brate for the first time in three weeks. 

Leonard Fournette was the workhorse for the Buccaneers’ offense, earning 17 carries and five targets in the passing game on a 69% snap share. The Buccaneers heavily leaned on both their running backs, as Ronald Jones saw 13 carries and rushed for just one fewer yard than Fournette (62). 

I’d expect that Fournette remains the starter for next week’s matchup, but it's much more of a 1A/1B situation because Jones is healthy now and is going to be involved in some capacity. 

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

    Elite
  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

    Edge
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr