Fantasy News & Analysis

Immediate fantasy football takeaways from NFL Week 16 Saturday Night Football

Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a pass from Aaron Rodgers against Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) in the first quarter during their football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Samantha Madar/Green Bay Press Gazette -USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s Christmas Day and the NFL gave us a doubleheader with all four teams in playoff contention.

The first game highlighted the season of giving, as Aaron Rodgers gave touchdown passes to his wide receivers while Baker Mayfield gave interceptions to the Green Bay Packers defensive backs.

The second game was highlighted by the players who didn't play. The Indianapolis Colts were struck by multiple COVID-19 cases hours before the game. The Arizona Cardinals lost Pro Bowl running back James Conner and star rookie receiver Rondale Moore, who were both questionable but were made inactive.

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PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2021.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers

  • Davante Adams: 10 receptions, 114 yards, 2 TD (38.2% threat rate)
  • Nick Chubb: 17 carries, 126 yards, 1 TD, (41.2% first down or touchdown rate), 3 receptions, 58 receiving yards
Green Bay Packers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Davante Adams 55 34 13 0
Allen Lazard 52 32 5 1
Equanimeous St. Brown 47 29 0 1
Juwann Winfree 8 3 1 0
TE
Josiah Deguara 33 19 3 0
Marcedes Lewis 25 9 3 0
Tyler Davis 13 4 0 0
Dominique Dafney 3 0 0 0
HB
Aaron Jones 33 18 6 12
A.J. Dillon 26 12 3 9
Total 59 34 34 24
Cleveland Browns Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Donovan Peoples-Jones 58 37 6 0
Jarvis Landry 54 37 7 0
Rashard Higgins 44 29 6 0
Anthony Schwartz 11 5 1 2
Demetric Felton 4 2 0 0
TE
David Njoku 39 22 2 0
Austin Hooper 39 18 5 0
Harrison Bryant 17 9 1 0
HB
Nick Chubb 42 17 4 17
D'Ernest Johnson 26 17 1 4
Total 68 42 35 24

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The Packers without Marquez Valdes-Scantling: The Packers lost their starting wide receiver to COVID-19 earlier in the week. He was replaced by Equanimeous St. Brown. This effectively stopped the Packers from using four-receiver sets, which also resulted in more playing time for their tight ends.

While these players ran more routes, it ultimately led to more targets for the Packers starters. Davante Adams continued to make his case to be a first-team All-Pro while Allen Lazard performed well with 45 yards and a touchdown.

Aaron Jones stock continues to trend up: A.J. Dillon appeared to be taking over as Packers' primary runner in November, but Jones has recently regained the primary rushing and receiving role out of Green Bay's backfield. Jones doubled Dillon's carry and target totals prior to the last minute of the game. Jones can safely remain in fantasy starting lineups during championship weekend while Dillon is a riskier play.

The Browns are healthier at receiver: Jarvis Landry returned after missing last week due to COVID-19, and the Browns had all three of their tight ends for the first time since Week 12. Landry was, once again, the Browns' top wide receiver in terms of targets. Demetric Felton was the Browns slot receiver last week, but he barely played on offense Saturday. Austin Hooper and David Njoku rotated at tight end by drive, which hurt their fantasy potential. They both played close to 100% of Cleveland's offensive snaps when the other missed time.

Fantasy managers will be frustrated by the results of this game, as Baker Mayfield’s touchdowns went to fourth wide receiver Anthony Schwartz and third tight end Harrison Bryant. Neither had a target today outside of their touchdown catches.

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals

  • Chase Edmonds: 16 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD (31.3% first down rate), 8 receptions, 71 receiving yards
  • Jonathan Taylor: 27 carries, 108 yards (124 yards after contact)
Indianapolis Colts Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Michael Pittman Jr. 68 31 12 1
T.Y. Hilton 47 26 5 0
Keke Coutee 29 17 0 0
Ashton Dulin 27 9 2 0
Dezmon Patmon 5 2 1 0
TE
Mo Alie-Cox 62 22 2 0
Kylen Granson 31 8 1 0
Jack Doyle 2 0 0 0
HB
Jonathan Taylor 54 19 2 27
Nyheim Hines 18 8 1 3
Total 69 31 26 32
Arizona Cardinals Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
A.J. Green 56 38 3 0
Christian Kirk 55 40 9 0
Antoine Wesley 50 34 4 0
Andy Isabella 5 5 0 0
TE
Zach Ertz 63 44 13 0
Demetrius Harris 21 8 1 0
Darrell Daniels 6 2 0 0
HB
Chase Edmonds 60 36 9 16
Jonathan Ward 9 5 0 1
Total 65 44 39 20

Add Mo Alie-Cox: Jack Doyle suffered a leg injury on the second offensive snaps of the game and was ruled out. This allowed Alie-Cox to play significantly more than usual. He caught two passes for 42 yards. The Cardinals have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends all season, so it’s understandable that he didn’t produce at a high level despite his increased playing time.

Next week, the Colts play the Las Vegas Raiders, who has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends. He would be a great waiver option for fantasy managers who needs a tight end if Doyle misses next week.

The Cardinals without James Conner: Conner was questionable for the Cardinals due to a heel injury and ended up inactive. Therefore, Chase Edmonds was Arizona's every-down back. Edmonds wasn’t all that effective running the ball, but he scored a touchdown to save the fantasy managers who trusted him. Edmonds would be a must-start next week if Conner misses another game.

Jonathan Ward surpassed Eno Benjamin a week ago on the depth chart and served as Edmonds' primary backup. He mostly came in to give Edmonds a break on a pass play, which isn’t great news for Benjamin’s future.

The Cardinals without Rondale Moore: The Cardinals were already hurting at wide receiver with DeAndre Hopkins out for the rest of the regular season. Moore was also questionable coming into the game but ultimately was inactive due to an ankle injury.

Arizona changed its offensive strategy rather than looking further down the depth chart. The Cardinals used a lot more two-tight end sets than usual, as Demetrius Harris played more than usual. The wide receivers didn’t run many more routes run than usual, and because of the matchup, Zach Ertz had the best receiving game on the team. Next week’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys should be better for the Cardinals receivers.

The Colts without Zach Pascal: Pascal landed on the COVID-19 list just hours before kickoff, leaving the Colts scrambling to replace him. Indianapolis used several wide receivers to replace Pascal. T.Y. Hilton was used more use in two-receiver sets while Ashton Dulin also played a lot in 12 personnel sets. Hilton had one of his best games of the season, recording four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Keke Coutee was called up from the practice squad Saturday and was Pascal’s primary replacement in three-receiver sets. Dezmon Patmon also played more than usual and scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Indianapolis a two-score lead. This is largely a group to avoid, outside of Michael Pittman, regardless of Pascal's availability next week.

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