Fantasy News & Analysis

Immediate fantasy football takeaways from NFL Week 15 Monday Night Football

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet (85) is tackled in the first quarter by Minnesota Vikings free safety Xavier Woods (23) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of the fantasy football playoffs has been bizarre. Typically, the week would be over, but there are two games Monday and two more Tuesday. The Cleveland Browns faced the Las Vegas Raiders while the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings square off. COVID-19 had a major impact on both games, as both the Bears and Browns had a combined 33 players out.

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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.

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns

  • Nick Chubb: 23 carries, 91 yards (78 yards after contact), 1 TD, 1 reception, 2 yards
  • Foster Moreau: 7 receptions, 65 yards (4 avoided tackles)
Cleveland Browns Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Donovan Peoples-Jones 52 28 8 0
Rashard Higgins 43 23 5 0
Demetric Felton 29 19 4 0
Anthony Schwartz 13 7 0 0
TE
David Njoku 56 29 5 0
Harrison Bryant 22 8 2 0
Miller Forristall 1 1 0 0
HB
Nick Chubb 38 14 1 23
D'Ernest Johnson 18 12 4 1
Total 56 30 29 24
Las Vegas Raiders Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Zay Jones 59 37 9 0
Hunter Renfrow 54 36 5 0
Bryan Edwards 48 32 4 0
DeSean Jackson 20 13 3 0
Tyron Johnson 2 0 0 0
TE
Foster Moreau 69 37 9 0
Daniel Helm 11 2 1 0
Nick Bowers 3 0 0 0
HB
Josh Jacobs 45 21 4 15
Peyton Barber 13 8 1 5
Jalen Richard 11 9 0 0
Total 69 41 36 23

The Browns without Kareem Hunt: Hunt was one of 19 Browns players who missed this game due to COVID-19. Nick Chubb was the first- and second-down back while D’Ernest Johnson took third downs and other passing situations. The Browns had a long two-minute drive to end the first half and were playing from behind, which made their snap counts relatively close. Chubb remains a must-start each week while Johnson can probably be avoided even if Hunt misses more time due to the Browns' tough schedule.

The Browns without Jarvis Landry: Landry missed this game due to COVID-19. It was the first game of the season where the Browns didn’t have Landry or Odell Beckham Jr., so Cleveland had to go further down the depth chart than usual. Donovan Peoples-Jones was the only recent starter who played. Rashard Higgins and Demetric Felton have had one catch each since the start of November, but Higgins started while Felton was Cleveland's primary slot receiver for the first time in his NFL career. All three players caught a few passed but not enough to make them waiver-wire targets. The Browns can save $15 million in cap space by cutting Landry after the season, but after this game, they probably won’t want to.

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The Browns without Austin Hooper: Hooper was yet another player who missed the game due to COVID-19. Hooper played 100% of offensive snaps with David Njoku out a week go. This week, Njoku played every snap, and he was one of the Browns leading receivers. Either one of these tight ends could have been a consistent fantasy starter this season without the other. Njoku could be a potential fantasy starter next week if Hooper misses another game. Njoku is a free agent after the season and has some late-round upside in 2022 drafts if he finds a new home.

Josh Jacobs trending down: The third year back consistently played at least two-thirds of the Raiders' offensive snaps prior to Monday. Jalen Richard returned to the Raiders Monday and was Las Vegas' third-down back. Jacobs was ineffective earlier in the game, which led to Peyton Barber playing more often. Barber gave the offense a spark, which is why played the most offensive snaps in a game since Week 3. Jacobs still touched the ball plenty but was relatively ineffective. He’s still a fantasy starter, but his upside is much more limited than last month.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

  • Justin Jefferson: 4 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD (33.3% threat rate)
  • Cole Kmet: 6 receptions, 71 yards (31 yards after the catch)
Minnesota Vikings Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Justin Jefferson 59 30 10 0
K.J. Osborn 56 28 3 0
Ihmir Smith-Marsette 31 22 2 0
Myron Mitchell 1 0 0 0
TE
Tyler Conklin 47 24 3 0
Luke Stocker 19 1 0 0
Chris Herndon 10 3 0 0
HB
Dalvin Cook 57 22 2 28
Kene Nwangwu 5 2 0 3
Total 64 30 21 31
Chicago Bears Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Darnell Mooney 69 46 7 1
Damiere Byrd 65 43 6 0
Dazz Newsome 47 34 1 0
Jakeem Grant 10 2 0 2
Nsimba Webster 1 0 0 0
TE
Cole Kmet 68 41 9 0
Jimmy Graham 19 13 2 0
J.P. Holtz 7 3 0 0
Jesper Horsted 2 2 1 0
HB
David Montgomery 51 25 6 18
Khalil Herbert 16 13 4 0
Damien Williams 5 5 0 0
Total 72 47 36 23

Drop Tyler Conklin: The Vikings tight end was consistently playing at least 80% of Minnesota's offensive snaps for the majority of the season, but that changed a week ago, as he played a season-low 70% of Chicago's offensive snaps, and continued Monday night. He usually left the field in run situations in favor of blocking tight ends, and it cost him a few routes run. He was held to a season-low seven receiving yards in this game.

The Vikings without Adam Thielen: The veteran wide receiver was a game-time decision but missed his third straight game. K.J. Osborn was an every-down player similar to the last two games. Minnesota's depth chart was. even thinner this week, as Dede Westbrook landed on the COVID-19 list. Westbrook was filling in as the receiver in 11 personnel, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette took that role. Smith-Marsette played more than 11 offensive snaps for the first time all season and caught his first NFL touchdown.

Monitor Jakeem Grant‘s injury: Grant suffered a concussion in the second quarter, which kept him out for the rest of the game. The Bears were already thin at wide receiver without Allen Robinson II and Marquise Goodwin. Darnell Mooney and Damiere Byrd were the clear starters. The Bears brought sixth-round rookie Dazz Newsome off the practice squad for his NFL debut. He and Grant split snaps in three-receiver sets prior to the latter's injury. Grant ended the game with two carries for 17 yards and no targets while Newsome didn't catch his only target.

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