This is the last week of the fantasy regular season in most leagues. It was a weird week with no Thursday Night game but two scheduled on Monday night and another on Tuesday. The early slate had a number of close finishes, though several elite running backs failed to score a touchdown. Plenty of No. 2 wide receivers put up big numbers and played a big role in determining which borderline fantasy teams made the playoffs.
As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action — and how we should react to anything new.
This article will be updated as late games wrap up.
|New Orleans Saints||Atlanta Falcons|
|Tre'Quan Smith – 63 snaps||Julio Jones – 63 snaps|
|Emmanuel Sanders – 49 snaps||Calvin Ridley – 63 snaps|
|Michael Thomas – 47 snaps||Russell Gage – 52 snaps|
|Juwan Johnson – 20 snaps||Brandon Powell – 12 snaps|
|Tommylee Lewis – 4 snaps||Christian Blake – 3 snaps|
|Josh Hill – 42 snaps||Hayden Hurst – 42 snaps|
|Jared Cook – 28 snaps||Luke Stocker – 24 snaps|
|Adam Trautman – 27 snaps||Jaeden Graham – 8 snaps|
|Alvin Kamara – 48 snaps||Ito Smith – 24 snaps|
|Latavius Murray – 32 snaps||Todd Gurley II – 22 snaps|
|Brian Hill – 11 snaps|
|Total – 78 snaps||Total – 67 snaps|
Kamara eased some of the recent concerns about his workload with Taysom Hill as the starting quarterback with 88 rushing yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. He handled three times the carries of backup Latavius Murray and looked more effective. Kamara’s receiving numbers were still down — he caught two of three passes for nine yards, while Hill greatly favored his wide receivers in the pass game. Kamara remains a must start regardless of his passing role, while Murray shouldn’t be started.
Hurst’s target share took a big hit in a rare game where all of the Falcons top receiving options were healthy. He caught one pass on four targets for nine yards. The top three wide receivers combined for 28 targets. To be fair to Hurst, he spent this week on the injury report with an ankle issue, which potentially impacted his performance. Someone is bound to have a bad game anytime all four receiving options are healthy, so Hurst should bounce back from this.
Gurley missed last week with a knee injury but returned to the lineup. Gurley typically leads the way on early downs while Brian Hill takes the third-down snaps. This time, Ito Smith took the early downs after a strong game a week ago, while Gurley handled the third downs. Smith looked the best of the group with 36 yards on eight carries. None of the backs were a factor in the pass game. Smith is the only back of the three under contract for 2021, so we could see his role continue to expand over the last month of the season.
|Detroit Lions||Chicago Bears|
|Marvin Jones Jr. – 64 snaps||Darnell Mooney – 56 snaps|
|Mohamed Sanu – 40 snaps||Allen Robinson II – 51 snaps|
|Danny Amendola – 33 snaps||Anthony Miller – 39 snaps|
|Quintez Cephus – 31 snaps||Javon Wims – 28 snaps|
|Jamal Agnew – 16 snaps||DeAndre Carter – 5 snaps|
|T.J. Hockenson – 54 snaps||Cole Kmet – 54 snaps|
|Jesse James – 24 snaps||Jimmy Graham – 34 snaps|
|Hunter Bryant – 5 snaps||Demetrius Harris – 6 snaps|
|J.P. Holtz – 1 snap|
|Adrian Peterson – 32 snaps||David Montgomery – 54 snaps|
|Kerryon Johnson – 30 snaps||Cordarrelle Patterson – 17 snaps|
|Jonathan Williams – 6 snaps||Ryan Nall – 2 snaps|
|Total – 68 snaps||Total – 69 snaps|
Montgomery’s play has improved as the season has progressed. He ran 17 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Cordarrelle Patterson was involved in the run game, too, with 59 yards on 10 carries and an additional touchdown. Montgomery caught all four passes for 39 yards to add to his fantasy value. The Bears’ schedule looks great from a fantasy perspective, which has certainly helped Montgomery’s value in recent weeks. His remaining schedule looks almost as good, so Montomgery could remain an RB1 over the rest of the season.
The Lions wide receiver rotation is constantly evolving. Kenny Golladay remains out with a hip injury. Marvin Hall played the second-most wide receiver snaps for Detroit a week ago, but he was released earlier in the week. Danny Amendola returned to the lineup after missing the last two weeks. This led to a four-person rotation behind Marvin Jones Jr. with Cephus looking the most impressive of the group. He caught a 49-yard touchdown pass near the end of the first half, along with a 14-yard pass. Cephus is the only wide receiver under contract among the top five on the depth chart, so he should see an extended role as the Lions’ playoff chances disappear.
Holtz left the game after one snap with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. He’s been a tight end/fullback hybrid all season, with more snaps as a fullback primarily coinciding with the increase in Cole Kmet’s playing time. Chicago only ran one play with a player lined up as a fullback the rest of the game, and Ryan Nall took that snap. If Holtz misses extended time, either Nall will see an increase in snaps or the Bears might look elsewhere for a fullback. This shouldn’t have any impact on Kmet because Kmet already took a lot of Holtz’s playing time in recent weeks.
|Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans|
|Michael Pittman Jr. – 58 snaps||Chad Hansen – 59 snaps|
|Zach Pascal – 55 snaps||Brandin Cooks – 53 snaps|
|T.Y. Hilton – 43 snaps||Keke Coutee – 48 snaps|
|Ashton Dulin – 8 snaps||Steven Mitchell Jr. – 6 snaps|
|De'Michael Harris – 4 snaps|
|Marcus Johnson – 1 snap|
|Mo Alie-Cox – 44 snaps||Jordan Akins – 45 snaps|
|Jack Doyle – 38 snaps||Darren Fells – 27 snaps|
|Trey Burton – 25 snaps||Kahale Warring – 6 snaps|
|Pharaoh Brown – 5 snaps|
|Jonathan Taylor – 33 snaps||David Johnson – 37 snaps|
|Nyheim Hines – 23 snaps||Duke Johnson Jr. – 34 snaps|
|Jordan Wilkins – 13 snaps|
|Total – 69 snaps||Total – 64 snaps|
Hilton has put together back-to-back great games after disappointing over the first three months of the season. He caught eight of 11 passes thrown his way for 110 yards and a touchdown. It was interesting to see Hilton function as the clear No. 3 in snaps for the first time this season. Hilton’s role hadn’t changed from recent weeks, but the other wide receivers rotated out less often than usual. Despite Michael Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal both playing the vast majority of snaps, they only managed a combined six catches for 57 yards. Pittman isn’t the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver for Indianapolis as he appeared to be a few weeks ago. Hilton is a big waiver wire target in leagues where he is available.
The Texans wide receiver depth chart has changed significantly with Will Fuller’s suspension, Randall Cobb remaining out with injury and the release of Kenny Stills. Chad Hansen took over as the outside receiver opposite Brandin Cooks while Coutee played in the slot. Coutee led the Texans receivers with eight catches on nine targets for 141 yards, while Hansen also put together a 100-yard performance thanks to his five catches on seven targets. Cobb is out at least one more week, and there is no reason to rush him back, so both should see significant playing time the rest of the season. Both wide receivers should be waiver wire targets, although it’s worth noting their next opponent in Chicago is great at shutting down wide receivers.
David Johnson returned after missing a month, but he didn’t come back to the role he had pre-injury. David was the primary back on early downs with Duke Johnson Jr. also seeing significant time. Duke took the majority of third-down snaps. David typically saw the vast majority of snaps in all situations. We also witnessed seven plays where both players were on the field at the same time. David ran 10 times for 44 yards and a touchdown but didn’t have a catch. Duke only ran twice, but he did catch all six passes thrown his way for 24 yards. As long as they are splitting playing time, neither of them can be trusted.
Brown left the game late in the first quarter with a concussion. He’s been a run-blocking tight end for Houston all season, playing significantly in two-tight-end sets. Jordan Akins took his place in those formations, resulting in the most playing time for Akins since Week 2. That didn’t translate to fantasy production, as Akins caught just two passes on three targets for 10 yards. If Brown misses more time, expect Akins to play on the vast majority of snaps.
|Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins|
|Tee Higgins – 47 snaps||DeVante Parker – 55 snaps|
|A.J. Green – 45 snaps||Jakeem Grant – 39 snaps|
|Tyler Boyd – 24 snaps||Lynn Bowden Jr. – 31 snaps|
|Alex Erickson – 19 snaps||Mack Hollins – 13 snaps|
|Mike Thomas – 13 snaps||Antonio Callaway – 13 snaps|
|Drew Sample – 45 snaps||Mike Gesicki – 49 snaps|
|Cethan Carter – 14 snaps||Durham Smythe – 41 snaps|
|Mason Schreck – 1 snap||Adam Shaheen – 26 snaps|
|Giovani Bernard – 35 snaps||Myles Gaskin – 50 snaps|
|Samaje Perine – 17 snaps||Patrick Laird – 19 snaps|
|Total – 52 snaps||Total – 70 snaps|
Gesicki put together his best performance in nearly two months with nine catches on 11 targets for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins had plenty of injuries at wide receiver coming into the game, which contributed to the strong performance. Typically in games where the Dolphins are leading most of the second half, Gesicki doesn't get as much playing time due to run formations. In this game, Gesicki did well despite the game script. With Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback and the injuries at wide receiver, Gesicki should maintain a very high target share over the rest of the season.
Gaskin returned from his stint on injured reserve. The Dolphins didn’t have the luxury of easing Gaskin back into action with Matt Breida, Salvon Ahmed and DeAndre Washington all missing this game for various reasons. The Dolphins weren’t getting anything done in the run game early, but Gaskin became more productive as the game went on. He ran for 90 yards on 21 carries. Gaskin was the Dolphins’ second-most effective receiver with 51 yards on two catches. Even when the Miami backs return to the active roster, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gaskin maintains the every-down role.
Allen left the game in the fourth quarter due to a chest injury and didn’t return. In the first quarter, he gained 72 yards thanks to Tyler Boyd’s work after the catch. No Bengals player had more receiving yards in the game than Boyd had on that one play. If Ryan Finley is the starter for Cincinnati going forward, it will be even worse for the Bengals’ receivers over the last few games. Boyd only caught the one pass, while A.J. Green didn’t have a catch for the third time in four weeks despite playing in over 75% of snaps in each of those four games.
Malcolm Perry has been the slot receiver for Miami in recent weeks, but he didn’t play due to injury. Bowden took over as the Dolphins’ slot receiver, and the rookie caught all four passes thrown his way for 41 yards. Coming into the game, he had only registered -1 receiving yard for his young career. Bowden has the chance to work his way further into the Dolphins’ wide receiver rotation for 2021.
|Las Vegas Raiders||New York Jets|
|Henry Ruggs III – 63 snaps||Breshad Perriman – 59 snaps|
|Nelson Agholor – 52 snaps||Denzel Mims – 50 snaps|
|Hunter Renfrow – 52 snaps||Jamison Crowder – 42 snap|
|Bryan Edwards – 15 snaps||Braxton Berrios – 5 snaps|
|Zay Jones – 7 snaps|
|Darren Waller – 74 snaps||Ryan Griffin – 42 snaps|
|Foster Moreau – 20 snaps||Chris Herndon – 41 snaps|
|Jason Witten – 16 snaps||Daniel Brown – 11 snaps|
|Devontae Booker – 33 snaps||Ty Johnson – 39 snaps|
|Jalen Richard – 32 snaps||Josh Adams – 19 snaps|
|Theo Riddick – 13 snaps||Frank Gore – 2 snaps|
|Total – 78 snaps||Total – 62 snaps|
Waller has been the second-best fantasy tight end this season and it hasn’t been that close. The gap between him and No. 3 grew significantly today after Waller’s career game. He caught 13 of 17 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Waller is the sixth tight end in NFL history to gain 200 receiving yards in a game. No tight end has ever had 13 or more catches, 200 or more yards and two or more touchdowns in a game prior to this game. Several fantasy managers will have Waller to thank for a playoff berth at the end of the week.
Josh Jacobs missed this game, leading many to believe Booker would be an every-down back in this matchup. Instead, Booker played in just over half of the early-down snaps and rarely on third downs. He still received the vast majority of carries for Las Vegas, leading to 50 yards on 16 carries. He caught one pass for one yard. If Jacobs misses another game, it will be hard to trust Booker in fantasy lineups in this rotation against a strong Colts run defense.
Gore left the field after two snaps to be evaluated for a concussion and didn’t return. This left the Jets with the duo of Ty Johnson and Josh Adams. The Jets used the two interchangeably, with Johnson playing a little more than Adams in each facet. Both looked impressive, with Johnson gaining 104 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown, while Adams gained 74 on eight attempts. Johnson caught both passes thrown his way for 13 yards, while Adams wasn’t targeted. If Gore misses a week, Johnson would be a strong waiver wire addition. La’Mical Perine will be on injured reserve at least one more week, and the Jets have a favorable matchup against the Seahawks run defense.
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Minnesota Vikings|
|D.J. Chark Jr. – 62 snaps||Adam Thielen – 83 snaps|
|Keelan Cole – 49 snaps||Justin Jefferson – 82 snaps|
|Collin Johnson – 39 snaps||Chad Beebe – 28 snaps|
|Laviska Shenault Jr. – 25 snaps||Olabisi Johnson – 8 snaps|
|Chris Conley – 8 snaps|
|Tyler Eifert – 51 snaps||Kyle Rudolph – 64 snaps|
|James O'Shaughnessy – 33 snaps||Tyler Conklin – 59 snaps|
|Eric Saubert – 17 snaps||Brandon Dillon – 2 snaps|
|James Robinson – 60 snaps||Dalvin Cook – 79 snaps|
|Dare Ogunbowale – 10 snaps||Ameer Abdullah – 4 snaps|
|Mike Boone – 2 snaps|
|Total – 71 snaps||Total – 91 snaps|
The Vikings have the best wide receiver duo in the NFL both by PFF grade as well as fantasy production. Every week, both receivers can be trusted to put up big numbers, while other great duos typically only have one receiver putting up big numbers per game. Jefferson caught nine of 12 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, while Adam Thielen caught eight of 11 for 75 yards and a touchdown. It’s the third-straight game where both receivers caught a touchdown. Their next opponent is Tampa Bay, which has given up plenty of fantasy points to wide receivers recently. The pair have a chance to continue their streak next week.
Johnson put up the best numbers for the Jaguars receivers a week ago, but it took multiple injuries before the game and one injury during the game for Johnson to see significant playing time. Most of the wide receivers were healthy today, but Johnson remained part of the rotation — he appeared to clearly pass Chris Conley on the depth chart. Johnson again led the Jaguars in receiving yards with 66 by catching four of the six passes thrown his way. Johnson is a waiver wire target if you need a wide receiver next week, as the Jaguars get the Tennessee Titans.
Chark had the opportunity to be the top wide receiver for the Jaguars this week but failed to produce. He led the team in both snaps and targets but only caught two passes for 41 yards. Chark has failed to gain 60 yards or catch a touchdown in six of the last seven games. He missed the previous week with a rib injury, so it’s possible that contributed to his lack of production.
|Cleveland Browns||Tennessee Titans|
|Rashard Higgins – 49 snaps||A.J. Brown – 62 snaps|
|Jarvis Landry – 48 snaps||Corey Davis – 56 snaps|
|Donovan Peoples-Jones – 41 snaps||Adam Humphries – 26 snaps|
|Ja'Marcus Bradley – 11 snaps||Cameron Batson – 22 snaps|
|Kalif Raymond – 14 snaps|
|Austin Hooper – 54 snaps||Geoff Swaim – 38 snaps|
|Harrison Bryant – 39 snaps||MyCole Pruitt – 32 snaps|
|David Njoku – 30 snaps||Anthony Firkser – 30 snaps|
|Stephen Carlson – 1 snap|
|Nick Chubb – 36 snaps||Derrick Henry – 39 snaps|
|Kareem Hunt – 35 snaps||Jeremy McNichols – 33 snaps|
|D’Ernest Johnson – 2 snaps|
|Total – 72 snaps||Total – 72 snaps|
The Browns didn’t have their lead cornerback Denzel Ward for this matchup, and Davis took advantage. Davis caught 11 of 12 passes thrown his way for 182 yards and a touchdown. This game gave Davis a career high in receiving yards, while also serving as his first game with double digit catches. Davis has the opportunity to not only help some fantasy managers make the playoffs, but also help some managers win some games. Tennessee has the Jaguars and Lions as the next two games on the schedule. Davis is an unrestricted free agent after the season, and his price went up after today.
Jonnu Smith missed the game with a knee injury. The Titans used a trio of tight ends, as usual, with Firkser taking the majority of pass routes. Firkser is typically the Titans’ tight end in third and long situations. His role expanded to playing 30 of 38 snaps in 11 personnel but never in the two-tight end sets. He caught five of seven passes for 51 yards. If Smith misses more games, Firkser will remain a borderline TE1. His 76.5 PFF receiving grade coming into the week is 11th-best among 42 qualifying tight ends, and he could be the Titans’ top receiving tight end in 2021.
Browns No. 3 wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge missed this game with a hamstring injury, paving the way for sixth-round rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones to see significant playing time for the third time in his career. He played a big role in the earlier stages of this blowout, catching a 75-yard touchdown pass. This was promising, but Hodge’s injury mostly allowed a higher target share for both Rashard Higgins and Jarvis Landry. Both starting receivers also scored a touchdown. Peoples-Jones is unlikely to be a waiver wire target in 2020, but he could work his way into a rotation for the Browns in 2021.
|New York Giants||Seattle Seahawks|
|Darius Slayton – 51 snaps||D.K. Metcalf – 70 snaps|
|Sterling Shepard – 27 snaps||Tyler Lockett – 62 snaps|
|Golden Tate – 18 snaps||David Moore – 45 snaps|
|Austin Mack – 8 snaps||Freddie Swain – 27 snaps|
|C.J. Board – 3 snaps||Penny Hart – 4 snaps|
|Evan Engram – 40 snaps||Jacob Hollister – 39 snaps|
|Kaden Smith – 37 snaps||Will Dissly – 39 snaps|
|Levine Toilolo – 32 snaps||Colby Parkinson – 2 snaps|
|Wayne Gallman – 28 snaps||Chris Carson – 42 snaps|
|Dion Lewis – 12 snaps||Carlos Hyde – 18 snaps|
|Alfred Morris – 11 snaps||DeeJay Dallas – 12 snaps|
|Total – 56 snaps||Total – 72 snaps|
The Giants won this game thanks to their run game. Wayne Gallman did all of the dirty work with 135 rushing yards on 16 carries, but Morris siphoned a lot of the fantasy value by scoring both of the Giants’ touchdowns. New York ran four plays within 10 yards of scoring — Morris was on the field for three of them and scored on two. Morris is the touchdown vulture of the week, but I wouldn’t expect that to continue. Gallman handled all 10 snaps within 10 yards of scoring over the previous two weeks, so he should be rewarded with the touchdowns going forward — like he had been for weeks.
McCoy replaced an injured Daniel Jones for this week. He didn’t contribute much to the pass game, with the Giants gaining nearly double the yards rushing as they did passing. He found a favorite target in Evan Engram, but the tight end caught only four of the eight passes thrown his way for 32 yards. Darius Slayton was the lone wide receiver to play in over half the snaps, but he saw just one target, which he caught for 14 yards.
Chris Carson returned to action last week and ended up easing into action by splitting early snaps with Hyde, while Hyde also played on third downs. Carson earned more playing time this week with two-thirds of the early-down work. Hyde maintained the third-down role but only played in half of the third-down snaps. This led to a total of two carries for 1 yard from Hyde, who also caught three passes for 10 yards. Part of Hyde’s problem is that DeeJay Dallas also worked his way back into the running back rotation. The schedule isn’t very favorable for any of the Seahawks’ running backs. The combination of lack of playing time and schedule makes Hyde droppable.
|Los Angeles Rams||Arizona Cardinals|
|Robert Woods – 61 snaps||DeAndre Hopkins – 64 snaps|
|Cooper Kupp – 53 snaps||Christian Kirk – 60 snaps|
|Van Jefferson – 40 snaps||Andy Isabella – 54 snaps|
|Josh Reynolds – 37 snaps||KeeSean Johnson – 45 snaps|
|Nsimba Webster – 1 snap||Trent Sherfield – 1 snap|
|Tyler Higbee – 69 snaps||Maxx Williams – 18 snaps|
|Gerald Everett – 60 snaps||Dan Arnold – 9 snaps|
|Johnny Mundt – 7 snaps||Seth DeValve – 2 snaps|
|Cam Akers – 52 snaps||Chase Edmonds – 37 snaps|
|Darrell Henderson – 17 snaps||Kenyan Drake – 29 snaps|
|Malcolm Brown – 13 snaps|
|Total – 82 snaps||Total – 64 snaps|
Arnold takes the winner spot by scoring the first touchdown of the game as well as the lost. Those were his only catches of the game, but he put up plenty of fantasy points on those two plays. The Cardinals tight ends haven’t been much of a factor this season, but this week could have been particularly bad for them. The Cardinals ran 42 plays out of 10 personnel. Arizona typically uses some 10 personnel each week, but this week they used is more than any time this season. This means that Andy Isabella might continue to see extended playing time even when Larry Fitzgerald is activated off the Covid-19 list. It also means it’s unlikely that Arnold has a repeat performance anytime soon.
Henderson and Cam Akers split playing time on the first two drives before Henderson left the game with a knee injury. Henderson returned for the second half but played in a limited role while Akers led the way. In his limited playing time, Henderson looked great as a runner with 49 yards on three carries and a touchdown. He added two catches for 25 yards. Akers gained 72 yards on 21 carries and also scored. Akers will probably be a little ahead of Henderson next week, but the gap between them isn’t nearly as big as the snaps and opportunities in this game indicate.
The Rams used a wide receiver rotation early in the season between Jefferson and Josh Reynolds. Los Angeles quickly abandoned that, with Reynolds taking the job while Jefferson was limited to a few snaps per game. The rookie continued to make a good play per game and slowly earned more playing time. The Rams went back to a full rotation between the two players this week. Jefferson caught four of five passes thrown his way for 27 yards, while Reynolds saw one target. It’s unlikely that Jefferson becomes a waiver wire target this year while he’s part of this rotation, but he should be an every-down player for Los Angeles in 2021.
|Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers|
|Greg Ward – 44 snaps||Davante Adams – 54 snaps|
|Jalen Reagor – 44 snaps||Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 46 snaps|
|Alshon Jeffery – 35 snaps||Allen Lazard – 42 snaps|
|Travis Fulgham – 25 snaps||Equanimeous St. Brown – 11 snaps|
|John Hightower – 18 snaps||Malik Taylor – 5 snaps|
|Dallas Goedert – 52 snaps||Robert Tonyan – 38 snaps|
|Zach Ertz – 27 snaps||Marcedes Lewis – 35 snaps|
|Richard Rodgers – 3 snaps||Dominique Dafney – 6 snaps|
|Jace Sternberger – 3 snaps|
|Miles Sanders – 35 snaps||Aaron Jones – 40 snaps|
|Boston Scott – 16 snaps||Jamaal Williams – 21 snaps|
|Jordan Howard – 11 snaps||Tyler Ervin – 4 snaps|
|Total – 62 snaps||Total – 61 snaps|
Adams has been incredible all season and today was no different. He caught 10 of 12 targets for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He has compiled five 100-yard games this season, and he’s caught at least one touchdown in seven straight games. It’s worth noting that teammate Aaron Jones also put up his best game in over two months with 130 rushing yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
The Eagles brought back Jordan Howard, who worked his way right back into the running back rotation. Sanders ran 10 times while the rest of the Eagles handled a total of 15 carries. Sanders gained 31 yards on those carries and never more than 8 yards on a play. He is one of five Eagles players with a target but no catch. Philadelphia never made it close enough to the end zone to see who would be the goal line back in those situations. If Jalen Hurts remains the starting quarterback, there is a chance both Hurts and Howard could take away some of Sanders’ touchdown opportunities going forward.
Ertz missed the last month and a half with a high-ankle sprain but returned to the Eagles lineup today. He had been the No. 1 tight end for Philadelphia, but today he played behind Dallas Goedert. Goedert played 34 of 44 snaps in 11 personnel, with a lot of Ertz’s snaps coming from two and three tight end sets. His return pushed Richard Rodgers down to third on the depth chart despite his good play recently. Goedert led the Eagles in receiving with five catches for 66 yards. Ertz was third on the team in targets with four. It’s unclear at the moment if the Eagles were easing Ertz into action, or if Goedert is the clear No. 1 tight end for Philadelphia going forward.
Sternberger left the game after three snaps with a concussion and didn’t return. His injury mostly resulted in the Packers not using any 13 personnel and Marcedes Lewis seeing more snaps out of 12 personnel. Robert Tonyan didn’t see his snaps impacted with Sternberger out, but he did put up a respectable 39 yards on four catches with a touchdown. If Sternberger misses more time, it won’t have a significant fantasy impact.
|New England Patriots||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Jakobi Meyers – 56 snaps||Jalen Guyton – 64 snaps|
|Damiere Byrd – 52 snaps||Keenan Allen – 62 snaps|
|N'Keal Harry – 34 snaps||Mike Williams – 59 snaps|
|Donte Moncrief – 15 snaps||Tyron Johnson – 15 snaps|
|Gunner Olszewski – 6 snaps||K.J. Hill – 9 snaps|
|Ryan Izzo – 43 snaps||Hunter Henry – 41 snaps|
|Dalton Keene – 23 snaps||Donald Parham – 19 snaps|
|Stephen Anderson – 15 snaps|
|Damien Harris – 33 snaps||Austin Ekeler – 43 snaps|
|Sony Michel – 22 snaps||Kalen Ballage – 27 snaps|
|James White – 19 snaps||Joshua Kelley – 3 snaps|
|Total – 67 snaps||Total – 72 snaps|
The Patriots won this game in large part due to their defense and special teams. Olszewski had a 70-yard punt return to start the second quarter to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. In the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach, Olszewski gained playing time as a wide receiver. He caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from backup Jarrett Stidham. That one catch was enough for Olszewski to lead the Patriots in receiving yards because New England was running the ball for most of the game. Stidham nearly had as many passing yards in two passes as Cam Newton had in three and a half quarters of football.
The Patriots leaned heavily on the ground game, but not from White. The Patriots seemed to have a two-back committee last week with Sony Michel being a distant third back. This week, Michel took the first- and second-down snaps White was handling in recent weeks, leaving White with 10 of a possible 52 early-down snaps. White didn’t receive a single carry on a day when the Patriots ran the ball 43 times. He caught three passes for a total of 1 yard. Newton was the typical touchdown vulture, scoring both Patriots rushing touchdowns. White can go back on the waiver wire with Michel taking aso many of the touches White could have had.
The Chargers went through a lot of running backs trying to find a replacement for Austin Ekeler, and they finally settled on Ballage. Then Ekeler returned to action and Ballage missed last week. Today was first time we saw the two together — they split carries with Ekeler gaining 36 yards on eight carries and Ballage gaining 34 yards on seven. The pass game is where Ekeler differentiated himself, catching four passes for 32 yards. Ballage gained five yards on three catches. The game script meant the Chargers couldn’t run a lot, but both backs should be more valuable in future weeks in non-blowouts.
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Tim Patrick – 59 snaps||Tyreek Hill – 61 snaps|
|Jerry Jeudy – 49 snaps||Sammy Watkins – 48 snaps|
|K.J. Hamler – 42 snaps||Demarcus Robinson – 37 snaps|
|DaeSean Hamilton – 12 snaps||Mecole Hardman – 21 snaps|
|Tyrie Cleveland – 2 snaps||Marcus Kemp – 2 snaps|
|Noah Fant – 54 snaps||Travis Kelce – 57 snaps|
|Nick Vannett – 30 snaps||Deon Yelder – 15 snaps|
|Troy Fumagalli – 7 snaps||Nick Keizer – 13 snaps|
|Melvin Gordon III – 35 snaps||Le'Veon Bell – 33 snaps|
|Phillip Lindsay – 26 snaps||Darrel Williams – 31 snaps|
|Royce Freeman – 4 snaps|
|Total – 66 snaps||Total – 54 snaps|
Kansas City didn’t put up as many points as usual, but Kelce put up his usual big numbers. He caught eight of 13 passes thrown his way for 136 yards and a touchdown. There have been 15 100-yard performances by tight ends this season, and Kelce has five of them. As long as Kelce keeps up his pace over the last month of the season, this will go down as one of the best tight end seasons ever.
Denver was able to find some success in the passing game, but Jeudy was relatively uninvolved. Noah Fant put up respectable numbers for a tight end, with 57 yards on four catches. Tim Patrick caught both touchdown passes for the Broncos but not much else. Jeudy was a non-factor in the game.
The rookie pass-catcher had no catches and saw just one target over the first 59 minutes of the game. He was thrown at three times in the last minute of the contest, resulting in one 5-yard catch and a game-clinching interception.
He caught at least two passes for 20 yards in each of the first 10 games of his career. He’s followed this up with a 0-yard performance and this 5-yard game. He can be dropped at this point since it would be hard to trust him next week and then the Broncos have a rough schedule for wide receivers in Weeks 15 and 16.
Edwards-Helaire has been battling the flu. He was active for the game but didn’t receive any playing time. Le’Veon Bell and Darrel Williams split the playing time Edwards-Helaire usually gets. Bell gained 40 yards on 11 carries while Williams gained 38 on six. Neither player was much of a factor in the passing game.
It was surprising how much playing time Williams was given with Bell’s history as an every-down back for other teams. It was also surprising that Williams was much more efficient with his carries. This game shouldn’t have any impact on Edwards-Helaire’s value for the rest of the season.