• T.J. Hockenson scores twice: Hockenson became the first tight end with 13 receptions in a game this season and helped fantasy managers further with two scores.
• Career day for James Cook: The Buffalo Bills rookie running back set a new career high in rushing yards while also scoring his second rushing touchdown. This helped the Bills to victory in one of the coldest games of the week.
PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022.
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• Alvin Kamara: 20 carries, 76 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 34 receiving yards
• Taysom Hill: 9 carries, 56 yards, 1 touchdown
- Landry joined Michael Thomas and Deonte Harty on injured reserve earlier in the week with an ankle injury.
- Olave didn’t practice all week with a hamstring injury but could be back as early as next week.
- Undrafted rookie Rashid Shaheed has been an up-and-coming wide receiver over the past month. He led the team in routes, targets, receptions and receiving yards.
- Tre’Quan Smith joined Shaheed for most passing plays but was held without a target.
- Marquez Callaway and Keith Kirkwood also saw significant playing time. Callaway was almost exclusively a blocker, whereas Kirkwood played in both run and pass situations. Neither caught a pass.
- The Saints play the Philadelphia Eagles next week, a game in which they will need to throw much more than 15 times.
Consider sitting David Njoku: Njoku put up a disappointing two catches for 14 yards, and next week might not be much better.
- Njoku has been held under 30 receiving yards in four of his past five games since returning from injury.
- His poor performance was partially due to the weather, as the two quarterbacks combined for a 50% completion percentage in the high winds and cold.
- It was also predictable because he was facing a Saints defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
- The only team that has allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends is the Washington Commanders, who happen to be the Browns' opponent next week.
• Drake London: 7 receptions, 96 yards
• Gus Edwards: 11 carries, 99 yards
- He ran the ball 18 times for 74 yards and added four catches for 43 receiving yards.
- He’s typically been the Falcons' primary receiving back, but this was the first time in months that he also played a majority of snaps on early downs, as well as in short-yardage situations even though they weren’t converted to touchdowns.
- His quality of play has been consistent in recent weeks. He’s averaged 5.8 yards per carry since Week 11.
- The Falcons play the Arizona Cardinals next week. This is a much better matchup, as the Falcons could be playing from ahead, and Arizona has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
- The combination of Allgeier’s increased role and the matchup could make Allgeier the top waiver wire option at running back for the week, barring an injury in a later game.
- He’s also done enough to potentially keep the starting job in 2023.
- Watkins played for Baltimore in 2021, so it likely wasn’t difficult for him to get up to speed in the offense.
- The Ravens were in need of a wide receiver after Devin Duvernay broke a bone in his foot, which landed him on injured reserve.
- Watkins caught a 40-yard pass on his only target, which was good enough for the second-most receiving yards on the team.
- Demarcus Robinson continued to be the Ravens' top receiver and scored the game's only touchdown.
- Robinson is a potential waiver target in deep leagues for when the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. The Steelers have allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to wide receivers this season.
- It would be a big gamble, as the game script could be similar to this — where Baltimore runs all game.
• D’Onta Foreman: 21 carries, 165 yards, 1 touchdown
• D.J. Moore: 5 receptions, 83 yards, 1 touchdown
Shane Zylstra with the hat trick: Zylstra had eight career catches coming into today’s game and out of nowhere scored three touchdowns.
- The Lions have used a committee approach at tight end since trading away T.J. Hockenson.
- They have typically used Brock Wright and Garrett Griffin in two-tight end sets — Wright in one-tight end sets on early downs and Zylstra as the tight end on third downs and two-minute drills.
- This usage remained true in Week 16. The Lions even ran eight plays in three-tight end sets, and half the time Zylstra wasn’t one of those three tight ends.
- Two of Zylstra’s three touchdowns came from three-tight end sets despite him not always playing in that personnel grouping.
- Zylstra will likely be the Lions’ top receiving tight end over the rest of the season, but he doesn’t see enough playing time to seriously consider him next week.
- The Lions play the Chicago Bears in Week 17, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
D’Andre Swift sees more playing time: Swift received his most playing time in months, but that didn’t translate to more fantasy production.
- Swift was the clear leader in snaps on both early downs and third downs, which has rarely happened this season.
- He’s consistently been the team’s running back during two-minute drills, and the fact that Detroit ran so many plays in two-minute drills pushed him over 50% of offensive snaps for the game.
- Detroit’s continued use of a three-back committee is still hurting Swift’s fantasy production, as well as his lack of goal-line snaps.
- None of the Lions' running backs were effective today. Swift led the team with 3.0 yards per carry but ran the ball just four times.
- He saw plenty of targets, but they were largely on uncatchable passes.
- It will still be hard to trust Swift next week with how touchdown-dependent he’s been.
- Detroit has five 2023 draft picks in the first three rounds, and it’s certainly possible they use one on a running back.
Panthers continue a two-man rotation at running back: Chuba Hubbard seemed to be gaining momentum as the Panthers’ lead back, but it became clear this was the same backfield rotation we’ve seen the past two months.
- Hubbard led the team in early-down snaps last week and maintained all of his passing-down work. That was in a game where D’Onta Foreman had nine yards on 10 carries.
- Hubbard started the game for Carolina, something he hadn’t done since Week 7.
- His first two runs went for 30 yards and 35 yards.
- He ran the ball 10 more times for 60 yards throughout the game, but Foreman also looked great as a rusher and ended up leading the team in carries by a significant number.
- The fact that both running backs had an excellent game is great, but the split in snaps will make it much harder to trust Hubbard next week compared to him having an every-down role.
- The Panthers play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. They have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.
- Both backs posted double-digit fantasy points against Tampa Bay in Week 7, so it’s at least possible both can be fantasy starters again.
• Travis Kelce: 6 receptions, 113 yards
• Kenneth Walker III: 26 carries, 107 yards, 2 receptions, -2 receiving yards
Monitor Travis Homer’s health: Homer suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.
- The health of Seattle’s running backs was already a topic of discussion coming into the game. Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas were both questionable this week with ankle injuries.
- Seattle activated both Wayne Gallman and Godwin Igwebuike from the practice squad to the 53-man roster just to be safe. Gallman was among the seven players inactive for the game, while Igwebuike didn’t play on offense.
- Walker played his usual role in the offense, while Dallas took over all of the snaps Homer would typically play.
- Walker will be a must-start next week, regardless of the health of the backups, despite a tough matchup against the New York Jets.
Monitor Marquise Goodwin’s health: Goodwin suffered a wrist injury at the start of the third quarter but was able to return by the fourth quarter.
- The Seahawks were already without Tyler Lockett, who was inactive after having surgery on a broken bone in his hand.
- Goodwin typically played only in three-receiver sets, but he and Laquon Treadwell took the snaps in 12 personnel that would typically go to Lockett. Treadwell took Lockett’s snaps in three-receiver sets.
- Penny Hart became the team’s third receiver while Goodwin missed roughly a quarter of the game with his injury.
- This mostly meant other players on the team received more targets. The top three receivers in terms of receiving yards were D.K. Metcalf, a running back and a tight end.
- The Seahawks play the Jets in Week 17, which is even more reason to avoid these wide receivers on the waiver wire.
Kadarius Toney’s role expands: Toney returned from injury last week and saw his role increase in this game.
- Toney played only five offensive snaps last week after missing Weeks 12-14.
- He and Skyy Moore were competing for snaps in Weeks 10-11 at WR4 on the depth chart.
- Toney was slightly ahead of Moore in this game. His increase in snaps largely came at the expense of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, whose snaps have slowly but surely been on the decline.
- The Chiefs didn’t get much production out of their wide receivers, in general, against the Seahawks. Their top three receivers in receiving yards were all non-wide receivers.
- Toney caught a touchdown pass, and Justin Watson and Valdes-Scantling were held without a catch.
- Mecole Hardman recently returned to practice and could rejoin the active roster before the Chiefs’ next game. This would further complicate the receiving room.
- The only spot that seems secure is JuJu Smith-Schuster’s at the top of the depth chart.
• Derrick Henry: 23 carries, 126 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 0 receiving yards
• Brandin Cooks: 4 receptions, 34 yards, 1 touchdown
Treylon Burks’ return: Burks suffered a concussion in Week 13, causing him to miss Week 14.
- He played more than 75% of offensive snaps for the first time in his NFL career.
- He played 14 of a possible 18 snaps in 12 personnel, which made the difference for him compared to previous weeks.
- He reached 10 snaps in 12 personnel once (Week 3) prior to his first major injury of the season and hadn’t regained those snaps when he returned in Week 10.
- Those snaps came at the expense of Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
- This didn’t necessarily lead to more production. He didn’t catch either target, and the Titans' passing game was held under 100 yards total.
- Burks had a 15-yard carry.
- The Titans have a much more favorable matchup against the Dallas Cowboys next week.
- Dallas has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and the Titans will likely need to pass a lot more in that game.
Brandin Cooks returns to the Texans: Cooks returned after suffering a calf injury in Week 12 and regained his starting job.
- His playing time had ever so slightly been on the decline throughout the season, and that continued.
- He was the clear leader in targets on the team, seeing more than double the targets of any other Texan.
- Chris Moore had been a star in recent weeks and was able to keep his starting job.
- Nico Collins was placed on injured reserve Friday with a foot injury, so Moore will likely keep the starting job over the rest of the season.
- He’s a fine waiver wire target because the Texans have a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Houston will likely be playing from behind, and the Jaguars have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
- Moore is a lot less safe of an option due to a lower target share.
Monitor Teagan Quitoriano’s health: Quitoriano suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter and didn’t return.
- The fifth-round rookie had led the Texans’ tight end room in offensive snaps since joining the lineup in Week 9 as the team’s primary blocking tight end.
- His role on early downs led him to run 18-21 routes most weeks, but he’s caught only four passes all season.
- This led both Jordan Akins and Brevin Jordan to see more playing time this week.
- O.J. Howard has been a healthy inactive. He would likely take Quitoriano’s role if the injury is serious.
- This makes the Texans’ tight end situation one to avoid, despite the injury.
Texans backfield goes as expected: In their second game without Dameon Pierce, the Texans used their running backs similar to the last three quarters of Week 15.
- The Texans initially turned to Dare Ogunbowale on early downs last week but eventually shifted to Royce Freeman being the primary early back.
- Rex Burkhead remained the third-down back, as was the case last week and has been for most of the season.
- Freeman is an OK waiver wire target for fantasy managers desperate at running back. The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs this season, and we can be decently confident he will lead the team in carries.
• Tee Higgins: 8 receptions, 128 yards, 1 touchdown
• Kendrick Bourne: 6 receptions, 100 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 carry, 29 rushing yards
Monitor the health of the Patriots’ tight ends: Hunter Henry suffered a knee injury on the Patriots’ third offensive play of the game and was ruled out around halftime. Jonnu Smith suffered a head injury in the second half and didn’t return.
- The Patriots started the game with three straight two-tight end sets with Henry and Smith.
- Smith ended up playing every snap in the game up until his injury.
- The Patriots luckily activated Scotty Washington off the practice squad.
- If Henry or Smith ends up missing next week, expect the other to see at least 90% of offensive snaps.
- Either player would be worth a waiver wire target if this happens.
- Next week, the Patriots play the Miami Dolphins, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
- Smith has 2.78 yards per route run against man defenses this season, compared to 0.94 against zone.
- The Dolphins have the second-highest rate of using man defense this season.
- Henry’s level of play isn’t impacted much by man or zone defense.
- If both players are out, this is a situation to avoid. Washington wasn’t targeted in this game.
Kendrick Bourne’s big game: Bourne had the best game of his career, including his first-ever 100-yard receiving game.
- He hadn’t gained more than 60 yards in a game this season and also hadn’t caught a touchdown.
- His 29-yard run was his longest of the season. He had run the ball four other times this season, with half of them going for losses.
- His role in the offense hasn’t been consistent. He’s often been fighting with some combination of Tyquan Thornton and Nelson Agholor for snaps in three-receiver sets.
- He typically has played more when a receiver has been injured. DeVante Parker was missing from this game, making it four players rotating for snaps rather than five.
- This game won’t be enough to add him off the waiver wire this week, but it will help his chances of keeping a job next season.
- Both Jakobi Meyers and Agholor are free agents this offseason, so Bourne could theoretically move up to a clear third on the depth chart, but the Patriots will also have the money to re-sign one or both players.
Monitor Tyler Boyd’s health: Boyd has been dealing with a finger injury and re-aggravated it in this game.
- The re-aggravation occurred in the first quarter, but he quickly returned.
- He played 25 of a possible 27 snaps in the second quarter.
- The Bengals went into halftime with a 22-point lead, which allowed them to barely use Boyd in the second half. He played four of 31 snaps spread out over the half.
- Trenton Irwin was the main replacement for Boyd. Irwin had recently seen significant playing time over the past two months with all three receivers dealing with injuries at various points.
- Irwin made the most of his opportunities, catching three passes for 45 yards and two touchdowns.
- It would be good to monitor the injury report to see if Boyd appears and how much he practices before trusting him or Irwin next week.
- Irwin had graded out decently on his opportunities this season, but not as well as the Bengals’ top three wide receivers. It’s unlikely Boyd’s job is in jeopardy if he’s 100%.
• T.J. Hockenson: 13 receptions, 109 yards, 2 touchdowns
• Justin Jefferson: 12 receptions, 133 yards, 1 touchdown
Isaiah Hodgins had the game of his career: Hodgins caught eight passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
- Hodgins joined the Giants in Week 10 off waivers from the Buffalo Bills after New York traded away Kadarius Toney.
- He instantly became a rotational player for New York thanks to his familiarity with the offense, fighting for snaps with Kenny Golladay on the outside.
- Hodgins consistently gained 25-45 receiving yards a game.
- He slowly but surely became the clear starter over Golladay. This led to him playing at least 89% of offensive snaps in each of the past three games.
- Hodgins was helped by a game script that forced New York to pass and a Vikings defense that has allowed the second-most receiving yards to wide receivers this season.
- Slot receiver Richie James Jr. also had his best game in a Giants uniform, with eight receptions for 90 yards.
- It will be much harder to trust these receivers next week against the Indianapolis Colts. The game script will likely be in the Giants’ favor, allowing them to run, and the Colts have allowed the fifth-fewest receiving yards to wide receivers this season.
- There is at least a chance Hodgins could be a starter for New York next season due to the lack of solid receiver options in free agency.
Adam Thielen’s quiet game: Thielen was held to one catch for just the second time in the past three seasons. The other instance was due to him being injured on the play.
- The NFL credited him with five targets on Cousins’ 48 passes. Kirk Cousins was hit while throwing the ball on one, and the ball was batted on another, preventing the pass from getting close to Thielen.
- He caught one of the passes that got anywhere close to him and dropped another.
- Thielen will be 33 by the start of next season.
- Julio Jones, A.J. Green, DeSean Jackson and Cole Beasley are the only wide receivers with a catch this season at 33 or older. None of them have more than 25 receptions or 300 yards.
- Thielen could still be with the Vikings next season, but his days as the clear-cut No. 2 wide receiver in Minnesota could soon be coming to an end.
• Devin Singletary: 12 carries, 106 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 19 receiving yards
• James Cook: 11 carries, 99 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 reception, 9 receiving yards
Khalil Herbert’s return: Herbert was activated off injured reserve after suffering a hip injury in Week 10.
- Herbert received more playing time than expected, playing a little more than he had in the games leading up to his injury.
- Typically, David Montgomery plays 100% of the Bears' snaps on their first two drives, but Herbert began seeing some snaps on the second drive.
- Herbert took all of the snaps on the third drive, as was the case before the injury.
- The two backs were used interchangeably despite the fact that Herbert has performed better as a rusher and Montgomery better as a receiver over the past two seasons.
- The significant playing time didn’t necessarily lead to more touches or production. He managed just seven rushing yards on six carries, and he lost four yards on two receptions.
- That lack of touches and production likely means he can be left on the waiver wire, but there is at least a chance he could have a huge Week 17 against the Detroit Lions‘ defense after how they performed against the run in their Week 16 outing.
Bills running backs dominate: The Bills split carries between their two running backs, and both enjoyed success.
- They each averaged nearly nine yards per carry while scoring a touchdown.
- This worked because of the weather and game script, as Buffalo preferred to run the ball more than usual.
- It will be much more difficult for either running back to have a similar performance next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
- The Bengals have ranked in the top 10 at preventing fantasy points to running backs, and the game script is unlikely to be a decisive Bills victory where they run the ball in the fourth quarter.
- While James Cook might not have reached the point of being a fantasy starter this season, he could be the Bills’ lead running back next season with Devin Singletary hitting free agency.
- Shakir has been the primary backup outside receiver since Jake Kumerow was injured, as well as the primary backup slot receiver.
- Cole Beasley was in for the first three-receiver set for the second straight game, likely out of respect for the veteran, but he barely played once again.
- McKenzie remained the primary slot receiver in the first half, but Shakir took the majority of snaps from the slot in the second half.
- This didn’t lead to much production, with Shakir catching a five-yard pass and McKenzie going without a reception
- This is unlikely to matter much for fantasy purposes next week but could play into daily contests throughout the rest of the season and the playoffs.
- This also opens a path for Shakir to be the Bills' primary slot receiver in 2023, which could give him some fantasy value.
- George Kittle: 6 receptions, 120 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Jahan Dotson: 6 receptions, 76 yards, 1 touchdown
Christian McCaffrey’s frustrating usage: McCaffrey only touched the ball 17 times while his backup did nine times.
- In previous games where McCaffrey’s touches were limited, it was because the backup played a lot in the second half while the 49ers had a comfortable lead.
- This week, he lost a few carries here and there throughout the game.
- He only ran the ball three times in the first quarter, which was his fewest in the first quarter since Week 8.
- Tyrion Davis-Price was the primary backup Saturday. Jordan Mason had been the backup, but he was added to the practice report on Thursday due to a hamstring injury.
- Davis-Price also ran the ball three times in the first quarter. The 49ers' backup running backs only had four carries in the first quarter from Weeks 8-15.
- The run game, in general, wasn’t effective against a strong Commanders run defense, outside of a 71-yard run by wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III.
- The 49ers running backs have a much more favorable matchup next week against the Las Vegas Raiders, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
- McCaffrey should be able to put up big numbers even if a backup also takes several carries next week, but this will be a concern for 2023.
- Williams started the season fourth on the Commanders' depth chart. He received a few snaps early in the season when Brian Robinson was not playing.
- He started seeing offensive snaps again in Week 12 well after J.D. McKissic landed on injured reserve. He only played seven offensive snaps from Weeks 12-15.
- Williams was similarly used sparingly to begin this game with two snaps in the first half, and none in the third quarter.
- The run game was ineffective over those three quarters, and neither back contributed much to the passing game at that point.
- Williams played in 18 of the last 19 snaps of the game, corresponding to Wentz playing at quarterback. There were no other changes made to the offensive personnel.
- It’s unclear what if anything this will mean for next week, but it will at least make start/sit decisions more complicated when it comes to Commanders running backs.
- CeeDee Lamb: 10 receptions, 120 yards, 2 touchdowns
- DeVonta Smith: 8 receptions, 113 yards, 2 touchdowns
T.Y. Hilton debuts for the Cowboys: Hilton was signed by the Cowboys over a week ago but was inactive last week.
- He joined the active roster, which forced veteran James Washington to be inactive. Washington had played in two games this season, leading to 15 offensive snaps but no targets.
- Hilton was used in a variety of personnel groupings, taking a few snaps from each of the Cowboys' top three wide receivers but nothing significant.
- He received just one target on his limited pass routes, but that was a 52-yard bomb that he caught — good enough to finish third on the team in receiving yards.
- It wouldn’t be surprising to see him gain a few more snaps but remain a distant fourth on the depth chart.
- The Cowboys have a great matchup against the Tennessee Titans next week. Tennessee has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
- Michael Gallup is a great waiver target if he’s available. Gallup is Dallas' clear No. 2 receiver at this point, and he scored a touchdown.
Dallas Goedert’s return: Goedert was activated off of injured reserve early in the week after suffering a shoulder injury in the middle of November.
- He went right back to the same role, playing nearly every snap for the Eagles on offense.
- His target share wasn’t as high as some other weeks, but he made the most of it, catching all three passes for 67 yards.
- The Cowboys have been one of the best teams this season at slowing down tight ends and also one of the worst at stopping wide receivers. It’s not surprising that both Eagles starting receivers had 100-yard games but Goedert wasn’t thrown to as much knowing this regardless of the injury.
- The Eagles play the New Orleans Saints next week, a team that has been equally good at slowing down tight ends, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from putting Goedert back in their fantasy starting lineups if they were cautious this week.
- George Pickens: 5 receptions, 57 yards, 1 touchdown
- Najee Harris: 16 carries, 53 yards, 6 receptions, 42 receiving yards
Raiders continue to ease in their starting receivers: Both Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller were back in the Raiders' lineup last week after extended absences, but neither player returned to their usual workload.
- Waller would typically play close to 100% of Las Vegas' offensive snaps when he’s fully healthy, but he was frequently rotated out like last week.
- He and Foster Moreau shared the field in two tight end sets, but Moreau typically played in one tight end sets on early downs while Waller took the third-down snaps.
- Waller's limited role didn’t stop him from leading the team in receiving yards (58) while catching four passes.
- He is a risky player to start next week against the San Francisco 49ers.
- San Francisco has allowed the fifth-fewest yards to tight ends this season, and we probably won’t know if Waller will play more snaps before the game.
- The gap between Renfrow and Keelan Cole for the Raiders slot role has widened, but ideally, Cole wouldn’t see the field at all.
- Renfrow was playing 30% of the team's 12 personnel snaps last season, but Renfrow has only played one snap from that personnel grouping this season. He seems unlikely to play the same amount of snaps as he did last season.
- On the bright side, he scored his first touchdown of the year.
Pat Freiermuth bounces back: Freiermuth’s playing time has been on the decline in recent weeks, but that trend sharply changed this week.
- Freiermuth had been the Steelers' primary receiving tight end all season, but he was losing snaps on early downs in 11 personnel to Zach Gentry in recent weeks.
- This led to Gentry playing more offensive snaps than Freiermuth last week, and Freiermuth was held without a target.
- Freiermuth not only took most of the early-down snaps in 11 personnel, but he played more than he used to earlier in the season from this personnel grouping.
- Gentry had a clear hold on snaps in 21 personnel prior to Saturday night. Freiermuth only played one snap from that personnel grouping all season.
- Freiermuth took both of the snaps from that personnel group tonight.
- He still played the clear majority of third downs and two tight end sets as usual.
- This led to seven catches for 66 yards and is a promising sign he will continue to be one of the better fantasy tight ends.
- He can remain in fantasy starting lineups next week, and there is less to worry about with Freiermuth for 2023.
• Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including 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.