Blowout divisional victories highlighted the last week of the fantasy football regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons all had double-digit leads by halftime, and while there weren’t as many huge offensive performances as there had been in previous weeks, there were plenty of defensive touchdowns to add some chaos to Week 14.
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- 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.
- Cam Sims: 3 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD, (22.3 aDOT)
- Amari Cooper: 5 receptions, 51 yards, 1 TD, (13.6% threat rate)
|Dallas Cowboys||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Washington Football Team||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor the Terry McLaurin injury: McLaurin suffered a concussion while fighting for a contested catch. He didn’t catch any of the four passes thrown his way today. Washington has been using six wide receivers significantly in recent weeks, and this would mean all of their receivers would see a slight increase in playing time. DeAndre Carter would be the most attractive option of the group if McLaurin misses time, but it’s largely a situation to avoid.
The Cowboys without Tony Pollard: Pollard missed this game with a foot injury. Typically, we would expect Ezekiel Elliott to play 80%-plus of offensive snaps in this situation, but the former All-Pro is also less than 100%. Third-string back Corey Clement ended up seeing significant playing time. This was a 70/30 split in the first half and a 50/50 split in the second due to the Cowboys' large lead. Clement can be left off the waiver wire, as it would take another blow-out as well as Pollard missing more time for him to see significant touches.
Don’t start Ricky Seals-Jones: Washington recently lost Logan Thomas for the season but had Seals-Jones returning from injury to make up for it. Washington’s tight end has seen significant fantasy value since Ron Rivera became the head coach, as the starter typically played over 90% of offensive snaps and received plenty of targets.
Washington changed their strategy for this game. Seals-Jones was in for all two-tight end sets and for most third downs, but rookie John Bates was the tight end on most early downs. Both players ended up with a catch each. Washington plays the Eagles twice in the next three weeks, and Philadelphia has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Unfortunately, the split in snaps will make it very difficult to start either player.
- D’Onta Foreman: 13 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD, (23.1% first down rate); 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards
- Marvin Jones Jr.: 6 receptions, 70 yards, (3 first downs)
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||54||42||7||0|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||45||36||6||0|
|Tennessee Titans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Don’t worry about James Robinson: A week on from his Week 13 benching, Robinson returned as the team's starter. He gained only four yards on six carries today, but his next two games are against the Texans and Jets.
The Jaguars fell behind right from the start this week, but the upcoming games scripts should allow them to run more often. The Texans' and Jets' run defenses have allowed significantly more fantasy points to running backs, so Robinson should also find more success in those games.
The Titans' three-man backfield: The Titans had used D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard to much success in recent weeks, but Jeremy McNichols rejoined the backfield to complicate matters. McNichols served as the primary third-down back, which hurt Hilliard's fantasy value. Almost all of McNichols' touches occurred in the fourth quarter while Tennessee had a three-score lead. It’s fine for all three of these backs to be on fantasy rosters, but Foreman is the only one who can be trusted going forward.
The return of Julio Jones: The future Hall of Famer missed the last month of the season with a hamstring injury. He had a relatively quiet return in Week 14, with four catches for 33 yards. They used him as part of a wide receiver rotation and let him sit almost all of the fourth quarter with the victory secured. He should see a higher percentage of playing time next week and could be a factor in the fantasy playoffs. The Titans have the second-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next three weeks.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 10 carries, 37 yards, 2 TD, (0% stuffed rate); 3 receptions, 5 receiving yards
- Hunter Renfrow: 13 receptions, 117 yards, 1 TD, (4.1 aDOT)
|Las Vegas Raiders||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Sell high on Hunter Renfrow: I mentioned Renfrow as a sell-high candidate in dynasty leagues two weeks ago, as the Raiders will likely upgrade at wide receiver this offseason and it is difficult for slot receivers to maintain high fantasy value. This week presents another good opportunity to get what you can for the Raiders' slot receiver. His performance today makes him an attractive option, but the Raiders have the worst schedule for wide receivers the rest of the season. Each of their next three opponents is in the top half of the league at preventing fantasy points to wide receivers.
Don’t overreact to the Kansas City wide receivers: Josh Gordon and Mecole Hardman had fallen to fourth and fifth on the wide receiver depth chart over the last month. You couldn’t tell that just from watching the highlights of this game, which included a 44-yard catch by Hardman and Gordon’s first touchdown since Sept. 8, 2019. Despite these big plays, they both ran a route on less than half of Kansas City’s pass plays. Receivers who consistently play that little don’t need to be on fantasy rosters.
Don’t overreact to the Kansas City running backs: The Chiefs' backfield has been two-man committee in recent weeks, just as it was in the first quarter of this game. Derrick Gore led the team in rushing yards at 66 and played nearly as many snaps as the two starters. In all, 16 of his snaps came in the last 17 minutes of the game when Kansas City had at least a 29-point lead. It’s unlikely Gore is heavily involved in the game plan again unless Kansas City sees another victory like this.
- Rashaad Penny: 16 carries, 137 yards, 2 TD, (7.1 yards after contact per carry), 1 reception, 1 receiving yard
- Tyler Lockett: 5 receptions, 142 yards, 1 TD, (25.9 aDOT)
|Seattle Seahawks||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Houston Texans||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Add Rashaad Penny: The Seahawks had struggled to find a primary rushing back after Chris Carson was lost for the season. Penny seemed like he would be the primary backup early in the season, but injuries prevented him from keeping the job. He was given a chance over Alex Collins today and was impressive. Seattle has a rough matchup next week but plays the Bears and Lions in the fantasy championship weeks. The only concern is Adrian Peterson, who remained on the practice squad this week due to injury. Ideally, Seattle lets Penny keep the job after this performance even with the future Hall of Famer as an option.
Monitor the Rex Burkhead injury: The Texans backfield took a hit before the game even started with David Johnson landing on the Covid-19 list when inactives were announced. Backup Jaylen Samuels was also placed on the list the week before. They took a further hit with Burkhead exiting the game with a groin injury. This left Royce Freeman as the last man standing in the backfield. Freeman had a big game as a receiver with six catches for 51 yards but barely averaged over 1.0 yard per carry.
The Texans play Jacksonville next week, so their starting running back could be worth starting. Freeman is worth a waiver wire pickup for this game alone depending on who all is available.
Don’t add Gerald Everett: Everett will end up among the top scoring fantasy tight ends of the week because he scored a touchdown. He wasn’t used in the offense as much as usual, seeing fewer snaps than Will Dissly and seeing his fewest targets in a game since October. He’s been too unreliable to start in fantasy, so he doesn’t need to be on fantasy rosters.
- Mark Andrews: 11 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD, (7 first downs)
- Rashod Bateman: 7 receptions, 103 yards, (2.64 YPRR)
|Baltimore Ravens||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Cleveland Browns||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor the Lamar Jackson injury: Jackson suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and was carted to the locker room. He was ruled out during halftime. Tyler Huntley took over and did his best Jackson impression, gaining 45 yards on the ground on six carries. He would be a waiver wire target depending on the league if Jackson misses time. The rest of the Ravens offense would have their fantasy value downgraded if the injury is serious.
Monitor the Kareem Hunt injury: Hunt went to the locker room late in the 1st quarter with an ankle injury. He eventually returned to the sideline but never returned to the game. D’Ernest Johnson took most of Hunt’s snaps, as we had seen earlier in the season. Cleveland could have kept Hunt out as a precaution since they had a 17-point lead at multiple points in the game. If this is a serious injury, then Johnson can be picked up off the waiver wire.
Monitor the Sammy Watkins injury: The Ravens continued to deploy a heavy rotation at wide receiver. Watkins left the game in the third quarter and didn’t return. No injury was disclosed, but he was on the sideline without his helmet in the fourth quarter. Watkins typically plays in more run situations than pass, but his presence is preventing Rashod Bateman from seeing as much playing time as some would like. Five of Bateman’s seven catches occurred in the fourth quarter after Watkins was out. This makes it unlikely that Bateman can be a fantasy starter this season unless the Watkins injury is serious.
- Alvin Kamara: 27 carries, 120 yards, 1 TD, (7 avoided tackles), 4 receptions, 25 receiving yards
- Braxton Berrios: 6 receptions, 52 receiving yards, (4.0 aDOT)
|New Orleans Saints||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Easop Winston Jr.||7||2||1||0|
|Tony Jones Jr.||20||11||1||6|
|New York Jets||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Alvin Kamara‘s Return: Kamara missed the past month of football but returned this week to carry the Saints' offense. He took on a similar role to the one he held at the start of the season, where he was touching the ball the majority of the time when on the field. He’s once again a must-start running back for the rest of the season. The only concern is that Mark Ingram II missed this game while on the COVID-19 list, and he could cut into Kamara’s carries once he’s back.
Jets' banged-up backfield: The Jets still have Michael Carter on injured reserve, and they also didn’t have Tevin Coleman due to a concussion. This left Ty Johnson as the primary back for New York, with La’Mical Perine playing more in rushing situations. Neither back hit 30 yards rushing, although Johnson at least had four catches for 40 yards. Both backs who played today can remain on the waiver wire, as their next matchup against the Dolphins isn’t much better than this one. They have a much better matchup in two weeks against the Jaguars, but ideally, Carter and Coleman will both be able to play in that game.
Jets also hurting at WR: Both Corey Davis and Elijah Moore have recently landed on injured reserve, forcing the Jets to rely on their backups at wide receiver. This game should have been an opportunity for Denzel Mims to boost his value. He didn’t catch his only target in the first quarter, and he was taken out of the game after penalties on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. The former second-round pick only played one snap in the second half in favor of former undrafted receiver D.J. Montgomery. This game made it less likely that Mims will be back in 2022. All of the Jets' healthy wide receivers should be off fantasy radars for the rest of 2021.
- Cordarrelle Patterson: 16 carries, 58 yards, (41 yards after contact), 1 TD, 2 receptions, 1 receiving yard
- Robby Anderson: 7 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD, (34.3% threat rate)
|Atlanta Falcons||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Carolina Panthers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||30||18||0||0|
Add Ameer Abdullah: Christian McCaffrey landed on injured reserve after the Panthers' Week 12 matchup, leaving a two-man backfield between Abdullah and Chuba Hubbard for the rest of the season. Hubbard saw the majority of the rushing game work while Abdullah saw a majority of the pass game work, as expected. Hubbard had the much better game today from a fantasy football perspective, but that was partially because Carolina was able to keep the game close for most of the day.
Their remaining games are against the Bills, Buccaneers and Saints. Their division rivals are two of the top three teams at preventing rushing yards by running backs. Combine that with the likely game scripts in these games, and it will be Abdullah who has a better chance at some production.
Don’t add Robby Anderson: Anderson has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football this season. This was his first game over 60 yards this season and first time over 40 yards in over two months. The Panthers will need to pass a lot in their next three games against teams that are that are good at shutting down wide receivers. It’s unlikely you’ll want to trust Anderson in your starting lineups in any of those games, so he doesn’t need to be added.
Kyle Pitts’ decreased role: Pitts played in a career-high 94% of offensive snaps one week ago, which seemed to push him closer to the elite fantasy tight ends of the NFL. This week Hayden Hurst returned from injured reserve, leading to a career-low in percentage of offensive snaps for Pitts. Luckily, most of his missed-snaps were running situations, but this also left Pitts off the field for some pass plays. He caught five passes for 61 yards, which fantasy managers can’t complain too much about, but this hurts his upside the rest of the season.
- Saquon Barkley: 16 carries, 64 yards, (31.3% first down rate), 3 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
- Austin Ekeler: 12 carries, 67 yards, (3.4 yards after contact per carry), 1 TD, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
|New York Giants||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
The Chargers without Keenan Allen: Allen missed this game due to COVID-19. Josh Palmer and Jalen Guyton had been splitting snaps in three-receiver sets this past month, and both saw an increased role. Palmer joined Mike Williams in two-receiver sets, and he was the primary slot receiver in three-receiver sets. Guyton typically just played in three-receiver sets on the outside. Both players gained over 60 receiving yards and a touchdown. Palmer would be the more attractive option off the waiver wire if Allen misses more time.
Monitor the Austin Ekeler injury: Ekeler suffered a left ankle injury late in the third quarter. He was able to walk off the field with help and was declared questionable to return. He didn’t return to the game, but even if he felt like he could play, it was the smart thing to leave him out. Los Angeles had a three-score lead and plays again on Thursday night.
If Ekeler misses time, Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley splitting time is the most likely option. The Chargers have changed the order of the backups on the depth chart several times this season, so they could easily go with a different strategy, including using backs who didn’t play today.
Sterling Shepard‘s return: Shepard has missed a month and a half of football with a quad injury. He went right back to the starting lineup and saw only a slight reduction in snaps. When healthy, he was seeing nine or more targets each game, but he was thrown at just four times in this game. Twelve different players had at least one target in this game. Shepard should see even more snaps next week, and he'll get even more targets once Daniel Jones is back at quarterback.
- Melvin Gordon III: 24 carries, 111 yards, 2 TD, (5 explosive runs)
- Javonte Williams: 15 carries, 73 yards, 1 TD, (6 avoided tackles), 1 reception, 10 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
|Detroit Lions||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||47||37||11||0|
|Denver Broncos||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Melvin Gordon III||34||8||0||24|
Add Craig Reynolds: The Lions didn’t have D’Andre Swift, as he’s still dealing with a shoulder injury from Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams landed on the COVID-19 list earlier in the week. There were reports that Adam Schefter was starting Reynolds on his fantasy team, which gave some indication that the practice squad player could jump past Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson on the depth chart. Reynolds played in rushing situations, gaining 83 yards on 11 carries, while Igwebuike played in passing situations.
Reynolds is worth picking up in case the top two backs miss more time. The Lions were officially eliminated from playoff contention, so they could opt to shut down Swift for the rest of the season and focus on 2022. This could leave Reynolds with a role in the offense the rest of the season.
Melvin Gordon III‘s return: Javonte Williams took the fantasy community by storm last week, leading all running backs in fantasy points with Gordon out. Gordon was back this week, and it was like the previous week never happened. The two took on a very even split in playing time, with Gordon seeing a few more carries while Williams ran more routes. Both running backs were able to find success. They will both be able to play well the rest of the season thanks to a favorable schedule.
The Lions without T.J. Hockenson: The Lions' star tight end missed this game with a hand injury. His fantasy success so far this season was due to both his talent as well as volume. His offensive snaps were split between Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra. Wright saw more snaps on early downs, whereas Zylstra saw more snaps on late downs. Detroit still passed to these tight ends plenty, but the split role doesn’t help fantasy managers. This is a situation to avoid if Hockenson misses more time.
- Leonard Fournette: 19 carries, 113 yards, (85 yards after contact), 1 TD, 4 receptions, 19 receiving yards
- Mike Evans: 6 receptions, 91 yards, 1 TD, (3 explosive plays)
|Buffalo Bills||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Monitor Emmanuel Sanders‘ injury: Sanders suffered a knee injury that kept him out for the rest of the game. He caught only one pass for 25 yards prior to that. Gabriel Davis already sees more playing time than most fourth wide receivers, and he was elevated to the starting lineup. He caught five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. If the Sanders injury is serious, then Davis will be the most popular waiver wire target at wide receiver for the week.
Buccaneers changing third wide receiver: The Buccaneers had used Tyler Johnson as their third wide receiver for most of the season since Antonio Brown’s injury and suspension. Things changed last week, as Breshad Perriman took the vast majority of snaps there. This week, the two players split time. Johnson caught three passes for 17 yards, while Perriman didn’t catch a pass until 65 minutes into the contest — the game-winner. The fact that neither player has been able to step up has only allowed the Buccaneers' other skill players to be more consistent from one week to another.
Don’t give up on the Bills running backs: The Bills made Zack Moss inactive, which seemed like it could lead to a good game for Devin Singletary and Matt Breida. Instead, Buffalo didn’t run the ball at all in the first half. The backs combined for seven total carries overall. Singletary at least caught six passes to help his PPR value.
The Bills have two games on the schedule that are much more favorable to the team. They should be running more in those games. Breida shouldn’t be in starting lineups after the past two weeks, but Singletary’s role in the offense seems safe.
- George Kittle: 13 receptions, 151 yards, 1 TD, (3.43 YPRR)
- Ja’Marr Chase: 5 receptions, 77 yards, 2 TD, (16.3 aDOT)
|San Francisco 49ers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||42||17||0||13|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Stanley Morgan Jr.||13||5||0||0|
Deebo Samuel‘s return: Samuel suffered a groin injury in Week 12 that kept him out of last week’s game. He returned this week but didn’t see his usual amount of playing time. He typically plays over 80% of the offensive snaps but was taken off the field a little more often than usual on run plays. This was his third straight game of being held to one catch, but also his fourth-straight game with five or more carries and a rushing touchdown.
Samuel can be left in fantasy starting lineups, as he will ideally see more of his usual role in Week 15. He will be a very high-risk, high-reward player with his recent lack of receiving production.
The 49ers' evolving backfield: The 49ers have consistently had one running back for early downs and another back for third downs. Elijah Mitchell has consistently handled the early-down role when healthy, but he missed this game with multiple injuries. Jeff Wilson took over this role as he has in the past and gained 56 yards on 13 carries.
The third down role has typically been JaMycal Hasty’s when healthy. Kyle Juszczyk had taken over in recent weeks when Hasty was out. Hasty returned from injury last week but surprisingly only played one offensive snap. He regained his third down role this week, leaving Juszczyk to only play as a fullback.
The Joe Mixon roller coaster: Mixon had a four-game stretch as a top-four fantasy running back each game. His past two weeks haven’t been as successful due to bad game scripts. He averaged just over three yards per carry and saw Samaje Perine take most of the passing game work. Few running backs have more upside than Mixon when things go right, but he could have more games like this against strong run defenses and if or when the Bengals are playing catch up.
- Aaron Jones: 5 carries, 35 yards, 1 TD, (60% first down/touchdown rate); 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD
- Davante Adams: 10 receptions, 121 yards, 2 TDs (41.0% slot rate on routes)
|Chicago Bears||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Allen Robinson II||48||32||6||0|
|Green Bay Packers||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Equanimeous St. Brown||5||1||0||0|
The return of Allen Robinson II: Robinson returned to the Bears' starting lineup after missing the last four weeks. He played his usual role in the starting lineup but only caught two passes for 14 yards. Marquise Goodwin was still out, leaving Damiere Byrd and Jakeem Grant Sr. splitting the third receiver snaps, and both of those players had one catch for touchdowns of over 45 yards. The Bears' ability to find success with receivers at the bottom of the depth chart and not Robinson makes it even more likely Robinson is playing his last games with Chicago.
Monitor the Equanimeous St. Brown injury: The Packers' backup receiver suffered a concussion early in the game. He has been the team's fourth receiver since the Randall Cobb injury, typically playing in four-wide receiver sets. Green Bay ran a higher percentage of plays in 11 personnel tonight, and backup tight end Dominique Dafney suffered a game-ending ankle injury, which meant more routes run for Josiah Deguara. He caught a career-high 44 receiving yards on three catches. These injuries could lead to Deguara having fantasy value over these last few weeks — he could be a solid waiver wire target in deeper leagues at this point.
Marcedes Lewis also saw increased playing time, leading to four catches for 51 yards. The veteran is less likely to repeat this as he saw a higher than usual threat rate.
The Packers running back committee: The Packers have moved even closer to a 50/50 split at running back. Aaron Jones tied his season-low in carries with five. Typically, when he’s run this little, it’s been injury-related or the Packers were passing while playing from behind. Green Bay often had a lead in this game, yet it was A.J. Dillon constantly running with the ball. Jones scored two touchdowns to save his fantasy value, but he’s becoming more and more dependent on scoring touchdowns. He would be a sell-high in dynasty leagues after this game.