Running down week 16’s fantasy movers, shakers and heartbreakers:
Redskins 27, Eagles 24
FedEx Field; Landover, Md.
What a time for Darrel “Vulture” Young to resurface as the Washington FB scored two of his team’s three touchdowns on a pair of 1-yard runs Saturday. Young – who had scored in each of the season’s first three games but hadn’t found the end zone since – finished with the two carries for two yards and a 3-yard reception.
Extra points: Young’s success isn’t to imply that Alfred Morris didn’t rebound from three straight single-digit fantasy outings, as he rushed for 83 yards and a TD on 21 carries, but it obviously could’ve been a lot better. … Those hoping for a Robert Griffin III revival, though, only received 220 passing yards, 11 rushing yards, an interception and no TDs. … DeSean Jackson caught a couple deep balls to finish with a 4-126 stat line on a team-high six targets, while Pierre Garcon had a 4-61 day on five targets. … Those who banked on Philly QB Mark Sanchez in his matchup with the porous D.C. secondary were rewarded with a career-high 374 yards and two touchdowns on 37-of-50 passing, but his early fumble and late-game interception mean the defending NFC East champs will be watching the playoffs on TV instead of playing in them. … LeSean McCoy wound up with 116 total yards and a TD after Week 15’s scoreless debacle, while WR Riley Cooper (5-53-2) stole the thunder from fellow wideouts Jeremy Maclin (4-62) and Jordan Matthews (3-58) after coming into the game with only one scoring catch. … And 18 targets and 15 receptions (for 115 yards) for TE Zach Ertz and only one target for fellow TE Brent Celek (1-15)? Really? Ertz’s career single-game reception high was six entering the contest.
Chargers 38, 49ers 35 (OT)
Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.
This Saturday nighter was fantasy point-palooza with Philip Rivers (33-of-54 for 354 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions) rallying the Bolts from a 28-7 deficit with a trio of second-half scoring tosses.
Extra points: San Fran counterpart Colin Kaepernick also (and finally) got in on the act with a 90-yard scoring burst – the second-longest by a QB in league history – a passing TD and 151 total rushing yards. Still he had only 114 passing yards and lost a crucial fumble. … Meanwhile, the shackles were finally taken off Frank Gore, who rumbled for a season-most 158 yards and a TD on 26 carries six days after sustaining a concussion in Seattle. Go. Figure. … Rookie WR Bruce Ellington caught an 8-yard scoring pass and scored another on a 1-yard end-around sweep as part of a three-carry, 12-yard rushing day. He had one TD on eight total touches entering the game. WR Anquan Boldin was targeted a team-high nine times and finished with seven catches for 61 yards. … For the Bolts, ageless Antonio Gates had seven receptions for 92 yards and two scores, while WRs Eddie Royal (10-94) and Malcom Floyd (4-50) also had scoring grabs on combined 22 targets in Keenan Allen’s absence. Also, a new target emerged in WR Dontrelle Inman who caught seven of his nine targets for 79 yards in his NFL debut. … Speaking of injury absences, Ryan Mathrews missed a second straight game, and Branden Oliver (13-53 rushing, 3-28) led the S.D. RBs with 16 touches – double the total of Ronnie Brown (7-33, 1-9) more than triple the output of Donald Brown (4-12, 1-4). … Not to be left out, both defenses forced three turnovers, recorded two sacks and scored a return touchdown.
Texans 25, Ravens 13
NRG Stadium, Houston
Shades of 2013, Case Keenum got the start for the Texans, but it was RB Arian Foster (25-96 rushing, 1-23 receiving) who had the only Houston TD toss, hooking up with little-used TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (2-12) on a 5-yard option pass. Keenum finished 20-of-42 for 185 yards and an interception while rushing for 19 yards on four carries.
Extra points: If your fantasy kicker was Randy Bullock, hey, you won the kicking battle with Bullock hitting all six of field-goal attempts and an extra point. … WRs Andre Johnson (6-65) and DeAndre Hopkins (5-38) played despite recent injury issues and were targeted a combined 25 times. … While Keenum completed less than 50 percent of his passes and didn’t have a TD pass, he still outshined Joe Flacco who was a putrid 21-of-50 for 195 yards, two TD and three interceptions in a loss that might wind up costing Baltimore a playoff spot. … Torrey Smith (5-59) and Steve Smith Sr. (5-49) both were targeted 12 times, but it was the former who had the team’s two scoring receptions. … Justin Forsett, a surprise all season, disappointed big time here with a 10-19 rushing performance and 13 yards on four catches.
Packers 20, Buccaneers 3
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Green Bay bounced back following its Week 15 loss in Buffalo, and so did Aaron Rodgers – to an extent. Rodgers did complete 31-of-40 passes for 318 yards but only had one TD pass and lost a fumble while playing through a nagging calf issue.
Extra points: Eddie Lacy topped 100 total yards (104) for the eighth straight game and scored a TD for the sixth time in the last seven contests while Randall Cobb (11-131) and Jordy Nelson (9-113-1) both went over the century mark on a combined 23 targets. … For the Bucs, Josh McCown (12-of-26, 147 yards, interception) and Doug Martin (10-17, 0-0) were stifled, and Vincent Jackson led the team with 60 yards on three receptions. … Fellow wideout Mike Evans was targeted a team-high seven times but finished with a ho-hum 49 yards on four catches – his fifth straight outing with fewer than 50 receiving yards. … That all made for a strong start for the G.B. defense, which collected seven sacks and an interception while allowing the lone field goal.
Steelers 20, Chiefs 12
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Those fantasy owners who rode the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown into the championship round didn’t receive the matchup-swinging numbers of weeks past, but there was hardly room to complain, either. Bell rushed for 63 yards and a TD on 20 carries, while Brown hauled in seven of his team-high seven targets for 72 yards and a score.
Extra points: It was quiet day for Ben Roethlisberger (220 yards, TD), who saw 14 of his 18 completions go to Brown and TE Heath Miller (7-68 on 8 targets). … For K.C., Alex Smith threw for a season-high 311 yards but didn’t throw a TD pass to a WR – or anyone else for that matter – as kicker Cairo Santos provided all of the Chiefs’ scoring on a quartet of field goals. … Jamaal Charles caught five passes for 48 yards but rushed for only 29 on nine carries and coughed up a costly fumble at the Pittsburgh 25-yard line. … TE Travis Kelce (4-31) and WR Dwayne Bowe (6-57) didn’t do much while unheralded wideout Albert Wilson led the team in receiving with five grabs for 87 yards on seven targets.
Panthers 17, Browns 13
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Cam Newton was back after missing Week 15 with his auto-accident injuries, and he didn’t appear to be limited in the least, throwing for 201 yards, a TD and an interception while rushing for 63 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Cleveland counterpart Johnny “Football” Manziel, meanwhile didn’t even make it to halftime after leaving with a second-quarter hamstring injury and finished 3-of-8 for 32 yards while rushing for three yards on two carries.
Extra points: RB Jonathan Stewart took advantage of the favorable matchup, topping 100 yards (24-122) and catching a nine-yard scoring pass. … Rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin was targeted a team-high 12 times but finished with only five receptions for 47 yards while TE Greg Olsen (1-21) had a dud of an afternoon on three targets. … Brian Hoyer finished up at QB for the Browns and threw for 134 yards and a TD – an 81-yard scoring strike to TE Jordan Cameron (3-88) who came out of nowhere to mock the fantasy owners he had let down all season. … WR Josh Gordon was targeted a team-most seven times but finished with a mediocre four catches for 45 yards, while Isaiah Crowell (16-55) was the only Cleveland RB to get a carry.
Lions 20, Bears 14
Solider Field, Chicago
So there was a surprise Reggie Bush sighting (7-54-1, 6-44), but Joique Bell (13-74, 2-13) still delivered for his fantasy owners with a 17-yard fourth-quarter scoring run.
Extra points: Matthew Stafford did anything but take advantage of the tasty matchup against the Bears’ D, completing 22-of-39 passes for 243 yards and two interceptions. As usual, 22 of his 39 targets went to Calvin Johnson (6-103) and Golden Tate (5-62), but again, the TDs were missing. … Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen started for the Bears, and it was far from a disaster as he finished 23-of-39 for 181 yards, two TDs and only one interception. … Matt Forte (19-55, 6-40) and Alshon Jeffery (6-72 on 15 targets) had the TD receptions, while Marquess Wilson (7-66) had some PPR production on 10 targets. … TE Martellus Bennett was a total no-show with one catch for zero yards on three targets. Ouch.
Dolphins 37, Vikings 35
Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.
One of your Week 16 fantasy QB studs? Why, Ryan Tannehill, of course, after finishing 35-of-47 for 396 yards, four TDs and a pick in rallying the Dolphins to a win.
Extra points: Tannehill’s top target was TE Charles Clay (6-114 on 10) while wideout Mike Wallace (5-58) had a pair of scoring receptions. Rookie WR Jarvis Landry caught eight of his nine targets, but they netted all of 31 yards. … Lamar Miller (19-92, 5-58) had his best total-yardage day of the season and had a rushing score, while backup RB Damien Williams (3-18 6-50) and reserve TE Dion Sims (3-35) had TD catches. … For the Vikes, Matt Asiata (16-58, 3-19) ran for a pair of TDs while Teddy Bridgewater continues to look promising with 259 passing yards, two TDs and an interception. … Bridgewater’s scoring passes went to wideouts Greg Jennings (2-56) and Jarius Wright (3-38). … WR Charles Johnson’s late-season surge hit a 3-38 speed-bump while TE Kyle Rudolph was injured and inactive.
Falcons 30, Saints 14
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Drew Brees’ strange home struggles turned out to be for real and season-lingering as a number of fantasy owners learned the hard way in his 313-yard, one-TD, three-turnover outing Sunday that helped knock New Orleans out of the playoff picture.
Extra points: In what’s likely a too-little, too-late scenario, Jimmy Graham (6-53) caught a TD pass for the first time since Week 12 but also fumbled away another catch at the goal line. … Mark Ingram (13-38, 3-17) scored the Saints’ other TD on a 1-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but backfield mate Pierre Thomas (2-24 receiving) left early with a rib injury. … Marques Colston matched Graham with a team-most 10 targets and led the team with 80 yards on six receptions. … Julio Jones was back for the Falcons and led the team with seven receptions for 107 yards. Roddy White added six grabs for 55 yards on a team-high nine targets, but it was back-up wideout Eric Weems (1-3) who caught the only TD toss from Matt Ryan (30-of-40 for 322 yards, no turnovers) on a shovel pass. … Atlanta starting RB Steven Jackson (4-9, 1-14) didn’t play in the second half after sustaining a quad injury, and rookie Devonta Freeman (5-36, 3-48) ripped off a 31-yard scoring run in the third quarter. … Finally, if you were one of the few who started the Atlanta D, you cashed in with four turnovers, five sacks and Osi Umenyiora’s 86-yard return of a Brees fumble on the game’s final play.
Patriots 17, Jets 16
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
The Pats squeaked out a win but didn’t help many fantasy owners as Tom Brady (182 yards, TD, interception), Rob Gronkowski (6-31-1) and Shane Vereen (6-38, 1-12) all had quiet days – even with LeGarrette Blount and Julian Edelman injured and inactive.
Extra points: Gronk and RB Jonas Gray (6-5) scored the team’s TDs, while Brandon LaFell (7-64) and Danny Amendola (8-63) paced the pass-catchers on a combined 21 targets. … The Jets, meanwhile, managed only one TD on a 20-yard toss from Geno Smith (17-of-27, 210 yards, interception) to TE Jeff Cumberland (3-43). … Chris Ivory (11-53) paced N.Y. in rushing, and Jeremy Kerley (3-54) set the receiving-yards pace on a team-high six targets. Percy Harvin (4-44, 2-1 rushing) departed with a fourth-quarter rib issue, and fellow wideout Eric Decker (2-21) was only targeted four times.
Giants 37, Rams 27
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Eight catches, 148 yards and two more TDs for Odell Beckham Jr. – what more is there to say? Except, of course, Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Extra points: Don’t look now but Eli Manning is finishing with a flourish, tossing a trio of three TD passes for the second straight week while completing 25-of-32 for a season-high 391 yards with nary a turnover. … Beckham wasn’t the only LSU-turned-N.Y. WR with a big day, finishing with a season-high 132 yards and a TD on six catches. … With Rashad Jennings out, Andre Williams (26-110) had his second 100-yard game in the last three weeks, but it was Orleans Darkwa (4-21, 2-17) who had the Giants’ only ground score. … For the hosts, Shaun Hill threw for 290 yards, two TDs and a pick, connecting with Chris Givens (1-47) and TE Lance Kendricks (2-35) on his scoring tosses. … Tre Mason (13-76, 1-7) scored for the first time in three games while leading the team in rushing, and Kenny Britt led the way in targets (11), receptions (9) and receiving yards (103).
Cowboys 42, Colts 7
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
As was the prevailing thought as last week progressed, DeMarco Murray played with his surgically repaired hand and got 22 carries. And while he averaged only 2.6 yards per tote, he did reach fantasy double-digits with 58 yards and a TD run. Joseph Randle (13-37, 1-7), meanwhile, provided some relief with 14 touches.
Extra points: The fantasy, headliner, however was Tony Romo who completed 18-of-20 passes for 218 yards and four scores. … WR Terrance Williams (2-52) broke out of his second-half-of-the-season slumber to snare two TDs, while Jason Witten (7-90 on a team-high 7 targets), Dez Bryant (5-73) and Cole Beasley (2-29) had the scoring grabs. … Andrew Luck, meanwhile, carried an untold legion of fantasy GMs into the championship round and then left most of them hanging with his season-worst 15-of-22, 109-yard, two-interception dud here. Matt Hasselbeck – yeah, he’s still around – finished up with the game a blowout and went 15-of-21 for 126 yards and a TD. … With T.Y. Hilton out with a bum hammy, Hakeem Nicks paced the Indy pass-catchers with 11 targets, nine receptions and 72 yards. WRs Reggie Wayne and Donte Moncrief and TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen had nine catches for 64 yards … combined. … The Colts’ running game? It produced one total yard on 10 carries with Dan Herron doing five times as much damage via the air (3-37) than on the ground (7-3). Reserve RB Zurlon Tipton (1-minus-3, 4-23) accounted for the Horsehoes’ lone TD on a 1-yard reception.
Raiders 26, Bills 24
O.CO Coliseum; Oakland, Calif.
The suddenly feisty Silver & Black pulled the minor upset, but visiting QB Kyle Orton had the biggest fantasy impact in this one, throwing for 329 yards and three TDs while tossing his requisite two picks.
Extra points: TE Scott Chandler (4-37) and WRs Sammy Watkins (3-75) and Robert Woods (7-52) had the scoring grabs while Fred Jackson led the team in rushing (6-10) and receiving (9-93 on a team-most 12 targets). … C.J. Spiller played for the first time since Week 7, but it wasn’t pretty with a negative-4 yards on four rushes and 14 yards on four catches. … Rookie Derek Carr, meanwhile, fared a lot better than Rodgers and Peyton Manning did against the Buffalo D the previous two weeks, finishing 17-of-34 for 214 yards and two TDs without a turnover while getting sacked only once. … Latavius Murray led the Raiders in rushing (23-86) and added 22 yards on a trio of receptions, while former-Patriot Kenbrell Thompkins paced the pass-catchers with five catches for 90 yards on a team-most seven targets. Meanwhile, TE Mychal Rivera deeply disappointed with one catch for five yards on four targets. … Carr’s TD throws, though, were short tosses to WR James Jones (1-3) and reserve RB Jamize OIawale (1-1), who’s neck-and-neck with the aforementioned Darkwa and Tipton for the most obscure TD scorer of the weekend.
Seahawks 35, Cardinals 6
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Low-scoring, defensive tussle? Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the defending champs paid that no heed, rolling up a team-record 596 yards of total offense to move a win away from wrapping up the NFC West and the conference’s No.1 seed. Wilson was off the charts with a career-high 339 passing yards, two passing TDs and 88 yards and a score on the ground while Lynch rumbled for 113 yards and two TDs after sitting out the first quarter with what was reported as an upset stomach.
Extra points: Those who took a fantasy flyer on Seattle TE Luke Willson enjoyed an early Christmas with a whopping 139 yards and two TDs on only three catches. … WR Doug Baldwin didn’t nab a TD, but he’s become Wilson’s go-to WR, catching seven of his team-leading 11 targets for 113 yards. … For the Cards, Ryan Lindley still hasn’t thrown a TD pass in eight career games and 225 passing attempts after his 18-of-44, 216-yards, one-interception performance here, but hey, he was only facing the best defense on the planet. … For what it’s worth, Stepfan Taylor (11-19) was the team’s top rusher, and John Brown (3-54) led the receivers with Michael Floyd (2-41) and Larry Fitzgerald (4-33) being held in check on 19 combined targets. … And that Seattle D? Four sacks and a turnover Sunday night and 33 points – with only three TDs – surrendered over the last five games.