Quick fantasy recaps of the Sunday games from Week 17.
LAR 20, BAL 19
Low scoring and defensive, this matchup carried plenty of weight for both franchises. In the end, the Rams scored the winning touchdown with under a minute to play. Matt Stafford passed for 309 yards and two scores with two interceptions. Cooper Kupp (6-95, TD) delivered his standard performance and Odell Beckham (5-39, TD) caught the final touchdown. Tyler Higbee turned in six catches for 69 yards as well. Sony Michael ran for 74 yards and a score on 19 carries and added three catches for 25 yards. The 12-4 Rams finish up hosting the 49ers.
The Ravens relied on Tyler Huntley at quarterback and he threw for 197 yards and one interception, and he rushed for 54 yards on six runs. Mark Andrews (6-89) and Rashod Bateman (7-58) led the receivers, while Devonta Freeman ran for 76 yards on 14 carries. This was a slow game with both offenses struggling to move the ball consistently. The loss drops the Ravens to 8-8 and they end the year hosting the Steelers.
ATL 15, BUF 29
The Falcons played well through halftime but only the Bills scored in the second half. Matt Ryan passed for 197 yards and no scores. Kyle Pitts (2-69) and Russell Gage (3-50) were the top receivers. Mike Davis scored once on his eight runs for 42 yards while Cordarrelle Patterson ran for just 28 yards on nine carries and caught just two passes for 24 yards. The Falcons’ defense intercepted Josh Allen three times to slow them but the Falcons offense couldn’t do much with the advantage. The 7-9 Falcons are now assured of a losing season and finish by hosting the Saints.
The Bills struggled in the first half and Allen kept throwing interceptions. He only completed 11-of-26 for 120 yards and a QB rating of 17.0. He redeemed his fantasy day by rushing for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Stefon Diggs (5-52) and Gabriel Davis (3-40) were as good as it got for receivers. Devin Singletary (23-110, 2 TD) turned in a rare big game. The Bills had a scare but recovered in the second half. They rise to 10-6 and host the Jets for Week 18.
NYG 3, CHI 29
The Giants were never in this, and the coaches admitted such when they had Mike Glennon throw only 11 passes in a game that they trailed throughout. Glennon passed for 24 yards, two interceptions and a QB rating of 5.3. The only notable was that Saquon Barkley had his best game of the season with 102 yards on 21 carries since the Bears didn’t care if the Giants wanted to run. It was an embarrassing performance at the end of an embarrassing season. The 4-12 Giants finish up by hosting Washington.
The Bears enjoyed a solid win though no one had more than a moderate game. David Montgomery ran for 64 yards on 22 carries but scored twice and caught two passes for 17 yards. Andy Dalton threw for 173 yards and one touchdown to Darnell Mooney (7-69, TD) but no other receiver gained more than 35 yards. The Bears mostly just sat back and watched Mike Glennon throw two interceptions, fumble four times and lose two, and the Giants just give up and let Saquon Barkley run. The 6-10 Bears head to Minnesota for Week 18.
LV 23, IND 20
Here’s an upset. The Colts are struggling to make the playoffs and the Raiders show up as the underdog. All the Colts had to do was get Jonathan Taylor to gain 100 yards and they won since they were 6-0 whenever he did. At least that was the old rule. Taylor ran for 108 yards and a score on 20 carries in a loss. Carson Wentz was active and only passed for 148 yards and one touchdown to T.Y. Hilton who was standing in the endzone when the ball was thrown into the endzone and was the pass was batted back to him. Michael Pittman led the receivers with just 47 yards on six catches. The 9-7 Colts head to Jacksonville for the season finale.
Derek Carr threw for 255 yards and one score with two interceptions. Zay Jones (8-120) had a career-high and his first 100-yard effort. Hunter Renfrow turned in seven catches for 76 yards and the lone receiving touchdown. Josh Jacobs ran for 63 yards and one score on 16 rushes and added four receptions for 17 yards. The Raiders’ defense won this game on the road and kept them in wild card contention. The win raises the Raiders to 9-7, and they finish by hosting the Chargers.
JAC 10, NE 50
Here’s a game that went off as expected. The Jaguars not only trailed throughout, it was 50-3 until the final four minutes. Trevor Lawrence passed for 193 yards and a score with three interceptions. Laquon Treadwell (6-87) and Marvin Jones (2-46) were the top receivers and Dare Ogunbowale caught the only touchdown on his two receptions for 32 yards. He also ran for 36 yards on nine rushes. The Jaguars lose their eighth in a row and finish the season hosting the Colts.
It all worked for the Patriots. Damien Harris ran for 35 yards and two scores but left with a hamstring injury. Rhamondre Stevenson finished out the game with 19 carries for 107 yards and two scores. Matt Jones threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns with Kendrick Bourne (5-76) and Jakobi Meyers (8-73, TD) as the top receivers. Undrafted second-year practice squad wideout Kristian Wilkerson not only saw his first ever NFL playing time, he caught four passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns. N’Keal Harry was inactive and they let Wilkerson take his place. The win ends the two-game losing streak and sends the Pats to Miami for Week 18.
TB 28, NYJ 24
This was a surprisingly good game that the Jets led 24-10 in the third quarter before it all turned around and the Buccaneers scored a touchdown with 15 seconds left to play to take the win. Tom Brady ended with 410 yards and three touchdowns with Rob Gronkowski (7-115) and Cyril Grayson (6-81, TD) as the top receivers. Mike Evans scored on his four catches for 47 yards while Antonio Brown (3-26) went rogue and called it a career while stripping down to his waist and waving at the stands as he left the playing field for the very last time. Ronald Jones (10-26) used his golden opportunity for a big game to sprain his ankle. The shockingly close win sends the 12-4 Buccaneers home to face the Panthers.
The Jets made almost no mistakes and played far above expectations. Michael Carter (3-54) started the game well but left with a concussion. Zack Wilson passed for 234 yards and a score to Braxton Berrios (8-65, TD) who ran in a touchdown. Ty Johnson (5-35, TD) also scored after Carter left. There was nothing special by any of the Jets, but they played a solid game and gave the Buccaneers nearly more than they could handle. The 4-12 Jets finish the season in Buffalo.
MIA 3, TEN 34
The Dolphins could do little against the homefield Titan’s defense. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 205 yards and one interception. Jaylen Waddle was held to only three catches for 47 yards and Mike Gesicki was the leading receiver with just four catches for 51 yards. Duke Johnson (7-49) and Myles Gaskin (5-23) handled the meager workload for the backfield. The Dolphins’ seven-game win streak was proven to be against a weak stretch in the schedule. They could not compete against the Titans. The 8-8 Fins host the Patriots for Week 18
The Titans’ defense gave the offense a chance to take an easy win rushing the ball and letting the Dolphins make mistakes. D’Onta Foreman ran for 132 yards on 26 carries with one score and there was still enough left over to let Dontrell Hilliard run for 45 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes and catch three passes for 33 yards. Ryan Tannehill only completed 13-of-18 passes for 120 yards and two scores. A.J. Brown led the receivers with just 41 yards on two catches. The 11-5 Titans are tied with the Chiefs for the No. 1 seed and spend Week 18 in Houston.
PHI 20, WAS 16
Washington led 16-7 at the half but the Eagles did all the scoring in the final two quarters. Jalen Hurts had a down game with 214 passing yards and just seven runs for 44 yards with no touchdowns. Dallas Goedert led the receivers with 71 yards on six catches and DeVonta Smith (3-54) was the only other receiver with more than 39 yards. Boston Scott ran for 47 yards on 14 rushes with two touchdowns and 39 yards on four receptions. The 9-7 Eagles squeaked past and host the Cowboys for Week 18.
Washington lacked any offensive spark with Antonio Gibson out and Jaret Patterson filled in with 57 yards and a touchdown on his 12 carries with five receptions for 41 yards. Taylor Heinicke passed for 247 yards and one interception. Terry McLaurin (7-61) and Cam Sims (4-48) were the leading receivers. Washington lost their fourth straight game with an offense that just never improved this year. They bring their 6-10 record to New York to face the Giants.
DEN 13, LAC 34
The Broncos struggled with Teddy Bridgewater as the starter. Downshifting to Drew Lock did not improve the offense. He passed for 245 yards and one score but never trailed by fewer than 14 points from the second quarter. Noah Fant (6-92, TD) and Courtland Sutton (3-60) were the top receivers. Javonte Williams (14-30) and Melvin Gordon (10-43) struggled to do much with the defense devoted to stopping them. Gordon Added three catches for 29 yards but Williams only caught a two-yard pass. The Broncos need a better quarterback if they are ever to compete. They fall to 7-9 to make their losing season official and host the Chiefs this week.
There were no big performances by the Chargers to win the game. Austin Ekeler (17-58, TD) added three catches for 54 yards. Justin Herbert threw for 237 yards and two scores between Mike Williams (3-63, TD) and Keenan Allen (4-44, TD) but no other receiver gained more than 22 yards. Justin Jackson ran 12 times for 41 yards to help mop up. The win reverses the two-game losing streak and sends the 9-7 Chargers to Las Vegas this Sunday.
HOU 7, SF 23
The Texans opened the scoring, but the game was never in doubt. Davis Mills finally had a down game when he only threw for 163 yards and one score to Brandin Cooks (7-66, TD). No other receiver gained more than 35 yards. Rex Burkhead ran for 47 yards on 16 carries and caught six passes for 32 yards as the only mildly productive player other than Cooks. The loss ends their two-game winning stretch and drops them to 4-12. The Texans end their season hosting the Titans.
Trey Lance used his start to throw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran eight times for 31 yards. Eli Mitchell was active and rewarded fantasy owners that took the chance he’d play by rushing for 119 yards on 21 carries and catching two passes for 11 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Aiyuk (4-94) was the top receiver for Lance, but Deebo Samuel caught three for 63 yards and a touchdown plus ran for 19 yards on seven rushes. The solid win sends the 9-7 49ers to face the Rams in Los Angeles.
ARI 25, DAL 22
Curious time for the Cardinals to end their three-game losing streak and the Cowboys to stop their four-game winning stretch. Kyler Murray passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 44 yards. Christian Kirk (6-79) and A.J. Green (3-74) led the receivers but Zach Ertz (7-41) totaled the most catches. Chase Edmonds ran for 53 yards on 18 carries with James Conner out, and he caught five passes for 29 yards. The Cards led 22-7 in the fourth quarter but held on to the win while the Cowboys tried a comeback. The win lifts the Cardinals to 11-5 and they host the Seahawks on Sunday.
The Cowboys couldn’t generate any rushing offense. Ezekiel Elliott (9-16) and Tony Pollard (3-9) were held to minimal production but Pollard added three catches for 49 yards. Elliott only caught one pass for 14 yards. Dak Prescott threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns and was better in the second half. Michael Gallup (3-36, TD) scored on the play when he tore his ACL. Dalton Schultz (6-54) and CeeDee Lamb (3-51) led the receivers even though they never scored. It was a lackluster performance all around and calls the Cowboys’ readiness for the post season into question. Dallas falls to 11-5 and finishes the season in Philly.
CAR 10, NO 18
It isn’t surprising that this matchup would prove to be a fantasy clunker but at least there was one fantasy player that met expectations – Alvin Kamara. He ran for only 32 yards on 13 carries, but he caught five passes for 68 yards and one touchdown. Taysom Hill passed for 222 yards and that one score, plus ran for 45 yards on 12 rushes. Marquez Callaway (6-97) was the only other receiver with more than 26 yards. The win lifts the Saints to 8-8 and they end the season at Atlanta.
Sam Darnold only managed 132 passing yards with one interception. No receiver gained more than 33 yards or scored. Chuba Hubbard ran for 55 yards on 17 carries and he ran in a 21-yard touchdown. The Panthers’ defense is still good enough to keep the score low, but their offense isn’t nearly good enough to take advantage. The 5-11 Panthers travels to Tampa Bay for their final defeat of the year.
DET 29, SEA 51
Russell Wilson said he wasn’t sure where he will be next year, but this final home game of 2021 sure felt like he was going out on a high note. Facing the Lions makes that easier, but Wilson passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns and the Seahawks led throughout. DK Metcalf ended with six catches for 63 yards and three touchdowns while Tyler Lockett ended with three catches for 24 yards and the other remaining score. Rashaad Penny ran for 170 yards and two scores on 25 rushes which only begs, “where has this been for four years?” The win sends the 6-10 Seahawks to Arizona for Week 18.
The Lions under Tim Boyle were not bad. Granted, most of their production was in the second half after they already trailed 38-7, but Boyle threw for 262 yards and two scores, with only three interceptions. Amon-Ra St. Brown once again proved what a find the Lions made with their 4.07 pick when the rookie caught eight passes for 111 yards and a touchdown and added a second score on a 26-yard run. KhaDarel Hodge ended with five catches for 76 yards as the next best receiver. D’Andre Swift returned but only ran four times for 32 yards and caught just two passes for seven yards. Jamaal Williams (11-22, TD) was still the primary ball carrier. The 2-13-1 Lions wrap up by just hosting the Packers this week.
MIN 10, GB 37
Had Kirk Cousins been healthy enough to play, the outcome would likely have been the same, only with less of a “beatdown” element. Sean Mannion only passed for 189 yards and one score to KJ Osborn (3-50, TD), while Justin Jefferson slid to only 58 yards on six receptions. Worse yet, Dalvin Cook only gained 13 yards on his nine rushes and his three catches combined for zero yards. The Vikings had no chance with Cousins out. They slide to 7-9 for a guaranteed losing record and host the Bears to end the season.
It may have been bitter cold, but Aaron Rodgers still passed for 288 yards and two scores and Davante Adams (11-136, TD) lost nothing in the frigid weather. Allen Lazard turned in six catches for 72 yards and a score but all other wideouts were held below 15 yards. Aaron Jones gained 76 yards on just eight carries and added five receptions for 30 yards. AJ Dillon settled for 63 yards and two touchdowns on14 rushes and tacked on 20 yards on two catches. The Packers led 30-3 in the third quarter and coasted to the win. They are the No. 1 seed at 13-3 and finish the season in Detroit.
KC 31, CIN 34
This game was everything you want in a late-season fight between two top teams vying for playoff positioning. The Chiefs led 28-14 in the second quarter but only managed a fourth-quarter field goal the rest of the game to tie with six minutes left. The Bengals kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.
Pat Mahomes threw for 259 yards and two scores but Tyreek Hill (6-40) and Travis Kelce (5-25, TD) were only minor contributors in a moderate passing game. Darrel Williams logged 14 runs for 88 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 19 yards as the only Chief that exceeded expectations. The Chiefs’ offense played well enough to win, but their defense had no answer for the Bengals’ passing offense or Ja’Marr Chase in particular. The loss drops the Chiefs to 11-5 and they head to Denver for Week 18.
Most teams run more at the end of the year but not the Bengals. Joe Mixon was held to only 12 rushes for 46 yards but caught seven passes for 40 yards. Joe Burrow, yet again, was on fire when he passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns that included Ja’Marr Chase converting 11 catches into 266 yards and three scores. Chase scored from 72, 18, and 69 yards. Tee Higgins (3-62) and Tyler Boyd (4-36, TD) most took a backseat and watched Chase almost beat the Chiefs single-handedly. The win sends the 10-6 Bengals to the Browns.