Week 16 NFL Recap & Week 16 Highlights
Titans-Packers | NFC East race | NFC West clinched | Browns, Jets both lose | Steelers recover
1. Week 16 NFL Recap: Titans, Packers put up a fantasy points bonanza in a blizzard.
In fantasy football and betting circles alike, the consensus fears bad weather, especially snow. However, those concerns are normally reactionary without digging deep and considering teams, players, and situations. Last night’s blizzardy conditions at Lambeau Field were no different. Despite the snow, ample points were scored, which was no surprise to me as the Packers steam-rolled the Titans 40-14. Not only did the Packers cover the spread, but the game went Over the total (52) as well. I can see that if a game featured fair-weather teams and players who are not accustomed to playing in the snow, but this was the Packers. This was Lambeau Field. This was Aaron Rodgers. You should have seen this coming if you haven’t. We don’t have to go back far to see Rodgers succeed in snow. Last year while playing the Giants at MetLife stadium with heavy snowfall, the consensus faded Rodgers. Not me. I knew he was used to the conditions because of his tenure in Green Bay. Rodgers ended up throwing for 243 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-13 rout. In last night’s stomping of Tennessee, Rodgers had a similar line. He completed 21-of-25 passes for 231 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Rodgers is currently fantasy’s QB4 with 26.1 points. Rodgers was not the only Packers stud in the game. The other? Who else? Davante Adams. The elite wideout caught 11-of-12 targets for 142 yards and three touchdowns. He is the WR1 with 43.2 PPR points. It was Adams’ second WR1 finish and his second conclusion this season with 40+ points in PPR. In fact, Adams has ended four different weeks this season as the WR2. If we are keeping track, Adams has finished as a top-two fantasy wideout in 6-of-13 games. While Aaron Jones did suffer a hip injury in the first half, he did come back into the game in the second. However, while Jones was sidelined, we did see the emergence of A.J. Dillon, Green Bay’s second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jones carried the ball 10 times for 94 yards and corralled 2-of-3 targets for 14 yards, ending the week as the RB22 with 13.3 PPR points. Meanwhile, he was out-shined by Dillon in convincing fashion. The bruising rookie back rushed 21 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Dillon is the RB6 with 27.3 points. If you wagered Dillon’s two touchdown prop, you got (+3300) odds and cashed huge. This Packers offense is ridiculous. In the victory, the Packers locked-up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the NFL, clinching the No. 1 seed. Green Bay’s defense, which is suspect at times, also played a tremendous role. Although the Titans’ offense only scored 14 points, they entered the game as the No. 2 scoring offense in the NFL behind only Green Bay. Green Bay’s defense held Tennessee to 260 total yards, 14 points, and 15 first downs while forcing two turnovers and a pair of sacks. On the Titans end, Derrick Henry had a solid game but did not live up to the Sunday hype. Many, including myself, believed Henry would have a monster outing because of the matchup facing a soft Green Bay run defense, the weather, and the fact that he’s been hot, rising for 100+ yards in five of six games since Week 10 leading into Sunday night’s Week 16 loss. Henry finished 98 rushing yards on 23 attempts. No Titans player finished the week in the top 12 at any position in fantasy.
2. Week 16 NFL Recap: The NFC East race heats up heading into a crazy Week 17.
The Washington Football Team controlled their own destiny entering Week 16. A win would clinch the division. However, that was not the case. In a Ron Rivera revenge game facing his former team the Carolina Panthers, the Football Team was defeated 20-13. The Panthers covered the spread (+1) while the total (42) went Under, which was no surprise here. While the Football team did manage to out-gain the Panthers in total yards 386-to-280, they lost the turnover battle 4-to-2. One of the Football Team’s giveaways came in the form of a muffed punt which resulted in the first points of the game for the Panthers. The Panthers took a 6-0 lead on the Brandon Zylstra score and never looked back. They kept the lead for the duration. Despite the fact that Washington got stud rookie rusher, Antonio Gibson, back from his toe injury, they could not get going on offense. While Gibson was active, Alex Smith missed another game, forcing the Football Team to start Dwayne Haskins, who should not even be in the league if we are being honest. What a mess. Haskins was terrible, completing 14-of-28 passes for 154 yards and two interceptions, and a fumble. He would ultimately get benched in favor of Taylor Heinicke. He is that bad. Haskins had a shot to redeem himself after violating the league’s COVID protocols as he went to a local strip club and was spotted without a mask earlier in the week. He failed miserably. To make matters worse, the Football Team could not track down Haskins to talk to the press following the game, which was mandatory. He could have at least owned it. At least J.D. McKissic, who has been found money for his fantasy managers this season, showed up with a late-game score. This helped fantasy managers, including myself, win a championship or remain in the hunt entering Monday night. With the Football Team’s loss, the Cowboys and Giants are now both in the hunt for the division as well as a playoff berth. It will come down to Week 17. A Washington win and they are in. However, if they lose, the victor of the Cowboys-Giants game will get into the postseason in the yucky NFC Least. Speaking of the Cowboys, they eliminated the Eagles from the postseason with their shocking win on Sunday. They also handed Jalen Hurts his first NFL loss following a pair of impressive wins. Dallas defeated the Eagles 37-17, good for their third straight victory. While Dallas’ defense played well, holding the red-hot Hurts to 342 yards with one touchdown and two picks passing and another 69 yards on nine attempts with a fumble lost on the ground, it was the Cowboys’ offense that stole the game. Led by Andy Dalton’s 377 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, the Cowboys’ offense looked like the one led by Dak Prescott. So much so that all three of the Cowboys’ outstanding wideouts had tremendous games. Amari Cooper caught 4-of-6 targets for 121 yards. CeeDee Lamb caught 3-of-5 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown while adding another touchdown rushing. And Michael Gallup, the star of the game, hauled in 6-of-8 targets for 121 yards and two scores. In fantasy, Dalton is slated as the QB2 (27.6), Cooper is the WR20 (1), Lamb is the WR9 (23.4) and Gallup is the WR3 (30.1).
3. Week 16 NFL Recap: Rams collapse, Seahawks clinch the wild NFC West.
The Rams-Seahawks game had playoff implications. It also decided the NFC West. While Jared Goff entered Week 16 5-1 in his past six games overall against the Seahawks, he could not get the job done with the division on the line. The Rams fell to the Seahawks 20-9. While Seattle covered and the total met the Under, the Seahawks also clinched the NFC West. The West could have been Los Angeles,’ but they have lost two games in a row, including a total meltdown last week to the Jets. The Rams could not shake last week’s loss and their lackluster offense carried over to Sunday’s loss to Seattle. The Seahawks’ defense held the Rams to 334 total yards, nine points, zero touchdowns, and 20 first downs. Seattle’s defense has now held opponents to fewer than 21 points in six straight games, including five games under 17. What a turnaround since the first half of the year when the Seahawks had a historically bad defense. If it wasn’t for the Rams’ defense, this team would not remain in postseason contention. Players like Aaron Donald can do that for a team. While Seattle’s defense has stepped up, their offense needs to find its way once again. Early in the year, Seattle won by out-scoring their foes. Now, their defense carries them. They need to find balance entering the playoffs, fast. Russell Wilson accounted for both of Seattle’s touchdowns. Wilson completed 20-of-32 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown while adding another score on the ground. Despite the fact that Seattle has two top-end and explosive wideouts, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, they were held to 103 total yards on nine receptions. It was Jacob Hollister who scored Seattle’s second and game-clinching touchdown, giving the Seahawks an 11-point lead and the win. While the Seahawks have clinched the NFC West, the Rams are still in the Wild Card race. The 9-6 Rams currently hold the sixth seed with the Bears and Cardinals not far behind with their 8-7 marks.
4. Week 16 NFL Recap: Browns lose ground in playoff race. Jets officially lose out on Trevor Lawrence.
It wasn’t long ago in which the Browns were locked into a playoff berth and even contending for the AFC North. However, in Week 16, that all changed. Not only has the Browns lost two of their past three games, but on Sunday, they fell to the lowly Jets. Although the Browns are 10-5, they are not a lock to enter postseason play. And now that the Ravens are looking like the team of old — the Ravens were the team that was on the outside looking in two weeks ago — the Browns might miss the playoffs with 10+ wins. Remember, the Browns were swept by the Ravens this season, If they end up finishing regular season play with the same record, Baltimore would get in. With a 23-16 victory, the Jets have now won two consecutive games following their winless start. En route to their two straight wins, they have defeated both the Rams and the Browns, two teams with postseason hopes. Could Adam Gase actually save his job? it is 2020 for a few more days after all. As a result of New York’s win, they have locked up the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft while the Jaguars are officially on the clock at No. 1. Not only did the Browns lose, but they looked terrible doing so. However, is it all their fault? On Saturday, the Browns were forced to place three-wide receivers, two of which, starters, on the reserve/ COVID list. Jarvis Landy, Rashard Higgins, and Donovan Peoples-Jones were all out for Sunday’s loss as they were deemed close-contacts. Meanwhile, Marvin Hall, who played with the Lions a few weeks back, was the Cleveland WR1. Fair or not, the NFL allowed the game to be played and the Browns collapsed. Sure, the Browns were down wideouts, but their bread and butter is running the football and facilitating pass to their talented tight end group. Cleveland’s offense just could not get going. Baker Mayfield included. While Mayfield has played better of late, he regressed without his top wideouts in the loss. Mayfield was good on 28-of-53 passes for 283 yards with three fumbles and two fumbles lost, including the game-clinching fourth-quarter giveaway. The star of the game for the Jets was Jamison Crowder, who has been new York’s top offensive weapon for most of the year. While Crowder hauled in 7-of-9 targets for 92 yards and one touchdown, he also threw a 43-yard score to Braxton Berrios on a trick play. Crowder finished Week 16 as the WR5 with 29.3 points in PPR scoring formats.
5. Week 16 NFL Recap: Steelers snap three-game slide and clinch the AFC North.
While the Jets lost their first 13 games of the year before winning each of their past two, the Steelers had a similar run only in reverse. Pittsburgh won their first 11 contest before their recent three-game losing streak. A slide that ended with a heroic come-from-behind victory over the Colts. At one point in the third quarter, the Steelers were behind 24-7 and staring at their fourth consecutive defeat. However, Pittsburgh’s defense would not allow another point while thier offense dropped 21 unanswered en route to their AFC North-clinching 28-24 win. It looked like another poor game for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense for over two periods of play. But then, Big Ben took over. Completing 34-of-49 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns, Roethlisberger willed the Steelers to victory beginning with a 39-yard scoring strike to Diontae Johnson late in the third. Not too long thereafter, Pittsburgh got the ball back and seconds into the fourth quarter, an Eric Ebron touchdown would cut Indy’s lead to three points and the Steelers were cookin’. Halfway through the fourth, Pittsburgh would score the final points of the game, taking a 28-24 lead on the Colts to complete the comeback win with a touchdown from the heavily-scrutinized JuJu Smith-Schuster. Last week, Smith-Schuster was under scrutiny for dancing on the Bengals’ logo preceding their Monday night loss. Now, Smith-Schuster was the hero. #LetJuJuDance. For the Colts, they are now 10-5 and tied with the Titans at that mark as both teams lost in Week 16. The AFC South will come down to Week 17. Colts RB Jonathan Taylor continues to dominate following a rocky start to the year. The stud rookie rusher carried the ball 18 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor hit his two touchdown prop on Sunday. It was the second time in three games he’s accomplished that feat. In five games since Week 11, Taylor has totaled 74 yards, going for 114+ three times. Taylor is also riding a four-game scoring streak, scoring six times in that four-game period. Taylor is what we call a fantasy football league-winner.
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