Fantasy Football Week 17 Quick Recap

There are so many twists and turns in an NFL Sunday that it’s hard for fantasy football managers to keep up with it. This column is designed to help you out, by providing you with all the storylines you need to know from the Sunday action in order to jumpstart your research for week 18.

The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North title with a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase helping many fantastic managers claim their league crown with historic performances . In Week 17’s win, Burrow became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions in back-to-back games.

Meanwhile, Chase became the youngest player to have at least 180 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions in a single game. Randy Moss (1998) and Jerry Butler (1979) are the only other 21-year-olds to total at least 150 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in a game. Chase also became the first player with multiple touchdowns over 65 yards in a single game since Odell Beckham Jr. achieved the feat for the Giants in Week 6 of the 2016 season.

All statistics are courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information, unless otherwise noted.

Here’s a look at some of the other notable stats from Sunday’s action:

  • Antonio Brown entered Game of Week 17 against the New York Jets after being targeted on 32.7% of his routes. It was the third highest rate in the league behind Christian McCaffrey (38%) and Cooper Kupp (33%). However, following Brown’s self-imposed exile in the third quarter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released him. Cyril Grayson, a former All-American sprinter, played 34 of 47 snaps in the second half and completed 26 routes. Grayson got five of his eight targets in the final practice of the game as the Buccaneers prepared for their comeback. Grayson is expected to make his full-time starting debut against the Panthers in Week 18.

  • Ronald Jones II’s injury in the third quarter kept him from playing more in what was considered a positive game against the New York Jets. Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell surprisingly shared touches and snaps after Jones left. Vaughn ran hard showing off his power, vision and contact balance and had excellent pass protection reps. Even though Jones may return for Week 18, some form of backfield committee can be expected in Week 18.

  • Michael Carter suffered a concussion in the Jets’ game against the Buccaneers, shortly after a solid 55-yard run attempt. Carter has averaged 16.3 touches, 93.0 total yards and 14.5 fantastic points in his last seven games. Behind a Jets offensive line that ranks 26th in block win rate, those numbers were impressive. If he clears the concussion protocol, Carter can be seen as a volume-based RB2 against the Bills in Week 18. Tevin Coleman would probably be the most likely candidate to fill the void if he doesn’t. is not able to do so.

  • For most of Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Rams focused their passing coverage on Mark Andrews, who was averaging 125.0 receiving yards over the past three weeks. As a result, Rashod Bateman led all of the Baltimore Ravens’ receivers in targets (10) and receptions (7). Despite playing over 80% of offensive snaps for the third week in a row, Bateman only finished with 58 yards. Tyler Huntley’s inability to hit the field was quite a disadvantage for any Ravens wide receiver. Unless Lamar Jackson returns in Week 18, they’re probably a team to be avoided for the sake of fantasy.

  • When Cam Sims receives pictures, he constantly takes big shots. With Washington’s injury issues at the wide receiver and tight end, he had the opportunity to grow stronger. Against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Sims posted a season record in snaps played (74%), targets (5) and receptions (4). He finished third in the team’s courses behind only Terry McLaurin and John Bates. It’s unfortunate that Washington took so long to introduce The Sims. However, he is expected to have similar success against a Giants defense that allows for the 10th most WR fantasy points per game.

  • Damien Harris suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and ceded backfield duties to Rhamondre Stevenson in the second half. The New England Patriots simply crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars, so his health wasn’t worth risking. Stevenson ran for 107 yards against the Jaguars, a new season high. It was his second game of the season in which he scored two touchdowns. The only two running backs with more rushing yards before first contact than his 58 this week were D’Onta Foreman (88) and Rashaad Penny (100). In the event that Harris does not play against the Dolphins in Week 18, Stevenson can be considered an RB2.

  • Zay Jones has been formidable for the Las Vegas Raiders over the past three weeks, even outperforming Hunter Renfrow. For that stretch, Jones averaged 29.0 runs, 9.0 targets, 79.0 receiving yards and fantastic 14.5 points per game. Compare that to Renfrow’s 27.7 runs, 5.7 targets, 49.3 receiving yards and 13.3 fantastic points over the same period. As the Raiders receivers face a tough game against the Side Chargers in Week 18, Jones should be seen as flexible play in deeper formats.

  • Cedrick Wilson of the Dallas Cowboys got the chance to play in 3-WR sets this weekend after Michael Gallup suffered an ACL injury that likely ended his season. As such, Wilson is on the flexible radar for Week 18 against the Eagles. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will take this opportunity for more playing time as an audition for other teams. Gallup’s injury is also having an impact on CeeDee Lamb, who is expected to earn much of the goals previously reserved for Gallup.

  • Gabriel Davis of the Buffalo Bills has only been targeted three times against the Atlanta Falcons, even as he led his team in snap percentage (86%), receiving yards (40) and course runs. (26). Davis could be considered a WR3 against a terrible Jets defense if Emmanuel Sanders (knee) is ruled out for Week 18. If Sanders plays, Davis is still a flexible game. It is possible that the Bills will phase out Cole Beasley. The veteran wide receiver’s statistical output has declined this season, so he may not be asked to return for 2022.

  • For the Falcons, Kyle Pitts suffered a hamstring injury, but not before his 69 receiving yards helped him break Atlanta’s rookie record for receiving yards. If he can play against the Saints, Pitts is fortunate enough to break Mike Ditka’s rookie TE receiving record (1076) with a day of 59 yards.

  • Saquon Barkley ran for 102 yards on Sunday, his first game in over two years with over 100 rushing yards. Barkley ends the season as RB2 against a Washington defense that grants the second highest number of fantastic points per game to all offensive positions. One year away from his ACL tear, the 25-year-old future running back could be a decent value in the 2022 draft, depending on the adjustments the Giants make during the offseason.