Fantasy Football Week 16 Recap: Catch-up on some of the key fantasy football happenings from Sunday’s games, including injuries to Joe Mixon and DeMarco Murray, a clutch performance by C.J. Anderson and Eric Ebron’s continued late-season success.
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Kirk Cousins Turns In QB1 Performance
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 19 of 37 passes for 299 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a win over the Denver Broncos. It was his best stat line since he lit up the Saints for 322 and three in Week 11. Cousins has endured a litany of injuries to his offensive line and receiving corps during a down year for the Redskins, but he still sits at QB6 overall for the season and should be considered a mid range QB1 for 2018 regardless of where he lands, whether back in Washington or elsewhere.
Ezekiel Elliott Makes Return And Goes Over 100 Total Yards
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott got off to a hot start in the first half of the game against Seattle. However, the passing game struggled as the game went on and he would end with only 97 yards rushing on 24 carries after a disappointing second half. It was his first game back from a six-game suspension but he did add four catches for 21 yards to shore up his PPR scoring. Elliott will enter 2018 as one of the top running back unless there is a major and shocking change in the offseason.
Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram Injured
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck) and tight end Evan Engram (ribs) both suffered injuries in the Week 16 loss to the Cardinals and were ruled out. Shepard was able to manage five catches for 45 yards before his injury, but Engram caught only one pass for 12 yards before his injury. Both players are quarterback Eli Manning‘s best options in the passing game to close out the season, but they may both be shut down with only one game remaining. Engram, a rookie, was one of the more consistent and productive fantasy tight end options in 2017. If both players sit out in Week 17, nobody on the Giants will be worth trusting, but Roger Lewis and Travis Rudolph would be the team’s top receivers.
DeMarco Murray Exits With Injury
Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray suffered a knee injury late in the team’s 27-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after rushing for 48 yards and a touchdown. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said that “it didn’t look good” and added that the team would conduct an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. All signs point to Murray’s season being over for the Titans, paving the way for fellow running back Derrick Henry to finally get his shot as the workhorse. If Murray does indeed miss next week’s game as it currently seems he will, Henry will be a solid option in all formats and a bargain DFS play.
Johnson Leads Browns In Receiving; Gordon Quiet
Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson paced his team with seven receptions for 81 yards against the Chicago Bears in Week 16. The third-year running back also added four rushes for 20 yards as his team lost 20-3. Johnson was the lone bright spot on a day where his offense struggled to do much of anything. Johnson now has 68 receptions on the season, which broke the Browns team record for catches by a running back. He will look to keep it going against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17.
Meanwhile, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon came up small in his team’s Week 16 loss to the Chicago Bears. Gordon caught just 2-of-8 targets for 19 yards as the Bears went on to win 20-3. Gordon continues to be heavily targeted by quarterback DeShone Kizer but the two have shown little chemistry in their four games together. Kizer has targeted Gordon 36 times but the two have connected for just 14 receptions this season. Kizer tried to find Gordon in the end zone in the second quarter but overthrew the wideout, leading to an interception. Gordon will look to finish the season on a high note against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17.
C.J. Anderson Rewards His Owners In Key Performance
Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson rushed 16 times for 88 yards and a touchdown versus Washington. He added a game-high seven catches for 45 yards. The total effort was a great effort in standard and possibly week-winning in PPR. C.J. Anderson looks to be a great option in Week 17 if nothing changes. His outlook for 2018 is unclear but he is worth keeping in a comprehensive keeper format.
LeSean McCoy Totals 147 yards
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy rushed for 71 yards on 17 carries but also managed five receptions for 76 yards in Week 16 against the Patriots. The only downside to his performance was his inability to find the end zone. On the other hand, he also topped 100 all-purpose yards for the third time in the last four weeks. That said, he has come on strong to close the season, just in time for fantasy owners. He retained his status as a must-start RB1 as a result, and was likely a key figure for those chasing fantasy championships. For those with fantasy championships in Week 17, McCoy should remain strong RB1 option in a positive matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Eric Ebron Has Another Great Game
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron had a phenomenal game for the Lions, catching five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. He’s now scored touchdowns in two consecutive weeks and has 20 receptions in his last three contests. After a rough start to the season, Ebron has come on as of late. He is playing as well as any tight end in the league and will be a rock solid TE1 against Green Bay next week.
Joe Mixon Leaves Early with Injury
Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon left Sunday’s game early with a left ankle injury. He never returned. He finished the game with three rushes for 12 yards and two catches for 20 yards. In his place Giovani Bernard had a great game, but Mixon is clearly the No. 1 back. If he is healthy expect him to start next week against Baltimore, where he will be a low-end RB2.