Mon Jan 10 8:35am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Prescott has huge game Week 18
Well, that is it. The regular season is over. And while many of the games weren’t very good, the last one on the slate might have been the best of any game all season. Wow. It was a fitting end to a great regular season. If you happened to play this week, here is to hoping you were able to navigate the players sitting, hurt or on the COVID list and win your game. It was not easy in Week 18.
Chiefs 28, Broncos 24
Fantasy Stud: Melvin Gordon. Gordon and Javonte Williams had the same about of work once again, but Gordon was the better producer in this one. Gordon ran 12 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for six yards. This was his third 100-yard game of the season. Gordon had a fine season in a split role with Williams and proved he can still be a top back in this league.
Fantasy Dud: Tyreek Hill. Hill was active but apparently hurt his heel in warm-ups. He played very little, catching just a pass for two yards. He had an awful game for any fantasy owners that used him. And his injury situation came out of nowhere, which made things even worse for his owners. Hill had a great season once again, but burnt any owner that used him in Week 18. Hopefully, he is ready for the playoffs.
Game Notes: Darrel Williams suffered a toe injury and left the game early. He had even carries for 17 yards before the injury. It is not known the severity of the injury right now, so keep an eye on the player notes for the latest.
Cowboys 51, Eagles 26
Fantasy Stud: Dak Prescott. Prescott had maybe his best game of the season. He had a great game, going 21-of-27 for 295 yards and five touchdowns without a turnover. Prescott didn’t have a super consistent season but still finished with 38 total touchdowns to 10 interceptions and threw for nearly 4,500 yards despite missing a game. His ceiling is super high going forward in this offense.
Fantasy Dud: DeVonta Smith. Smith was pretty quiet in a game that looked favorable for him. He just didn’t get going once again, catching three passes for 41 yards. Smith had a decent rookie season but faded a little down the stretch, having fewer than double-digit fantasy points five of his last six games. He is setup to be the No. 1 receiver for the Eagles for years to come, though, and should take a step forward in year two.
Game Notes: Kenneth Gainwell got the start for the Eagles at running back and looked pretty good in that role. He ran 12 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for nine yards.
Washington 22, Giants 7
Fantasy Stud: Antonio Gibson. Gibson had a great game to end his season, rushing 21 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for five yards. This was just his second 100-yard game of the season. He topped 1,000-rushing yards for the season with his big game to end the year. Gibson didn’t have quite the season as expected but remains a franchise back with a high ceiling going forward.
Fantasy Dud: Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke did not do much in this one, going 9-of-18 for 120 yards without a touchdown or an interception. It was a dud of a finish for Heinicke. He had an up and down season in a starting role for Washington and likely didn’t cement his status as the team’s starter going forward.
Game Notes: Saquon Barkley had a pretty fitting end to the year, rushing 11 times for 30 yards. He also caught three passes for 19 yards. Barkley had a really disappointing season, doing little since his big rookie year.
Vikings 31, Bears 17
Fantasy Stud: Kirk Cousins. Cousins had a big game, going 14-of-22 for 250 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. Cousins had a great showing in his first game back from the COVID list. Cousins had another productive year as the Vikings starter, having 34 total touchdowns to just seven interceptions while topping 4,000-passing yards.
Fantasy Dud: Dalvin Cook. Cook had a pretty ho-hum game for his standard. He ran 14 times for 79 yards but was held out of the end zone and caught just a pass. You expect much better from Cook. Cook had just 92-rushing yards his last two games.
Game Notes: Darnell Mooney had a season high in receptions and yards. He had 12 receptions for 126 yards. Mooney emerged as the No. 1 receiver for the Bears and had his first 1,000-yard season as a pro.
Lions 37, Packers 30
Fantasy Stud: Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown had another great game, giving him two straight 100-yard games to end the season. He has six straight games with at least eight receptions. St. Brown showed he could be the top target in this offense and might be a huge factor for several years for the Lions.
Fantasy Dud: A.J. Dillon. There was some thought Dillon would get a lot of play with Aaron Jones rested. Dillon did play and played pretty well, but didn’t get a full workload. He ran 14 times for 63 yards and caught a pass for four yards. His fantasy showing was not very good.
Game Notes: Jordan Love played the second half as the Packers rested Aaron Rodgers. Love was up and down, going 10-of-17 for 134 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.
Browns 21, Bengals 16
Fantasy Stud: Jarvis Landry. Landry led the way at receiver for the Browns once again. He had six receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Landry scored a season high 19.5 fantasy points in the game. He missed some action this year because of injury, but was pretty productive when playing, having at least four receptions 11 games.
Fantasy Dud: Nick Chubb. Chubb was active and started but took a backseat to D’Ernest Johnson most of the game. Chubb ran nine times for 58 yards and caught a pass for two yards. Chubb had 58-rushing yard each of his last two games to end the season.
Game Notes: D’Ernest Johnson had one of his best game of the year, rushing 25 times for 123 yards and a touchdown. This was his second 100-yard rushing game.
Jaguars 26, Colts 11
Fantasy Stud: Marvin Jones. Jones had seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. Jones topped 20 fantasy points for just the second time this season. He has at least 13 fantasy points three of his last five games.
Fantasy Dud: Jonathan Taylor. Taylor had his worst fantasy game in a long time in this shocker of a game. Taylor ran 15 times for 77 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards. This was his worst fantasy game since Week 3 of the season. Even with that said, Taylor is going to be the consensus No. 1 overall pick in fantasy leagues after his breakout season.
Game Notes: Michael Pittman had six receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. He had at least six receptions three straight games. Pittman finishes with 88 catches for the year.
Titans 28, Texans 25
Fantasy Stud: Danny Amendola. Amendola was the top option for the Texans passing game. He had seven receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He also converted a two-point try. Amendola didn’t have more than 50 yards in a game all season before this one. He was inactive the last several weeks, so this showing came out of left field.
Fantasy Dud: Brandin Cooks. Cooks was knocked from this game early because of a knee injury. He had three receptions for 36 yards before exiting. Hopefully, the injury isn’t too serious and Cooks will be fine with some rest. He had another fine season, producing consistent numbers on a weekly basis.
Game Notes: Ryan Tannehill was 23-of-32 for 287 yards and four touchdowns without a turnover. This was his first four-touchdown game of the season.
Steelers 16, Ravens 13
Fantasy Stud: Latavius Murray. Murray had a great game, carrying much of the load for the Ravens. Murray ran 16 times for 150 yards and a touchdown. This was his first game all year with more than 100-rushing yards. Murray did not have more than 60-rushing yards in a game all year. Murray showed he still has a little something left in the tank and could help in a backup role next year.
Fantasy Dud: Tyler Huntley. Huntley had his struggles, finishing 16-of-31 for 141 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble. The only positive for Huntley was his work on the ground, running 12 times for 72 yards. Huntley has produced at times in a starting role, but this was not a great showing for Huntley.
Game Notes: Najee Harris was in and out of the game with an arm injury. He was able to return to the game, though, and make some plays in overtime. He ran 11 times for 28 yards and caught four passes for 27 yards.
Bucs 41, Panthers 17
Fantasy Stud: Mike Evans. Evans got a little banged up in this game, but returned and had a big performance as the No. 1 option at receiver for the Bucs. Evans caught six passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. This was his fourth multiple touchdown game of the season. Evans had 14 touchdowns and 1,000-plus receiving yards on the season.
Fantasy Dud: Cyril Grayson. There was some high hope for Grayson in this game, but he didn’t last long. He hurt his hamstring early and didn’t return. Grayson had 80-plus yards two straight, so this game with zero points was a disaster for any fantasy owner that used him.
Game Notes: Rob Gronkowski had his seconds straight 100-yard game. He had seven receptions for 137 yards. His yardage total was a season high.
Saints 30, Falcons 20
Fantasy Stud: Russell Gage. Gage had nine receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. He was the clear top target for the Falcons. This was his second 100-yard game of the season. Gage had a season high 27.6 fantasy points. Gage missed some action early in the year because of injury had was 230 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season despite the missed time.
Fantasy Dud: Kyle Pitts. Pitts had a really good season for a rookie tight end, but end it with a dud. He caught just two passes for eight yards. This was his only game all year with fewer than double-digit yards. He had a few duds along the way, but really had a great season and has a very bright future.
Game Notes: Alvin Kamara got a huge workload, rushing 30 times for 146 yards. He also caught two passes for 16 yards, giving him 162 total yards.
Dolphins 33, Patriots 24
Fantasy Stud: Duke Johnson. Johnson got plenty of play once again in this game, running 25 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for five yards. Johnson had 100-yard games with the Dolphins two of his last four. He showed he still has some juice left and could help an NFL team.
Fantasy Dud: Tua Tagovailoa. His team won, but Tagovailoa didn’t have a great game in victory. He was 15-of-22 for 109 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. He scored just 13.3 fantasy points. He has 13.5 or fewer fantasy points three straight games to end his season. It was another inconsistent season for Tagovailoa.
Game Notes: Jaylen Waddle found the end zone for the seventh time this season. He had five receptions for 27 yards and a score. Waddle ends his rookie year with 104 receptions.
Bills 27, Jets 10
Fantasy Stud: Devin Singletary. Singletary continued his great play late in the season. He ran 19 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. So he had 112 total yards and two scores. He had at least 23 fantasy points two straight and at least 14 points five straight. Singletary established himself as the No. 1 back for the Bills.
Fantasy Dud: Michael Carter. Carter was able to play this week but was not a help at all to his fantasy owners. He ran nine times for just 19 yards and didn’t catch a pass. The Bills defense completely dominated the Jets offense in this game. Carter still has a bright future, though. He flashed some big-time potential throughout his rookie year.
Game Notes: Stefon Diggs had nine receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Diggs topped 20 fantasy points for the second time in three games.
49ers 27, Rams 24
Fantasy Stud: Jauan Jennings. Jennings to the most work of his career and had a great showing. He caught six passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Jennings showed a lot of potential with the game, especially with his route running. He likely earned more playing time going forward with this performance.
Fantasy Dud: Sony Michel. Michel still got most of the carries even with Cam Akers back, but didn’t find much room to run. He ran 21 times for just 43 yards and caught a pass for six yards. This was his lowest fantasy point total since Week 12. It broke a streak of at last 74-rushing yards five straight games. Michel is likely to remain the lead back for the Rams in the playoffs.
Game Notes: Cam Akers returned from his torn Achilles’ and got in some game action. He ran five times for three yards and caught three passes for 10 yards. Akers should play a bigger role during the playoffs, looking near full strength in this game.
Seahawks 38, Cardinals 30
Fantasy Stud: Rashaad Penny. Penny remains red hot as the No. 1 back for Seattle. He had another monster game, rushing 23 times for 190 yards and a touchdown. Penny had at least 135-rushing yards three straight and four of five games. Penny’s great finish to the season puts him in line to start next year for the Seahawks.
Fantasy Dud: Kyler Murray. Murray had a ho-hum performance to finish his season. He was 28-of-39 for 240 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. He also ran five times for 35 yards, giving him just 19.5 fantasy points. He had fewer than 20 fantasy points two of his last four games.
Game Notes: Russell Wilson had his second straight four-touchdown game. He was 15-of-26 for 238 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. He also ran four times for five yards and a touchdown.
Raiders 35, Chargers 32
Fantasy Stud: Mike Williams. Williams looked to be banged up in this game but stayed in the game and had a big performance. He had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. Williams had four 100-yard games this season and finished with more than 1,100-receiving yards. He was a little hit or miss but had plenty of big games along the way.
Fantasy Dud: Darren Waller. Waller finally returned to the lineup and was targeted plenty but wasn’t quite on the same page with Derek Carr. Waller had just two receptions for 22 yards. Waller had an injury-plagued season but played well when on the field most weeks. He is an elite tight end when healthy and on his game.
Game Notes: Justin Herbert had quite a performance in defeat. He was 34-of-64 for 383 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. He ends the season with 5,000-plus yards and 41 total touchdowns.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at [email protected] Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson remains in limbo regarding a new deal. The former MVP, who's slated to make over $23 million this year, may delay signing a new contract to receive a heftier salary down the line. If that's the case, Baltimore is then expected to utilize the franchise tag over the following season or two to keep him on the roster. Jackson's productivity declined during 2021, and he finished by racking up 2,882 passing yards, 767 rushing yards, 18 total touchdowns, and a career-high 13 interceptions. He did miss some time due to injury, so as long as he can remain healthy, he has the potential to run his way back into fantasy prominence, even without Marquise Brown on the roster. Nevertheless, more is likely to come surrounding this situation, although it shouldn't keep him from suiting up during the 2022-23 campaign.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has proven to be one of the most potent defensive backs in the league. Unsurprisingly, the 25-year-old is coming off another productive season, finishing 2021 with a career-high 124 total tackles (84 solo) along with two interceptions. Yet, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the organization "won't be rushed into a deal." Granted, that doesn't mean he won't receive one, although the Steelers may continue to play it cool over the next few months before making an offer. Nonetheless, this situation could spill into the Summer, and with Pittsburgh notorious for not negotiating during the season, a holdout may be possible. Fitzpatrick has been one of the best IDP options, so as long the contract situation doesn't keep him off the field, he should remain an elite fantasy asset.
The New York Jets reached an agreement with first-round wide receiver Garrett Wilson on a four-year, fully guaranteed $20.55 million deal on Wednesday, according to a source. The Jets now have all three of their first-round picks under contract. Wilson went 10th overall to the Jets in this year's draft after recording 143 catches for 2,213 yards and 23 touchdowns in his time in Ohio State on 207 targets. The 21-year-old could struggle against more physical cornerbacks at the next level, but his athleticism and elite speed cannot be ignored. The Jets are hoping that Wilson can be a big-play threat immediately for second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. The rookie wideout has plenty of upside, but he could be inconsistent in his first NFL season while fighting for targets alongside Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios.
The Cincinnati Bengals agreed to terms with first-round Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill on a four-year, fully guaranteed rookie deal on Wednesday, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hill was the 31st overall pick of the first round and mostly played safety in college, but he has the athleticism to play cornerback in the NFL. The 21-year-old could be an immediate upgrade over Eli Apple in the Bengals secondary in 2022 and beyond.
Former New York Giants Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal for $10 million on Wednesday, according to sources. It's a big-time post-draft addition for the Eagles secondary, and Bradberry will stay in the NFC East in 2022. The New York Giants released the 28-year-old just over a week ago, and it predictably didn't take the Pro Bowler long to find a new home. The Eagles didn't address cornerback in the draft, so Bradberry is a much-needed addition to the position. In his two seasons with New York, Bradberry had 81 solo tackles, seven interceptions, 35 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 32 games (31 starts).
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook could be more involved in the passing game this year, as he lined up in bunch wide receiver sets during organized team activities. "I don't want to just sit up here and tell y'all everything," Cook said. "We've got Green Bay Week 1, so we're gonna wait and see." It could just be something the new coaching staff is tinkering with, or it could be something the Vikings plan on unveiling in a bigger fashion come the regular season. The 26-year-old could be facing a suspension this year, but when he's available, he should be a no-doubt RB1 with even more appeal for fantasy managers in an offense that should be trending more towards the pass under new head coach Kevin O'Connell.
The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent tight end Troy Fumagalli to an undisclosed one-year deal on Tuesday and released rookie tight end Garrett Walston in a corresponding move. Fumagalli was the longest-tenured NFL veteran at the team's rookie minicamp last weekend on a tryout basis. The 27-year-old was a fifth-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2018 out of Wisconsin, and he last played for Denver in 2020, when he had eight receptions on 15 targets for 80 yards and a touchdown in eight games (no starts). He missed all of last season with an undisclosed injury and has just 14 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns in two NFL seasons. Fumagalli will provide depth behind tight ends George Kittle, Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley.
An MRI confirmed that free-agent running back Tarik Cohen (Achilles), who hasn't played in the NFL since he tore his ACL in Week 3 of the 2020 season, ruptured his Achilles while live streaming a training session, according to a source. It's a tough break for the 26-year-old, who will most likely miss most, if not all, of the 2022 season. Cohen was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2018 with the Chicago Bears in his second NFL season, and he caught a career-high 79 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns on 104 targets in 2019, but his career has been derailed by injuries since 2020.
Updating a previous report, free-agent RB Tarik Cohen (Achilles) suffered a torn Achilles' tendon during his workout Tuesday, May 17.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Jalen Tolbert has agreed to a four-year contract. The third-round rookie could be a legitimate threat early in the season. Michael Gallup (knee) is still recovering from an ACL injury, so Tolbert should see a decent amount of snaps. He finished with 82 receptions, 1,474 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns in 12 games during his final year at South Alabama. Tolbert sounds like someone who is worth snagging as a second or third round dynasty stash.
Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride has agreed to a four-year contract. It sounds like the second-round is making roughly $6.3 million. McBride finished with 90 receptions, 1,1,21 receiving yards, and one touchdown during his final year at Colorado State. He was expected to have a minor role to start the season, but that has likely change. Superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is suspended to start the upcoming season, so McBride could have a bigger role in the offense. There's a chance that McBride ends up as a decent streaming option.
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (knee) is expected to be able to suit up to begin the season. Although, head coach Mike McDaniel mentioned that the organization isn't going to rush it. Mostert suffered a knee injury in September and is still recovering from it. Chase Edmonds figures to be the primary back, but that might not last too long. Myles Gaskin, Sony Michel, and Mostert should be in the mix as well. This sounds like a headache for fantasy managers heading into the season.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. has agreed to a four-year contract. The third round rookie figures to get plenty of attention this upcoming season. The Bears lack legitimate talent at wide receiver, so Jones could have a decent role. In 2021, Jones finished with 62 receptions, 807 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns during his senior year at Tennessee. The speedy wideout could be used in multiple roles, but we'll see how his game translates to the professional level.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (knee) started on-field work a couple of weeks ago after undergoing offseason surgery on the knee injury he suffered in the NFC Championship Game, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (knee) is 'better than where he was (in March) but not where he needs to be ... we don't put a timetable on it,' according to head coach Todd Bowles.
Fantasy Spin: Godwin tore his ACL in Week 15 of last season and is a candidate to be placed on the PUP list in training camp, but the odds are very good he'll be ready to play at some point in September - if not Week 1. The Penn State product may need a few weeks to find his old form, but he should return WR2 value if rediscovers it at some point during the second half of the season. Russell Gage could flirt with WR2 value until that happens.
Free-agent RB Tarik Cohen (Bears) appeared to suffer a significant lower leg injury while training Tuesday, May 17. There has been some speculation from training video posted on social media that he may have torn his right Achilles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said that there remains no timetable for wide receiver Chris Godwin's (knee) return. "Better than where he was but not where he needs to be we don't put a timetable on it," Bowles said. As expected, Godwin isn't available for offseason team activities on Tuesday after tearing his ACL in Week 15 last year. As long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks in his rehab or at training camp this summer, Godwin is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. When healthy, Godwin is one of quarterback Tom Brady's favorite targets and should return to being a WR2, but he could get off to a slow start. If he's not ready for the start of the season, Russell Gage will be a popular fantasy play in Tampa's pass-first offense.
Free-agent TE Troy Fumagalli (Patriots) signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, May 17, after participating in the team's rookie minicamp last weekend. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. The 49ers also released TE Garrett Walston.
Free-agent running back Phillip Lindsay agreed to an undisclosed one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. Lindsay spent last season with the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins, finishing with 88 carries for 249 yards (career-low 2.8 yards per carry) and one touchdown, also adding four receptions for 45 yards and another score. The 27-year-old opened with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his first two years in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, but he's fallen off considerably since then and will be competing for touches in Indianapolis behind bell-cow Jonathan Taylor and pass-catching back Nyheim Hines. Taylor or Hines would likely have to miss time due to injury for Lindsay to even be worth a fantasy pickup.
Former Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (leg) appeared to suffer a significant lower leg injury while training on Tuesday. It's a tough blow for Cohen, who was finally recovered from a torn ACL in 2020. His latest injury is speculated to be a torn Achilles. The 26-year-old running back was released by the Bears with an injury designation back in March. If it's indeed a torn Achilles, he's unlikely to sign with a team or play at all in 2022. In his last full season in 2019, Cohen carried the ball 64 times for 213 yards while also catching a career-high 79 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns on 104 targets in 16 games (11 starts) for the Bears.