Fantasy Takeaways: No Lamar Jackson, no problem for Mark Andrews
Week 16 was a survival-of-the-fittest week. If the player wasn't on the COVID-19 list, they were startable. Those were the rules. You were lucky if you made it to the championship round after the chaos last week. Today, we will dive into a little bit of that chaos.
Here are my takeaways from Week 16.
Welcome back, A.J.!
It’s felt like forever since we have had the privilege to see A.J. Brown ball out after he was placed on IR due to a chest injury. After being activated off last week, there were some concerns about his workload as he hadn’t played since Week 12.
It turns out that most of us were worried for nothing.
Who here started AJ Brown 😏 pic.twitter.com/eFNbZuYpaX
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 24, 2021
Brown absolutely dominated in his return to the field, posting a career-high 11 receptions on 16 targets for 145 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the WR2. He was basically a one-man army, seeing a career-high 53.3 percent target share, which was more than his last two games played combined (32.4%). His touchdown in Week 16 was also his first touchdown since Week 8.
The only person who missed Brown more than fantasy managers was Ryan Tannehill.
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From Weeks 12-15, Tannehill was terrible, the QB32 in points per game. Tannehill finished as the QB9 in Week 16 with Brown back in the lineup. It was also his first game throwing over 200 yards since Brown’s injury.
It does look like Tannehill and fantasy managers are ecstatic to have Brown back and healthy, especially in time for the fantasy championship. He gets to take on the Dolphins, who give up the fifth-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position. If I didn’t make it obvious yet, Brown is a bonafide WR1 who is going to help managers win some championships!
On your Mark …
Is there anything Mark Andrews can’t do? He is the definition of “QB proof.” It doesn’t matter if it’s Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, Josh Johnson or the mailman — Andrews is still a top-three tight end.
Entering Week 16, he was second in targets, first in receptions, and second in receiving yards. So, you know he had to keep it going in the fantasy semi-finals.
Mark Andrews continues DOMINATING 🔥
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 26, 2021
Despite the 41-21 blowout loss to the Bengals, Andrews did his thing (as per usual), catching 8 receptions on 10 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown and finishing as the TE1. This was his third straight week with over 100 yards and at least one touchdown. He also hasn’t seen less than 8 targets in a game since Week 7.
You’re starting Andrews no matter who the quarterback is for Baltimore. He does get a tough matchup next week against the Rams who give up the 11th-fewest points to tight ends. Nevertheless, you’re playing Andrews and not thinking twice about it. Let’s bring home the gold, Mark!
The Bills actually found a running back outside of Josh Allen? I almost thought the day would never come. However, it seems as though the Bills finally decided to place their trust in Devin Singletary as their RB1. In Week 15, Singletary saw a career-high 22 carries, a season-high 93% of snaps and had a season-high 86 yards rushing. Even though it was during a 31-14 blowout win against the Panthers, it was encouraging to see the usage.
Now, it was time to see how he would be utilized against the New England Patriots in Week 16 since he only posted 36 yards in their earlier matchup.
Thankfully, Singletary rose up to the challenge, posting 17 touches for 78 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, finishing as RB10. Despite the tough matchup, he saw his second-highest opportunity share (78%) and target share (14%) on the season. This was also the first time in his career that he has scored a rushing touchdown in back-to-back weeks. There wasn't much competition for him to overcome since Zack Moss only had 3 rushes and Matt Breida was a healthy scratch.
Perhaps the biggest touchdown of the season comes on the legs of Devin Singletary. What a drive for the #Bills who take the 26-14 lead after the unsuccessful 2 point conversion. pic.twitter.com/DOoMnu574e
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) December 26, 2021
Singletary should be considered a high-end RB2 due to volume and game script against the Falcons in the championship, who give up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs. It’s still a little weird to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Singletary ended up being the X-factor in a lot of championship rosters.
Guys, first, let me start by saying Ronald Jones did not get benched, so that’s something.
Now, let’s get into his first game this season as Tampa Bay’s RB1. The game script played out perfectly for Jones in this 32-6 win against the Panthers, as he rushed 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the RB11. Even though he ultimately finished as an RB1, the performance was a tad underwhelming given the opportunity.
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The late touchdown really saved his fantasy day, otherwise, Jones would have finished as low-end RB2 on the week. Also, despite catching 2 of his 3 targets for 16 yards, he had a bad drop near the end zone where he would have walked in for six. Jones was out-rushed by his counterpart Ke’Shawn Vaughn who looked electric, rushing seven times for 70 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown. It was disappointing that Jones had 13 more rushes than Vaughn and still couldn’t post more rushing yards. The good news for Jones is that he saw his highest opportunity share (68%) and target share (10%) of the season.
Regardless, Jones did have a solid fantasy day and is line to have an even bigger day next week.
He is playing the Jets in the fantasy championship! Does it get any better than that?? He should be considered a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 against New York who gives up the most points to the running backs. It’s wild to think that Jones could end up being a league winner.
Let’s go, RoJo!