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Week 16 Surprises? Takeaways and Overreactions

In Week 16, the quarterback position was kind of a mess. Jameis Winston and Deshaun Watson were playing against each other in a potential smash spot as each opposing defense performed consistently poorly against the pass throughout the season. Instead, both Winston and Watson struggled in what amounted to an exciting, but disappointing game. Daniel Jones returned from injury to finish as the No. 1 quarterback on the week and Andy Dalton racked up garbage-time yardage to finish No. 2 at the position.

At wide receiver, Tyler Boyd led the way, racking up 128 yards and two touchdowns, most of which came in garbage time, while Michael Thomas finished right behind him, logging 12 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown while breaking Marvin Harrison's single-season catch record. Julio Jones finished No. 4 on the week and Devante Parker was able to take advantage of a good matchup against B.W. Webb to finish as the No. 7 receiver on the week with 22.1 PPR points. Other than those already mentioned, the rest of the top-10 was kind of surprising, rounded out by Steven Sims Jr., Tajae Sharpe, Hunter Renfrow, Diontae Johnson, Sterling Shepard and Robert Woods.

Saquon Barkley absolutely went off against the Redskins Defense and finished as the clear No. 1 running back on the week while Kenyan Drake took a run 80 yards to the house on the Cardinals' first drive of the game helping him finish as the No.2 running back on the week. For the most part, the running back position fell as planned, including Alvin Kamara's return to fantasy-relevancy. At tight end, Mike Gesicki scored twice for the Dolphins in a game that ended up being a 38-35 shootout with the Bengals, finishing as the No. 2 tight end on the week. Jared Cook scored twice against the Titans to finish as the No. 3 tight end on the week and Dallas Goedert came through with a top-five performance, seeing 12 targets with Zach Ertz nursing an injury. The main surprise on the week was probably the fact that a tight end failed to score against the Cardinals Defense, with Jacob Hollister catching just five balls for 64 yards. Week 16 is now in the rearview mirror, and now we need to look ahead and evaluate how to move forward to Week 17.

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Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

Week 16 Stats: 16-of-31, 169 yards, 1 TD, 2 carries, 2 yards

In Week 16, the Cardinals defense had Russell Wilson running for his life, sacking him five times while pressuring him several other occasions. Wilson has been underperforming as of late and he has a tough matchup in Week 17 against the 49ers Defense.

Bottom Line: Wilson will be difficult to trust if your fantasy playoffs run through Week 17. He'll be without top rusher Chris Carson too. Heading into 2020 drafts, Wilson should still be considered a QB1 but it would help if the Seahawks invested in an offensive lineman or receiver to give him some more help.


Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU)

Week 16 Stats: 19-of-32, 184 yards, 1 INT, 7 carries, 37 yards

Deshaun Watson was supposed to light the world on fire against a Buccaneers Defense that had been giving up passing yards at an alarming rate. Instead, the Texans Defense dominated early in the game, scoring one defensive touchdown, having another called back by a penalty. From the start, game-flow was not favorable to Watson's fantasy value as he simply didn't need to put the ball in the air much.

Bottom Line: Watson is a great fantasy quarterback but every once in a while he has a performance that leaves you wondering what's going on. If fantasy owners remember getting burned by Watson in their fantasy championship game, he may slip in 2020 drafts. Watson is a clear QB1, you just need to take the good with the bad. It sounds as if Houston will not rest their starters despite having their playoff spot already locked up, so you can play him in Week 17 but he may be hard to trust.


Tajae Sharpe (WR, TEN)

Week 16 Stats: 6 targets, 5 catches, 69 yards, 2 TD

Derrick Henry was out of the lineup for the Titans in Week 16 which meant they had to rely much more on the pass than they would prefer, throwing the ball 27 times while running it 24 times. A.J. Brown saw a lot of Marshon Lattimore in coverage which caused Ryan Tannehill to only look his way twice in the passing game. As a result, Tajae Sharpe played 62.9% of the Titans offensive snaps and came through with two touchdowns.

Bottom Line: Tajae Sharpe eclipsed the 60% mark in snaps played for just the third time this season and he shouldn't be considered a viable fantasy option in Week 17 or 2020 barring injury to other Titans receivers.


Cody Latimer (WR, NYG)

Week 16 Stats: 7 targets, 5 catches, 44 yards, 1 TD

Darius Slayton was injured in Week 16 after playing just 20 snaps which led to Cody Latimer seeing the field for 41 snaps. Latimer made the most of his opportunity and scored, logging 15.4 PPR-points.

Bottom Line: If your fantasy playoffs include Week 17, Latimer should be completely off your radar unless Darius Slayton misses the game. The Giants do play against the Eagles in Week 17 which at least gives Latimer a chance to come through if he plays meaningful snaps.


Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

Week 16 Stats: 1 carry, 4 yards, 1 target, 1 catch, 2 yards, 2 RET TD

Nyheim Hines was not very involved in the Colts offense in Week 16, touching the ball just twice for six yards. However, Hines scored two touchdowns as a return man, which made him fantasy-relevant in leagues that count special teams stats.

Bottom Line: Hines has played less than 20% of the Colts offensive snaps two weeks in a row and shouldn't be considered in Week 17 unless you're desperate.


Kaden Smith (TE, NYG)

Week 16 Stats: 8 targets, 6 catches, 35 yards, 2 TD

In a game that turned into a shootout against the Washington Redskins, Daniel Jones needed to put the ball in the air 42 times, tossing five touchdowns in the process, two of which were caught by Kaden Smith.

Bottom Line: On the season, Smith is averaging less than 10 yards-per-catch and is nothing more than a low-upside, touchdown-dependent streamer if you're desperate for a tight end. The Eagles are one of the tougher defenses against tight ends.


Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Week 16 Stats: 12 targets, 9 catches, 91 yards, 1 TD

Zach Ertz hurt his ribs in Week 16 and as a result, Goedert saw an increase in usage beyond what was already projected to get given the state of the Eagles receiving corps.

Bottom Line: In Week 17, the Eagles play the Giants who have given up decent fantasy-production to tight ends. Goedert is going to see a lot of action with all of the injuries to the Eagles receivers, and if Ertz is limited in any fashion his usage will only increase. If your fantasy playoffs go into Week 17, Goedert is looking like a strong play.

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