2021 Fantasy Football Week 16 Blurbview

by Richard Savill
2021 Fantasy Football Week 16 Blurbview

Christmas has the power to warm and release your heart from all that fantasy tension build-up since the summer. The time when a crackling fire soothes the cold and tired feet from a long and eventful journey. The New Year makes it all the more festive. As with every new year, it's about reflection and looking ahead. It's about the conversation.

Apart from its participants, Fantasy Football itself took some rough knocks in 2021. Redraft league formats once again took a pounding, and heavier than usual, but we know it will return in 2022 just as strong as it ever was.

Let me impart one more additional piece to the discussion as we near the end of 2021 and look forward to 2022:

The power of having an elite tight end. I suspect Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and George Kittle will have a high interest in 2022. Mucking around with other tight ends, even those nebulously ranked below those mentioned in the top ten, just fail your fantasy team. Having a trusty player in the most awkward position to fill in fantasy solves a lot of problems.

This is my last Blurbview of the season. I really hope you enjoyed the blurbs. I was far less concise this season, often closing near my self-regulating 150 word maximum per "in brief" blurb. Next year, if I'm still doing this, I might challenge it to a 120 max.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts about blurbview or any questions.

And with that, a very Merry Christmas to all. Have a Happy New Year too!

The 2021 Fantasy Football Week 16 Blurbview is next.

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2021 Fantasy Football Week 16 Blurbview

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?The Games this Week?2021 Fantasy Football Week 16 Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.

Christmas Games in Brief...

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4:30 ET: Browns (7-7) at Packers (11-3)  -7.5 45.5

The Browns can ill-afford any further losses for playoff hopes, and a visit to the frozen tundra comes at the worst moment. A return of Cleveland's main personnel after circumstances forced them to use a 3rd stringer at QB in Week 15 seems too little, too late. Your fantasy choices on the Browns go no further than Nick Chubb. The Packers should wrap this up early by at least a three score victory. Allen Lazard is an upside Flex with MVS questionable.
Pick Poll: Packers 95%
Weather: 32° Overcast

8:20 ET: Colts (8-6) at Cardinals (10-4) -1.0 49.5

The suddenly very beatable Cardinals face a Colts team going in the positive direction. The colorful quilt offense of Arizona, with an "adjust to us if you can" chaotic flow, failed against lowly Detroit. Now it's the Colts. A team with an opportunistic defense. This puts your Arizona fantasy players more toward the shade compared with the fully upside regular starter options on Indy. That said, a bounce-back levelling for the Cards is entirely possible with a potential shootout in store. I lean toward it being not. Jonathan Taylor can take the oxygen out of such scripts, and once again, Carson Wentz can put his feet up and roast chestnuts.
Pick Poll: Cardinals 55%
Weather: Dome

Early Sunday: Bills (8-6) at Patriots (9-5) -2.5 43.5

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How much remains of this 20-year dynasty in the NFL? We are about to find out.

Bill Belichick places a premium on not allowing homerun ball attacks to beat his team. So we can expect, like last time in Week 13, that poor old Stefon Diggs (7-4-51-0) once again gets the Belichick freezer. But the Pats may require a keener focus on Isaiah McKenzie. Don't laugh. With Gabriel Davis on the list, McKenzie has actual standalone Flex upside.

Add in Devin Singletary and Dawson Knox to your playoff lineups at their usual fantasy import.

Patriots Options Less Defineable

It's tough to own Patriots as long as Belichick keeps the bridle on everyone. Rhamondre Stevenson had the backfield stable practically all to himself against the Colts, with a few interludes from Branden Bolden, and had only 10 carries for 36 yards. Update: Rhamondre Stevenson - list.

Yet, in Week 13 versus the Bills with Damien Harris, both Stevenson and Harris combined for 189 yards. Stevenson owned the carry split 24-10, but Harris broke for higher yardage 111-78.

Do not expect Belichick to order up a second helping of the same game plan. New England remain the most frustrating of the playoff contenders to gain a sense of what we can trust from them in fantasy. It is perfectly normal to have hesitancy in starting either of the running backs mentioned. Let the maverick in you decide. If forced, I prefer Stevenson based on better health.

As for the easy part, I do think we can trust Hunter Henry as a low TE1 for reasonable fantasy points. As a semi-finalist, you know all about the receivers on the Pats by now and what they bring to the table.

Fun Fact: The Patriots have yet to finish two consecutive seasons outside the top spot in the AFC East in 21st century. They are 17-3 in terms of being first versus not first.
Sleeper: Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots
Pick Poll: 50%
Weather: 40° Mostly Cloudy

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...

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Ravens (8-6) at Bengals (8-6) -2.5 45.5

Is it just me, or does it seem that Tyler Huntley manages a collapsing pocket and extends plays better than Lamar Jackson? It appears we shall see more of Huntley's abilities this week with Jackson trending doubtful. The Ravens lost to Green Bay last week, but their efficient late rally touchdown is worthy of note. This was one of several positive takeaways from that loss. It also gives you plenty of reasons to be optimistic for your startable fantasy Ravens heading into Cincinnati with Tyler Huntley. Well, that got old fast. With Josh Johnson as the QB for Baltimore, you must consider all your Ravens as volitile options. However, safety valves like Devonta Freeman and Mark Andrews remain safe enough. Marquise Brown, I'm not so sure about. Joe Mixon suffered a minor ankle sprain last week, but a bit of light-duty practice should see him on the field no problem.
Pick Poll: Bengals 65%
Weather: 47° Partly Cloudy

2021 Fantasy Football Week 12 Blurbview

Giants (4-10) at Eagles (7-7) -10.0 41.5

Everyone should have the memo by now: Do not start any Giants in your fantasy playoffs - that includes Graham Gano. Like Washington, the Giants offer little resistance to your fantasy Eagles, and making decisions about them fairly basic. One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, QB1 - Jaylen Hurts, RB2 - Miles Sanders, TE1 - Dallas Goedert, and DeVonta Smith as a risk/reward Flex. in a pear tree.
Pick Poll: Eagles 96%
Weather: 46° Clear
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Lions (2-11-1) at Falcons (6-8) -5.5 42.5

Detroit doesn't pay much attention to the Tankathon draft order website. Top five still gets you someone good anyway, right? The Falcons have nothing but the playoff math left, and much like Detroit, they can check out their inventory at this point. This is always a concern in fantasy for teams outside of contention. The injury tolerance drops, and your starters needn't play through even a minor graze. Jamaal Williams returns, but you can't start him because of Craig Reynolds' surge. For all of Detroit's emerging receiver talent, none of them are fantasy safe. This is the playoffs, so only go with Russell Gage, Kyle Pitts, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Pick Poll: Falcons 80%
Weather: Dome

Jaguars (2-12) at Jets (3-11) -2.5 41.5

We hoped the Jaguars would have an uptick response versus the Texans, but it all seemed like business as usual. You already know the one player from this game worthy enough of fantasy playoff trust. For the game itself, it's not much better. Still, a rookie QB battle provides some mild interest. Consolation bracketeers can fly with Nico Collins as a fun test-drive.
Pick Poll: Jets 76%
Weather: 45° Clear

Buccaneers (10-4) at Panthers (5-9) +10.0 44.0

Ronald Jones takes over the backfield now. Ke'Shawn Vaughn and the freshly signed Le'Veon Bell back him up. Scooping and stashing Bell might have made sense a few weeks ago, but not now. The better chance is to grab Tyler Johnson off waivers for Chris Godwin. Tyler Johnson has fantasy practicality in the weeks before December, but he counts as a very risky start now. D.J. Moore (hamstring) is also a major fantasy problem. In a meaningless game, the Panthers could simply preserve Moore and move ahead with Robby Anderson. All the Panthers are desperation plays in any case.
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 97%
Weather: 68° Clear
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Chargers (8-6) at Texans (3-11) +10.5 46.5

Brandin Cooks, Austin Ekeler, and Jalen Guyton went on the list this past Wednesday. Last week, Mike Williams gave us a scare, just before the really scary Donald Parham injury. Williams ultimately had poor totals in that game by hauling in just three passes on nine targets. Williams starts, of course, but his efficiency needs to rise. The Texans won't slouch on coverage with Justin Herbert's arm in the building. This will allow the Chargers' backfield (Ekeler or Justin Jackson) to tear up the carpet. Joshua Palmer is a reasonable upside sleeper in an emergency. Note: Now that Mike Williams is out, Palmer is a strong play in his tier.
Pick Poll: Chargers 98%
Weather: 73° Mostly Cloudy

Rams (10-4) at Vikings (7-7) +3.0 49.0

A matchup made for the fantasy playoffs. Many of you will look back at this game as the pivotal point where you either won or lost your semifinal. If the Bears, with a thin secondary, could contain Kirk Cousins by applying up-front pressure, think how much the Rams could do. Adam Thielen's return will downgrade K.J. Osborn, but actually helps Justin Jefferson by loading extra work on the secondary. Sony Michel took over the Rams' backfield from Darrell Henderson, so the latter now becomes risky. With Dalvin Cook on the list, Alexander Mattison has the front.
Pick Poll: Rams 87%
Weather: Dome

Late Sunday: Steelers (7-6-1) at Chiefs (10-4) -10.5 46.5

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The Chiefs will clinch the AFC West with a win over the Steelers and a Chargers loss to the Texans. Even if the Chiefs lose, a win over the Broncos in Week 18 is enough to take the division.

The real prize for Kansas City is the conference bye, so every game is crucial.

If the Ravens beat the Bengals and the Steelers beat the Chiefs, then the Steelers will control their own destiny for the AFC North. A loss nearly eliminates them from the playoffs altogether. Teams in contention this season won't be resting starters in Week 18.

As for this game, the Steelers will find it heavy lifting to pull off an upset. Since Week 9 and their win against the Packers 13-7, the Chiefs on defense continued improving. You must start your best Steelers only and hope they can overcome a negative script. Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris already had a bad Week 15 against the Titans, and this could unfortunately halt your road to finals week.

As for the Chiefs, the Steelers have a very competent defense in their own right. However, the script favors the Chiefs in a number of ways.

For one, the Chiefs are at home. Secondly, the Chiefs are more likely to sustain drives enough to keep winning the field position battle. Thus making this a game where Pittsburgh's first visit to the Chiefs side of the 50 doesn't happen until late in the 2nd quarter.

Fun Fact: The Steelers have the 2nd most sacks with 41 and the Chiefs have the 4th least with 22.
Sleeper:  Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Steelers
Pick Poll: Chiefs 92%
Weather: 51° Overcast

Other Late Games in Brief...

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2021 Fantasy Football Week 13 Blurbview

Bears (4-10) at Seahawks (5-9) -6.5 42.5

Probably a better game than we might expect. With both coaches staring at Black Monday in a couple of weeks, we can imagine a silent agreement to let the boys play and produce a thriller. Give the public what they want to see, right? Some compare Justin Fields to the young version of Russell Wilson. My eyes only see a few instances of this, but I get the idea. Look for a colorful game of mixed offense from both teams. Start your studs and let 'er rip! With Gus Johnson in the booth, pump up the volume too. [Later that day...] Now I find out Fields is looking on the wrong side of questionable. [Later that week...] Now Nick Foles starts for the Bears. Concerns for Darnell Mooney no doubt. It's a tough call because Foles will need to overcome some rust and Cole Kmet becomes safety valve over deep shots in a 12th man environment.
Pick Poll: Seahawks 88%
Weather: 26° Overcast, Chance of Snow

Broncos (7-7) at Raiders (7-7) Even 41.5

Quite amazing that this game adds so little importance to the playoff picture. Like the Bears and Seahawks game, do not let the low O/U projection put you off. Derek Carr loves taking deep shots whenever the opportunity arises. Drew Lock arguably has a better passing knack than Teddy Bridgewater, so I'm fully with the Over bets in this one. That said, the season-long "no bueno" feeling about starting any receiver on the Broncos never shifted. Noah Fant is the only pass-catching option worthy of the fantasy playoffs on Denver. Hunter Renfrow, our new Julian Edelman, will carry major fantasy currency into 2022.
Pick Poll: Raiders 74%
Weather: Dome

Feature Games

Sunday Night: WFT (6-8) at Cowboys (10-4) -10.5 47.0

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It doesn't scream "must see" football, but the penultimate game of Christmas week has major fantasy interest.

Washington's Garrett Gilbert could barely hold the fort and needed a lucky heel bounce to get a short-field chance touchdown against the Eagles last Tuesday. Washington still lost though and now need wins and help for any post-season ideas.

Taylor Heinicke should return this week with at least some up-level help to Terry McLaurin's fantasy line. Jaret Patterson is an essential last-minute grab and plug play. Antonio Gibson has a toe injury and these really sting. Even if Gibson suits, there is the distinct possibility he will see limited snaps. This makes Patterson a medium-risk start and could win your playoff!

The Prescott Problem

Prescott's last top-10 QB finish came against the Raiders in Week 12. Since then, his fantasy point totals are 12-12-11. This includes the first Washington game the week before last. The trickle-down fantasy economics of this has hit CeeDee Lamb hard. Amari Cooper had even worse fantasy plummets over the same stretch. Michael Gallup should be viable in a game like this, but now looks like just too much of a gamble.

Despite their dubious reliability, I think we see Prescott, Lamb and Cooper turn things up for Christmas. Dalton Schultz is at least a dependable option for your fantasy TE slot. As for the backfield, Ezekiel Elliott appears healthier, whereas Tony Pollard does not.

Fun Fact: The Cowboys and Colts have the most takeaways on defense with 31.
Sleeper: Jaret Patterson, RB, Washington
Pick Poll: Cowboys 94%
Weather: Dome

Monday Night: Dolphins (7-7) at Saints (7-7)  -3.0 38.5

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The game that decides it? You'll see plenty of "what you need" on Twitter in the lead up.

Yet, there are only handful of viable fantasy options.

David Furones, Inside reporter for the Dolphins, muddied the waters somewhat about the backfield usage for Week 16. Duke Johnson lept off the free agent list last week and put up a stunning stat-line against the Jets of 22-107-2; rolling well ahead of Myles Gaskin (10-54-0).

I would feel very hesitant about chasing the points with Duke Johnson. After all, the Dolphins were cozily at home against a season-long moribund Jets defense. The Dolphins were testing the tires on Johnson in a good matchup and all went well.

What Johnson actually does with that Kool-Aid Jug Man entrance in Week 15 is make Myles Gaskin and himself overtly high-risk Flex options.

More Dolphin Splits Downfield

It doesn't get any easier for those looking for solid target shares between Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. The Dolphins simply do not have a good enough offense to support extra mouths like other teams do. They are all playable, but owing to this matchup, Gesicki appears the safest for the fantasy playoffs.

If I had to choose between Waddle and Parker, I would nervously choose Waddle owing to his more consistent usage.

For the Saints, Alvin Kamara is the only one you should consider from this team for your fantasy playoffs. Ian Book is the great green unknown.

Fun Fact: The Dolphins last won at New Orleans in Week 13 of 1998. Dan Marino was the quarterback and threw for three touchdowns.
Sleeper: Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
Pick Poll: Saints 71%
Weather: Dome

In the Booth

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Christmas Day NFL Network with FOX

4:30 ET - Browns at Packers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
8:20 ET - Colts at Cardinals:
Joe Davis, Kurt Warner


CBS Early

Bills at Patriots: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Ravens at Bengals: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Jaguars at Jets: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
Chargers at Texans: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

FOX Early

Rams at Vikings: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Giants at Eagles: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Buccaneers at Panthers: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Lions at Falcons: Chris Myers, Robert Smith

CBS Late

Steelers at Chiefs: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Broncos at Raiders: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta

FOX Late

Bears at Seahawks: Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib

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Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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2021 Fantasy Football Rest of Season Rankings - Fantasy Six Pack December 24, 2021 - 6:00 pm

[…] Week 16 Blurbview comes out on Friday night (6pm et) with updates throughout the weekend! A concise preview of all […]


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