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Week 16 Fantasy Live Blog: Championship week arrives

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  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn NFL.com
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Welcome to game day.

Congratulations to the fantasy managers who successfully navigated their way to the title game. Prepare for Ian Thomas and company to vulture your touchdowns.

As always, keep your internet machines tuned here throughout Sunday for the latest fantasy news and developments. For a running list of inactives, make sure to stop by NFL.com/inactives and visit our rankings page to find your replacement options.

Note: All times listed in pacific.


4:47 p.m. - Steelers-Saints ends in ridiculous fashion

Saints sealed the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs in the most ridiculous fashion:

The Steelers now need a lot to go right next week to sneak into the playoffs.


4:38 p.m. - Saints pull ahead on Michael Thomas touchdown

Infants turned into senior citizens during the time it took the officials to rule Michael Thomas' catch a touchdown, but they got the call right.


4:16 p.m. - Steelers block field-goal attempt without jumping offsides

It really happened:

An early Christmas miracle!


3:55 p.m. - Antonio Brown halts in **checks notes** 15th touchdown of season

Actually, Antonio Brown nearly had an even cooler touchdown moments earlier, but he still managed to secure the score for the Steelers and fantasy managers.


3:40 p.m. - Antonio Brown hauls in 14th touchdown of season

Pro tip: cover Antonio Brown in the end zone.

The score gives Brown his 14th receiving touchdown of the year and brings the Steelers within three points of the Saints.


3:38 p.m. - Rams pouring it on Cardinals

Even without Todd Gurley, the Rams have rediscovered their offensive spark against the Cardinals. The latest score came courtesy of Robert Woods.

Los Angeles holds a commanding 31-9 lead.


3:25 p.m. - We hope you have Alvin Kamara on your fantasy team

Alvin Kamara just does it all.

The Saints have extended their lead to 24-14.


3:06 p.m. - Alvin Kamara secures scoring opportunity just before halftime

The Saints didn't take the most aggressive approach to the final 40 seconds of the first half, but that didn't prevent Alvin Kamara from securing a scoring opportunity for his team.

The Saints went on to convert a field goal and take a 17-14 lead into halftime.


2:50 p.m. - 49ers rule out Matt Breida, Garrett Celek and Dante Pettis for remainder of game

Three significant losses for the 49ers offense, though Matt Breida headlines the group during fantasy championship week. Nick Mullens will have to work some magic to overcome the absence of so many of his top weapons.


2:46 p.m. - Big Ben hits some significant passing marks

While Ben Roethlisberger has started slowly Sunday, he managed to hit multiple significant passing marks on the season:

The Steelers have entered field goal range with under two minutes remaining before halftime.


2:28 p.m. - C.J. Anderson filling in well for Todd Gurley

Hopefully, the fantasy managers out there with Todd Gurley found a way to get C.J. Anderson off the waiver wire this week.

Rams hold a 21-9 lead.


2:20 p.m. - Alvin Kamara extends Saints' lead

Alvin Kamara doesn't have a reputation as a power back but that could change after he carried several defenders into the end zone.

The Saints now lead the Steelers 14-6.


2:04 p.m. - Mark Ingram makes Saints history

The Saints have employed many great running backs in their history, but now none have as many rushing touchdowns as Mark Ingram.

Saints lead 7-3.


2:01 p.m. - Josh Rosen breaks out the wheels

Run, Rosen, run!


1:51 p.m. - Rodgers hits Adams for the game winner

Perfect route meets perfect pass:

Packers walk off with a 44-38 overtime win.


1:47 p.m. - Matt Breida heads to locker room

More bad injury news this afternoon. Matt Breida, who entered the game with an ankle injury, has left for the locker room.


1:41 p.m. - Add punter to Taysom Hill's resume (sort of)

An arm punt is like a regular punt.

The Saints probably shouldn't take the ball out of Drew Brees' hands the rest of the game.


1:31 p.m. - Allen Robinson heads to locker room

Though the Bears have not provided an official update, star wideout Allen Robinson left for the locker room with an apparent injury. Robinson already had a nice catch during his team's first possession.


1:26 p.m. - Aaron Rodgers runs **checks notes** two in

Big game from noted running back Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers then ran in the two-point conversion moments later.


12:58 p.m. - Aaron Rodgers runs one in

Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed a bounce-back performance so far Sunday, adding in a rushing touchdown late in the game.

The Packers cut the deficit to 35-30


12:53 p.m. - Deshaun Watson sets Texans record for passing TDs

Young Deshaun Watson already owns a Texans franchise record.

Houston still trails 29-23.


12:39 p.m. - Zach Ertz now has two touchdowns

The tight-end position has endured a rough season, but Zach Ertz rose above the fray all year with solid fantasy production. During fantasy championship week, he did so again.

Ertz now has two touchdowns on the day and the Eagles have extended their lead to 29-16.


12:29 p.m. - Demaryius Thomas ruled out with Achilles injury

Though not exactly the official injury, a torn Achilles is more or less the worst possible outcome for Demaryius Thomas, one of the most productive wideouts over the past decade. The Texans traded to Thomas just before the deadline after Will Fuller went down with a torn ACL. Now, Houston will have to fight on without either.


12:24 p.m. - Demaryius Thomas carted off

The Texans appear on their way to a win, but one of their top pass catchers suffered a serious-looking injury. Wideout Demaryius Thomas went down midway through the second half and needed the cart to leave the field. A return doesn't seem likely.


12:14 p.m. - Falcons piling on in Charlotte

Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley have scored already today. Now, Mohamed Sanu has joined in on the fun.

The Falcons now lead 24-10


12:06 p.m. - Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) questionable to return

Little has gone poorly for the Patriots today, but one of their playmakers has left the field with an injury. Cordarrelle Patterson suffered a foot injury and is questionable to return.


12:00 p.m. - DeSean Jackson (foot) questionable to return

The Buccaneers' battered offense took another hit Sunday. Star wideout DeSean Jackson suffered a foot injury and is questionable to return.


11:47 a.m. - Calvin Ridley goes deep for the score

It seemed Calvin Ridley hit the rookie wall in December, never going over 50 receiving yards or reaching the end zone. That changed early in the second half of Sunday's Falcons-Panthers game.

With Ridley's touchdown, Atlanta now leads 17-10.


11:45 a.m. - Eric Ebron ruled out with a concussion

One of the top tight ends in fantasy will not finish championship week on the field. Eric Ebron suffered a concussion and will spend the rest of the day on the sidelines.


11:35 a.m. - Todd Gurley officially inactive

Todd Gurley's absence doesn't just leave a void on the recently struggling Rams offense, it leaves fantasy managers without their top player in the most important week. Grab C.J. Anderson if your league allows late pickups.


11:29 a.m. - Christian McCaffrey makes history

On Sunday, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey became just the third player in NFL history to record 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in the same season.


11:22 a.m. - Taylor Heinicke returns

After a brief run for backup Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke has returned to action.


11:19 a.m. - Jamaal Williams somehow stays in bounds

With Aaron Jones out for the remainder of the season and Ty Montgomery shipped out before the trade deadline, the Packers have turned their backfield over to second-year back Jamaal Williams. Williams hasn't produced many spectacular plays this season, but he turned in perhaps his finest moment on Sunday.

Packers still trail 12-14.


11:17 a.m. - Punters make plays

This play had little to no fantasy impact, but if you can't enjoy this you don't like football.


11:08 a.m. - A pair of quarterbacks go down with injuries

Taylor Heinicke's debut as a starter hit a snag during the first half. The former undrafted free agent injured his left elbow and went to the locker room. The team announced him as questionable to return.

Meanwhile, Cody Kessler suffered a right-shoulder contution. Blake Bortles has replaced him on the field.


11:01 a.m. - Jake Kumerow steals your touchdown

With the fantasy title on the line, the Packers made sure to funnel their offense through Davante Adams so as to score the points you need.

Just kidding. Jake Kumerow scored the touchdown.


10:57 a.m. - Jarvis Landry: serviceable passer

Sure, Baker Mayfield has battled his way into the Offensive Rookie of the Year debate, but Jarvis Landry can toss the pigskin around, too.

The Browns scored moments later with Mayfield connecting with Darren Fells.


10:47 a.m. - David Njoku puts Browns ahead

The Browns' offensive struggles seem so long ago. Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, the unit has surged late in the season. On Sunday, a long drive culminated in a nice touchdown (and nicer celebration) for David Njoku.

Cleveland leads 7-0.


10:31 a.m. - Julio Jones shows up for the fantasy championship

Remember when Julio Jones didn't score touchdowns?

Julio Jones forgives your lack of faith.


10:28 a.m. - Sony Michel powers through Bills' defensive interior for score

A 3-yard Patriots touchdown might not seem impressive until you watch how it happened. Rookie running back Sony Michel plowed through seemingly the entire Bills defense in order to reach paydirt, gaining all of the yardage after contact.

New England holds an early 7-0 lead at home.


10:19 a.m. - Ian Thomas steals your touchdown

As predicted in the lede, noted fantasy afterthought Ian Thomas has managed to get into the end zone during the most important week of the fantasy season. To his credit, Thomas had to work off his original route while first-time starter Taylor Heinicke scrambled around. Still, why this week?

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