It wouldn't be a complete fantasy football season without one completely bonkers week in the fantasy playoffs. For the 2018 season, that was this week. Unexpected heroes rose from unsuspecting teams to obliterate opponents or rack up meaningless mountains of points on benches. Plenty of fantasy championship dreams crumbled under the weight of 40 or even 50-point outings, depending on league rules.
I touch on all of this and more below. Read it and weep. Or read it and try to find an advantage to battle through to the fantasy championship. We're only two weeks away.
percent TS = percentage of total team passing targets player received
percent AY = percentage of total team air yards player received
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Leonard Fournette, RB - 16 touches (Wk 13: n/a, Wk 12: 21, Wk 11: 30), 76 percent snap share
Westbrook put together a nice game, with seven catches, 88 yards, and a touchdown. It's still dicey trusting any Jaguars wide receivers though. Last week Westbrook had just five targets, and this week he jumped up to 10.
Henry took out the hearts of the Jaguars defense with a truly savage 99-yard touchdown run, stiff-arming three separate players into the upside down. If you played against Henry this week, I'm sorry. If you benched Henry, don't feel bad. There was honestly no indication he'd rip off 238 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries. We also shouldn't expect this again next week.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Jones led the team in targets for the second week in a row but managed just three catches for 22 yards. Foster had a nice outing (5-81-0), but we're still not at a point where any of these guys are consistent enough to be worthy of starting, especially in the fantasy playoffs.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
170 yards and a touchdown on the ground and four catches for 27 yards through the air. Just another day at the office for Barkley.
No Odell Beckham Jr.? No problem (as long as you have Saquon Barkley). The Giants passing attack was lacking an explosive element without Beckham, but they also didn't need to do much with Barkley and the defense going ham. Shepard found the end zone, while Engram led the team with 77 yards on his three catches.
Things are going from bad to worse with this bunch as they are now on their fourth quarterback this season. Crowder led the team with 87 receiving yards, but 79 of those came on his garbage-time touchdown. Oh, and Jordan Reed left with an injury.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers front kept both Ingram and Kamara relatively in check, with the longest play from either back being Ingram's 17-yard touchdown run. Things have been a bit off with this offense the last few weeks, but they found a spark late after Taysom Hill's punt block. They face the free-falling Panthers next week, so perhaps their division rival can serve as a "get right" game.
Peyton Barber, RB - 15 touches (Wk 13: 16, Wk 12: 20, Wk 11: 20, Wk 10: 14), 59 percent snap share
This was about what we've come to expect yardage-wise from Barber (44 total yards). His touchdown streak came to an end, though, so those riding that into the playoffs will be sorely disappointed.
Godwin, a favorite play of many analysts this week, saw the volume and air yards necessary for a monster game. Unfortunately, he caught just one of those 10 targets, as many were uncatchable. Tough beat if you were relying on Godwin in the playoffs. The Jameis Winston-Cameron Brate touchdown connection is alive and well, as the duo hooked up for two scores this week.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Michel was the workhorse but managed just 57 yards on his 20 rushes. More concerning is that James Develin vultured ANOTHER short-yardage score. He has three in the last two weeks. The bloom might be falling off of Michel's fantasy rose, as his upside is severely capped with no work in the passing game and a touchdown vulture lurking.
Is Gronk back? This was the big guy's first 100-yard game since Week 1, and he caught his second touchdown in the last three weeks. His eight targets tied his season high as well. Hopefully you kept the faith with Gronk after his disappointing performance last week.
Drake had the play everyone is going to remember on the game-winning lateral-frenzy, but the Inconvenient Truth isn't going away. Gore rushed for 92 yards on 12 carries and added in one catch for 24. He offers a relatively safe floor weekly, but it's fair to wonder if Drake's big play will earn him a few more opportunities next week.
Stills came out of nowhere this week to post an impressive 8-135-1 line in the Dolphins' victory. Ryan Tannehill briefly left with an injury but came back in and finished the game. The Dolphins play the Vikings next week, though, so don't rush out and pick up Stills to save your fantasy postseason dreams.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
Edwards remains the favored back here, but for how long? Dixon looks like he's ready to take that mantle from Edwards at any moment after rushing for 59 yards and a score on just eight carries. Dixon is closing the playing time gap as well, jumping up from 22 percent last week to 31 percent this week.
Williams scored two touchdowns, but Ware was involved more heavily. Ware remains the back to start of this group, but if Williams gains ground in opportunities it might be time to worry a bit.
Even against one of the league's best defenses, the Chiefs passing attack did work. Kelce went for 7-77-1 while Hill gutted out 8-139-0 while battling an ankle injury.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Mack got his fair share of opportunities but found no room to run against the Texans' stout front seven (33 yards). He did find the end zone, though, salvaging his fantasy day.
As usual, Andrew Luck leaned heavily on his top options, and they both answered the call. Hilton popped off for 9-199-0, while Ebron scored his 13th touchdown of the season.
The Texans offense was off to start this game. Miller and Blue each found the sledding tough, combing for 73 total yards on their 25 touches. Both found the end zone, though.
Hopkins was pummeled with targets as usual, but only hauled in four for 36. Thankfully one was for a touchdown. Aside from Nuk, Ryan Griffin surprised in this one by catching all five of his targets for 80 yards. Those desperate for tight end help should still probably look elsewhere, as per Rotoworld this was Griffin's highest yardage output since 2016.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
Smith looked like the far better runner today, breaking tackles and showing some impressive vision. The timeshare with Coleman makes starting either of these backs mostly unpalatable.
Jones put up fantastic numbers today because he's awesome and had a couple close calls to go his way in the first quarter. The Falcons offense is having issues, though, as it disappeared for roughly 30 minutes of this game after scoring on the opening drive. Outside of Jones, it's hard to trust the rest of the options.
Fantasy managers with Jones were sweating during the first half, as Williams got the start and Jones barely touched the ball. Fortunately, interim head coach Joe Philbin realized the error in his ways, feeding Jones in the second half. The second-year star finished with over 100 total yards and a touchdown. Crisis averted..
As usual, Adams delivered another fantastic fantasy performance. He hasn't had an off week all season. Cobb caught a touchdown and had the second-most targets. If he's hanging around on waivers in your league he's a decent add. Rodgers seems happy to have his longest-tenured receiver back on the field over the young kids he's been playing with for much of the season.
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns
Christian McCaffrey, RB - 22 touches (Wk 13: 19, Wk 12: 28, Wk 11: 19), 100 percent snap share
Another week, another 100-plus total yard performance from Run CMC. He punched in two short-yardage rushing touchdowns to boot, giving him 12 over the last six weeks.
Two notes on this bunch: first, Thomas was heavily targeted filling in for Greg Olsen, and he's worth streaming moving forward. Second, Devin Funchess has pulled a disappearing act. Over his last five games he's posted 10 catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. He's droppable at this point, especially given the concerns over Cam Newton's shoulder. .
Chubb was the lead back as usual, though Jarvis Landry took his two carries for 54 yards and a touchdown (on a beautifully designed and executed trick play). It's sad to say, but we've reached the point where you can 100 percent drop Johnson if you haven't already. His role in the passing game has disappeared. Baker Mayfield has no reason to checkdown when he's fearlessly and successfully slinging it 50 yards downfield.
Landry went for over 50 receiving yards for the second straight week, and over 100 total thanks to his rushing numbers. He also caught a beautiful touchdown from Mayfield. The rookie passer is spreading the ball around well, making it hard to buy into any of his pass-catchers, but Landry's increasing role is encouraging.
Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers
The Broncos surprisingly ran into a buzzsaw in San Francisco, falling behind 20-0 at the half. Lindsay hurt his yards per carry average with just 30 yards on 14 carries, but he at least found the end zone to help his fantasy managers out.
With Emmanuel Sanders lost for the season, many expected Sutton to step up big time. Yeah, about that. Sutton hauled in just two catches for 14 yards, while Tim Patrick, a former undrafted free agent, led the team with seven catches and 85 yards. Hamilton looked good, though, and scored a touchdown. With so many young players duking it out for opportunities, this group could turn into a bit of a fantasy roulette wheel.
If you took a chance on Pettis, it paid off as the impressive youngster caught three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. And if you played against Kittle, I'm sure there's a support group forming somewhere online. The superstar tight end went for 210 yards and a touchdown on nine catches.
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers
With so many players injured, the Bengals leaned on Mixon and he gave them a star effort. He rushed for 111 yards and a score and added in five receptions for 27 yards. This could be their formula moving forward, so get ready to ride Mixon through the fantasy postseason.
Ekeler bounced back with a great performance this week, looking much better on the ground as he ripped off 66 yards and a touchdown. He did appear to injure his shoulder, though, so monitor that ahead of Thursday night's game. Jackson, last week's second-half sensation, was held heavily in check. Both of these players will revert right back to bench/waiver fodder once Melvin Gordon is healthy enough to return.
Allen, the only player fantasy owners trust in this passing attack, delivered yet again with a solid 5-78-1 line. Philip Rivers spreads the ball around pretty evenly to the rest of his offense, ruining any fantasy appeal for this talented bunch.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
What a strange game this was. At one point, there was a debate over whether the Lions would score more points or have more punts. Zenner, a draft twitter fan favorite, found the end zone and was far more efficient with his carries than Blount. I'd steer clear of this bunch until Kerryon Johnson comes back.
Matthew Stafford threw for a whopping 101 yards in this game. Yikes. As a result, there's really nothing of note to discuss with this passing attack.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
Ridley definitely played second fiddle to Samuels, but he stole the all-important touchdown. Samuels managed just 28 yards on the ground, but caught seven passes to save the day in PPR formats.
Roethlisberger missed roughly 30 percent of this game with an injury, which could be part of the reason why Brown struggled, posting just five catches for 35 yards. Smith-Schuster had no such issues, dropping a cool 8-130-2 line on the Raiders.
Martin scored a touchdown, but otherwise this was a nondescript game from the Oakland backs. Richard didn't even factor into the passing game, catching his lone target for five yards.
Maybe the Raiders passing offense is finding its mojo. Cook went for 7-116-0, and Nelson now has 16 catches over the last two weeks. It's unfortunate the touchdowns went to Lee Smith and Derek Carrier instead of the top options, as they could have turned in even better performances. Those feeling dangerous or hurting for options could consider Nelson next week against the Bengals.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
After slowing fading into the void after Tate arrived, Jeffery suddenly found new life and caught six passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Ertz hauled in five passes as well, but for just 38. Goedert surprised with 44 yards and a touchdown and had an impressive long touchdown called back on a ticky-tack offensive pass interference call. His production isn't worth chasing, though, as he's only a part-time player who saw 58 percent of the snaps this week.
Elliott didn't score a touchdown, but caught 12 passes and totaled nearly 200 yards. Not too shabby.
So, about that Cooper trade. If you hadn't realized Dallas made a good move yet, this game should put an end to any such nonsense. Cooper hauled in 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner. Gallup was open on multiple deep shots but he and Prescott couldn't connect.
Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Cook is back to being the Vikings workhorse, but this offense is so dysfunctional it's not mattering for much. Cook scored on a receiving touchdown in garbage time, but otherwise disappointed. It's also a bit concerning that Murray is getting some carries near the goal line, but his playing time is low enough where it hopefully shouldn't be too much of an issue. Cook is involved down there as well.
If you venture into Vikings Twitter, it's a dark place these days as the faithful fans are questioning Kirk Cousins, now-fired OC John DeFilippo, and the whole offense. Thielen and Diggs scraped together average PPR outings, but this is far from what we were hoping to get out of this unit this late in the season. This offense has failed to put up more than 20 points in four consecutive games.