Hidden Stat Line: NFL Week 17 Recap

Hidden Stat Line: NFL Week 17 Recap

This article is part of our Hidden Stat Line series.

We're gonna do this a little different for Week 17, planning for a season-end version somewhere down the line later in January. This edition will focus on stuff that could be relevant during the playoffs (read: DFS), as well as a few developments that provide hints about the offseason ahead (read:dynasty). 

I'm happy to discuss anything I missed in the comments below or on Twitter (@RotowireNFL_JD).

Jets 13 @ Bills 6

Jets

  • The Bills either rested their key players or pulled them from the game early, while the Jets treated this like a normal contest. Naturally, the Jets were held to a lone field goal through three quarters, allowing Buffalo's backups to keep it close.
  • Le'Veon Bell had 16 carries and five catches on 69% snap share, but he didn't have any touches on the Jets' first four drives of the second half. Bilal Powell got 22% of snaps and took seven carries for 27 yards, while Ty Montgomery played just four snaps.
  • Jamison Crowder put up 8-66-1 on 10 targets, leading the team in every major receiving category both for Sunday's game and the season as a whole.
  • Vyncint Smith played 75% of snaps, catching three of four targets for 36 yards and taking a carry for 20 yards. He finishes the year with a 54.8% catch rate and 7.3 yards per target across 31 targets, adding a 3-52-1 rushing line and 10 kick returns for 299 yards. Smith could have a chance at a top-three role next year, though he probably makes more sense as a No. 4/5 receiver who offers value through versatility.
  • Monday was rather eventful for the Jets, featuring major news for Le'Veon Bell (could he be traded?), Robby Anderson (can't wait to leave) and Ryan Griffin (facing a long rehab process):

Bills

  • Matt Barkley was playing with other backups, but it's hard to make any excuse for a stat line that includes two interceptions, two fumbles (one lost) and no touchdowns. The Bills should find a better backup in the offseason.
  • Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Senorise Perry split backfield work, while Devin Singletary was rested in preparation for the playoffs. Yeldon led the way with 64% of snaps but produced just 18 yards on seven carries and 24 yards on three receptions.
  • Yeldon is signed through 2020, but the Bills can save $1.65 million in both real money and cap space if he's released, per overthecap.com.
  • Robert Foster was unable to take advantage of 98% snap share, finishing without a catch on four targets. Duke Williams, on the other hand, caught six of 12 targets for 108 yards, playing 89% of snaps. It's time for fools like me to bite the bullet and admit that Foster was a one-hit wonder, nothing more.

Browns 23 @ Bengals 33

Browns

  • Baker Mayfield finished his disappointing season with an odd stat line: 12-of-27 passing for 279 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. It isn't often that we see a quarterback produce 10.3 yards per attempt while completing 44.4% of passes and also tossing a trio of picks.
  • Nick Chubb closed out the season with his two worst games in back-to-back weeks, failing to reach 50 yards. His 57% snap share Sunday was tied for his second-smallest of the year.
  • Kareem Hunt matched a season high with 67% snap share, but he also was shut down for a second time in as many weeks: three carries for four yards, plus three catches for 32 yards on four targets.

Bengals

  • Joe Mixon played 74% of snaps and rumbled for 26-162-2, plus a 14-yard gain on his lone target. His numbers from eight games after a Week 9 bye prorate to 354-1,634-10 and 32-354-0 on 40 targets over a 16-game season.
  • Mixon finished as RB11 for standard scoring and RB13 for PPR, averaging 4.1 yards per carry in an offense that ranks 31st in PFF's run-blocking grades. He'll be a second-round fantasy pick at minimum next year, with the potential for first-round consideration if the Bengals draft Joe Burrow and improve their terrible offensive line.
  • John Ross caught two of five targets for 42 yards, playing 68% of offensive snaps. He finishes the year with a 50% catch rate and 9.0 yards per target, along with the third-worst drop rate (20%) among all players with 40 or more targets, per PFF. Ross is crazy fast and also agile, but he can't stay healthy or catch the ball. I'm not 100 percent sure he'll enter the offseason program as a starter, especially if Auden Tate (sprained MCL) is healthy...which he should be.
  • Tyler Eifert played 39% of snaps and caught both his targets for 34 yards. He averaged 3.3 catches for 46 yards and 0.25 TDs on 4.8 targets over the final four weeks of the season, putting some good work on film as he prepares to either re-sign with the Bengals or hit unrestricted free agency.
  • Eifert played 16 games for the first time in his pro career, albeit while averaging just 30.9 snaps per game. He caught 68.3% of his targets for 6.9 YPT, and his mark of 1.23 yards per route placed 21st among the 35 tight ends with 40 or more targets, per PFF.

Packers 23 @ Lions 20

Packers

  • With Jamaal Williams (shoulder) inactive and the Packers needing a win to secure a bye week, Aaron Jones played a season-high 85% of snaps. I'm legitimately shocked the team couldn't find a way to get Jones his 20th touchdown, but I guess there's no time for chasing milestones when your season isn't a travesty (take note, Carolina).
  • Allen Lazard solidified his role as the No. 2 receiver, playing 76% of snaps and catching four of eight targets for 69 yards and a touchdown. That's three straight weeks with at least 75% of snaps, and back-to-back games with eight or more targets.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling drew seven targets, but he caught just two of them for 19 yards, playing 23% of snaps. He'll be on the roster bubble next summer and I don't like his chances to stick.
  • Geronimo Allison got 61% of snaps but just four targets, catching three passes for 17 yards. His role in the slot has been consistent in terms of both playing time and a lack of actual pass-catching opportunity. He finished the season with 10 consecutive games in which he played 32 or more snaps and drew five or fewer targets. Allison hasn't reached five PPR points in a game since Oct. 20!

Lions

  • David Blough's main contribution was a touchdown catch. He finishes the year with a 54% completion rate and 5.7 YPA, providing minimal evidence of NFL-caliber quarterbacking. There's a decent chance Blough never plays another regular-season snap in the league.
  • Kerryon Johnson posted an 11-53-1 rushing line (but no targets) on 45% snap share. He'll be a polarizing player for the fantasy world next season...some will have no interest in drafting a RB with back-to-back seasons lost to injury, while others will view his talent and likely role as a bargain in the third or fourth round. I probably fall somewhere in between. On the one hand, people tend to overestimate the predictive value of past injuries, especially for young players with a limited sample. On the other hand, I'm not even sure Johnson is a great talent, and I don't have any faith in Matt Patricia or his assistants....therefore, it kinda feels like the upside is low-end RB1 rather than high-end RB1.
  • Kenny Golladay caught three of four targets for 72 yards, finishing his year with a 65-1,190-11 receiving line on 116 targets. He was on pace for 70-1,280-14 on 124 targets before Matthew Stafford (back) was injured. TD regression may be coming, but so should a larger target workload.

Chargers 21 @ Chiefs 31

Chargers

  • Melvin Gordon put up 14-46-1 on the ground and 6-76-0 on seven targets, playing 47% of snaps in what could be his final game for the Chargers.
  • Austin Ekeler played 58% of snaps but fell just seven receiving yards shy of 1,000 for the season. It wasn't for a lack of trying, as he caught nine of 11 targets for 43 yards, adding nine carries for 46 yards. He finishes the year with 4.2 YPC and 9.2 YPT, playing in the same offense where Gordon had 3.8 YPC and 5.4 YPT. If we narrow it down to the 12 games both running backs played, Ekeler lands at 4.5 YPC and 8.7 YPT, albeit with much less volume than he saw over the first four weeks.
  • Hunter Henry played 82% of snaps and broke out of his slump with 5-42-1 on six targets. He finished the season slow, but his numbers prorate to 73-869-7 on 101 targets over a 16-game campaign...he'll probably be drafted as a mid-range TE1 next year if the Chargers appear to have a competent QB. Personally, I might fade him at that price, considering Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams also demand targets. Granted, Henry has consistently been super-efficient with his chances, producing catch rates of 67.9%, 72.6% and 72.4% in three NFL seasons, with this year's 8.6 YPT marking a career low (but still well above average for a TE).
  • Mike Williams caught two of five targets for 38 yards, completing the least useful 1,000-yard receiving season in fantasy football history... 49-1,001-2 on 90 targets. He was arguably more valuable in real-life terms, producing 11.1 YPT and catching 54.4% of his opportunities.
  • Williams led all qualified receivers in both aDOT (18.0) and yards per catch (20.4), and he was third in YPT. However, his targets also resulted in eight interceptions, tying Mike Evans, Jarvis Landry and teammate Keenan Allen for most in the league, per PFF. Williams had six drops, but just two of those came on deep passes (20+ yards downfield), of which he caught 12 of 28 targets for 471 yards, per PFF. The 12 receptions were tied for eighth most, the 28 targets tied for sixth most, and the 471 yards were fifth most.

Chiefs

  • The Chargers dominated time of possession in this game, limiting the Chiefs to 48 plays (largely a product of  Damien Williams' 84-yard TD run and Mecole Hardman's 104-yard kickoff return TD). The Chiefs ran 26 of their 48 plays on their first two drives of the game.
  • Damien Williams played 70% of snaps, up from 53% the previous week. He rumbled for 12-124-2 on the ground and also caught four of seven targets for 30 yards, with both TDs requiring impressive broken tackles.
  • Williams played more than half the Chiefs' offensive snaps in each of the past four games in which he was active and didn't exit due to an injury. Those four games yielded 59 carries for 391 yards and three touchdowns, plus 14 catches for 92 yards and another score on 17 targets. That's an average of 21.6 PPR points, and it didn't happen in easy matchups (vs. MIN, @ TEN, @ CHI, vs. LAC).
  • Darwin Thompson took four carries for 17 yards and lost four yards on his only target, playing 24% of snaps. LeSean McCoy was active for the game but never actually played.
  • The playing-time gap narrowed between Demarcus Robinson (42%) and Hardman (34%), with the former catching a TD but also handling his smallest snap share since Week 9. Expect them to share the No. 3 WR job during the playoffs. Also, keep in mind that No. 2 tight end Blake Bell typically plays about 40% of snaps, so this isn't an offense that's constantly going three-wide.
  • Sammy Watkins played 71% of snaps but caught just one pass for eight yards on two targets. Williams, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were the only Chiefs with more than two targets in a game that saw Patrick Mahomes attempt just 25 passes. Watkins hasn't gone over 50 yards since Week 9, and he closed out the season catching just 17 of 34 targets for 200 yards over the final seven games.

Bears 21 @ Vikings 19

Bears

  • Mitchell Trubisky produced 5.6 yards per attempt and took four sacks, playing against a Minnesota defense that rested its best players. How much more evidence do we need that he's not a starting-caliber QB in the NFL?
  • David Montgomery finished his disappointing rookie year on a high note with a 23-113-1 rushing line. His 242 carries this season produced just three gains of 20 or more yards and just one play longer than 25 yards, with 3.7 YPC overall. He placed 31st in PFF's elusive rating among 45 qualified runners, though it's only fair to note that Christian McCaffrey was 28th and Kenyan Drake was 33rd, so it's really not a crucial statistic for success. The difference, of course, is that McCaffrey and Drake both are very fast, which allows them to run past some of the tacklers that a slower back like Montgomery needs to elude. Stats like "broken tackles" or "eluded tackles" aren't meaningful without context, but I do think they're meaningful when the argument in favor of Montgomery centered around his prolific rate of breaking tackles (in the Big 12). He isn't fast and he isn't a great receiving weapon, so he's nothing more than a replaceable part unless he can run guys over like Chris Carson or weave through them like Devin Singletary. End rant.
  • Allen Robinson caught nine of 12 targets for 71 yards to finish at 98-1,147-7 on 154 targets for the year. He caught 63.6% of his targets for 7.4 YPT, playing in an offense that completed 64.0% of passes for 6.2 YPA. Robinson's 80.8 overall grade from PFF ranks No. 14 among wide receivers, nestled between Robert Woods (82.2) and Keenan Allen (80.3).
  • Javon Wims played 87% of snaps and caught three of seven targets for 23 yards, with Riley Ridley playing 41% and catching three of four passes for 54 yards.
  • Wims finishes the year with just 4.8 YPT on 39 targets, and Taylor Gabriel (concussion) could be released in the offseason to free up cap space. Meanwhile, Anthony Miller needs another shoulder surgery after injuring himself during the Week 17 win. There could be an opening for Ridley, a rookie fourth-round pick, to compete for a top-three role next year. He caught six of seven targets for 69 yards in his limited action this season.

Vikings

  • Mike Boone rumbled for 17-148-1 and added two catches for 12 yards on three targets. Meanwhile, the same Packers defense that shut him down the previous week allowed the Detroit freaking Lions to run for 171 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. This was all-time troll stuff to those of us who lost close championship matchups with Boone in our Week 16 lineups. I can laugh about it because the leagues where I started him had entry fees of $50 and $25, but I imagine it would be far more frustrating if the great Boone debacle of 2019 had cost me a bunch of money in a (high stakes) league against bosses like (2x dynasty champ) Drake Jordan.
  • The Vikings essentially did the same thing as the Bills...rested all their best players and still turned in a competitive game. Call me crazy, but I think that will create just as much imaginary momentum as a Week 17 victory would have created.
  • Sean Mannion is still awful. He went 12-of-21 for 126 yards and two picks, losing a fumble for good measure. The starting QB talent in the NFL is as good as I've ever seen it, but there still aren't 64 guys that can play the position at a semi-competent level. A decent backup-quality QB like Midwest Bortles or Marcus Mariota is probably worth a second- or third-round pick for a likely playoff team, because the entire season can fall apart if someone like Mannion or Matt Barkley has to start more than one or two games.

Dolphins 27 @ Patriots 24

Dolphins

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick became the third QB in the past five weeks to reach 20 fantasy points against the New England defense. His 24.3 points was the third-best total of the year against the Pats, trailing only Lamar Jackson (28.6) and Deshaun Watson (28.4).
  • Patrick Laird played 88% of snaps, taking 11 carries for 21 yards and catching four of five targets for 48 yards. He finishes the year with 2.7 YPC but 6.8 YPT, perhaps making his case for an NFL future as a passing-down specialist. He also played 258 snaps on special teams, so he should have a decent shot to stick on the 53-man roster next year even if the Dolphins aggressively address their backfield.
  • DeVante Parker put up 8-137-0 on 11 targets, hitting the century mark for a fourth time in the past seven weeks. He finishes with 72-1,202-9 on 128 targets, producing a 56.3% catch rate and 9.4 YPT. His overall PFF grade (79.2) placed 17th among WRs, right between Kenny Golladay (79.9) and Stefon Diggs (78.8).
  • The Dolphins have Parker under contract through 2023, scheduled for cap hits of $4.6 million (2020), $11.05 million (2021), $8.95 million (2022) and $9.0 million (2023), per overthecap.com.
  • Albert Wilson played a season-high 99% of snaps and caught five of eight targets for 59 yards, also completing a pass for 20 yards. He finished the season with three consecutive games of at least 73% snap share, five catches, 59 yards and seven targets. It was a strong finish, but the Dolphins can save a bunch of money ($9.5 million) if they cut him in the offseason.
  • Mike Gesicki caught the game-winning touchdown, finishing with a 4-34-1 receiving line on seven targets and 75% of snaps. He closed out the season drawing five or more targets in nine straight games, with his numbers over that stretch prorating to 64-741-9 on 114 targets over a 16-game campaign. However, he still struggled with efficiency — 56.3% catch rate, 6.5 YPT — and his PFF grade (60.4) for the season ranks 42nd among 72 qualified tight ends. To be fair, he received brutal grades early in the season and mixed scores thereafter. One clear area for improvement? His mark of 3.6 YAC per reception places 22nd among 27 TEs with 50 or more targets, and he's one of just four players in that group — along with Hunter Henry, Tyler Eifert and Jason Witten — that PFF shows with zero avoided tackles for the year. Guys who run the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds at 247 pounds should probably be able to break some tackles, no?

Patriots

  • Sony Michel played 43% of snaps, ahead of James White (36%) and Rex Burkhead (21%). Michel handled 18 of the 26 RB carries but didn't draw any targets, finishing with an 18-74-1 rushing line — his third straight week with 74 or more yards. Michel finishes the season with 247-912-7 on the ground and 12 catches for 94 yards on 20 targets, producing just three plays of 20 or more yards.
  • White took two carries for four yards and posted a 3-33-1 receiving line on three targets. He scored four TDs over the final five weeks, but his volume has been disappointing since he had a massive performance Week 13 in Houston: target totals of seven, four, five and three.
  • Burkhead took six carries for 48 yards and had a six-yard gain on his lone target. He closed out the season with more than 50 yards in three consecutive games, chipping away at work that could've gone to White or Michel. This is a legit three-headed backfield heading into the playoffs.
  • Julian Edelman led the WRs with 89% snap share, followed by Mohamed Sanu (82%), N'Keal Harry (56%), Phillip Dorsett (21%) and Jakobi Meyers (11%). Harry did appear banged up at one point in the game, so he might have played more snaps if not for the minor injury.
  • Sanu caught three of five targets for 35 yards, marking his third straight week with five or fewer targets on more than 80% of offensive snaps. He did have a 16-yard gain wiped out by an OPI penalty on Ben Watson, and Tom Brady overthrew Sanu in the end zone on what could've been a seven-yard touchdown.
  • Edelman tied for the team lead with seven targets but caught just three passes for 26 yards. He finished the season with 10 catches for 107 yards on 18 targets the final three weeks, after ripping off eight consecutive games with double-digit targets and double-digit PPR points. The 33-year-old was on a lot of fantasy teams that made the playoffs but didn't win titles.
  • Harry brought in three of seven targets for 29 yards and added nine yards on a carry. He drew two targets inside the 10-yard line, and his snap share was in the 51-to-58% range for a third straight week. The rookie is solid discount option for playoff DFS contests (to be fair, the same can be said of Sanu).
  • Watson played 66% of snaps to LaCosse's 62%. Watson drew one target, LaCosse none.
  • Edelman ran 29 routes on Tom Brady's 30 dropbacks, followed by Sanu (23), Harry (17), White (17), Watson (15) and Dorsett (11), per PFF.

Falcons 28 @ Buccaneers 22 (OT)

Falcons

  • Devonta Freeman logged 61% snap share, his fifth straight game above 60% to close out the season. An 18-58-0 rushing line left him at 3.6 YPC for the season, but he at least maintained some value in the passing game with 57 catches for 395 yards and four touchdowns on 66 targets (86.4% catch rate, 6.0 YPT). I'm sure the Falcons are thrilled to be paying approximately $8 million per season for mere competence at the NFL's most replaceable position.
  • Freeman has three years remaining on his contract, but there aren't any guarantees remaining. The Falcons can free up $6.5 million in cap space if they cut him with a post-June 1 designation, per overthecap.com.
  • Brian Hill took five carries for 21 yards in Sunday's win, with Qadree Ollison adding four carries for nine yards.
  • Hill finishes the year at 4.1 YPC, but he was limited to 20-61-0, 15-30-0 and 9-14-0 rushing lines when he had a three-week stint in the lead role.
  • Julio Jones caught seven of 13 targets for 78 yards, closing out the season with 48 targets over the final three games. The Falcons somehow allowed him to finish six yards shy of 1,400, a mark he'd reached in five consecutive season before 2019.
  • Russell Gage caught seven of 13 targets for 68 yards while playing 70% of snaps. He finishes the year with a 66.2% catch rate and 6.0 yards per target, essentially handling the same slot role in which Mohamed Sanu posted a 78.6% catch rate and 7.5 YPT during the first half of the season. For what it's worth, Sanu had a 71.9% catch rate and 8.0 YPT during his three and a half seasons in Atlanta. I suppose Gage is an acceptable slot guy in an offense that has Jones, Calvin Ridley (abdomen) and Austin Hooper gobbling up targets, but the Falcons will at least force Gage to battle someone else for the job next year, presumably.
  • Hooper played 72% of snaps in the season finale, catching seven of nine targets for 45 yards. His 13-game totals from 2019 prorate to 92-969-7 on 119 targets for a 16-game season. In terms of efficiency, his catch rate (77.3%) and YPT (8.1) were actually the exact same as his career averages (weird, right?).

Buccaneers

  • Jameis Winston founded the 30/30 club in spectacular fashion, throwing his 30th interception of the season on the first play of overtime, with Deion Jones waltzing it in for a touchdown.
  • Ronald Jones logged 45% of snaps to Peyton Barber's 31% and Dare Ogunbowale's 24%. The Bucs never truly deviated from their three-way timeshare, though there was some back-and-forth in terms of Barber or Jones getting more carries.
  • Jones lost a fumble in this one, but he also took 11 carries for a season-high 106 yards, adding two catches for 10 yards on two targets. He finishes the year at 4.2 YPC and 7.7 YPT, compared to 3.1 YPC and 4.8 YPT for Barber.
  • Breshad Perriman continued his shocking hot streak with 5-134-1 on eight targets and 94% of snaps. His numbers from the final five weeks of the season prorate to 80 catches for 1,619 yards and 16 touchdowns on 118 targets over a 16-game campaign. His one-year, $4 million contract looked like a huge mistake at the end of November, but the Bucs now regret that they only signed him for the one season. Perriman is about to make a bunch of money, and we should probably note that he's dropped just one pass since the start of 2018, per PFF.
  • Justin Watson also played 94% of snaps but was limited to 2-27-0 on four targets, down from 5-43-1 on 10 targets the previous week. The 2018 fifth-round pick did nothing to change the notion that he's a depth receiver and special teams player moving forward, despite boasting the physical profile of an NFL starter (sub-4.5 40 at 6-2, 215 pounds).
  • O.J. Howard finished the afternoon without a target on 75% of snaps. A fitting end to his season, no?
  • Cameron Brate played 53% of snaps, his largest share since Week 11 when he saw 14 targets (25.5% of his season total). He caught one of three targets for a two-yard TD in Sunday's loss, finding the end zone on what might have been his final catch in a Bucs uniform. (The team can save $6 million in both real money and 2020 cap space if Brate is cut or traded in the offseason, per overthecap.com.)

Saints 42 @ Panthers 10

Saints

  • The Saints jumped out to a 35-3 lead before halftime, so Alvin Kamara ended up playing just 41% of snaps, and a few other guys also were scaled back, namely Michael Thomas (67%) and Jared Cook (38%).
  • Tre'Quan Smith had his best game of the season, a 5-56-1 receiving line on five targets and 62% snap share. He caught four of the five passes in the first half and all five while Drew Brees was still in the game. Smith has consistently seen more playing time than Ted Ginn over the past couple months, but this was the first time the 23-year-old had a sizable advantage in targets (Ginn drew two).
  • Jared Cook caught both of his targets for 44 yards and a touchdown, a fitting end to his hyper-efficient season. He finished with a 66.2% catch rate and 10.8 YPT, along with a career-high nine touchdowns and his third-best yardage total (705)...despite missing two full games and the majority of another.
  • Latavius Murray technically got the Week 17 start and took four carries within the first two drives, but much of his stat line came in garbage time. Kamara was still the lead guy for the competitive portion of the afternoon

Panthers

  • The Panthers were arguably the worst team in the NFL over the past two months, but they at least learned a few things about their roster, namely that neither Kyle Allen nor Will Grier (foot) is a legitimate franchise quarterback. Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore are obvious cornerstones, while Curtis Samuel and Ian Thomas remain TBD.
  • McCaffrey played a season-low 72% of snaps, with a 9-26-1 rushing line and 7-72-0 receiving line. The Panthers finally pulled him from the game with 11 minutes remaining after he had reached 1,000 receiving yards (with a few to spare in case of stat corrections).
  • Curtis Samuel was unable to take advantage of D.J. Moore's absence due to a concussion. Samuel caught two of four targets for 13 yards, while Brandon Zylstra put up 6-96-0 on eight targets and Chris Hogan caught two of four targets for 14 yards.
  • Ian Thomas (1-12-0 on five targets) split snaps with Greg Olsen (2-12-0 on six targets). Olsen can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason and doesn't anticipate staying in Carolina.

Redskins 16 @ Cowboys 47

Redskins

  • Adrian Peterson took 13 carries for 78 yards and caught one of four targets for no gain, handling 45% snap share. It was his third straight game with multiple targets and his fifth in a row with 13 or more carries. Peterson finishes the year with 4.3 YPC on 211 totes, and he's under contract for 2020 with a $3 million cap hit, per overthecap.com. Washington would only free up $2.25 million by cutting or trading him, and it makes sense to have an established Plan B when Plan A is someone with Derrius Guice's history of knee injuries.
  • Chris Thompson took three carries for 11 yards and caught one of three targets for no gain. He's an impending free agent, and while he didn't provide any fantasy value this season, the 29-year-old did have respectable pass-catching stats: 42-378-0 on 58 targets in 11 games, with a 72.4% catch rate and 6.5 YPT.
  • Rookie tight end Hale Hentges caught four of seven targets for 62 yards on 52% of snaps. Jeremy Sprinkle still got more snaps (68%), but it was Hentges who showed more pass-catching juice late in the season. Meanwhile, Vernon Davis (concussion) is set to become a free agent (or retire), and Jordan Reed (concussion) could be a cap casualty. Washington will probably bring in a free agent and/or draft pick at tight end, rather than allowing Sprinkle and Hentges to compete for the starting job.
  • Steven Sims Jr. continued his strong finish with a 5-81-1 receiving line on eight targets and 63% of snaps. He played more than half the offensive snaps in each game during December, averaging 4.6 receptions for 51.8 yards and 0.8 TDs on 8.0 targets. The touchdown rate is far from sustainable, especially for a slot guy, but he did make a nice case to keep the role next year. On the other hand, his overall efficiency numbers for the season — 60.7% catch rate, 5.5 YPT — are subpar even in the context of Washington's lousy offense.
  • With Terry McLaurin (concussion) inactive, Kelvin Harmon played 90% of snaps and Cam Sims played 63%. Harmon never scored a touchdown or even reached 60 yards in a game, but he did finish his rookie season with solid efficiency marks: 68.2% catch rate and 8.3 yards per target. The sixth-round pick caught 30 of 44 passes for 365 yards, with 290 of those yards coming over the final seven weeks (3.1 catches for 41.4 yards on 5.0 targets per game). It isn't crazy to think that Washington could move forward with McLaurin, Harmon and Sims (all rookies) as their top three at WR, though I suspect they'll bring in competition. Trey Quinn did absolutely nothing this year, and Paul Richardson (hamstring) is a goner unless he accepts a massive pay cut.

Cowboys

  • Michael Gallup ate his entire positive-TD-regression sandwich in one bite, putting up a 5-98-3 line on seven targets to finish the season with 66 catches for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns on 113 targets in 14 games. It was a legit second-year breakout for real-life purposes, but it somehow felt like he wasn't all that helpful for fantasy owners, in part because he had many of his biggest games when it didn't matter (Week 17) or wasn't expected (Weeks 1 and 5). In any case, he finished with a 58.4% catch rate and 9.8 YPT, averaging 79.1 yards per game despite dropping 11 passes (second most behind only Julian Edelman's 13).
  • Amari Cooper caught four of five targets for 92 yards, boosting his final efficiency marks to a 66.4% catch rate and 10.0 YPT. He's another guy who seemed to be less helpful for fantasy owners than the numbers suggest, with huge numbers through Week 10 and then just 341 yards and one TD over his final seven games. Cooper, of course, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, and the Cowboys can't use the franchise tag unless they first sign Dak Prescott to a long-term extension (otherwise they need to save the tag for Prescott).
  • Randall Cobb finished a solid season with five catches for 81 yards on six targets. His final receiving line — 55-828-3 on 82 targets, 66.3% catch rate, 10.0 YPT — appears to have given the Cowboys nice value on a one-year, $5 million contract, but consider that Cobb dropped eight passes.
  • Isn't it interesting that all of Prescott's wide receivers were able to produce 10 yards per target despite dropping passes left and right? He's a damn-good QB, and anybody still denying it will inevitably feel foolish within a year or two (if they don't already, which they probably should).

Eagles 34 @ Giants 17

Eagles

  • Miles Sanders hut his ankle in the second quarter and initially attempted to play through the injury, but he wasn't able to continue after halftime. Boston Scott ended up taking 19 carries for 54 yards and three touchdowns, adding four catches for 84 yards on six targets while playing 74% of snaps. Jordan Howard, on the other hand, played just one snap in his first game back from a lengthy absence caused by a shoulder injury. However, coach Doug Pederson suggested Howard could have a role in the playoffs:
  • Dallas Goedert played every snap on offense and caught four of 10 targets for 65 yards, with No. 2 tight end Joshua Perkins posting a 4-50-1 line on six targets and 78% of snaps. (Zach Ertz was inactive due to a cracked rib and lacerated kidney.)
  • Robert Davis led the WRs with 78% snap share, ahead of Greg Ward (76%), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (23%) and Deontay Burnett (20%). No matter, Davis was held without a catch on two targets, while Ward caught six of seven passes for 43 yards.
  • Ward played 71% or more of snaps each of the past four weeks, catching at least four passes in every game and averaging 5.3 receptions for 52.3 yards and 0.25 TDs on 7.5 targets. He's their No. 1 WR for the playoffs.

Giants

  • Saquon Barkley broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run but otherwise was stuffed. He finished with 17-92-1 on the ground and three catches for 25 yards on four targets, playing 86% of snaps.
  • Darius Slayton returned to his full-time role after battling a knee injury the previous week. He took 86% of offensive snaps, slightly below Golden Tate (91%) and Sterling Shepard (89%). Each of the three drew at least eight targets, with Tate's 5-68-1 receiving line leading the way. The Giants appear set at the skill positions for next year, assuming Tate isn't traded (which actually would make some sense...)
  • Kaden Smith caught eight passes for 98 yards on a team-high 11 targets, playing every snap on offense. He was productive in a three-down role the past six weeks, averaging 5.0 catches for 44.5 yards and 0.5 TDs on 6.8 targets. However, his PFF grade for run blocking (52.1) placed 60th among the 82 tight ends that played 100 or more snaps. Evan Engram (50.4) was 65th, while Rhett Ellison (65.4) tied for 18th.  In related news, the Giants can free up $5 million if they cut Ellison this offseason, per overthecap.com.

Colts 20 @ Jaguars 38

Colts

  • Jacoby Brissett completed 12 of 25 passes for 162 yards and lost a pair of fumbles. Injuries around him have been a complicating factor, but the Colts can't feel great about moving forward with no other options for the starting QB role. Among 32 qualified passers, Brissett finished 20th in QBR (52.1), 26th in completion percentage (60.9), 28th in YPA (6.6), 24th in TD rate (4.0), seventh in INT rate (1.3) and 11th in sack rate (5.7). Keep in mind that the Colts' offensive line placed No. 3 in PFF's annual rankings, led by stud left guard Quenton Nelson.
  • Marlon Mack posted a 15-77-2 rushing line and one target on 48% of snaps. His strong finish to the year came in matchups with the Panthers and Jaguars, teams that rank 32nd and 31st, respectively, in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA.

Jaguars

  • Gardner Minshew's 61.6 QBR was his third best of the year, and a 69.2 completion percentage was his best since Week 2. Make of this what you will: Minshew's numbers for the season are pretty similar to Brissett's.
  • Ryquell Armstead took 10 carries for 33 yards and caught five of nine targets for 52 yards and a touchdown, playing 62% of offensive snaps with Leonard Fournette (neck/flu) inactive.
  • Fellow rookie Devine Ozigbo played 33% of snaps, taking nine carries for 27 yards and catching three of five targets for 23 yards.
  • Dede Westbrook finished strong with 7-72-1 on eight targets, while Chris Conley and DJ Chark Jr. combined for just seven catches and 72 yards on 11 targets. Keelan Cole also rotated in for 42% of snaps, catching three of four targets for 67 yards and a touchdown.
  • Cole is small, and he dropped a bunch of passes last season, but he did well with his limited work in 2019, producing a 68.6% catch rate and 10.3 YPT.

Steelers 10 @ Ravens 28

Steelers

  • James Washington led the WRs with 88% of snaps, ahead of Diontae Johnson (78%) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (74%). Johnson caught four of seven targets for 54 yards, thereby accounting for 56.8% of the team's receiving yards in the season-ending loss.
  • Vance McDonald played 88% of snaps but saw just two targets.
  • Benny Snell posted an 18-91-1 rushing line on 50% of snaps, with Jaylen Samuels catching one of two targets for 16 yards on 40% of snaps. Kerrith Whyte took three carries for one yard on 8% snap share.

Ravens

Titans 35 @ Texans 14

Titans

  • Ryan Tannehill completed 13 of 20 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns, thus finishing the regular season as the NFL leader in yards per attempt (9.6), net yards per attempt (8.0) and yards per completion (13.6), with his 7.7% TD rate placing second to Lamar Jackson's 9.0. Tannehill finished Sunday's game without any sacks, but his 9.8% sack rate for the year ranks 31st among 32 qualifiers. His 65.4 QBR is good for eighth place.
  • Derrick Henry took 32 carries for 211 yards and three touchdowns while playing 75% of snaps. He finishes with a league-high 1,540 rushing yards despite missing a game, and his 16 rushing TDs match Aaron Jones atop the leaderboard. Henry's mark of 5.1 YPC is fourth among qualified rushers and first among running backs with 150 or more carries.
  • Dion Lewis played 18% of snaps, taking one carry for seven yards and finishing without a target. The last time he saw more than two targets in a game was Week 9.
  • A.J. Brown went for 4-124-1, accounting for eight of the team's 21 targets. Brown's 79% snap share was down from 100% the previous week, but he ran 20 routes on 23 QB dropbacks, per PFF.
  • Corey Davis led the team with 21 routes, bringing in four of five targets for 44 yards. He finishes the season with no fewer than two and no more than seven targets in any game, including just two instances of double-digit PPR points. He did catch 62.3% of his targets for 8.7 YPT, so while the counting stats aren't pretty, Davis at least did reasonably well with the passes he saw.
  • Jonnu Smith played 81% of snaps but finished with just one carry for seven yards and no targets. He only ran 12 routes, with the Titans preferring Anthony Firkser (10) on obvious passing downs. That makes Smith an easy fade for wild-card DFS contests in my book.
  • Tajae Sharpe ran 14 routes and played 44% of snaps, catching one pass for 13 yards on two targets. He randomly went off for 5-69-2 the previous week.
  • MyCole Pruitt caught both of his targets for 13 yards and a touchdown, making the most of his three routes. Don't be fooled by the stat line; he's still a blocking specialist for Tennessee.
  • Adam Humphries (ankle) missed the past four games and still hasn't returned to practice.

Texans

  • Carlos Hyde was pulled from the game after five snaps, and Duke Johnson played 21. Buddy Howell ended up leading the backfield with 38% snap share, but he only took three carries for five yards, while Taiwan Jones (22%) took nine carries for 40 yards and one catch for nine yards. Jones and Howell both have made a living on special teams.
  • DeAndre Carter caught six of seven targets for 65 yards, and Jordan Akins brought in five of seven for 54 yards. Both have seen work with the first-team offense, though Carter's involvement depends on the health of Stills and Fuller.
  • Jordan Thomas caught one of three targets for eight yards, playing 58% of snaps. He'll be battling for his roster spot next offseason, and he's stuck behind both Akins and Darren Fells for the playoffs.
  • AJ McCarron wasn't too bad, given that he was playing with other backups and facing a Titans team that needed a win to reach the playoffs. He completed 21 of 36 passes for 225 yards and an interception, adding five carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. The Texans actually had the first TD of the game, and they later closed the gap to seven points late in the third quarter.

Raiders 15 @ Broncos 16

Raiders

  • With Josh Jacobs (shoulder) out again, DeAndre Washington took 17 carries for 77 yards and caught each of his eight targets for 55 yards, playing 74% of snaps in a game where the Raiders trailed by seven or more points throughout the entire second half (until the final 11 seconds). Washington's three games without Jacobs produced PPR totals of 21.6, 18.6 and 21.2 points, though Sunday's game was his first since Week 8 at 4.0 YPC or better.
  • Jalen Richard, despite the seemingly favorable game script, was limited to 25% snap share, taking three carries for 20 yards and catching both his targets for 39 yards. Richard and Washington both have reached the end of their rookie contracts and should draw interest from a bunch of teams as potential backups.
  • A foot injury limited Tyrell Williams to 29% of snaps, leaving plenty of playing time for Zay Jones (82%), Hunter Renfrow (77%) and Marcell Ateman (71%). Jones only got two targets, but Renfrow put up 6-102-1 on nine looks, and Ateman added 3-46-0 on seven targets. The Raiders have two of their top three WR spots in 2020 accounted for, but they could still use a true No. 1 to play alongside Williams and Renfrow. It'll also be interesting to see if Williams needs surgery on the foot.
  • Darren Waller played 95% of snaps and caught six of 10 targets for 107 yards, finishing the year with a 76.9% catch rate and 9.8 YPT in an offense that completed 70.2% of passes for 7.9 YPA. Beast!

Broncos

  • Phillip Lindsay was held to an 18-53-0 rushing line and no catches on one target, playing 57% of snaps.
  • Royce Freeman had an even worse day, finishing with two carries, one target and four total yards on 39% snap share. The Broncos even mixed in forgotten man Devontae Booker, who played five snaps and caught two passes for 17 yards.
  • DaeSean Hamilton stayed hot with five catches for 65 yards on six targets, handling 70% snap share. I never thought improved QB play — courtesy of Drew Lock — would end up helping Hamilton more than Courtland Sutton, who closed out his disappointing December with four catches for 52 yards on a team-high eight targets. Sutton did draw a pair of pass interference penalties, something that's become somewhat of a specialty for him.
  • Noah Fant caught one of two targets for four yards on 59% snap share. His slow finish to the season partially seemed to be a product of battling an assortment of injuries.
  • Tim Patrick played 57% of snaps and caught one of two targets for 14 yards. He had a small bit of DFS and dynasty hype at one point, but the Broncos need to find a better No. 2 receiver across from Sutton for 2020.

Cardinals 24 @ Rams 31

Cardinals

  • Kenyan Drake played 96% of snaps, posting a 12-60-1 rushing line and 3-23-0 on four targets. He played at least 64% of snaps in each of his eight games for Arizona, with stats that prorate to 246-1,286-16 and 56-342-0 (70 targets) over a 16-game campaign. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in March if the Cardinals don't lock him down with a big contract.
  • Christian Kirk played 99% of snaps and caught seven of 10 targets for 60 yards. He finishes with a 68-709-3 receiving line on 108 targets in 13 games, with all three TDs coming in a single contest Week 10 at Tampa Bay. An ankle injury from Week 4 may have been a factor.

Rams

  • Sean McVay dropped hints to the media last week about potentially pulling some of his key players out of this game early, but he ultimately was unable to resist the temptation of seeing "9-7" instead of "8-8" for his 2019 record. I'm not saying eliminated teams should bench all their starters Week 17, but I do think it makes sense to use the game as an opportunity to evaluate young players, rather than handling full, 60-minute workloads to guys like Aaron Donald, Robert Woods and Eric Weddle. That's especially true for someone like Brandin Cooks, who may be one concussion away from early retirement.
  • Todd Gurley played 68% of snaps, giving him eight straight games with 68% or more. He averaged 16.4 carries for 62.8 yards (3.8 YPC) and 0.75 TDs in that span, but he added just 2.0 catches for 15.8 yards on 3.1 targets per game. He finishes the year with 807 offensive snaps, fourth-most among all running backs. If we'd known before the season that he'd play that many snaps, he would've gone top five in every fantasy league.

49ers 26 @ Seahawks 21

49ers

  • Raheem Mostert maintained his lead role with 54% snap share, posting a 10-57-2 rushing line and 1-16-0 on two targets. It was his fifth consecutive game with at least 53% of snaps, 10 carries and a rushing TD, but he's seen just nine targets in that stretch.
  • Tevin Coleman played 30% of snaps, with 5-11-0 rushing and 1-7-0 on two targets. He technically got the start and took four of his five carries in the first quarter, but he didn't have a single touch over the final 28 minutes of game time.
  • Matt Breida was at the bottom of the backfield pack with 16% snap share, taking four carries for 16 yards and failing to catch his lone target. The last time he had more than seven touches or 19% snap share was Week 10, before Mostert emerged as the top dog.
  • Deebo Samuel caught each of his five targets for 102 yards and added two carries for 33 yards and a touchdown, logging 78% snap share. The target totals have been inconsistent since Emmanuel Sanders recovered from a rib injury, but Samuel has made up for it by averaging 1.8 carries for 24.4 yards and 0.4 rushing TDs over the past five weeks. He's also been highly efficient on passes in that stretch, catching 65.4% for 10.7 YPT. Samuel is gonna ball out next year, with or without Sanders on the roster.
  • Sanders played 92% of snaps Sunday night but was held to three catches for 25 yards on four targets. He's reached double-digit PPR points in just one of his past eight games, but the one got most of the attention: a 7-157-1 explosion (plus a TD pass) Week 14 at New Orleans. I'd play Samuel over Sanders in playoff DFS contests.
  • George Kittle played 94% of snaps and caught each of his seven targets for 86 yards, also adding a seven-yard carry. Dude is a monster.

Seahawks

  • Travis Homer got the start and led the backfield with 67% snap share, taking 10 carries for 62 yards and catching each of his five targets for 30 yards.
  • Marshawn Lynch posted a 12-34-1 line without any targets on 31% snap share, while Robert Turbin strictly played special teams.
  • Pete Carroll referred to his backfield as a "1-2 punch" heading into the playoffs, though he didn't say which guy is the 1 and which is the 2. It was obviously Homer as the lead guy against San Francisco, but that was with Lynch coming "fresh off the couch" (his words, not mine).
  • Tyler Lockett went for 6-51-1 on seven targets, with DK Metcalf putting up 6-81-1 on 12 targets. Lockett bounced back with six or more targets each of the past four weeks, but Metcalf finished with just 10 fewer targets for the season (100 to 110). Lockett was awfully quiet from mid-November to early December, perhaps due to a leg injury.
  • Jacob Hollister played a season-high 89% of snaps and caught four of eight targets for 25 yards. He was the prominent figure at the very end of the game, with the 49ers getting away with PI on one play and then stopping him inches shy of the goal line on the next. 
  • Hollister closed out the season with eight straight games playing at least 69% of snaps, with his numbers from that stretch prorating to 72-622-6 on 102 targets over a 16-game season. His long gain for the year was just 22 yards, but he's been getting solid volume and red-zone looks in a RussellWilsonMagic Production.
  • David Moore played a season-high 72% of snaps as the No. 3 receiver, with Malik Turner (concussion) inactive and Jaron Brown suffering a knee sprain during Sunday night's game. Brown is expected to miss a few weeks, while Turner's status for the upcoming playoff game is unclear. Moore will be a nice DFS sleeper if Turner can't suit up.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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