Manic Monday Week 16

Ralphie

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, friends. One of the things that makes Thanksgiving stand out is the full day’s worth of NFL and fantasy action that gives football fans even more to look forward to.

As luck would have it, we got another day of NFL action on Christmas this year, which makes it two in a row if I remember correctly. There was certainly plenty of memorable plays throughout the 2021 Xmas slate, but nothing quite like Alvin Kamara’s legendary six-score showing one year ago.

Still, it was nice to have fantasy action on the day, but for some of us, it was challenging to prepare and take advantage of. Between preparing food, traveling, opening presents, cleaning up wrapping paper, and other dad duties, squeezing in that Week 16 research was challenging.

Another potential distraction was A Christmas Story being on in the background. Granted, it’s annually on for 24 hours, but it’s always been the best Xmas movie. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the best holiday movie, by the way.

But I used to love watching Ralphie eagerly anticipating getting that official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. Watching it makes me miss being young when the entire kid calendar revolved around Christmas.

I never did get my own BB gun but when I got the original Nintendo Entertainment Center back in 88, that was equally as impactful on me. A couple of years later the pink and white Mike McGill Powell & Peralta skateboard was also a game-changer.

Once you’re a teenager and stop believing in Santa, Christmas just doesn’t mean as much and you never get it back. While being a parent and watching your own kids have those memories is in itself a treat, having fantasy football action to enjoy during this challenging year brought a little something extra to the 2021 holiday season. And it was very welcomed.

Where We Were Right

Back-up backs were a hit in both our projections and on the field. Justin JacksonRonald Jones, and Chase Edmonds were all inside out top-15 Week 16 projections and all finished as top-12 PPR running backs for the week. Jackson, in particular, won a ton of playoff matchups finishing as the overall RB1.

Sometimes going against the grain pays off. Despite the solid matchups for George Kittle, we ranked Mark Andrews as our No. 1 tight end and that’s precisely what Andrews was. Andrews led the position with eight grabs, 125 receiving yards and secured his ninth touchdown of the season.

Amon-Ra St. Brown ended up as our WR20 in PPR projection, which seemed alarmingly high at the time. Instead, it ended up not being high enough as St. Brown hauled in nine grabs for 91 yards, a touchdown, and chipped in another 11 rushing yards en route to a PPR WR6 finish on Sunday.

Where We Were Wrong

I’m still not exactly sure what happened to the Chargers. Justin Jackson came through in his spot start but Justin Herbert was our No 1 quarterback and was a big disappointment. Now Herbert accumulated over 300 passing yards against Houston’s awful defense but a big portion came in the fourth quarter when the Chargers were getting their doors blown off by the hapless Texans. That game was the biggest head-scratcher from the week.

Denver sure didn’t take advantage of the Raiders’ questionable run defense. Javonte Williams (RB12) somewhat salvaged some fantasy value with a short-yardage TD but Melvin Gordon, our No. 21 running back, wound up putting up negative zero scrimmage yards on eight touches in a horrendous day for playoff lineups relying on RB2 value.

Everyone missed on Tyreek Hill this week but Hill’s feeble 3.9-point showing on Sunday afternoon will go down as one of those painful memories for people that had to scramble all week only to get late word that Hill would be active. In retrospect, all of us would have probably been better off going with whoever we were going to play instead. Those kinds of terrible performances tend to linger for a long, long time.


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Draft your team using our On-Demand Simulator.
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