Most traditional fantasy football leagues concluded last week but that doesn’t mean the fun is over for everyone. Plenty of best-ball leagues are still going strong and there are always DFS lineups to consider.
Here are the fantasy football starts and sits in the final full week of NFL action of the 2021 season.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB) Pittsburgh Steelers
In what will most likely be Big Ben’s final game as a Pittsburgh Steeler he will get as good a matchup as he could hope for against his greatest rivals, the Ravens. Baltimore has been decimated in their secondary and has been getting torched at a record pace over the past month. They are allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and have made up a lot of ground late in the season as we watched their defense fall apart. Everything is lined up for Ben to wrap up a Hall of Fame career the way Steelers fans hope he would.
Darrell Williams (RB) Kansas City Chiefs
Williams has shined this year when Clyde Edwards-Hellaire has been sidelined and has been the better back when both are healthy. As long as CEH is out, Williams should be in your lineup. He is the clear RB1 in Kansas City after a mid-season Derrick Gore scare and contributes both on the ground and through the air. Coming off another two TD and 100-yards from scrimmage game, there’s no chance I’m not plugging in Williams this week.
Devin Singletary (RB) Buffalo Bills
Singletary has finally established himself as the lead back in Buffalo late this season. He’s coming off a 23 caries, 110 yards, and a two-touchdown game and this week draws a matchup with the Jets who are the worst in the league when it comes to slowing down fantasy rushers. This game should be a laugher and I fully expect the Bills to get a lead and run the ball down their throats both to run out the clock and protect their quarterback for the playoffs. The Bills are very good and the Jets are atrocious. It’s that simple.
Brandin Cooks (WR) Houston Texans
Cooks has been a bright spot in a terrible year for the Texans. In his final game of the season, he faces the Titans’ secondary who is allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. He has quietly posted another 1,000-yard season with six touchdowns and 87 receptions. Despite quarterback turmoil and once again being widely overlooked by the fantasy community, Cooks just continues to put together stellar season after stellar season. He should be plugged into your championship lineup.
Darnell Mooney (WR) Chicago Bears
As disappointing as Allen Robinson was this season, Mooney is developing into a young stud despite a miserable quarterback situation. He’s the clear WR1 in Chicago and has an ideal matchup this week against the Vikings who have allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any team in the NFL. He needs 71 yards and a touchdown this week to get to 1,000 yards and five TDs. I’m willing to bet he hits those marks. Mooney is a guy you should be starting this week and looking to acquire in dynasty leagues.
Dalton Shultz (TE) Dallas Cowboys
We saw Shultz get a boost in targets last week with Michael Gallup going down to an ACL injury. This week the Cowboys take on the Eagles who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. The matchup is set for him to have a big game and the absence of Gallup should only increase his target share. He should be viewed as a top-10 tight end this week.
Tua Tagovialoa (QB) Miami Dolphins
Coming off a disastrous game with a terrible matchup it’s impossible to trust Tua or the Dolphins offense this week. He was clearly struggling in awful weather last week as the offensive coordinators did nothing to adjust to his struggles. They inexplicably abandoned a run game that looked good and failed to protect their young quarterback from the pass rush or the elements. If that’s the case against the Titans it’s hard to imagine this crew is going to scheme something up to make Tua a viable option against the New England Patriots. It would be shocking if the offenses combined for 40 points in this game. This game should be a non-fantasy factor for anyone involved other than the defenses.
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB) Atlanta Falcons
A dream season for fantasy owners promptly turned into a nightmare with Cordarrelle Patterson come playoff time. He has somehow found himself an afterthought in the offense becoming less of a factor in the passing attack and inexplicably being overtaken on the ground by Mike Davis. It’s time to cash out on Patterson if you made it this far. You got far more than you ever could have imagined from him this season, but it’s time to get off the ride now and find another option.
Ronald Jones (RB) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Don’t put Rojo in your lineup. Ever. Are we still doing this in 2022? If you rolled with him last week you got exactly what you deserved. The process wasn’t right and he did exactly what he always does. All he’s done since Leonard Fournette went down has predictably been outperformed by Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Why? Because he’s bad and his coaches hate him. Can he occasionally have a good game? Sure, but so can everybody. Leave him on your bench.
Amari Cooper (WR) Dallas Cowboys
Despite the loss of Michael Gallup, I’m still skeptical about Cooper this week. He has a long history of disappearing acts and the Eagles are a rough matchup for wideouts. They are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to the position. This game lines up better for Shultz and the rushing attack. If a wideout breaks out I’d expect it to be CeeDee Lamb and there won’t be enough production for two wideouts. If you need to plug in Cooper you can, but temper expectations and don’t expect him to be more than a WR3/Flex option.
Elijah Moore (WR) New York Jets
Moore is looking like he has a shot to return for the final game of the season. He’s going to be a very good player for a long time if the Jets can manage not to ruin him, but don’t trust him this week. He’s been out for over a month and is returning to the worst possible matchup in the league against the Bills. He’s way too risky to roll within a week when your whole season is on the line. Only the most desperate of owners should be starting him this week.
Mike Gesicki (TE) Miami Dolphins
As I mentioned earlier, no Dolphins should be started this week but Gesicki may be the worst option. The Pats are the toughest team in the league against fantasy tight ends. With Jaylen Waddle extremely close to breaking a handful of league and team rookie records, I’d expect the team to make an effort to force-feed him the ball after under-utilizing him last week. Not only that but as the season has gone on Gesicki has been splitting targets with other tight ends as well. There’s no way I’m trusting him as my tight end this week.
Mike Tagliere Memorial Playoff Challenge
In honor of industry giant and close personal friend to our Jody Smith, this year’s playoff contest is in memory of Mike Tagliere from Fantasy Pros.
“As you all know, the fantasy industry was dealt a devastating blow in September when we lost one of the most genuine people and finest football analysts ever in Mike Tagliere.
I knew Mike for over a decade and had the privilege to work together with him on multiple occasions. Mike truly was a craftsman, who loved this industry and considered himself truly blessed to be able to do this for a living.
My personal relationship with Mike goes back over a decade and we became real friends. I had the pleasure to meet him and his wife, Tabbie, in Dallas and consider that experience one of my finest memories in my dozen years of providing fantasy football content.
Mike made an impact on thousands of people, who he helped, entertained, and impacted in a positive manner for many years. You simply will not read a negative opinion of Mike because there aren’t any.
His positive impact on the industry is still felt today and we wanted to do a little something to give back and honor the memory of one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. For those lucky enough to win their leagues this season, please consider donating a portion of your winnings to the Tagliere family.
With help from and permission from Mike’s team at FantasyPros, we wanted to present a FREE playoff fantasy football contest honoring the life and legacy of one of fantasy football’s all-time greatest people, Mike Tagliere.”
This is a FREE-to-play NFL Playoffs contest and we’ve increased the prizes this year.