NFL Week 16 Hot Takes
Howard Bender gives you the hot takes rundown from all the action fantasy football owners saw during Week 16 of the NFL season.
For most, Week 16 brings about the close of the fantasy football season. Championships are won and lost; tears are shed by all, whether it comes from joy or pain. But for some, Week 17 is just one more hill to climb on your way to the winner’s table and that victory chicken dinner you’ve been waiting to eat. To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It’s ain’t over til it’s over.” Or was that Jefferson Starship? Either way, we’ve got one more week of the regular season to look at and while I want to keep it positive for all you champions out there, there are a few hot takes that need to be addressed.
Aaron Rodgers Should Have Taken Week 16 Off
You might think this is coming from a place of anger or jealousy as a Jets fan, but in truth, I don’t mind the loss. Keep ‘em coming, I say. Who the heck wants the 14th pick in the NFL Draft when you can just as easily have the fifth? But for Rodgers, this is yet another example of how/why fantasy owners are still going to take him in the fourth round of their draft rather than do the sensible thing and wait on the quarterback position. At 35-years old, he throws for 442 yards with two touchdowns while running in two. He also ran in a third score which was called back due to a holding penalty and don’t forget about that two-point conversion he ran in too! So while it was a lost season for the Packers, Rodgers shows the world his knee is just fine and he still has plenty left in the tank. Great. For me, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never draft him early and it always helps when some fool in my league does. I’m just hoping none of you in #FANation fall for it.
Derrick Henry Ruined Your Christmas
What a piece of garbage, right? After rushing for 408 yards and six touchdowns over two weeks, Henry comes in with a mundane 84 yards and a score this week. What gives? Is he slowing down? Did he get hurt? We as fantasy owners have grown accustomed to a particular fantasy lifestyle Henry has provided us with and we can’t go back now. You can’t deliver performances of insane proportions and then just leave us hanging like this during championship week. This is unacceptable, Derrick. Either get back on the horse and rush for 300 yards next week or don’t ever show your face around my fantasy team again.
Kirk Cousins Delivers in the Most Non-Clutch Moments
Yes, the win helps the Vikings hang onto the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC, but this win for Kirk Cousins who threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns was about as hollow as you can get. First off, the win comes on the heels of a massively disappointing performance in Week 15 when the Vikings pasted 41 points on the Dolphins and all he did was throw for 215 yards and two scores with one interception and sit in a bath of mediocrity for his owners. And truthfully, one of those touchdowns was ridiculously lucky as Kyle Rudolph turned Gigantor and caught a hail mary toss that, really, should have been batted away. Just sayin’. After a season of disappointment, the thought of using Cousins for your championship game probably had the bile rising up through your throat. Detroit or not, this was a prime spot for him to blow it, so many threw caution into the wind and sat him for virtually anyone else. He comes away with a solid game just in time for no one to care. #SkolKeenum!!
The Cowboys Aren’t as Good as You Think, Jim
While I would never want to ruin anyone’s holiday season, but did you really watch the Cowboys win over the Buccaneers on Sunday? That did not look like a team ready to square off against the best of the NFL in the playoffs. With Zach Martin and Xavier Su’a-Filo at less than 100-percent, the offensive line did not get that push against the Bucs defensive line at all, had trouble opening up holes and running room for Ezekiel Elliott and the pass-protection wasn’t exactly all there, was it? The defense is solid and the offense is definitely able to click, but if this offensive line isn’t at its full capacity, this team is going to crash and burn pretty quickly. I mean, come on….how do you win your division with a lame-duck win over arguably the worst defense in the NFL. There’s a storm a-brewin’!
Pat Shurmur Hates Your Fantasy Team
If you have a running back like Saquon Barkley and you’ve got the ball first-and-goal inside the five-yard line, you HAND THE DAMN BALL OFF TO BARKLEY! What the heck is wrong with this guy? Does he not understand it’s championship week and no one…I repeat, NO ONE starter Eli Manning or, wait….what was his name? Scott Simonson ? Who the heck is Scott Simonson ? If you were going to make a stupid play-call and not put the ball in your best player’s hands, the least you could have done was throw it to Evan Engram , amirite? Passing touchdowns to players who don’t matter? Are you serious?
Adam Gase Hates Your Fantasy Team
Brandon Bolden ? Seriously? Again? And what’s with Kenyan Drake out-touching Kalen Ballage 10-to-6? Is it any wonder the Dolphins lost to a Jaguars team that had to go back to Blake Bortles under center? Blake freakin’ Bortles? Not to mention how bad the Jaguars defense has been. One touchdown? That’s it? So not only can you not stop a putrid offense led by a putrid quarterback, but your own offense is so pathetic that you have to take it out on the fantasy community? Did you not watch Ballage run last week? Why the heck do you not put the ball in his hands and let him run? You’ve made it INSANELY clear that Drake will never be your starting running back. He probably won’t even be with the team next year. So why wouldn’t you take your rookie and let him audition for next season? What is wrong with you, Doug Marrone? This makes absolutely zero sense and the only thing I can think of is that your son’s opponent had Ballage on his fantasy team and you decided to help him out. Ridiculous!
The Eagles Should Trade Carson Wentz
From a suggestion of Jon Impemba, yeah, why don’t the Eagles trade Wentz while they can still get value? Last season, after Wentz hurt his knee, Foles cam in and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title. He also locked down the MVP honors. This season, he fills in to open the season and goes 1-1 as the starter. Then he comes in here at the tail-end of the season, leads the team to two HUGE wins over the Rams and the Texans and has almost single-handedly put them into contention for a wild card spot. What’s Wentz done? The guy has a great pedigree and there’s a world of talent, but the Eagles are perfectly capable of putting together win after win with Foles as their quarterback. There are plenty of teams in need of a potential franchise quarterback, so why not deal him for help where you actually need it?
The Falcons Should Still Fire Their Coordinators
OK, maybe Marquand Manuel can stay. He’s had to deal with sub-standard personnel and injuries all season. But Steve Sarkisian still needs to go and fast! Big deal…the Falcons beat a Carolina Panthers team closing out its season with an inexperienced back-up under center. They probably would have lost if Carolina showed any heart. They didn’t and the two touchdown passes Matt Ryan threw in the third quarter never would have happened if they were facing a competitive team. Did you see the coverage breakdowns that left Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu wide open? It was ridiculous. Not a defender within 50 feet of either guy at the time of their catch. Just horrible. So don’t be fooled by the final score and don’t be fooled by the sixth win of the season. This team is in need of new leadership.
C.J. Anderson Will Fade Back into Obscurity
Even with C.J. Anderson ’s Herculean effort, there is simply no way this guy is ever going to lead another backfield in the NFL. First off, let’s remind everyone that Arizona has the absolute worst run defense in the NFL. They’ve allowed the most yardage on the ground from scrimmage and they’ve allowed a league-high 23 rushing touchdowns. So while yes, 167 yards and one touchdown is impressive, this meatball isn’t going to do this against a run defense worth its salt. Remember, this guy sat idle all year in Carolina and then bounced to the Raiders for a minute and ultimately landed with the Rams who wisely held Todd Gurley out from Sunday and needed a body to throw to the wolves. He’ll probably lead the backfield next week against the Seahawks, but if you thought Derrick Henry ’s drop-off was bad, wait til you see this guy flounder next week.
Juju Jinxed Himself with his Tweet
When JuJu Smith-Schuster posted this on his Twitter account:
A lot on the line this week. The whole season comes down to this. Yes, I’m talking about the fantasy football championship round. Of course I’m playing Sunday!!! Theres no way I can let down the real ones who believed in me by drafting me!! Let’s get it!! ???????? pic.twitter.com/6YntwS4lpD— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 22, 2018
He endeared himself to the fantasy football community forever. We continuously hear of the rift between players and fantasy owners caused by a few bad apples blaming players for their fantasy losses, so to see this was really heart-warming. Of course, then he goes out there, catches 11 balls for 115 yards, has everyone freaking out with excitement and then BAM!!! He fumbles the ball away on the final drive and the Steelers lose to the Saints. A spot in the playoffs is now in jeopardy for Pittsburgh, but, more importantly, that fumble cost people their championships. Brutal. I’ve seen screenshots of some of the closest fantasy match-ups in championship history and the guy on the losing end is sitting with Juju on their roster. That tweet, though. Come on. You had to know it was all too good to be true.
Suck it, Chris Carson Haters
Pretty sure this says it all. STOP OVERLOOKING THIS GUY!! He is a high-end RB1 playing in a run-first offense with an improving offensive line. What the heck is wrong with you people? What more does he have to do? On Sunday, he rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, giving him back-to-back 100-yard efforts and five on the season. He’s scored four touchdowns over his last three games, and seven in his last eight. If you still don’t believe, you need your head and eyesight examined. This guy is the real deal. Oh…and if you play for your championship in Week 17, he faces Arizona. Yeah – ARI-FREAKIN-ZONA!!!!
No Quick Hits today. It’s all right here in full detail this time.