Week 17 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books. For the majority of the league, Tuesday morning brings a whole new week of football and preparing for their next game. However, a handful of players might not want to leave Week 17 so soon. Here’s a look at who impressed and who underachieved in fantasy football this week.
All point totals are based on PPR scoring.
Winner: Joe Burrow (42.84 FPTS)
For the second week in a row, Burrow was simply on another level. The second-year quarterback now has 971 yards and eight touchdowns over the course of his last two games, and he was close to adding another score on the ground this past Sunday. Cincinnati edged out the Chiefs and Burrow was a main reason why. He’ll be a mid-range QB1 play against the Browns in Week 18.
Loser: Jalen Hurts (12.96 FPTS)
Hurts certainly wasn’t the worst quarterback in football this week, but he still let down some fantasy managers in critical championship matchups. The second-year signal-caller finished with 214 passing yards and 44 rushing yards. Although he didn’t turn the ball over, he didn’t find the end zone, either. He’ll rank as a mid-to-low QB1 heading into a tricky clash with the Cowboys next Sunday.
Winner: Rashaad Penny (32.5 FPTS)
Penny was an obvious play against Detroit, the league’s worst run defense. Fantasy managers who understood that were rewarded as the former first-round pick racked up 185 scrimmage yards and two scores. He now has at least 19.5 points in three of his last four matchups, putting him in low-end RB1 territory ahead of Seattle’s season finale against the Cardinals.
Loser: Dalvin Cook (4.3 FPTS)
Fantasy managers have been able to rely on Cook for a large chunk of 2021 and expected more of the same in Week 17, especially with Kirk Cousins out. Instead of being forced to run, the Vikings’ offense simply struggled to stay on the field. As a result, Cook, the widespread No. 2 pick just months ago, registered a mere 13 yards in the loss on Sunday night.
Winner: Ja’Marr Chase (55.6 FPTS)
Chase put up one of the best NFL performances in recent memory as he torched the Chiefs for 266 yards and three scores. He also rewarded fantasy managers in some leagues with bonuses for extra long touchdowns. The rookie has had his ups and downs this season, but there’s no doubt that he and LSU teammate Joe Burrow have both found their grooves in Cincinnati.
Loser: Antonio Brown (5.6 FPTS)
Is this even a question? Brown, who was projected to have a strong game due to the Buccaneers’ laundry list of injuries, caught just three passes for 26 yards before making a dramatic exit that included him taking off his jersey, shirt, and gloves, running shirtless through the end zone, and disappearing down the tunnel. Now, while Brown remains on Tampa Bay’s roster, head coach Bruce Arians says that the wideout is “no longer a Buc,” as if there was any confusion.
Winner: Noah Fant (21.2 FPTS)
Amidst the Broncos’ struggles on Sunday, Fant flew under the radar and finished as the week’s top-scoring tight end. When all was said and done, he had six catches, 92 yards, and one touchdown to his name. The COVID-related absences of Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick certainly didn’t hurt Fant’s stock against the Chargers.
Loser: Dawson Knox (0.0 FPTS)
Knox is in a bit of a rut lately, and he finished without a catch on Sunday afternoon. Sure, there was snow falling, but it was still a letdown from a player who had been very impactful earlier in the year. Knox has just two catches over his last two games, but a Week 18 matchup against the woeful Jets does keep him in the TE1 range for one more week.
Winner: Chicago Bears (21.0 FPTS)
The Bears licked their chomps at the opportunity to play against Mike Glennon in Week 17. Chicago’s defense ultimately finished with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, four sacks, three points allowed, and a safety. Whew.
Loser: Detroit Lions (-9.0 FPS)
It seemed like the Lions had some upside in deeper leagues thanks to Seattle’s recent struggles. Instead, they were torched by Rashaad Penny on the ground and DK Metcalf (plus Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, and Russell Wilson) through the air. The unit allowed 51 points and managed one measly sack. They finished with their worst fantasy performance of 2021 and ranked dead last among defenses in Week 17.
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