Fantasy Recap: Week 16 Saturday Late Slate

  • Final score: 49ers 37, Commanders 20 (49ers covered -6.5, O 36.5)


    Postgame Stories

    This ninth-straight win by the Niners turned out to be a much higher-scoring affair than initially projected, and some quarterback controversy popped up but not on the San Francisco side, as Brock Purdy has become a stabilizing force while winning his third straight start. Rather, it was the Commanders who went back to the embattled Carson Wentz after Taylor Heinicke was responsible for turnovers on back-to-back possessions in the second half. Both run defenses were as advertised, with the 5th-ranked Commanders limiting Christian McCaffrey to just 3.1 YPC while the top-ranked Niners’ run stopping unit bottled Brian Robinson Jr. up for just a 2.6 mark per tote.


    Top Performers


    TE George Kittle

    Evan Engram has certainly gotten the most attention for his late season surge at the tight end position over the past month, but in terms of monster performances specifically since the start of the fantasy playoffs, Kittle (6-120-2 receiving, eight targets, 27.0 total fantasy points) may be king. The YAC beast has connected with Brock Purdy for 10 catches and a mind-boggling four touchdowns over the past two games. He’s the perfect fit for Purdy, who has thrived on simply making accurate passes to the short and intermediate areas of the fields and letting his YAC crew do the rest. While Kittle’s YAC average (4.4) yards/target) is slightly down from last season (4.6), he’s still elite at the tight end position ranking in the top-3 again in yards per target. The 40% TD rate over the past two games is tough to sustain, but who cares when he likely has gotten you into the playoff finals single-handedly?


    WR Terry McLaurin

    Time and time again, McLaurin (4-77-1 receiving, five targets, 15.7 total fantasy points) has proven he can be fantasy relevant without consistency or star power at quarterback. A mid-game QB switch from Heinicke to Wentz wasn’t enough to keep him from posting at least 70 receiving yards for a third-straight game. The bad news with the switch to Wentz is that McLaurin had a microscopic 6.2% target share once Wentz took over. While it’s certainly possible that head coach Ron Rivera sticks with Wentz in Week 17, I personally think he was just trying to give his team a chance to still win this game when it was still a one-TD game before the pair of back-breaking turnovers by Heinicke happened. The Commanders remain in the wild card picture, because otherwise there would be a real possibility of rookie Sam Howell at least getting a look. McLaurin should remain a low-end WR2 option in the finals regardless of quarterback.


    Biggest Busts


    RB Christian McCaffrey

    A goal-line plunge salvaged what was otherwise a rough fantasy day for McCaffrey (15-46-1 rushing, 2-12-0 receiving, two targets, 12.8 total fantasy points). That score was responsible for nearly half of his fantasy points in this one, which marked the first time since Week 12 that CMC didn’t put up at least 22 points. Perhaps the most shocking part of his day were the two targets after registering a minimum of six looks in five of his previous six games. On one hand, the Niners were pretty comfortably leading for much of the game, so game script didn’t help much. but especially with no Deebo Samuel, one would’ve still expected more than two targets for McCaffrey. But, credit is due to the Commanders for limiting CMC to the 3.1 YPC, a metric they had excelled at when playing at home (4.0 – fourth-best in NFL) but not on the road (4.9 – seventh-worst) like there were here. McCaffrey still has a golden opportunity in the fantasy finals with the Raiders, who have allowed the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs all year.


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    Final score: Cowboys 40, Eagles 34 (Cowboys covered -4, O 48)


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