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Tunnel Vision of Week 16 – The Huddle

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RB James Robinson – Torn Achilles
RB Darrell Henderson – Knee
RB Miles Sanders – Hand
RB Jordan Howard – Stinger
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Collarbone
TE Jack Doyle – Ankle/Knee
WR Adam Thielen – Leg
WR Philip Dorsett – Ankle
Nothing like competing all season, reaching the fantasy playoffs, and then losing your players.
RB James Robinson (CIN) – The Jaguars’ running back got out of the doghouse with HC Urban Meyers was fired and then faced the NFL-worst Jets defense. And Robinson tore his Achilles after just three carries. He’s gone for the season and hopefully not impacted next year. Dare Ogunbowale ran for 57 yards and a score on 17 rushes as the next man up, and he’ll be the starter since he was the only other back on the active roster since Carlos Hyde is on injured reserve from a concussion. The final two games are at the Patriots and hosting the Colts – neither very attractive.
RB Darrell Henderson (LAR) – Twisted his knee but believed to be minor. Sony Michel has already taken over the primary role anyway. He’ll get an MRI on Monday to determine if it is going to be an issue.
RB Miles Sanders (PHI) – Feared to have fractured his hand which would end his season. Boston Scott (12-41, TD) and Jordan Howard (9-37) would fill in for Sanders. Howard left the game in the fourth quarter with a stinger, so he’ll be checked out to make sure he can go forward. The Eagles play at Washington this week.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) – Left with a collarbone injury but reports are that an X-ray was negative and that he would get an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. Darrel Williams will replace him if needed, along with help from Derrick Gore. The Chiefs play at the Bengals this week.
WR Adam Thielen (MIN) – Missed three games with a high-ankle sprain and returned to face the Rams. He left in the second quarter after appearing to have aggravated the injury when he was tackled. He returned to catch a third-down pass but then left again. If he is out next week  at Green Bay, K.J. Osborn will step up again as he did for the other three weeks. 
RB Chase Edmonds (ARI) – James Conner was out  with his heel injury, and Edmonds was given the start against the Colts. He responded with 16 rushes for 56 yards and a touchdown, plus he was the Cardinals leading receiver with 71 yards on eight catches. Conner never practiced last week, so he’s no lock to return for Week 16 at the Cowboys. Edmonds’ receiving ability will be needed in Dallas.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) – Caught nine passes for 91 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. He also became just the third rookie ever to record eight receptions and a touchdown in three-or-more games, Joining Anquan Boldin and Odell Beckham.
TE Kyle Pitts (ATL) – Caught six passes for 102 yards for his third 100-yard performance. Pitts totals 949 receiving yards on the season, more than all rookies in NFL history other than Mike Ditka (1,076). He is one of only three with three 100-yard games. It doesn’t feel like he is a revelation at the position, but he actually is.
Buccaneers’ backfield – With Leonard Fournette gone, the Bucs went with a combination of Ronald Jones (20-65, TD) and Ke’Shawn Vaughn (7-70, TD) to beat the Panthers. Jones added two catches for 16 yards, but Vaughn had no receptions. Vaughn broke a 55-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to open the scoring for the Bucs.
QB Josh Johnson (BAL) – The Ravens were down to Johnson when Lamar Jackson and  Tyler Huntley were not available. He threw for 304 yards and two scores that included relying on Mark Andrews (8-125, TD) who doesn’t care which quarterback plays.
QB Joe Burrow (CIN) –  His 525 yards and four scores were not just the top quarterback marks for the week, it was the fourth-most yardage in NFL single-game history.
RB Justin Jackson (LAC) – Austin Ekeler was out on the COVID list and his replacement helped win any fantasy playoff game that he was started. Jackson ran for 64 yards and two scores on 11 runs, and led the team with eight receptions for 98 yards. Playing at home against the Broncos this week won’t be as easy as the Texans and Ekeler could be back.
RB Rex Burkhead (HOU) – Turned in a career-best 22 rushes for 149 yards and two scores in the shocking upset of the Chargers. Royce Freeman (12-34) contributed as well, but Burkhead was the better back. David Johnson was out with his quad injury.
RB Sony Michel (LAR) – Was reliable for 80 yards in each of the last three games and has taken over the primary role  from Darrell Henderson. Versus the Vikings, he had a season-best 27 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown, plus caught a pass for four yards. Cam Akers was activated from injured reserve but isn’t expected to be a factor this week or even next. But the backfield may be getting more crowded for the playoffs.
WR Isaiah McKenzie (BUF) – Gabriel Davis was unvaccinated and caught COVID, which means he missed Week 16 at the Patriots and will also be out Week 17 when they host the Falcons. In his place, McKenzie filled in and led the Bills with a career-high 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. His 12 targets were second only to Stefon Diggs (13).
RB Damien Harris (NE) – With Rhamondre Stevenson out, Harris  handled all but two carries for the Pats backfield and gained  103 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. He’ll face the visiting Falcons this week and their Bottom-3 defense versus running backs.
RB Michael Carter (NYJ) – He still had to share with Tevin Coleman (14-57) but Michael Carter gained 118 yards on 16 carries and caught two passes for six yards in the win over the Jaguars. It was the rookie’s first 100-yard performance.
RB Rashaad Penny (SEA) – He’s been mostly a nonfactor for his four NFL seasons with the Seahawks, but he ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in the loss to the Bears. It was his second game with 130+ yards in the last three weeks.
Broncos backfield – The Raiders were one of the worst defenses against running backs and doled out touchdowns and higher yardage to every opposing backfield. But against the Broncos, they held Javonte Williams (7-12, TD) and Melvin Gordon (7- (-4) ) to a net eight yards. Bad timing during fantasy playoffs to disappear.
QB Davis Mills (HOU) – He gets the benefit of opponents failing to prepare to play the Texans as well as they could. But then again, Mills is playing in one of the least talented offenses. He just threw for 254 yards and two scores against the Chargers, and that made him one of only three rookie quarterbacks to ever throw for 250 yards, two touchdowns,  and a passer rating of 130-or-higher in multiple games.
QB Joe Burrow (CIN)  –  There’s getting a good game from your starting  quarterback, and then there’s throwing for 525 yards and four touchdowns with no turnovers. Burrow was stuck at mostly one-touchdown efforts for the last six weeks and was on some fantasy benches after his 157-yard, one-touchdown performance in Denver for Week 15. For those who still started him, the payoff was immense.
Salute!
Now get back to work…
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