Welcome to Week 16 Fantasy Overreactions! The day or two after the dust settles during the NFL season, meaning that we can take any occurrence from Sunday or Monday and make a completely wild narrative with it. We also want to make bold claims to remain ahead of the curve!
Every week, we’re going to identify five of these potential overreactions from the week’s NFL action. While these are just our opinions, feel free to use your own thoughts on each narrative. The storylines have been played out, now it’s our job to decide if we feel the story is fact or fiction.
The stories were aplenty this week: The Cowboys clinched the NFC East and absolutely embarrassed the Washington Football Team. The Kansas City Chiefs have won eight straight games and taken their sixth straight AFC West division title. The Houston Texans stunned the Los Angeles Chargers and dinged their playoff hopes. Joe Burrow passed for over 500 yards and set a Bengals passing record. All that and more in an exciting Week 16!
All of this has led to some great overreactions. So as we will do each week, it’s now time to react to the potential overreactions!
1) After Josh Jacobs’ Week 16, you can trust him in your lineup in Week 17
If I have Josh Jacobs and I have similar options on my team to put in my lineup, I’m looking to potentially sit Josh Jacobs in Week 17. Jacobs had his first 100+ yard rushing game of the season when he recorded 27 carries for 129 yards and one catch for -5 yards against the Broncos in Week 16. Not only was that Jacobs’ first 100+ rushing yard game this season, but only the second time that Jacobs has even been able to reach 100+ TOTAL yards in a game this season.
Jacobs has finished in the top 12 of PPR scoring for running backs three times this season and faces a Colts team in Week 17 that ranks third-worst for opposing running backs, allowing just 19.8 fantasy points per game. If I have other options, I look elsewhere instead of Jacobs in Week 17.
2) You should be concerned if you roster Ceedee Lamb
I can understand why Lamb managers are worried about the high draft pick that they invested in months ago. Going into last night’s game against Washington, Lamb was the WR31 since Week 12. That’s not getting the job done. Including last night’s drubbing of Washington, Lamb has 27 receptions for 280 yards and 0 touchdowns over his last five games. A lot of that can be tied to Dak Prescott who before last night’s four touchdown explosion, had only thrown for five touchdowns over his previous four games.
If you roster Lamb, still keep the faith. Lamb has received at least nine targets in three of the last five games and has been the lead target in all those games. Amari Cooper’s 11 target game in Week 16 was from a direct complaint of him not getting the targets to his liking. A squeaky wheel game if you will. Lamb is still the alpha in this offense and against the Cardinals, in Week 17 you should be starting Lamb with confidence.
3) Patrick Mahomes is BACK
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
Nick Shook of NFL.com notes that Patrick Mahomes is the first QB since 1970 to win 11 or more games in four of his first five seasons. I just wanted to start this section off with once again making sure we recognize the greatness of someone many questioned this season. Mahomes without Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill to an extent (caught two passes on two targets for 19 yards), connected on 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns in three-quarters of football, achieving a 135.1 QB rating in the process.
Mahomes over his last three games has thrown 926 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception and ranks as the QB3 over that time, trailing only Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers. He’s been decisive and quick with his reads, navigating the pocket well, and hasn’t turned the ball over. With the Chiefs’ defense firing on all cylinders and taking pressure off the offense, Mahomes and the Chiefs look ready for a deep playoff run. Mahomes is back to doing Mahomes-like things.
4) Rashaad Penny looks like a league-winner
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
Rashaad Penny is looking like Rashaad Dollar right now (sorry for the bad joke). Penny has been on an absolute tear of late as he continued his great stretch Sunday against the Bears recording 17 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown, and recording two 25+ yard runs in the frigid conditions. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Penny ran for 114 of his 135 yards between the tackles and put on full display why he was a first-round choice just a few years ago.
Penny now has two of his last three games with 19.5 or more PPR points and been a top nine running back in those two games. He is also now the workhorse for a team that was desperate for one as he’s recorded 44 carries over the last three games. For reference, Deejay Dallas has 14 carries as the next closest Seahawks running back over that time, while Alex Collins has 7. Penny is set to face the Detroit Lions next week, a team giving up 27.5 points per game to opposing running backs. Please don’t leave him on your bench.
5) Cordarrelle Patterson is no longer a MUST START
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
What’s going on with Cardarrelle Patterson? Once considered a smash start, Patterson is only the RB22 since Week 13 (4 games) and averaged 9.8 fantasy points per game over that stretch. His struggles were magnified in his Week 16 game against Detroit where he was a shell of his old self recording seven carries for 14 yards and one catch for -1 yard with a touchdown salvaging his fantasy day.
Patterson has now recorded under four yards per carry in three straight games and seems to lack the “juice” that he had earlier this season when he was arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football. The Falcons go into Week 17 against Buffalo who only allow 21 fantasy points per game to the position (24th) and should force the Falcons into a negative game script. If I’m in the fantasy championships, I’m trying to look elsewhere than Patterson with the title on the line.