The Fantasy Football Week 16 Notebook

Eric MackChief Writer IVApril 11, 2017

Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) makes a catch while being defended by Detroit Lions free safety Louis Delmas (26) during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

You think this fantasy football game doesn't matter? That is likely because you were eliminated. That's loser talk.

Or maybe you are a player sick of hearing about it. Regardless, players, get over it. Sure, people can go overboard on Twitter, but have thick skin and just apologize for your mediocre stats and move on.

Now, we don't condone the death wishes (see below), but you are forgetting the NFL is a game just as much as fantasy football is. Let's all just have some fun with all of it.

Fantasy football championship pressure has matriculated all the way up to the top this week. We saw Justin Tucker congratulate his fantasy owners; meanwhile, Torrey Smith boiled over with frustration on Twitter. 

First, Tucker, who understands how to make fans follow you and love you. After booting his sixth field goal, a 61-yard game-winner, he went right to fantasy talk in his on-field interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters moments after:

"My fantasy team is benefiting from it as well. So I'm happy about that. Fantasy owners around the world, I hope you guys appreciate the points as well."

Tucker gets it. He's going to be a popular man in the fantasy arena. Heck, it is enough to clinch him as the No. 1 kicker off the board next August.

Smith, you just made things worse. You're not winning anyone over.

Smith is just 24, so about as young as his fantasy following, and just as immature. He went on a Twitter tirade against the trade after being limited to four catches for 69 yards.

His performance didn't warrant much hate, but Smith also needs to realize his fantasy fans were rooting for him. Despite their disappointment and bitterness, they were on his side. Despite their indiscretions on Twitter, they really just wanted the best of him.

Instead, Smith showed everyone his worst:

You are a professional who has chosen a life and career in the limelight. Deal with it. Embrace it. You could be cold, homeless and starving on some street in the dead of winter.

Even though you won, you need to learn something from this. Wait until you drop a pass in the clutch—perhaps even in these upcoming playoffs—leading to a loss. The public vitriol then is going to be way worse. You cannot respond to it.

Well, Chris Johnson, relative to his NFL contract, tends to be a big-time disappointment. When you take the dough, you sign up for public scrutiny.

Is he as bad as some fantasy owners make him out to be? Absolutely not.

But heck, those same people picked him! They love him, or at least like him, enough to put their faith and fandom in him.

You, sir, are just as guilty, taking Twitter comments too seriously.

Get over it. Fantasy doesn't take anything away from the game, unless you let it. Take notes from Tucker. It didn't keep him from nailing six clutch field goals and a game-winning miracle that saved your Ravens' arses.

Maybe, Smith, had you played just a bit sharper, your team wouldn't have relied on a miracle kick to beat the Detroit Lions on Monday night. Game-winning 61-yard field goals don't just happen. They happen to good people, and apparently ones with their hearts and minds in the right places.

Here is a hat tip to my former CBS Sports colleague, Sid Saraf, who is now with FoxSports.com, for highlighting those Smith tweets and digging up these ensuing examples of sore fantasy losers.

 

Fantasy Tweets from Twits

Yes, fantasy owners are just as imperfect and immature as Smith. We get it. No one truly wishes death on anyone, or even jokes about it, but since nobody was apparently harmed with these, let's all just laugh at the fantasy freaks for going overboard after their semifinal losses.

Ah, better them than me. Haha.

By the way, if you have seen good/angry/vindictive/jealous/hateful tweets from bitter fantasy owners, or anything entertaining about owners' fantasy fates, please pass them on to me @EricMackFantasy. I would like to collect them for next week.

Heck, send me your own bitter tweets. We'll make you famous.

 

You Have No Hartley!

Speaking of cold, bitter individuals, Smith, you should feel fortunate you didn't share this fate:

Employers tend to wait until after the holidays to fire their people, but the New Orleans Saints couldn't afford to, apparently. They waived struggling kicker Garrett Hartley, who we had among the top eight fantasy options for Week 16. 

The Saints have not announced a replacement yet, but the odds are you have a better kicker available to you off waivers anyway. The Saints kicker at Carolina won't be among the top 20 fantasy plays at the position. 

 

Roster Trends Review

We break down the top 40 most-added players in fantasy football from Tuesday night's waivers run, using the CBS Sports league as the example. With just a few teams still competing for pickups, only 43 players were added in at least one percent of leagues this week.

Week 16's Top 40 Most-Added Players
RKPlayerPOSTMPast %New %Increase
1Jordan TodmanRBJAC233815
2Greg JenningsWRMIN465610
3 LionsD/STDET405010
4Kirk CousinsQBWAS172710
5 DolphinsD/STMIA53596
6Andre CaldwellWRDEN055
7Delanie WalkerTETEN73774
8 RamsD/STSTL71754
9 BrownsD/STCLE47514
10Jay CutlerQBCHI75794
11Nick NovakKSD57603
12Matt AsiataRBMIN9123
13Phil DawsonKSF78813
14Timothy WrightTETB42442
15Andrew QuarlessTEGB462
16Ryan FitzpatrickQBTEN29312
17DeAngelo WilliamsRBCAR80811
18Marcedes LewisTEJAC341
19Michael CrabtreeWRSF82831
20Zach ErtzTEPHI10111
21Nate WashingtonWRTEN38391
22Cordarrelle PattersonWRMIN39401
23Shayne GrahamKPIT011
24Kendall WrightWRTEN86871
25Ryan TannehillQBMIA58591
26Kai ForbathKWAS14151
27Doug BaldwinWRSEA46471
28 BroncosD/STDEN88891
29 ChargersD/STSD12131
30Justin TuckerKBAL89901
31Edwin BakerRBCLE011
32Rashad JenningsRBOAK95961
33Trent RichardsonRBIND81821
34Dan BaileyKDAL80811
35Zach MillerTESEA22231
36Tyler EifertTECIN32331
37Santana MossWRWAS781
38Aldrick RobinsonWRWAS011
39Matt CasselQBMIN451
40Marvin JonesWRCIN63641
CBS Sports

 

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Jay Cutler and Ryan Fitzpatrick were the top three and for great reasons. Cousins has the dream matchup, and both he and Cutler have coaching staffs motivated to keep them productive to justify their decisions to start them down the stretch. Fitzpatrick is a nice consolation prize and a must-start option in two-quarterback formats.

 

Running Backs

The fantasy masses deserve credit for eschewing the trendy pickup, Matt Asiata, for Jordan Todman. It shows we are dealing with some worthy championship minds. Asiata is expected to lose his role this week, while Todman will still start in a favorable matchup, assuming Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) remains out. Even if MJD plays, he figures to be limited. Todman was the wise choice at No. 1.

 

Wide Receivers

Greg Jennings was the right choice atop the position this week, but it was a bit surprising to see Cordarrelle Patterson only lure in one percent of fantasy owners. He has put together back-to-back weeks, and the Vikings have shown some consistent spunk with Matt Cassel under center. The Vikings don't have a great matchup at Cincinnati, but Patterson has emerged as someone they have to get the ball to. 

 

Tight Ends

We are also a bit surprised in the results here. Delanie Walker was the right choice as the first pick, particularly against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Zach Miller warrants more love than his mere one percent increase, though, since he faces the worst team in fantasy against tight ends, the Arizona Cardinals

 

Defense/Special Teams

Unlike last week, there are some intriguing streaming options available on the fantasy fringe. The Detroit Lions are the most obvious choice, especially coming off a loss, and fancy the New York Giants team that has been the most forgiving in fantasy against defense/special teams this season. The owners that picked up the Lions should send care packages to Eli Manning for Christmas.

 

Kickers

While Nick Novak was added in more leagues, Phil Dawson is owned in more leagues. Dawson is the better choice if you are considering a change at the kicker position.

Tucker's legendary Week 15 performance shows you cannot overrate the importance of weighing the minutia here in fantasy crunch time. Your Super Bowl is on the line.

 

Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.