Just in case you are new to the site here’s a quick run down of the ‘Champs & Chumps’ section. After each weekend we like to see which players helped push your fantasy squad over the hump and got you a victory, The Champs, or which guys couldn't find that last gas and fell down the hill, The Chumps. This year I’m going to put a new twist on the segment. Instead of breaking it down by position like years past I’m going to give you a more fantasy relevant recap. I will list the ‘Ultimate Champs’ and ‘Ultimate Chumps’ line ups with a few honorable, or dishonorable, mentions for good measure.
I’ll give you two quarterbacks, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, one flex (RB/WR/TE), a defense and kicker for each line up with the honorable mentions on the champs bench and the dishonorable mentions taking up the pine of the chumps sideline.
Plus I will name a ‘Champ of the Week,’ and a ‘Chump of the Week’ each week and keep track of them all season so you can relive your past glory or see who screwed you over earlier in the year.
Now let’s get to the good stuff; it’s your week 16 ultimate champs and ultimate chumps line ups!
ULTIMATE CHAMPS LINE UP
QB1 - Aaron Rodgers GB: 28/38 for 347 yards 4TDs; 2 rushes for 13 yards 1TD - 36 points. Rodgers saved his best for last. He had his 3rd most yards of the season in championship week and his four touchdowns tied his season high from back in weeks 8 & 3. His 36 points were his best output of the year and just his second 30 point effort of 2016. It was his most points since week 10 of 2014, and he picked the best possible time to decide to go off for your team. No doubt the ‘Champ of the Week’ when it mattered the most.
QB2 - Kirk Cousins WAS: 18/29 for 270 yards 1TD; 5 rushes for 30 yards 2TDs - 29 points. You like that?! Cousins rebounded from a bummer of a semifinals performance to having on of the best quarterback performances of title week. He accounted for three touchdowns and two of those three came on the ground which is even better than the air in most scoring formats. He also went for 270+ yards in the air in seven of the last nine games and was held to fewer than 16 points just once since week five. So to answer your question Kirk, yeah, we do like that.
RB1 - David Johnson ARI: 28 carries for 95 yards 3TDs; 4 catches for 41 yards - 31 points (35PPR). DJ totaled 20 touchdowns this year, 20! He scored no fewer than 14 points in any week and was held to under 20 points just four times this year. he went for multiple scores in back-to-back weeks three times this year including in your semifinal and championship games. Johnson combined for over 65 points in your final two games both this year and last season. The dude always shows up big, but shows up even bigger in the clutch. Hard to not name Johnson the 2016 fantasy MVP, then again …
RB2 - Le’Veon Bell PIT: 20 carries for 122 yards 1TD; 3 catches for 15 yards 1TD - 25 points (28PPR). … it’s hard to not name Bell the 2016 fantasy MVP. He may have missed the first three games of the year, but Bell still finished 2nd among backs behind only Johnson and was one of three backs to score over 300 points this season (DJ and Zeke). Bell went over 100 yards from scrimmage in all but one game this year and managed to find the end zone nine times in his last seven games while posting under 16 points just once all year. The man is some kind of athletic freak and helped you win a championship … something he tends to be doing year in and year out.
WR1 - Jordy Nelson GB: 9 catches for 154 yards 2TDs - 27 points (36PPR). Although Antonio Brown may be the best in the business at wide receiver, Nelson and Aaron Rodgers are the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Nelson came back this year after missing 2015 with a torn ACL and lead all wide outs with his 14 touchdown grabs, including two in your championship game and four total in your playoffs. He’s scored 17+ points in eight of the last ten weeks with 90+ yards in seven of the last nine. It took him a few weeks to get fully up to ‘Nelson speed’ but once he got there, by god, he stayed there and held you win your league title!
WR2 - Adam Thielen MIN: 12 catches for 202 yards 2TDs - 32 points (44PPR). Say What?! The wide out who comes up the biggest in your championship week is … Adam Thielen? Believe it or not Thielen was your wide out champ this week with his 200+ through the air and multiple scores. He showed that he can be a legit weapon for the Vikings and your fantasy team in the future. He went for over 100 in two of three playoff games this year while gaining 9 or more targets in three of his final five games and having double-digit points in seven of his final eight. Did you play Thielen? Not likely, but if you did odds are the prayer you threw into your WR3 or flex spot really paid off!
TE - Travis Kelce KC: 11 catches for 160 yards 1TD - 22 points (33PPR). Your number one tight end off the board in 2017; yes, even ahead of Gronk. Kelce not only had the biggest week among tight ends; being the only end with double-digit catches, 100+ yards, and had a score. His week was so big in week 16 only Thielen, Nelson, and Doug Baldwin scored more points among all pass-catchers, and only David Johnson outscored Kelce among backs. Kelce closed out the year with 100+ yards in five of the last six games scoring 15+ points in those five contests. He’s improved on his catches and yards every year and has been steady with his average of 5TDs per season. Gronk may have Brady, but Kelce has the number one pot at tight end in my mind to kick off 2017 after the monster games have gave you when it counted the most in 2016.
FLEX - Doug Baldwin SEA WR: 13 catches for 171 yards 1TD - 23 points (36PPR). Well that escalated quickly! Doug Baldwin in the confines of Seattle is a different kind of animal. He had a career-high in yardage and catches in week 16; which happened to be at home. All three of his 100-yard efforts came at home this season and seven of his nine career century days have come in Seattle. He balled out in the biggest way when it mattered the most. You probably flexed him in or put Dougie at WR2 thinking ’12-15 points from him and I’ll be feeling good,’ well after seeing the damage he did to the Cardinals you had to be feeling GREAT!
D/ST - Eagles: 3INTs, 1TD, 19PA - 12 points. In a week where many defenses did pretty much nothing, the Eagles ended up having one of the best weeks on Thursday night. Only the Redskins and Patriots forced more turnovers than Philadelphia and the Jaguars were the only other defense/special teams to score a touchdown. The Birds also gave up the 6th fewest points of the week. In a week of weak defensive performances, the Eagles ended up having the best day.
K - Matt Bryant ATL: 4/5 FGs, 3/4 from 40+; 3/3 XPs - 19 points. Bryant was on point once again. When your team is the highest-scoring all season and has a chance in week 17 to become on of the top three scoring offenses in NFL history, you got to love whoever their kicker is and the Flacons happen to have Bryant who's been great his entire career. He had his best week of 2016 in your championship round and overall for the year never had one game with fewer than 6 points and was held under 9 points just four times. Huge week and huge year from Bryant.
Russell Wilson SEA QB - 29/45 for 350 yards 4TDs; 10 rushes for 46 yards 1FUMB lost - 32 points
Tyrod Taylor BUF QB - 26/39 for 329 yards 3TDs; 12 rushes for 60 yards - 31 points
Andrew Luck IND QB - 19/29 for 288 yards 2TDs 2INTs; 4 rushes for 12 yards 1TD; 1 TPC - 22 points
Jay Ajayi MIA RB - 32 carries for 206 yards 1TD; 1 catch for 3 yards - 26 points (27PPR)
LeSean McCoy BUF RB - 24 carries for 128 yards 1TD; 5 catches for 17 yards - 19 points (24PPR)
Mark Ingram NO RB - 18 carries for 90 yards 2TDs; 2 catches for 3 yards - 18 points (20PPR)
Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB - 12 carries for 80 yards 2TDs; 1 catch for 12 yards - 21 points (22PPR)
Allen Robinson JAX WR - 9 catches for 147 yards - 14 points (23PPR)
Antonio Brown PIT WR - 10 catches for 96 yards 1TD - 15 points (25PPR)
Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR - 11 catches for 150 yards - 15 points (26PPR)
Sammy Watkins BUF WR - 7 catches for 154 yards 1TD - 21 points (28PPR)
Mike Evans TB WR - 7 catches for 97 yards 1TD - 15 points (22PPR)
Dez Bryant DAL WR - 4 catches for 70 yards 2TDs; 1 passing TD - 23 points (27PPR)
Charles Clay BUF TE - 8 catches for 85 yards 2TDs - 20 points (28PPR)
Antonio Gates SD TE - 8 catches for 94 yards 1TD - 15 points (23PPR)
Jaguars D/ST - 3 sacks, 1INT, 1TD, 17PA - 11 points
Redskins D/ST - 1 sack, 5INTs, 21PA - 11 points
Robbie Gould NYG K - 4/4 FGs, 1/1 40+; 1/1 XPs - 14 points
Justin Tucker BAL K - 4/4 FGs 2/2 40+; 1/1 XPs - 15 points
‘CHAMPS OF THE WEEK’
Week 1: A.J. Green CIN WR
Week 2: Matt Forte NYJ RB
Week 3: Marvin Jones DET WR
Week 4: Matt Ryan QB & Julio Jones WR ATL
Week 5: Tom Brady NE QB
Week 6: Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR
Week 7: Melvin Gordon SD RB
Week 8: Derek Carr OAK QB
Week 9: Mark Ingram NO RB
Week 10: Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB
Week 11: Le’Veon Bell PIT RB
Week 12: Jordan Reed WAS TE
Week 13: Jordan Howard CHI RB
Week 14 (Rd 1): Le’Veon Bell PIT RB
Week 15 (Semis): Devonta Freeman ATL RB
Week 16 (Finals): Aaron Rodgers GB QB
ULTIMATE CHUMPS LINE UP
QB1 - Cam Newton CAR: 18/43 for 198 yards 1TD 2INTs; 8 rushes for 36 yards - 10 points. For the guy who was likely the first QB off the board in your draft he showed up really small in year when he otherwise was mediocre most weeks. While he’s had fewer than 15 points in six of the last nine weeks, his 10 points in championship week was his smallest output of the year and his fewest points since week 8 in 2014. This is why you don't draft quarterbacks early in the draft, but where or how you got Newton aside, he really had a horrible effort at the worst possible time.
QB2 - Eli Manning NYG: 38/63 for 356 yards 1TD 3INTs - 12 points. This game was a catch-22 for Manning from the jump. On the one hand the Eagles defenses was getting rocked week after week after week, while on the other hand Eli had a horrible recent history in Philadelphia. In the end of this one Manning did throw for over 350 yards; his best game of the year since week 6, but he also threw three interceptions; his most of the season. His 12 points were the second fewest in a single game since week 9 … when he faced the Eagles the first time and posted 21. He may not have single-handedly killed you, but if you lost a close one odds are you had a better choice on your bench or near the top of your waiver wire.
RB1 - DeMarco Murray TEN: 14 carries for 42 yards; 2 catches for 18 yards - 5 points (7PPR). This week Murray barely finished inside the top 50 with his fewest yards all season. Not only did he not put up the yards he failed to score this week and in back-to-back games for the first time all season; in your semifinals and championship rounds no less. His 14 carries were his fewest since week 2. This was also Murray’s first game all year scoring single-digit points and just his second game in the last nine with fewer than 15 points. To make this punch to the gut even harder, Murray went off for 123 yards and a score against the Jags earlier in the year. When a top 5 back has such a bad week in your most important game it definitely leaves some negative feelings, and rightfully so. After his huge bounce back year, and how big most studs showed up championship week, have to give the ‘Chump of the Week’ to DeMarco.
RB2 - Jeremy Hill CIN: 7 carries for 8 yards - 0 points (0PPR). Wow, talk about coming up tiny! Hill has always had up and down weeks but this was down, like falling off a tall building and having a hole shaped like you in the ground down. It was his worst yardage output of the year and his 2nd worst day in his career; his worst was week 4 of his rookie season when he rushed for a single yard but only had two carries. Rex Burkhead ended up having 5 more carries and rushed for 42 yards and also caught all four targets while Hill wasn’t targeted once. After scoring in the last three weeks and six of the previous eight games, Hill really screwed your championship hopes with one of his worst games ever.
WR1 - Jarvis Landry MIA: 3 catches for 29 yards - 2 points (5PPR). The Dolphins went to overtime and the team posted almost 500 yards of offense and Landry managed fewer than 30. The 3 receptions were his fewest on the year while the 29 yards were the second fewest of the season. Landry gave you double-digit points the three weeks before this and seven of the last nine leading up to championship week. It was also his fewest catches and yards in his career against the Bills and just the second game he was held to single-digit points in the rivalry.
WR2 - Julio Jones ATL: 4 catches for 60 yards - 6 points (10PPR). Jones came back this week to a good match up, and we knew he wouldn’t be hitting the field if he wasn’t 100% with the Falcons sights set on a Super Bowl berth, but Julio left his owners wanting more in their championship match ups. On the plus side Jones lead the team in targets (7), receptions, and yards so it’s not like he wasn’t being utilized. The Falcons put up points, unfortunately for Jones owners he wasn't a part of the party. Hopefully he didn't keep you from reaching the ultimate prize this year.
TE - Zach Ertz PHI: 2 catches for 33 yards - 3 points (5PPR). Before championship week Ertz was the highest-scoring tight end weeks 13-15. In those three weeks he had at least 6 grabs for 79 yards each week while scoring once and averaging just shy of 20PPG. On Thursday night he ended up just 2 grabs for 33 yards. It was his fewest catches since week 7 and fewest yardage output since week 8. To add insult to injury Ertz had monster performances in your championship games in 2014 and 2015 with 26 points (15 for 115) and 23 points (13 for 122 and a fumble). This was also Ertz’s first game since 2014 in which he scored fewer than 8 points against the Giants. Huge let down by a guy who’s been the hottest at his position in the playoffs this year.
FLEX - Ty Montgomery GB RB/WR: 9 carries for 23 yards; 4 catch for 17 yards - 3 points (7PPR). Montgomery showed up championship week with his fewest rushing yards since week 12 and his first game with 10+ touches that he failed to post double-digit points this year. It was his first game in the playoffs without finding the end zone, and all this came at the hands of a Vikings team that was allowing RB1 numbers the last three weeks. The Packers absolutely blew up offensively, unfortunately Montgomery was not a big part of that outburst despite having more than twice as many carries as any other Green Bay back.
D/ST - Giants: 0 sacks, 1 turnover, 24PA - 2 points. A huge disappointment on Thursday nihgt. The Giants defense came into the game as one of the hottest, facing a quarterback who was pretty cold. While Wentz didn’t kill New York himself, the Birds were able to hang 24 on the Giants while Big Blue failed to record a sack for the first time since week 5. This was also the first game in the last five they failed to force multiple turnovers. A big defense used for streamers, they really dropped the ball in the title game.
K - Josh Lambo SD: 1/3 field goals; 2/2 extra points - 0 points. His final miss came while trying to tie the game in a rushed attempt, while the other miss was blocked. The Browns were able to muster their first win of the year and Lambo suffered in the effort. It was the first time in his NFL career his missed multiple field goals in a single game. He failed to have multiple field goals in a game since week 9.
Matthew Stafford DET QB - 26/46 for 260 yards 1INT; 1FUMB lost - 6 points
Ryan Mathews PHI RB - 18 carries for 46 yards; 1 catch for 16 yards - 5 points (6PPR)
Latavius Murray OAK RB - 15 carries for 40 yards; 2 catches for 11 yards - 5 points (7PPR)
Frank Gore IND RB - 13 carries for 73 yards; 1 catch for 12 yards - 8 points (9PPR)
Jordan Matthews PHI WR - 2 catches for 12 yards - 1 point (3PPR)
Amari Cooper OAK WR - 4 catches for 72 yards - 7 points (11PPR)
Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR - 4 catches for 31 yards - 3 points (7PPR)
DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR - 3 catches for 43 yards - 4 points (7PPR)
Demaryius Thomas DEN WR - 3 catches for 20 yards - 2 points (5PPR)
Willie Snead NO WR - 2 catches for 21 yards - 2 points (4PPR)
Coby Fleener NO TE - 2 catch for 30 yards - 3 points (5PPR)
Martellus Bennett NE TE - 2 catches for 19 yards 1TD - 7 points (9PPR)
Seahawks D/ST - 1 sack, 1 turnovers, 34PA - 3 points
Sebastian Janikowski OAK K - 0/0 FGs; 3/5 XPs - 3 points
‘CHUMPS OF THE WEEK’
Week 1: Dez Bryant DAL WR
Week 2: Antonio Brown PIT WR
Week 3: Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ QB
Week 4: DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR
Week 5: Lamar Miller HOU RB
Week 6: Delanie Walker TEN TE
Week 7: Jordy Nelson GB WR
Week 8: Mark Ingram NO RB
Week 9: Jonathan Stewart CAR RB
Week 10: Brandon Marshall NYJ WR
Week 11: Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB
Week 12: Brandin Cooks NO WR
Week 13: Drew Brees NO QB
Week 14 (Rd 1): Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB
Week 15 (Semis): Tom Brady NE QB
Week 16: (Finals): DeMarco Murray TEN RB