Week 15 fantasy wrap: Antonio Brown latest star to suffer injury

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown went down with an injury that will likely end his fantasy season. (AP Photo).
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown went down with an injury that will likely end his fantasy season. (AP Photo).

Patriots vs. Steelers: Pittsburgh lost a game in rough fashion (and likely the No. 1 seed in the process) and Antonio Brown reportedly suffered a calf injury that ends his fantasy season (the Steelers would seemingly feel lucky if he were ready for their first playoff game). In the meantime, bump up Juju Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant’s value, while Le’Veon Bell could push 35+ touches. Brown was in the middle of a fantastic season (he entered Sunday on pace to finish with the third-most receiving yards in NFL history), but he destroyed fantasy owners during a crucial Week 15, suffering an injury early in a game that totaled 50+ points. Brown joins a long list of stars to suffer a serious injury during a brutal season…Big Ben, Bell and Smith-Schuster are all strong starts in Week 16 in Houston…Rex Burkhead also suffered an injury, and while his knee sprain doesn’t sound serious, it likely ends his fantasy season, making Dion Lewis a must-start in Week 16, with James White a flex option…Rob Gronkowski returned from suspension and ripped off 168 yards on 13 targets against a Pittsburgh secondary that entered having allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends…Ben Roethlieberger was picked off in the end zone in field goal range right after a Jesse James TD was ruled no catch on a close replay. The outlaw was robbed.

Rams vs. Seahawks: Russell Wilson took seven sacks and got 4.7 YPA at home in pretty much a must-win against an LA defense missing its top two corners in a surprising Rams rout. LA is close to becoming the first team ever to go from last in points per game to first one season to the next…Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham totaled five yards on seven targets…Mike Davis finished with the team’s third-most rushing yards…Todd Gurley had 180 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns against a Seattle team that’s shutdown running backs all season. He did that while resting over the final quarter and was arguably the best player on the field in Week 15. Gurley, who is making a case to be the top fantasy pick in 2018, and Wilson might have flipped their places in the MVP race after this game.

Eagles vs. Giants: Eli Manning threw for 434 yards and three scores, while Nick Foles added a 4:0 TD:INT ratio in an unexpected shootout…No Giants back can be close to trusted in fantasy leagues at this point, while Jay Ajayi will be tough to sit in Week 16 at home against the Raiders…This Sterling Shepard play was nice.

Packers vs. Panthers: Aaron Rodgers was rusty while throwing three picks, and his return was bad news for Jordy Nelson owners, who no doubt would’ve otherwise benched him had Brett Hundley continued to start. His poor game came with Davante Adams leaving early as well…Cam Newton tossed four touchdowns and outplayed Rodgers, yet Devin Funchess was held quiet despite a terrific matchup, making him one of this week’s biggest busts…Greg Olsen looked like his normal self…It will be interesting to see if Green Bay starts Rodgers in Week 16.

Bengals vs. Vikings: Cincy has been outscored 67-14 over the last two weeks, and this game featured A.J. McCarron versus Teddy Bridgewater during the fourth quarter…A.J. Green was shutdown, punctuating an underwhelming season…Case Keenum completed 87 percent of his passes in another dominant Minnesota win.

Dolphins vs. Bills: LeSean McCoy got just 2.5 YPC but scored twice, including a 16-yard TD catch just a couple plays after suffering what could’ve been a serious injury…Kenyan Drake saw another 22 touches (11 targets) and impressed again. He’ll be a must-start in Kansas City in Week 16…A banged up Kelvin Benjamin had no chance against emerging Xavien Howard.

Texans vs. Jaguars: Dede Westbrook owners have to be frustrated, as Blake Bortles went off for 326 yards with three TDs, yet Westbrook got just 21 yards (two targets) despite no Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee leaving early. Keelan Cole erupted for 186 yards and a score, taking full advantage of his favorable matchup…DeAndre Hopkins got 80 yards and scored in a miraculous performance given the circumstances…With no Leonard Fournette (who’s officially a health worry moving forward), Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon combined for 24 carries, yet it was Corey Grant and Tommy Bohanon who combined for the team’s three rushing scores.

Jets vs. Saints: Michael Thomas had a nice game (11-9-93-1), but he also had two other touchdowns overturned after review on extremely close calls…Robby Anderson’s volume remained high with Bryce Petty under center, but his efficiency didn’t. Next up brings the tough Chargers corners…Mark Ingram’s game could’ve been even bigger, as he had a 54-yard catch incorrectly ruled out at the 10 (a review likely would’ve resulted in a TD, but the Saints didn’t challenge the play and later settled for a FG). Still, it’s hard for Ingram owners to complain.

Cardinals vs. Washington: Blaine Gabbert has taken 20 sacks over the past three games, and while Ricky Seals-Jones looked like a sneaky play with Jermaine Gresham out and against a Washington defense suspect versus tight ends, he managed just 11 yards on six targets…Vernon Davis lost a fumble and continued to be perplexingly quiet despite no Jordan Reed.

Ravens vs. Browns: Alex Collins entered ranking top-10 in Juke Rate and leading the NFL in carries for 15+ yards but was held to 1.6 YPC against a Browns run defense that had been struggling of late. Still, Collins saw a career-high eight targets and will be an RB1 in Week 16 at home against the Colts…Isaiah Crowell had 72 rushing yards on five carries…The Ravens DST has been one of the bigger steals in fantasy this year and has a terrific matchup when it matters most now.

Titans vs. 49ers: Marcus Mariota played well, and the Titans shutdown Carlos Hyde, but Jimmy Garoppolo led a game-winning drive after getting the ball at SF’s own 25-yard line with 1:07 left and just one timeout. Jimmy G became the first 49ers QB to throw for 300 yards in back-to-back games since 2000, as San Francisco appears to have pulled off one of the best trades in recent sports history…Delanie Walker’s revenge game was a mixed bag, as he scored but got just 37 yards on 10 targets and lost a fumble…Reuben Foster had his typical game, looking dominant while also appearing to suffer a serious injury a couple of times (only to return shortly thereafter)…Robbie Gould became the first kicker in NFL history with 15 field goals over a three-game span.

Cowboys vs. Raiders: Michael Crabtree somehow got just 39 yards on a whopping 17 targets but scored twice. That’s the lowest output ever for a receiver with 17+ targetsAlfred Morris ended a disappointing starting stint with 61 yards on 16 carries, getting stuffed at the goal line multiple times late in the game. Ezekiel Elliott gets a reeling Seattle defense during his return in a big Week 16 matchup…Derek Carr got an anemic 4.5 YPA, as his poor season continued…The Raiders converted a 4th-and-10 late in the fourth quarter thanks to an NFL season-high 55-yard pass interference penalty drawn by Crabtree, but Oakland soon lost when Carr fumbled out of the end zone (resulting in a touchback) reaching for a game-winning TD with 30 seconds left.

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