This article is part of our East Coast Offense series.
The Team I Wish I Had Drafted
Now that my NFFC playoff teams are drawing dead, I'd like to focus on what might have been. If I only knew on draft day what I know now, here's the team I would have assembled:
Round 1: Cooper Kupp
Matthew Stafford is an upgrade, and Kupp's always been good even with Jared Goff. You think I should have taken Christian McCaffrey? You can have him. Ever since the GQ shoot, he hasn't been able to stay healthy. And yes, name your sidebet.
Round 2: Mark Andrews
It's always important to get a stud TE early, and Andrews is on the rise, unlike 32-year old Travis Kelce. More sides? Done and done.
Round 3: Deebo Samuel
Are people really drafting Brandon Aiyuk over him? Deebo is the team's best running back and wide receiver! Happy to double the sidebets, no problem!
Round 4: Leonard Fournette
You thought he was Trent Richardson, but I knew all along he was Marshawn Lynch. He's the lead back on one of the league's best teams, and you really think Gio Bernard will be a factor in the passing game? LOL.
Round 5: James Conner
It's ahead of ADP, I realize, but he's The Terminator! Plus, they're gonna protect Kyler Murray from goal line work this year. More takers? Done and done.
Round 6: Kirk Cousins
QBs don't matter much this year, but Cousins is so durable.
Round 7: Joe Burrow
I love his Week 16 matchup with the Ravens for the fantasy playoffs.
Round 8: Cordarrelle Patterson
How has no team has figured out how to use a 6-1, 238-pound monster with 4.3 speed? Mark my words, Arthur Smith will find a way to unlock his talent.
Round 9: Cowboys Defense
They're loaded this year, and rookie Micah Parsons is a stud.
Round 10: Justin Jackson
I love his playoff matchup against the Texans, and Austin Ekeler is a covid risk.
Round 11: Rex Beasthead
My only regret is not taking Beasthead in the top 10 rounds.
Round 12: Rob Gronkowski
He's the same age as Travis Kelce, and Andrews could get off to a slow start.
Round 13: Gabriel Davis
Love his Week 15 matchup.
Round 14: Darrel Williams
Clyde Edwards-Helaire can't stay healthy, and Williams is their third-down back anyway.
Round 15: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Need to get production in Week 15, and the Cardinals can't guard him.
Round 16: Nick Folk
Bill Belichick can get the most out of a journeyman kicker.
Round 17: Tyler Huntley
He's an underrated backup, and Lamar Jackson is liable to get hurt come fantasy playoff time.
Round 18: Patriots Defense
I like taking a second defense a couple rounds early.
Round 19: Matt Gay
Love his playoff kicking matchups.
Round 20: Duke Johnson
I always believed in him! Feel like he could be a difference-maker at some point.
This obviously isn't the best possible team I could have drafted, but I'm positive it would have made the playoffs and crushed in the semifinals. And the side bet revenue would probably exceed whatever the league prize is.
Week 16 Sporcle Quiz
Apropos of Joe Burrow going for 525 and four Sunday, can you name every quarterback who has had a 500-yard, four-touchdown game?
Guessing The Lines
|My Line||Guessed line||Real line||Net||My O/U||Real O/U||Net|
|Eagles at Team||-4||-3.5||-4||0||45||46||1|
|Rams at Ravens||-3.5||-3.5||-3.5||0||50||46.5||-3.5|
|Buccaneers at Jets||-11.5||-13.5||-13||-1.5||48||45.5||-2.5|
|Dolphins at Titans||3.5||4.5||3.5||0||45||41||-4|
|Jaguars at Patriots||14||13.5||15||1||44||41.5||-2.5|
|Raiders at Colts||11.5||9.5||7||-4.5||47||45.5||-1.5|
|Chiefs at Bengals||-3||-3||-5||-2||53||49||-4|
|Giants at Bears||7.5||7||6||-1.5||40||37.5||-2.5|
|Falcons at Bills||11||10.5||14.5||3.5||47||44.5||-2.5|
|Texans at 49ers||11||10||12.5||1.5||48||44.5||-3.5|
|Broncos at Chargers||5.5||4.5||5.5||0||45||45||0|
|Panthers at Saints||7.5||7.5||7.5||0||39||38||-1|
|Lions at Seahawks||6.5||8||7||0.5||44||42.5||-1.5|
|Cardinals at Cowboys||8||6||5.5||-2.5||50||50.5||0.5|
|Vikings at Packers||4.5||6||6.5||2||52||47.5||-4.5|
|Browns at Steelers||0||0||-3||-3||44||40.5||-3.5|
Week 16 Observations
- Ian Book is going down the Jake Fromm career path.
- Alvin Kamara (13-52-0, 4-3-7-0) did about as much as he could under the circumstances.
- Tua Tagovailoa did enough. He's not really a runner, but he's a good scrambler.
- The Dolphins backfield was 13 carries for Phillip Lindsay, 13 for Duke Johnson and three for Myles Gaskin.
- Jaylen Waddle (12-10-92-1) will be a second or third round pick in next year's drafts. The Dolphins get the ball in his hands any way they can.
- The Dolphins have now won seven games in a row, though they don't strike me as a team that can do damage in the playoffs.
- The Cowboys have the most complete roster in the league, especially if they get Tyron Smith back. Mike McCarthy will probably screw it up, but this team is loaded. Dak Prescott even showed some mobility for the first time all year.
- Ezekiel Elliott looks sluggish, but he'll keep racking up fantasy stats in an ideal situation.
- I watched a little of the Raiders-Broncos – neither offense could make a play.
- The Chiefs are big favorites to come out of the AFC now. The Colts, Bills and Titans (with a healthy A.J. Brown) have a shot, but I'd stick a fork in the Patriots as a multi-week road team that can't go down the field. The Bengals could upset anyone, but three good games in a row is a big ask for them.
- Tyreek Hill getting two targets was a tough beat for your playoff squads.
- I don't know how much Russell Wilson's finger is still an issue, but he's lost the magic. He'll be a coveted trade target this offseason, and I expect him to get it back in 2022, but there's a little risk.
- If Rashaad Penny (17-135-1, 1-0-0-0) has a clean bill of health this offseason, he'll get drafted in the third round.
- The Texans are like the Lions – they show up almost every week. Rex Beasthead (22-149-2, 2-2-0-0) had a monster game, and Davis Mills could be the Texans' Week 1 starter next year.
- Justin Jackson (11-64-2, 9-8-98-0) scored 35 points on my FSGA opponent's bench this week in a matchup I won by five.
- The Chargers are not serious contenders despite having one of the league's best young quarterbacks. I am dubious about Brandon Staley as a coach – the spreadsheet stuff isn't as important as the CEO role.
- Rob Gronkowski's role has shrunk despite Mike Evans and Chris Godwin being out. Antonio Brown (15-10-101-0) should be a big factor down the stretch and in the playoffs with Godwin not coming back.
- The Panthers' offense might be worse than the Giants' offense. I don't know, it's close.
- I didn't watch much of the Giants game, and I don't think I'll bother with the condensed version, either.
- Miles Sanders is good, but he's never healthy, and you should never start him because he will always get hurt during the game.
- Zach Wilson's 52-yard TD run was nice, but otherwise he averaged 4.6 YPA.
- Trevor Lawrence's team should get the No. 1. pick for the second straight year. Maybe they can trade down for some wide receivers.
- James Robinson tore his Achilles' tendon, but I imagine he'll be ready for the start of next year, though Travis Etienne will be back too.
- Josh Allen had a huge game against a good defense in a tough environment. The Bills turned their season around in the second-half of the overtime loss to the Bucs. They might be the Chiefs' most dangerous opponent if they get that far.
- The Patriots are built to play with a lead, and that's not ideal for a team that will have its playoff games on the road.
- With one TD and three picks, Matthew Stafford hurt his MVP chances Sunday. Cooper Kupp (13-10-109-0) is like a metronome – it's every single week. I imagine the Rams will do everything they can to get him the single season catches and yardage records.
- I made the Ravens my best bet before I realized they'd be without their top two QBs, though Josh Johnson wasn't really the problem.
- Joe Burrow (525 yards, four TDs, 11 rushing yards) and Tee Higgins (13-12-194-2) were the stack, and Joe Mixon (18-65-1, 6-6-70-1) also had a monster game.
- Mark Andrews (10-8-125-1) doesn't care which quarterback is throwing him the ball.
- The Lions always battle until the last second, but the Falcons usually beat the league's weaker teams and get crushed by the good ones. Give me Dan Campbell over Brandon Staley.
- Baker Mayfield is a scourge. The Browns have a good defense and offensive line and three (when Kareem Hunt is healthy) plus running backs, but Mayfield always puts the game on his frail shoulders and botches it. Even if the last pick wasn't his fault, there were three other awful ones. Just get out of the way. This playing-injured martyr act was old six weeks ago.
- Nick Chubb (17-126-1, 4-3-58-0) had a massive game at the right time. D'Ernest Johnson (4-58-0, 2-1-8-0) needs to find regular work somewhere.
- Aaron Rodgers doesn't make mistakes. You can't say that about any other quarterback in the league, which is why he's the easy MVP on the team with its best record. (But the writers will send a message, and someone else will win.)
- Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are in a 60/40 timeshare. It's worked out perfectly for the Packers, but not for those who took Jones in the first round.
- Davante Adams (13-10-114-2) had one drop, but otherwise owned the Browns, catching almost everything thrown his way. No one could match last year's pace, but 106-1,362-10 through 15 games is more than what you paid for.
- Carson Wentz was terrible all game, throwing a fourth-down pass into the turf, throwing behind and too far in front of receivers all day. But then, on 3rd-and-9, under pressure and on the move, he flings an incredible sidearm throw to Dezmon Patmon in the end zone to put the team up nine and seal the game.
- Jonathan Taylor (27-108-0, 2-0-0-0) had a 43-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and was stuffed the rest of the game. The Colts need to use him in the passing game more, but Wentz doesn't have a lot of touch on short throws. Overall, the Colts play calling was vanilla and predictable.
- Michael Pittman (12-8-82-0) was the team's workhorse receiver, though T.Y. Hilton (5-4-51-1) and Patmon caught the TDs.
- Kyler Murray made some nice throws and scrambled for 74 yards, but he couldn't get his outside receivers involved.
- Chase Edmonds (16-56-1, 9-8-71-0) showed that it's not just James Conner who can produce alongside Murray.
- I started Zach Ertz (13-8-54-0) in a couple leagues where I have Mark Andrews and Rob Gronkowski, respectively. Even if I have to use my regular TEs as flexes, I figured with the league's covid situation, a bird in hand is better than two scratched on the covid list.
- Others have pointed this out too, but why did Kliff Kingsbury kick the FG on third down?
- Mike Vrabel should give Bill Belichick a nice run for Coach of the Year. The Titans looked terrible in the first half, getting sacked and committing penalties on almost every first down, but they are never deterred.
- Ryan Tannehill also had a great game, making big throws on obvious passing downs and scrambling for 23 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
- A.J. Brown (16-11-145-1) is all the way back. What a monster. Julio Jones (1-1-7-0) not so much.
- Jimmy Garoppolo gave away that game. He threw a bad pick in the end zone in the first half and another terrible one in the second to turn things around.
- Deebo Samuel (5-32-0, 11-9-159-0) is also a monster. He catches everything thrown his way and never goes down easily. Garoppolo is having a good statistical year, but so would any quarterback with Trent Williams and those targets.