Okay, Razzball fam. Can we be honest about something? Ray-Ray McCloud III sounds like he should be catching passes from Tyroil Smochie-Wallace. And I’m still not sure if I’ve been spelling Jauan Jennings’ name correctly. Is it linking in this post? Unfortunately, if you were a wide receiver last night, it didn’t matter how recognizable your name was. You fell short while the tight ends and Christian McCaffrey stole the show. Yes, George Kittle and Brock Purdy were awesome despite only connecting four times. They did it when it mattered, and they did so in chunks. Which is exactly what I have been spewing the past several hours as a heavy-share Brandon Aiyuk manager. We’ll sort out that mess and more below as I reveal what else I saw in the Week 15 edition of Thursday Night Football.

The Stage 

Matchup: San Francisco 49ers (9-4) at Seattle Seahawks (7-6)

Line: SF -3

What Happened: San Francisco jumped out to a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter thanks to a second touchdown reception by Kittle that sandwiched a McCaffrey goal-line plunge. Seattle responded with 10 unanswered points thereafter to make it a one-score game, but a 55-yard rush by Jordan Mason iced a 21-13 victory and an NFC West Division title for the 49ers — in a game in which Tyler Lockett broke a bone in his index finger. He is expected to miss some time, although it is unknown how much at present.

49ers Pregame Outcome vs. Projections (Half-PPR) 

RB Christian McCaffrey22.8 (PROJ 19.3)

QB Brock Purdy16.4 (PROJ 16.2)

WR Brandon Aiyuk2.9 (PROJ 11.5)

TE George Kittle 23.3 (PROJ 9.2)

WR Jauan Jennings4.6 (PROJ 6.4)

RB Jordan Mason 6.4 (PROJ 5.2)

WR Ray-Ray McCloud III – 2.1 (PROJ 3.6)

RB Kyle Juszczyk0.0 (PROJ 2.6)

WR Danny Gray0.0 (PROJ 1.3)

RB Tyrion Davis Price – 0.0 (PROJ 1.1)

Seahawks Pregame Projections vs. Outcome (Half-PPR) 

QB Geno Smith15.3 (PROJ 16.8)

WR DK Metcalf9.0 (PROJ 13.3)

RB Kenneth Walker III – 9.9 (PROJ 12.2)

WR Tyler Lockett10.3 (PROJ 11.3)

TE Noah Fant11.7 (PROJ 5.1)

WR Marquise Goodwin2.0 (PROJ 4.7)

TE Wil Dissly – 1.8 (PROJ 3.7)

RB Travis Homer3.0 (PROJ 3.2)

TE Colby Parkinson0.0 (PROJ 2.3)

Fantasy Studs

1. George Kittle – 4 receptions (5 targets), 93 yards, 2 TDs. It wasn’t a night of elite volume for Kittle, but half of his catches went for touchdowns, as he finished as the top fantasy performer in the matchup. He outscored his projections by 14.1 points. Kittle has finished with four receptions on five targets in each of Purdy’s starts.

2. Christian McCaffrey – Although he only exceeded projections by 3.5 points, fantasy owners will take the 22.8 points any day of the week — especially come playoff season. And guess what? That total represents a three-week low. Talk about a safe floor in this Purdy-led offense.

Fantasy Duds

It was a night of underwhelming performances for wide receivers, as Lockett was the lone wideout to hit double-digit points — and even he fell a whole point shy of hitting his projected point total in half-PPR while experiencing an injury.

1. Brandon Aiyuk – 2 receptions (4 targets), 19 yards. With Debo Samuel out, Aiyuk managed just four targets and 2.9 half-PPR points. Most pundits projected a significant increase in targets, but that simply did not materialize. The 9.5 yards per catch didn’t help, either.

2. DK Metcalf – 7 receptions (9 targets), 55 yards. When you see nine targets and convert that into seven catches, a 9.0 fantasy outcome can be hard to swallow. It simply seems like there was so much untapped potential in this matchup for Metcalf. It was his fifth-straight contest with eight or more targets, although it ended up being Metcalf’s first performance in the single digits since Week 7 at the Chargers.

What We Learned

1. Kittle’s performance serves as a reminder as to why he is locked in as a top-five ROS tight end with weekly TE1 overall upside. 

2. McCaffrey’s last three weeks in half-PPR: 25, 28, 23. He’s locked in as the ROS RB1 overall, especially when you take into account a relatively weak remaining schedule. McCaffrey will be rostered on a high percentage of championship rosters come season’s end.

3. Despite the underwhelming week, Metcalf is solidified as a back-end WR1 from here on out. When taking into account the Lockett injury, you can even upgrade him to mid-tier WR1 status.

4. Purdy can lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl and has quickly become very fantasy relevant — especially for those desperately searching for a late-season savior after experiencing an injury such as that to Kyler Murray.

5. This is the worst season of the NFL that I can remember in my lifetime. A Super Bowl frontrunner just lost their WR1. The next week, I’m typing the names of Jauan Jennings, Jordan Mason, Tyler Kroft and Ray-Ray McCloud III. These are all talented individuals who have worked tirelessly to carve out a role in the NFL. But should they be discussed in fantasy circles such as this one? No chance.

Lingering Question

1. Aiyuk’s remaining schedule provides optimism that he will be fantasy relevant for the stretch run. But can he produce as a WR2 in Deebo’s absence? Personally, I think he’s better suited for a Flex spot in deeper leagues with the 3 WR / 2 Flex format. At least in that scenario, you can stomach with weeks like this one.

That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves
Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves
3 months ago

you typed up 9 names from one team and 10 from the other, and then added t.croft (simply to make a point that he shouldn’t be mentioned, even though he was more fantasy useful than 3 of the players that were listed on his own team) in addition for 20 total named. this is for 2 total teams. similar to say playing DFS on a 1 game slate, of course you are going to run into a whole bunch of low scoring players, here to remark about them, in DFS you’d have had to play some of them to make your budget work i’m sure. if those players “shouldn’t be discussed in fantasy circles” i’d think the issue lies less with this being “the worst year of NFL that could be remembered” than just what goes on when you’re tasked to write about 1 total NFL game while listing or mentioning about all of it’s possibly useful fantasy (non IDP) players in one article.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves
Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves
3 months ago

and non kicker of course, those aren’t mentioned/shown projections of. so the job in this article is to mention/list only regular fantasy players (sans kickers/IDP). you’ll be getting into WR 4/5, backup TE’s area doing that.