“I’ll never let go, Jack… I’ll never let go.”Titanic

“I wanna go home.” — Bubba dying in Forrest Gump 

“Brooks was here.” — Hanging in The Shawshank Redemption 

Which one you goin’ with? Any way we slice it, the end of the fantasy football season is as sad as a classic tearjerker on the big screen. There’s no turning back from here unless we wanna start WAY early drafts tomorrow without enough vital information to be properly educated for next season. We just need to close this chapter of our fantasy sports book and move on. But before we do, one last tissue and hurrah — my NFL Week 17 Target Report.

(That was hyperbole — sometimes I’m happy the season is over because my life becomes less frustrating.)

Torched by Dortch! Not really. 

You look at the target leaders on our way out the door and just sort of yawn. CeeDee Lamb (14 targets), DeVonta Smith (13), T.J. Hockenson (12), Mike Evans (12), Davante Adams (11) and Garrett Wilson (11) — what is there for me to really report? We’ve been seeing those names all season. But then you creep down the list just a bit, and BOOM: 

Greg Dortch. This guy is back? 

Early in the season, DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins was suspended, Rondale Moore was out injured, and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown had to redefine and refine his chemistry with Kyler Murray — that’s when Dortch saw his opportunity to strike. He looked tenacious and hungry out there, and we took him somewhat seriously in fantasy circles for the first three or four weeks of the season.

But main pieces started to settle in, key players returned to form, and Dortch subsequently fell off the map. So, where did these ten targets come from as we bring our fantasy season to a close? 

Well, I guess we can credit a little bit of David Blough Magic. No, that is not actually a thing. Blough came out of nowhere to grab a start and decided to target Dortch more than Brown, A.J. Green and Robbie Anderson (that was one helluva trade, huh?). The result was pretty much what you would expect: Despite Blough’s interest in Dortch, the two had zero chemistry for obvious reasons.

Dortch turned his 10 targets into four receptions for 15 measly yards. Most of the inefficiency can be tied to Blough’s overall ineptitude at this level. I still think Dortch has done enough to be looked at as a WR4 on some teams in this league (IRL, not fantasy). 

Rick “Dalton” was my favorite character in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Thursday night football! Bright lights and a chance to shine! Dalton Schultz did exactly that when he turned 10 targets into seven receptions and two timely touchdowns. Schultz looked sharp – and he was really the difference in the game on the scoreboard – but the main takeaway was legitimate production from the tight end position in a dreadful fantasy year.

This was the year of the Kyle Pitts mega-bust, dovetailed by Mark Andrews’ second-half collapse for the ages. We thought we had just a handful of guys we could count on, and well, we couldn’t even count on all of those. Travis Kelce was everything we expected and more, but even Andrews (No. 3 overall TE) and George Kittle (No. 4) didn’t knock our socks off despite finishing in the top four. 

Schultz is a talented offensive tight end – quicker than you think in space — so the top 10 is totally within reason heading into next season. Keep an eye on impact offseason transactions, but Schultz could potentially shine in a multitude of different offensive scenarios. 


That was my attempt at a karate kick or chop. Brandon Aiyyyyyyuk hasn’t loved San Francisco’s transition to the Brock Purdy era, but you’d never know after watching this week’s tape. Aiyuk was Purdy’s flavor of the week, garnering 12 targets when no other Niner cracked double digits. The Usual Suspects — George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey — were busy but not as busy as Aiyuk, who turned his 12 targets into nine receptions for 101 yards and a score. 

The kid is straight explosive. This is a good problem for Kyle Shanahan, ultimately — Aiyuk, CMC, Kittle, Deebo Samuel when healthy — but never the best situation for fantasy, obviously. When I look around the league in the grand scheme of talent and upside, Aiyuk looks like a No. 1 receiver to me. Will he ever get opportunities to match that? That is the question. The sky is the limit for this electric young wide receiver with surprising versatility. 

Good Night, And Good Luck 

Yes, that is yet another movie reference — I hope you don’t mind! As the lights dim on our season, let’s take a look at some players giving us hope for next year: 

Trey McBride (10 targets): An explosive young tight end who simply needs consistent opportunities to return top 12-to-15 value at his position. 

Drake London (8 targets): Showed a lot of good things as a rookie, just needs better, more consistent quarterback play to become the player we know he could be on the stat sheet. 

Treylon Burks (8 targets): The door is wide open in Tennessee — somebody has to become their WR1 of the future. There’s no reason it can’t be Burks, the way things have been developing. 

K.J. Osborn (7 targets): One of the best young No. 3 receivers in the game right now — unfortunately plays under the shadow of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. 

Thank you all so much for reading throughout this incredible fantasy football season! I’ll be churning all offseason, too. Football articles on Monday and basketball pieces on Thursday — don’t forget to check ’em all out! 

John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for 19 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football, basketball and baseball.