CM – The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 16: Last Minute Moves


One of the early inactive is NOT Adam Thielen from the Vikings, so the Star Wide Receiver will take the field in about 90 minutes to face the Rams. Unfortunately for the Vikings, backup QB Sean Mannion is on that list. Hence, the health of Kirk Cousins’ ribs will be especially important.

No big surprises on the inactive lists. The most notable names on them are Detroit RB D’Andre Swift, Buffalo RB Matt Breida, and Jets WR Jamison Crowder.

UPDATE: Sunday 10:09 am
Fantasy football’s # 1 tight end won’t partake in today’s exhilaration. Kansas City’s Travis Kelce has joined the crowds on the NFL’s COVID logs.

But all is not lost for the Chiefs as Tyreek Hill survived those protocols and will play against Pittsburgh today.

Players also excluded today include Houston RB David Johnson, Detroit quarterback Jared Goff and Tampa Bay WR Breshad Perriman.

Players who have been cleared to play so far include Patriots RB Damien Harris and Carolina Wideout D.J. Moors.

UPDATE: 10:58 p.m. Saturday
The big news on Christmas night, besides the fact that the Arizona Cardinals ‘Super Bowl plan is fictional, is that ESPN reports that the Vikings’ Adam Thielen will be back in the game for Sunday’s game against the now NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams Will bring a lineup.

That probably makes Thielen a must despite the tough matchup. Kirk Cousins ​​will need to contact him early, and often provided that Cousins ​​is healthy enough to play. Which is also a question at this hour, but we digress …

In other news, the Baltimore Ravens need a Christmas miracle. The Ravens reportedly only traveled to Cincinnati with third quarterback Josh Johnson for Sunday’s game because of Lamar Jackson’s ankle injury and backup Tyler Huntley’s COVID status.

Who can you pick up at this late hour of waivers to save your playoff juggernaut? How about if Zach Wilson of the Jets takes on Jacksonville? Perhaps you should ask yourself, « What would Urban Meyer do? » And do the opposite, George Constanza style.

Other celebrities ruled out for Sunday include Chargers RB Austin Ekeler and WR Mike Williams, and Houston Wideout Brandin Cooks

UPDATE: 9:55 am Saturday
Now that Santa has finished his annual trip across the skies and Baker Mayfield has taken a private plane trip to Cheeseland, it’s time to tackle the fantasy playoffs biggest question:

Cook is the latest Viking to be bitten in the butt from his unvaccinated status. He’s a no-go for tomorrow’s win against the Rams. Which means Alexander Mattison has to step up for both Minnesota and countless fantasy football experts.

Will he do it? Given the strength of the Los Angeles defense and the Vikings’ exhausted offensive line, we have our doubts. But on the plus side, WR Adam Thielen is now expected to return from his ankle injury

In Baltimore, too, the news is a bit grim as Lamar Jackson is likely to miss another game. That means the people who are counting on him must get Tyler Huntley off the waiver right away. The Ravens backup QB played well last week and could face Cincinnati again on Sunday.

New England won’t be able to run against Buffalo again. Rhamondre Stevenson is on the COVID list and Damien Harris is in doubt with a hamstring disease.

Tampa Bay wideout Mike Evans was excluded for week 16, as was Buffalo WR Gabriel Davis and Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Detroit QB Jared Goff is very questionable whether he will play in the suddenly hot Lions matchup against Atlanta. Vegas tight end Darren Waller and Jets WR Jameson Crowder are also in doubt.

It was the week before Christmas and no creature was stirring in the house because he was too busy checking his iPhone for the status of his most sacred fantasy stars.

The fantasy playoffs are coming to an end. Leagues across the country are going into their semifinals and finals. The participation of key NFL players would be considered optimal. But across the league, a combination of injury and COVID has resulted in celebrity players not being available.

The coal lumps are particularly dark in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers suddenly find themselves caught in an injury pandemic that threatens their chances of a Super Bowl two-peat.

The worst injury was suffered by wide receiver Chris Godwin, who will be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. WR Mike Evans goes from week to week, and the revived RB Leonard Fournette is also likely to be absent for some time.

This is bad news for the Buccaneers, but it could be fatal for fantasy experts who need immediate help.

On the plus side, RB Ronald Jones and WR Antonio Brown could be available on the Fantasy Waiver cables for people who don’t care about the authenticity of the players’ vaccination cards, for example.

Outside of Tampa Bay, other key players have become sensitive prospects for vacation week:

Travis Kelce (Chiefs TE) – The world’s biggest tight end, who made a reminder of its status in Los Angeles last week, landed on the COVID list and could miss Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. You should wait until the last second before dropping it. But we expect you to drop it, you have to.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) tries to avoid being attacked by Los Angeles Chargers Drue Tranquill (49) after Kelce beat the Chargers during overtime to an NFL football game on Thursday 16th in Inglewood, California. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 34 to 28. (John Cordes / AP Images for Panini)

Austin Ekeler (Chargers RB) – Same goes for the top running back from Los Angeles. This is especially painful since L.A. is up against the Texans on Sunday. But that could make Justin Jackson or Joshua Kelley even more attractive as a belated replacement.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, left, draws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Joe Mixon (Bengals RB) – Mixon injured his ankle in the Bengals win in Denver last week. But both Cincinnati and fantasy people can possibly adequately replace him with Samaje Perine. While it’s not an ideal matchup against Baltimore, Perine isn’t a chopped liver.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is assisted after an injury against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game in Denver on Sunday, December 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Jack Dempsey)

Lamar Jackson (Ravens QB) – The big injury problem in the Bengals-Ravens game is the status of Baltimore’s limping quarterback. Keep a close eye on the condition of his injured ankle. If it looks like # 8 won’t be available this week, be sure to check out our Deepest Sleeper later in this column.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson sits on the Ravens sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, December 19, 2021 in Baltimore. (AP Photo / Nick Wass)

Julio Jones (Titans WR) – The Loop ended way out of the money in our league this year, in part due to the meager contributions from this borderline Hall of Fame, who briefly returned last week, before injuring herself again. Can A. J. Brown come back quickly for Tennessee? We wait with bated breath.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) warms up before an NFL football game in Pittsburgh on Sunday, December 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Matt Durisko)

Green Bay will box so many defenders over Christmas night that it could be a rough night for Cleveland’s Saint Nick Chubb. … If Kyler Murray looked this pathetic against the lowly Lions, we wouldn’t be counting on him against playoff-starving Indianapolis. … New England is not going to move against the Buffalo defense whether there is more storm wind this week or not, so leave Mac Jones and Co. … Chicago’s defense, which made the Vikings look so ordinary on Monday night, will help make that happen the Russell Wilson continues abyss. … Dallas’s Dak Prescott was largely ineffective against Washington two weeks ago, so check out Jerryworld for a replay this week. … Other QBs likely to hit the ground this week are Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh versus Kansas City and Tua Tagovailoa of Miami versus the suddenly stingy Saints.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, December 20, 2021 in Cleveland. (AP photo / Ron Schwane)

Rams recipient Cooper Kupp has gotten into the MVP conversation this season, and the Vikings will likely see why. … The 49ers will make Deebo Samuel a multi-position threat against Tennessee Thursday night. … Leonard Fournette’s hamstring injury suddenly makes Tampa Bay RB Ronald Jones a must for the last two weeks of fantasy playoffs. … Speaking of multidimensional types: Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson will regain some of its recent glory against Detroit. … The lowest duel between the Jets and Jaguars will be fertile ground for their two running stars: James Robinson and Michael Carter. … The NFL’s biggest secret, Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow, will be releasing more big numbers against Denver. … And two QBs that should make it big this week are Justin Herbert of Chargers versus Houston and Philly’s Jalen Hurts versus the Giants.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp makes a catch during warm-up practice prior to an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo / Kevork Djansezian)

The Vikings could really use a return from Adam Thielen for their critical game against the Rams. He was a late scratch against Chicago on Monday night. … San Francisco will probably have to do without rookie running back Elijah Mitchell for at least another week. … Tennessee really needs D’onta Foreman to continue its false Derrick Henry imitation, as the latter is still a long way from returning. … The Giants’ Sterling Shepard saw his disappointing season last week with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Top recipients Tyreek Hill and Tyler Lockett landed on the COVID list. … The long list of questionable includes quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Baker Mayfield), running backs (Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones, James Conner, Damien Harris), wide receivers (MIke Evans, Antonio Brown), and multiple tight ends (Darren Waller, Zach Ertz, Pat Freiermuth).
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) stands on the field prior to an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Minneapolis on Thursday, December 9, 2021. (AP photo / Bruce Kluckhohn)

One caveat: you must first make SURE that Lamar Jackson is too injured to play for Baltimore against Cincinnati this week. If that’s confirmed, be sure to grab his replacement, Tyler Huntley, who caused some Jackson-like thrills against the Packers last Sunday. Former Utah Ute either has no fantasy value this week or he may be a playoff winner. How many other surrender guys have posted four touchdown games lately (2 pass, 2 races)?
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) leads the ball for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, December 19, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP photo / Terrance Williams)

THE SATURDAY PICKSBrowns at Packers (-7½):
Selection: Packers by 11Colts at Cardinals (-1½):
Selection: Colts from 3
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in action in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, December 19, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP photo / Nick Wass)

We’ll update our column by Sunday kick-off based on the latest injuries and innuendos. Go to

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Bob Sansevere’s « BS Show » podcast on iTunes on Wednesdays. You can follow Kevin on Twitter – @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]
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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 16: Last Minute Moves
Adam Thielen (ankle) officially active in week 16


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