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Returner Recap and Latest News: Week 17

Week 17 news for fantasy leagues that utilize returners.

Individual returner projections for each week are included in your MyFBG projections and rankings automatically. My returner projections are included in the default projection set with David Dodds' offensive predictions. Choose David as the source, and then choose a scoring system in which you have included points for return yards.

The base return projections for a week can be seen on this page. You can also go to the content for the week and use the Returner Projections link to get there.

UpDATES

DeAnthony Thomas was placed on the reserve/NFI list by the Chiefs, so will be inactive this week.

Carolina returner Ted Ginn has been downgraded to Doubtful.

Ameer Abdullah was limited in practice this week, so his status bears watching.

Week 16 Recap

NFL Week 16 served up another example of how the return game often takes a backseat to other team considerations as the fallout of Odell Beckham's suspension impacted the top of the returner scoring for the week. Shane Vereen tied for the week's lead in return yards with 7 kick returns for 142 yards for the Giants. But Vereen likely would not have seen a return but for Beckham's suspension, which elevated the offensive role of normal Giants returner Dwayne Harris.

Vereen's output was matched by Taiwan Jones, who also picked up 142 kick return yards in Oakland's game against the Chargers. The punt returners were led by Keith Mumphery, who handled 4 punts for 37 yards as he filled in for an injured Cecil Shorts in Houston.

Tyler Lockett remained atop the leaderboard for the season with 1092 return yards and 2 touchdowns. And with a 79-yard lead on Detroit's Ameer Abdullah and a favorable matchup against a Cardinals team with a league-best offence but only a 49% touchback rate, the Seahawks returner stands a great chance of ending the season that way.

For anyone participating in fantasy leagues during the NFL Playoffs, the Returner Recap and returner projections will continue on through the Super Bowl.

All Week 16 Returners

Below are all returners for Week 16.

RKPLAYERTEAMKick RetKR YdsKR TDPunt RetPR YdsPR TDTotal YdsTotal TDs
1 Shane Vereen NYG 7 142 0       142 0
2 Taiwan Jones OAK 5 142 0       142 0
3 Tyler Lockett SEA 4 106 0 2 20 0 126 0
4 Quan Bray IND 3 58 0 2 35 0 93 0
5 Knile Davis KAN 4 74 0       74 0
6 Ameer Abdullah DET 2 69 0       69 0
7 Andre Caldwell DEN 3 68 0       68 0
8 Keshawn Martin NWE 2 47 0 2 19 0 66 0
9 Josh Huff PHI 2 65 0       65 0
10 Nick Marshall JAX 2 65 0       65 0
11 Bruce Ellington SFO 2 57 0 1 0 0 57 0
12 Kaelin Clay BAL 2 58 0 1 -1 0 57 0
13 Lucky Whitehead DAL 1 15 0 2 32 0 47 0
14 Darius Jennings CLE 2 46 0       46 0
15 Javontee Herndon SDG 2 44 0       44 0
16 Brandon Tate CIN 1 29 0 4 8 0 37 0
17 Keith Mumphery HOU       4 37 0 37 0
18 Harry Douglas TEN       5 32 0 32 0
19 Tavon Austin STL 1 7 0 2 24 0 31 0
20 Raheem Mostert CLE 2 30 0       30 0
21 Devin Hester ATL 1 29 0       29 0
22 Robert Blanton MIN 1 27 0       27 0
23 Walt Powell BUF 1 25 0       25 0
24 Jeremy Ross OAK 1 15 0 2 9 0 24 0
25 Jeff Janis GNB 1 21 0       21 0
26 Tre McBride TEN 1 21 0       21 0
27 Ben Edwards NYG 1 20 0       20 0
28 Travaris Cadet NOR 1 19 0 1 1 0 20 0
29 Antonio Cromartie NYJ 1 19 0       19 0
30 Donteea Dye TAM 1 19 0       19 0
31 Rashad Ross WAS 1 19 0       19 0
32 Benny Cunningham STL 1 18 0       18 0
33 Frankie Hammond KAN       2 17 0 17 0
34 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 1 16 0       16 0
35 Travis Benjamin CLE       1 16 0 16 0
36 Jarvis Landry MIA       1 15 0 15 0
37 Kerwynn Williams ARI 1 15 0       15 0
38 ZaDarius Smith BAL 1 15 0       15 0
39 Jordan Norwood DEN       1 14 0 14 0
40 John Phillips SDG 1 13 0       13 0
41 Dwayne Harris NYG       2 12 0 12 0
42 Anthony Dixon BUF 1 11 0       11 0
43 Danielle Hunter MIN 1 10 0       10 0
44 Jamison Crowder WAS       2 10 0 10 0
45 Datone Jones GNB 1 9 0       9 0
46 Patrick Peterson ARI       2 9 0 9 0
47 Jeremy Kerley NYJ       1 8 0 8 0
48 Shiloh Keo DEN       1 6 0 6 0
49 Cedric Peerman CIN 1 5 0       5 0
50 Marc Mariani CHI       1 5 0 5 0
51 Rashad Greene JAX       1 4 0 4 0
52 Bobby Rainey TAM       2 3 0 3 0
53 Craig Mager SDG       1 2 0 2 0
54 Marcus Sherels MIN       1 1 0 1 0
55 Tramon Williams CLE       1 1 0 1 0
56 Antonio Brown PIT       1 0 0 0 0
57 Darren Sproles PHI       2 0 0 0 0
58 Micah Hyde GNB       1 0 0 0 0
59 Kenjon Barner PHI       1 -3 0 -3 0

Returners Year to Date

Here are the top 40 returners for the year by total return yards.

RKPLAYERTEAMKick RetKR YdsKR TDPunt RetPR YdsPR TDTotal YdsTotal TDs
1 Tyler Lockett SEA 33 852 1 36 240 1 1092 2
2 Ameer Abdullah DET 33 1013 0 0 0 0 1013 0
3 Dwayne Harris NYG 22 631 1 34 341 1 972 2
4 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 31 949 2 0 0 0 949 2
5 Bobby Rainey TAM 19 469 0 28 291 0 760 0
6 Bruce Ellington SFO 24 602 0 19 137 0 739 0
7 Taiwan Jones OAK 28 705 0 0 0 0 705 0
8 Rashad Ross WAS 28 684 1 0 0 0 684 1
9 Quan Bray IND 20 535 0 17 148 0 683 0
10 Benny Cunningham STL 23 670 0 0 0 0 670 0
11 Jeremy Ross 2TM 18 447 0 24 214 0 661 0
12 Jarvis Landry MIA 13 321 0 33 313 1 634 1
13 Eric Weems ATL 15 403 0 19 221 0 624 0
14 Keith Mumphery HOU 14 338 0 36 280 0 618 0
15 Knile Davis KAN 24 603 0 0 0 0 603 0
16 David Johnson ARI 22 599 1 0 0 0 599 1
17 Brandon Tate CIN 18 413 0 27 171 0 584 0
18 Marcus Murphy NOR 12 300 0 28 261 1 561 1
19 Marc Mariani CHI 15 371 0 27 183 0 554 0
20 Dexter McCluster TEN 13 285 0 24 217 0 502 0
21 Lucky Whitehead DAL 13 382 0 17 104 0 486 0
22 Josh Huff PHI 20 483 0 0 0 0 483 0
23 Kaelin Clay BAL 10 250 0 17 229 1 479 1
24 Darren Sproles PHI 1 20 0 38 446 2 466 2
25 Omar Bolden DEN 15 342 0 5 123 1 465 1
26 Damien Williams MIA 21 457 0 0 0 0 457 0
27 Marcus Thigpen 2TM 18 330 0 19 119 0 449 0
28 Danny Amendola NWE 8 172 0 23 276 0 448 0
29 Jacoby Jones 2TM 18 413 0 11 15 0 428 0
30 Adam Jones CIN 10 235 0 16 179 0 414 0
31 Raheem Mostert 3TM 14 410 0 0 0 0 410 0
32 Jeremy Kerley NYJ 0 0 0 44 390 0 390 0
33 Jeff Janis GNB 13 380 0 0 0 0 380 0
34 DeAnthony Thomas KAN 6 138 0 29 227 0 365 0
35 Dri Archer PIT 14 354 0 0 0 0 354 0
36 Antonio Cromartie NYJ 14 353 0 0 0 0 353 0
37 Deonte Thompson CHI 11 352 0 0 0 0 352 0
38 Justin Gilbert CLE 12 339 0 0 0 0 339 0
39 Griff Whalen IND 9 244 0 12 85 0 329 0
40 Micah Hyde GNB 8 187 0 25 142 0 329 0

Week 17 Outlook

Job Changes

The Saints left C.J. Spiller inactive, which coach Sean Payton said was due to Spiller battling health issues lingering from camp. Spiller was not listed on the injury report however, leaving the possibility he was left out for other reasons. With Marcus Murphy on injured reserve, the Saints brought back Travaris Cadet and gave him the return duties. Cadet was largely ineffective in the return game, though had 3 catches for 69 receiving yards including a touchdown.

Dwayne Harris had briefly shared time with Shane Vereen on kickoff returns for the Giants earlier in the year before taking them back over full time. This week the Giants went back to Vereen. But this may have just been a temporary change spurred by Harris having an increased offensive role while Odell Beckham served a 1-game suspension.

With Buffalo's release of Marcus Thigpen last week there was uncertainty who would handle returns, with options like Leodis McKelvin, Walter Powell and Greg Salas. The Bills turned to Powell, who was the intended returner on every punt and kickoff. Between fair catches and short kicks, Powell only managed one kickoff return.

Though Javontee Herndon handled most of the returns for the Chargers, cornerback Craig Mager was on the field for the last two punts. It is unclear whether this was trying Mager out at the position or if Herndon was dealing with an issue that required the move.
 

INJURIES OF NOTE

DeAnthony Thomas is finally practicing again, but was held out of Week 16 for what were reported as "non-football reasons", though the media reported it was from not being ready to play after such a long layoff. Early in the week Thomas is listed as Probable.

Fozzy Whittaker suffered a high-ankle sprain and will not play in the final game of the season for the Panthers. Carolina has used Joe Webb the most as Whittaker's backup. Teammate and punt returner Ted Ginn also missed some game time due to a knee injury, but returned to the game.

Raheem Mostert left the Browns game with an ankle injury and did not return. His practice status will need to be watched this week. Darius Jennings outperformed him in the game and could see some of the returns even if Mostert is active.

Cecil Shorts has already been ruled out for Week 17, again making Keith Mumphery the likely punt returner for Houston.

The regular fantasy news services have had few reports on Denver's Omar Bolden this season despite a regular Questionable status. He continues to be nagged by a hamstring injury which kept him out of the Broncos game again this last week. Andre Caldwell handled kickoffs in his place, while Jordan Norwood and Shiloh Keo were both used as punt returners.