Fantasy

Josh Larky’s Week 16 Fantasy Rankings

week 16 fantasy rankings

Below you’ll find my Week 16 fantasy rankings for points per reception (PPR) and half-PPR leagues. Included are my top-32 QB Rankings, top-59 RB Rankings, top-65 WR Rankings, top-23 TE Rankings, and top-15 DST rankings.

For each player, you can view their ranking, matchup and implied team total, according to Vegas. For example, the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants have a Vegas game total of 47.5 with the Vikings favored by 3.5 points (25.5 points implied for the Vikings, 22 points implied for the Giants). Seeing the implied point totals can help you understand which games are projected to be high scoring.

xPPR (expected PPR points) is a new stat added in Week 4. Think of this as each player’s average expected fantasy points per game based on their underlying usage.

The fantasy defenses are a new addition for Week 16. I consulted with our Head of Betting (and defensive maestro) Ryan Reynolds for those rankings, and included his thoughts below the DST rankings section.

Detailed player write-ups will be added through Wednesday night, and will appear below each set of positional rankings.

Top 32 Quarterbacks

Rank Name Pos Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Patrick Mahomes QB KC SEA 28.75 20.7
2 Josh Allen QB BUF CHI 14.75 23.3
3 Justin Fields QB CHI BUF 15.75 19.3
4 Justin Herbert QB LAC IND 25.25 17.4
5 Joe Burrow QB CIN NE 22.25 20.1
6 Geno Smith QB SEA KC 19.25 17.2
7 Dak Prescott QB DAL PHI 25.75 16.6
8 Daniel Jones QB NYG MIN 22 16.4
9 Kirk Cousins QB MIN NYG 25.5 17.3
10 Jared Goff QB DET CAR 22.5 15.3
11 Trevor Lawrence QB JAX NYJ 18.5 18.4
12 Tua Tagovailoa QB MIA GB 27.25 15.5
13 Tom Brady QB TB ARI 23.75 16.4
14 Tyler Huntley QB BAL ATL 22.5 13.1
15 Brock Purdy QB SF WAS 23 12.9
16 Gardner Minshew QB PHI DAL 20.25 0.6
17 Aaron Rodgers QB GB MIA 22.25 14.1
18 Russell Wilson QB DEN LA 19.25 15.6
19 Derek Carr QB LV PIT 18 14.7
20 Deshaun Watson QB CLE NO 17.25 15.8
21 Zach Wilson QB NYJ JAX 19.5 13.6
22 Kenny Pickett QB PIT LV 20.5 12.8
23 Sam Darnold QB CAR DET 21 14.6
24 Mac Jones QB NE CIN 18.75 12.6
25 Davis Mills QB HOU TEN 16 13.1
26 Malik Willis QB TEN HOU 21 4
27 Nick Foles QB IND LAC 21.25
28 Baker Mayfield QB LA DEN 17.25 12.4
29 Taylor Heinicke QB WAS SF 16 15
30 Desmond Ridder QB ATL BAL 15 11.1
31 Andy Dalton QB NO CLE 14.25 14.6
32 Trace McSorley QB ARI TB 17.25 3.3

 

  • Patrick Mahomes has averaged 339 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, and 26.6 fantasy points per game since Week 5. He’s thrown for at least 320 yards in eight of his past ten games. Mahomes is matchup-proof, and with Jalen Hurts’ injury and Josh Allen’s dip in passing (possibly from his elbow injury), he is now in the QB1 overall chair.
  • Justin Fields has at least 21 fantasy points in seven straight games, facing the Eagles, Packers, Cowboys, and Patriots during that stretch. No matchup concerns me with him at this point, and he’s averaged 12.6 carries and 101 rushing yards per game since Week 6.
  • Justin Herbert struggled against a bottom tier Titans pass defense last week, throwing no TDs and two picks. He still completed 67% of his passes for 313 yards, so it wasn’t a total disaster. This week’s matchup with the Colts is more difficult, as Kirk Cousins was the first QB to throw for more than 279 yards against them this season. Herbert has thrown for at least 313 yards in three straight, and has the healthy trio of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Josh Palmer at his disposal. Each remaining game is must-win for the Chargers to make the playoffs, and with Austin Ekeler banged up, expect another pass-heavy game plan from Herbert and company.
  • Geno Smith performed admirably against the 49ers last week, completing 71% of his passes for 238 yards and a TD (no INTs). This week, he has a far friendlier matchup against the Chiefs, who allow 20.7 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs – via The Edge. Geno had five straight games with at least 21 fantasy points prior to Week 15’s game against San Francisco, and he should get back on track against the Chiefs this week. Geno will be without Tyler Lockett, but every QB ranked behind Geno has more glaring issues this week.
  • Dak Prescott has thrown nine interceptions over his past six games, and now faces the Eagles, who are the second-best pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA. With Gardner Minshew playing opposite of him, this is not a great spot for Dak.
  • Daniel Jones gets the dream matchup this week with the Vikings. Minnesota allows 278 passing yards at 7.9 yards per attempt this year (both rank second-highest this year). The concern with Jones is the state of his receiving corps, as he’s thrown for under 200 yards in nine of 14 games (64.3%) this season. It’s still an unknown if the Giants will let him air it out against the Vikings, as he’s attempted more than 35 passes just twice all season. Jones does have at least one red zone carry in every game but one this season, and he’s averaging 7.5 carries and 42 rushing yards per game. I’d expect 220 efficient passing yards, 30-50 yards on the ground, and the potential for multiple TDs. Jones carries less risk than usual, but the floor is low for someone ranked within my top-10 (that’s the state of the Week 16 QB position).
  • Kirk Cousins has at least 17 fantasy points in six of his past eight games, and faces a mediocre Giants pass defense in Week 16. The worry here is the Vikings run game, as Dalvin Cook should have a field day against a Giants team allowing 5.4 yards per carry to RBs, via The Edge. Cousins should be relatively efficient, but after throwing 95 times for 885 yards the past two games, the Vikings may implement a more conservative game plan when facing the Giants, a well-below average offense.
  • Jared Goff faces a Panthers team that’s tough to get a read on. Some weeks their defense looks above average, and other weeks it’s exploitable. This is a road game, so he won’t have the comfort of the Lions dome. Goff should have a 225 yard floor with one or two passing TDs in this contest. I don’t expect a massive day for Goff, given the Panthers’ run first offense should struggle against Detroit’s much-improved run defense.
  • Trevor Lawrence plays on Thursday Night in New York, against a Jets secondary that is closer to elite than very good. We just saw them limit a red-hot Jared Goff to 252 yards (6.6 Y/A) and one TD (14 fantasy points), and Lawrence is similarly hot, as he’s averaged 280 passing yards (7.5 Y/A) and 2.3 passing TDs since Week 8. The Jaguars offense just lit up the Cowboys defense in Week 15, though this Jets unit is likely superior overall. I want to start Lawrence where I have him, as he has at least 18 fantasy points in seven of his past nine games, and has reached 30 fantasy points each of his past two.
  • Tua Tagovailoa averages ten yards per attempt against Cover 3 this year, which ranks first among all QBs. Since Week 8, the Packers have run Cover 3 defense at the second-highest rate in the NFL. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and QB whisperer), Jordan Vanek
  • Tom Brady is a great streamer this week against the Cardinals pass funnel defense. Brady has improved in the red zone recently, with multiple TD passes in four of his past five games, after just one multi-TD performance through Week 9. He’s attempted at least 43 passes in seven of his past eight games, and has a solid floor in Week 16.
  • Brock Purdy is a safe streamer that’s likely available on many waiver wires. He’s thrown for multiple TDs in all three starts, completing at least 65% of his passes in each game. His efficiency has been excellent, too, with at least 8.4 yards per attempt each of the past two games. The Commanders generate a ton of pressure with their pass rush, but having Christian McCaffrey in the passing game should allow Purdy to mitigate Washington’s dominant front.
  • Miami utilizes a heavy dose of Cover 1 and Cover 3 on defense. Aaron Rodgers has the sixth most passing TDs in the NFL against Cover 1 and Cover 3. Since Christian Watson became a full-time player 6 weeks ago, Rodgers averages nine yards per attempt against these coverages. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and QB whisperer), Jordan Vanek
  • Malik Willis has a combined 135 passing yards on 26 pass attempts from his two starts in Weeks 8 and 9. Please find better options than Titans pass catchers for your fantasy lineups this week. Willis ran five times for 12 yards and eight times for 40 yards in those games. With the lack of passing, you need 100 rushing yards and a TD to be happy you started Malik Willis (seriously).

Top 59 Running Backs

Rank Name Pos Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Christian McCaffrey RB SF WAS 23.00 18.3
2 Derrick Henry RB TEN HOU 21.00 17.5
3 Dalvin Cook RB MIN NYG 25.50 15.5
4 Austin Ekeler RB LAC IND 25.25 20.1
5 Saquon Barkley RB NYG MIN 22.00 18.5
6 Josh Jacobs RB LV PIT 18.00 18.6
7 Rhamondre Stevenson RB NE CIN 18.75 15.5
8 Alvin Kamara RB NO CLE 14.25 15.6
9 Tony Pollard RB DAL PHI 25.75 13
10 Jerick McKinnon RB KC SEA 28.75 9.7
11 Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL PHI 25.75 11.7
12 Aaron Jones RB GB MIA 22.25 14.6
13 Kenneth Walker RB SEA KC 19.25 11.7
14 D’Andre Swift RB DET CAR 22.50 11.8
15 Travis Etienne RB JAX NYJ 18.50 12.9
16 James Conner RB ARI TB 17.25 14.6
17 Nick Chubb RB CLE NO 17.25 14.5
18 J.K. Dobbins RB BAL ATL 22.50 9.2
19 Raheem Mostert RB MIA GB 27.25 9.5
20 Najee Harris RB PIT LV 20.50 13.3
21 Miles Sanders RB PHI DAL 20.25 12.5
22 Zonovan Knight RB NYJ JAX 19.50 12.1
23 Joe Mixon RB CIN NE 22.25 17.1
24 Zack Moss RB IND LAC 21.25 3.8
25 Isiah Pacheco RB KC SEA 28.75 6.7
26 Leonard Fournette RB TB ARI 23.75 14.9
27 David Montgomery RB CHI BUF 15.75 11.8
28 Devin Singletary RB BUF CHI 14.75 11.7
29 Latavius Murray RB DEN LA 19.25 10.7
30 Rachaad White RB TB ARI 23.75 8.8
31 D’Onta Foreman RB CAR DET 21.00 7.8
32 Khalil Herbert RB CHI BUF 15.75 8.2
33 Antonio Gibson RB WAS SF 16.00 12
34 Jamaal Williams RB DET CAR 22.50 12.7
35 James Cook RB BUF CHI 14.75 5.9
36 Jeff Wilson RB MIA GB 27.25 9.2
37 Cam Akers RB LA DEN 17.25 7.5
38 Gus Edwards RB BAL ATL 22.50 7.3
39 Tyler Allgeier RB ATL BAL 15.00 7.8
40 Brian Robinson RB WAS SF 16.00 10.6
41 Chuba Hubbard RB CAR DET 21.00 4.8
42 Deon Jackson RB IND LAC 21.25 6.6
43 Cordarrelle Patterson RB ATL BAL 15.00 11.1
44 Royce Freeman RB HOU TEN 16.00 7.6
45 AJ Dillon RB GB MIA 22.25 10
46 Joshua Kelley RB LAC IND 25.25 5.6
47 Dare Ogunbowale RB HOU TEN 16.00 3.6
48 Samaje Perine RB CIN NE 22.25 8.5
49 Marlon Mack RB DEN LA 19.25 5.4
50 Michael Carter RB NYJ JAX 19.50 9.3
51 Pierre Strong RB NE CIN 18.75 3.3
52 DeeJay Dallas RB SEA KC 19.25 2.2
53 Kareem Hunt RB CLE NO 17.25 8.4
54 Jaylen Warren RB PIT LV 20.50 4.8
55 David Johnson RB NO CLE 14.25 2.1
56 Kenneth Gainwell RB PHI DAL 20.25 4.7
57 Jordan Mason RB SF WAS 23.00 2.4
58 Alexander Mattison RB MIN NYG 25.50 4.2
59 Nyheim Hines RB BUF CHI 14.75 4.5
  • The Commanders generate pressure on 39.5% of pass attempts, tied with Dallas for highest in the league, via The Edge. Washington also shuts down RBs on the ground. This is the perfect game for ten McCaffrey targets, and his floor and ceiling are incredibly high in Week 16.
  • Dalvin Cook’s fantasy season has been a rollercoaster, but he’s maintained a strong red zone/goal line role, with 16 red zone (six goal line) carries over the past month. He now gets a Giants defense ceding 5.4 yards per carry to RBs, in a game that’s unlikely to feature negative game script. Cook is a dark horse to lead the NFL in rushing this week, and should score at least once.
  • Saquon Barkley should broach 20 touches in a high-scoring affair with the Vikings. He’s had at least five targets in four of his past five games, and has scored in three of his past four. Minnesota is stingy on the ground, but they’ve allowed 44 receiving yards per game to RBs, seventh-highest per The Edge.
  • Alvin Kamara has 75% of the team’s RB carries the past four games, and he faces the Browns in Cleveland, in what should be horrendous conditions (cold and wind). The Browns allow 5.4 yards per carry to RBs this year (second-highest), and Kamara will have a hard time failing in this matchup.

  • Kenneth Walker handled 92% of the RB carries, and ran 31 routes to Travis Homer’s 12. The Chiefs allow the most receiving yards per game to RBs, and Walker should get enough run in negative game scripts to overcome what is a middle-of-the-road fantasy matchup on the ground.
  • Jerick McKinnon has come alive the past two weeks, with 32 fantasy points in Week 14 and Week 15. He’d done it through the air, with at least eight targets, seven catches, 70 receiving yards, and a receiving TD in both games. He also has averaged eight carries per game the past three weeks, with seven red zone carries in that span. Think Alvin Kamara workload on the Chiefs offense – his suppressed ranking reflects the fragility with his projection compared to other RBs in his range. There is a chance McKinnon gets five touches, but I’m betting on his recent success, and the matchup, as Seattle has allowed four RBs to reach 65 receiving yards against them. Overall, they’ve allowed the sixth most receptions and the fourth most receiving yards to the position, via The Edge. Isiah Pacheco is in a good spot too, as the Seahawks give up 4.7 yards per carry to runners, and he has at least 13 carries in six straight games. The fantasy problem arises when realizing that Jerick McKinnon gets the majority of the red zone/goal line carries. Pacheco is a glorified grinder back on the NFL’s best offense.
  • D’Andre Swift was off the injury report entirely in Weeks 13 and 15. In Week 13, he had 14 carries and six targets. In Week 15, he had eight carries and nine targets. This is a fantasy-friendly workload, and assuming he’s off the injury report in Week 16, he’ll provide one of the higher floors and ceilings in fantasy football. Though he didn’t score last week, his red zone carry and three red zone targets were encouraging, and the Lions shouldn’t have trouble scoring points in Carolina. Jamaal Williams has averaged 15.5 carries per game, and the Panthers allow 4.6 yards per carry to backs. Williams has no receptions since Week 8, but he has at least two goal line carries in seven of his past eight games, and should score. The floor without a TD is super low (under four fantasy points in back-to-back weeks), but this is a great game environment for him.
  • James Conner has at least 18 fantasy points in four of his past five games, handling 90% of the team’s carries the past five games. He’s also received 17 of the 19 RB targets in that span. He’s a legitimate bell cow, who will be playing a tough Buccaneers defense alongside third-string QB Trace McSorely. Conner will get you 20 inefficient touches, with some pass game involvement. Think rookie year Najee Harris for his current role and expected fantasy production, with a lower floor to account for QB play.
  • The Dallas run defense has been solid, but unspectacular in recent weeks. The factors in motion here for Miles Sanders are inconsistent rushing volume and the unknown of Gardner Minshew’s level of play. Sanders likely gets 12-15 carries in an efficient rushing offense, but it’s tough to know how effective Minshew will be in his first start of the season. After 17 carries and 144 rushing yards against the Giants in Week 14, Sanders received just 11 carries, running for 42 yards last week against Chicago. The floor is low, but I’m hesitant to fade pieces of this offense too much without Jalen Hurts at QB, given that Minshew is one of the NFL’s better backups.
  • Nick Chubb has fewer than ten fantasy points in four of his past five games. He has at least 14 carries in each of those contests, but just the Browns offense has struggled, and so has Chubb. The Browns have scored just two offensive TDs over the past three weeks (all three Deshaun Watson starts), and now play in the lowest Vegas game total of the past 14 years. High winds and cold generally help the running game, but Chubb really needs to score for you to be satisfied with his fantasy output. He’s a TD or bust play this week against a slightly below average Saints run defense.

  • I originally had Jeff Wilson as the starter for Miami, since he’s started over Raheem Mostert in all but one overlapping game this year. However, the betting markets think otherwise, as Mostert’s rushing prop is 62.5, while Wilson’s is 30.5. The Packers allow 5.0 yards per carry to backs, via The Edge. Both should be efficient runners in this game, and factoring in my intuition, what we’ve seen from the duo, and what the betting markets think, I’d say there’s a 60-40 chance it’s Mostert getting the bulk of the carries, and likely a 65-35 split for whoever the lead back is.
  • Najee Haris has more than 15 fantasy points in only one game this year, but does get an ideal matchup with the Raiders. Las Vegas allows the most receiving yards per game to RBs (49), and the fourth-most fantasy points per game (26.7) to the position, too – via The Edge.
  • I’m concerned about Joe Mixon, after he’s totaled just 25 carries over the past two games. Samaje Perine out-targeted him 5-2 in Week 14, and then Perine handled 7 of 18 RB carries in Week 15. Mixon’s role has shrunk, and the Patriots allow just 3.9 yards per carry to RBs.
  • Zack Moss is a volume play, and a strong one at that. He received 24 carries after Jonathan Taylor went down with a high ankle sprain on the first drive. He also ran 14 routes to Deon Jackson’s nine. Moss should see 20 or more touches against a Chargers defense allowing the most yards per carry (5.5) to RBs this season, per The Edge.
  • Khalil Herbert should return from IR this week, and would split carries with David Montgomery. I’m expecting a 55-45 split in Montgomery’s favor, against a Buffalo team that’s allowed 5.2 yards per carry to RBs since Week 8. Both can eat in this matchup with 12-15 carries apiece, and while I’d expect Herbert to be slightly more efficient, Montgomery likely receives more targets.
  • You’ll notice I’m incredibly pessimistic about the Washington RBs this week against San Francisco. The 49ers allow an league-low 15.8 fantasy points per game and just 3.3 yards per carry overall to RBs (from The Edge). As if that wasn’t enough reason for concern, the Commanders have the third-worst run blocking matchup this week, per our brand new Trenches Tool. Our trenches tool is free, and offers an unparalleled look at offensive and defensive line play – screenshot from the tool shown below. You can also click into any individual matchup, when using the tool, to see dozens more advanced line stats. I have Antonio Gibson ranked slightly ahead of Brian Robinson, as manufactured touches for Gibson in the passing game could salvage his fantasy day.

trenches tool

  • AJ Dillon has already cleared concussion protocol from Week 15, but I’m not particularly optimistic about his Week 16 outlook against Miami. The Dolphins are a pass funnel defense, allowing just 70 rushing yards (at 3.8 YPC) per game to RBs. The Dolphins get beat through the air, and RBs average the fifth most receiving yards per game against them. This is  shaping up to be an Aaron Jones week, not an AJ Dillon week. All stats courtesy of The Edge.

Top 65 Wide Receivers

Rank Name Pos Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Justin Jefferson WR MIN NYG 25.50 19.4
2 Davante Adams WR LV PIT 18.00 17.8
3 Ja’Marr Chase WR CIN NE 22.25 18.4
4 Tyreek Hill WR MIA GB 27.25 17.1
5 Keenan Allen WR LAC IND 25.25 13
6 DK Metcalf WR SEA KC 19.25 15
7 Stefon Diggs WR BUF CHI 14.75 17.3
8 Amon-Ra St. Brown WR DET CAR 22.50 16.1
9 CeeDee Lamb WR DAL PHI 25.75 14.9
10 Tee Higgins WR CIN NE 22.25 10.9
11 Jaylen Waddle WR MIA GB 27.25 11.9
12 A.J. Brown WR PHI DAL 20.25 14.9
13 Chris Godwin WR TB ARI 23.75 14.1
14 Terry McLaurin WR WAS SF 16.00 12.5
15 DeAndre Hopkins WR ARI TB 17.25 16.4
16 Garrett Wilson WR NYJ JAX 19.50 12.8
17 Christian Watson WR GB MIA 22.25 9.4
18 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR KC SEA 28.75 11
19 Michael Pittman WR IND LAC 21.25 13.1
20 Mike Williams WR LAC IND 25.25 12.8
21 Jerry Jeudy WR DEN LA 19.25 10.9
22 D.J. Moore WR CAR DET 21.00 12.2
23 Mike Evans WR TB ARI 23.75 14.2
24 Christian Kirk WR JAX NYJ 18.50 14
25 DeVonta Smith WR PHI DAL 20.25 11.2
26 Brandon Aiyuk WR SF WAS 23.00 10.8
27 Darius Slayton WR NYG MIN 22.00 7.9
28 Adam Thielen WR MIN NYG 25.50 11.9
29 Brandin Cooks WR HOU TEN 16.00 11.7
30 Gabe Davis WR BUF CHI 14.75 10.7
31 Courtland Sutton WR DEN LA 19.25 12.3
32 Elijah Moore WR NYJ JAX 19.50 7.9
33 Drake London WR ATL BAL 15.00 10.7
34 Jahan Dotson WR WAS SF 16.00 8.8
35 Diontae Johnson WR PIT LV 20.50 14.5
36 Russell Gage WR TB ARI 23.75 8.9
37 Zay Jones WR JAX NYJ 18.50 14.1
38 DJ Chark WR DET CAR 22.50 9
39 Josh Palmer WR LAC IND 25.25 11.4
40 Tyler Boyd WR CIN NE 22.25 8.3
41 Amari Cooper WR CLE NO 17.25 14.2
42 Isaiah Hodgins WR NYG MIN 22.00 6.3
43 Allen Lazard WR GB MIA 22.25 10.8
44 Marquise Brown WR ARI TB 17.25 15.1
45 Treylon Burks WR TEN HOU 21.00 7.7
46 Jakobi Meyers WR NE CIN 18.75 10.2
47 George Pickens WR PIT LV 20.50 9.2
48 Donovan Peoples-Jones WR CLE NO 17.25 10.5
49 K.J. Osborn WR MIN NYG 25.50 8.4
50 Curtis Samuel WR WAS SF 16.00 10.9
51 Romeo Doubs WR GB MIA 22.25 9
52 Mack Hollins WR LV PIT 18.00 10.7
53 Michael Gallup WR DAL PHI 25.75 9.2
54 Chris Moore WR HOU TEN 16.00 7.4
55 Parris Campbell WR IND LAC 21.25 7.7
56 Noah Brown WR DAL PHI 25.75 8.6
57 Terrace Marshall WR CAR DET 21.00 6.2
58 Tutu Atwell WR LA DEN 17.25 5
59 Hunter Renfrow WR LV PIT 18.00 6.2
60 Van Jefferson WR LA DEN 17.25 7
61 Marquise Goodwin WR SEA KC 19.25 5.6
62 Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR KC SEA 28.75 8.6
63 Rashid Shaheed WR NO CLE 14.25 4.1
64 Alec Pierce WR IND LAC 21.25 8.2
65 Jameson Williams WR DET CAR 22.50 2.9
  • The Bears secondary has crumbled since Week 8, as they’ve allowed 8.7 passing yards per attempt, 10% higher than any other team in that span, per The Edge (screenshot below). Stefon Diggs is set up for a monster day, and Gabe Davis should rebound, as he has seen at least 21% of the team’s targets in four of their past eight games. Davis has run a deep route tree all season, and this is maybe the best matchup for a WR of his archetype.

bears defense vs qbs

    • Since Week 8, Packers run the second-most Cover 3 defense in the NFL. Tyreek Hill has a 36% target share, 36% targets per route run rate, and 4.28 yards per route run (all elite figures). Jaylen Waddle against Cover 3 has a 27% target share, 30% targets per route run rate, and 3.39 yards per route run (elite figures, though not quite at Tyreek’s level). – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and WR whisperer), Jordan Vanek
    • Amon-Ra St. Brown is as steady as they come; however, this could be the week that the Lions’ perimeter WRs have huge games. The Panthers utilize star cornerback Jaycee Horn in the slot very often, and the mismatch could end up being on the outside with DJ Chark and Jameson Williams. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and WR whisperer), Jordan Vanek
    • Keenan Allen has at least 86 receiving yards in four of his past five games, while reaching 14 PPR points in each of his past five. He’s a WR1 type again, as he’s healthy and running around 90% of the team’s routes.
    • DK Metcalf should smash against the Chiefs this week, as he should see a target increase without Tyler Lockett playing in Week 16. While the Chiefs rarely utilized a Cover 1 defense the first seven weeks of the season, they’ve been top-5 in usage since Week 8. Metcalf (while playing with Lockett) has been targeted on 36.1% of his routes, and averages 2.23 yards per route run against Cover 1. Five different WRs have scored multiple TDs in a game against Kansas City this year, and Metcalf could approach a 45% target share in this matchup. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and WR whisperer), Jordan Vanek
    • Without Jonathan Taylor, there’s a chance the Colts lean more heavily on the pass game with a week to prepare for life without their star RB. While the Chargers are a run funnel defense, Michael Pittman likely benefits from no Jonathan Taylor. Pittman had a 45% target share, catching ten of 14 targets for 60 yards this past week. In Week 6 without Taylor, Pittman was targeted 16 times, catching 13 for 134 yards against Jacksonville. There’s potential for a massive game from Pittman, especially if the run game flounders without Taylor, and the teams shifts to a more pass-heavy game plan. I wouldn’t treat Nick Foles as much of a downgrade for Michael Pittman, given that he’s averaged just 6,7 yards per target this year, after averaging 8.3 for his career heading into 2022.
    • The Commanders RBs against the 49ers have a ridiculously tough matchup. The Commanders receivers? Less so. The 49ers actually allow the eighth most receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts, via The Edge. While they’ve held up nicely against receivers lined up outside, they’re a defense to target with slot receivers, allowing the sixth most fantasy points per game to the slot, per The Edge. Curtis Samuel runs 81% of his routes from the slot, while Terry McLaurin is at only 36%. Jahan Dotson is in the slot 47% of the time. I suspect Washington makes a concerted effort to feature McLaurin and Dotson more from the slot in this game, as they are the clear top-2 receivers in Washington right now. Overall, I’m still not worried about McLaurin outside, as the 49ers are a perfectly average defense when guarding outside receivers, allowing the 18th most fantasy points per game. Also, despite Samuel being a frustrating start the past couple months with Taylor Heinicke, he’s worth a shot in deeper leagues given the matchup.

 

  • With Romeo Doubs returning from injury in Week 15, we were able to get some insight into the Packers pecking order at WR. Christian Watson has dropped in my rankings compared to last week, despite leading the team with six targets (21% share). Allen Lazard only had two targets (7% share) against the Rams, and I’m highly concerned for him rest of season. Romeo Doubs only ran ten routes in his return (Watson and Lazrd ran 31 and 32 routes, respectively), but was targeted five times, catching them all for 55 yards. Watson had three of the four red zone targets, and the lone end zone target, so his role is safe, though the target volume may not be as high moving forward if/when Doubs runs more routes. Allen Lazard may drop precipitously again in my Week 17 rankings if he puts up another target share dud this week against Miami.
  • The Seahawks allow the fewest fantasy points to receivers lined up outside, via The Edge (screenshot below). They do allow the 12th most fantasy points to slot receivers, though. JuJu Smith-Schuster is in for a big day, as 56% of his routes come out of the slot. While Marquez Valdes-Scantling does run 50% of his routes from the slot, he’s topped a target share of 14% just once since Week 6, and is clearly not a focal point of the team’s game plan. Kadarius Toney ran only three routes last week, and is not ranked for fantasy this week. I do not expect him to be a fantasy relevant part of this offense until the NFL playoffs.

seahawks vs wrs

  • Jerry Jeudy faces a Rams defense that’s been stingy against the run, but has struggled all season defending the pass. When healthy, Jeudy has come alive after a disappointing September. Since Week 5, he’s had at least seven targets in every healthy game, with a target share of at least 21% in all of them. He’s exceeded 50 receiving yards in his past eight games (I’m removing the Week 10 game where he was injured after literally one route), and is a solid option in PPR/half-PPR leagues.
  • DJ Moore faces a Lions team getting killed out of the slot (24.6 PPR fantasy points per game to slot WRs, most in the NFL, per The Edge). 46% of his routes are from the slot this year, but the past three weeks with Sam Darnold, 68% of his routes have come from the slot. DJ Moore is a tough player to start when using your emotions, but if we play the numbers, he’s in the perfect spot for Week 16. Terrace Marshall has run 55% of his routes from the slot with Darnold, and merits consideration as a desperation flex play.
  • The Jets have shut down outside receivers this year, while also limiting slot receivers, too. Christian Kirk is a better player than Zay Jones, and benefits from not playing right into the teeth of the Jets pass defense. Neither is a great start for Week 16 given the matchup, but I lean Kirk – despite Zay Jones’ recent hot streak.
  • Tom Brady has thrown for serious passing yardage all year, but had hamstrung his receivers by being inefficient in the red zone. Through Week 9, Brady only had one game with multiple passing TDs, essentially wasting his 283 passing yards per game. Since then, he’s thrown multiple TDs in five of his past six, while averaging a hearty 270 passing yards per game from Week 10 onward. This raises the floor and ceiling of all Tampa pass catchers, and they face a pass funnel Cardinals defense giving up the tenth most pass yards per game (237) – via The Edge.
  • Darius Slayton is in for a big day against the Vikings. Minnesota gives up 9.1 yards per attempt to WRs lined up out wide, and they utilize a heavy dose of Cover 3 and Cover 4. Slayton – out wide – against these coverages averages over three yards per route run (anything over two is elite), and ranks fourth overall among players with at least 30 routes, via The Edge. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and WR whisperer), Jordan Vanek
  • Isaiah Hodgins is a decent start as well from that NYG receiving room, as we are banking on the Vikings’ secondary to continue to be an absolute liability in coverage.
  • Drake London commanded a 42% target share in Week 15, Desmond Ridder’s first start. London caught seven of 11 targets for 70 yards. Ridder only completed 13 of 26 passes for 97 yards, so London was essentially their entire passing offense. The Ravens-Falcons matchup is interesting, as the Ravens’ run defense is their strength, while the Falcons run game is their offensive strength. I expect Ridder to once again lean on London, and he should be flex viable if Ridder attempts 25-30 passes. Mariota only reached Ridder’s 26 attempts in three of his 13 starts, so there’s reason for optimism for London rest of season, despite Ridder being inefficient and inaccurate.

Top 23 Tight Ends

Rank Name Pos Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Travis Kelce TE KC SEA 28.75 15.2
2 T.J. Hockenson TE MIN NYG 25.50 11.3
3 Mark Andrews TE BAL ATL 22.50 12.7
4 Dalton Schultz TE DAL PHI 25.75 9.5
5 George Kittle TE SF WAS 23.00 8.8
6 Darren Waller TE LV PIT 18.00 9.2
7 Evan Engram TE JAX NYJ 18.50 9.1
8 Dallas Goedert TE PHI DAL 20.25 8.9
9 Taysom Hill TE NO CLE 14.25 6.2
10 Gerald Everett TE LAC IND 25.25 9.5
11 Dawson Knox TE BUF CHI 14.75 7.5
12 David Njoku TE CLE NO 17.25 10
13 Cole Kmet TE CHI BUF 15.75 6.8
14 Greg Dulcich TE DEN LA 19.25 8.3
15 Noah Fant TE SEA KC 19.25 6.3
16 Trey McBride TE ARI TB 17.25 2.7
17 Pat Freiermuth TE PIT LV 20.50 10
18 Chigoziem Okonkwo TE TEN HOU 21.00 5.1
19 Juwan Johnson TE NO CLE 14.25 7.9
20 Tyler Higbee TE LA DEN 17.25 8.3
21 Cade Otton TE TB ARI 23.75 6.5
22 Daniel Bellinger TE NYG MIN 22.00 5.4
23 Hunter Henry TE NE CIN 18.75 6
  • The Eagles primarily utilize Cover 3 and Cover 4 on defense, and since Dak Prescott returned from injury, Dalton Schultz leads the team in targets per route run against these coverages. Schultz also has four TDs against the Eagels in their past two matchups. – Research from The 33rd Team’s Head of DFS (and WR whisperer), Jordan Vanek
  • George Kittle had a monstrous day in Week 15, with 93 yards and two TDs. But, the underlying usage still wasn’t great. Even without Deebo Samuel in the lineup, Kittle only commanded five targets (19% share). He hasn’t had more than four receptions in a game since Week 7, and likely gives you three catches and 30 yards ⅔ of the time still.
  • Darren Waller ran a route on 66% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks in his return from IR last week. He caught all three targets for 48 yards and a score. While three targets on 27 routes is unexciting, I’d expect more routes/targets in Week 16 against the Steelers.
  • Evan Engram is on a tear, with at least seven targets and 14 PPR points in three straight games. The Jaguars passing offense has been cooking, and much of that is due to Engram’s emergence. The Jets are a tough matchup, but Engram’s recent usage is simply too good to ignore. He’s a strong start on Thursday night.
  • Dallas Goedert returns this week, and he’s played one game with Gardner Minshew (Week 13, 2021). In that contest, Goedert caught all six targets for 105 yards and two scores. I wouldn’t get carried away with that stat line, as I present it to show that Minshew shouldn’t crush Goedert’s fantasy viability, not that we should expect nearly 30 fantasy points from Goedert this week.
  • Taysom Hill should see a usage spike this week against the Browns, in a game that will feature sustained 30 mph winds, 50-60 mph gusts, and temperatures hovering around 10 degrees. I expect the Saints to target the Browns’ bottom-3 run defense with Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill this week.
  • Dawson Knox has at least seven targets and 14 fantasy points in back-to-back games. He’s hard to *trust* on a weekly basis, but the recent usage spike is encouraging, and he faces a Bears defense that, since Week 8, is allowing 8.7 passing yards per attempt, 10% higher than any other team in that span, per The Edge.

Top 15 Defenses

Rank Name Pos Opp
Opp Team Total
1 49ers DST WAS 16
2 Buccaneers DST ARI 17.25
3 Ravens DST ATL 15
4 Browns DST NO 14.25
5 Saints DST CLE 17.25
6 Titans DST HOU 16
7 Cowboys DST PHI 20.25
8 Steelers DST LV 18
9 Broncos DST LA 17.25
10 Jets DST JAX 18.5
11 Lions DST CAR 21
12 Bengals DST NE 18.75
13 Chargers DST IND 21.25
14 Chiefs DST SEA 19.25
15 Eagles DST DAL 25.75

Defense write-ups were done by The 33rd Team’s Head of Betting (and defensive maestro), Ryan Reynolds.

    • The 49ers’ elite front is in a potential smash spot against Washington’s line that struggled against the Giants’ front last week.
    • The Buccaneers could face a third string Arizona quarterback, behind an injury-ravaged offensive line.
    • The Ravens defense gets Desmond Ridder in his second NFL start.
    • The Broncos high-performing defense has a significant trench advantage against the Rams bottom tier line.
    • The desperate Titans are in a potential get-right spot against a Houston offense ravaged of playmakers.

 

  • Extreme winds and cold in Cleveland make both the Browns and Saints defenses viable. Both DSTs are especially appealing in leagues that heavily reward points against.
  • The Cowboys don’t have a great matchup, but they likely get Eagles’ backup QB Gardner Minshew in a high-pressure spot.
  • Pittsburgh’s defense will have a significant line play advantage here.
  • Trevor Lawrence and his Jaguars are surging, but the Jets’ premium defense gets Jacksonville on a short week, at home, with rain expected.
  • The Lions defense has played better recently, but is primarily a bet against a Sam Darnold-led offense.
  • New England has been an inconsistent offense all season, while the Bengals defense continues to be rock solid.
  • The Chargers defense is primarily a bet against Nick Foles. If the Chargers defense was at full strength they’d approach the top five this week.
  • The Seahawks are down Tyler Lockett, and they’re 9.5 point road underdogs in Kansas City.
  • The Eagles are a top-5 defense, in a less than ideal matchup in Dallas this week.

These Week 16 fantasy rankings will be updated throughout the week. Make sure to check this post each day throughout the week as the news hits.

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