Fantasy Football Breakdown: NFL Week 16
We have made it. For the vast majority of fantasy football leagues, you are in the final week of your league this season. Whether you are in the championship or playing for pride at this point, one more week before the offseason analysis begins. If you survived Alvin Kamara’s record-tying performance on Christmas Day, here is a fantasy football overview for all of the Sunday NFL games for week 16:
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
Injury concerns: Marquise Brown QUES, Dez Bryant QUES, Golden Tate OUT, Daniel Jones QUES
Colt McCoy and this Giants offense are sputtering to the finish line like an outdated car. Darius Slayton was the only player with more than 10 fantasy points last week, which was surprising given that he and Colt McCoy hadn’t been on the same page. This week the G-Men’s WRsface the 13th ranked defense in fantasy against their position. You are starting Even Engram each week, but for the rest of the Giants, they will bring flex-appeal at most.
The run-heaviest offense in the NFL faces the 24th ranked defense against RBs. With Brown questionable to play, Andrews should be the focal point of the passing attack, or what resembles a passing attack, and the Ravens are going to run the ball early and often.
- Start Jackson
- Flex Gallman
- Start Dobbins, Flex Edwards, Sit Ingram
- Flex Shephard, Slayton
- Flex Brown if active, sit other Ravens WRs
- Start Engram and Andrews
Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs
Injury concerns: Tyreek Hill QUES, Clyde Edwards-Helaire OUT, Julio Jones OUT
Calvin Ridley is coming off of a game where he had 32.3 PPR points, but this week draws the number two defense against WRs. With no run game to speak off, the Falcons will have to pass the ball, and Ridley should see at least 12 targets. I think Russell Gage is still going to be flexible, and it was nice seeing Hayden Hurst getting involved. Todd Gurley is done.
Same paragraph every week for the Chiefs. Kelce is amazing; Hill should play, Watkins and Hardman have value against the second-worst defense against WRs. No CEH, but don’t fire up Le’Veon Bell.
- Sit Ryan
- Start Mahomes
- Sit all RBS here
- Start Ridley, Flex Gage
- Start Hill, Flex Watkins, and Hardman
- Start Hurst and Kelce
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
Injury summary: None
Chubb and Hunt get to take on the Jets defense, so you can expect them to be heavily used, but to their credit, the Jets do rank 16th against RBs in fantasy (by far their best ranking). Landry and Higgins have great matchups, and Austin Hooper faces the worst defense against TEs.
Jamison Crowder is off of IR and faces the 21st ranked Browns defense against WRs. The man that Father Time forgot, Frank Gore, faces the seventh-best defense against RBs, so look for Crowder, Perriman, and Mims to be used a lot. I’m not saying that gives them startable value in the final week; just avoid the Jets if you can.
- Start Mayfield
- Start Chubb, Flex Hunt
- Flex Landry, Higgins
- Flex Crowder, Mims, Sit Perriman
- Start Hooper
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
Injury summary: Duke Johnson OUT, Tyler Boyd OUT
Tyler Boyd was ruled inactive on Friday for this game, so Tee Higgins and AJ Green took on the 23rd ranked defense against WRs. Gio Bernard is coming off a 22.7 point outing and faces the second-worst defense in fantasy against WRs.
The final week of the fantasy season, and the Texans still don’t know who to favor. David Johnson is coming off of an 11 reception performance, and so should still get the volume. Brandin Cooks, Keke Coutee, Chad Hansen, and Jordan Akins all have some value here.
- Start Watson
- Start Bernard, David Johnson
- Flex Higgins, Green
- Start Cooks, Flex Coutee and Hansen
- Start Akins in deep leagues or if you are in a TE bind.
Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Injury summary: James Robinson QUES, Allen Robinson QUES
The David Montgomery show again for the Bears facing the third-worst defense against RBs in fantasy. He has been a stud in recent weeks, so let him carry you to a championship. Robinson should play, but if he sits, elevate Graham and Darnell Mooney.
Fantasy breakout James Robinson isn’t expected to play in this one, and if he does, maybe on a snap count. If you want to risk it for the biscuit, you can try, but don’t be shocked if he disappoints. Minshew is still expected to be under center, so DJ Chark has flex appeal, but the Jags face an all-around good defense, so there aren’t any matchups to exploit.
- Start Trubisky
- Start Montgomery, Flex Robinson is he is active.
- Start Robinson, Flex Mooney, Sit Miller
- Flex Chark, Sit Shenault Jr., and Cole
- Start Graham if Robinson sits
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Injury report: None
Jonathan Taylor went off again last week for 19.5 points, but he and Nyheim Hines face the best rush defense in the NFL. Granted, Gio Bernard just had a solid game against them because the Steelers’ offense couldn’t get going. TY Hilton has been resurgent as of late with a fall of Michael Pittman, but both will be facing the ninth-best defense against WRs, so it will be tough for them both to have success here.
I don’t even know what to put for the Steelers anymore. Big Ben has been bad, Conner has been bad when he even plays, Johnson has been solid when he holds onto the ball, JuJu was awful last week, and Ebron got hurt. You’re probably going to trust some Steelers this week so check below with how I think they will do.
- Sit QBs here
- Start Taylor, Flex Hines
- Flex Conner
- Flex Hilton, Sit Perriman
- Start Johnson, Flex Claypool, Sit JuJu
- Start Ebron
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Football Team
Injury summary: Terry McLaurin DOUBT, Antonio Gibson QUES, Alex Smith QUES, Christian McCaffrey DOUBT
The Panthers expect to be without CMC again, ending a disappointing season for the consensus #1 overall fantasy draft pick this season. Mike Davis, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel will look to pick up the slack again, but they face top-five defenses against their positions, and the WFT defense has looked dominant as of late.
Scary Terry is doubtful in the Ron Rivera revenge game, Alex Smith is a game-time decision, and Antonio Gibson is also questionable. If Terry and Gibson are out, I would want as much JD McKissic and Logan Thomas that I could get.
- Sit QBs here
- Flex Davis
- Start Gibson is active, McKissic if not. Flex McKissic is Gibson’s plays.
- Start Anderson and Moore, Flex Samuel
- Flex Cam Sims
- Start Logan Thomas
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
Injury summary: Keenan Allen QUES, Hunter Henry OUT, Phillip Lindsay OUT
Melvin Gordon will get the volume in his second shot at a revenge game with Lindsay missing this one. Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and KJ Hamler will be facing the sixth-best defense against their position. Noah Fant should continue his bounce back against the 22nd ranked defense against TEs in fantasy.
No Hunter Henry, and a potentially limited Keenan Allen. In a similar situation last week, Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton picked up the slack for the Chargers, and I think that should continue this week. Austin Eckler should still have the volume receiving, but he has shown he can be slow out of the gate, rushing as the lead back.
- Start Herbert
- Start Gordon
- Flex Eckler
- Flex Jeudy and Patrick, Sit Hamler
- Keenan Allen worries me banged up so flex at most
- Flex Tyron Johnson, Guyton. Sit Mike Williams
- Start Fant
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Injury summary: Ezekiel Elliot QUES
The Eagles are getting DeSean Jackson back, giving Jalen Hurts another deep threat weapon to spread this offense further. The Cowboys aren’t good at stopping the run (25th) or slowing down WRs (28th), so this presents a great matchup for Hurts to work and spread the ball around. With his presence rushing the ball, he is very startable this week, and you can do so with confidence.
No Zeke, no problem. It was the Tony Pollard show last week, and he put up a cool 31.2 PPR points. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup both had better games than Amari Cooper last week, but I think that was a fluke. I like Cooper and Lamb this week, but Gallup flip flops too much to trust.
- Start Hurts
- Start Sanders
- Start Pollard, Flex him if Zeke is active. Flex Zeke if he is active
- Flex Reagor, Jackson, if you are feeling saucy
- Start Cooper, Flex Lamb
- Start Goedert, Sit Ertz
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Injury summary: Cam Akers OUT
With no Cam Akers, you will want to fire up Darrell Henderson in this one facing the 23rd ranked defense against RBs. The Seahawks still ranks dead last against WRs, so both Woods and Kupp need to be out there.
This will be a hard game for the Seahawks as all of their fantasy players face a top-four defense against their respective positions. Chris Carson should be flexed at most, while the WR for the Seahawks you want in your lineups continues to be DK Metcalf. Russell Wilson had 9.92 fantasy points the last time these two played, so that I wouldn’t feel super confident with him this week.
- Start Goff, Sit Wilson
- Start Henderson
- Flex Carson, Sit Penny
- Start Woods and Kupp
- Start Metcalf, Sit Lockett
- Start Higbee
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
Injury summary: Jamaal Williams DOUBT
Derrick Henry faces the fifth-worst defense in fantasy against RBs and is coming off a 25.2 PPR performance. Even though AJ Brown and Corey Davis face the eighth-best defense against WRs, I still think you can have faith in them because Tannehill is playing really well at the moment. Speaking of Tannehill, he is coming off of a 37.02 point performance.
Aaron Jones faces the 26th best defense against RBs, and Devante Adams will go to work against the 30th for his position. Both of them should go off this week, but knowing Aaron Rodgers, that means that some random Packer nobody has ever heard of is about to have a career game.
- Start Tannehill and Rodgers
- Start Henry and Jones
- Start Brown, Flex Davis
- Start Devante Adams
- Sit Jonnu Smith
- Start Tonyan
If you have any questions or want to send me your fantasy football opinions, find me at @TeddyRicketson on Twitter. As always, good luck with your matchups this week (unless you’re playing me).