Week 16 NFL Predictions: Fantasy Sleepers Set for Huge Games

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IDecember 18, 2013

TAMPA, FL -  NOVEMBER 17:  Running back Bobby Rainey #43 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield against the Atlanta Falcons  November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Tampa won 41 - 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Fantasy football sleepers emerge with massive points totals on a weekly basis in the NFL, but it's always hard to predict who it will be. 

Nobody saw Matt Asiata's 24-point outburst in Week 15 coming, but the Minnesota Vikings running back went off for three rushing touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles after being promoted from the practice squad.

While Asiata's rise to fantasy football fame was impossible to forecast, there are a few sleepers with a terrific opportunity in Week 16 to become a tremendous boon for your fantasy football team. 


Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington

If you're still alive in the fantasy playoffs, chances are good you've been riding a hot quarterback.

However, there are some tough matchups for top quarterbacks. Drew Brees and Cam Newton face off against their respective defenses, Tom Brady faces Baltimore, Andrew Luck faces Kansas City. 

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 15: Wide receiver James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers scores a fourth quarter touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during a game at AT&T Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

With that in mind, you should take a gander at the spectacular matchup Kirk Cousins has in Week 16 at home against the Dallas Cowboys—the worst fantasy defense against quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Cousins passed for 382 yards and three touchdowns in a losing cause during Week 15 against Atlanta. He also threw two interceptions, but his 24 fantasy points was the seventh-most of all quarterbacks in Week 15.

Deion Sanders of the NFL Network put Cousins' big game into perspective on NFL AM. Per Redskins.com:

“He showed that he can play the game. I mean this is fresh off of the bench. He ain’t done nothin’ all year. You come in and throw for 381—that’s almost 400 yards.”

He'll likely need to throw the ball plenty in this upcoming contest, given the fact that Washington's defense isn't much better than Dallas'. Tony Romo and Cousins will be slinging the ball all over the yard at FedEx Field, and Cousins will have another huge game. 

Projected Stats: 350 yards, three touchdowns, one interception. 


Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Nov 17, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) celebrates with wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) wide receiver Chris Owusu (80) after he ran the ball in for a touchdown during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy owners who started Bobby Rainey in Week 15 were sorely disappointed by his two-point performance, but they should have known better. San Francisco's run defense is among the league's best, and it was a horrible matchup.

Not so for Rainey in Week 16, however. 

Nov 3, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) rushes for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Titans defeated the Rams 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODA
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

He and the Buccaneers will be in St. Louis taking on the Rams on Sunday, Dec. 22, and Rainey is due for a big game. The Rams come into Week 16 as the No. 28-ranked fantasy defense against running backs, allowing 19.8 points per game. 

Before dominating the New Orleans Saints in Week 15, St. Louis had allowed a rushing touchdown in three straight games, and on two occasions teams have rushed for three in a single game. 

Rainey recently shredded the Falcons for 34 points in Week 11 and scored 18 points against the formidable Buffalo Bills in Week 14. He's going to have a huge bounce-back performance against the Rams after getting shut down by San Francisco.

Projected Stats: 125 yards, two touchdowns.


Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Dec 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) celebrates scoring a touchdown with teammate Tennessee Titans center Brian Schwenke (62) during the second half at LP Field. Arizona won 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans are sinking fast, but tight end Delanie Walker and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have developed undeniable chemistry since Jake Locker was lost for the season with an injury. 

Heading into Week 12, Walker had caught a touchdown in two straight games and had scored double-digit fantasy points in both. Unfortunately, he was injured against Oakland and was essentially lost for three games, fantasy-wise.

He returned to action in Week 15, catching eight passes for 53 yards and one touchdown, earning 11 fantasy points for owners smart enough to start him. He's got a fantastic matchup in Week 16, too, as the Titans are on the road to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville gives up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends in the NFL, allowing 9.8 points per game. Walker scored 12 fantasy points against this team back in Week 10, and he's going to have another productive outing in Week 16. 

Projected Stats: Six catches, 85 yards, one touchdown.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 


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