Fantasy Football Week 16 Rankings: Targets For This Week's Injured Stars

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 16 Rankings: Targets For This Week's Injured Stars

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    Falcons RB Tyler Allgeier
    Falcons RB Tyler AllgeierG Fiume/Getty Images

    Week 16 could be a tricky one to navigate for fantasy managers. No NFL teams are on bye, but injuries remain an obstacle at several key positions.

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is on injured reserve with a torn ACL, New Orleans Saints wideout Chris Olave is out with a hamstring injury, and Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is done for the year with an ankle injury.

    The Philadelphia Eagles have announced that Gardner Minshew will start in place of fantasy star Jalen Hurts (shoulder).

    "Gardner will be our guy, and Gardner will be ready," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters.

    With the majority of games being played on Saturday this week because of the Christmas holiday—and the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars kicking the week off on Thursday—managers must be sure to have their lineups set early.

    Here, you'll find a look at our updated point-per-reception (PPR) rankings following Thursday's injury report. We'll also dive into some potential waiver-wire targets to help managers overcome critical absences.


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    49ers QB Brock Purdy
    49ers QB Brock PurdySteph Chambers/Getty Images

    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

    4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    6. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

    7. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

    8. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

    9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    10 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    Week 16 will be filled with quarterback injuries. Along with Murray and Hurts, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to miss the week with a knee injury.

    Though he's not a regular fantasy standout, it should be noted that Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be out as well. He could miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.

    According to ESPN's Turron Davenport, Tannehill's injury is expected to require surgery.

    Managers seeking a fill-in should target San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Brock Purdy. This year's Mr. Irrelevant has become very relevant and has thrown two touchdown passes in each of his last three games.

    Purdy remains rostered in only 33 percent of Yahoo leagues and 27 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is also worth a look, now that he's expected to start after missing Week 15 with a concussion. Pickett is rostered in only 12 percent of Yahoo leagues and 8 percent of ESPN leagues.

Running Back

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    Colts RB Zack Moss
    Colts RB Zack MossBailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

    2. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    3. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

    5. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

    6. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

    7. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    8. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

    9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    10. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    11. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    12. Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs

    13. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    14. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

    15. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    16. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

    17. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

    18. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

    19. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

    20. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs

    Taylor's injury is a big blow to the Colts and to fantasy managers who have relied on him to reach the postseason.

    Seattle Seahawks standout rookie running back Kenneth Walker III is listed as questionable with ankle and back injuries, while New England Patriots ball-carrier Damien Harris is questionable with a thigh injury. Teammate Rhamondre Stevenson is questionable with an ankle injury.

    Managers seeking running-back help should eye Atlanta Falcons rookie Tyler Allgeier. He had 139 rushing yards and a touchdown last week against New Orleans and is rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues and 37 percent of ESPN leagues.

    With Taylor out, Colts' running back Zack Moss could have some flex value. Moss rushed for 81 yards last week and will face a Los Angeles Chargers defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs.

    Moss is rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues and 27 percent of ESPN leagues.

Wide Receiver

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    Titans WR Treylon Burks
    Titans WR Treylon BurksSilas Walker/Getty Images

    1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

    2. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

    3. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

    4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

    5. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

    6. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

    7. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

    8. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

    9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    10. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    11. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

    12. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

    13. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    14. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

    15. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

    16. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

    17. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

    18. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs

    19. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    20. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

    Along with Olave, Saints receiver Jarvis Landry will miss Week 16.

    Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks is listed as questionable with a calf injury. He hasn't played since Week 12 and could make his return against the Titans. Fellow Texans receiver Nico Collins (foot), however, is out.

    Chicago Bears receiver Chase Claypool is doubtful with a knee injury, while teammate Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) has been ruled out. Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett has been ruled out with a hand injury.

    The Patriots will be without DeVante Parker (concussion) and have listed Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) as questionable.

    Titans receiver Treylon Burks is questionable but could make his return from a concussion in Week 16. He's worth a pickup, even if only to stash for future weeks. In his last full game, the rookie caught four passes for 70 yards.

    Burks is rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues and 46 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Russell Gage is also worth a look after his Week 15 breakout (eight receptions, 59 yards, 2 TDs).

    Gage is rostered in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues and 22 percent of ESPN leagues.

Tight End

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    Titans TE Chigoziem Okonkwo
    Titans TE Chigoziem OkonkwoHarry How/Getty Images

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    4. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings

    5. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

    6. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

    7. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

    8. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers

    9. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

    10. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos

    Perhaps the biggest injury news at tight end this week is the fact that the Las Vegas Raiders have activated standout Darren Waller from injured reserve. There's no guarantee that he'll play against the Steelers yet, but Waller could make his long-awaited return.

    Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson is questionable with a concussion. Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson is out with a knee injury.

    Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst is questionable with a calf injury. Saints tight end Adam Trautman is questionable with an ankle injury.

    Tennessee tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo is worth a pickup after a handful of solid weeks. He's had at least four receptions in each of his last three games and has racked up 167 yards and a touchdown during that span.

    Okonkwo is rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues and 16 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Saints utility man Taysom Hill could also be worth a play this week against the Cleveland Browns. While he doesn't regularly rack up receptions, he does do other things for the New Orleans offense.

    Hill finished last week with 30 rushing yards, 80 passing yards and a passing TD. He is rostered in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues and 44 percent of ESPN leagues.

    *Fantasy scoring and roster information via FantasyPros.