Fantasy Football Week 16: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big Board
Making it to the fantasy championship is an impressive feat that takes luck and skill, so congratulations if you're still alive heading into Week 16.
Luck can be all about the right (or wrong) matchups. If you played against A.J. Green in Week 15, you loved his disappearing act against the Minnesota Vikings. If you streamed Blake Bortles or Jimmy Garoppolo, you had better fantasy production than someone who used Tom Brady.
Luck can also be about avoiding injuries. Unfortunately, those who made it to the fantasy playoffs thanks to another amazing season from Antonio Brown won't have him for Week 16, if they even survived Brown's minor contributions in Week 15 before he left with a torn calf muscle. Rex Burkhead's knee injury will keep him out for Week 16, which eliminates another prime fantasy producer.
The skill of putting together the best roster and making the best lineup decisions is what got you this far, but it will also be what allows you to survive some of those major injuries. A deep roster could provide some relief to those who have to soldier on without Brown or Burkhead.
If you made it this far, you might have Kareem Hunt or Adam Thielen to thank. Those are the studs, but the saviors could wind up being waiver-wire superstars like Kenyan Drake or Keelan Cole.
Here's the first look at points-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 16. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday's action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings in both PPR and non-PPR formats.
I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like as a whole this week based on their matchups:
- Carolina Panthers (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (at Houston Texans)
- Minnesota Vikings (at Green Bay Packers)
- Los Angeles Chargers (at New York Jets)
Week 16 Top 100 PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Blake Bortles, JAC (at SF)
Bortles has graduated from sleeper/streamer thanks to three strong weeks in a row. After completing 21 of 29 attempts for 326 yards and three TDs in last week's win over the Houston Texans, he has 903 yards, seven TDs and no INTs in his last three games against the Texans, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.
The Jacksonville Jaguars might be known for their defense, but they aren't hiding Bortles as a game manager, and he's performing well. He has a great chance to keep up the strong fantasy production when he and the Jaguars hit the road to face the San Francisco 49ers. In the last four weeks, the 49ers allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs. Bortles will help win fantasy championships.
Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. DEN)
As the Washington Redskins tumble toward the finish line, so do the passing numbers for Cousins. In each of the last two weeks, he failed to throw for 200 yards and he hasn't thrown for more than 251 yards in the last four weeks. During that span he has seven TDs to four INTs, which is fine, but far from dominating.
Life won't get any easier for Cousins with the Denver Broncos visiting this weekend. They've been the fourth-best defense against fantasy QBs in the last month, holding them to less than 11 points per game. Cousins is more of a desperation play than someone you should be using with confidence.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (vs. JAC)
Don't get greedy when it comes to streamers. The entire idea of streaming QBs is to take advantage of favorable matchups. Garoppolo has done that for the most part in his three starts for the San Francisco 49ers against the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans.
However, the competition level rises when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Santa Clara on Sunday afternoon. They've allowed about 14.2 fantasy points and around 204 passing yards per game to QBs in the last month. Garoppolo has played well, but this isn't the time to squeeze more out of him when he'll more than likely struggle.
Nick Foles, PHI (vs. OAK)
The Philadelphia Eagles didn't get much out of their defense in a comeback win over the New York Giants in Week 15, so Foles was asked to do way more than expected and responded well. For only the sixth time this season, the Eagles attempted at least 35 passes, with Foles completing 24 of 38 attempts for 237 yards and four TDs.
Foles isn't polished and doesn't have the same athleticism as injured starter Carson Wentz to extend plays, but he clearly has a good grasp of the offense and a strong supporting cast around him. If you streamed him last week, you might try him again on Monday night when the Oakland Raiders arrive in Philadelphia. Even if Foles doesn't get the same volume he had in Week 15, the Raiders' vulnerable secondary gives Foles another chance at reliable fantasy production.
Week 16 Quarterback Rankings
|1||Cam Newton (CAR)|
|2||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|3||Tom Brady (NE)|
|4||Drew Brees (NO)|
|5||Alex Smith (KC)|
|6||Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)|
|7||Philip Rivers (LAC)|
|8||Matthew Stafford (DET)|
|9||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|10||Blake Bortles (JAC)|
|11||Nick Foles (PHI)|
|12||Case Keenum (MIN)|
|13||Jared Goff (LAR)|
|14||Matt Ryan (ATL)|
|15||Kirk Cousins (WAS)|
|16||Joe Flacco (BAL)|
|17||Tyrod Taylor (BUF)|
|18||Jameis Winston (TB)|
|19||Marcus Mariota (TEN)|
|20||Derek Carr (OAK)|
|21||Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)|
|22||Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)|
|23||Andy Dalton (CIN)|
|24||Drew Stanton (ARI)|
|25||Eli Manning (NYG)|
|26||Brett Hundley (GB)|
|27||Jay Cutler (MIA)|
|28||DeShone Kizer (CLE)|
|29||Brock Osweiler (DEN)|
|30||Jacoby Brissett (IND)|
|31||T.J. Yates (HOU)|
|32||Bryce Petty (NYJ)|
Better Than Usual
Dion Lewis, NE (vs. BUF)
In Week 13, Lewis had one of his best efforts of the season with 92 yards on 15 carries against the Buffalo Bills. Three weeks later, he faces the Bills again, but this time in New England. Unlike their first meeting, this game won't feature Rex Burkhead thanks to a knee injury suffered in Week 15.
Much like Lewis, Burkhead also had strong performance when the Patriots last met the Bills. In that game, he carried 12 times for 78 yards and a pair of TDs in addition to three receptions for 25 yards on four targets.
While James White's targets might increase, Lewis could see an uptick in carries with Burkhead unavailable for Week 16. Over the last month, the Bills have been an average matchup for fantasy RBs, but they've been the easiest matchup for RBs on the season.
Even if Mike Gillislee is active for the first time in seven games, Lewis has a great chance to play a huge role in a prime matchup. He's coming off 13 carries, 67 yards and a TD in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers just a week ago.
DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. LAR)
The nightmare known as the Tennessee Titans backfield was covered in depth in this week's B.S. Meter, but you might see a decent matchup with the Los Angeles Rams on deck for this week and talk yourself into this backfield. Stop before you fake yourself out during the championship week of fantasy football.
Over the last four weeks, neither Murray nor Henry is averaging 10 fantasy points per game. Plus, neither player ranks as a top-30 back over that span. Murray hasn't run for more than 66 rushing yards in any game since Week 3.
Henry has been the better back, but he has just 15 carries for 39 yards and a TD in the last two weeks. The Titans don't have a clue how to get the most out of these two, so even though the Rams might be vulnerable against the run, chances are the Titans will fail to exploit it.
Ameer Abdullah, DET (at CIN)
If you were wondering if two weeks off would recharge Abdullah and propel him right back into the lead role for the Detroit Lions backfield, the answer is a resounding no. Abdullah carried just one time for eight yards and hauled in three of four targets for 13 yards, playing just 13 percent of the snaps.
Even though the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the worst fantasy defenses against RBs in the last four weeks, look for a mix of Theo Riddick and Tion Green to handle the majority of the touches for Detroit's RBs. Abdullah has no value.
James White, NE (vs. BUF)
For the most part, the New England Patriots have gone with a two-headed backfield of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead in the second half of the season. With Lewis handling the majority of the carries, Burkhead racked up 29 targets, 26 receptions for 205 yards and two receiving TDs in the last eight games. He also had 59 carries for 246 yards and five TDs. During the same span, White had just 20 carries for 72 yards and 23 receptions for 177 yards and three TDs.
A combination of Lewis and Mike Gillislee will likely handle Burkhead's share of the carries, so look for White to pick up a larger target share with Burkhead out this week. He's a solid RB3/flex in PPR formats with a nice matchup against the Bills.
Week 16 Running Back PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (at HOU)
Smith-Schuster came into last week's game with the New England Patriots as a solid fantasy option in a decent matchup. His value shot up during the game when Antonio Brown exited with a calf injury, which led to Smith-Schuster catching all six of his targets for 114 yards. That performance marked the third time in his last five games that he posted at least 97 receiving yards.
With Brown out for this week's game with the Houston Texans, Smith-Schuster gets a big boost. For the season, Brown had a 31 percent target share (163 targets), while Smith-Schuster sits at 11.8 percent. The increase in targets is inevitable for Smith-Schuster, especially since he has the fourth-best matchup for fantasy WRs. Losing Brown is huge, but those with Smith-Schuster will reap the benefits of a bigger role.
Marquise Goodwin, SF (vs. JAC)
In the last four weeks, Goodwin is the No. 10 fantasy WR in PPR formats with a total of 68.7 fantasy points and 17.2 fantasy points per game. He was playing well with C.J. Beathard, but he has been even better with Jimmy Garoppolo. He's been able to take advantage of multiple favorable matchups with sustained success down the stretch, including back-to-back 100-yard efforts in the last two weeks.
His hot streak makes it hard to bench him with a tough matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars coming up in Week 16. Even though the Jaguars allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs in the last four weeks, they rank No. 1 in fantasy points allowed to WRs for the season, which is a better representation of just how tough this matchup will be for Goodwin. Downgrade his expectations and consider him a WR3.
Robby Anderson, NYJ (vs. LAC)
Going from Josh McCown to Bryce Petty was an obvious downgrade for the New York Jets passing attack, so it wasn't a surprise to see Anderson struggle for the second straight week. Anderson had just three receptions for 27 yards on six targets playing almost half the game with Petty in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos.
He had another tough matchup with the New Orleans Saints last week and managed just five receptions for 40 yards on 12 targets. Anderson was the only Jet with more than five targets, so even though Petty was forcing the ball his way, Anderson couldn't do much with such a high target share.
Life won't get any easier with the Los Angeles Chargers coming to MetLife Stadium this weekend. They have the third-best defense against fantasy WRs in the last four weeks. Anderson's must-start days disappeared with McCown, which means you can stay away from him in Week 16.
Martavis Bryant, PIT (at HOU)
If you drafted Bryant to occupy the WR2 spot in your fantasy lineup, the first half of the season proved to be a major disappointment and reason enough to cut him loose. Now that Brown (calf) has been ruled out for Week 16, Bryant could come to the rescue during the most important week of the season.
If you have any reservations about using Bryant, consider that he's been a decent contributor for the Steelers in the last month. During that four-game stretch, he snared 18 of 28 targets for 172 yards and two TDs, which made him the No. 26 WR with 47.3 fantasy points (11.8 per game).
Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster both get boosts to their fantasy value for Week 16. The absence of Brown and attractive matchup with the Houston Texans make them worthy of spots in your championship lineup.
Week 16 Wide Receiver PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. TB)
Entering Week 15, Olsen had just four receptions for 38 yards on 11 targets in four games this season. His attempted return from a broken foot yielded one reception for 10 yards on five targets in two games. After an eight-game absence, Olsen was forced to sit out another game due to issues stemming from the original foot injury. That made him tough to trust with your season on the line last week against the Green Bay Packers.
Olsen finally had his first big game of the year with nine receptions for 116 yards and a TD on 12 targets. With Olsen proving he could perform at a high level, it makes it much easier to trust him as one of the best options at the position, even with a tough matchup by the numbers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. With Devin Funchess still hindered by a shoulder injury, Olsen is clearly a primary target for Cam Newton.
Jason Witten, DAL (vs. SEA)
Even though Witten has scored in two of his last three games, those make up two of just six receptions for 75 yards on 12 targets in that span. The play of Dak Prescott has been spotty, although the return of Ezekiel Elliott should bring a boost to the entire offense.
Unfortunately for Witten, he faces a Seattle Seahawks defense that's been the best against fantasy TEs in the last month. Witten's role could be reduced in such a below-average matchup, especially with Elliott back from suspension. Witten is nothing more than an emergency option for Week 16.
Jared Cook, OAK (at PHI)
In 14 games this season, Cook has reached double-digit fantasy points just five times. The last occurrence came in Week 14, when he had five receptions for 75 yards and a TD on six targets against the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, if you look at his last five games, he has a total of 11 receptions for 139 yards and a TD on 25 targets. That means Cook has been a major bust in four of his last five games as part of the sinking ship known as the Oakland Raiders.
He won't get any help from this week's matchup in Philadelphia against the Eagles. They allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to TEs in their last four matchups. Do everything you can to avoid Cook, even if Amari Cooper (ankle) has to sit out for another week.
Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI (vs. NYG)
If you need to reach deep at TE, it's pretty much a given you're taking a big chance at a position that doesn't have a lot of reliable options.
Seals-Jones is definitely a risky play if your championship is on the line, as he has just three receptions for 31 yards on nine targets in the last two games. Seals-Jones has been pretty quiet since posting seven receptions for 126 yards and three TDs on 11 targets in the first two starts for Blaine Gabbert.
However, Gabbert lost the starting job back to Drew Stanton, so hopefully Seals-Jones stays in the mix following a QB change. The Cardinals would be wise to use him against the sixth-worst defense vs. TEs in the last four weeks and the worst defense against TEs for the season. Seals-Jones is strictly a matchup play.
Week 16 Tight End PPR Rankings
|1||Rob Gronkowski (NE)|
|2||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|3||Delanie Walker (TEN)|
|4||Evan Engram (NYG)|
|5||Zach Ertz (PHI)|
|6||Greg Olsen (CAR)|
|7||Jimmy Graham (SEA)|
|8||Jack Doyle (IND)|
|9||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)|
|10||Eric Ebron (DET)|
|11||Jason Witten (DAL)|
|12||Charles Clay (BUF)|
|13||Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI)|
|14||Jared Cook (OAK)|
|15||Vernon Davis (WAS)|
|16||Benjamin Watson (BAL)|
|17||Cameron Brate (TB)|
|18||Antonio Gates (LAC)|
|19||Austin Hooper (ATL)|
|20||Jesse James (PIT)|
|21||Tyler Kroft (CIN)|
|22||Stephen Anderson (HOU)|
|23||Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ)|
|24||David Njoku (CLE)|
|25||Julius Thomas (MIA)|
|26||Garrett Celek (SF)|
|27||Daniel Brown (CHI)|
|28||Marcedes Lewis (JAC)|
|29||Josh Hill (NO)|
|30||Tyler Higbee (LAR)|
|31||George Kittle (SF)|
|32||Niles Paul (WAS)|
Best Streaming Option
Chicago Bears (vs. CLE)
Stick with what works, right? Targeting the Cleveland Browns has been a wise strategy when streaming defenses this season, so snatching the Bears off the waiver wire would be the preferred move for Week 16.
In the last four weeks, the Browns allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to defenses, giving up 11 sacks, five INTs, three fumble recoveries and a TD while scoring just 57 points.
Using the Bears isn't just about the matchup. Over the last month, they are the No. 10 fantasy defense with 10 sacks, two INTs, five fumble recoveries and one TD while giving up just 73 points. Jump on the Bears with confidence.
Ownership percentage: ESPN – 29.1; Yahoo – 27.0
Week 16 Defense Rankings
|1||Baltimore Ravens (BAL)|
|2||Chicago Bears (CHI)|
|3||Los Angeles Chargers (LAC)|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC)|
|5||Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT)|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs (KC)|
|7||Minnesota Vikings (MIN)|
|8||Carolina Panthers (CAR)|
|9||Los Angeles Rams (LAR)|
|10||New England Patriots (NE)|
|11||Philadelphia Eagles (PHI)|
|12||Washington Redskins (WAS)|
|13||Arizona Cardinals (ARI)|
|14||Detroit Lions (DET)|
|15||Denver Broncos (DEN)|
|16||Cleveland Browns (CLE)|
|17||Dallas Cowboys (DAL)|
|18||New Orleans Saints (NO)|
|19||New York Giants (NYG)|
|20||San Francisco 49ers (SF)|
Best Streaming Option
Phil Dawson, ARI (vs. NYG)
The Arizona Cardinals have been out of playoff contention for weeks and are turning back to Drew Stanton after five games of uneven play from Blaine Gabbert. A shaky offense hasn't given Dawson many extra-point chances, but field-goal attempts have been plentiful. Over the last two weeks, he's hit nine of 10 FGs. In the last four games, Dawson has 14 FGs on 16 attempts. A matchup with the visiting New York Giants isn't scary, so Dawson should be in for another busy week.
Ownership percentages: ESPN – 3.2; Yahoo – 6.0
Week 16 Kicker Rankings
|1||Stephen Gostkowski (NE)|
|2||Greg Zuerlein (LAR)|
|3||Wil Lutz (NO)|
|4||Chris Boswell (PIT)|
|5||Justin Tucker (BAL)|
|6||Jake Elliott (PHI)|
|7||Harrison Butker (KC)|
|8||Graham Gano (CAR)|
|9||Matt Prater (DET)|
|10||Kai Forbath (MIN)|
|11||Phil Dawson (ARI)|
|12||Matt Bryant (ATL)|
|13||Josh Lambo (JAC)|
|14||Dan Bailey (DAL)|
|15||Nick Rose (LAC)|
|16||Blair Walsh (SEA)|
|17||Mason Crosby (GB)|
|18||Ryan Succop (TEN)|
|19||Robbie Gould (SF)|
|20||Mike Nugent (CHI)|