Fantasy Football Week 16 Rankings: Top Players, Sleepers and Positional Guide

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott runs the ball during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

It's the middle of December, snow might be on the ground and try as you might, you just can't get that one holiday song out of your head.

That can only mean one thing. It's fantasy football championship week. (Or if it isn't, you should probably talk to your commissioner about the nonsense that is deciding a league title in Week 17.)

A league title is so close you can taste the victory champagne. But remember, one horribly timed misstep now can send you into a winter of misery.

We won't let that happen. We're here to plump up your lineup like a Christmas goose by identifying our top-10 positional rankings and some of our favorite sleepers—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—for Week 16.

                    

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterback

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1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

2. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

4. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

6. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans

7. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

9. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints

10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

                 

Sleeper: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals (25 Percent Owned)

The aerial artist occasionally known as Fitzmagic is grooving.

Absent anything resembling a rushing attack and basically playing with house money in a lost season, the Dolphins have seemingly decided there's no such thing as too many passes for Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran has uncorked at least 37 tosses in each of his last five games, and he hasn't thrown fewer than 33 since he worked in relief of Josh Rosen during a Week 6 loss to the Redskins.

As any Fitzpatrick follower can attest, that's a ton of opportunities for mistakes. And he's made more than a few with 12 interceptions and three different multi-pick performances.

But the volume is at such an absurd level that he also has the chance to atone for those mistakes. And, at least in the fantasy sense, he's doing that more often than not. Sunday's 279-yard, two-touchdown effort gave him his third 20-plus-point score in his last four games.

Playing the matchup game is critical at this juncture, and Fitzpatrick looks great. He gets a Bengals defense allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing passers, per Yahoo Sports, and that ranking could be even worse if they weren't so porous against ground games. Since Miami doesn't have one, Fitzpatrick should continue to air it out more than most.

                      

Running Back

1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts

2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at Washington Redskins

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

4. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

6. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints

7. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

9. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons

10. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

                

Sleeper: Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (8 Percent Owned)

If you're in the business of playing the guessing game on the waiver wire, there are probably higher priority targets than Boston Scott. You can gamble on a Kerryon Johnson comeback or bet on Mike Boone retaining value in a wounded Vikings backfield if that's your thing.

We're searching for a little more certainty, which feels funny to say in relation to Boston Scott, a sixth-round pick in 2018 who hadn't touched the ball more than eight times in a game before Week 14.

But the Eagles' pass-catching core has been so decimated by injuries that it's thrust Scott into a prominent role. He's compiled 29 touches over the past two weeks, while hauling in all 13 of his targets. That makes him a sneaky-good option in point-per-reception leagues, especially for this date with Dallas' defense.

"The Cowboys...have yielded the ninth-most receptions to running backs this season," Jim McCormick wrote for ESPN.com. "Scott, after all, is 12th among all backs in fantasy points per game the past two weeks in ESPN PPR formats."

Those championing a waiver claim of Johnson or Boone will surely point to that player's boom potential. Scott offers similar upside, and if his target share maintains, he comes attached to a higher floor, too.

               

Wide Receiver

1. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

4. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

5. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

6. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

7. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

8. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

9. DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts

10. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals

                  

Sleeper: Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans (13 Percent Owned)

Statistically speaking, Breshad Perriman's Week 15 eruption sure looks like an outlier.

He not only topped his season-high yardage output by 26, he found the end zone more times (three) than he had in every contest before it (two). He even recorded his second rushing attempt of the campaign, and while it only went for three yards, that still shows how heavily Tampa leaned on him in relation to his prior role.

Normally, this might all be reason to raise the red flag. We're not going there for a couple of reasons.

For starters, his production seemed a direct result of the injuries around him. With no Mike Evans (hamstring) and an early exit for Chris Godwin (hamstring), Perriman became the No. 1 option by default—in an offense that has called upon Jameis Winston to pass 87 times over the last two games. If Evans and Godwin can't get right, Perriman's status should be solidified.

Plus, Perriman's matchup looks good. The Texans allow the 13th-most fantasy points to the position, and their secondary should be tested early and often in this potential shootout between Winston and Deshaun Watson.

                

Tight End

1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

4. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

5. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

6. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

7. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

8. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

9. Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

10. O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans

                 

Defense

1. Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

2. New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

3. Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets

4. Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions

5. San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

6. Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

7. New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

9. Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

10. Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants

                     

Kicker

1. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

2. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans

3. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

4. Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

5. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

6. Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

7. Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

8. Nick Folk, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

9. Kai Forbath, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

10. Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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