Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: Positional Overview, Guide and Advice

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 21, 2021

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: Positional Overview, Guide and Advice

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    Eric Smith/Associated Press

    Week 15 of the NFL season isn't quite over yet. There are still two games set for Tuesday, and those could still have a major impact on the fantasy football playoffs. Some managers may need a big performance from a player from one of those four teams in order to stay alive another week.

    Other managers are already looking ahead to Week 16, whether that's because they had a first-round bye in their league's playoffs or because they easily won their first playoff matchup. So these people may not be paying too much attention to the Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams contests.

    In most leagues, waiver-wire claims will be delayed a day because of the pair of Tuesday games, which were both postponed from Sunday following COVID-19 issues with several teams. But it's not too early to start thinking ahead to Week 16 lineup decisions for those managers who know they'll still be playing.

    Here's a look at Week 16 rankings, along with some sleeper players to consider starting.


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    1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. PIT

    2. Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford at MIN

    3. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert at HOU

    4. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott vs. WAS

    5. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts vs. NYG

    6. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vs. CLE

    7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady at CAR

    8. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray vs. IND

    9. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen at NE

    10. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow vs. BAL


    Sleeper to Watch: Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger at KC

    While Roethlisberger isn't quite the quarterback he once was, he can still be a viable fantasy starter given the right situation. And there's the potential for him to put up some solid numbers in Week 16 during the Steelers' matchup against the Chiefs.

    Kansas City is allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game in the NFL (250.9), so Pittsburgh may rely on its passing attack to power its offense. With the Chiefs likely to put up a lot of points and yardage, Roethlisberger and the Steelers should be going to the air a lot to try to keep up.

    After a slow start, Roethlisberger has had multiple touchdown passes in four of his past six games. He also scored his first rushing touchdown of the year in last week's win over the Titans. So this should be an opportunity for him to keep the momentum going, making him a worthy QB streaming option in fantasy.

Running Backs

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    1. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor at ARI

    2. Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler at HOU

    3. Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson at NYJ

    4. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris at KC

    5. Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery at SEA

    6. Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook vs. LAR

    7. Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson vs. DET

    8. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara vs. MIA

    9. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb at GB

    10. Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams at LV


    Sleeper to Watch: Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones II at CAR

    It's possible that Leonard Fournette is going to miss some time after suffering a hamstring injury in the Buccaneers' loss to the Saints on Sunday night. If that ends up being the case, then Jones immediately has more fantasy value as the clear lead back in Tampa Bay's offense for the time being.

    Jones didn't get a ton of opportunities after Fournette's departure in Week 15, but he still had 63 yards on eight carries. The Bucs' offense should fare better this week against the Panthers, which should allow Jones to get more touches, assuming he's filling in for Fournette.

    Last season, Jones showed what he's capable of doing as the lead back, and he's flashed his potential at times this year as Tampa Bay's No. 2 RB. He'll be worthy of starting consideration as long as Fournette is out.

Wide Receivers

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    1. Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp at MIN

    2. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams vs. CLE

    3. San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel at TEN

    4. Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen at HOU

    5. Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill vs. PIT

    6. Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb vs. WAS

    7. Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett vs. CHI

    8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans at CAR

    9. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson at KC

    10. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson vs. LAR


    Sleeper to Watch: New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder vs. JAX

    Crowder should be on the cusp of a big game, as he's been frequently involved in the Jets' offense in recent weeks. He's been targeted at least six times in each of their past three games, and he had five catches for 40 yards on eight targets in last week's loss to the Dolphins.

    New York has a much better matchup this week against Jacksonville, which is allowing the sixth most fantasy points to wide receivers per game in the league, per NFL.com. So this should be an opportunity for Crowder to put up big numbers and potentially score his first touchdown since Week 11.

    With Crowder trending in the right direction and the Jets likely to have some success against the Jags, the wide receiver should be put into fantasy lineups this week. And he'll probably deliver at least a solid showing in the matchup.

Tight Ends

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    1. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs. PIT

    2. Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews at CIN

    3. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle at TEN

    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski at CAR

    5. Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller vs. DEN

    6. Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert vs. NYG

    7. Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki at NO

    8. Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts vs. DET

    9. Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz vs. WAS

    10. New England Patriots TE Hunter Henry vs. BUF


    Sleeper to Watch: Cincinnati Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah vs. BAL

    Uzomah has been an inconsistent fantasy performer this season, but he has the potential to put up big numbers in any given week. That's what he did in Week 7 against the Ravens, when he had three catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

    Cincinnati is facing Baltimore again this week, and Uzomah will be looking to have a repeat performance. There's a decent chance he'll fare well, considering the Ravens are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends per game in the league, per NFL.com.

    Uzomah hasn't scored a touchdown since the Bengals' previous meeting with the Ravens, but that drought could end on Sunday. He should at least fare better than he has of late, as he's been held to 20 or fewer yards in four of his past five games.