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

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 22, 2021

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

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    Peter Aiken/Associated Press

    Now, it's down to four teams battling it out for a fantasy football championship. That's the case in most standard leagues, as the majority started the playoffs in Week 15 of the NFL regular season and have the semifinals set for Week 16.

    For fantasy managers whose season is still going, it will take only two wins to come away with a championship. But before thinking about the title, you'll have to get past one of your competitors by earning a victory in Week 16, and that may not be easy.

    There are plenty of NFL players dealing with injuries or who have an uncertain status after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. So you may have to look deep down the bench or even on the waiver wire to fill a starting spot this week.

    Here's a look at positional rankings for Week 16, along with some sleepers to consider starting.


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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    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: Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson vs. CHI

    It's been a tough season for Wilson, who had been a must-start fantasy quarterback in the past. This year, he's only been worthy of starting consideration when he's had favorable matchups, and that wasn't the case in Week 15, when he had 156 passing yards and no touchdowns in a loss to the Rams.

    However, Wilson had been playing well prior to that. He had multiple TD passes and at least 231 yards through the air in each of his previous three games. And he could get back to that level of play in Week 16 against the Bears.

    Chicago is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks per game in the league, per, so Seattle's passing attack should have some success. Expect Wilson to have a solid performance and be a good fallback option at QB for Week 16.

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: Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. PIT

    Edwards-Helaire hasn't reached the 100-yard mark in any of his past five games, and his fantasy value has been heavily dependent on touchdowns. In Week 14, he got into the end zone twice against the Raiders. However, he had only nine carries for 32 yards, two catches for 18 yards and no touchdowns last week against the Chargers.

    But Edwards-Helaire will have a good opportunity for a bounce-back performance in Week 16. The Chiefs are taking on the Steelers, who are allowing 143.9 rushing yards per game (second most in the NFL, behind only the Texans).

    Kansas City should have a ton of success on the ground in a game it is favorite to win, and that could lead to Edwards-Helaire's best performance in a while. That will especially be the case if wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce (both currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list) can't suit up on Sunday.

Wide Receivers

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

    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: San Francisco 49ers WR Jauan Jennings at TEN

    Jennings has started to become more of a factor in the 49ers offense in recent weeks. He's had three catches in each of their past two games, a mark he hadn't reached in any contest prior to that. And he's scored a touchdown in two of the past four weeks.

    This week, San Francisco has a Thursday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans, who are allowing the second most fantasy points to wide receivers per game in the league, per So it's a good opportunity for Jennings to keep building on his recent momentum.

    Jennings would be a bit of a risky fantasy play because he doesn't have a long track record, and he may need to score a touchdown to put up solid numbers. But if you're in need of a waiver-wire option, he's worth taking a chance on with this terrific matchup.

Tight Ends

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    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: Los Angeles Chargers TE Jared Cook at HOU

    The Chargers are making a push for the playoffs, and they get a favorable Week 16 matchup against the Texans to help them continue that. It should be a big day for Los Angeles' offense, and that makes Cook a top streaming option at tight end.

    Cook has had 32 or fewer yards in each of his past six games, so he'll need to get into the end zone to have a solid fantasy showing. But he's scored a touchdown in two of the past four weeks, and there's a good chance he could get another on Sunday.

    So if you've been playing tight ends based on matchups, take a chance on Cook this week. The Texans are allowing the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends per game in the league, per