Week 16 fantasy football rankings: Go win yourself a championship

Steven Psihogios

It’s the fantasy football championship. This is it. This team that didn’t exist five months ago now has the chance to make you really happy (and a lot of money, potentially). Fantasy football is a journey like no other. The odds said you wouldn’t make it, but you overcame them and now you’re one win away from closing out 2020 victoriously.

As I wrote last week, make sure you are ultimately setting a lineup you can feel good about, but my rankings are here to help you make the tough decisions ahead of your championship.

Good luck.

QB

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

3. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

4. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at Dallas Cowboys)

Three. That’s it. There are only three quarterbacks that I’m willing to start ahead of Hurts in the fantasy football championships. The Eagles’ second-round pick has been excellent in his first two starts and in Week 15 he proved that he can get it done through the air in addition to the ground. The rookie tossed for 338 passing yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions while finishing as the No. 1 fantasy football QB. In Week 16, he gets a matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed the 14th-most fantasy points to passers this season, so it’s by no means a matchup to shy away from. Start Hurts with confidence in your fantasy finals.

5. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Giants)

8. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

9. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

10. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

Before this season started, you certainly would’ve scoffed at the idea of starting Trubisky in your fantasy finals. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this crazy game, however, it’s that nothing is out of the question. Since being reinserted as the team’s starter in Week 12, Trubisky has accumulated the 10th-most fantasy points amongst quarterbacks, which should give fantasy managers a little bit of faith in the Bears QB. It’s the Christmas season, let Miracle Mitch lead you to a championship.

11. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

Over the last three weeks, no quarterback has more passing yards or more touchdowns than Mayfield. His success has made him QB4 in fantasy football since Week 13 and someone who can be trusted in championship lineups. The former first overall pick draws the red-hot Jets, and even though New York is riding high, it is still allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. This is a great spot for Mayfield and the rest of Cleveland’s passing attack.

12. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

Only fantasy managers who are low on options should be starting Wilson with their fantasy dreams on the line this week. The quarterback we saw tear apart the NFL through the first nine weeks of the season is no longer here, as Seattle has leaned on the run game in recent weeks. Although the Seahawks have run the ball the 14th-least frequently of any team in the league this year, they’ve actually run the ball the 14th-most of any team over the past three weeks. This philosophical shift has made Wilson QB14 in fantasy football since Week 10. In Week 16, Wilson will square off against the Rams who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to QBs this season.

13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

14. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

15. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

Tannehill, like Wilson, is another quarterback I’m shying away from this week. The Packers aren’t a great opponent for quarterbacks as they’re allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position. This is a game where I can see the Titans really relying on Derrick Henry and the rushing attack as the Packers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tailbacks this year. This potential advantage for Tennessee’s offence could mean Tannehill takes a backseat to the run game.

16. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

17. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (at Las Vegas Raiders)

18. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at Kansas City Chiefs)

19. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (at Los Angeles Chargers)

20. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Miami Dolphins)

21. Sam Darnold, New York Jets (vs. Cleveland Browns)

22. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)

23. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

24. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (at Washington Football Team)

25. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

26. Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

27. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (at Baltimore Ravens)

28. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (vs. Buffalo Bills)

29. Alex Smith, Washington Football Team (vs. Carolina Panthers)

30. Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals (at Houston Texans)

31. Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)

32. C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)

Leonard Fournette is back from the dead and ready to win you a fantasy football title. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Leonard Fournette is back from the dead and ready to win you a fantasy football title. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RB

1. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

2. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

3. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

5. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

6. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

7. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (at Dallas Cowboys)

8. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

9. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Miami Dolphins)

10. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

Will Fournette go down as the fantasy football playoffs MVP? He just might. After punching in a pair of touchdowns in Week 15, it appears Fournette will once again be granted lead-back duties in Week 16 against an exploitable Lions defence. No defence in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tailbacks than Detroit, which means Fournette has a dream matchup. He should be viewed as a low-end RB1, high-end RB2 in the fantasy football finals.

11. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Giants)

12. David Johnson, Houston Texans (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

13. D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

14. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

15. Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s likely regular season-ending injury will presumably thrust Bell into the team’s starting role. Bell saw an increased workload last week, handling 15 carries for 62 yards and a score while also catching his only target for 14 yards upon Edwards-Helaire’s exit. Bell has proven during his career that he can be one of the best backs in the NFL when in the right situation, as demonstrated by his back-to-back top-five fantasy running back performances in 2016 and 2017 while playing with the Steelers. The Chiefs offence is obviously a good situation to be in for tailbacks, so Bell should find himself in the RB2 discussion this week against a tough Falcons run defence.

16. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (at Los Angeles Chargers)

Gordon’s recent performances have made him an increasingly trustworthy player for fantasy football purposes. Since Week 10, the veteran tailback has received 11 carries in each game and has topped 10 fantasy points in four of the six contests. In Week 16, Gordon matches up against the division rival Chargers, who are tied for conceding the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing runners since Week 3.

17. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (vs. Carolina Panthers)

18. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)

19. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

20. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

21. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (at Washington Football Team)

22. Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)

Cam Akers is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, which as we saw with Michael Thomas this year, can be a lingering injury. It’s already been announced by head coach Sean McVay that Akers will miss at least Week 16, a development that will likely lead to more touches for Henderson. The Rams leaned on Henderson earlier this season and between Week 2 to Week 5, Henderson had three performances of 18 fantasy points or more in half-point PPR, demonstrating he can be a useful player when allotted the opportunity. His Week 16 matchup, the Seahawks, have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs this year.

23. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

24. Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)

25. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

26. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (at Houston Texans)

27. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

Elliott (calf) said he’s on track to play this Sunday against the Eagles, a development that would obviously hurt Pollard’s value. Pollard played extremely well while filling in for Elliott in Week 15, rushing for 69 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries while adding six receptions on nine targets for 63 yards. His Week 15 effort was better than any performance from Elliott in 2020 in terms of fantasy production, and it’s fair to ask if Pollard is actually better than Elliott.

28. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

29. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (at Baltimore Ravens)

30. J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (vs. Carolina Panthers)

WR

1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

2. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

3. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

5. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

6. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (at Kansas City Chiefs)

7. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

8. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

Evans feasted on an inferior Falcons secondary last week, hauling in six receptions for 110 receiving yards. In Week 16, he gets another date against a lacklustre secondary as the Buccaneers travel to Detroit. The Lions are surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. In a game with the third-highest implied point total of the week, Tampa Bay’s offence should have a very productive day and it’ll start with Evans.

10. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

11. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

12. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

13. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

Metcalf gets a major downgrade this week as he’ll likely be shadowed by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Since Week 2, Ramsey has only allowed more than 50 yards in coverage once, according to PlayerProfiler. In Metcalf’s first matchup against Los Angeles, he caught just two of his four targets for 28 yards, his second-worst outing to date this year. If you have Metcalf on your fantasy team, he’s not coming out of your lineup, but fantasy managers will likely be disappointed if they’re expecting a record day.

14. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)

15. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

16. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

17. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

18. Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

This may come as a shock to some, but Beasley has recorded the 17th-most fantasy points at wide receiver this season. The addition of Stefon Diggs has given the slot receiver a lot more room to operate, and he’s also benefiting from quarterback Josh Allen’s improved play under centre. While all of these extenuating factors certainly have helped, the bottom line is Beasley’s playing the best football of his career at 31 years old. According to Pro Football Focus, Beasley is the seventh-highest graded receiver in the league. He’ll be a WR2 against a Patriots secondary that will be missing Stephon Gilmore on Monday night.

19. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

20. Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

Brown is clearly the third wide receiver on the Buccaneers, as evidenced by his sub-50 percent snap share over the past two weeks. Brown, however, remains one of the best playmakers in the NFL and although he only played 32 snaps in Week 15, he still saw seven targets which he was able to turn into five receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. His low snap share ca some risk, but Brown’s corner matchup for Week 16 is one he can surely take advantage of as he’ll likely be guarded by Amani Oruwariye. The Lions corner has struggled mightily of late, allowing over 90 receiving yards in three of his last four outings, according to PlayerProfiler. If you can make it work, Brown should definitely crack your starting lineup.

21. Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

22. Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

23. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (at Washington Football Team)

24. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

25. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

26. Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

Without Michael Thomas in the lineup for Week 15, Sanders emerged as the Saints’ leading receiver. The veteran corralled four of his five targets for 76 yards, highlighted by a 51-yard reception. More of the same should be expected from Sanders in Week 16, although the matchup will be much more favourable. On the season, Minnesota is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Sanders will make for a nice flex option in the fantasy finals.

27. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

28. Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

29. Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (at Kansas City Chiefs)

30. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (at Las Vegas Raiders)

TE

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

2. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Miami Dolphins)

3. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Giants)

5. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

Touchdown Tonyan will look to continue his scoring ways in Week 16 against the Titans. The Packers tight end is entering this game on a five-game scoring streak, and his 10 touchdowns on the season are tied with Travis Kelce for the most at the position. Tight end has been a mess this year, so you’re really just hoping the player you have starting scores a touchdown.

6. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (at Arizona Cardinals)

Kittle (foot) was activated from the injury reserve and will play on Saturday for the 49ers. Kittle fantasy managers who managed to make it to the championship game should certainly start the star tight end, as the upside he possess is likely far higher than a fill-in.

7. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (at Los Angeles Chargers)

8. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (at Dallas Cowboys)

9. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

10. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (at Las Vegas Raiders)

Gesicki (shoulder) missed last week’s game against the Patriots but he appears ready to return after being a limited participant in practice throughout the week. Prior to getting hurt against the Chiefs, Gesicki had scored four touchdowns in his last three games while receiving 22 targets. He should be in lineups if active.

11. Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (vs. Carolina Panthers)

12. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

13. Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

Smith missed practice on Thursday and was listed on the injury report with a knee ailment. Monitor his status as Tennessee plays Sunday night.

14. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

15. Evan Engram, New York Giants (at Baltimore Ravens)

16. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

17. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

18. Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

19. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

20. Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

DEF

1. Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

2. Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Giants)

3. Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

4. Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

5. Washington Football Team (vs. Carolina Panthers)

6. Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

7. Miami Dolphins (at Las Vegas Raiders)

8. Houston Texans (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

10. Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

12. Indianapolis Colts (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

13. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

14. Philadelphia Eagles (at Dallas Cowboys)

15. New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

16. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

17. Carolina Panthers (at Washington Football Team)

18. Minnesota Vikings (at New Orleans Saints)

19. Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)

K

1. Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons (at Kansas City Chiefs)

2. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New York Giants)

3. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

4. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

5. Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins (at Las Vegas Raiders)

6. Tyler Bass, Buffalo Bills (at New England Patriots)

7. Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Detroit Lions)

8. Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

9. Mike Nugent, Arizona Cardinals (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

10. Ka’Imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

11. Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

12. Cody Parkey, Cleveland Browns (at New York Jets)

13. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (vs. Tennessee Titans)

14. Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

15. Joey Slye, Carolina Panthers (at Washington Football Team)

16. Cairo Santos, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

17. Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Miami Dolphins)

18. Stephen Gostkowski, Tennessee Titans (at Green Bay Packers)

19. Michael Badgley, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

20. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles (at Dallas Cowboys)

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