In an effort to aid you in your lineup-setting endeavors, I’ll be providing a weekly glimpse into my rankings; meaning, I’ll be highlighting players I like or dislike more compared to the expert consensus rankings as listed on FantasyPros.com or who I simply like or dislike for that given week. My ranking at the time of the writing will be alongside the player’s name. Needless to say, that ranking will likely change as the week progresses.
Bear in mind that I start this writing earlier in the week, so Expert Consensus Rankings will likely be different by the time of publication. These cannot be held against me – only used for credit. While I do acknowledge that kickers are people too, neither they nor D/STs will be included. Finally, these cannot be held against me – only used to give credit when credit is due.
As always, feel free to reach me on Twitter for any queries before the slate and I’ll try to get back to you.
*Note that half PPR scoring applies. Fantasy points allowed are gleaned from FF Today.
Here’s to taking home a ‘ship!
Week 16 Likes
HOU vs. CIN – QB3
Impressively, Watson posted a surprising season-high of 373 yards at the expense of a usually reliable Colts pass defense. He continues to be a bright spot in Houston’s forgetful 2020 campaign. And while the Bengals defense recently made Ben Roethlisberger look like Nathan Peterman, they have yielded 26 passing touchdowns to date. It will be difficult leaving Watson out of my Top 3 quarterbacks.
PHI @ DAL – QB6
More like Jalen Feels Good. Hurts has been everything we wanted and then some from a fantasy perspective. Dare I say he is Kyler Murray in an Eagles uniform? Or perhaps a reincarnation of Aaron Brooks as an Eagle? Either way, I’ve bought in – you should too. His completion percentage could be higher and his sacks lower, though his running ability has made up for those shortcomings. He, too, will be a fringe Top 5 quarterback for me. I won’t blink twice in starting him over Russell Wilson.
TB @ DET – RB9
Ronald Jones has been ruled out for the regular season’s penultimate soiree. Fournette scored twice as the starter last week and now faces what is arguably the paltriest rush defense in the whole of the league. It doesn’t exactly feel right, but he’s in the RB1 conversation.
Myles Gaskin has been activated – replace Ahmed with Gaskin*
The Dolphins ran all over the Patriots in Week 15 and Ahmed was at the forefront of the rushing attack to the tune of 5.3 yards per carry on 23 attempts (you do the math) and a touchdown. He also received a trifecta of targets. Coming off his career-best effort, Ahmed and company square off against one of the worst rush defenses. As a matter of fact, the Raiders’ 17 rushing touchdowns given up to running backs are tied for the most in the league. Ahmed is an easy No. 2 running back.
HOU vs. CIN – WR24
One of my favorite (hopefully) under-owned stacks going into Week 16 is Deshaun Watson and Cooks, and maybe even Keke Coutee if he’s full go. Cooks finds himself in the midst of a scoring drought – he hasn’t scored in six games, yet I feel good about starting him despite the Bengals being underrated as a pass defense. Watson has thrown Cooks’ way 15 times over the last two contests as he’s looked for a new go-to guy in the absence of Will Fuller. With an implied team total of nearly 27 points, I’m starting Cooks as a WR2.
NO vs. MIN – WR23
Let’s hope that Drew Brees has now shaken off the rust following his extended hiatus. No one jumped off the page when it came to the Saints’ receiving stats in Week 15, though Sanders paced the squad with 76 yards on four receptions. He and Alvin Kamara will be Brees’ go-to targets with Michael Thomas on ice. I’m more than willing to deploy Sanders as a flex or WR3 with WR2 upside.
GB vs. TEN – TE4
This man will not stop crossing goal lines while carrying footballs. Tonyan’s surge into fantasy stardom continued last Saturday night as he found the end zone in his fifth straight contest. Evidently, Pro Bowl voters have not taken notice as Evan Engram was given the nod over Tonyan. PFFT! Engram can have his Pro Bowl status while Tonyan keeps scoring touchdowns as a Top 5 player at his position.
DAL vs. PHI – TE15
Well, look who finally scored for the first time in a month. Schultz’s targets have decreased each week over the last seven weeks (seriously – 8,7,6,5,4,3,2). Be that as it may, I’m not giving up hope. This is a crucial divisional matchup and the Eagles have yielded the third-most receiving yards to tight ends in 2020. I’ll take a shot on Schultz.
Week 16 Dislikes
MIN @ NO – QB18
I don’t mean to ruin anyone’s day, but only seven of Cousins’ 29 touchdown passes have come as a visitor. On top of his unfavorable home-road splits exists the cruel reality that the Saints boast one of the best pass defenses in the NFL and the fantasy realm. Their 3,197 yards allowed and 13 interceptions forced are both Top 10. And they’ll want to bounce back in a key divisional matchup after a tough loss to the Chiefs. Swipe. Left.
IND @ PIT – QB23
The Colts are riding a three-game winning streak and Rivers hasn’t thrown a pick in that span. While I do think the Colts can beat the Steelers and match up well against them, I can’t in good faith plug Rivers into a playoff lineup. Pittsburgh has faltered of late, yes, but their pass defense remains one of the best in the league. They boast the lowest passer rating and the fewest passing first downs allowed on the year. No thank you.
ATL @ KC – RB42
I think Gurley is officially a mainstay on my “dislikes” list. After tallying just six carries and eight touches in Week 15, he has officially been supplanted as the starter by Ito Smith. Sure, Gurley may fall into the end zone now and then after Matt Ryan and company charge down the field. He’s simply not worth the risk. His time in the NFL may be coming to a cessation before too long. Keep in mind he only signed a one-year deal with Atlanta and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
CAR @ WAS – RB26
My dislike for Davis in Week 16 is twofold – Christian McCaffrey could be back and Davis hasn’t played as well or as often in recent weeks relative to earlier in the year when McCaffrey was hurt. We need to take Washington’s defense seriously, too. They’re no joke. On the year they rank fourth in fantasy points per game permitted to running backs. Steer clear of Davis.
NYG @ BAL – WR48
I’ll like Slayton a little more if Daniel Jones returns and if Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith stay sidelined for the Ravens. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be starting any Giant in any title game – not against the Ravens.
NE vs. BUF – WR29
Meyers and Damiere Byrd are the clear top two wide receivers for Massachusetts’ professional football team. N’Keal Harry’s role has been underwhelming and unproductive. He has played fewer snaps than Meyers and Byrd all year. I definitely don’t trust Harry, although I don’t trust any New England pass-catcher – not when Cam Newton is the quarterback.
Meyers’ production has decreased since Byrd and Harry returned, although his Week 15 output was a nice reminder of how he played earlier in the season. Nonetheless, I’m not taking my chances on any Patriot receiver when most fantasy squads will be vying for a title.
PIT vs. IND – TE20
Ebron is expected to play this week after exiting Week 15’s tilt with a back ailment. Nonetheless, we can’t trust Ben Roethlisberger and or Ebron in this matchup. The Colts have defended tight ends well all year whilst permitting the position to only find pay dirt twice through 14 games. Ebron will reside far outside of TE1 territory.
SEA vs. LAR – Outside of Top 25
You probably didn’t get to this point by starting Jacob Hollister or Will Dissly, so don’t start now. The Rams are a stalwart on defense despite their disappointing performance on Sunday.
Zach hails from the bustling metropolis of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Three things Zach enjoys are football, food and water. Three things Zach doesn’t enjoy are kale, mushrooms and the company of those who enjoy either (except hobbits). Zach is a life-long Broncos fan and has been playing fantasy football longer than he hasn’t. He had top-five finishes in FantasyPros’ 2016 NFL DFAC competition and the 2016 SFB480.