Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 16
Week 16 in the NFL usually means it’s Fantasy Football league championship week! If you’re not playing for a chance to hoist your leagues Fantasy Trophy, then it’s likely you’re still playing for a side prize like most points for, a playoff loser bowl or next year’s first round pick. With so many nagging injuries around the NFL and mediocre players you can’t trust, having a solid sleeper in a good match-up could be the key to a victory.
Let’s get to talking about sleepers in week 16!
QB Buffalo Bills (vs. Dolphins)
Taylor has had an up and down season in 2016, but he’s still a reliable source of fantasy football points due to his rushing ability. Taylor leads all quarterbacks with 520 yards and six touchdowns rushing, including 49 of them this past weekend.
This week, he faces off against the Dolphins who have allowed some gaudy numbers over the past three weeks. Taylor has been utilizing more of his weapons as of late, including players like Charles Clay who has made life easier.
Taylor is a solid sleeper this week.
QB, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Rams)
Much like Taylor, Kaepernick is a solid source of not only passing stats but also rushing yards. He has at least 20 yards rushing over the past three games and is only a few weeks removed from rushing for over 100 yards. Excluding his week 13 performance where he only attempted five passes all game, Kaepernick has six passing touchdowns over the past three games. This week the 49ers face off against the Rams, who have surrendered nearly 250 passing yards per game over the last three along with seven touchdowns. Kaep is a much better fantasy quarterback than real life, but that could be just what owners need this weekend who are in a bind.
- Check out our Quarterback Week 16 Projections Here
RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Saints)Sims has clearly taken a back-seat to Doug Martin since returning from injured reserve. He has seen 13 touches (seven rushing, six receiving) over the past two games but did see five targets this past weekend. As Sims continues to become more re-integrated in the offense, he could see more touches and also be more efficient with them. He has a great opportunity this weekend as he is facing a Saints squad who have given up 412 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage to running backs over the past three games. Martin continues to be inefficient even with work-horse type volume and could cede some to Sims if he continues to struggle, especially as the Bucs are fighting for a play-off spot with two games left to go.
RB, Denver Broncos (vs. Chiefs)
Forsett started for the Broncos at running back in week 15. He had 14 total touches and 53 yards from scrimmage as opposed to Devontae Booker, who had eight touches and 33 yards. Forsett saw a jump in usage in his second game with the Broncos (nine touches in his first game) and could see around 15-18 touches this weekend for Denver as they face off against division rival Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed 496 yards (165 per game) and five touchdowns from scrimmage to opposing running backs over the past three games as they have been especially weak against the run (386 yards and five touchdowns over that span). Considering this could be a match-up against two strong teams, the score could remain close and force each team to rely on the run game a lot. Forsett is heading into a strong match-up with the chance for more work.
RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Jaguars)
Over the past three games, Henry has 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 29 attempts. That equals out to nearly 53 yards and one touchdown on 10 rushing attempts a week during that span. He has seen an uptick in volume and faces the Jaguars this weekend, who have allowed 335 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to opposing running backs over the past three games. Henry’s workload could continue increase as he approaches close to double-digit carries per game. DeMarco Murray may see his touches scaled back (268 rushing attempts, tied for second-most in NFL) over the final two games. Henry is proving to be a valuable asset for the Titans strong running attack and has the chance to capitalize against a weaker opponent this weekend.
- Click to check out all our Running Back Rankings for Week 16
WR, Chicago Bears (vs. Redskins)
Over the last two games, Meredith has 15 receptions, 176 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets. He has emerged as Matt Barkley’s favorite target even with Alshon Jeffery returning this past weekend. Matchups are important in Fantasy, and considering top cornerback Josh Norman will likely focus more of his attention on Jeffery this weekend, Meredith could see some weaker coverage again.
The Redskins have surrendered 381 yards and three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past three games, including 126 yards and a touchdown to the weak Panthers wide receiver core on Monday night. Meredith will have the chance to keep up his solid stretch against a spotty Redskins secondary this weekend.
WR, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Seahawks)Believe it or not, the Seahawks have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers in standard and PPR leagues over the past three games to the tune of 464 yards and four touchdowns. Enter Nelson and the Cardinals. Nelson has taken over for the recently released Michael Floyd and saw 11 targets this past weekend for 38 yards and a touchdown. He also dropped what would’ve been a 56-yard touchdown, so Nelson could’ve had a big game. Besides David Johnson and perhaps Larry Fitzgerald, Nelson is operating as a big target in the passing game and will have the chance to see high volume yet again this weekend against a somewhat struggling Seahawks defense.
WR, New York Jets (vs. Patriots)
Not Brandon Marshall but Robby Anderson has acted as the de-facto number one wide receiver for the Jets since Bryce Petty took over under center. Anderson has seen 29 targets over the past three games, hauling in 14 of them for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He will have the chance to add to his impressive streak as he faces the Patriots this weekend, who surrendered nearly 100 yards to the Broncos number one wide-out in Demaryius Thomas. He is an unlikely source of fantasy points, but Anderson is in line to keep being fantasy relevant this weekend as well.
- Click to see all our Wide Receiver Rankings for Week 16
TE, Buffalo Bills (vs. Dolphins)
Somehow, Charles Clay has been fantasy relevant over the past two games. He has 124 yards and two touchdowns during that stretch, catching at least 50 yards and a touchdown in both games. Considering he is facing the Dolphins this weekend, who allowed 189 yards and two touchdowns over the past three games to opposing tight ends, Clay could very well have another good game in fantasy football. In fact, Clay’s 13 targets over the past two games leads the team, even over LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. In a game that could be a high-scoring one due to both teams struggling on defense, Clay has the chance to cash in again this weekend for fantasy owners.
TE, San Diego Chargers (vs. Browns)
Despite Henry only having four receptions for 31 yards over his past two games, he has scored a touchdown in both of them. In fact, Henry’s seven receiving touchdowns (despite missing two games this season) is tied with Cameron Brate for the most touchdowns by a tight end this season. Henry has been a solid red-zone threat, He has scored a touchdown in seven of his 12 games played this season and faces the Browns this weekend. Cleveland has given up 120 yards receiving and three touchdowns over the past two games (60 yards, 1.5 touchdowns on average) to opposing tight ends. Henry is in another terrific spot to get an end-zone score and could finish as a top-eight tight end this weekend.
- Check out all our Tight End Rankings and projections for week 16 here
Good luck this week, have a great holiday! Don’t forget to follow Gridiron Experts on Twitter!
Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Gridiron Experts. He has previously written for sites such as ESPN, SBNation, FFToday & Inside The Pylon. He also was the co-host for the highly-rated fantasy football podcast Overtime Ireland for several years. You can find him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL