Congratulations on reaching your fantastic semi-finals, and identifying the sleepers will be more crucial than ever this week. Sure, fantasy owners who are still alive have high-quality rosters, but injuries, complications from COVID, and other factors will make the search for Week 16 banners and handcuffs a necessity as we go. we are nearing the end of the fantastic season. As always, we’re here to help you identify specific under-the-radar stocks for this week. Whether it’s with players on your roster or those sitting on waivers, there are always guys, like Jamaal Williams and Mecole Hardman, with sly heads ready to step into your rosters.
It should be noted that one of our selections could bust this week, but the same goes for bona fide stallions. We’re taking risks here because we don’t mean someone is too obvious. A list of easy choices wouldn’t do anyone good. You’re not going to start the guys below on consistent, proven producers, but you’re probably not looking for some fantastic sleepers if your lineup is set. We know that a small percentage of fantasy owners are still alive in the playoff race at this point, but our list can also help you find sleepers for DFS tournaments that should have low prices.
WEEK 16 FANTASY: Busts | Start them, sit them down
Week 15 was one of our strongest in terms of busts shortages, as Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields, Jimmy Garoppolo, D’Onta Foreman, DeVante Parker, Russell Gage, Dalton Schultz and James O’Shaugnessy all had at least decent days. The defense for the Bengals and 49ers were also good starters. One of our biggest long-range picks of the season, Damiere Byrd, even delivered compared to his projection at just under 10 PPR points. We had a great first round of the fantastic playoffs so hopefully we continue on that hot streak this week.
WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS:
quarterback | Back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Week 16 Fantasy Sleepers: running backs
Ameer Abdullah, Panthers vs. Buccaneers (Jackson Sparks). The Buccaneers have allowed the running backs the most this season (97), so this is pure PPR play. Abdullah plays as many snaps as Chuba Hubbard, and he was the catcher in a dormant Panthers attack. When the Bucs’ rush crashes into Cam Newton, he’ll throw him early and often at Abdullah. A day of five catches and 40 receiving yards might be just enough to get you through Week 16 if you’re in RB pain.
Michael Carter, Jets vs. Jaguars (Vinnie Iyer). Carter didn’t do much in the difficult situation against the Dolphins last week upon his return, but he should see a more consistent role to help fellow rookie Zach Wilson secure the victory.
Jamaal Williams, Lions @ Falcons (Matt Lutovsky). Williams will return after missing two games while on the reserve / COVID roster, and even with Craig Reynolds playing well, Williams is expected to operate as the first RB this week against Atlanta. It’s a top 10 clash for Fantastic RBs, so Williams should be very valuable as long as D’Andre Swift (shoulder) is out.
STANDARD RANKING FOR WEEK 16:
quarterback | Back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Fantasy Football Sleepers of the Week 16: Quarterbacks
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers @ Titans (Sparks). The Niners love to run football, but the Titans are one of the fiercest defenses in the league and are strong against fantastic RBs. However, Tennessee is a top 10 clash for the QBs and WRs, and the game plan for the 49ers will surely be to target the weak secondary. After all, Tennessee would probably prefer Jimmy G to win the game rather than get run over anyway, so here’s another week where Garoppolo is a solid QB streamer.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Lions (Iyer). He’s home and gets a place in what could be a sneaky shootout. He should easily get 250 yards and two touchdowns with a much higher cap than that.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins @ Saints (Lutovsky). Tagovailoa seems to end up on our sleeper or busts list every week because he’s always right on the starting bubble. This week he’s looking good in a favorable clash against a Saints defense that has been in the top five most of the year in terms of fantastic points awarded to QBs. After Tom Brady’s shutdown in New Orleans, many will be reluctant to trust Tua, but this is a classic deception game for the Saints.
MORE WEEK 16 DFS: Best stacks | Range generator
Fantasy Football sleepers of the week 16: wide receivers
Amon-Ra St. Brown & Josh Reynolds, Lions @ Falcons (Sparks). If Jared Goff (reserve list / COVID) is out, St. Brown’s cap is limited and Reynolds is hard to be trusted, but we’ll analyze that as if Goff is playing. In leagues with good fantasy football owners, St. Brown shouldn’t always be available on waivers, but if he is, pick him up and face him right away. He’s shot at least 10 targets in his last three contests and produced over 15 PPR fantasy points in each of those games. The Falcons are the fourth weakest defense against Fantastic WRs, so he has top-of-the-line WR2 again. Reynolds is also playable as a flex option as he’s been productive since joining the Lions.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins @ Saints (Iyer). Jaylen Waddle can get tight coverage from Marshon Lattimore wherever he goes, so the field should be open for Parker.
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs vs Steelers (Lutovsky). With Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on the reserve / COVID list, at least at the start of the week, Hardman believes he sees more work, that Kelce and Hill are finally active. In a favorable clash against a Pittsburgh defense who is 12th in fantastic points awarded to the WRs, a playmaker like Hardman has a big advantage. (Update: Hill was cleared to play during week 16.)
WEEK 16 DFS PROGRAMS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo
Fantasy Football sleepers of the week 16: tight ends
James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars @ Jets (Sparks). O’Shaugnessy shot four targets against the Texans, the lowest of the season, but thanks to his reception from 60 yards, he still produced 10 PPR points. The double-digit dots of a tight, streamer-level end are about all you could hope for, and it delivered. As a clash with the Jets approaches (a top-seven game for the TEs) his target total should pick up, and we rank him just on the edge of a TE1 in the PPR leagues. It’s not flashy, but it has one of the safest floors possible compared to other tight starter or seat ends.
Jared Cook, Chargers @ Texans (Iyer). It’s a great bet to score a red zone TD because everything in their passing game should click.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos @ Raiders (Lutovsky). You might not have the guts to throw a “save” TE in the fantasy playoffs, but Albert O is not your normal save. He only saw one fewer target (14-13), had two fewer catches (13-11) and produced 21 yards shorter (141-120) than starter Noah Fant. Fant plays more snaps, but when it comes to being in position to score they are about equal. Against the Raiders, who are in the top three for fantastic points awarded to TEs, Albert O can produce a 4-50-1 line.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Defense
Seattle Seahawks vs. Bears (Sparks). You can think of the D / ST Seahawks as a booming game as it depends on Justin Fields showing up to play. We’ve seen Flashes of Fields before he ran into the Vikings, and we know he’s likely to make a turnover or two. Overall, the Bears offense is outdated, so while the Seahawks have struggled at times defensively, we like the dice roll here. (Update: Nick Foles starts at QB for the Bears.)
New York Jets vs. Jaguars (Iyer). They are the best option in this game against the bad teams due to elements at home and a Jags offense that has James Robinson and not much else.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Ravens (Lutovsky). Tyler Huntley looked great against Green Bay last week, but if he starts we’ll always try our luck against an inexperienced QB on the road in a big division game. If Lamar Jackson (ankle) plays, we love Cincinnati’s outlook even more, as his strong pass rush should get a few sacks and coax another INT or two from Jackson.