Fantasy Football Rankings Week 16: Sleepers, projections, starts, sits | Tyler Boyd, Joshua Palmer and more

Fantasy Football Rankings Week 16: Sleepers, projections, starts, sits | Tyler Boyd, Joshua Palmer and more

The fantasy football playoffs are in full swing, and no Christmas present is better than another win. Let’s get into the Week 16 fantasy football rankings, sleepers, and fun with the best (and worst) of Christmas things — and try to spread the cheer.

#CheckTheLink-ageWeek 16 Waivers | Week 16 SOS Ranks (THU)Fantasy Football 101 (weather, lineups, trading, more)My All in Football Podcast


NOTE: ALL of the stats are SINCE WEEK 10 — unless noted. That’s because it’s good to look at recent performance versus year-long with defenses, etc., as in-season adjustments can change things.

Acronyms to Know

  • RBTouch% — RB touch percentage — percent of team total RB touches that player had
  • TmTGT% — Team target percentage — percent of team total targets going to that player
  • TGT% — Percentage of the time a player is targeted when running routes
  • YPRR — Yards per Route Run — rather valuable indicator
  • APA — Adjust Points Allowed (tables link above)

Saints at Rams, TNF

  • If Chris Olave can’t go, Rashid Shaheed and A.T. Perry are WR4s with boom/bust potential.
  • Rams and Dolphins are tied for the highest 3-and-Out% forced at 46.6.
  • Since Week 8, Puka Nacua’s TmTGT% is 23.7 (WR18) with 10.4 FPPG (WR30) after 32.5 (WR4) and 15.3 (WR10) through Week 8.

Bengals at Steelers, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

  • With no Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins is a must-start, but given Jake Browning’s style, Tyler Boyd would be a volume WR4 and Trenton Irwin a boom/bust WR4.
  • The Bengals are one of three teams with games hitting the over in five of the six played — the Steelers are 50% (3-for-6).
  • The Bengals have allowed an RB rushing touchdown in all but three games, and that would be only two if Zack Moss’ run wasn’t called back in Week 14.

Bills at Chargers, Saturday, 8:15 p.m.

  • No Keenan Allen would lock Joshua Palmer into WR2 territory and make Quentin Johnston an interesting WR3/4.
  • The Bills are one of three teams with just one game hitting the over (CHI and CAR other two teams).
  • Gabe Davis has six games of 1.6 points or fewer (four zeroes) — only four other Top 40 receivers have even two such games, and no Top 40 WR has two zeroes.

Colts at Falcons, 1 p.m.

  • If Jonathan Taylor is out and Zack Moss plays, he’s a RB1/2 but riskier than usual with the injury. If Moss is out too, Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson would be upside RB3 options with risk — either could lead, could be a 50/50, etc.
  • Falcons have a league-low 1.2% of pass attempts going for a touchdown (second lowest are the Dolphins at 1.7%).
  • The Falcons have a positive scoring margin with Taylor Heinicke (replaced Desmond Ridder once and hurt/pulled third game) versus -56 without.
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Seahawks at Titans, 1 p.m.

  • If Will Levis is out and the Titans go with Ryan Tannehill, there is no real change to the skill players. If Malik Willis is under center, downgrade the passing game.
  • Kenneth Walker’s 84.6 RBTouch% was his highest since Week 7 and second-highest of the season.
  • While Derrick Henry had just 66.7 RBTouch% in Week 15, he has six games with lower marks, but every game with at least 69.0%, he’s scored 12.9+ points — D’Andre Swift had his highest RBTouch% against the Seahawks since his 18.2-point game in Week 11.

Lions at Vikings, 1 p.m.

  • The Lions are strong against the run but have the second easiest QB and third easiest WR APAs.
  • If Alexander Mattison is out again, Ty Chandler is a Top 20 RB.
  • Jordan Addison averages 10.8 FPPG with Justin Jefferson and 14.9 YD/Rec, 1.80 YPRR, 16.1 TD/TGT%, compared to 6.6, 12.3, 1.50 and 6.7% without him.

Commanders at Jets, 1 p.m.

  • If Brian Robinson doesn’t return, Antonio Gibson is still an RB2/3, and Chris Rodriguez a touchdown-prayer RB4.
  • The Jets have the toughest QB and WR APAs with the second-toughest WR being the Panthers (3.8 PPG easier).
  • The Commanders are allowing a league-high 2.91 points per drive (PHI second, 2.70), league-high 6.7 YD/Play, and force the lowest percentage of 3-and-Outs (24.1).

Packers at Panthers, 1 p.m.

  • Without Christian Watson and Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks would be a nice WR3/4 play. If only one of the two is out, Wicks is a Hail Mary WR5.
  • Quarterbacks faced or not, it’s crazy to see just nine rushing yards allowed to QBs by the Panthers, with most having negative rushing yards — second fewest QB rushing yards allowed are the Patriots at 116.
  • Packers are allowing a league-high 5.4 YD/Rush with ARI and DEN tied with 5.1 behind them.

Browns at Texans, 1 p.m.

  • Amari Cooper has a 25.7 TGT% and 11.0 FPPG with Joe Flacco versus 21.7 and 8.0 FPPG with anyone else — David Njoku has 16.1 FPPG with Joe Flacco — that’s seventh for WR/TE combined.
  • Devin Singletary had 90.9 RBTouch% last week. He has at least 10.2 points in every game with 55%+ except one (five of six).
  • The Browns run the most Cover-1 (38.7%) and Nico Collins is second in YPRR versus Cover-1 (3.54 — Tyreek Hill 4.91) and Noah Brown is 10th at 2.76.

Jaguars at Buccaneers, 4 p.m.

  • Evan Engram is one of those six players ahead of Njoku in FPPG the last three weeks (16.8).
  • Mike Evans has just four games without a touchdown and just one since Week 10 — his only game without 12.8+ points.
  • Since Week 9, only Christian McCaffrey (23.4) and Kyren Williams (22.2) average more FPPG than Rachaad White (18.4).

Cardinals at Bears, 4 p.m.

  • Whether or not Marquise Brown plays, the Cardinals receivers are impossible to trust outside of Trey McBride… so yea… no wideouts.
  • Cardinals allow a league-high 8.2% touchdowns per pass attempt (Commanders second at 8.0%).
  • The Bears defense continues to be a concern with the highest run Stuff% since Week 5 (52.6) and only one wide receiver topping 77 yards since Week 2; Mike Evans(171) is the only receiver to eclipse that this season besides Amari Cooper (109 last week).

Cowboys at Dolphins, 4 p.m.

  • Dolphins and Cowboys rank first and second in QB Pressure% (47.5 and 45.5, respectively).
  • Dolphins also allowing the fewest points per drive (1.09) with the Patriots second (1.18), and the lowest YD/Play (4.1) with Bills second (4.4).
  • Tony Pollard has just one game with more than one goal line attempt since Week 2 (three in Week 10) with six games of zero attempts.

Patriots at Broncos, SNF

  • Patriots stingiest in YD/Rush at 2.4 with Dolphins second-toughest at 3.3.
  • Since Rhamondre Stevenson got hurt, only Kyren Williams has a higher RBTouch% (89.4) than Ezekiel Elliott (82.5), who also leads all running backs in TmTGT% (23.5).
  • The Broncos hadn’t allowed a wideout to score double-digits from Weeks 5-12, then allowed 25.1 to Nico Collins Week 13 and 17.2 to Amon-Ra St. Brown last week — every score of 13+ this year involved a receiver getting 9+ targets.

Raiders at Chiefs, Monday, 1 p.m.

  • If Josh Jacobs doesn’t return, Zamir White is back in play as a fringe RB2 but with more risk if they fall behind, as Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah will eat into passing downs.
  • Before missing Weeks 14-15, Isiah Pacheco was RB14 in FPPG (13.1) with 4.4 YPC and 72.3 RBTouch% (sixth).
  • Over the last four weeks, Rashee Rice is WR5 with 16.4 FPPG and has 27.9 TmTGT%, while Travis Kelce is TE7 at 9.7 FPPG (21.3 TmTGT%).

Giants at Eagles, Monday, 4:30 p.m.

  • Giants are averaging a league-low 55.0 Plays/G and score a touchdown on just 15.5% of their drives (seventh-worst).
  • Since Week 8, only the Colts and Rams have a lower RB Stuff% than the Eagles (39.6).
  • The Giants haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 5, and the only two who came close (98 each) and topped 79 yards were Josh Jacobs and Stevenson on 26 and 21 carries, respectively.
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Ravens at 49ers, Monday, 8:15 p.m.

  • 49ers lead in TD/Drive% at 40.6 (DAL second at 39.7), and the Ravens are eighth-toughest at 16.4% allowed.
  • Since Mark Andrews got hurt, Isaiah Likely is TE5 with 12.8 FPPG, ahead of T.J. Hockenson (10.2), Travis Kelce (9.7) and more.
  • Zay Flowers has 1.55 YPRR versus Zone compared to 1.26 versus Man, while Odell Beckham has 1.86 and 2.66 — 49ers run the sixth-most Zone on defense.


These are sleepers (DuckTales and Darkwing Duck style — Woo-oo is worthy of the risk in most leagues, and Dangerous is if you need a Hail Mary). They will not mimic my rankings 100%. This is about chasing upside and often carries more risk — put simply, they are upside plays you might consider over a solid floor option.

Woo-oo Worthy

  • QB: Jared Goff, DET
  • RB: Chuba Hubbard, CAR; Kenneth Walker, SEA
  • WR: Noah Brown, HOU; Joshua Palmer, LAC
  • TE: Isaiah Likely, BAL

Let’s Get Dangerous

  • QB: Nick Mullens, MIN
  • RB: Devin Singletary, HOU; Justice Hill, BAL
  • WR: Tyler Boyd, CIN; Curtis Samuel, WSH
  • TE: Kyle Pitts, ATL


LINK: History of Fun Christmas Ranks

It’s a Christmas bonanza! I think I’ve done everything possible Christmas now… Best TV Episodes, Best Cookies, Best Songs, Best Movies, and last year, WORST Songs. I’m not sure there is anything left. Maybe you have an idea? But, if you want to see all the lists, #CheckTheLink to avoid the overload of words in this column. Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!


🚨 HEADS UP 🚨 These can differ from my rankings, and my ranks are the order I’d start players outside of added context, such as, “Need highest upside, even if risky.” Also, based on 4-point TDs for QB, 6-point rest, and Half-PPR

Download Link Added Thursday



  • There is no perfect widget out there, sadly, still. I know many view this on your phone, but 1) use the rankings widget on a PC/laptop/etc. if possible or 2) open in your phone’s browser, especially for Android users, to get the scrolling to properly work.
  • ECR = “Expert” Consensus Ranking (which isn’t updated by everyone consistently, so take with a grain of salt).
  • Updated regularly, so check up to lineups locking.

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)