Fantasy Football Week 16: Matt Camp’s Fantasy Big Board
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It’s perfectly fine to use Josh Allen in the fantasy championship.Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
The last three weeks provided fantasy players with lots of headaches and underwhelming performances. If you’re playing for a championship this week, you may not have been the top seed in your league or felt particularly confident heading into the playoffs. With so many big names letting us down at the most important time of the season, it’s important to assess who you can trust.
Josh Allen missed four games before returning to action in Week 12. He wasn’t anywhere near a viable option prior to his absence. Since Week 12, he’s been the No. 1 fantasy quarterback at 23.3 fantasy points per game. With players like Cam Newton and Jared Goff failing to produce, Allen’s consistently strong performances over the last month seem a bit more meaningful.
The Minnesota Vikings had a renewed commitment to the run in Week 15, and that was a big reason for the blowout victory over the Miami Dolphins. The Vikings remain in a tight battle for a playoff spot, so you should expect plenty more of Dalvin Cook (and Latavius Murray) when they face the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
It’s been a frustrating season for Alshon Jeffery, but he’s come back to life in the last two weeks, including his best game of the season against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15. A beatable matchup with the Houston Texans means Jeffery could be the key to a fantasy championship.
Here’s the first look at points-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 16. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday’s action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings for all scoring formats.
Check out Matt Camp on hisFantasy Camppodcast available every Tuesday and Thursday. Click to subscribe or listen wherever you get podcasts.
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Look for the Seahawks to get back on track when the Chiefs visit Sunday night.Associated Press
I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like as a whole this week based on their matchups:
- Seattle Seahawks(vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
- Cleveland Browns(vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
- Chicago Bears(at San Francisco 49ers)
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Baker Mayfield and the Browns should dominate the Bengals.David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Better than Usual
Baker Mayfield, CLE (vs. CIN)
Mayfield won’t finish the season as a top-12 fantasy quarterback, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that he’s been a useful fantasy quarterback if you’ve been playing the matchups. Over the last four weeks, he is QB12 at 16.4 fantasy points per game. That’s even with Andrew Luck and better than Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Jared Goff.
This week, Mayfield should be a preferred option when he faces the Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland. When these teams met back in Week 12, Mayfield completed 19 of 26 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns, which was good for 25.9 fantasy points. The Bengals have been an average matchup for quarterbacks over the last month, but for the season, they’ve allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game (270.6).
With the Browns still in contention and the matchup in his favor, Mayfield has top-10 potential for Week 16.
Jared Goff, LAR (at ARI)
The Los Angeles Rams have been NFC West champions for weeks, yet it doesn’t feel like the team is still in position to earn a first-round bye. Consecutive losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles following a less-than-inspiring performance against the Detroit Lions has Goff owners worried about how he’ll perform in the most important week of the season.
Goff needed 53 pass attempts to throw for 339 yards against the Eagles, but he failed to throw a touchdown. Over the last three games, he has one touchdown to six interceptions while completing just 72 of 130 passes (55.4 percent). He’s been miserable for fantasy purposes, and if you’ve survived his poor play, it’s fair to wonder if he’s worth a spot in your lineup.
In Week 16, Goff and the Rams hit the road to face the Arizona Cardinals. They’ve been the 12th-easiest matchup for quarterbacks over the last month. Back in Week 2, Goff got the Cardinals for 354 yards with one touchdown and one interception on 24-of-32 passing. That feels like ancient history considering how bad he has been since the Week 12 bye. He’s not a lock for starting lineups.
Cam Newton, CAR (vs. ATL)
If you haven’t learned by now, players have a tough time truly getting over injuries suffered during the season. Despite limited practices in recent weeks, Newton hasn’t been on the final injury report heading into the last two games. His shoulder injury is a clear problem, so his injury designation hasn’t told the whole story.
On Monday night, Newton had just 131 yards with no touchdowns and an interception on 16-of-29 passing. He has just two touchdowns to six interceptions in his last three games. He has at least one interception in six straight games, and nine of his 13 interceptions on the season have come in the last six games.
According to Steve Reed of the Associated Press, head coach Ron Rivera wouldn’t “speculate” on Newton’s status for this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Even though the Carolina Panthers haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs, Rivera’s lack of commitment to Newton indicates the concern is real. You should look elsewhere if Newton has been your starting quarterback.
Editor’s Note: Since publish, the Panthers have confirmed that they will be shutting down Cam Newton for the final two games.
Josh Allen, BUF (at NE)
Allen’s worst rushing performance of the season yards-wise was still good enough for the No. 4 spot at the quarterback position for Week 15. That probably more of an indictment of how bad the other performances were around the league, but that shouldn’t take away from Allen’s fantasy dominance over the last month.
He connected on just 13 of 26 passes for 204 yards with a touchdown. He added just 16 rushing yards on nine attempts but ran in a touchdown for the third time in four games. He’s the top fantasy quarterback since Week 12, so the sample size is big enough to believe in him as a legit starter.
When the Buffalo Bills faced the New England Patriots in Week 8, Allen wasn’t active, so this will be his first crack at the defending AFC champions. The Patriots have been an average matchup for fantasy quarterbacks in the last four weeks, but they’ve allowed the 10th-most passing yards per game at 256.5.
Obviously, much of Allen’s value is tied to his legs, so even if he has another pedestrian day through the air, he can make up for it on the ground. He is a low-end starter for Week 16.
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Expect another busy and productive week out of Derrick Henry.Steven Ryan/Getty Images
Better Than Usual
Chris Carson, SEA (vs. KC)
Another big game out of Carson wasn’t enough to lift the Seattle Seahawks to a win over the San Francisco 49ers, but it may have been enough to take you into the fantasy championship.
Carson rushed 22 times for 119 yards and a touchdown and added a season-high six receptions for 29 yards on six targets to finish Week 15 with 26.8 fantasy points and an RB6 finish. Carson has 13.2 FPG on the season, which makes him a reliable RB2, although he’s been closer to the RB1 tier with 17.5 FPG in the last month.
Expectations for Week 16 should put Carson in the RB1 conversation with the Kansas City Chiefs visiting Sunday night. From a fantasy perspective, the Chiefs have been a pretty average matchup for running backs over the last week. However, backs are averaging more than five yards per carry during that time, so Carson is in a good spot this week.
Assuming Carson gets his typical volume, his strong finish to the season should continue against the Chiefs.
Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. WAS)
The Tennessee Titans haven’t been a consistently reliable fantasy team for much of the season. They’ve struggled to find an offensive identity, and Marcus Mariota’s struggles have been apparent, although the last two weeks have provided lots of production from one player.
Henry blew up in Week 14 seemingly out of nowhere, so with the Titans battling for the final playoff spot in the AFC, they were smart enough to stick with what worked when they faced the New York Giants in Week 15. During a cold and rainy game, Henry bludgeoned the Giants for 170 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. That gives him 408 yards and six touchdowns on 50 carries in the last two games.
This Saturday, the Titans host the Washington Redskins in a pivotal game for both teams. Even though the Redskins had an impressive run of slowing down some of the top backs in the league earlier this season, the last four weeks haven’t been nearly as good. During that time, Washington allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs with 575 rushing yards and three scores on 109 carries.
The Titans have every reason to stick with Henry as the focal point of the offense in this positive matchup, so continue to play him with confidence this weekend.
Lamar Miller, HOU (at PHI)
Miller was rolling coming into the fantasy playoffs, but now there’s concern he may not be available for Week 16. He had to leave Week 15 with an ankle injury after rushing just three times for eight yards. Even though Miller will have an extra day to rest coming off a Saturday night game, nothing can be assumed about his status.
The Houston Texans sit in the No. 2 spot in the AFC, but they haven’t clinched the AFC South or a playoff spot, so having Miller available to play against the Philadelphia Eagles is important. Alfred Blue hasn’t been anywhere near as effective, and D’Onta Foreman has yet to play in a game this season.
Miller has been a reliable RB2 when he’s been on the field, so his status is one to monitor throughout the week, especially since the Texans don’t have an obvious replacement.
Latavius Murray, MIN (at DET)
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wanted to run the ball more in Week 15, and that’s exactly what the team did en route to a 41-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. While Dalvin Cook led the way with 19 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns, Murray had a busy and productive day of his own with 15 carries for 68 yards and an 18-yard touchdown run.
The combined rushing effort from Cook and Murray was the best of the season for the Vikings. It also marked only the fourth time this season both had double-digit carries, although Cook’s 19 carries were a season high, while Murray’s 15 carries were the most he had in a game in which Cook was also active.
Zimmer’s insistence in running the ball and the success the team had by doing just that in Week 15 could mean more of the same in Week 16 when the Vikings visit the Detroit Lions. The last time these teams met was Cook’s return from a hamstring injury. He outgained Murray 89-31, with both players logging 10 attempts.
The Vikings clearly want more than 20 carries out of this backfield, so it could be another busy day for both players. Murray could get enough volume to be a solid RB3/flex.
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Amari Cooper will bounce back against the Buccaneers.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Better Than Usual
Amari Cooper, DAL (vs. TB)
The Dallas Cowboys were riding high coming in Week 15 after Cooper destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles with 10 receptions for 217 yards and three touchdowns in a huge victory. That excitement is gone heading into Week 16.
Dallas was shut out by the Indianapolis Colts, and Cooper had his worst game as a member of the Cowboys. He caught just four of seven targets for 32 yards. That marked only the second time Cooper failed to record five receptions or at least 58 receiving yards with Dallas. Luckily, he should have a good chance to get back on track this weekend.
The Cowboys host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Even though the Buccaneers have been better than average against fantasy wide receivers in the last month, they haven’t faced any stiff tests other than the New Orleans Saints, and in that game, Michael Thomas caught 11 of 13 targets for 98 yards. Tampa Bay has surrendered 274.2 receiving yards per game (eighth-most) on the season.
Try to forget the disappointment of Week 15 and get Cooper back in your lineup with top-10 expectations for the fantasy championship.
Alshon Jeffery, PHI (vs. HOU)
Offseason shoulder surgery kept Jeffery from making his season debut until Week 4, although it didn’t seem to cause any lasting effects, as he was great over the first four games. Unfortunately, Jeffery went in the tank from Weeks 8-13. He failed to post more than four receptions or 39 yards and didn’t score during that time.
The last two weeks, specifically Week 15, were huge bounce-back efforts. After he was able to snatch six of his nine targets for 50 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys in Week 14, he followed that up with his biggest game of the season. He caught all eight of his targets for 160 yards in a road victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
He’s back in the top-20 conversation thanks to the last two weeks and a beatable matchup Sunday. He faces the visiting Houston Texans and could be in line for another big fantasy performance. Houston yielded the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last four weeks.
It will be another week with Nick Foles throwing to Jeffery, so the two will have another great opportunity to connect against a shaky Texans pass defense. The faith in Jeffery is back, so get him in your lineup.
Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. BAL)
Allen suffered a hip pointer in last week’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs and exited before tallying even a single target. His absence opened the door for Mike Williams to have a huge game, so Allen’s status for Week 16 is big because it affects not only his fantasy value but also the fantasy value of all the Chargers.
According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Allen “could be a game-time decision.” Luckily, the Chargers play Saturday night, so you’ll know if you need to get Allen out of your lineup to pivot elsewhere for your fantasy championship.
If Allen does play, he’ll face a Baltimore Ravens defense limiting wide receivers to the third-fewest fantasy points per game in the last four games. Allen may not be anything more than an OK WR2 if he’s active.
Robby Anderson, NYJ (vs. GB)
Anderson’s opportunities have been on the rise over the last three weeks, and his fantasy production has risen as a result. Relying on inconsistent players on bad teams is a good way to lose a fantasy championship, but if you’re reaching a little deeper to fill a spot in your lineup out of necessity, Anderson has to be on the radar for Week 16.
With Quincy Enunwa sidelined by an ankle injury, the Jets featured Anderson in the passing game, and he responded with one of his best performances of the year. He converted 11 targets into seven receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. He now has at least seven targets in the last three games and 11 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games.
Anderson will get the chance to stay hot against the Green Bay Packers. They’ve been the ninth-easiest matchup for wide receivers in the last four weeks. If Enunwa is limited or out once again, it should be another busy day for Anderson. He’s a WR3 with upside.
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Jared Cook should rebound at home when he takes on the Broncos.Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Better Than Usual
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. DEN)
Just when it seemed like Cook moved into the safe starting options at the tight end position, he crumbled in Week 15. Despite a positive matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, he managed just two receptions for 23 yards on five targets. In two previous games, he turned 18 targets into 14 receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the letdown in Week 15, Cook is looking good for his Week 16 matchup with the Denver Broncos. While Denver kept David Njoku in check last week, it remains the seventh-easiest matchup for tight ends in the last four weeks. Cook had a modest four-catch, 49-yard game against the Broncos back in Week 2, but that was when the Raiders still had Amari Cooper, who had 10 receptions for 116 yards in that contest.
Have some faith in Cook and get him back in your lineup in this favorable Week 16 matchup.
Evan Engram, NYG (at IND)
Another missed game for Odell Beckham Jr. pushed Engram into a bigger role for last week’s meeting with the Tennessee Titans. He had his best game of the season with eight receptions for 75 yards on 12 targets. That marks the second straight week Engram posted at least 75 yards. Prior to Week 14, he had just two other games with at least 50 yards.
Beckham’s status remains up in the air, and while the team has nothing to play for, head coach Pat Shurmur said Beckham “is going through treatment and doing everything he can to get back.”
Engram’s fantasy value is directly connected to Beckham’s status. If Beckham is out again, it makes using Engram a lot easier since the target share will likely be higher. If Beckham plays, using Engram becomes much riskier.
C.J. Uzomah, CIN (at CLE)
Uzomah lands in the sleeper category for the second week in a row, although this week is more about opportunity than the matchup with the Cleveland Browns. He could be the top passing target for Week 16 after Tyler Boyd injured his knee in Week 15. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Boyd suffered a low-grade MCL sprain, which could keep him out for the final two weeks.
Uzomah had just one reception for 27 yards on five targets in Week 15, but he and Boyd led the team with 27 targets over the last four games. Other than Joe Mixon, the Cincinnati Bengals don’t have a go-to player on offense, so Uzomah should continue to have a big target share. He’s worth a look against a Browns defense yielding the 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends in the last four weeks.
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The Dolphins defense should be on your radar this week.Bobby Ellis/Getty Images
Best Streaming Option
Miami Dolphins (vs. JAC)
You might have to reach a little deeper for a defense in Week 16 if some of the more obvious options were stashed away weeks ago in preparation for the fantasy playoffs. The Dolphins should be available ahead of a juicy matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses in the last month by giving up 16 sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and scoring just 47 points. Add in a foot injury for Leonard Fournette, and you have a vulnerable offense for the Dolphins defense to exploit.
Ownership percentage:ESPN, 13.4; Yahoo, 18.0
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Ryan Succop is worth a look in Week 16.Steven Ryan/Getty Images
Best Streaming Option
Ryan Succop, TEN (vs. WAS)
Controlling a game can be important to the fantasy production of a kicker. The Tennessee Titans have been relying on Derrick Henry to carry the offense over the last two weeks, and he’s done so with tremendous success. That’s allowed the Titans to control victories over the Jaguars and Giants.
We should see more of the same Saturday afternoon when the Titans host the Washington Redskins. Succop has just one missed field goal in the last six games and only four misses on the season. He’s a good plug-and-play from the waiver wire.
Ownership percentages:ESPN, 45.4; Yahoo, 22.0
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