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Dynasty

Week 16 Positional Rankings

Need help with your player rankings this week? We have you covered.

David Montgomery

We have just two weeks left in the fantasy football season, and the stakes have never been higher. If you were lucky enough to earn a bye week and avoid the soul-crushing week 15 games, congratulations! You’re not off the hook just yet. This time of year, both you and your opponent have quality players. Projections may even say your matchup is projected to be close. In reality, one or two moves can decide whether you walk away a fantasy football champion or left holding the bag in fourth place. We’re here to make sure you are the former.

If you’ve followed this series for each of the last two years, you’ll be familiar with the overall structure. We’ll list the top 32 QBs, 60 RBs, 60 WRs, and 30 TEs each and every week along with some detailed analysis on a few standout plays. This year, I’ve collaborated with DLF’s Peter Howard to give you some additional data and rankings. In each section, you’ll mine my (@FFzinger) rankings along with Peter’s, presented in order of our average ranking. Any QB or TE not ranked in each of our top 30 was given a ranking of 35, and the same is true with RBs/WRs given 65. You’ll also find a Tier associated with each player, which is defined mathematically based on the gaps from one player to the next to define a relative “Tier” within our rankings. Finally, you’ll find a write-up from both Peter and me highlighting a particularly good play for the upcoming week in our rankings.

To generate this list each and every week, Peter and I examine team trends, Vegas over/unders, implied points, pace of play, among various other factors to build a projection for each player and subsequently adjust rankings for upside and more detailed matchup specifics. Among the rankings, there will surely be some that surprise you or that you may disagree with. At the end of each position section, I’ll give you my thoughts on some players who perhaps are ranked higher/lower than you might expect and insights as to why they are a good/bad play this week. Ultimately, these rankings should help your start/sit dilemmas and ensure you have the requisite resources to make an informed decision.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s positional rankings!

Quarterback

Pos Player Matchup @FFZinger @PaHowdy Average Tier
QB Justin Herbert @HOU 1 4 2.5 1
QB Patrick Mahomes PIT 3 2 2.5 1
QB Matthew Stafford @MIN 4 3 3.5 2
QB Aaron Rodgers CLE 2 6 4 2
QB Kyler Murray IND 8 1 4.5 2
QB Jalen Hurts NYG 5 5 5 2
QB Josh Allen @NE 6 10 8 3
QB Dak Prescott WAS 7 9 8 3
QB Tom Brady @CAR 9 8 8.5 3
QB Taysom Hill MIA 10 11 10.5 4
QB Lamar Jackson @CIN 15 7 11 4
QB Russell Wilson CHI 11 12 11.5 4
QB Joe Burrow BAL 12 14 13 4
QB Kirk Cousins LAR 16 13 14.5 4
QB Justin Fields @SEA 13 17 15 4
QB Jimmy Garoppolo @TEN 14 16 15 4
QB Tua Tagovailoa @NO 18 18 18 5
QB Matt Ryan DET 21 15 18 5
QB Derek Carr DEN 17 20 18.5 5
QB Ryan Tannehill SF 21 20 20.5 6
QB Ben Roethlisberger @KC 19 23 21 6
QB Carson Wentz @ARI 20 22 21 6
QB Cam Newton TB 22 21 21.5 6
QB Mac Jones BUF 24 24 24 7
QB Taylor Heinicke @DAL 23 27 25 7
QB Trevor Lawrence @NYJ 26 25 25.5 7
QB Drew Lock @LV 27 26 26.5 7
QB Zach Wilson JAC 28 29 28.5 8
QB Baker Mayfield @GB 30 28 29 8
QB Davis Mills LAC 29 30 29.5 8
QB Jared Goff @ATL 25 35 30 8
QB Mike Glennon @PHI 32 32 32 9

 

FFzinger Highlight Player: Jalen Hurts, QB PHI

Hurts usually doesn’t need his own mention as a fantastic QB play on the week. The second-year QB ranks fourth in fantasy points per game on the season thanks in large part to his ability in the rushing game. He deserves a specific mention here in case any dynasty managers are concerned from his last game against the Giants in week 12, where he threw three interceptions in a forgettable performance. Coming off his injury, Hurts showed no signs of slowing down in the running game with eight attempts and should be started as a mid-range QB1 on the day. The Giants continue to rank in the bottom-half in fantasy points allowed to QBs, and the Eagles have a fantastic implied team total of 26 points as 10.5 point home favorites. Don’t let one game in the past scare you off Hurts this week.

Pahowdy Highlight Player: Matt Ryan, QB ATL

Yeah, I don’t like it either but to save writing another “Taysom Hill can run” type entry, I’m going with Ryan this week. He’s not a top-12 quarterback, despite his  13 points in week 15 (the most he’s scored since week nine) but I still think he could be a desperation start for some teams.  The team is a home favorite against Detroit this week who – despite only allowing four top-12 quarterback weeks in 2021 – have pressured quarterbacks 5% less than the league average and an average of 250 passing yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns. It’s not great but he’s at least startable (I have him ranked s QB16 this week) and we can hope Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts (who has only caught one touchdown for his 847 receiving yards right now!) can maybe drag him and your team closer to the finish line.

Running Back

Pos Player Matchup @FFZinger @PaHowdy Average Tier
RB Jonathan Taylor @ARI 1 1 1 1
RB Alvin Kamara MIA 2 2 2 1
RB Dalvin Cook LAR 3 3 3 1
RB Cordarrelle Patterson DET 4 4 4 2
RB Najee Harris @KC 5 5 5 2
RB James Robinson @NYJ 6 6 6 2
RB Nick Chubb @GB 8 8 8 3
RB Antonio Gibson @DAL 9 9 9 3
RB Aaron Jones CLE 11 7 9 3
RB David Montgomery @SEA 7 12 9.5 3
RB Ezekiel Elliott WAS 13 13 13 4
RB Saquon Barkley @PHI 15 11 13 4
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire PIT 12 15 13.5 4
RB Ronald Jones @CAR 17 10 13.5 4
RB Javonte Williams @LV 10 18 14 4
RB Josh Jacobs DEN 14 14 14 4
RB James Conner IND 16 19 17.5 5
RB Miles Sanders NYG 19 17 18 5
RB Joe Mixon BAL 23 16 19.5 5
RB D’Onta Foreman SF 18 25 21.5 5
RB Jeff Wilson @TEN 22 21 21.5 5
RB Sony Michel @MIN 21 24 22.5 5
RB Justin Jackson @HOU 24 22 23 5
RB Michael Carter JAC 25 26 25.5 6
RB Devin Singletary @NE 28 23 25.5 6
RB Rashaad Penny CHI 27 28 27.5 6
RB A.J. Dillon CLE 26 30 28 6
RB Rhamondre Stevenson BUF 29 27 28 6
RB Chase Edmonds IND 32 32 32 7
RB Devonta Freeman @CIN 36 29 32.5 7
RB Tony Pollard WAS 30 39 34.5 7
RB Duke Johnson @NO 31 38 34.5 7
RB Darrell Henderson @MIN 35 35 35 7
RB Darrel Williams PIT 37 35 36 7
RB Mike Davis DET 43 31 37 7
RB Craig Reynolds @ATL 44 33 38.5 7
RB Jamaal Williams @ATL 33 45 39 7
RB Chuba Hubbard TB 41 40 40.5 7
RB Rex Burkhead LAC 45 36 40.5 7
RB Myles Gaskin @NO 40 43 41.5 7
RB Melvin Gordon III @LV 20 65 42.5 7
RB Jordan Howard NYG 38 49 43.5 7
RB Tevin Coleman JAC 51 37 44 7
RB Nyheim Hines @ARI 48 46 47 8
RB Samaje Perine BAL 42 53 47.5 8
RB Devontae Booker @PHI 54 42 48 8
RB Ameer Abdullah TB 50 47 48.5 8
RB Dontrell Hilliard SF 53 44 48.5 8
RB Brandon Bolden BUF 56 41 48.5 8
RB Latavius Murray @CIN 46 52 49 8
RB David Johnson LAC 47 51 49 8
RB Damien Harris BUF 34 65 49.5 8
RB Jeremy McNichols SF 52 50 51 8
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn @CAR 55 48 51.5 8
RB DeeJay Dallas CHI 39 65 52 8
RB D’Ernest Johnson @GB 49 63 56 9
RB Alex Collins CHI 65 55 60 9
RB Jermar Jefferson @ATL 65 56 60.5 9
RB Matt Breida @NE 57 65 61 9
RB Peyton Barber DEN 65 57 61 9

 

FFzinger Highlight Player: David Montgomery, RB CHI

If you’ve made it this far in your fantasy football season, you likely have some good options at running back. While Montgomery hasn’t necessarily been a plug-and-play weekly fantasy starter on a dismal Bears offense, he has been the team’s true bell-cow back when healthy. Since returning from injury, Montgomery has yet to see fewer than 15 total touches and exceeded 20 touches in three of his last four games. Going up against the Seattle Seahawks – who have been the second-best opponent for fantasy football running backs this season – that high touch count should translate to fantasy football success for Montgomery. The third-year back has commanded at least six targets in each of his last three games, showing the signs of a dual-threat running back that could be a true week winner. Start him with confidence as an RB1 in your fantasy football semi-finals.

Pahowdy Highlight Player: Jeff Wilson Jr, RB SF

The best running back on the 49ers is the healthy one. This week it’s Wilson. Only 30% of expected points produced against Tennessee have gone to the rushing game, however, and they have only allowed three top 12 running back weeks this season. That makes him much more of an RB2 in this matchup and I have him projected as the RB21 on the week. However, in the season that is the injury hellscape of 2021 that makes him an easy start this week for a lot of teams.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Matchup @FFZinger @PaHowdy Average Tier
WR Cooper Kupp @MIN 1 1 1 1
WR Davante Adams CLE 2 3 2.5 1
WR Justin Jefferson LAR 3 2 2.5 1
WR Deebo Samuel @TEN 4 7 5.5 2
WR Keenan Allen @HOU 5 6 5.5 2
WR Diontae Johnson @KC 7 4 5.5 2
WR Stefon Diggs @NE 8 5 6.5 2
WR CeeDee Lamb WAS 6 9 7.5 2
WR Tyler Lockett CHI 9 10 9.5 3
WR Hunter Renfrow DEN 12 8 10 3
WR Tee Higgins BAL 11 12 11.5 3
WR Ja’Marr Chase BAL 10 16 13 3
WR Jaylen Waddle @NO 16 13 14.5 3
WR D.K. Metcalf CHI 13 18 15.5 3
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown @ATL 20 11 15.5 3
WR Marquise Brown @CIN 18 15 16.5 3
WR Antonio Brown @CAR 15 19 17 3
WR Terry McLaurin @DAL 17 22 19.5 4
WR Adam Thielen LAR 22 20 21 4
WR Mike Evans @CAR 25 17 21 4
WR Christian Kirk IND 19 24 21.5 4
WR Michael Pittman @ARI 21 23 22 4
WR Mike Williams @HOU 23 21 22 4
WR D.J. Moore TB 31 14 22.5 4
WR A.J. Brown SF 24 26 25 5
WR Amari Cooper WAS 26 27 26.5 5
WR Russell Gage DET 27 29 28 5
WR Odell Beckham Jr. @MIN 30 26 28 5
WR DeVante Parker @NO 29 28 28.5 5
WR Darnell Mooney @SEA 32 30 31 6
WR Brandon Aiyuk @TEN 28 38 33 6
WR Van Jefferson @MIN 35 31 33 6
WR Gabriel Davis @NE 34 33 33.5 6
WR Tyler Boyd BAL 38 35 36.5 7
WR DeVonta Smith NYG 36 38 37 7
WR Jakobi Meyers BUF 42 32 37 7
WR A.J. Green IND 33 42 37.5 7
WR Chase Claypool @KC 37 39 38 7
WR Brandin Cooks LAC 14 65 39.5 7
WR Allen Lazard CLE 45 34 39.5 7
WR Michael Gallup WAS 39 41 40 7
WR Jamison Crowder JAC 47 36 41.5 7
WR Josh Reynolds @ATL 40 44 42 7
WR Marvin Jones @NYJ 44 40 42 7
WR Jerry Jeudy @LV 43 44 43.5 7
WR Robby Anderson TB 48 46 47 8
WR Marquez Callaway MIA 49 48 48.5 8
WR Kenny Golladay @PHI 55 47 51 8
WR Jarvis Landry @GB 41 65 53 9
WR Tim Patrick @LV 56 50 53 9
WR Allen Robinson @SEA 51 56 53.5 9
WR Rashod Bateman @CIN 52 57 54.5 9
WR Laviska Shenault Jr. @NYJ 58 52 55 9
WR Mecole Hardman PIT 65 45 55 9
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones @GB 46 65 55.5 9
WR Courtland Sutton @LV 50 65 57.5 10
WR Laquon Treadwell @NYJ 65 51 58 10
WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine SF 53 65 59 10
WR Byron Pringle PIT 65 53 59 10
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling CLE 54 65 59.5 10

 

FFzinger Highlight Player: Jaylen Waddle, WR MIA

Waddle has been a target monster in his rookie season, clearly establishing himself as the alpha receiver on an overall weak Dolphins offense. Part of what we look for each week is a high implied team total, and the Dolphins certainly don’t have that in week 16 with just 18 points. However, Waddle continues to command significant opportunity and succeed when called upon. The rookie has at least eight targets in seven of his last eight games and has surpassed 15 fantasy points in six of those games. Waddle and the Dolphins take on the New Orleans Saints in week 16, who allow the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Waddle is a clear high-end WR2 or even better in both dynasty league rankings and week 16 start/sits.

Pahowdy Highlight Player: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR DET

Because of course, it is. St. Brown is projected as a top-12 wide receiver play this week in PPR. Atlanta has allowed a 70% completion percentage in 2021 and offenses haven’t had much trouble moving the ball against them. St. Brown, averaging a 35% target share over the last three weeks and no less than 11 targets over that span, is likely going to see the majority of pass attempts this week and is expected to have a safe floor on volume alone. Now, we can argue if this is a product of “no one else being there” or St. Brown himself this off-season. For now, all we know is he is very difficult to sit in this situation in week 16.

Tight End

Pos Player Matchup @FFZinger @PaHowdy Average Tier
TE George Kittle @TEN 1 2 1.5 1
TE Mark Andrews @CIN 2 1 1.5 1
TE Rob Gronkowski @CAR 3 4 3.5 2
TE Dawson Knox @NE 6 3 4.5 2
TE Dallas Goedert NYG 4 6 5 2
TE Kyle Pitts DET 7 5 6 2
TE Zach Ertz IND 5 10 7.5 3
TE Dalton Schultz WAS 8 7 7.5 3
TE Hunter Henry BUF 9 9 9 3
TE Mike Gesicki @NO 12 8 10 3
TE Jared Cook @HOU 10 13 11.5 3
TE Noah Fant @LV 11 12 11.5 3
TE Cole Kmet @SEA 13 11 12 3
TE Gerald Everett CHI 16 14 15 4
TE Tyler Conklin LAR 15 16 15.5 4
TE C.J. Uzomah BAL 17 15 16 4
TE David Njoku @GB 18 18 18 5
TE Evan Engram @PHI 19 19 19 5
TE Foster Moreau DEN 23 17 20 5
TE James O’Shaughnessy @NYJ 20 22 21 5
TE Ricky Seals-Jones @DAL 21 21 21 5
TE Albert Okwuegbunam @LV 22 20 21 5
TE Tyler Higbee @MIN 14 35 24.5 6
TE Austin Hooper @GB 26 23 24.5 6
TE Jack Doyle @ARI 25 25 25 6
TE Brevin Jordan LAC 29 26 27.5 7
TE Hayden Hurst DET 30 28 29 7
TE Cameron Brate @CAR 24 35 29.5 7
TE Jonnu Smith BUF 27 35 31 7
TE Noah Gray PIT 35 27 31 7

 

FFzinger Highlight Player: Jared Cook, TE LAC

Even in the high-powered Chargers offense, Cook has been quiet for most of the fantasy football season. As TE18 on the year, fantasy managers aren’t clamoring to start him in the fantasy playoffs. While his overall lack of production is concerning, Cook has been seeing consistent targets from Justin Herbert. The veteran tight end has had just one game since the team’s week seven bye of fewer than four targets. Combining a solid target floor, a good matchup against the Houston Texans who rank ninth-worst against opposing tight ends on the season, and a stellar team implied team total of 27.75 points, Cook is a desperation option as a borderline TE1 option. He dropped an easy touchdown last week and should see more opportunities to find the endzone in week 16. If you’re scrambling for a TE without TJ Hockenson or Darren Waller, Cook is a solid start.

Pahowdy Highlight Player: Cole Kmet, TE CHI

If a tight end doesn’t at least finish in the top 12, they are essentially a bust (and sometimes they can “bust” for overall points despite being in the top 12 because the tight end position stinks sometimes). Kmet, despite Jimmy Graham’s constant ability to score touchdowns, has outperformed Graham in PPR points in three of the last four weeks, and two of those weeks were for more than 12 PPR points. What’s more, he’s been out-targeting him at an even larger pace, having a 15% target share or more over the last four weeks (Graham has been under 10 each of the last four) and over 20% twice in that time. Kmet has 490 receiving yards on the season and no touchdowns. I think he offers the kind of upside we need at the position if you don’t have a more “locked-in” starter already.

That concludes this week’s rankings article! If you’re wondering about a player we didn’t dive into detail about, feel free to reach out to me or Peter Howard @PaHowdy on Twitter. Best of luck this week, and we’ll be back next week with more positional rankings.

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Week 16 Positional Rankings
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