If you’ve made it your fantasy football championship game, then congratulations, but now comes the toughest week of the season. Dealing with injuries, potential COVID issues, and games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — all while getting ready for Christmas — is a lot, which is why we’re here to help with Week 16 start ’em, sit ’em advice. It’s all about fielding the best lineup for this one week, and that might include starting sleepers you just picked up off the waiver wire and benching starters who have helped you get to this point.
Of course, we realize that there are only a handful of teams in each league still playing for money, so if you’re no longer concerned about your season-long squad, we’ve included some DFS tips to help you have a successful Week 16, too.
WEEK 16 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Start: Quarterbacks
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (vs. ATL), Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. SF), Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs. TEN), Lamar Jackson, Ravens (vs. NYG), Deshaun Watson, Texans (vs. CIN), Josh Allen, Bills (at NE)
Tom Brady, Buccaneers (at DET). Brady’s legend began at Michigan and he goes back there in a different uniform to pick apart a putrid defense on every level. His volume may not be as high because of team rushing success, but his receivers can smash it across the board.
Justin Herbert, Chargers (vs. DEN). The rookie got revved up nicely against the Raiders and will keep it up against a wilting Broncos defense.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. GB). The Packers are pretty good at limiting passing damage, but his legs and play-action should help him come through in a shootout.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (at JAX). It’s been the Monty show of late, but he’ll get in on the fun with multilple scores, some running, and at least 250 passing yards.
Jared Goff, Rams (at SEA). Goff threw for 300-plus scoreless yards in the first meeting. The Seahawks have been better defensively, but Goff should have high volume with the running game contained minus Cam Akers (ankle).
Jalen Hurts, Eagles (at DAL, $7,000 on DraftKings, $8,200 on FanDuel). Hurts has been priced up a little after a monster second start against the Cardinals, but with a smaller pool (20 QBs for the main slate), he’s the standout in terms of big return on middle-tier investment.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (at NYJ, $6,000 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel). Between him, Hurts, and Murray, it’s Oklahoma for the win. The Jets are decent against the run, so Mayfield will hit strikes all over the field to his wide receivers and tight ends. He, like Hurts, maintains his closing QB1 run.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins (at LV). He didn’t throw much on the Patriots but punched in two short TDs. He should get to let loose with presumably a healthier receiving corps in a plum matchup against a Raiders’ reeling defense.
WEEK 16 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Sit: Quarterbacks
Russell Wilson, Seahawks (vs. LAR). Wilson is back to late-season fantasy slumping tied to tough matchups. This is another one right after Washington.
Drew Brees, Saints (vs. MIN). The Vikings haven’t allowed a 20-point QB game in a long time because their defense is wilting against the run more now.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (vs. IND). You cannot go here regardless of who he is facing, and the Colts aren’t a get-well zone defense matchup.
Matt Ryan, Falcons (at KC). It was a Song of Matty Fire against the Buccaneers, but he’ll got back to Matty Ice Cold outdoors in December without Julio Jones (hamstring) against a tough pass defense.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings (at NO). The Saints did well to contain Patrick Mahomes despite the numbers, and Cousins is no Mahomes.
Matthew Stafford, Lions (vs. TB). The Bucs won’t let Stafford have the kind of day his buddy Matt Ryan did.
Philip Rivers, Colts (at PIT), Drew Lock, Broncos (at LAC)
WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Start: Running backs
Alvin Kamara, Saints (vs. MIN), Dalvin Cook, Vikings (at NO), Aaron Jones, Packers (vs. TEN), Derrick Henry, Titans (at GB), James Robinson, JAX (if he plays, vs CHI), Josh Jacobs, Raiders (vs. MIA), Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, Browns (at NYJ), Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. DEN), Chris Carson, Seahawks (vs. LAR), Jonathan Taylor, Colts (at PIT), Kenyan Drake, Cardinals (vs. SF), Miles Sanders, Eagles (at DAL), David Montgomery, Bears (at JAX), J.K. Dobbins, Ravens (vs. NYG), Melvin Gordon, Broncos (at LAC)
J.D. McKissic, Washington (vs. CAR). McKissic smashed in the revenge game against the Seahawks last week and keeps it rolling with high touches in a solid spot back at home.
Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs (vs. ATL). He’ll get the bulk of the rushing and receiving work in an explosive offense with a good-enough matchup at home.
Sony Michel, Patriots (vs. BUF). Damien Harris (ankle) likely will miss more time, so it’s back to their classic early-down back to pound on the Bills.
Salvon Ahmed or Myles Gaskin, Dolphins (at LV). Gaskin (COVID) could return this week, otherwise it will be more of Ahmed featured in a smash spot.
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers (at ARI). Raheem Mostert is done for the season with his latest ankle injury, opening the door for JWJ to get key touches, although Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman may get some work, too.
Devin Singletary, Bills (at NE). He’s still about even with Zack Moss, but Singletary looks like the better young back of late and the matchup is favorable.
David Johnson, Texans (vs. CIN, $6,100 on DraftKings, $6,700 on FanDuel). Johnson dominated touches with no Duke Johnson (neck) or C.J. Prosise (illness) and came through as a receiver more than a runner. There’s a good chance he hits paydirt against the weak Bengals’ run defense at home.
Giovani Bernard, Bengals (at HOU, $4,800 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel). Staying in the same game, you need to take advantage of this pre-MNF pricing on Bernard. He’ll go off again against the Texans in a smash spot.
Gus Edwards, Ravens (vs. NYG), Kalen Ballage, Chargers (vs. DEN), Latavius Murray, Saints (vs. MIN)
WEEK 16 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Sit: Running backs
D’Andre Swift, Lions (vs. TB). He’s been hot to finish his rookie season, but the Bucs really are stingy against all running backs.
Mike Davis, Panthers (at WAS). He’s still the volume guy without Christian McCaffrey (thigh), but he’s not getting all the touches anymore and his matchup is brutal after blowing a good one in Week 15.
James Conner or Benny Snell Jr., Steelers (vs. IND). Snell looked good against the lowly Bengals filling in, but either steps into a much tougher spot against the Colts’ front seven.
Darrell Henderson or Malcolm Brown, Rams (at SEA). With Akers out again with a high ankle sprain, neither is appealing against a solid Seahawks run defense.
Ito Smith, Falcons (at KC). He’s the guy over Todd Gurley and the matchup is good, but you still can’t trust Atlanta’s backfield.
Frank Gore, Jets (vs. CLE). He’s still chugging as their workhorse, but the Browns stop the run well.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (vs. SF). Edmonds behind Kenyan Drake won’t be as effective this week.
James White, Patriots (at BUF). He got more usual receiving work last week, but you still can’t expect anything viable from him.
WEEK 16 DFS CASH LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Start: Wide receivers
Davante Adams, Packers (vs. TEN), DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (vs. SF), Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (vs. ATL), Calvin Ridley, Falcons (at KC), Stefon Diggs, Bills (at NE), DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (vs. LAR). A.J. Brown, Titans (at GB), Allen Robinson, Bears (at JAX), Keenan Allen, Chargers (if he’s heathy, vs. DEN), Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, Vikings (at NO), Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (at DET), Terry McLaurin, Washington (vs. CAR), Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, Rams (at SEA), Diontae Johnson, Steelers (vs. IND), Amari Cooper, Cowboys (vs. PHI), Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, Panthers (at WAS), Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (at ARI)
Marvin Jones Jr., Lions (vs. TB). Jones might get a break with Carlton Davis (groin) banged up and pick up where Calvin Ridley left off.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins (at LV). We will see about the hammy, but he can kill against this secondary.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (vs. IND). Unlike the Bengals, the Colts struggle most with slot receivers, and he’ll want to make some amends for TikTokGate.
CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (vs. PHI). The Eagles have been weaker in the slot of late, and Lamb is looking explosive again.
Tee Higgins, Bengals (at HOU). With Tyler Boyd concussed and A.J. Green old, Higgins is the Cincy wideout best equipped to rip this weak cornerback corps.
Jamison Crowder, Jets (vs. CLE). He should be busy in the slot for Sam Darnold with not much available outside.
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots (vs. BUF). He is red hot in the slot and should get some volume from Cam Newton.
Emmanuel Sanders, Saints (vs. MIN). He needs to be their No. 1 by default, and the Vikings’ young secondary can be roasted by his veteran savvy.
Tyron Johnson, Chargers (vs. DEN). He is the new big-play guy for Herbert, and he’s locked in with his rookie QB.
Rashard Higgins, Browns (at NYJ, $4,800 on DraftKings, $5,800 on FanDuel). Higgins has been solid for Mayfield the past three weeks as his veteran go-to guy outside, and the Jets have trouble covering any there.
Chad Hansen, Texans (vs. CIN, $4,400 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel). He’s a big-play guy who’s replaced Will Fuller well and steps into the best of the three Bengals’ cornerback matchups this week for Watson.
Darnell Mooney, Bears (at JAX, $4,000 on DraftKings, $5,400 on FanDuel). Mooney has clicked with Mitchell Trubisky, scoring twice in as many weeks. The Jaguars cannot cover the dynamic rookie with their attention on Allen Robinson.
MORE WEEK 16: Full waiver list | FAAB budget planner
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Sit: Wide receivers
Corey Davis, Titans (at GB). Unfortunately, it looks like he will be the tail receiver getting the Jaire Alexander treatment this week.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts (at PIT). Joe Haden and Steven Nelson are back playing well together.
Cole Beasley, Bills (at NE). The Patriots are solid in the slot and shut him down in the first meeting.
Marquise Brown, Ravens (vs. NYG). He will cool off against a returning James Bradberry.
Chase Claypool, Steelers (vs. IND). The Colts limit damage of big plays with their bending-and-not-breaking defense.
Nelson Agholor, Raiders (vs. MIA). He gets another tough cornerback matchup outside this week.
All Jaguars (vs. CHI). The Bears’ secondary is leakier of late and Jaylen Johnson may miss another game, but you can’t trust the Jags passing game right now.
All Giants (at BAL). Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard have it rough regardless of QB.
All Broncos (at LAC). Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy will have their hands full.
MORE WEEK 16 DFS: Best stacks | Lineup Builder
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Start: Tight ends
Travis Kelce, Chiefs (vs. ATL), Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. MIA), T.J. Hockenson, Lions (vs. TB), Mark Andrews, Ravens (vs. NYG), Robert Tonyan, Packers (vs. TEN), Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers (at DET)
Logan Thomas, Washington (vs. CAR). What a year for him at his new position, and he’ll continue his strong finish in a solid spot.
Noah Fant, Broncos (at LAC). Fant showed his upside last week, and it will continue here.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles (at DAL). Goedert is overdue for paydirt….in Dallas.
Cole Kmet, Bears (at JAX). It’s kismet that Kmet scores on the Jaguars.
Jared Cook, Saints (vs. MIN). Cook should burn the Vikings for a short score.
Jordan Akins, Texans (vs. CIN). He’s in a big mix of receivers, but he’s a tough cover for the Bengals.
Austin Hooper, Browns (at NYJ, $3,500 on DraftKings, $5,100 on FanDuel). A matchup against the Jets almost guarantees that he will score, and he can add something like four catches and 45 yards to go with that.
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Sit: Tight ends
Evan Engram, Giants (at BAL). He’s hard to trust with the QB situation and the Ravens getting tougher against the position.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons (at KC). He’s totally TD-dependent.
Jonnu Smith, Titans (at GB). There are too many tight ends and receives in the mix, and the Packers are good by the numbers here.
Jordan Reed, 49ers (at ARI). He won’t score again in a tough spot.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (vs. PHI). He won’t score again in an “easy” spot.
Tyler Higbee, Rams (at SEA). Don’t go chasing his latest big game anomaly.
Vance McDonald, Steelers (vs. IND). Eric Ebron (back) would also be a bad play against the Colts’ tight end defense.
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Start: Defenses
Ravens (vs. NYG), Browns (at NYJ), Bears (at JAX), Bills (at NE), Washington (vs. CAR), Chargers (vs. DEN), Buccaneers (at DET), Cardinals (vs. SF), Rams (at SEA), Saints (vs. MIN)
Chiefs (vs. ATL $3,400 on DraftKings, $4,100 on FanDuel). The Chiefs will wrap up the AFC’s top seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs with a win. They’ll come fired up to make big plays all over the field vs. Atlanta’s inconsistent offense.
Fantasy Football Week 16 Who To Sit: Defenses
Dolphins (at LV), Texans (vs. CIN), Eagles (at DAL), Steelers (vs. IND), Colts (at PIT), Seahawks (vs. LAR), Panthers (at WAS), Giants (at BAL), Packers (vs. TEN)