Aaron Rodgers is the front-runner for MVP after a tumultuous offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs hold the No. 1 seed because of their defense and Tuesday Night Football has returned. The 2021 NFL season has been a wild ride.
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And that amazement has distracted me from the fact that the fantasy playoffs have entered Round 2 after a week where the majority of fantasy studs nuked lineups in an outlier low-scoring week. It’s important to not overcorrect fantasy football player rankings and adjust who the best waiver wire targets are based on an aberration — the season-long knowledge about each player and how defenses can be attacked should still be the basis of our decision-making.
Therefore, don’t get cute and bench a stud after a bad game if the peripheral usage is still present, especially with boom-or-bust wide receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase.
Chase caught a 46-yard bomb from Joe Burrow in Week 15, but it was called back because of a holding penalty. Had the play stood, fantasy managers would feel much less salty about Chase’s one-catch performance, so be greedy while others fear playing the rookie. I would not bet on another poor outing in Week 16, as the Cincinnati Bengals take on an extremely thin Baltimore Ravens secondary.
With plenty of other PFF premium stats available to adjust rankings based on a player’s high-value opportunities, expected fantasy point output and route participation, it will be easy to highlight the ideal waiver-wire pickups, optimal starts/sits, under-the-radar DFS plays and beatable player prop bets.
Those key data points — along with PFF player grades, implied team totals, PFF fantasy projections and strength of schedule — are all factored into my position-by-position Week 16 fantasy football rankings.
2021 WEEK 16 QB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS
|Patrick Mahomes II||KC||5||1|
Brady has had a plethora of weapons at his disposal all season, which has attributed to him ranking second in fantasy points at the quarterback position — behind only Josh Allen. However, Brady is going to be playing short-handed come Sunday with no Chris Godwin or Leonard Fournette. Mike Evans and Antonio Brown’s availability is also up in the air.
I’m old enough to remember Brady struggling immensely in his final season in New England due to playing with a hodgepodge group of playmakers. The results were not good. Combine his potential lack of weapons with a matchup versus an underrated Carolina Panthers defense, and I am forced to rank Brady outside my top-five fantasy quarterbacks ahead of Week 16.
Carolina ranks second in fewest yards per play (4.8) and passing yards allowed per game (196.4) this season.
Fields has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback (pending Tuesday Night Football) in his last four completed games. I was all over his 180.5 passing yards prop, which he smashed into oblivion on Monday night, as he threw for 285 passing yards against the Minnesota Vikings defense.
The rookie quarterback is averaging 56 rushing yards per game over his last six completed contests, putting firmly back into the top-12 quarterback rankings in a plus-matchup versus the Seattle Seahawks, who rank first in the passing yards allowed over the last four weeks.
Anybody that has watched a Steelers game this season can clearly see that Roethlisberger just doesn’t have “it” anymore. He is PFF’s 33rd-graded quarterback (59.7) — his lowest grade since his rookie year.
And although he has gotten it done in fantasy over recent weeks — three top-10 finishes since Week 11 — relying on Pittsburgh scoring in garbage time is just an approach I’d recommend avoiding in the fantasy football playoffs, especially against a surging Kansas City Chiefs defense that has not allowed more than 270 passing yards to a quarterback since Week 5. The Chiefs defense also ranks third in the fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks over the last four weeks.
2021 WEEK 16 RB FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS