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McFarland: Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings & Tiers

Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to set our Week 16 fantasy football lineups and identify our favorite DFS plays and fades.

Below, you'll find tiers and rankings for every position, including analysis, implied point totals, betting spreads and more.

For adjustments after the timestamp below, check out PFF's weekly rankings and projections.

Last updated: 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23

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KEY:

  • SOS: PFF's Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.
  • OL Pass-Block Advantage (OL PBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (pass blocking advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • OL Run-Block Advantage (OL RBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (run-blocking advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • WR/CB Matchup Advantage (WR/CB MU): wide receiver versus cornerback matchup; derived from the WR/CB Matchup tool (matchup advantage grade — the higher the grade, the better the matchup for the receiver, and vice versa).
  • TE Matchup Advantage (TE MU): tight end versus linebackers and safeties; derived from the TE Matchup tool (matchup advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the tight end, and vice versa.
  • Projections: from PFF projections tool.
  • Injuries: Q = Questionable; D = Doubtful (typically removed from ranks on Saturday); GTD = game-time decision

JUMP TO A POSITION RANKING:

QB | RB | WR | TE


QUARTERBACKS

Tier Rank Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR Injury Status
1 QB1 Justin Herbert @HST 45.5 -10.0 27.75 10.0 25 23.9
1 QB2 Kyler Murray IND 48.5 -1.0 24.75 1.9 -3 21.2
2 QB3 Tom Brady @CAR 44.0 -10.0 27.00 5.0 22 20.6
2 QB4 Josh Allen @NE 43.5 2.5 20.50 1.7 5 20.4
2 QB5 Aaron Rodgers CLV 46.0 -7.5 26.75 1.8 -19 18.6 Q
2 QB6 Jalen Hurts NYG 40.5 -9.5 25.00 6.7 19 20.3 Q
2 QB7 Matthew Stafford @MIN 49.5 -3.0 26.25 3.0 23 19.9
3 QB8 Lamar Jackson @CIN 45.5 3.0 21.25 6.3 -4 21.5 Q
3 QB9 Patrick Mahomes PIT 44.5 -7.5 26.00 5.4 -31 18.9
3 QB10 Dak Prescott WAS 47.0 -10.5 28.75 8.0 -1 21.2
3 QB11 Joe Burrow BLT 45.5 -3.0 24.25 7.9 1 19.5
4 QB12 Justin Fields @SEA 42.5 6.5 18.00 8.1 12 15.7 Q
5 QB13 Russell Wilson CHI 42.5 -6.5 24.50 9.6 -7 19.0
5 QB14 Kirk Cousins LA 49.5 3.0 23.25 5.3 -75 16.4 Q
5 QB15 Matt Ryan DET 42.5 -5.5 24.00 9.7 -4 20.2
5 QB16 Jimmy Garoppolo @TEN 44.5 -3.0 23.75 5.0 18 16.3
6 QB17 Derek Carr DEN 41.5 1.0 20.25 3.8 24 17.8
6 QB18 Tua Tagovailoa @NO 38.5 3.0 17.75 0.0 -32 16.0
6 QB19 Ryan Tannehill SF 44.5 3.0 20.75 4.0 -34 18.3
6 QB20 Mac Jones BUF 43.5 -2.5 23.00 4.0 26 15.5
6 QB21 Ben Roethlisberger @KC 44.5 7.5 18.50 6.2 0 12.5
6 QB22 Carson Wentz @ARZ 48.5 1.0 23.75 4.4 -16 15.4
6 QB23 Taylor Heinicke @DAL 47.0 10.5 18.25 2.0 -5 15.9 Q
6 QB24 Drew Lock @LV 41.5 -1.0 21.25 6.4 -22 14.3
6 QB25 Davis Mills LAC 45.5 10.0 17.75 4.0 -7 15.3
7 QB26 Zach Wilson JAX 41.5 1.0 20.25 9.8 -7 14.0
7 QB27 Trevor Lawrence @NYJ 41.5 -1.0 21.25 8.7 17 15.2
7 QB28 Baker Mayfield @GB 46.0 7.5 19.25 2.1 -17 12.4 Q
7 QB29 Cam Newton TB 44.0 10.0 17.00 3.1 0 9.6
7 QB30 Ian Book MIA 38.5 -3.0 20.75 5.7 -13 0.0
7 QB31 Tim Boyle @ATL 42.5 5.5 18.50 9.1 33 14.8
7 QB32 Jake Fromm @PHI 40.5 9.5 15.50 5.5 -37 13.7

Removed from ranks:  Teddy Bridgewater (out – concussion), Taysom Hill (COVID-19), Jared Goff (COVID-19), Trevor Siemian (COVID-19)

Tier 1 – Justin Herbert and the Chargers have utilized the running game on 43% of plays over the last three games, up 12% versus the first 11 contests. Los Angeles is a heavy favorite against the Texans, so we could see more from the running game. However, the Chargers remain a pass-heavy team, dropping back to pass 10% more than the NFL average in leading game scripts. The second-year quarterback has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five consecutive games and has eclipsed 300 yards in three of those.

Tier 2 – Tom Brady won't have Chris Godwin for the rest of the season, and Mike Evans (hamstring) could also miss their matchup against Carolina. Fortunately, he gets Antonio Brown back, and Rob Gronkowski is fully healthy. The Buccaneers remain the second-most pass-heavy team in the NFL (68%).

Tier 2 – Josh Allen got in a full practice on Wednesday and isn't on the injury report, so we could see the Bills use his legs more than the 7% of designed attempts we saw in Week 15. If the foot injury does limit his rushing output, it isn't the colossal downgrade some might expect — Allen has QB1, QB3, QB14 and QB7 finishes in games when held under 10% of designed attempts and scrambling less than 10% of dropbacks.

The Patriots allow the second-fewest points per game to quarterbacks (15.3) and have kept Allen under 225 yards passing in five of six matchups since 2018. The fourth-year quarterback is still a high-end fantasy asset but downgrades from Tier 1 to Tier 2 based on the history of this matchup.

Tier 3 – Lamar Jackson did not practice on Wednesday due to his ankle-bone bruise. If he does play, we might not see the same explosive playmaker on the ground, moving him below other strong quarterback performers like Aaron Rodgers, Jalen Hurts and Matthew Stafford.

If we get an indication that Jackson is near 100% sometime before the game, he climbs back among the top five quarterbacks. Conversely, if Jackson can't go against the Bengals, Tyler Huntley ascends to low-end QB1 status above Justin Fields.

Tier 3 – Patrick Mahomes tumbles down the ranks with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on the reserve COVID-19 list. If he gets one of his playmakers back, he climbs into the top six. If both are available, he is the No. 1 option on the slate.

Tier 6 – Derek Carr has QB22, QB22 and QB18 finishes in his last three games without Darren Waller, who remains questionable after missing another practice on Wednesday. If Waller works his way to full participation before Sunday, Carr ascends to Tier 5.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

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