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Week 16 Busts - Overvalued Players to Avoid In Fantasy Football

You've made it! Week 16 is the championship round in most leagues, though don't worry if you have a Week 17 title game, because I'll be here to help you out with that!

Who should you avoid in your fantasy lineups? Let's go over 10 players who scare me for various reason, plus take a look around at a few players per position who just missed the main list for various.

Below are 10 lineup busts and avoids for Week 16 of NFL action.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Top 10 Busts - NFL Week 16


Tom Brady - New England Patriots


Look y'all, Tom Brady has been a human being this year. Yeah, he's (probably) the greatest quarterback of all-time, but he's just 13th in fantasy points for quarterbacks this season, and he's got just a 10-point lead over Mitch Trubisky, who missed two games. Brady has been a normal NFL passer -- not great, not terrible -- and you don't give normal NFL passers the benefit of the doubt when they've got a bad matchup. The Patriots take on a Bills team that allows the fewest fantasy points per game. Brady threw for 324 yards and no scores against Buffalo in Week 8, but the Bills have turned it on since then, as just one quarterback has surpassed the 13.6 fantasy points that Brady got in the six games since. They've allowed three games this year with 20 or more fantasy points from the quarterback position, but two of those came in Weeks 1 and 2.

Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford, in a full 16 game season, has the following finishes: QB5, QB11, QB7, QB15, QB9, QB7, and QB7, so coming into this year you likely pegged him as a consistent fantasy scorer who you'd be able to get later in your draft.

So, of course, Stafford promptly went out and put up his worst season. He's the QB20 right now, and he's got a matchup this week with the Vikings, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. If you're hoping for a bounce-back week from the Lions passer, you're likely to be in for a long day on Sunday.

Additional Thoughts 

Lots of guys who you probably plan to start have bad matchups. Here are some quarterbacks who face defenses that rank in the bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed to the position: Philip RiversJared Goff, Lamar Jackson, Jameis Winstonand Patrick Mahomes. Of those, Rivers and Mahomes have good enough floors that the matchups don't bother me, but the other three aren't great options. Goff should be fine, though we've seen him struggle lately. Jackson's rushing ability helps him maintain solid numbers. Winston is the guy from this list who I'd most want to avoid.



Adrian Peterson - Washington Redskins

No team allows fewer fantasy points per game to the running back position than the Titans, and they've shut down Leonard Fournette and Saquon Barkley in consecutive weeks now. Peterson has run for less than three yards per carry in three of the last four games, and the fourth was the Eagles game where he broke off a 90-yard touchdown run and then failed to hit the 100-yard mark.

Jeffery Wilson Jr. - San Francisco 49ers

A popular pickup in recent weeks (I used all my FAAB money on him in two leagues, and promptly lost in the first round of the playoffs in both leagues), Wilson ended up playing just 19 percent of snaps last week as Matt Breida regained this backfield. A bad matchup this week and an uncertain role has Wilson heading back to fantasy benches. (By the way, don't love Breida this week either against the Bears.)

Kenyan Drake - Miami Dolphins

Frank Gore is on the IR, but don't expect that to mean Kenyan Drake steps in as the bell-cow back. Despite out-snapping rookie Kalen Ballage 28 to 26, Ballage had 13 touches to Drake's four. Factor in a meeting with the Jaguars, who've stopped everyone except for Derrick Henry since the bye week, and there's not much reason to play Drake this week. (Ballage as a sleeper option despite the bad matchup? Hmm...maybe in deeper leagues, but I'm not digging him much either.)

Additional Thoughts

I don't really know what to think about the Chargers backfield this week. Melvin Gordon should play, but will he have a full workload against a stout Ravens defense? You play him if he's good to go, but you worry some, yeah? And look, it's crazy to question Christian McCaffrey, but with Cam Newton out, will the Panthers have McCaffrey out there as much? Will he be able to get involved in the passing game? Is this a baseless concern?



D.J. Moore - Carolina Panthers

Starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke is probably enough reason here, right?

Kenny Golladay - Detroit Lions

Golladay made me look wrong last week, but a tough meeting with the Vikings this week, which allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, has him staying on this list.

Golladay's two-catch, five-yard performance against the Cardinals is still a thing that happened, and while last week's game (seven catches, 146 yards) happened too, that uncertainty about what version of Golladay we see this week has me feeling uneasy about him.

Kenny Stills - Miami Dolphins

Also on last week's list and making a return appearance, the Dolphins face a tough test this week against a Jaguars defense that allows the fewest points to wide receivers. This should be a pretty low-scoring game, and it's hard to trust Stills this week in this matchup.

Additional Thoughts

I still don't like any Jaguars wide receivers -- only Dede Westbrook even had a catch last week, and this team is just a mess right now offensively. The Buccaneers face the Cowboys, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. And even if Odell Beckham Jr. is out, I'm avoiding Sterling Shepard against the Colts.



Vernon Davis - Washington Redskins

Will this be the week the Titans finally allow a tight end to score a touchdown?


With Josh Johnson at quarterback and the aging Vernon Davis, who was out-snapped by Jeremy Sprinkle last week, that streak feels very likely to continue. It'll be up to the Colts to try to break it in Week 17.

Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers

McDonald is a touchdown-dependent option at the tight end position and faces the Saints, who've allowed four touchdowns all year to tight ends. He also saw a season-low 35.9 snap percentage in Week 15 as the team spent more time with extra receivers on the field. James Washington saw a 32.1 percent jump in snap percentage over Week 14's numbers, while Eli Rogers was on the field 44 percent of his time in his first game back from a torn ACL.

Additional Thoughts

I probably can't get away with putting Rob Gronkowski on the main list, but the Bills allow the second-fewest fantasy points to the position. Likewise for Jimmy Graham, who probably is in your lineups since tight end is a weak position but who faces the third-best defense against fantasy tight ends, the Jets.

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