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Week 16 IDP Fantasy Football Rankings

Before you even ask, yes, we are aware that our COVID-centered intros are becoming a bit of a broken record. That said, we must keep coming back to this particular record because it continues to be the biggest factor in fantasy football right now. While COVID went much of this year without impacting any NFL games, it is now deciding countless fantasy championships, like some fat child-king of Westeros who gets his jollies off of kicking his jesters in the junk. And that’s just our luck, isn’t it?

All of this is to say COVID will play a particularly significant role in our rankings this week. By this, we mean two things. First, our rankings will take into account when games are being played. So if you have a defender going on Thursday and a similarly valuable defender going on Sunday or Monday, we may favor the tackler who plays earlier. The reason for this is that you cannot predict whether your Sunday player will come down with COVID on Friday or Saturday night, rendering him unavailable. If you have someone almost as good who you know will play on Thursday, why risk going with a Sunday player with more question marks and risk?

The second way we will factor COVID into our rankings this week is by discounting players on "outbreak teams." By this, we mean that if a Kansas City Chief and a San Francisco 49er are close in our rankings, we will likely lean towards the 49er simply because his team isn't experiencing the same level of an outbreak that the Chiefs are right now. Because this is the fantasy playoffs, you have to mask your teams from unnecessary risks and avoid guys who may be more likely to get a COVID-IR designation this week. While we obviously cannot predict who will get sick, we can play the odds by prioritizing players in less infected locker rooms and starting comparable talents who play earlier in the week…. And with that said, let's get to our IDP rankings, shall we?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Top-30 Fantasy Defensive Linemen of the Week

Rank Player Team Opponent
1 T.J. Watt Steelers Chiefs
2 Nick Bosa 49ers Titans
3 Micah Parsons Cowboys WFT
4 Myles Garrett (Q) Browns Packers
5 Robert Quinn Bears Seahawks
6 Matthew Judon Patriots Bills
7 Harold Landry III Titans 49ers
8 Trey Hendrickson Bengals Ravens
9 Shaquil Barret Buccaneers Panthers
10 Aaron Donald Rams Vikings
11 Sam Hubbard Bengals Ravens
12 Charles Harris Lions Falcons
13 Haason Reddick Panthers Buccaneers
14 Josh Allen Jaguars Jets
15 Jeffery Simmons Titans 49ers
16 Brian Burns Panthers Buccaneers
17 Tyus Bowser Ravens Bengals
18 Alex Highsmith Steelers Chiefs
19 Cameron Heyward Steelers Chiefs
20 Leonard Floyd Rams Vikings
21 Arden Key 49ers Titans
22 Chandler Jones Cardinals Colts
23 Montez Sweat WFT Cowboys
24 Demarcus Lawrence Cowboys WFT
25 Deforest Buckner Colts Cardinals
26 Preston Smith Packers Browns
27 Andrew Van Ginkel Dolphins Saints
28 Javon Hargrave Eagles Giants
29 Rashan Gary Packers Browns
30 Odafe Oweh Ravens Bengals
31 Jaelen Phillips Dolphins Saints
32 Randy Gregory Cowboys WFT
33 Cameron Jordan Saints Dolphins
34 Leonard Williams Giants Eagles
35 Darrell Taylor Seahawks Bears
36 Uchenna Nwosu Chargers Texans
37 Von Miller Rams Vikings
38 Davon Godchaux Patriots Bills
39 Jonathan Allen WFT Cowboys
40 Jadeveon Clowney Browns Packers

 

DL Streamer of the Week: Arden Key, San Francisco 49ers

Key was our best bargain in this week's IDP Waivers column, and a lot of that had to do with his matchups over the next two weeks. Key hasn't seen elite usage in San Francisco, but that hasn't hurt his upside in fantasy too much. Key has totaled five sacks in his past seven games despite playing less than half the 49ers' snaps. He has gotten at least a half-sack in all but one of those contests.

This week Key has a plus matchup against a Titans offensive line sporting an 8.7% Adjusted Sack Rate (fifth-worst in the NFL). Plus, this is an offense that provided HUGE fantasy totals to three different Steelers last week. Tennessee’s offense isn’t the only thing to like about this game for Key, though. If you play Key you also get the advantage of locking in a starter with upside on Thursday, rather than crossing your fingers that a Sunday starter will stay off the COVID list.

Another Underrated Matchup for Thursday: The 49ers are one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL, but they are incredibly weak at the right guard spot. Jeffery Simmons lines up directly over that position nearly one-third of the time, putting him in a position to make several TFLs and collect a healthy tackle total. This week he's a viable DL2 option, despite a recent cold streak that has rendered him a DL3 or worse on many lists.

 

DL Fade of the Week: Jonathan Greenard, Houston Texans

The expectation right now is that Greenard has a good chance to come off the COVID list in time to play the Chargers this weekend. If he does manage to do so, he is a very risky play.

If you were to listen to commentators calling Chargers games this year, you’d think Los Angeles was a great matchup for pass rushers like Greenard. The general opinion of many analysts seems to be the boys in powder blue still struggle in pass protection, but that's a leftover narrative from 2020. In fact, all of the Chargers' starters on the offensive line have earned elite pass-blocking grades from PFF this year, including each of their edge protectors. That is why Justin Herbert has suffered just 1.8 sacks per game in his past seven contests, despite taking four in a rough matchup with Cincinnati.

While it's true Corey Linsley could be out with COVID this week, a huge loss for this line, Greenard has lined up on the interior on exactly two snaps this year, so he shouldn't benefit from Linsley’s absence. Greenard looks to be more bust than boom this week.

Higher Profile Fades: We are also discounting the Panthers' pass rushers, if just a little bit, thanks to their matchup with Tampa Bay. While we still rank them as DL2 options, Haason Reddick and Brian Burns fall just outside of the DL1 conversation for us this week. You can start them, but we don't consider them top-ten plays.

 

Top-30 Fantasy Linebackers of the Week

Rank Player Team Opponent
1 Roquan Smith Bears Seahawks
2 Bobby Wagner Seahawks Bears
3 Denzel Perryman (Q) Raiders Broncos
4 Foyesade Oluokun Falcons Lions
5 Devin White Buccaneers Panthers
6 Darius Leonard Colts Cardinals
7 Jordyn Brooks Seahawks Bears
8 De’Vondre Campbell Packers Browns
9 Jordan Hicks Cardinals Colts
10 Cole Holcomb (Q) WFT Cowboys
11 Eric Kendricks Vikings Rams
12 C.J. Mosley Jets Jaguars
13 Fred Warner 49ers Titans
14 Deion Jones Falcons Lions
15 Quincy Williams Jets Jaguars
16 Micah Parsons Cowboys WFT
17 Azeez Al-Shaair (Q) 49ers Titans
18 Germaine Pratt Bengals Ravens
19 T.J. Edwards Eagles Giants
20 T.J. Watt Steelers Chiefs
21 Kyzir White Chargers Texans
22 Ernest Jones Rams Vikings
23 Tremaine Edmunds Bills Patriots
24 Kamu Grugier-Hill (Q) Texans Chargers
25 Isaiah Simmons Cardinals Colts
26 Alex Singleton Eagles Giants
27 Zach Cunningham Titans 49ers
28 Bobby Okereke Colts Cardinals
29 Shaq Thompson Panthers Buccaneers
30 Matt Milano Bills Patriots
31 Demario Davis Saints Dolphins
32 Joe Schobert Steelers Chiefs
33 Baron Browning Broncos Raiders
34 Tae Crowder Giants Eagles
35 Ja’Whaun Bentley (Q) Patriots Bills
36 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Browns Packers
37 Anthony Walker Jr. Browns Packers
38 Josh Bynes Ravens Bengals
39 Jalen Reeves-Maybin Lions Falcons
40 Myles Jack Jaguars Jets

 

LB Streamer of the Week: Zach Cunningham, Tennessee Titans

Cunningham’s stock has slipped considerably since his release from the Texans, and rightfully so. That said, if you are considering him in the context you should (as an LB3), then there is value to be found here.

Fantasy managers should be encouraged by the 67% snap share that the Vanderbilt product saw in his very first action with the Titans. That kind of playing time is a good sign for a player who hasn't been with the team for long. You also have to like the odds of that snap rate increasing in Week 16 with David Long Jr. already ruled out and Jayon Brown playing half of the snaps that Cunningham did last week.

Another reason to like Cunningham is his plus matchup with the 49ers this week. San Francisco is the fourth most run-heavy team in the NFL, and their passing game goes through their tight end. That spells lots of opportunities for Cunningham, who is a risky but attractive player available in most IDP leagues.

 

LB Fade of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles Linebackers

As always, we caution that this fade does not mean you are automatically benching your Eagles linebackers. Both T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton carry solid tackle floors on a week-to-week basis, and they are arguably better options than our streamer this week (Cunningham). That said, these ‘backers are fades for us while Cunningham is a streamer because we disagree with current industry expectations for these players.

While many in the IDP world are ranking Edwards and Singleton as LB1 options, their matchup this week comes with concerns. Namely, the Giants are averaging the fifth-fewest rush attempts in the NFL without Daniel Jones. You would expect this offense to commit to the run with Mike Glennon under center, but instead they’ve gone the other direction and thrown more. That trend should only continue, regardless of whether Jake Fromm or Glennon starts, because the Giants can’t run the ball consistently and they cannot stop opposing offenses.

With the Giants offense projecting as an inefficient pass-first unit going against a ball control Eagles team, we cannot fit either of the Eagles’ starting linebackers into our top-ten. Because other websites are ranking them that highly, we consider both of these players to be fades, as they are unlikely to return on industry projections. Consider them to be sturdy LB2 or LB3 options with limited upside.

 

Top-30 Fantasy Defensive Backs of the Week

Rank Player Team Opponent
1 Derwin James Jr. (Q) Chargers Texans
2 Jeremy Chinn Panthers Buccaneers
3 Jordan Poyer Bills Patriots
4 Logan Ryan Giants Eagles
5 Harrison Smith Vikings Rams
6 Jayron Kearse Cowboys WFT
7 Kyle Dugger Patriots Bills
8 Jalen Thompson Cardinals Colts
9 Minkah Fitzpatrick Steelers Chiefs
10 Antoine Winfield Jr. Buccaneers Panthers
11 Vonn Bell Bengals Ravens
12 Kenny Moore II Colts Cardinals
13 Xavier Woods Vikings Rams
14 Landon Collins WFT Cowboys
15 Khari Willis Colts Cardinals
16 Kevin Byard Titans 49ers
17 Tracy Walker Lions Falcons
18 Justin Simmons Broncos Raiders
19 Kamren Curl WFT Cowboys
20 Jevon Holland (Q) Dolphins Saints
21 Trevon Diggs Cowboys WFT
22 Nasir Adderley Chargers Texans
23 Jalen Ramsey Rams Vikings
24 Jessie Bates III Bengals Ravens
25 Budda Baker Cardinals Colts
26 Brandon Jones Dolphins Saints
27 Carlton Davis Buccaneers Panthers
28 Chidobe Awuzie Bengals Ravens
29 Jordan Whitehead Buccaneers Panthers
30 J.C. Jackson Patriots Bills
31 Terrell Edmunds Steelers Chiefs
32 Jordan Fuller Rams Vikings
33 Marshon Lattimore Saints Dolphins
34 Taylor Rapp Rams Vikings
35 Ronnie Harrison (Q) Browns Packers
36 L’Jarius Sneed Chiefs Steelers
37 Xavier McKinney Giants Eagles
38 Andrew Wingard Jaguars Jets
39 Quandre Diggs Seahawks Bears
40 Taron Johnson Bills Patriots

 

DB Streamer of the Week: Chidobe Awuzie, Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens have transitioned from setting records for rush attempts to being one of the most pass-oriented offenses in the NFL this year. Baltimore's 2021 change in philosophy has been a move of necessity, and it’s on that has only increased as the season has gone on. In fact, the Ravens have risen to the seventh most pass-heavy offense in the NFL over the past three weeks.

Baltimore’s trend towards the pass should spell good things for a corner like Awuzie, who has been active in run support and coverage this year. The former Colorado Buffalo should see plenty of time against Marquise Brown as well, with Brown averaging 11.1 targets per game over his past seven. Bump Awuzie up in both your CB and DB rankings this week.

 

DB Fade of the Week: Xavier McKinney, New York Giants

McKinney is crashing hard after a hot streak in the middle of this season. After totaling five interceptions and a touchdown between Weeks 6-12, McKinney has zero turnovers and just six solo tackles across his past three games. What's worse, McKinney is going up against an Eagles offense that runs the ball more than anyone.

Philadelphia's league-leading rush percentage is concerning for a safety who spends 85% of his time in coverage, with 72.8% playing high-safety. While McKinney remains a promising young safety worth stashing in dynasty leagues, he only merits consideration as a low-end DB3 right now. His spotty production and a low-volume matchup make him far riskier than many seem to think, and we just cannot rank him where we’d like. He’s a big play-dependent asset against Philly.

 

 

 

 



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Michael Gallup - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Waiver Wire Express - Week 4 Lightning Round Including Alexander Mattison, Greg Dortch, Michael Gallup, Trevor Lawrence

We're gathered here to react to Week 3 and start looking forward to Week 4 with a broad overview. Sunday brought plenty of injuries, with key names such as Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, David Montgomery, Garrett Wilson, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Mac Jones exiting. We'll see how those situations shake out through... Read More


Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups and Free Agent Adds - All Positions

If you thought the waiver wire outlook for running backs was bad last week, don't bother looking this week. There are plenty of intriguing options at wide receiver, however, and some help to be found for those looking to stream QB and TE. Below, you will find the top waiver wire options at each position... Read More


Romeo Doubs - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

FAAB Waiver Wire Bidding - Fantasy Football Pickups to Target for Week 4

Week 3 brought more injury fallout than the first two weeks, but the waiver wire still feels relatively dry compared to previous seasons. Of course, that doesn't stop our mission of improving as best we can with the resources available. Nothing is guaranteed and now comes the time when end-of-bench stashes from the draft must... Read More


George Pickens - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Deeper-League Waiver Wire Adds for Week 4: Samaje Perine, DeVante Parker, Laviska Shenault, George Pickens, Craig Reynolds

The first three weeks of the NFL's regular season are behind us, but it's never time to stop searching for deep league stashes for short or long-term upside. These fantasy football waiver wire pickup suggestions are geared toward leagues with deep benches or 14-plus teams, so obvious handcuffs and early-season breakouts such as Jahan Dotson,... Read More


Justin Tucker - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Kickers

Week 4 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2022 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

We're through three weeks of the NFL season, but we'll never get to a place where we can ignore the streamer game at the kicker position in fantasy football. Even though we have three games of data for each team, kicker projections are very elastic week-to-week and it's too early to draw definitive conclusions.  Things... Read More


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Can Russell Wilson Still Cook?

In a 2022 free agency that witnessed many a splash trades; Russell Wilson was perhaps the pinnacle. Wilson was the proclaimed savior to a Denver Broncos team that was ‘only missing a quality quarterback to take it to the next level’. Wilson was finally saved from a stifling Seattle Seahawks offense that did not allow... Read More


Trevor Lawrence - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Getting Dubs In Duval: Analyzing The Jaguars In Fantasy Football Going Forward

The Jacksonville Jaguars might be good. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are, but after beating the Chargers 38-10, the Jaguars look dangerous. The team has scored 22 or more points in each of its games this season, which is notable since in 17 games last season, the team hit that mark just twice. And... Read More


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