Week 16 Rankings Analysis - Pierre Camus vs Industry Consensus

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To some extent, you can throw rankings out the window this week. Wait, keep reading! What I mean to say is that you already know who you're rolling with at nearly every position if you are playing for a championship, other than one or two flex spots. If you have a strong team at every other position, you'll want to play it relatively safe with a high-floor option. If you are the underdog and have benefited from some recent luck (read: you're the one guy who started Keelan Cole last week), then you need to go for a high-upside play instead. If you're a sad Antonio Brown owner still looking for a replacement, then you'll want to pay extra attention to the WR ranks. Finally, if you have been streaming QB and/or TE all year and made it this far, let me just say a hearty congrats, because you're doing fantasy football right.

As an expert ranker for RotoBaller and FantasyPros, I'll put my own personal rankings out on the table for you here and show you how they stack up against the consensus of the other 100+ experts at FantasyPros. Each week, I'll list my Top 10 per position, plus a few notable players that have risen or fallen in my rankings more than the expert consensus this week. In other words, it's where I zig when the others zag.

Note: all rankings are for standard leagues and all opinions are my own. If you have questions, comments, or incoherent ramblings related to fantasy sports, hit me up on Twitter @pfunk00 to continue the conversation.

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Week 16 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

After some debate with a couple of knowledgeable readers on Reddit, I'm holding firm on my ranking of Philip Rivers in the top 10, ahead of Nick Foles and Case Keenum. He is a riskier play, as they face an inconsistent Jets team that has been Jekyll and Hyde since their Week 11 bye. Rivers traditionally plays a bit worse in December and in his older age has faded down the stretch, which gives me reason for pause. On the other hand, he has the highest ceiling of the same QBs in his tier and the best weapons around him. If you're in a position where you could conceivably absorb the risk of a dud, Rivers has the most potential.

Dak Prescott may be bumped down the rankings by some, but let's remind ourselves that Ezekiel Elliott's return is a good thing for him. In the six games without Zeke, Prescott threw five touchdowns versus seven interceptions. In the eight games with Zeke, he posted a 16:4 TD:INT ratio. In case you're wondering, the rushing production was about the same either way. Prescott is a high-floor play and someone that can be comfortably started in championship games.

Deviation from expert consensus

There is some thought that the Eagles could rest Foles in the fourth quarter if they are up big and their game becomes meaningless after the Vikings' result on Saturday night if they somehow lose to Green Bay. For a team already out of the playoffs without Aaron Rodgers or Davante Adams, that seems very unlikely, but I suppose anything is possible in the NFL. Don't let this sway you in any form when making your decision. Foles has a great matchup with Oakland and showed he can bring just as much to the table as Carson Wentz. He is a top-10 QB easily.

Drew Brees has only thrown three touchdowns in a game once all year and gone over 300 passing yards three times. The last time he faced these Falcons two weeks ago, he finished with 271 yards and two TD. That's perfectly fine, but not terribly exciting either. I have him almost neck and neck with Prescott and Keenum as low-end yawn QB1s.


Week 16 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

Kareem Hunt finds himself all the up to No. 3 in Week 16, validating rattled Hunt owners who contemplated trading him before the playoffs. You didn't trade him right before the playoffs, did you??? Hunt should get plenty of run against the Dolphins, as the Chiefs are still fighting for their own playoff standing.

Elliott might rightfully be ranked higher, but we have to be sure all that running on the beach in Mexico equates to actual game shape before putting him at the top of the list. I have doubts that Seattle will let themselves get run over a second straight week, as they might choose to sell out against the run and force Dallas to pass. Even so, Elliott is a safe RB1 and if you held him this whole time, it wasn't to sit him with the 'ship on the line.

Deviation from expert consensus

Joe Mixon is practicing in full and just needs official clearance to play this weekend against a Lions team allowing 4.2 yards per carry. The Bengals were downright terrible without him the last two weeks, running for 116 total yards. He should go back to a full workload and be treated as an RB2.

Kapri Bibbs could be the man who wins you a championship this week. Samaje Perine is limited in practice and Bibbs is the only other RB on the roster with NFL experience. Rather than simply serving as a pass-catcher, he could see in excess of 20 touches if Perine is limited. Through sheer volume alone, he could make an intriguing flex play.

For some reason, I find myself overly bullish on the young Cardinals players auditioning for a bigger role next year, which includes Elijhaa Penny this week. For the record, I still prefer Kerwynn Williams, but Penny could be worth monitoring if the team decides to give him more carries. You can't really start either one this week, since we don't know what the usage for either will look like, but I have the feeling one or the other will make a great tournament play in Week 17.


Week 16 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

It's tempting to drop A.J. Green all the way out of the top 10, but with Mixon back and a slightly easier matchup this week, he can't fall behind the likes of a rookie and a banged-up Carolina receiver. If you have him, you're starting him, despite last week's two-catch, 20-yard dud.

Speaking of Carolina receivers, Devin Funchess has been limited in practice by a shoulder injury that may have affected him last week. He let down many a fantasy owner last week with one reception, but this week should see him improve due to rest and an even better matchup. Facing off against the Bucs' Ryan Smith, who is already questionable with an ankle injury, or his replacement should give Funchess the chance for a big play or two along with more red zone opportunities. I do like Damiere Byrd as well, but obviously that's for a far different situation. Funchess is a safe play this week, for those who may be nervous about rolling him out this week.

Deviation from expert consensus

Some quick hits on the receivers listed above:

  • If Green Bay's secondary can give up four passing touchdowns to Carolina, why shouldn't Stefon Diggs be treated at least like a strong WR2 this week?
  • With Foles at QB, Nelson Agholor saw his second-highest reception total and third-highest target total of the year. He's a firm WR3 this week in PPR leagues.
  • Kelvin Benjamin will be shadowed by Malcolm Butler this week. That's not the worst thing in the world. He has a six-inch height advantage and will get all the red zone targets he can handle against a bendable defense.
  • I don't know why Corey Coleman is ranked so high - I'm going to have to fix that later on. Chicago's defense is underrated, especially in the secondary. Don't start him if you can help it.
  • As much as Marquise Goodwin's stock has been rising lately, he gets A.J. Bouye this week and you don't want any part of that. He will be completely TD-dependent, so he can be benched in PPR leagues.
  • Same game, other side, don't hop on the Keelan Cole hype. It was one game. He was only targeted so much because Marqise Lee left in the first quarter. Lee won't play this week, but Allen Hurns is back and Dede Westbrook, who I still believe is better, is still around.
  • Jordy Nelson looks like a sell-low in dynasty and a bench player in re-draft. Davante Adams being out won't necessarily help Nelson, it just hurts Brett Hundley and the whole Packers offense. Pass.


Week 16 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

My Top 10 

The only comment to be made here is that I'm obviously a sucker for Ricky Seals-Jones and his athletic ability at the position. He could benefit from the switch back to Drew Stanton and has the best matchup possible against the Giants and their TE-friendly defense.

Deviation from expert consensus

Antonio Gates is a name I've already mentioned as someone that standard league owners might want to take a chance on over other less exciting names such as Vernon Davis or Charles Clay. If you're chasing scoring upside, he or Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be under-the-radar names to consider.

Davis has fallen completely out of starting consideration, as he seems to be fading hard while Jamison Crowder has been reintroduced to the offense. Jason Witten needs a favorable matchup to put up points and he doesn't have it this week with Seattle on tap.


More Week 16 Lineup Prep

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.