Patrick Daugherty


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Week 16 Rankings

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Updated 12/23 at 2:45 PM ET. Removed Todd Gurley. 

Updated 12/23 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed Lamar Miller, moved Alfred Blue up. Ultimately decided to keep Todd Gurley at RB12. Also kept JuJu Smith-Schuster where he was. Good luck today.  

Russell Wilson has thrown for at least two touchdowns in 12-of-14 starts. He is all but guaranteed to make it 13-of-15 against a Chiefs defense still coughing up the third-most quarterback fantasy points. Even if the Seahawks try to slow it down to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, throwing fewer than 30 times is not going to be an option facing Andy Reid’s club. Expect Wilson to hit his 230/2 floor with an excellent shot at reaching his ceiling.  

Week 16 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Patrick Mahomes at SEA -
2 Ben Roethlisberger at NO -
3 Drew Brees vs. PIT -
4 Andrew Luck vs. NYG -
5 Russell Wilson vs. KC -
6 Deshaun Watson at PHI -
7 Dak Prescott vs. TB -
8 Baker Mayfield vs. CIN -
9 Aaron Rodgers at NYJ -
10 Matt Ryan at CAR -
11 Lamar Jackson at LAC -
12 Mitchell Trubisky at SF -
13 Jared Goff at ARZ -
14 Kirk Cousins at DET -
15 Tom Brady vs. BUF -
16 Philip Rivers vs. BAL -
17 Josh Allen at NE -
18 Jameis Winston at DAL -
19 Nick Foles vs. HOU -
20 Derek Carr vs. DEN -
21 Sam Darnold vs. GB -
22 Marcus Mariota vs. WAS -
23 Nick Mullens vs. CHI -
24 Case Keenum at OAK -
25 Taylor Heinicke vs. ATL -
26 Eli Manning at IND -
27 Matthew Stafford vs. MIN -
28 Ryan Tannehill vs. JAC Questionable (ankle)
29 Josh Johnson at TEN -
30 Jeff Driskel at CLE -
31 Cody Kessler at MIA -
32 Josh Rosen vs. LAR -

QB Notes: Patrick Mahomes threw for a season-low 243 yards against the Chargers in Week 15. It was partly because the Bolts hogged the ball, keeping Kansas City off the field. The Seahawks, who rank fifth in time of possession, will undoubtedly employ a similar strategy. … I said Ben Roethlisberger was a Week 15 guarantee to go at least 300/2. He ended up managing just 235/2. It was the first time all year he was held below 250 yards. Although the Saints’ pass defense is playing genuinely well, expect Big Ben to get back on the right side of history on the Superdome's fast track in a game with a 57 over/under. … Ramping the machine back up as the Texans’ defense sputters a bit, Deshaun Watson enters Week 16 playing his best football of the season. Jared Goff could not take advantage of the Eagles’ injury-ruined secondary, but Watson is a more adventurous, dynamic player. He won’t let a good matchup go to waste. … How has Andrew Luck followed up his eight-game three-touchdown streak? With two scores in three starts. Regressing the wrong way the past month, Luck is now due for some positive regression as the Colts claw for a playoff berth.

It included three road games, but Drew Brees is averaging an alarming 176 yards over his past four starts, a span in which he posted a 6:4 TD:INT total. Fantasy owners are putting their faith in a quarterback who has four touchdowns in each of his past three home contests and a whopping 20 in six Superdome appearances. Did we mention there’s a 57 over/under? … One of fantasy’s most convincing late-season memes? That Dak Prescott struggles against zone coverage. Formerly a zone team, the Bucs have gone man-to-man since firing DC Mike Smith. Whether or not they flip back will be the story of Prescott’s Week 16. … Matt Ryan will need to be dropped if Julio Jones (hip) sits out. He will still find himself on the QB1 fringe versus a Panthers D getting popped for the eighth-most quarterback fantasy points. … With seemingly half the league slumping, I’ll give a hot Baker Mayfield the matchup benefit of the doubt against a Bengals defense hemorrhaging the second-most quarterback fantasy points.    

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Aaron Rodgers is going to play through his groin injury. A prideful player wants to see out the stretch of a lost year. The Jets are not an imposing Week 16 matchup, though the Packers are headed on the road. Rodgers actually has better numbers away from home, but in case this “better numbers” includes 11 touchdowns in seven games. … Lamar Jackson keeps finishing in the QB9-14 range, so he is at least hitting his floor. The Chargers are by far his toughest matchup to date. Jackson became a starter with a shockingly-soft five-game slate. … Mitchell Trubisky’s solid Week 15 was his first good start in over a month. He remains Pro Football Focus’ lowest-rated passer by total points despite missing Weeks 12 and 13. The 49ers, who have allowed 30 touchdowns while picking off only two passes, are a mouthwatering matchup. … Playing horrifying football for the past month, Jared Goff has one touchdown in three games since Thanksgiving. That’s compared to six interceptions. Having served up just 19 passing scores all year, the Cardinals are a tough foe to catch on the road.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants fire and brimstone. He is not going to let Kirk Cousins choke away games, though his quarterback did toss a Week 15 pick six. Cousins will be tasked with game managing versus the Lions. Disappointing, but most game managers do not have Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs at their disposal. … Tom Brady has eight touchdowns over past seven starts. No team has permitted fewer quarterback fantasy points than the Bills, who held Brady to zero scores in October. … Turns out Philip Rivers could not even have a ceiling day against the Chiefs. He has severely downgraded supporting cast matchups for the fantasy finals, taking on a Ravens team allowing the fewest yards per attempt (6.2) in all of football. Keenan Allen’s (hip) health looms large. … Absurdly the QB2 by average points over the past five weeks, Josh Allen is still playing a house-of-cards style of football. The risk will match the reward in Allen’s first career meeting with Bill Belichick. … The Bucs are no longer air raiding every opponent. Jameis Winston had his worst fantasy start of the year in Week 15. The Cowboys’ elite defense will probably get a Winston cold streak going.

Nick Foles is a floor-based streamer against the Texans’ scuffling defense. … Despite the perception of “playing better,” Derek Carr is still merely the QB19 by average points over the past five weeks. The Broncos’ pass rush is going to give the Raiders’ injury-hollowed offensive line problems. … Look at me, Marcus Mariota: Derrick Henry is the captain now. Obliterating everything in sight the past two weeks, Henry will take the lead against a Redskins D getting obliterated by the run in the second half of the season. … Sam Darnold was … good in Week 15? He will try to keep it going at home versus the Pack’s injury-ruined defense. Darnold discovering Robby Anderson has been a nice case of “better late than never.” … Nick Mullens has stayed one step ahead of the law. The Bears have the major case squad on it. … Taylor Heinicke in a GPP. … Matthew Stafford and Ryan Tannehill: Really, what’s the difference at this point? Please, Matt Patricia, fix this in 2019. … Josh Johnson is going to find clownsuiting the Titans an order of magnitude more difficult than clownsuiting the quit-on-2018 Jaguars.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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