Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position (2024)

Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position

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    Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position (1)

    Bengals WR Tyler BoydAP Photo/Emilee Chinn

    For everyone in fantasy football playoff mode, we have a Week 16 holiday stocking stuffer for you.

    Perhaps you didn't find what you wanted on your playoff pickup wish list, but that's OK. Last-minute shopping in the free-agent pool is what we do best.

    In Week 16, a couple of rookie running backs have RB2 potential in plus matchups. Two Cincinnati Bengals skill players can shine in wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase's absence. Meanwhile, at 38 years old, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback has resurfaced just in time to lead you to a title of your own.

    This week's sleeper slate has a few first-timers, reliable streamers and players primed to bounce back from a weak first impression.

    As always, all eight of our targets are available in at least 50 percent of leagues based on FantasyPros' consensus rankings.

QB Joe Flacco at Houston Texans (18 Percent Rostered)

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    Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position (2)

    Browns QB Joe FlaccoAP Photo/Kirk Irwin

    Fantasy managers will have to turn the clock way back for this one, but Joe Flacco is worth the time travel if you're in desperate need of a quarterback.

    In three games with the Cleveland Browns, Flacco has averaged 313 passing yards, throwing for seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

    For most of head coach Kevin Stefanski's tenure with the Browns, he's operated an efficient, run-heavy offense, but Cleveland hasn't rushed for more than 87 yards in any of its last three outings. In each of those contests, Flacco has thrown the ball at least 44 times.

    With that in mind, Flacco should have opportunities to post gaudy passing numbers in Week 16 as he faces the Houston Texans' 25th-ranked pass defense. Houston also allows the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

    Flacco isn't going to rack up fantasy points with his legs, but he's capable of moving the ball through the air with wideout Amari Cooper and tight end David Njoku against a mediocre pass defense.

    In all three of Flacco's starts this season, he's thrown for at least 254 yards and two touchdowns.

QB Nick Mullens vs. Detroit Lions (6 Percent Rostered)

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    Last week, we took a deep shot on a suggestion to start Nick Mullens against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he finished 11th in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks.

    In Week 16, Mullens has an even better matchup with the Detroit Lions, who are tied for fifth in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks,. That's four spots higher than Cincinnati's defense.

    Mullens may drive you nuts with some of his decisions in the pocket, though.

    Yes, Mullens scored 19.1 fantasy points last week, but he threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mullens would've turned the ball over three times if Trey Hendrickson's offsides penalty didn't negate Germaine Pratt's pick-six.

    So, go ahead and start Mullens on Sunday against the Lions' 18th-ranked pass defense that has surrendered the eighth-most touchdowns through the air. But remember, he may have a boneheaded interception in between some big throws to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson, who's facing his former team.

RB Tyjae Spears vs. Seattle Seahawks (43 Percent Rostered)

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    Titans RB Tyjae SpearsAP Photo/Wade Payne

    We typically stay away from players in back-to-back weeks if they fall short of the mark the first time around, but managers shouldn't toss Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears to the side.

    Against the Houston Texans in Week 15, Spears logged 10 touches for 37 yards. In each of his last three outings, he's recorded double-digit touches, which gives him the potential of a breakout showing in a favorable matchup.

    On Sunday, Spears will have a chance to post a solid fantasy stat line against the Seattle Seahawks, who rank 25th in rushing yards allowed per game, are tied for third in touchdowns allowed on the ground (19) and surrender the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs.

    Derrick Henry is still the Titans' lead running back and will likely get goal-line carries, but he's averaged a meager 1.3 yards per carry over the last two weeks. The Titans may have to lean on Spears to exploit the Seahawks' porous run defense for big plays.

    Furthermore, Spears has carved out a role as the primary pass-catcher out of the backfield. He's third on the team in both targets (55) and receptions (40).

    Spears has enough opportunities in the Titans offense to avoid consecutive dud fantasy performances.

RB Chase Brown at Pittsburgh Steelers (14 Percent Rostered)

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    Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position (5)

    Bengals RB Chase BrownAP Photo/Peter Joneleit

    The Cincinnati Bengals can fill star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase's void in the passing game with short-to-intermediate throws to tight end Tanner Hudson and running back Chase Brown.

    Brown has more fantasy utility than Hudson because he's averaging 10 touches per game over the past three weeks. Furthermore, he racked up 105 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown on a 54-yard catch-and-run play against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14.

    Before Chase's injury, Brown carved out a decent complementary role to Joe Mixon in the backfield. Because of his involvement in the short passing game—he has six receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks—he could see an expanded role with more targets to go around in the offense.

    Even if Brown gets a minimal bump in targets, he could have a productive outing on the ground against the Pittsburgh Steelers' 22nd-ranked run defense. Last Saturday, Pittsburgh gave up 157 combined rushing yards to Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson.

    Without Chase on the field, Cincinnati may feature Mixon and Brown in a run-heavy approach to attack the Steelers defense, which allows the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs.

WR Tyler Boyd at Pittsburgh Steelers (46 Percent Rostered)

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    Bengals WR Tyler BoydAP Photo/Emilee Chinn

    Cincinnati Bengals running back Chase Brown might not be the only one to benefit from Ja'Marr Chase's absence against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Brown may see more targets in the short passing game, Tyler Boyd looks like the clear-cut WR2 behind Tee Higgins in the offense.

    Boyd ranks second on the team in targets (87), receptions (59) and receiving yards (575). Although he isn't a big-play wideout who stretches the field, his potential uptick in target volume could allow him to reach 100-plus receiving yards this week.

    Boyd may have some extra motivation to shine in Pittsburgh, where he attended college. He's also from Clairton, Pennsylvania, which is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

    If Boyd sees a little more than a handful of targets, which is quite possible with Chase on the sideline, he could have a big game against the Steelers' 20th-ranked pass defense. Pittsburgh has allowed the ninth-most touchdowns through the air through 15 weeks.

WR Joshua Palmer vs. Buffalo Bills (25 Percent Rostered)

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    Chargers WR Joshua PalmerAP Photo/David Becker

    Joshua Palmer made the most of the Los Angeles Chargers' embarrassing 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last Thursday. He hauled in four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown with backup quarterback Easton Stick under center.

    Though Palmer saw only four targets, he flashed his ability to stretch a defense for explosive plays downfield.

    The Chargers' lead wide receiver, Keenan Allen, hasn't practiced this week. If he's out again, Palmer could be primed for a big role and hopefully more targets to give managers the volume that they like to see with a starting wideout.

    Like last week, Los Angeles may have to play from behind for most of the contest. That should mean more pass attempts to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills' sixth-ranked scoring offense.

    Either because of Allen's absence or a negative game script, Palmer has a shot to see a steady number of targets and rack up a ton of receiving yards.

TE Cade Otton vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (30 Percent Rostered)

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    Buccaneers TE Cade OttonAP Photo/Danny Karnik

    Pro Bowl wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin typically garner most of the attention in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' aerial attack. Because of that, tight end Cade Otton can find some holes in the opposing team's coverage on short-to-intermediate routes.

    As a complement to Evans and Godwin, Otton has moved the chains with 19 of his 42 catches going for first downs. He's also flashed in the red zone, hauling in four touchdown passes from within 14 yards of the goal line.

    Though Otton has served as a reliable third or fourth option in Tampa Bay's passing attack, he may see a higher volume of targets against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Jaguars allow the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. They surrendered three touchdowns to tight ends in the last two weeks—two to David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns and one to Isaiah Likely of the Baltimore Ravens.

    Otton may be just as productive as Evans and Godwin in a matchup against the Jaguars' 29th-ranked pass defense, a unit that's been susceptible to pass-catching tight ends as of late.

TE Tyler Conklin vs. Washington Commanders (19 Percent Rostered)

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    Jets TE Tyler ConklinAP Photo/Adam Hunger

    According to The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson "seems unlikely to play this week." So, Trevor Siemian may draw his first start of the season.

    Last week, Siemian connected with Tyler Conklin on four passes for 17 yards, most notably a 10-yard play in garbage time with the Miami Dolphins up 30-0.

    With that said, we can take a bit of a positive from Siemian's eye for the Jets' big-bodied pass-catcher. Behind wide receiver Garrett Wilson, Conklin ranks second on the team in targets (72) and receiving yards (524) and third in receptions (50).

    Conklin should have a solid role in the passing game in a mouth-watering matchup with the Washington Commanders, who have allowed the most passing yards per game and the most touchdown receptions (32) through 15 weeks.

    Whether Wilson or Siemian starts under center, the Jets should have some success in the passing game, which elevates Conklin's fantasy outlook. Perhaps he will score his first touchdown of the season on Sunday.

    Eligibility restrictions apply. See for details.

    Fantasy points scored against statistics are provided by FantasyPros.

    Maurice Moton covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @MoeMoton.

As someone deeply versed in the realm of fantasy football, I can confidently provide insights into each concept touched upon in the article you presented. Let me break down each concept mentioned:

  1. Fantasy Football Sleepers: These are players who are often undervalued or overlooked but have the potential to outperform expectations. The article focuses on identifying sleeper picks for Week 16 of the NFL season.

  2. QB (Quarterback): The article identifies Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens as potential sleeper quarterbacks for Week 16. Key metrics to consider for QBs include passing yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and matchups against opposing defenses.

  3. RB (Running Back): The article highlights Tyjae Spears and Chase Brown as potential sleeper running backs. RBs are essential in fantasy football due to their scoring opportunities (touchdowns) and yardage, both rushing and receiving.

  4. WR (Wide Receiver): Tyler Boyd, Joshua Palmer, and other WRs mentioned are considered sleepers for Week 16. WRs earn points mainly through receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Their roles become crucial, especially if a team's primary WR is injured.

  5. TE (Tight End): Cade Otton and Tyler Conklin are the tight ends highlighted in the article. TEs usually earn points through receptions, yards, and touchdowns. In many fantasy formats, TEs can be inconsistent, making sleeper picks valuable.

  6. Matchups: The article frequently mentions matchups, such as QBs facing weak pass defenses or RBs playing against teams with a poor run defense. Analyzing matchups is vital in fantasy football, as it helps predict player performance based on the strength or weakness of the opponent.

  7. DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) Prices: The DraftKings DFS prices provided for each player give an idea of their perceived value for that week's matchups in daily fantasy football. This value helps managers decide which players might offer the best return on investment.

  8. Rostered Percentage: The percentage of leagues in which a player is rostered provides insight into their availability. Players with lower roster percentages (under 50% in this context) are more likely to be available on the waiver wire, making them potential sleeper picks.

  9. Injury and Absence Impact: The article discusses how players like Ja'Marr Chase being absent can affect other players' roles and production. In fantasy football, understanding the impact of injuries, suspensions, or other absences on player roles is crucial.

  10. Streaming: The term "streamers" refers to players who might be used as short-term replacements or starters based on favorable matchups. Streaming is a strategy in fantasy football where managers rotate players based on weekly matchups rather than sticking with a set lineup.

In summary, the article provides insights into potential sleeper picks for Week 16 of the NFL season in various positions (QB, RB, WR, TE). It emphasizes the importance of matchups, player roles, and availability in determining fantasy football strategies for that particular week.

Fantasy Football Week 16: Biggest Sleepers at Every Position (2024)
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