My Week 16 list features under-the-radar players that are not being started in a majority of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. With that in mind, here are our top fantasy football sleepers for Week 16.
When Carson Wentz was injured in the team’s win over the Rams two weeks ago, Eagles fans were justifiably distraught. Wentz had been playing at a level that absolutely warranted front-runner MVP status. After sustaining a torn ACL, the Philadelphia offense will run through backup Nick Foles, who is no stranger to this situation. Foles took over for an injured Michael Vick in the 2013 season, as he went on to throw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Coming off his first game back in the saddle for the Eagles, Foles immediately demonstrated he’s still more than capable to move an offense. The veteran tossed four touchdowns en route to clinching a first-round bye in Sunday’s victory over the Giants. This week, fantasy owners in need of a streaming option at quarterback should give some thought into picking up Foles. He’ll take on an Oakland Raiders secondary who ranks 23rd against the pass on the year and is susceptible to giving up chunk gains. After already establishing a rapport with his pass-catchers, Foles has a great chance to put up another solid performance in Week 16. He’ll be a legitimate start at quarterback for owners in the fantasy championship.
When the Minnesota Vikings signed journeyman quarterback Case Keenum in the off season, it was only as insurance to the oft-injured Sam Bradford. With Bradford turning in one of the best starts in his career during an impressive Week 1 win over the Saints, the future was bright for the Vikes this season. Then came more of the same with Bradford, when he was experience knee soreness that kept him on the sideline. Keenum was forced into action and immediately exceeded expectations, ripping off eight straight victories until falling to Carolina in Week 14. The veteran quarterback quickly got his team back on track last week, with a convincing 34-7 win over the Bengals. This week, Keenum will get a Brett Hundley-led Packers team who was recently eliminated from playoff contention. The Packers featured the league’s 24th ranked pass defense and have burned consistently by opposing passing attacks this season. Keenum should have little to no resistance from a defense whose checked-out for the 2017 season. Case will be a top-ten option at the quarterback position this weekend.
Alex Collins has been a pleasant surprise for the Ravens, as he latched on with the team after he was a training camp casualty of the Seahawks. Collins has snagged the bellcow role in the Baltimore offense and ran with it. The one knock on Collins dating back to his time at Arkansas, was fumbling issues. After the trend re-surfaced early in the season, the second-year back has only lost one fumble across his last ten games. Collins picked up 120 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in Week 14 against the Steelers, but was held in check during last week’s win over the Browns, when he gained just 19 yards on 12 carries. This week, Collins gets an Indianapolis run defense that’s ripe for the picking, as they rank 29th in the league allowing 124.2 yards a game. With Jeremy Maclin a game-time decision, the Ravens should lean a bit more heavily on the run game this week and Collins has a fantastic opportunity to post elite numbers this week. I fully expect 20 + touches and a touchdown from the big, bruising back.
While the Broncos season has been over for weeks, running back C.J. Anderson has shown signs of life in recent weeks. The former California Bear has recorded 52 carries for 206 yards across his last two contests and gets a porous Washington run defense this weekend who ranks 28th in the league against the run, on the season. With the Broncos quarterback carousel still in full effect, fantasy owners can rely upon Anderson to receive a heavy workload for a third consecutive week. He’ll be a legitimate RB2/Flex in an offense that struggles to move the ball through the air.
As noted above, Jeremy Maclin will be a game-time decision this weekend for the Ravens, which means Joe Flacco will have to zero in a bit more on Mike Wallace. Wallace has actually quietly been rather effective over his last two games, combining for nine catches and 161 yards over that span. While the Colts run defense is among the bottom in the league, their pass defense is equally as bad, ranking 30th in the league. With the Colts already looking towards next year’s draft to improve their roster, they’ll be a defense to feast on for a Ravens team still vying for a playoff spot. Look for Wallace to get behind the defense and post big numbers on Sunday. He’ll be a high-upside WR3 for this weekend’s fantasy championship.
The Buccaneers emerged from Monday Night’s loss to the Falcons with numerous injuries to key pass catchers. Rookie tight end O.J. Howard was placed on season-ending I.R. with an ankle injury, while DeSean Jackson is questionable to suit-up this week after sustaining an ankle injury of his own. That leaves tight end Cameron Brate for an increased role in the offense when the Bucs take on the Panthers. While the matchup may not be great on paper with Luke Kuechly roaming around the middle of the field, the volume will be there for Brate as the Panthers will certainly look to nullify Mike Evans presence in the passing game. I fully expect Brate to continue to see the red zone usage that has made him a legitimate TE1 over the past two seasons. He should also see an uptick of volume while working over the middle of the field. He’ll carry top 10 appeal for Week 16.
Despite the solid matchup that C.J. Anderson has on tap against the Washington defense, I expect the Denver offense to struggle in the passing game against a solid secondary. While this one projects to be a fairly low-scoring game, I wouldn’t be shocked to see both defenses force a plethora of turnovers. With the Broncos splitting reps in practice between Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, it should be a pretty easy task for the Washington defense to get their hands on a few interceptions. Washington should easily be locked in as a top defense for this week.