It’s always a little hard to believe when Week 16 comes around, the NFL regular season is near the finish line and most fantasy leagues are in their Super Bowl week.
We’ve hit on many sleepers this season, so here’s hoping we can do that again in critical Week 16.
Here are the key players to target in Week 16, and a few players to avoid:
▪ The Chiefs-Seahawks game has shootout potential and Russell Wilson (Seattle) may need to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) and the Chiefs’ offense. The Chiefs defense allows 282.5 yards passing per game, most in the NFL.
▪ Dak Prescott (Dallas) comes off a disappointing zero-touchdown game but he should rebound nicely against a Tampa defense allowing 28.8 points per game, third most in the league.
▪ It depends, of course, on options, and Tom Brady (New England) faces a Buffalo defense allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. But it’s an important game for the Patriots and they are at home. Brady also topped 300 yards in the team’s earlier meeting.
▪ Nick Chubb (Cleveland) had 128 yards and two touchdowns in his previous game against the Bengals five weeks ago and more scoring should be in store against a Cincinnati defense allowing 29.5 points per game, second-most.
▪ Derrick Henry (Tennessee) is on fire with 408 yards rushing in his past two games, plus six touchdowns. That strong play should continue this week against a Washington defense allowing 176.3 yards rushing per game over their past three games, second-most.
▪ Phillip Lindsay (Denver) had a quiet game last week, but bigger-picture he’s the No. 5 running back over the past five weeks and he should rebound against the Raiders, who have allowed both the most points and the most rushing yards.
▪ Keep Marlon Mack (Indianapolis) dialed in off a huge 149-yard, two-touchdown game and especially at home against a Giants’ defense allowing 128.4 yards rushing per game, fifth-most. The Giants have allowed a rushing touchdown in nine straight games.
▪ Chris Carson (Seattle) comes into Week 16 averaging 119 total yards over his past two games and going against a Kansas City defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Jamaal Williams (Green Bay) should be a solid start this week, and he should get the bulk of the work with Aaron Jones (knee) placed on injured reserve.
▪ Amari Cooper (Dallas) comes off a quiet game, but he’s still the No. 1 fantasy receiver over the past four games. The Tampa Bay defense allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
▪ Julian Edelman (New England) has a high floor as a safe option this week. He had nine receptions for 104 yards when these two teams met in Week 8.
▪ Tyler Lockett (Seattle) had just two receptions last week but remains a good candidate for a long score. The Kansas City defense allows 282.5 yards passing per game on average, most in the NFL.
▪ Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia) showed nice chemistry last week ith Nick Foles, with a season-high 160 receiving yards. This week he draws a Houston defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the past three weeks.
▪ Robby Anderson (N.Y. Jets) has scored in back-to-back games and has been the No. 9 fantasy receiver over the past two weeks. Green Bay allows the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
▪ Even if Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) plays this week, avoid Eli Manning (NY Giants) against the Colts defense. The Colts have allowed a league-low 9.0 points per game over their past three games.
▪ Although Josh Adams (Philadelphia) scored last week, he’s averaging just 32 yards rushing over his past two games, and Houston allows a league-low 57 yards rushing per game over their past three games.
▪ Corey Davis (Tennessee) was the No. 10 fantasy wide receiver from Weeks 10-13, but he’s been just the 75th-best wide receiver over the past two weeks. Davis is too inconsistent to trust in the fantasy Super Bowl week.
Alan Satterlee is in his fifth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.