Welcome to championship week, Ninja. All your hard work is about to pay off. Well, actually depending on your league structure you’re already in the money.
Let’s get that top prize, though. It’s so close.
I went into last weekend with four teams alive, three in money leagues. All three of those money teams advanced and they’re playing for all the marbles this weekend. Couple that with my 600% profit at daily fantasy and I’m looking at one of my best, if not the best, fantasy football seasons of all time.
I credit you. (And caffeine.) Because of you I’ ve been doing extra research, pouring over statistics and charts and other people’s advice to try to come up with the best information I can.
As expected, it’s trickled down into my teams and daily fantasy lineups. This week’s rankings, as they have been for weeks, are of the boom-or-bust variety. They have served me well in the run up to championship week.
Remember we have tonight’s game — Chargers at Raiders — and we also have a Saturday game — Redskins at Eagles. There are piles of fantasy storylines in those two contests, so make sure you check your lineups before the start of each game to make sure you aren’t forgetting someone or missing a potential huge play.
Ok, let’s get to the rankings fine print, then the rankings.
As always check late NFL news at a site like Rotoworld to make sure games are being played and players are in lineups.
Our rankings will be updated early Sunday morning and don’t always reflect final starting lineups. I went over the biggest matchups in our projected scores/Las Vegas column. When push comes to shove, I construct daily fantasy rosters based more on the research done for that column than these rankings.
We use composite odds and over/unders from Vegas Insider to generate the projected scores. I reference Defense-adjusted Value Over Average a lot, it is a Football Outsiders’ metric which can be a better predictor of future success than fantasy points allowed. All team rankings and yards allowed to receivers are referenced from Football Outsiders’ Defense Efficiency page. If I reference fantasy points allowed, I’m likely referring to the excellent charts produced by FFToday. These rankings also factor in the Expert Consensus Rankings at Fantasy Pros.
Projected scores/matchups/Las Vegas | Game day weather | Waiver wire
Daily fantasy: Draft Kings values | FanDuel values
Early Week 16 rankings
Use the tabs at the bottom to cycle through positions. Use the arrows at bottom right to find more positions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick at sixth probably stands out the most. As I said in the projected scores article, the Patriots are expected to throw the ball a lot, which means the pace will increase. Fortunately for the Jets and Fitzpatrick owners there are enough weapons on this roster to allow them to keep up.
That said, you’re probably wondering why Tom Brady is 12th. Well, you’re not going to bench big game Brady at this point in the season if he’s gotten you this far. He’s among the most safe plays out there. But he’s a bit overpriced in daily fantasy and the Jets have shut down wide receivers in the last two weeks. More importantly they have been extremely effective against tight ends all season. Their biggest game allowed was 108 yards and a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski, but it took 16 targets and 11 catches to get that.
James White at No. 2 might have caused a double-take. However, if the Patriots throw as much as expected, and the Jets are as effective as mentioned above, it likely means White will get quite a bit of usage. I could see his ranking drop by Sunday, but not outside of the top-10.
Bilal Powell, Latavius Murray and Danny Woodhead are all pretty highly ranked. Notice anything about them? They’re all pass-catching backs. Woodhead is coming off a four-touchdown game. We don’t want to chase points, but he was clearly the top target in the Chargers offense and the Chargers don’t have the option of seeing what Melvin Gordon can do for them now.
Powell has been more effective than Chris Ivory and his pass-catching ability means he’ll probably more active in a potential shootout with a division rival.
I like Murray a lot this week against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, according to DVOA. He already gets a lot of usage as a runner and receiver, but he could get some extra work this week.
What a wild wide receiver world we live in where Doug Baldwin has scored 8,000 touchdowns in the last few weeks and he’s only around 10th. Crazy.
Not crazy? Starting Antonio Brown every week. That’s championship material there, at least for me, I hope.
Jeremy Maclin and Martavis Bryant are ranked a little high, I guess. Maclin has proven to be a WR1 even when Alex Smith is just managing games. Every spot against Cleveland is a good spot right now.
Bryant, the size/speed freak he is, plays in one of the best offenses in the league. Baltimore won’t be able to contain him.
This is about as chalk as it gets, sorry, but it’s hard to go against Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates.
I like Will Tye this week, but I wouldn’t even think of starting him over any of those guys.