I think it's safe to say that the Zach Wilson era in New York is over. It may not be officially over yet if Mike White's rib injury keeps him out next week, but it's abundantly clear to the entire world at this point that Wilson is the biggest thing holding this Jets team back.
To be fair, the conditions weren't ideal Thursday night against the Jaguars. It was a windy night that turned into a wet one, and it limited Trevor Lawrence to his third-shortest average depth of target of the season – and he went just 2 of 8 on his attempts of 15-plus yards. However, Wilson can't really use the conditions as an excuse when he looked just about as bad as he always does.
Hopefully White can get back next week, because I don't see how you can use anyone in this Jets offense if Wilson remains the starter. Garrett WIlson caught four of nine passes for the second week in a row, while the Jets running game once again struggled to get anything going without the threat of the passing game. The Jaguars just pinned their ears back with Wilson in the game, and the only time the Jets were really able to do much of anything was when Chase Streveler came in and provided a spark with his legs.
If you started Evan Engram (seven catches for 113 yards), Travis Etienne (83 rushing yards, 14.2 PPR points), or Lawrence (18.26 points) you at least got off to a pretty good start. If you started anyone else Thursday, you're in a pretty big hole to kick off Week 16. And it's my job to help you dig out of it.
Here's everything the Fantasy Football Today team has for you to help you set your lineup, and the rest of today's newsletter has previews for every game for even more help. Plus, Adam Aizer, Frank Stampfl and I will be live on the FFT YouTube channel Saturday morning to help you make all those last-minute lineup changes at 11:30, so make sure you subscibe here -- and, yeah, remember, most of the games are Saturday this week. Don't sleep in!
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- Cheat sheets: |
- Week 16 Position Previews: | | |
- Week 16 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath
- My rankings: | | |
🔍Week 16 Game Previews
There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here's a look ahead at every Week 16 game, with some thoughts and start/sit calls from the FFT team:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook. Start and sit calls come from Dave Richard's
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Bills -8; 40.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Bills 24.25, Bears 16.25
We're likely looking at temperatures in the single digits at kickoff, with winds upwards of 20 mph throughout. It doesn't seem like there's much chance of snow in this one, but the cold temperatures and wind figure to disrupt passing all the same. It's not enough to scare me off Josh Allen or Justin Fields, but there's certainly some risk in this one. Over the past 20 years, there have been six games with a kickoff temperature below 20 degrees and winds over 20 mph, and the average score in those games combined for 28.8 points.
Gabe Davis -- Sit. "Windy weather would cement Davis as an extremely risky Fantasy receiver. Even without the wind he hasn't been great. The Bills may be able to stroll through this matchup without taking crazy chances with the football, plus it feels like Allen has gravitated toward others in the passing game compared to Davis. I'd rather start Darius Slayton, Jahan Dotson and Drake London. as sleepers for this week.":
Injuries: Chase Claypool (knee) is doubtful for this one, while Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) has been ruled out. As if Justin Fields wasn't going to have enough trouble throwing the ball. Of course, as we saw last week, his rushing makes him a must-start player, even against a very good defense.
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- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Browns -2.5; 32 O/U
- Implied totals: Browns 17.25, Saints 14.75
Over the past 20 seasons, there have been two games with both wins above 25 mph and a kickoff temperature below 20 degrees. Both were in Cleveland, and they saw combined scores of 19 and 14 points. Both of these teams want to avoid taking risks in the passing game anyway, so the only players on either side I'd be willing to use in Fantasy are Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb -- even David Njoku is a fringe TE for this one.
Amari Cooper -- Sit. "Even if the conditions were picturesque, Cooper isn't a safe bet for even 10 PPR points given the past three games with Watson. Tack on blustery winds and he's completely impossible to trust. I'd chance it with Marquise Goodwin, Tyler Boyd or D.J. Chark over Cooper for this week.":
Injuries: Chubb was held out of practice Tuesday and Wednesday due to a foot injury, but he's not on the injury report, so he's good to go. On the Saints side, both Chris Olave (hamstring) and Jarvis Landry (ankle) have been ruled out. In better circumstances, Rashid Shaheed might be an interesting sleeper, but the weather makes him a stayaway.
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Titans -3; 35.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Texans 16.25, Titans 19.25
The low over/under in this one probably isn't about the weather -- it'll be cold in Tennessee, but the forecast doesn't call for much more than just cold. No, this one is just about a lack of faith in the two offenses here, especially with Ryan Tannehill out for the Titans. Malik Willis has started two games so far this season and the Titans have scored 17 in both, including against the Texans, who managed just 10 points in a loss. The Titans had the ball for almost 35 minutes in that one and the two sides combined for just 112 plays in that one. Expect another slow-paced game this time around.
Injuries: Ryan Tannehill (ankle) is out for this one, and his absence very well may extend through the rest of the regular season. The good news for the Titans is Treylon Burks (concussion) should be back -- he's officially questionable, but practiced in full all week. The Titans have a ton of injuries on defense, though the Texans offense hasn't shown much ability to take advantage of that. They should get Brandin Cooks (calf) back, however, as he was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday; Nico Collins (foot) is out, and Chris Moore (foot) is questionable after being limited all week. With Cooks back, he's in the WR3 range, while Moore is probably no longer worth using.
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Chiefs -10; 49 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 29.5, Seahawks 19.5
Here's another one that's going to be more cold than anything else, so we're not too worried about the weather. The concerns on the Seahawks side come with injuries -- no Tyler Lockett, and Kenneth Walker is in doubt. It's asking a lot to keep up with this Chiefs offense in the best of times, and Geno Smith will have his work cut out for him in this one. I'd still start him, though.
Injuries: Tyler Lockett (hand) has been ruled out, while Kenneth Walker (ankle/back), Noah Fant (knee), Marquise Goodwin (wrist/ankle), and DeeJay Dallas (ankle) are all questionable. All four of the questionable players are expected to play, according to Pete Carroll, but we'll want to keep an eye out for Saturday reports just to make sure, especially with Walker. He's a solid RB2 if he plays.
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Vikings -4; 48 O/U
- Implied totals: Saints 23.75, Falcons 19.75
Here's one where we don't have to worry about the weather -- God bless a dome. What we've got here is a classic weakness vs. weakness matchup -- the Vikings can't slow anyone down through the air, but the Giants are ill-equipped to take advantage of that, with Daniel Jones having failed to reach even 230 yards passing in four straight games. The matchup does make him a decent streaming option, but I'm not willing to trust any of his non-Saquon Barkley weapons.
Adam Thielen -- Flex Starter. "If you start Thielen, you're hoping he scores. That's basically the gist of it because he hasn't had even 75 yards in a game this season and has just five with six-plus receptions. And last week he was a complete non-factor for three and a half quarters in a game the Vikings were chasing points in. I'd sit him if the matchup were tougher, but it's not, so consider him flex-worthy. I'd start him over wideouts seriously impacted by weather (like the Saints and Browns) as well as over Diontae Johnson, Drake London and Marquise Brown.":
Injuries: There are no injuries of note from this game.
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Bengals -3; 41.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Bengals 22.25, Patriots 19.25
The Patriots are reeling, and their offense remains a mess -- they had just 112 passing yards against the Raiders in Week 16. That's not great when you're going against an offense like the Bengals' that can put you in a hole in a hurry. The Bengals are down DE Sam Hubbard, though fellow pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson is going to play through a wrist injury, which should help keep the pressure on Jones.
Ja'Marr Chase from beating up his defense. It'll leave single coverage for Boyd on pretty much every play, which he gets in general, but in a game where Burrow could easily find his way to some big success, Boyd can help. He's not bad in a pinch over low-ceiling receivers impacted by weather like Gabe Davis, Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and he's also better than Russell Gage, Noah Brown and Jakobi Meyers.": Tyler Boyd -- Sneaky sleeper. "I wouldn't reach for Boyd as a must-start or anything like that, but the expectation is that Bill Belichick will do what he can to limit
Injuries: DeVante Parker (concussion) has been ruled out, while Jakobi Meyers (shoulder) is questionable after a week of limited work -- he's a WR3/4 in PPR if he does play. Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) is also questionable, however he played through the injury after doing less in practice last week, so I would expect him to go, He's a top-12 RB.
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Lions -2.5; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Lions 23, Panthers 20.5
The Lions are allowing 4.9 yards per carry for the season, but they have allowed just one of their past five opponents to top 100 yards. Seeing as how Sam Darnold hasn't thrown more than 24 passes in any of his three starts, it's not hard to guess what the Panthers game plan is going to be here. Whether they can find more success than the last few teams to go up against the Lions will determine whether they can keep this one close.
Jamaal Williams -- Sit. "Williams feels like a safe bet to score, but even if he does he's not a lock for 10 points, PPR or not. He's a low-ceiling Fantasy running back who's suddenly caught up in a three-way timeshare. In non-PPR leagues he's flex-worthy, but I'd rather start the Buccaneers RBs, Devin Singletary or D'Andre Swift. Those guys would all start over Williams in PPR too along with Zonovan Knight and Chuba Hubbard.":
Injuries: There aren't any Fantasy relevant injuries of not here, but the Lions are hoping center Frank Ragnow (foot) can play after getting in just a limited practice Thursday.
Falcons at Ravens
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Ravens -6.5; 34.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Ravens 20.5, Falcons 14
This is one of several backup QB battles this week, which helps explain the incredibly low over/under. This will be Tyler Huntley's third start and fourth game playing at least half the snaps, and the Ravens have scored just 29 points combined in their past three games; they have scored more than 20 points just once in six starts dating back to last season. The Falcons, meanwhile, managed just 18 points in Desmond Ridder's first start last season, as he completed 13 of 26 passes for just 97 yards. The FFT team is excited about J.K. Dobbins, but that's about it -- and, for what it's worth, I've got Dobbins as more like a fringe RB2 who almost certainly needs to find the end zone to get to 14-plus PPR points.
Mark Andrews -- Start. "A perfect matchup should provide some opportunities for Andrews to finally break through for at least a modest PPR game. If Lamar Jackson plays, Andrews is a no-brainer. But Fantasy managers should be willing to roll the dice even if Jackson is out because of how bad the Falcons defense has played. With Jackson, Andrews should start over everyone except Travis Kelce and Evan Engram. With Huntley, Andrews could be benched for Dawson Knox, Dalton Schultz and T.J. Hockenson, but not for Chig Okonkwo, Juwan Johnson or Noah Fant.":
Injuries: Lamar Jackson (knee) has been ruled out, while Tyler Huntley (shoulder) is officially questionable but expected to play. For what it's worth, the Ravens will also be without Calais Campbell and Marcus Peters on defense.
Commanders at 49ers
- Saturday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: 49ers -7; 37.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 31.75, Texans 17.75
The weather isn't to blame for the low O/U in this one; the 49ers defense is. The Commanders are fighting for their playoff lives, but they haven't scored more than 20 points in a game since Week 11, while the 49ers haven't allowed more than 17 since Week 7. The 49ers are perfectly comfortable winning a low-scoring game, and they're going to keep riding Christian McCaffrey as much as possible.
Brandon Aiyuk and Diontae Johnson.": Jahan Dotson -- Sneaky sleeper. "The Commanders are a safe bet to struggle running the ball on the 49ers, which means it's likely that Heinicke will attempt more than the 29 passes he's maxed out at in five of his past six starts. Dotson should cash in on that volume for the third straight week, not solely as a deep-ball receiver, but as a playmaking speedster who can skip past defensive backs for big gains. I'm willing to trust his skill-set, even in a tough matchup. He's flex-worthy over
Injuries: Deebo Samuel (knee/ankle) and Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) are both out as they continue to deal with multi-week injuries. The only other injury to note is Jordan Mason (hamstring), who is questionable after being added to the practice report Thursday. He has been the primary backup to McCaffrey of late, and if he has to miss time, Tyrion Davis-Price could see a half-dozen or so carries if the 49ers win easily.
This was supposed to be one of the marquee matchups of the season. Instead, after the Cowboys were missing Dak Prescott for the previous matchup, the Eagles will be down Jalen Hurts. Gardner Minshew is a very good backup, and I'm actually pretty excited about using him in Fantasy this week, but it's hard not to feel like we've been robbed of something more exciting here.
Dallas Goedert -- Start. "There's always trepidation in starting a player in his first game back from injured reserve, but Goedert should be in good shape coming back from a shoulder problem and not a lower-body problem. He's a huge target who won't run too far downfield, giving Minshew someone easy to lean on. The only tight ends I'd consider over Goedert are Travis Kelce, Evan Engram (weather permitting), Mark Andrews (quarterback permitting), Dalton Schultz and Dawson Knox (weather permitting).":
Injuries: Besides Hurts, there really aren't any injuries to know about from this one.
Raiders at Steelers
- Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Steelers -2.5; 38.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Steelers 20.5, Raiders 18
Derek Carr has played six games with a temperature below 37 degrees at kickoff, and he has just one touchdown in each game, with only two games over 222 passing yards. The Steelers, meanwhile, have allowed more than 200 yards passing in just two of T.J. Watt's seven games. I don't know how much to take from Carr's six-game sample size, so I'm not burying Carr in my rankings, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned.
Pat Freiermuth -- Start in PPR. "No one should be jazzed about starting Freiermuth, and expectations should only be high-ish in PPR compared to non, but he should be in position to have a decent game compared to others at his position. I'd take the chance with Noah Fant over Freiermuth, but I'll start the Steeler over Juwan Johnson, Chig Okonkwo, Gerald Everett and Cole Kmet.":
Injuries: Diontae Johnson (toe) is officially questionable after missing both Wednesday and Thursday practices, but he told reporters Thursday he expects to be good to go. Kenny Pickett (concussion) will make his return to the lineup after missing the previous game, and Johnson's five best Fantasy games have been with someone other than Pickett at QB, so my expectations aren't super high.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Dolphins -4; 49.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Dolphins 26.75, Packers 22.75
Miami's offense had a much-needed bounce-back showing in Week 15, but the Dolphins still enter Sunday's game against the Packers on a three-game losing streak. Prior to Monday's win over the Rams, the Packers had allowed over 400 yards of offense in four straight games, so we're hoping for another big game from Miami's offense -- especially with no weather concerns to speak of in sunny South Florida.
Tua Tagovailoa -- Start. "Will the Dolphins keep Tagovailoa to a strict game plan of getting the ball out quick, focusing on first downs and running the ball with Raheem Mostert and others, or will they let Tagovailoa cut it loose like they tried to do before they got exposed by the Chargers a few weeks ago? Expect a mix, which means there should be at least a few deep targets for the Dolphins receivers to take advantage of. I'd start Tagovailoa for his upside in the best matchup he's seen in a month, ahead of Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence and Dak Prescott.":
Injuries: Jeff Wilson (hip) has been limited the first two days of practice, so it looks like he's on his way to returning. That's actually a pretty significant development, because it's not clear at this point what the split between him and Raheem Mostert is likely to be if he plays. I'm viewing Mostert as the lead back, but he's more like a fringe RB2/3 if Wilson plays. Aaron Jones (knee) has also been limited both days, but at this point I'm expecting him to play. If not, AJ Dillon would probably be a top-12 RB.
Broncos at Rams
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Broncos -2.5; 36.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Broncos 19.5, Rams 17
Here's another one with a very low over/under that we can't blame on the weather. These have been arguably the two most disappointing offenses in the league, and there isn't much reason to be optimistic about either, even with Russell Wilson expected back after missing last week with a concussion.
Latavius Murray - Start. "Murray isn't as good as Aaron Jones or A.J. Dillon. He's not really that good at all. But he's in the right place at the right time against an opponent who shouldn't be in a spot to contain him fully for four quarters. He's got a shot to score and get decent yardage. That's more than enough to be a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week over Travis Etienne, Isiah Pacheco, Brian Robinson and both Lions RBs.":
Injuries: Courtland Sutton (hamstring) has been limited after missing the previous two games, but he'd be tough to trust even if he does play. In fact, the biggest impact of Sutton coming back would probably be to make Jerry Jeudy tougher to trust -- both would be WR3s if Sutton is back. Latavius Murray also missed Thursday's session with a foot injury, though Nathaniel Hackett told reporters it's a "precautionary" move with the Broncos practicing on indoor turf. Hopefully it's nothing to be concerned about for Sunday, or at the very least, I hope we get some clarity one way or the other before Saturday. He'd be in that RB2/3 discussion if he plays.
Buccaneers at Cardinals
- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Buccaneers -7.5; 40.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Buccaneers 24, Cardinals 16.5
The Buccaneers have been one of the biggest disappointments in the league, but the Cardinals have been an even bigger one, and they're down to their third-string QB, Trace McSorley, who has barely played at the NFL level. He's got some athleticism, but expectations are very, very low for him as a passer. It's bad news for the Cardinals offense, and good news for the 6-8 Buccaneers' playoff hopes.
Leonard Fournette -- Flex starter. "If I'm making the call based on the film, Leonard Fournette is the Bucs RB I'd want to start. He's solid for them and has produced consistently for Fantasy managers. There's also the possibility this game becomes so lopsided that both backs end up doing well, but I'm not hanging onto that hope for Rachaad White. I'd start Fournette over Isiah Pacheco, Devin Singletary and both Lions RBs, but I'd start all those players over White.":
Injuries: Colt McCoy (concussion) has already been ruled out for this one, hence McSorley getting the start. Marquise Brown was also added to the injury report Thursday with a groin issue, and the mid-week injury update is always a concern. Brown is more like a WR3/4 even if he does play. Julio Jones (knee) has been limited both days in practice, but probably shouldn't be started even if he does play.
Chargers at Colts
- Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Chargers -4.5; 45.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Chargers 25, Colts 20.5
For the second time, the Colts are pulling the plug on Matt Ryan, this time turning to veteran Nick Foles to try to kick start their offense. Foles inherits a team missing its most important player in Jonathan Taylor, but I'd bet the Colts are still going to try to establish the run against a Chargers run defense that is once again one of the worst in the league. Whether that'll be enough to have a chance to win will depend on whether Justin Herbert can break out of his weird season-long funk -- he has just two touchdowns over his past three games and just six multi-touchdown games all year.
Michael Pittman -- Possible bust. "Might Pittman's huge target share be at risk with Foles under center. Foles' track record suggests he will utilize others in the passing game besides his big lug wideout. If it happens then Pittman will disappoint. Tack on the Chargers' best strength defensively (they stink against the run) and it could be a less-than-great output for Pittman. He's safest as a flex ahead of Drake London, Darius Slayton and any receivers in the Saints-Browns game.":
Injuries: As of Friday, there aren't any injuries we're following from this game except for Chargers star safety Derwin James (quadriceps), who was limited to open the week Thursday.