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Fantasy Football Playoff Guide: Start 'Em Picks for Week 16 

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel offers guidance as you prep for Week 16 of the fantasy season.


Scott Engel is in his 10th season as the official Fantasy writer and analyst for Scott is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA award winner and 10-time nominee, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award. You can also find more of his Fantasy analysis on,, the Athletic and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott won two Fantasy Football dynasty league titles in 2020, including one in the prestigious Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and he previously pulled off a three-peat in a highly competitive New York City league. He finished the 2021 regular season as a co-manager of the No. 1 overall seed in the Hall of Fantasy experts league.

As we head into the second round of the Fantasy playoffs, there is not much help one can get from the waiver wire at this point of the season, Most of the players you have landed or will continue to consider on free agency may not crack your lineup at all in many highly competitive leagues. If you did add Ronald Jones or Gabriel Davis, though, they are among the rare finds who could truly impact your outlook at this point of the Fantasy postseason.

So, this week, we pivot to supplying a more comprehensive guide to setting your lineups for Week 16. The goal is to advance to the Fantasy Football Super Bowl, and we help you make important lineup decisions. We have provided spotlight lists of players that should be chosen when facing close or challenging decisions. These are the guys who can play a big part in Fantasy teams advancing to league championship games. Players at each position are listed in order of preferred lineup usage.

Running Backs

Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons: He is in a rebound spot against the Lions, who are 29th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to running backs. Maintain your confidence in Patterson in the Fantasy football playoff semifinals.

James Robinson, Jaguars: Robinson is a must-start as a Fantasy RB2 in Week 16. He gets a matchup against the Jets, who have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to running backs. Robinson can be the focal point of the Jacksonville offense this week and a significant contributor to Fantasy postseason success in this instance.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs: This is a very good draw for the Kansas City feature back. The Steelers have allowed the most rushing yards to opposing running backs over the last four weeks.

Miles Sanders, Eagles: Sanders, who faces the Giants this week, is coming off a career day against Washington, as he rushed for 131 yards. He has 42 rushing attempts in his last two games and has soared past the 120-yard mark in each outing, Sanders is coming on strong at the most important time of the Fantasy season.

Ronald Jones, Buccaneers: He is the top waiver add of Week 16. Jones will immediately step into the starting role for Tampa Bay against Carolina, 22nd in rushing yards allowed to running backs this season.

Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Penny could help propel Fantasy teams to a championship in the final two weeks of the playoffs. The Bears are 25th in rushing yards allowed to running backs this season. Penny is an upside play for Week 16, as we have seen he is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. Also make sure you add DeeJay Dallas if he is available, as he demonstrated on Tuesday he can certainly step in and contribute well in an increased role. He rushed for 41 yards and a TD on just eight carries against the Rams.

Melvin Gordon, Broncos: Denver has two running backs that can be useful Fantasy options in Week 16. The Raiders have allowed 13 rushing scores this season, and Gordon has seven rushing TDs. He is a primary goal-line area finisher for the Broncos, as six of those TD runs have come inside the 20-yard line.

Justin Jackson, Chargers: There is a chance he may start against Houston, which has allowed the most rushing yards to opposing RBs this season.

Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf, Seahawks: This is a very good matchup in which you should see Metcalf provide significant upside. Expect an end zone visit, as the Bears have allowed 19 TD receptions to WRs, tied for the most in the NFL.

Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals: Start Chase with confidence in Week 16. Baltimore's pass defense ranks 31st in the NFL, and Joe Burrow can connect with Chase for more than one big play in a key AFC North matchup.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions: The rookie has emerged as a must-start Fantasy WR3 in time for the postseason. St. Brown has 35 targets in his last three games and Atlanta is 29th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to WRs.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins: New Orleans' top cover corner, Marshon Lattimore, may be engaged in a featured battle with top rookie WR Jaylen Waddle. Parker can benefit against a Saints pass defense that is 29th in receiving yards allowed to WRs.

Michael Pittman Jr., Colts: The Cardinals have let up the most Fantasy Points Per Game to WRs over the last four weeks. They have also given up six TD receptions to the position during that span. Arizona will be very focused on containing Jonathan Taylor and Pittman will have some playmaking opportunities this week.

Mike Williams, Chargers: The Texans are 25th in yards allowed to opposing wideouts. Williams is the Chargers' best big-play threat, and he should be started for statistical promise in the Fantasy Football playoff semifinals.

Van Jefferson, Rams: The Vikings have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to WRs this season. The Seahawks held Jefferson in check on Tuesday, yet he should bounce back in the matchup against Minnesota. Jefferson had scored in three consecutive games prior to Week 15.

Christian Kirk, Cardinals: The Colts have yielded an AFC-high 17 TD receptions to opposing WRs. Kirk leads the active Cardinals WRs with five TD catches. He must continue to play a bigger role in the Arizona passing game with DeAndre Hopkins out.


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Tight Ends

Kyle Pitts, Falcons: This can be a good week for the potentially exciting rookie. Pitts had a 49-yard reception in Week 15. The Lions have allowed the most receiving yards to TEs among NFC teams in the last four weeks.

Zach Ertz, Cardinals: Ertz should be streamed as a Fantasy TE in Week 16. Indianapolis has allowed the most receiving yards to TEs this season and Ertz should also be a significant threat for a TD reception.

C.J. Uzomah, Bengals: Uzomah is very capable of catching a pass from outside the red zone and taking it in for a score. He had five TD catches this season, and four of them have come from 20 yards out or more. The Ravens have surrendered eight TD catches to TEs this season, third most in the AFC.

Noah Fant, Broncos: If you need to dig a bit deeper for a streamer, Fant can be your man. Against opposing TEs, the Raiders rank 29th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed.


Matthew Stafford, Rams: In Week 15, the Seahawks limited Stafford to 244 passing yards and held him out of the end zone in the first half. This week, Stafford is a much stronger starter against the Vikings' 29th-ranked pass defense. Minnesota does have 44 sacks, but Stafford could make the Vikings pay for their aggressiveness.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: The Seahawks are finishing out the Fantasy schedule with good matchups that can be taken advantage of. The Bears are 28th in FFPG allowed to QBs this season. This will be a good week to give Wilson streaming consideration as you look to advance to a Fantasy Super Bowl.

Joe Burrow, Bengals: For those streaming QBs, Burrow is another consideration. As we mentioned, the Ravens have the second-most generous pass defense in the league this season. Burrow passed for 416 yards and three TDs in his first meeting with the Ravens this season.

Week 16 Defensive Streamers: Cowboys, Eagles, Buccaneers, Packers, Broncos, Chargers.

Check out more of Scott Engel's 2021 Fantasy Football analysis and his full Week 16 rankings at Enter promo code "seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount on the RotoBaller Fantasy Football season pass.

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to target on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 16 of the 2021 season.

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