_Scott Engel is in his 12th year as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time nominee. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day and fantasy football rankings at RotoBaller.com. _
If you advanced to the second round/semifinals of your league's fantasy football playoffs or had a first-round bye, now the pressure increases with a berth in the finals on the line. Being one win away from qualifying for a fantasy football Super Bowl can lead to more second-guessing of lineup decisions and overthinking. But one can cope with the potentially increased fantasy anxiety by simply handling lineup business as usual.
In most cases, you should stick with your established and proven starters. Do not sit a star player for a lesser fantasy producer based primarily on a matchup. You know what players have brought the team this far, so maintain faith in them. Then pick the complementary starters based on the best information available, and lock in the lineup, knowing you did everything possible to build the best possible Week 16 combination. After that, it's up to the players to hopefully deliver on the projected production.
The fantasy football waiver wire is thin by this point of the season, so I provide the best streamers for lineups while pinpointing the few possible impact players off free agency. I feature some quality one-week plays and plug-ins at quarterback and tight end. Injuries at QB have hit hard in recent weeks and TE is always a thin and unreliable fantasy position. Analysis leans to Point-Per-Reception (PPR) formats and players are listed in order of lineup or waivers preferences.
Running Backs – Fantasy Football Week 16
The rookie is coming off a down performance in Week 15, but we should see him bounce back to regain his recent better form against Indianapolis. In the four previous games, Robinson averaged 18.9 PPR points per game. If you were able to advance to your fantasy football league semifinals with Robinson on the roster, keep faith in him to produce. The Colts rank 30th in fantasy points per game allowed to RBs. The Falcons must win to keep their playoff hopes alive and will need the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to deliver a very productive performance.
Swift had 74 yards on 18 carries on Monday night in the loss to the Seahawks. He has a better matchup in Week 16 and should be started as a fantasy RB2 for at least adequate production. Philadelphia will be looking to stop a three-game losing streak and should be able to establish optimum offensive balance against the Giants. New York ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed to opposing running backs. The Eagles have the fourth-best run blocking grade advantage on Pro Football Focus for Week 16. Swift may display some upside while exceeding expectations in an important fantasy playoff week.
Denver, which has been a regular fantasy matchup to target for RBs, has allowed the second-most Fantasy Points Per Game to the position. Elliott has become a consistent receiving target out of the backfield for QB Bailey Zappe in the past two games. The ex-Cowboys star has caught 12 of 14 targets in those two outings. In Week 14, Elliott totaled 140 yards from scrimmage. The Broncos rank 26th in receiving yards allowed to RBs. New England has the sixth-best run blocking grade on PFF for Week 16. Elliott can post adequate rushing totals, too. Start him as a flex play in Week 16.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets – Running Backs
Gus Edwards, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 11 rushing TDs, may see even more regular work with Keaton Mitchell (knee) now out for the season. Justice Hill should be a deeper target in leagues where Edwards is not available. Zamir White finished with 85 scrimmage yards and rushed for a TD while catching three passes in Week 15. Monitor the status of Josh Jacobs (quadriceps) to see if White can be utilized as a Week 16 starter. Chase Brown is an upside dual-threat play against the Steelers, who rank 23rd in receiving yards allowed to RBs over the past four weeks.
Wide Receivers – Fantasy Football Week 16
Fantasy players have consistently been able to find success at WR by starting pass-catchers who face Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have allowed the second-most receiving yards to the position. Ridley has continued to see a significant number of targets, with 33 in his past three games. Tampa Bay allowed the most receptions to WRs over the past four weeks. Start Ridley with confidence in Week 16, as he can help carry your team to a fantasy football Super Bowl appearance.
DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were big heroes in the Week 15 Monday night win over the Eagles, and now it will be Lockett's turn to shine in a very important game at Tennessee. Metcalf obviously commands a heavy amount of defensive attention, and Smith-Njigba has blossomed as expected, becoming a major threat against opposing secondaries. Lockett can only benefit from playing alongside a proven star and an ascending playmaker. He has a top 15 WR/CB matchup advantage grade against opposing cornerback groups on PFF for Week 16. The Titans rank 27th in FFPG allowed to WRs.
In Week 15, Wilson was targeted a season-low four times. Before last week, he was not targeted less than seven times in a game this season, and he has been targeted overall 138 times, which ranks sixth-most in the NFL. The Jets WR averages 9.9 targets per game. Look for him to resume his usual workflow this week in a very good matchup. Washington has the lowest-ranked pass defense in the league while allowing the most receiving yards to WRs.
Week 16 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets – Wide Receivers
Noah Brown will be a primary pass-catcher for the Texans in the final weeks of the NFL regular season and fantasy playoffs. Tyler Boyd is a proven WR who will help fill in for Cincinnati while Ja'Marr Chase (shoulder) is out. Joshua Palmer had 113 receiving yards in his return to action in Week 15. Curtis Samuel is a frequent TD threat for the Commanders, but he does have tough matchups ahead against the Jets and 49ers. Dontayvion Wicks has emerged as a viable deeper option, with two 90-plus yard outings in his last four games.
Quarterbacks – Fantasy Football Week 16
As the Buccaneers push for the NFC South title, Mayfield has come through with some quality performances. Statistically, he soared above expectations in Week 15, as he passed for a season-high 381 yards and four TDs. Those who don't have a regularly dependable starter and have been streaming QBs recently because of injuries must give Mayfield strong one-week consideration as he faces Jacksonville. The Jaguars rank 30th in FFPG allowed to WRs and will face a major challenge in trying to handle Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Other QBs to Consider for Week 16: Trevor Lawrence should post good numbers when battling Mayfield, as Tampa Bay has allowed the second-most passing yards to QBs. Russell Wilson has the second-best pass blocking grade on PFF for Week 16 as he takes on the Patriots. Jake Browning can provide a solid statistical floor, and the Steelers have allowed eight TD passes over the past four weeks, tied for second-most in the NFL. Joe Flacco passed for 374 yards last week, and Houston ranks 24th in FFPG allowed to QBs.
Tight Ends – Fantasy Football Week 16
The Patriots veteran has resurfaced over the past two games while Zappe has gotten comfortable with him as a key target. Henry caught two TD passes in Week 15 and then hauled in seven of nine targets for 66 yards and a TD in Week 16. Denver has allowed the most FFPG to TEs this season.
Other TEs to Consider for Week 16: The Chargers rank 27th in receiving yards allowed to TEs. Dalton Kincaid may provide quality totals this week. Tucker Kraft has caught TD passes in two of his past four games. The Green Bay TE has 121 total receiving yards in his last two games. The Steelers have allowed the second-most FFPG to TEs over the past four weeks. If you are desperate for an option, consider Cincinnati's Tanner Hudson, who caught all five of his targets last week.
For more fantasy football analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day during the 2023 fantasy football season.
Seahawks Legend Golden Tate raises the 12 Flag ahead of the Week 15 matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.