The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 16
Happy holidays, #FootClan! It’s championship time!
We’re hot on the heels of a rare Friday night slugfest between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. By the way, a preemptive congratulations for those that started Alvin Kamara, who went off for a record-tying SIX rushing touchdowns and could’ve broken the record if he wasn’t vultured by Taysom Hill. Maybe Sean Payton was Hill’s secret Santa this year?
With that out of the way, we’re eager to move on to an exciting new slate of games in Week 16 of the National Football League!
As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
With that said… let’s go!
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (@ DAL)
|Jalen Hurts (as of 12/26/2020)|
Out with the old, in with the new. That’s the mantra (allegedly) of the Eagles and Fantasy Football managers alike, as rookie sensation Jalen Hurts commands the Philadelphia squad against their divisional rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Hurts has been red-hot, scoring FOUR total TDs against a rising Arizona defense. Best of all, his Week 16 opponent presents an even easier challenge. Hurts has been rightfully anointed as a top-4 option and is Mike’s Start of the Week. It’s always a risk trusting a rookie, but Hurts’ threat as a rusher provides a safe floor for fantasy GMs who are seeking a #FootClanTitle. As famed author Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If you’re lucky/smart enough to have rostered Hurts, then set him and forget it.
JALEN HURTS 😱
— NFL (@NFL) December 21, 2020
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (@ DAL)
|Josh Allen (as of 12/26/2020)|
Are we disrespecting “the Stallion?” Josh Allen, who is the overall QB3 on the season, is currently the ‘Ballers’ consensus QB10 this week. Andy has already been on record stating that he’ll bench Allen for old-timer Tom Brady (consensus QB7 this week). While Allen’s been on fire this year, his worst game by far was a Week 8 battle against… the Patriots. He’ll now have to face off against Bill Belichick’s defense again, only this time it’s in Foxboro. It helps that All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore has already been ruled out, but he was also inactive in their first encounter this year. If wideouts Stefon Diggs and John Brown are active, then Allen should be a confident start. Otherwise, there’s enough downside to reluctantly fade Allen for other elite options like Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray, and even Brady (maybe).
Running Back Rankings
Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos (@ LAC)
|Melvin Gordon III (as of 12/26/2020)|
I have a confession to make. I’ve fallen victim to the popular #RevengeGame narrative much too often, and each time it has led me to a close yet heartbreaking loss. This is the wrong flavor of hype that can ruin fantasy seasons as it ignores common sense and analytics in favor of emotional storylines. When all the numbers point to one direction, you should never allow emotions to blindly steer you towards another. But what happens when the narrative is supported by data?
Enter one Melvin Gordon III.
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) December 19, 2020
The troubled Bronco finds himself with another opportunity for revenge against his former team, the Chargers. It doesn’t help that he’s already phoned in a flaccid performance in his first attempt at retribution, turning 15 opportunities to just a scoreless 47 all-purpose yards. He was overshadowed by his counterpart, Phillip Lindsay, who managed to outproduce Gordon and notch a score with less touches.
But this time, Lindsay has already been ruled out due to a hip injury. Gordon will be the undisputed workhorse for a young Denver offense that’s had flashes of brilliance. In three games without Lindsay, Gordon averaged 20.7 opportunities. Otherwise, his usage dwindles to 14.9. Gordon will also continue dominating the coveted Red Zone looks, making him a strong bet for a TD each week. Sure, I might be a bit biased when it comes to the sixth-year rusher, but Gordon is a great RB2 play this week with serious scoring upside. The drama is just the cherry on top.
Wide Receiver Rankings
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs LAR)
|DK Metcalf (as of 12/26/2020)|
Start your studs? Forget David vs. Goliath, this is Goliath vs. Godzilla. Surging WR DK Metcalf has been a fantasy savior, lighting up the scoreboards with amazing plays each week. But this week, Metcalf will face off against shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey. For football purposes, this is a heavyweight main event battle that CANNOT be missed. This is what we watch football for, to see a rising behemoth challenge an unstoppable defender. But for fantasy football? Honestly? It sucks.
While you should never bench Metcalf in redraft leagues, he’s still a shaky start as he could be blanketed by Ramsey. QB Russell Wilson doesn’t help matters as he’s slowly declined in recent weeks. But again, Metcalf is a monster, and all it takes is a single bomb for him to blow up the scoreboards and your lineup. Metcalf is the gang’s fringe WR1 this week, but never count him out. Again, all it takes is one.
.@dkm14 hit the NOS 🏎💨
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 1, 2020
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (vs DEN)
|Keenan Allen (as of 12/26/2020)|
If you started WR Keenan Allen last week and are still in contention, then kudos to you for surpassing an insurmountable challenge! Allen broke hearts worldwide in Week 15 when he told viewers to “start him,” only to let trusting managers down by securing just a single scoreless catch for 17 yards. But now, he’ll have an opportunity for redemption against a divisional rival that has shown vulnerability to opposing receivers. Allen is always a safe bet for fantasy production, but his lingering hamstring injury could always shut him down early during the championship week. I’d personally pivot towards other options if you have them, as Allen could be limited or shut down at any second. No risk, no glory… but the risk is probably not worth it this time, especially when everything’s on the line.
Tight End Rankings
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (vs CAR)
|Logan Thomas (as of 12/26/2020)|
Do you know who took it up to 100 last week? Washington TE Logan Thomas, who saw 100% of snaps against Seattle and took 15 whopping targets for 101 yards. This was his third appearance in the 100% club, signaling a growing trust from his coaching staff and QB(s). He’ll get to build on this momentum against a mediocre Panthers defense, who’ve allowed a TD to opposing TEs since their bye. Thomas is heavily involved in the gameplan regardless of QB, evident by his recent success with both Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins. Stud wideout Terry McLaurin is doubtful with an ankle injury, leaving room for even more targets for the journeyman TE. Unless you have a clear-cut stud like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, or maybe George Kittle, then Thomas should be started with confidence.
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 16 Podcasts
Monday (Week 15 Studs & Stinkers + Along Came Pollard, Hurts So Good)
Our beloved Footballers jumpstart this episode by sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 05:25. Next is a fantasy-focused recap of all last week’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 07:50. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 17:55, before commiserating on the Stinkers of the Week at 46:20.
Tuesday (Week 16 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Bird in the Hand)
The gang kicks off Tuesday’s show with a Monday Night Football Recap at 06:10. Next up is the News & Notes at 10:50. We then come to the meat & taters of the episode: the Week 16 Waivers at 18:10. We wrap up the episode with their choices for DST Streamers (Cleveland, Houston, Carolina, Arizona, Philadelphia) at 40:55 and QB Streamers (Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, Mitch Trubisky) at 43:55.
Wednesday (Week 16 Buy or Sell + Championship Week Q&A, Mike Poops Himself)
Our fearless crew begins this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 04:35, debating hot-topic players like J.K. Dobbins, Chris Carson, Terry McLaurin. They move onto the News & Notes at 11:25, before moving onto a substantial Mailbag segment at 23:20.
Thursday (Christmas Eve Extravaganza! + Week 16 Matchups, Fantasy Grinches)
We kickstart this massive episode with the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 04:05, where the guys plant their flags on Antonio Brown, Rashard Higgins, and CeeDee Lamb. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 08:55, then a thorough discussion on the upcoming Week 16 slate in the Fantasy Forecast at 17:40. We then get to the juiciest part of the episode at 52:10 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget the Big Shimmy’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:02:45! But wait, there’s more! The second half of the Fantasy Forecast is discussed at 01:04:00. This mega episode is capped off with the Prop It Like It’s Hot segment at 01:56:20.
Have a great weekend #FootClan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 16 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!