Week 16 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts & Sleepers

Dec 21, 2022
Week 16 Sneaky Starts & Sleepers

Jalen Hurts may miss some time with a sprained shoulder, but his Week 16 status is unknown. Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is done for the year. Austin Ekeler could miss or be limited in Week 16 with a shoulder injury. Chris Olave has a hamstring injury. Tyler Lockett (finger) might be back next week, but he’s out against the Chiefs. The Week 16 status of both Ryan Tannehill (ankle) and Mike White (rib) is up in the air.

All but the luckiest fantasy owners at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough—a waiver wire or bench player capable of putting up some points in a pinch. This weekly feature is dedicated to that part of fantasy football. It's not pretty, but it's part of the game.

Below is a list of players who are ranked higher than usual due to injuries, depth chart changes, or favorable matchups. As the bye weeks hit, it’s important to be able to find players who can produce.

I’ll put the matchup and our signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA), in parenthesis. The higher the number, the better the matchup.


Daniel Jones, Giants (@ MIN, 31)

After last week’s poor outing, Jones is still the fantasy QB11 on the season. I’m standing by him as a good streaming option indoors against a very leaky Vikings secondary. Minnesota has yielded an average of 316/1.5 to Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Mike White, and Mac Jones in the last four games.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers (@ MIA, 29)

This game is tied with Giants/Vikings with the second-highest total of the week (47.5). Neither defense is particularly good, so it could turn into a shootout. Rodgers finished with 229/1 on Monday night but was a wrong route (by Christian Watson) away from his second touchdown. His receiving corps is healthy and the Packers may have to throw more than they’d like to keep pace with the Dolphins.

Gardner Minshew, Eagles (@ DAL, 5)

Jalen Hurts is in doubt this week, but Minshew is fully capable and stepping in with a big performance against Dallas. Nothing really stands out as positive about the matchup, though Trevor Lawrence did post 318/4 last week in Jacksonville’s comeback win. People forget that Minshew had two pretty good seasons as the Jaguars’ starter in 2019-2020, throwing 37 touchdowns (and 11 interceptions) in 23 games. He can also run a little bit–he averaged 24.6 yards rushing as a rookie and 17.0 in his second season. In terms of fantasy points, he scored 18.8 and 14.4 in two starts for the Eagles back in 2021.

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