- Full fantasy football rankings for Week 16, including a deep dive on Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen.
Each week, above our full fantasy rankings, SI.com fantasy writer Michael Beller and 4for4 writer John Paulsen will have a brief discussion about some of the most intriguing rankings questions. Scroll down for our full rankings at every position.
Michael Beller: John, all five quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft—Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson—have logged significant time this season. Jackson has the Ravens positioned to make the playoffs, Mayfield still has the Browns on the fringes of the postseason picture, and all five have had their successes this season. Three of those five—Mayfield, Jackson and Allen—have been fantasy-relevant since becoming starters. All three are on the radar in fantasy football's championship week. Who among them are you most confident in this week? Do you think any of the three are slam-dunk plays?
John Paulsen: They’re all inside my top 13 in my initial set of Week 16 rankings, so I’m feeling pretty confident about all three. Mayfield is at No. 8 since he faces a shaky Bengals defense at home. Cincinnati has actually been pretty decent against the position in recent weeks, allowing just three total touchdowns to Derek Carr, Philip Rivers and Case Keenum, but Mayfield shredded Cincy for 258 yards and four touchdowns back in Week 12.
Beller: I’m right there with you on Mayfield. In fact, I’ve got him two spots higher at No. 6. Given the way he has played under Freddie Kitchens—a completion rate better than 70% for 1,594 yards, 8.66 yards per attempt, and 13 touchdowns against five interceptions in six games—I see him as an ascending talent in the second half of his rookie season. Add the matchup and the fact that he’s playing at home, and you get one of my favorite quarterback plays of the week. I took a sneak peek at your rankings, and saw that Jackson is next of the trio for you.
Paulsen: Yep, I’ve got Jackson ranked 10th at the position to start the week. He may drop a bit from there as I do more research, but he has shown a high floor, scoring 16.7 fantasy points or more in five straight games, with an average of 18.22 points during that span. With that sort of production, he’s not going to single-handedly win any fantasy championships, but if he keeps it up, he won’t lose them either
Beller: We’re in agreement on Jackson, as well. I see a player with a high floor thanks to his bankable rushing production. His ceiling is high for the same reason, but he has less of a chance of reaching it than most quarterbacks because of the unpredictability of what he’ll do through the air. You, however, are much higher than me on Allen. I do not trust his rushing numbers because, unlike Jackson’s, they come largely from scrambles rather than designed runs. Where are you on the Buffalo signal caller?
Paulsen: I currently have Allen at No. 13. He has scored at least 18.3 fantasy points in the last four games, so he has shown a pretty high floor, too, though that was tested in Detroit as the Lions held him to just 16 yards rushing. (I think we talked about how the Lions are good at limiting QB rushing yards last week, didn’t we? Quick interlude from Beller: We did.) His Week 15 rushing touchdown saved his fantasy day. This week’s matchup against the Patriots, ranked 24th against quarterbacks in our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric, aFPA, is good on paper, but I’m worried that Bill Belichick will figure out a way to limit Allen’s ability to generate fantasy points in the running game, severely limiting his upside. On the plus side, the Patriots have allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks, so they do have a tendency to give up points in that area of the game. The Bills are likely to fall behind this week so Allen may have more drop backs than usual, which serves to raise his ceiling.
Beller: That’s where I’m worried. I don’t see the Patriots letting Allen get it going with his legs, both because of how they will gameplan against it, and because their offense will likely force Buffalo’s to play from behind. I’m off Allen this week, having him as a recommended sit.
John, what do you say we call it a season? But, before we do that, let’s get to our Week 16 rankings.