Week 16 Rankings (2015): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

Week 16 is where champions are made, or at least it should be. This is a little bit of a tricky week at wide receiver with some tough matchups for superstars and a few emerging Top 20 options. Throw in an Odell Beckham Jr. suspension, which may have more fantasy impact than any suspension ever, and it’s not a real cut and dry week. Nonetheless here are my Top 50 at the position for the all-important Week 16 (as of right now):

  1. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore
  2. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans
  3. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans @ Tennessee
  4. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco
  5. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina
  6. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago
  7. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati
  8. Alshon Jeffrey – Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay
  9. Jeremy Maclin – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland
  10. Brandon Marshall – New York Jets vs. New England
  11. Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills  vs. Dallas
  12. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver
  13. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville
  14. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis
  15. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
  16. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts @ Miami
  17. Eric Decker – New York Jets vs. New England
  18. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati
  19. Martavis Bryant – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore
  20. Desean Jackson – Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia
  21. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay
  22. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers @ Arizona
  23. Allen Hurns – Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans
  24. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis
  25. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys  @ Buffalo
  26. Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
  27. Kamar Aiken – Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh
  28. Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
  29. Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit
  30. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco
  31. John Brown – Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay
  32. Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings vs. NY Giants
  33. Brandon LaFell – New England Patriots @ NY Jets
  34. Ted Ginn – Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta
  35. Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis
  36. Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay
  37. Rueben Randle – New York Giants @ Minnesota
  38. Travis Benjamin – Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City
  39. Donte Moncrief – Indianapolis Colts @ Miami
  40. James Jones – Green Bay Packers @ Arizona
  41. DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis
  42. Markus Wheaton – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore
  43. Dorial Green-Beckham – Tennessee Titans vs. Houston
  44. Dontrelle Inman – San Diego Chargers @ Oakland
  45. Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville
  46. DaVante Adams – Green Bay Packers @ Arizona
  47. Marvin Jones – Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver
  48. Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia
  49. Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams @ Seattle
  50. Jermaine Kearse – Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis

Thoughts:

  • I think the Pittsburgh Steelers made their statement against Denver that when healthy their offense is unstoppable. Antonio Brown had an epic fantasy day against what’s supposed to be a Top 3 defense. This week the Steelers get the opposite of the Broncos in the Baltimore Ravens. I think this could be a high scoring game and potentially competitive, if only because it’s the Ravens and they certainly would love nothing more than to ruin the Steelers season. Brown is hands down the number one guy this week and then you have Martavis Bryant, who’s a nice WR2, and Markus Wheaton, who now has to be taken seriously as well.
  • The Tennessee Titans versus Houston Texans game is going to be a tricky one for fantasy football. The Texans have now handed their offense over to Brandon Weeden which is a fantasy nightmare. Still, Deandre Hopkins continues to be immune to his QB, catching eight balls for 94 yards despite Weeden completing just 11 passes in total. Hopkins continues to be a WR1 in my book, but no one else on that team is touchable. On the other side of the ball Dorial Green-Beckham is coming off a huge game, but the Texans defense has been incredibly tough lately and this is actually the week where I’d be fading Green-Beckham.
  •  Another matchup I am all in on for is the Thursday Night game between the Raiders and Chargers. Amari Cooper resurfaced in Week 15 against the Packers topping 100 yards and finding the end zone a couple of times. Meanwhile Michael Crabtree continues to consistently put up numbers week in and week out. Taking on the Chargers this should be another week where the Raiders receivers shine. On the flip side the Chargers should also be able to get some work done through the air and while Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead will get the most work, I like Dontrelle Inman as a sleeper play.
  • The connection between Kirk Cousins and DeSean Jackson continues to grow and it went to another level last week when Jackson caught six balls for 153 yards and a TD. Jackson now has a TD catch in four of his last five games and another really nice matchup coming this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. With the running game being so inconsistent I expect that Cousins going to the air early and often and another big game for Jackson should be in store.
  • After several quiet games from Stefon Diggs he returned to fantasy relevance last week catching a pair of TD balls from Teddy Bridgewater and putting up 17.5 fantasy points in standard leagues. That said, slow your excitement a little bit. Diggs still only got four targets and caught just three passes. You can’t expect Bridgewater to throw four TD passes every week when Adrian Peterson is at RB. That said Diggs does get a bump in the rankings, but it’s got more to do with the fact that he’s playing the Giants rather than what he did last week. New York is one of the most enticing wide receiver matchups in the league and the potential for a big game is really hard to ignore.
  • Early reports are making it sound like Danny Amendola is likely going to be sitting out Week 16, and it’s a long shot that we see Julian Edelman make his return this week as well. That means Brandon LaFell is the Patriots wide receiver to own. He has yet to score a TD and has really only had a couple of good games, but by default he has to be in consideration at WR3 or FLEX. The Patriots could just go to Rob Gronkowski all game, and there’s certainly a good chance someone off the radar emerges, but LaFell is really the only receiver you can trust using and I use the word trust very loosely there.
  • With Odell Beckham Jr. suspended this week my initial thought was to send Reuben Randle up the rankings, but he only really rose a handful of spots. The absence of Beckham does in fact open the door for Randle, but it is not lock by any means. The Vikings are tough on opposing wide receivers and the Giants still have other options, including Will Tye, Shane Vereen and Dwayne Harris. Randle is a nice upside play who could blow up, but don’t just assume the big game is coming.
  • Last week we saw that the Denver Broncos secondary is susceptible to be taken advantage of by the passing game of teams. That said, the Bengals are not the Steelers, A.J. McCarron is not Ben Roethlisberger and the Broncos are probably a little upset about what Pittsburgh did to them. I still have A.J. Green as a fringe WR1, but I don’t love it. In Week 15 it was actually Marvin Jones leading the Bengals in receiving production from McCarron, but you just can’t trust the third option on the team in this game with this quarterback. I think we’re going to see a low scoring game between two QB who just want to manage the game.
Week 16 Rankings (2015): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 16 Rankings (2015): Top 25 Quarterbacks

17 comments

  1. Andy says:

    Will, My O Beckham is sitting this week, so should I drop Fozzy Whittaker for M Wheaton or R Randle or W Snead or Monte Moncrief, or S Diggs or D InMann . Thanks.
    My other Wrs are Allen Robinson and Brandon Marshall

  2. Kristen says:

    With Odell absolutely screwing up my championship week, what do I do now? I’ve got Lafell already and am trying to snag Desean Jackson off the waiver wire. Which is a better choice to play? My other wide receiver is Branson Marshall. Thank you!!

  3. Andy – It’s a tossup between Snead/Moncrief, but I’d lean Snead. That said, don’t be surprised if Beckham ultimately plays.

    Kristen – Jackson would be the better option, but as I said don’t be surprised if Beckham ultimately is on the field

  4. Sheldon says:

    Professor, does anyone know at all, whether or not Edelman will play this week? He was upgraded from Doubtful to Questionable today. Does that mean anything? Some sources state that he may be left out this week and may play only in week 17. That is my hunch feeling too. They may ease him back in week 17, and put him on a pitch count, to get him ready in time for the playoffs. Bottom line is that he may be of no use to owners during the fantasy finals this week. What’s your take on the situation? Thanks.

  5. George says:

    Hello Professor, Standard League, Am I over thinking this? I have Denard Robinson, Hightower and McFadden playing this week with Karlos Williams on the bench. Deciding between Allen Hurns or Dez. Or Lafell for WR, Also does that sound good with the rb’s thank you for your help this year

  6. Sheldon – It’s impossible to guess what NE will do. My guess is he sits, but we won’t have any clarity for a few more days

    George – Yes on the RB. As for the WR, I’d roll Hurns. Hard to trust the other two

  7. Haggy says:

    Innman or snead WR pick the one you would use this week.

  8. Eric says:

    Would you start Todd Gurley or Doug Baldwin in flex???

  9. Haggy – I actually faced the same decision. Going Snead

    Eric – Amazingly Baldwin with the way he’s playing right now

  10. Sheldon says:

    Merry Christmas, Professor! Wish you a good one. Need some WR help. I’ve got Lockett starting with Russell Wilson as my QB. They connected last week and the week before that as well. STL provides a stiff matchup against WRs. Would you sit Lockett this week? I’ve got options in Stefon Diggs and Nate Washington, who might be a sneaky good play, considering Cecil Shorts is out this week. What are your thoughts? I like Lockett, but also appreciate the stiff matchup that the Rams present this week against WRs. Thanks.

  11. Naptown says:

    Merry Christmas, Professor! First time seeking your advice, but ODBII’s suspension has me panicking (I still need to win a game to get to our final). Of Martin, Ivory, Powell, Robinson and West at RB I’m thinking Martin and West. At WR I have DeSean Jackson, Sanders and Snead. Thinking Jackson and Sanders there. Problem is at Flex. Should I go Powell or Snead? Or do I have it all wrong on your opinion? Thanks Professor!

  12. Sheldon – I’d probably use Lockett regardless, but if Baldwin is out he becomes a must use option.

    Naptown – It’s really a tossup. I’d lean Powell, but it’s razor thin (and the rest looks spot on)

  13. Magoo says:

    Week 16 PPR Flex advice : Hightower, Lockett or Ginn ?

  14. Donnie says:

    Standard league. ODB out, needing help with flex spot. First flex is K. Aiken. Second spot is between TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs, Jordan Matthews, or Cameron Artis-Payne. Having a hard time picking. Championship game. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  15. Magoo – Hightower for me

    Donnie – Sounds like Atis-Payne is going to be the lead back, so he’d get the nod for me. Hilton would be my second choice.

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