Week 16 Rankings (2015): Top 25 Quarterbacks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This is the week we’ve been waiting for, as for most Week 16 represents the championship (there are a few leagues that include Week 17, though that’s relatively rare).  Who should we be ready to lean on with our titles hanging in the balance?  Who is too big of a risk to trust?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Atlanta
  2. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. St. Louis
  3. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at New Orleans
  4. Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at New York Jets
  5. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Jacksonville
  6. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
  7. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Green Bay
  8. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – at Philadelphia
  9. Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. Dallas
  10. Ryan Fitzpatrick – New York Jets – vs. New England
  11. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Arizona
  12. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
  13. Teddy Bridgewater – Minnesota Vikings – vs. New York Giants
  14. Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Minnesota
  15. Jameis Winson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Chicago
  16. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. San Francisco
  17. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. San Diego
  18. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Cleveland
  19. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – at Tampa Bay
  20. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Indianapolis
  21. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
  22. Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns – at Kansas City
  23. Sam Bradford – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Washington
  24. Zach Mettenberg – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
  25. Blaine Gabbert – San Francisco 49ers – at Detroit

Thoughts:

  • Russell Wilson threw for 3+ TD for the fifth straight game (19 TD vs. 0 INT).  While St. Louis may not be an ideal matchup, he’s playing on a different level and there’s little reason to think that anyone is going to slow him down.
  • Kirk Cousins is coming off a 319 yard, 4 TD performance against the Bills and now has back-to-back 300+ yard games (as well as three of his past four and four of his past six).  He draws an Eagles defense that has been torched by the pass this season, including allowing 30 TD passes (over the past four weeks they are allowing the third most points to opposing QB, including 10 TD and 1,191 yards).  While it seems like it’s tough to trust him, he’s well worth utilizing as a QB1 in all formats.
  • The value of Eli Manning will be squarely tied to Odell Beckham and his availability on Sunday.  At this point it appears unlikely that he will play, which will certainly hinder the passing game though it won’t completely eliminate it.
  • The San Diego Chargers’ receiving corps continues to be significantly banged up, but Philip Rivers continues to make plays and put up some numbers.  While he did throw 2 INT this past week he also had 311 yards and 3 TD.  The last time he faced Oakland he posted 336 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT, and the matchup definitely keeps him as a low-end QB1 at worst.
  • While Ryan Tannehill’s matchup against the Colts seems promising (10th most points to opposing QB over the past four weeks), he has 2 TD over his past three games and has failed to eclipse 236 yards.  Does that sound like a QB you want to trust with your fantasy title hanging in the balance?
  • The Jets’ passing game has been going well, so it makes sense to want to push Ryan Fitzpatrick and keep him in your lineup.  The Patriots seem like a difficult matchup (third fewest points to opposing QB over the past month), but he did take them for 295 yards and 2 TD the last time these two teams met.  Over his past four games he has 10 TD vs. 1 INT, making Fitzpatrick a good play in all formats.
Week 16 Rankings (2015): Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 15 Rankings (2015): Top 15 Defenses

18 comments

  1. Vmoney says:

    Hey Professor,

    I made it to the finals! Thanks for all your help! I need a little more help with a WR2, RB2, and FLEX:

    A. Cooper and/or K. Aiken?(hopefully they appeal OBJ’s suspension)

    C. West, K. Williams, C Michael and/or T. Hightower?

  2. Rc28 says:

    Professor, thanks for the QB advice. Would you go with C. Michael or B. Powell this week? Also, L. Fitzgerald, C. Johnson, B. Marshall or B. Cooks? Thanks so much

  3. Ryan says:

    Rotoprofess! Need some help.

    Do I go Big Ben or Bortles this week??

    Also, if TJ Yeldon doesn’t start, would you go Denard Robinson over Ivory as an RB2??

  4. Jim Smith says:

    I have Tannehill and Cousins….I played Tannehill and prevailed despite that poor decision….Now I am in the championship…You’re that confident of Cousins?

  5. Vmoney:
    WR – Cooper, but I’d expect Beckham to play
    RB – West
    FLEX – Hightower

    Rc28 – Powell is “safer”, but Michael has the higher upside. I’d lean to gamble. Marshall for the WR

    Ryan – Bortles. As for the RB, we have to monitor Robinson’s health as well.

    Jim Smith – I’d certainly go with him over Tannehill!

  6. Desertfour says:

    Good day Professor,
    In finals despite A Rodgers. Should I instead pick up and start Kirk Cousins in championship game?

    • Scott says:

      I’m in the finals, and have Brees, and Stafford as back-up on my roster. Just picked up Cousins as well. I’m worried about Brees’ injury, and a game-day decision to not play him, or pull him early. Brees normally would have a good match-up against Jag, and Cousins is playing a game that matters. But Stafford has been reliable as well. Any input is welcome! Thanks.

  7. Gern says:

    Okay prof, I’m playing for the championship in two of my three leagues (and it would have been 3 of 3 if it weren’t for going against A.Brown and J. Mathews in the third). I’m going to ride the Bortles train to the end (with Newton as my other Championsip QB). On my main team I’ve dropped Luck for Cousins (in case Bortles falls and hurts himself this week) and dropped Lynch for Abdulla (for depth with Freeman and Williams starting). Should I also drop Amendola for S. Johnson or DGB (I’ll start A Brown, Marshall, and Evans,but you never know what might come up). Also, McCoy looks to be out this week. Should I drop him for C Michaels, Ellington, or Starks for the championship depth? Again, I’ll start Freeman and Williams, but just trying to we ensure depth in case someone pops up on the injury front.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Bilal Powell or Rashad Jennings?

    2 Flex Positions: Delanie Walker, T.Y. Hilton, Kamar Aiken, or Markus Wheaton?

    Defense: Bengals or Steelers?

    Thank you for your help!

  9. Nicole says:

    In the championship this week, should I start Rivers or Cousins as my QB? My opponent has Newton. Thanks for the advice!

  10. Jrocket says:

    What do you think professor, fitzgerald or megatron?

  11. Carmen says:

    I saw you said bortles for the bortles/big Ben question but with Doug Baldwin in as one set wr, who would you play as second wr, te and flex? (currently I have the following set up- hurns at wr2, Olsen at TE and barnidge at flex) would you ride double TE (as I have) or sub Edelman or Cobb in for flex or wr2 this week? this is assuming Edelman suits up…

  12. Desertfour – Amazingly I’d actually prefer Cousins (it just seems so wrong.,..lol)

    Gern – I’d hold onto Amendola, in case he plays. As for the RB, yea I’d drop McCoy. Michaels would be the top choice as an add.

    Tiffany – I’d lean Powell (but it’s a coin flip); Aiken/Walker (I want to say Hilton, but I can’t); Steelers

    Nicole – I’d go Cousins (I’m amazed that he’s become such a viable option honestly)

    Jrocket – Johnson

    Carmen – If Edelman plays I’d use him over Barnidge. Otherwise I think I’d use cobb (just not sure I can trust Branidge)

  13. John says:

    Prof, cousins or tyrod? I’m leaning cousins myself. Also my rbs are a crap shoot. Hightower, Christine Michael, Jeremy hill, Ryan Matthews, artis Payne. Pick 2 please. Merry Christmas man.

  14. Romo says:

    Hey roto. 1 qb league. I have tannehill and e manning. Just picked up cousins and bridgewater. Who would u start??!!

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