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Phinsider Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings

It’s time for 2017’s final run of Justin Hier’s weekly fantasy football rankings!

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football championship week is here! Luckily, your favorite fantasy football writer has made it to the championship in his league. How have the rest of you fared? Hopefully, my weekly rankings have helped you reach the top in your respective leagues and you’re competing for that coveted crown. If so, make the best possible use of this week’s set to win it all!

Each week of the NFL season, I’ve been giving an updated look at where the top players at each fantasy football position stand, with matchups and injury concerns taken into account. For the sake of continuity, I’ve only used standard scoring when constructing the rankings, so be sure to consider that when setting your lineups for championship week.

Quarterback

  1. Tom Brady - vs Buf
  2. Russell Wilson - @ Dal
  3. Ben Roethlisberger - @ Hou
  4. Drew Brees - vs Atl
  5. Jared Goff - @ Ten
  6. Case Keenum - @ GB
  7. Philip Rivers - @ NYJ
  8. Cam Newton - vs TB
  9. Matt Ryan - @ NO
  10. Dak Prescott - vs Sea
  11. Nick Foles - vs Oak
  12. Alex Smith - vs Mia
  13. Matthew Stafford - @ Cin
  14. Jameis Winston - @ Car
  15. Kirk Cousins - vs Den
  16. Blake Bortles - @ SF
  17. Jimmy Garoppolo - vs Jax
  18. Joe Flacco - vs Ind
  19. Derek Carr - @ Phi
  20. Marcus Mariota - vs LAR

Nick Foles proved to Philadelphia fans and the rest of the NFL that the Eagles are not quite out of contention just yet. Despite losing MVP front-runner Carson Wentz to a season-ending knee injury, the Eagles’ offense remains potent with the capable Foles under center. He may not have the same flashy playing style that Wentz was so successful employing, but he gets the job done, and he’s not a bad quarterback option for fantasy football teams in need of help at the position.

Some favorable matchups to take advantage of in championship week: Case Keenum @ GB, Philip Rivers @ NYJ, and Cam Newton vs TB.

Running Back

  1. Le’Veon Bell - @ Hou
  2. Todd Gurley - @ Ten
  3. Ezekiel Elliott - vs Sea
  4. Leonard Fournette - @ SF
  5. Alvin Kamara - vs Atl
  6. Mark Ingram - vs Atl
  7. Kareem Hunt - vs Mia
  8. Devonta Freeman - vs NO
  9. Melvin Gordon - @ NYJ
  10. LeSean McCoy - @ NE
  11. Dion Lewis - vs Buf
  12. Jordan Howard - vs Cle
  13. Christian McCaffrey - vs TB
  14. Kenyan Drake - @ KC
  15. Alex Collins - vs Ind
  16. Jerick McKinnon - @ GB
  17. Duke Johnson Jr. - @ Chi
  18. Latavius Murray - @ GB
  19. Carlos Hyde - vs Jax
  20. C.J. Anderson - @ Was

Ezekiel Elliott is back, lining up next to Dak Prescott for the first time in six weeks and just in time for fantasy owners who were lucky enough to reach championship week without the talented runner. He slides in as a top three option without hesitation. Leonard Fournette is a top five play if he’s healthy enough to carry the load for Jacksonville this week. If he’s not, Chris Ivory would be an immediate RB2 in a great matchup with the 49ers. Dion Lewis is another solid play this week. He’s facing a limp Buffalo run defense and won’t be competing with Rex Burkhead for snaps. Consider Lewis a high-end RB2 with upside.

Wide Receiver

  1. DeAndre Hopkins - vs Pit
  2. Keenan Allen - @ NYJ
  3. Michael Thomas - vs Atl
  4. Julio Jones - @ NO
  5. Adam Thielen - @ GB
  6. Jarvis Landry - @ KC
  7. A.J. Green - vs Det
  8. Tyreek Hill - vs Mia
  9. Alshon Jeffrey - vs Oak
  10. JuJu Smith-Schuster - vs Hou
  11. Brandin Cooks - vs Buf
  12. Doug Baldwin - @ Dal
  13. Mike Evans - @ Car
  14. Robert Woods - @ Ten
  15. Devin Funchess - vs TB
  16. Michael Crabtree - @ Phi
  17. Larry Fitzgerald - vs NYJ
  18. Dez Bryant - vs Sea
  19. Nelson Agholor - vs Oak
  20. Marquise Goodwin - vs Jax

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a must-start this week with All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown out for the rest of the regular season with a leg injury. Devin Funchess and Robert Woods are each top-15 plays given their favorable matchups, while Michael Crabtree continues to stay relevant with the truckload of targets being shuttled his way each end every week. If you plan on playing Crabtree though, keeping track of Amari Cooper’s status is vital, as Cooper’s return could suck some of those targets away from Crabtree.

Tight End

  1. Rob Gronkowski - vs Buf
  2. Travis Kelce - vs Mia
  3. Zach Ertz - vs Oak
  4. Delanie Walker - vs LAR
  5. Kyle Rudolph - @ GB
  6. Evan Engram - @ Ari
  7. Jimmy Graham - @ Dal
  8. Greg Olsen - vs TB
  9. Cameron Brate - @ Car
  10. Antonio Gates - @ NYJ
  11. Jack Doyle - @ Bal
  12. Jared Cook - @ Phi
  13. Eric Ebron - @ Cin
  14. Jason Witten - vs Sea
  15. Benjamin Watson - vs Ind
  16. Vernon Davis - vs Den
  17. Jesse James - @ Hou
  18. Trey Burton - vs Oak
  19. Charles Clay - @ NE
  20. Austin Hooper - @ NO

With Hunter Henry on injured reserve, Antonio Gates suddenly becomes a somewhat- appealing option for tight end starved fantasy rosters. Greg Olsen, who spent much of the year on injured reserve himself due to a foot injury, didn’t look a step slower in a blowup game last week, and is easily a top-10 option against a hapless Buccaneers secondary. Despite the movement on the lower half of this list, the top-5 remains stable as always.

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Jacksonville - @ SF
  2. Baltimore - vs Ind
  3. Los Angeles (Rams) - @ Ten
  4. Los Angeles (Chargers) - @ NYJ
  5. Carolina - vs TB
  6. Chicago - vs Cle
  7. Pittsburgh - @ Hou
  8. Minnesota - @ GB
  9. Detroit - @ Cin
  10. Arizona - vs NYG
  11. Kansas City - vs Mia
  12. Philadelphia - vs Oak
  13. Washington - @ Den
  14. Seattle - @ Dal
  15. Denver - @ Was
  16. New England - vs Buf
  17. Cincinnati - vs Det
  18. New Orleans - vs Atl
  19. Dallas - vs Sea
  20. New York (Giants) - @ Ari

The Chargers and Bears enter this week with impeccable matchups, as they’re going against two of the most ineffective offenses in the Bryce Petty led Jets and DeShone Kizer led Browns respectively. Fire them both up confidently in the fantasy championships. Some good sleeper picks include Washington, Arizona, and Pittsburgh.

Kicker

  1. Stephen Gostkowski - vs Buf
  2. Justin Tucker - vs Ind
  3. Chris Boswell - @ Hou
  4. Will Lutz - @ Atl
  5. Harrison Butker - vs Mia
  6. Robbie Gould - vs Jax
  7. Jake Elliott - vs Oak
  8. Matt Bryant - @ NO
  9. Matt Prater - @ Cin
  10. Ryan Succop - vs LAR
  11. Sam Ficken - @ Ten
  12. Kai Forbath - @ GB
  13. Graham Gano - vs TB
  14. Stephen Hauschka - @ NE
  15. Blair Walsh - @ Dal
  16. Phil Dawson - vs NYG
  17. Adam Vinatieri - @ Bal
  18. Codey Parkey - @ KC
  19. Chandler Catanzaro - vs LAC
  20. Mason Crosby - vs Min

This year’s best kicker, both in the real and fantasy football world, Greg Zuerlein, has been placed on injured reserve with a back injury. The ultra-reliable Pro Bowler has been given plenty of scoring opportunities this season, knocking field goals through with consistency for a high-powered Rams offense. With Zuerlein out, Los Angeles has signed former Penn State kicker Sam Ficken. Despite this being his first NFL game, Ficken will be an option for those who were counting on Zuerlein given the number of times the Rams are guaranteed to be within scoring range.