Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 16

December 23, 2021

At this point, all leagues are in the playoffs – or should be – and between holiday schedules and games getting moved, roster setting has become a sport of its own, but have no fear, because your friends here at the ‘Studs, Duds, and Sleepers’ headquarters have you covered! We are back for what is an unprecedented 16th straight week of our ironclad, foolproof nuggets of fantasy football knowledge!



Justin Herbert, LAC:  

Statistically the Texans have a mediocre pass defense, but…they are the Texans, and Justin Herbert is having a monster year. The Chargers may lean on the run game, but Herbert will get his.

Patrick Mahomes, KC: 

Mahomes is not having the MVP type season we are used to, but after another slow start last week, he finished with three touchdowns and more than 400 yards passing. I look for him and the Chiefs to take advantage of this Steelers defense. 

Others receiving votes:

Matthew Stafford, LAR: 

Stafford is having an MVP season and his 35 touchdown passes trail only Tom Brady. This weekend, he gets a Vikings defense which ranks in the bottom third of the league in every pass defense statistic. 


Running backs:

Jonathan Taylor, Ind: 

Not a surprise here, Taylor leads the NFL in rushing yards, touchdowns, yards per carry and attempts. Taylor has nearly 500 more yards rushing than the next closest running back and is averaging more than a touchdown a game. I don’t expect the Cardinals to slow him down.

Austin Ekler, LAC: 

Ekler has’t surpassed 100 yards rushing in his last 10 games, but he has had a touchdown in six straight games and nine total during that stretch. He also has averaged four catches and about 80 all-purpose yards during that stretch. In a PPR league, those are RB1 numbers.

Others receiving votes:

Miles Sanders, Phi: 

Sanders has put up 140+ all-purpose yards in each of his last two games. Unfortunately he hasn’t found the endzone in either game, but he gets a bottom-ten run defense this week in the Giants. I like his chances of putting up another 100+ yards. 


Pass Catchers:

George Kittle, SF: 

In his last three games, Kittle has 33 targets, 38 receptions, 424 yards and three touchdowns. He cannot be stopped right now, and I don’t see the Titans bottom-ten pass defense slowing his current roll.

Cooper Kupp, LAR: 

Kittle is on a three week bender. Kupp, on the other hand, is on a season-long bender! He is averaging one touchdown, more than 100 yards and nearly 10 catches (not targets) per game in 2021. Over his last three games, Kupp has 38 targets and pulled in 30 of those for more than 350 yards and four touchdowns. 

Others receiving votes:

Mark Andrews, Bal: 

Andrews has been unstoppable the last two weeks – 21 receptions, 251 yards, 3 touchdowns – and he gets a Bengals defense this week which has problems stopping tight ends. 




Ryan Tannehill, Ten: 

Tannehill has seven rushing touchdowns on the season – which helps – but he hasn’t thrown for 200 yards in three games, and one of those games was against the Jaguars. The 49ers are going to be a problem this week for Tannehill and the Titans.

Josh Allen, Buf:

Allen has nine interceptions in his last seven games and last time he played New England, it wasn’t pretty. Yes, the weather played a huge role, but I don’t see Allen putting up great numbers this week. 

Others receiving votes:
Derek Carr, LV:  

Carr has put up a ton of yards this season, but after eight touchdowns in his first four games, he has just 11 in his last 10. Over his last five games, he has just four touchdowns, including a less than inspiring performance Monday against a JV Browns team. I


Running backs:

D’onta Foreman, Ten: 

Foreman has put up 100+ yards in two of the Titans last three games, but he gets a 49ers defense this week which is likely to bottle up the entire Titans offense. Foreman is an emergency Flex play at best.  

Chuba Hubbard, Car: 

Hubbard has five straight games of 40 yards or less, and during that stretch, has just two receptions. He is an emergency play only at this point.

Others receiving votes:

Rashaad Penny, Sea: 

Penny went for 137 yards and two touchdowns, but that was against the Texans…he hasn’t put up more than 39 yards – or any touchdowns – against any team not named the Texans. 


Pass Catchers:

Titans Pass Catchers: 

In five of the Titans last six games, Tannehill hasn’t thrown for more than 213 yards…the only time he went over 213 was against the Texans. Chances are Tannehill won’t throw for more than 200 yards this week against the 49ers, meaning no Titans pass catchers have any value this week. 

DK Metcalf, Sea: 

Metcalf is not happy and it is easy to see why. Russell Wilson hasn’t played well since returning to the lineup and Metcalf has put up 100 yards since Week 3. After putting up five touchdowns in his first five games, Metcalf has zero touchdowns in the last six games.  

Others receiving votes:

Darren Waller, LV: 

We don’t know if Waller will or will not play this week, but if he does, don’t start him. The Broncos are a bad matchup.




Jimmy Garoppolo, SF: 

Jimmy will rarely put up big numbers, but he also doesn’t hurt you much either. This week, against a Titans defense which ranks in the bottom half of the league, he could be worth a start if you are in a pinch at the quarterback position.

Jared Goff, Det: 

Goff is actually having a decent season, especially when you take into account what he has – or doesn’t have – around him. Over his last four games, he has nine touchdowns and ought to have a good game against a bad Falcons defense. 

Tua Tagavailoa, Mia:

Tua has thrown for two touchdowns in two of his last three games. Not great numbers, but respectable. If your starter is out, you could do worse than Tua.


Running backs:

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC: 

The Steelers run defense is ranked 31st, better only than the lowly Texans. At this point, every running back who goes up against the Steelers is poised for a good day. Edwards-Helaire may split the carries, but he will have success.

Ronald Jones, TB: 

With Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard both out, the Bucs have signed Le’Veon Bell to back up Jones. Translation: Jones is going to get all of the work this week for the Bucs and a running back not sharing duties is always worthy of a start.

Javonte Williams/Melvin Gordon III: 

Williams and Gordon rank ninth and twelfth respectively in terms of rushing yards, both over 760 on the season. Against a bottom-ten run defense this week (Raiders), they are both worthy of a start.


Pass Catchers:

Tyler Boyd, Cin:

Boyd hasn’t seen the opportunities owners were hoping for this season, but he has been getting a lot more looks the past three weeks and in a monumental game this week which could decide the AFC North, I think Burrow will look to Boyd often. 

Antonio Brown, TB: 

With Chris Godwin out for the year and Mike Evans questionable, if Brown is active – and I suspect he will be – he could be Brady’s top receiver – behind Gronk of course. Even against a good pass defense like the Panthers, he could be worth a start.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Det:

Who? That’s right, a Lions receiver! Over the last three games, St. Brown has pulled in 26 of his 35 targets for 249 yards and two touchdowns. In PPR leagues, that is borderline WR1 numbers. I like the matchup this week against the Falcons and could see his hot streak continue.


  • Categories: NFL

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