While rankings at positions like QB and TE might not be as important with a limited percentage of fantasy owners still standing in the playoffs, wide receiver is arguably the most important set of weekly rankings given the depth of options at our disposal. Last week, we saw Tyler Lockett, Allen Robinson, Jaylen Waddle, and Jarvis Landry fall victim to the reserve/COVID-19 list, so those who weren’t ready with a backup plan were likely out of luck. That’s a thing we’re going to have to deal with in these final few weeks, so it’s important to be familiar with our Week 16 fantasy WR rankings.

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (@ Panthers) and Stefon Diggs (@ Patriots) look to be among the studs with the toughest matchups, but each possesses too high of upside to bench. (Update: Godwin is out for the rest of the season and Evans is week-to-week with a hamstring injury.) Obviously, their upsides vary in degree, but even a WR2 upside guy is never really going to see the bench. It’s also worth noting A.J. Brown (vs. 49ers), who’s been on IR because of a chest injury, and Antonio Brown (@ Panthers), who’s been suspended, could be back this week, so stay tuned.

Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Among players on the start-or-sit bubble, we like Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. (@ Vikings), DeVante Parker (@ Saints), Russell Gage (vs. Lions), Amon-Ra. St. Brown (@ Falcons), Michael Gallup (vs. Washington), and A.J. Green and Christian Kirk (vs. Colts). They all have juicy matchups, increased roles, or a combination of both in Week 16. With T.J. Hockenson (hand) and DeAndre Hopkins (knee) out for the year, St. Brown and Green/Kirk can stake a claim as the No. 1 option in their teams’ passing attacks. The others face truly awful defenses against fantasy WRs.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Some less “safe,” but still attractive plays are Jamison Crowder (vs. Jaguars), Josh Reynolds (@ Falcons), Robby Anderson (vs. Buccaneers), Curtis Samuel (@ Cowboys), Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway (vs. Dolphins), and Laquon Treadwell and Marvin Jones (@ Jets). These guys have much lower presumed floors, but the upside is there in strong matchups. Reynolds will also benefit from the Hockenson absence, and Treadwell and Jones will be in their second week with a new head coach. Perhaps that will unlock their fantasy upsides. It’s scary to risk those sorts of things in the playoffs, but go big or go home.

WEEK 16 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney (@ Eagles), Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis (@ Patriots), Rashod Bateman (@ Bengals), Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton (@ Raiders), and K.J. Osborn (vs. Rams) are all in tough spots, as they haven’t proven to be consistent producers in any regard and have tough matchups. Obviously, some of their upsides make them fine boom-or-bust plays ; in deeper leagues where the options are far more limited. Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers (vs. Bills), Michael Pittman (@ Cardinals), Marquise Brown (@ Bengals), and even Brandin Cooks (vs. Chargers) are potential sits in 10- or 12-team standard leagues depending on your other options, but Cooks is likely playing too well to sit right now. 

MORE WEEK 16 DFS: Best stacks | Lineup Builder

Again, we urge you to stack some favorable streamers or fringe starters on your bench if you can because it looks like fantasy owners are going to deal with the current COVID-19 craze going through the NFL right now. The last thing you want is think you’re set at WR with Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel only to see them wind up on the reserve/COVID-19 list a day before the game. It’s better to be safe than sorry because you know your fellow semifinalists won’t take it easy on you.

WEEK 16 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo

Note: We’ll be updating these WR rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.

​Fantasy WR Rankings Week 16: Who to start at wide receiver

Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring

1Cooper Kupp, LAR @ MIN
2Davante Adams, GB vs. CLE
3Deebo Samuel, SF @ TEN
4Tyreek Hill, KC vs. PIT
5Keenan Allen, LAC @ HOU
6CeeDee Lamb, DAL vs. WAS
7Justin Jefferson, MIN vs. LAR
8Jaylen Waddle, MIA @ NO
9Tyler Lockett, SEA vs. CHI
10Terry McLaurin, WAS @ DAL
11Antonio Brown, TB @ CAR
12Amari Cooper, DAL vs. WAS
13Diontae Johnson, PIT @ KC
14DeVonta Smith, PHI vs. NYG
15Ja’Marr Chase, CIN vs. BAL
16Stefon Diggs, BUF @ NE
17Tee Higgins, CIN vs. BAL
18DK Metcalf, SEA vs. CHI
19Brandon Aiyuk, SF @ TEN. Unfortunately, the Niners didn’t have to do much through the air to put away the Falcons, so there wasn’t much fantasy production from its pass-catchers. However, the Titans’ run defense is strong and pass defense is weak, so Jimmy G should get back to wheeling and dealing in this matchup, and Aiyuk will have WR1 upside as a result. Jauan Jennings can be used as a TD-or-bust option in deep leagues.
20Odell Beckham Jr., LAR @ MIN. Minnesota is the worst defense against fantasy WRs by a comfortable margin, and Beckham Jr. has been productive enough to trust him in this spot. He and Van Jefferson are both strong WR2 considerations, though one could bust while the other flourishes due to obvious target competition. If the Vikings can keep up in a shootout, both could have huge days alongside Cooper Kupp, though.
21A.J. Green, ARI vs. IND. The Colts’ have solidified their secondary recently, but surely the Cardinals will bounce back from a disastrous showing in Detroit. Green’s upside is probably in the mid-WR2 range, but we’ve seen him produce 100-plus yards a couple of times this year. He’s operating as the No.1 receiver for Kyler Murray, so regardless of matchup, he has to be considered. Christian Kirk should be considered heavily too, as the presumed No. 2 option in Arizona. Both are ultimately boom-or-bust plays but have safer floors now that DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) is out.
22D.J. Moore, CAR vs. TB. We can’t necessarily say Tampa Bay’s secondary is one to target anymore, but they’re at worst a neutral matchup for WRs and Moore has drawn at least 10 targets in his past three games. His floor isn’t all that high with Cam Newton and/or P.J. Walker under center, but we still think his upside is too high to write him off. Carolina won’t be able to run the ball and should be playing from behind, so the volume will be there once again. Robby Anderson isn’t going off by any means, but he’s been a steady producer in a few straight games now, so he’s a low-end flex option in all formats.
23Van Jefferson, LAR @ MIN. See Odell Beckham Jr.
24A.J. Brown, TEN vs. SF. The Niners are one of the top-12 best matchups for WRs, so although Brown (chest) will carry concerning injury risk into this week, it’s a risk we think is worth taking. Julio Jones (hamstring) will surely miss this contest, so Brown will have no real target competition, and even if he lacks explosiveness, he should be able to produce fantasy points with volume. If he’s out, you can consider Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in your flex spot, but his ceiling is low, so he’s purely a deep-league dart throw.
25Darnell Mooney, CHI @ SEA. Mooney’s fantasy outlook is obviously dependent on the play of Justin Fields, but he’s the No. 1 WR in Chicago and can surpass 100-yards receiving on just a few targets. Seattle is strong against fantasy WRs in terms of overall points but allows a lot of receiving yards. Ultimately, Mooney is a boom-or-bust option regardless of matchup. He’s not as attractive in PPR leagues because of the matchup, but he’s a fine dice roll in standard. 
26DeVante Parker, MIA @ NO. Parker delivered against the Jets, and he’s no longer available on most waiver wires, so we hope you took our advice and grabbed him. He’ll have one of the best matchups here in New Orleans, and even though Jaylen Waddle is returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list, there is still plenty of room for Parker to operate and score fantasy points. We’d be shocked if Miami can run the ball at all here, so expect 35-plus pass attempts from Tua. If it unfolds the way we think, Parker and Waddle should have no issue drawing at least seven targets each. New Orleans has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs, so Parkers’ upside is as high as ever.
27Adam Thielen, MIN vs. LAR. We’ll see if Thielen (ankle) plays this week, but since the Rams are just a neutral matchup for WRs, we’ll consider him right away. If he comes back healthy, his upside is always a WR1 finish thanks to his knack for finding the end zone, but until then, we have to lower expectations a bit. K.J. Osborn will be a flex consideration if Thielen can’t play, but you probably don’t want to start him if Thielen is active.
28Hunter Renfrow, LV vs. DEN. Renfrow’s upside is obviously sky-high in PPR leagues based on his recent game logs, but in one of the toughest WR matchups possible, we’re not ultra confident in him in standard leagues. He’s been able to put up over 100 yards lately, but this feels more like a high-catch, medium-yardage game. He lacks explosiveness, so unless he gets insane volume, his ceiling is ultimately limited.
29Russell Gage, ATL vs. DET. Gage has been highly productive as the No. 1 WR in Atlanta, and since the Lions-Falcons matchup should be competitive, there should be plenty of volume here, and several chances for big plays.
30Chase Claypool, PIT @ KC. Big Ben is washed, so his receivers’ floors are low. It is what it is, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some upside. Ultimately, you should stay away from Claypool in PPR leagues, but he’s a fine standard option due to his big-play and touchdown upside. The Steelers’ offense doesn’t seem to be all that affected by matchups. It has been strong in worrisome matchups and busted in favorable matchups (like vs. TEN in Week 15), and it just depends which Big Ben shows up that day. That said, this is a risky start, but one that could pay off in a pass-happy game script.
31Christian Kirk, ARI vs. IND. See A.J. Green.
32Julio Jones, TEN vs. SF.
33Emmanuel Sanders, BUF @ NE
34Michael Gallup, DAL vs. WAS
35Michael Pittman Jr., IND @ ARI
36Kendrick Bourne, NE vs. BUF
37Jarvis Landry, CLE @ GB
38Jerry Jeudy, DEN @ LV
39Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET @ ATL
40Marquise Brown, BAL @ CIN
41Tyler Johnson, TB @ CAR
42Robby Anderson, CAR vs. TB. See D.J. Moore.
43Allen Lazard, GB vs. CLE
44Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE @ GB
45Kenny Golladay, NYG @ PHI
46Jakobi Meyers, NE vs. BUF
47Josh Palmer, LAC vs. HOU
48Josh Reynolds, DET @ ATL
49Tre’Quan Smith, NO vs. MIA
50Marquez Callaway, NO vs. MIA.
51Marvin Jones, JAX @ NYJ
52K.J. Osborn, MIN vs. LAR. See Adam Thielen.
53Braxton Berrios, NYJ vs. JAX
54Laquon Treadwell, JAX @ NYJ
55Rashod Bateman, BAL @ CIN
56Curtis Samuel, WAS @ DAL
57Tyler Boyd, CIN vs. BAL
58Courtland Sutton, DEN @ LV
59Mecole Hardman, KC vs. PIT
60Nico Collins, HOU vs. LAC
61Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN vs. SF. See A.J. Brown.
62Lil’Jordan Humphrey, NO vs. MIA
63Kalif Raymond, DET @ ATL
64Keelan Cole, NYJ vs. JAX
65T.Y. Hilton, IND @ ARI
66DeSean Jackson, LV vs. DEN
67James Washington, PIT @ KC
68Antoine Wesley, ARI vs. IND
69Tim Patrick, DEN @ LV
70Chester Rogers, TEN vs. SF
71Zach Pascal, IND @ ARI
72Dee Eskridge, SEA vs. CHI
73DeAndre Carter, WAS @ DAL
74Jauan Jennings, SF @ TEN. See Brandon Aiyuk.
75Bryan Edwards, LV vs. DEN
76Zay Jones, LV vs. DEN
77Darius Slayton, NYG @ PHI
78Isaiah McKenzie, BUF @ NE