NFL Week 16 Fantasy News

Ernie Horn
By Ernie HornPublished: December 22, 2023
NFL Week 16 Fantasy News

The semi-final games are here for some of the estimated 62.5 million individuals who played fantasy football this season. With a championship ring (or belt, trophy, plaque, etc) on the line, what information should fantasy managers know heading into Week 16?

We’ll reveal information every fantasy owner should know in this week’s edition of NFL Fantasy News for Week 16.

Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’marr Chase Doubtful

Cincinnati’s three-game winning streak has relied on QB Jake Browning’s unexpected hot streak in relief of Joe Burrow. Much of that has relied on hooking up with Bengals WR Ja’marr Chase, who has caught 18 of his 20 targets for 242 yards and a score. After suffering a shoulder injury during his team’s 27-24 victory over Minnesota, reports suggest Chase will miss this week’s game against Pittsburgh.

Fantasy Impact: Chase’s absence will be missed by a Cincinnati offense that has struggled with injuries in 2023. The Bengals WR was having a career-year, hauling in 93 receptions for 1,156 yards and seven TDs. Expect WRs Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins to have a larger presence in the passing game this week if Chase cannot go against the Steelers.

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen To Sit Saturday

For a second straight week, fantasy owners are without the NFL leader in catches this season as the Chargers WR Keenan Allen will not suit up to play the Buffalo Bills. Allen has recorded 108 catches for 1,243 receiving yards – the fourth-most receiving yards in the league – and seven TDs.

Fantasy Impact: With QB Justin Herbert shelved for the season, Allen’s fantasy impact was diminished. Now, fantasy managers will be without one of the top fantasy players in 2023 perhaps for the duration of the season now the Chargers have fired their head coach.

Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Set To Return

After nearly a month of rest, the Colts received good news when RB Jonathan Taylor was a full participant in practice this week. Taylor was injured during the Tampa Bay contest after Thanksgiving, and the young tailback underwent surgery to repair a ligament in his thumb.

Fantasy Impact: The news couldn’t have come at a better time for fantasy owners. Backup Colts RB Zack Moss has not participated in practice this week, and Taylor looks to receive most of the hand-offs from QB Gardner Minshew.

Taylor’s first opponent – Atlanta – makes this a less-appealing matchup for the Indianapolis star. The Falcons are the sixth-best defense in fantasy against the run, and Atlanta is still in the thick of the NFC South race.

Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco Set To Return

After missing the past two contests, Kansas City’s Isiah Pacheco should suit up against the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day. Through 12 games, Pacheco ran for 779 yards and six TDs while adding 33 receptions for 209 yards and another score.

Fantasy Impact: Fantasy owners received an early Christmas gift when Pacheco was a full participant in practice this week. In his absence, the Chiefs looked more one-dimensional offensively. Pacheco averages over 80 yards per contest, making him a viable fantasy play, especially against the up-and-down Raiders.

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith Could Miss Week 16

The Philadelphia Eagles potentially lost more than a football game Monday night as WR DeVonta Smith reportedly suffered a new knee injury during the game. Smith played 66 snaps against the Seahawks, and the 26-year-old did not participate at Thursday’s practice.

Fantasy Impact: Fantasy owners should continue to monitor this injury as Smith is a potential last-minute scratch in a crucial week. Managers looking for a replacement – should Smith not be able to participate – will have limited options. Smith has been productive over his last four games, netting 26 receptions for 325 yards and two TDs.

Ernie Horn

Ernie Horn

CFB and NFL DFS Expert

Ernie brings 25 years of experience in the newspaper sector to the table. Initially, he dedicated his career to sports journalism, both reporting and editing, before transitioning to the digital sphere in 2022. At EatWatchDraft, Ernie focuses on covering college football and NFL Daily Fantasy Sports.