Week 16 fantasy football matchups previews

Week 16 is here, and with it comes the fantasy championships. Hopefully you're on the verge of a league title, but first there is still one game left to play. We let you know what to expect from all of the fantasy-relevant players in the remaining Week 16 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos in our in-depth player-by-player preview.

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN


McCarron managed the offense well enough last week, but is facing the NFL's top defense on the road. Stay away.

The Denver defense is a brutal matchup for the Bengals backfield duo of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. On the year, Denver allows just 3.06 yards per carry to opposing rushers, and just 1.73 over the last month. Bernard owners do have a glimmer of hope, as Denver has allowed 631 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns to backs. McCarron could dump off plenty of short passes to Bernard to slow the Denver pass rush. As for Hill, with Tyler Eifert out for another week, he remains the Bengals' top red zone option. He's had 11 of 19 red zone plays end up in his hands the last two weeks, good for 58 percent, but he's still not the same runner we saw last season and has a depressed ceiling with a projected low yardage output. Both are low-upside flex plays at best.

While we thought Green might get hammered with targets from McCarron, that was far from the case. Green saw just three targets last week, hauling in one of them for 37 yards. Don't look at Antonio Brown's big week against the Denver secondary last week as a sign of their play tailing off -- this is still one of the league's top pass defense units. Green should be on the fantasy bench this week if possible.


Osweiler has been fine moving the Broncos offense, but has only scored multiple touchdowns in two games this season. He isn't a starting option this week against the Bengals defense. Though, he has still scored more fantasy points in his six games played than Peyton Manning did in nine. That's completely irrelevant to this week, but we felt it was worth mentioning.

This backfield seemed to be looking up a few weeks back with Osweiler under center, but with C.J. Anderson suffering a few injuries and Ronnie Hillman proving ineffective on his own, it's now become one to avoid in fantasy. There's no telling how head coach Gary Kubiak will divvy up the touches, and with this duo facing a tough Cincinnati front seven alloing just 3.24 yards per carry over the last month they'll be even harder to trust. Both Anderson and Hillman are boom-or-bust RB3s at best.

It's been a tough season for this dynamic pass-catching duo, as they've battled through a declining Peyton Manning and an inconsistent Brock Osweiler under center. Since Osweiler took over officially in Week 11, Thomas has hauled in just 47 percent of his targets, with Sanders faring slightly better at 53.8 percent. The Bengals secondary has allowed opposing wideouts to catch just over 64 percent of their targets in the last month, but that hasn't translated into a ton of fantasy points, as they've conceded just one receiving touchdown. This could be a low-scoring affair on Monday night, and owners looking for a championship might want to look elsewhere than this passing attack. Both are low-end WR2s for Week 16.

Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels have each seen 23 targets since Week 11, racked up over 180 receiving yards and been held out of the end zone. There are streaming options with more upside than these two, so don't pin your fantasy title hopes on their shoulders.

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