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2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers for Week 16

Antonio Brown could be in for a massive game against the Carolina Panthers in his potential return for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16,

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The fantasy football playoffs are well underway and COVID-19 has become an obstacle for the second straight season. Besides being forced to make tough decisions at certain positions, some people suffered their ultimate fate in the first round of the playoffs by having to play Cooper Kupp or Tyreek Hill. For those that believe that they were able to avoid a massive Kupp game, he gets the Minnesota Vikings this week, who allow the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season.

I apologize in advance to those that have to unfortunately square off with Kupp this week or one of the other top-tier wideouts that are in favorable matchups. Who are the other wide receivers that could put together a noteworthy performance in Week 16? While you get ready to open presents and spend time with family later this week, keep reading below to see my top 50 wide receivers for the upcoming week of action across the NFL.

WR Rankings Week 16

1 Cooper Kupp LAR @ MIN Kupp is in triple crown territory as he leads the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. MIN's defense has given up the most fantasy PPG to WRs this season so this could be another explosive outing for Kupp.
2 Davante Adams GB vs. CLE Adams remains the No. 1 option for GB and CLE could be down a CB or 2 due to COVID-19. Rodgers will want to feed Adams amid all the hype surrounding Kupp.
3 Deebo Samuel SF @ TEN Samuel continues to get more work as a RB, scoring at least 1 rushing TD in his last 5 games. He also gets a TEN defense that allows the 2nd most PPG to WRs this season in Week 16.
4 Justin Jefferson MIN vs. LAR Thielen could return for MIN this week but that shouldn't affect Jefferson much. LAR's defense gives up the 3rd most receptions to WRs this season so the opportunities will be there for Jefferson.
5 Tyreek Hill KC vs. PIT Hill is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and it remains to be seen if he's cleared before Sunday. Hill is coming off a 32.8-point performance in PPR leagues in Week 15 and faces a mediocre secondary of PIT.
6 Keenan Allen LAC @ HOU HOU's defense has been solid against WRs but should have trouble LAC's high flying passing game. Allen has seen 8+ targets in his last 7 games.
7 Ja'Marr Chase CIN vs. BAL I fully expect Chase to bounce back after catching just 1 of his 4 targets in Week 15 for 4 yards. Chase dominated BAL's defense in Week 7 to the tune of 8 receptions, 201 yards, and a TD and BAL's defense is without multiple CBs.
8 Diontae Johnson PIT @ KC PIT will likely be playing from behind against KC, leading to more opportunites for Johnson. Saw only 5 targets in Week 15 but that isn't the norm for Johnson moving forward.
9 Antonio Brown TB @ CAR Antonio Brown is expected back in Week 16 and Godwin is out for the rest of the season. I expect Brown to replace Godwin in the slot and become Brady's go-to target over the middle.
10 CeeDee Lamb DAL vs. WAS Lamb hasn't caught a TD since Week 10 but has combined for 32 targets in the past 3 games. WAS's defense surrenders the 3rd most PPG to WRs this season.
11 Stefon Diggs BUF @ NE NE's defense will likely center their attention on stopping Diggs. That being said, BUF throws the ball often and Diggs has garnered fewer than 7 targets just twice all season.
12 Mike Evans TB @ CAR Evans is questionable to suit up for TB in Week 16 but he should be utilized often if he does play with Godwin sidelined. If Evans is unable to go, then Tyler Johnson jumps into my top 50 while AB remains a smash play.
13 Tee Higgins CIN vs. BAL Higgins has been remarkable in recent weeks, eclipsing 5+ receptions and 110+ receiving yards in 3 out of his last 4 games. BAL's defense is ravaged by injuries.
14 Hunter Renfrow LV vs. DEN Renfrow was drawing tons of attention vs. CLE in Week 15 as he was limited to 6.2 PPR points. The slot specialist should be heavily involved in LV's offense in Week 16 against DEN in a pivotal divisonal game.
15 Jaylen Waddle MIA @ NO Waddle is expected back in Week 16 after being out in Week 15 due to COVID-19. NO's defense is allowing the 8th most PPG to WRs and MIA could be playing from behind on the road on MNF.
16 Tyler Lockett SEA vs. CHI SEA's offense has been out of sorts for weeks, making Lockett's potential return even more vital in Week 16. Lockett was out in Week 15 due to COVID-19 as CHI's defense gives up the 9th most PPG to WRs this season.
17 Mike Williams LAC @ HOU Williams had a couple of dropped TDs in Week 15 that would have drastically changed the outlook of his performance. The bigplay wideout is bound to find the end zone for the first time since Week 11 sometime soon.
18 Christian Kirk ARI vs. IND Kirk is operating as the No. 1 WR for ARI with Hopkins out and just finished with 9 receptions, 94 yards, and a TD in Week 15. Gets to face an IND defense that has given up 17 TDs (tied for 3rd most in NFL) to WRs.
19 Marquise Brown BAL @ CIN Brown caught 10 of his 14 targets for only 43 yards in Week 15 but the volume is still positive to see. If Jackson returns for BAL then Brown gets a slight boost but he's still viable with Huntley at QB.
20 D.K. Metcalf SEA vs. CHI Metcalf and Wilson seem out of sync in recent weeks but draw the CHI defense in Week 16. SEA might force feed Metcalf this week and if Lockett is out again, then Metcalf should smash in this matchup.
21 Brandin Cooks HOU vs. LAC Cooks has totaled 15 receptions, 203 yards, and 2 TDs in the past 2 games. HOU is always playing from behind so volume shouldn't be an issue for Cooks against the LAC.
22 Terry McLaurin WAS @ DAL McLaurin has been quiet for weeks now, finish with fewer than 10 PPR points in the last 3 games he finished. Does get a DAL defense that is susceptible to big plays but his ceiling could be limited due to the QB situation in WAS.
23 Adam Thielen MIN vs. LAR Thielen could make his return in Week 16 after nearing a return in Week 15. He's always a threat to score TDs and MIN could find themselves playing from behind against the LAR.
24 Michael Pittman Jr. IND @ ARI There isn't a team that has given up more PPG to WRs in the past 4 weeks than ARI. While IND leans on JT and the ground game, Pittman is the only viable WR in IND's offense right now.
25 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET @ ATL St. Brown has emerged as a security blanket for Goff and with Hockenson out, his usage is through the roof. Has turned 35 targets into 63.6 PPR points in the past 3 weeks and draws an ATL defense that allows the 4th most PPG to WRs.
26 Amari Cooper DAL vs. WAS Cooper has been largely disappointing this season but there is hope in Week 16 against WAS. WAS has surrendered the 2nd most receptions and the 3rd most yards to WRs so the opportunity is there for Cooper this week.
27 A.J. Brown TEN vs. SF Brown could potentially return ahead of Thursday's game vs. SF and be thrust into his usual No. 1 role with Jones likely sidelined again. SF has given up the 2nd most PPG to WRs in the past month.
28 Brandon Aiyuk SF @ TEN Aiyuk is seeing more playing time for SF, especially with Samuel being utilized as a RB more. TEN is allowing the most receptions and the 2nd most yards to WRs.
29 Odell Beckham Jr. LAR @ MIN Beckham has looked more and more comfortable with the LAR's every single week. He could be in store for a big game against MIN's putrid pass defense.
30 Russell Gage ATL vs. DET Gage is one of the only pass-catching weapons for ATL and DET owns the No. 26 ranked defense in pass DVOA.
31 Van Jefferson LAR @ MIN Jefferson continues to see his rapport with Stafford grow and the LAR have a fantastic matchup with MIN in Week 16. It could be TDs galore for Kupp, OBJ, and Jefferson this week.
32 D.J. Moore CAR vs. TB TB has a pass-funneling defense and CAR is likely going to have to play catch up with TB. Moore should be heavily involved but his ceiling is extremely limited with either Cam or Walker at QB.
33 Gabriel Davis BUF @ NE Davis filled in for Sanders in Week 15 and responded with five catches, 85 yards, and 2 TDs. Sanders could return in Week 16 but Davis should remain a contributor in BUF's offense either way.
34 DeVante Parker MIA @ NO NO is another pass-funneling defense as they allow the 8th most PPG to WRs this season. Parker has failed to get 7 targets just once in his 7 appearances this season.
35 A.J Green ARI vs. IND Green caught 4 passes for 64 yards with Hopkins out in Week 15 but does have a nice matchup versus IND this week. ARI will lean on Kirk and Green even more if Moore is unable to play this week due to injury.
36 Darnell Mooney CHI @ SEA Mooney and Kmet are basically the only weapons that Fields has in the passing game. SEA has given up the 10th most yards to WRs in the past 4 games so Mooney could be in for a big game.
37 DeVonta Smith PHI vs. NYG It's hard to trust WRs on PHI while Hurts is at QB but Smith remains the only one to start in fantasy. Gets a NYG defense that gives up the 11th most PPG to WRs.
38 Michael Gallup DAL vs. WAS This would be a perfect week for DAL to get their aerial attack back on track as they face a WAS secondary that could be shorthanded in Week 16. Gallup is a vertical threat and WAS's defense has shown they can give up big plays in bunches this season.
39 Tyler Boyd CIN vs. BAL Boyd is a reliable WR for Burrow and has scored 10+ points in 4 out of his 5 games. The ceiling is low for Boyd but BAL's defense is missing a lot of bodies so this could be another solid outing for Boyd.
40 Chase Claypool PIT @ KC It's tough to get excited about PIT WRs not named Johnson as long as Roethlisberger is at QB. KC's defense has limited WRs to the 9th fewest PPG so expectations should be lowered for Claypool this week.
41 Jerry Jeudy DEN @ LV It looks as if Lock will be at QB for DEN which could mean more throwing. Jeudy is still the No. 1 WR for DEN but LV's defense is strong against WRs so it's tough to imagine a explosive game from Jeudy.
42 Josh Reynolds DET @ ATL Reynolds has emerged as a deep threat for Goff and gets an ATL defense that ranks 30th in pass DVOA. St. Brown and Reynolds are both viable options this week for DET.
43 Marvin Jones Jr. JAC @ NYJ Jones has been extremely quiet since earlier in the season but gets a dismal NYJ defense in Week 16. The NYJ own the No. 32 defense in pass DVOA so this could be the week Jones shows some life.
44 Jarvis Landry CLE @ GB Landry could return from the COVID-19 list and if he does, he'd become the go-to target for whoever is at QB for CLE. GB's defense has been stout against WRs so a ceiling game might not be in the cards for Landry.
45 Jamison Crowder NYJ vs. JAC Crowder has received a modest 20 targets in the past 3 games and should see a healthy number of targets against the No. 31 ranked pass DVOA defense in JAC in Week 16.
46 Jakobi Meyers NE vs. BUF Meyers has scored 10+ points in 3 out of the past 4 games where NE has attempted more than 3 passes. NE will likely need to throw more than 3 times unlike their last meeting with BUF.
47 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB vs. CLE MVS is always a threat to score a long TD as he's scored 20+ points in 2 out of his past 4 games. He's hit or miss every week but CLE's defense could be without multiple CBs so the chances of a big play are heightened for MVS.
48 Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE @ GB Peoples-Jones is CLE's deep threat but he failed to take advantage of his 8 targets in Week 15. If Mayfield or Keenum are able to play, then there could be more chances for DPJ to haul in a long pass this week.
49 Courtland Sutton DEN @ LV Sutton could see more deep throws in his direction this week with Lock at QB. He hasn't scored a TD since Week 6 against LV and this feels like a week where he could possibly get back in the end zone.
50 Marquez Callaway NO vs. MIA Callaway is the de facto No. 1 WR in NO's run heavy offense with Hill and Kamara. He still corraled 6 receptions for 112 yards in Week 15 and he faces a MIA defense that surrenders the 5th most PPG to WRs.