Week 16 featured plenty of great games, and when the games are exciting it is usually because some star players are performing very well. Luckily in fantasy football, owners benefit greatly when their players have a big game and at this point in the season there is a lot on the line. For some leagues, this was the first week of the championship matchup, and for others, it decided what teams would make it to the finals. If your team is still alive and looking for a championship, you probably benefited greatly from one of the players on this list. Here are some of the best performances from Week 16 in fantasy football.
Todd Gurley, RB Los Angeles Rams:
For the second week in a row, Todd Gurley was the highest scoring player in fantasy football, and it wasn’t even close. The third-year running back has been on an absolute tear and is starting to generate a lot of MVP buzz. On Sunday, Gurley ran the ball 22 times for 118 yards; he also caught 10 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The monster day resulted in 39.6 fantasy points in standard scoring and points per reception leagues owners were rewarded with a season-high 49.6 points. Gurley is the highest scoring flex eligible player in fantasy football this year by a longshot and can easily be considered the best pick in drafts back in August. On average, in ESPN.com leagues this year, the elite running back was taken with the 21st pick but has easily performed better than the other 20 players taken in front of him. Depending on how much he plays in Week 17, Gurley will finish the year with around 2,300 total yards, and he has already scored 20 times. Fantasy owners who are playing for a championship this coming weekend and own Gurley will be disappointed due to the fact that he is not starting, but his replacement Malcolm Brown might be worth a start.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals:
It may be a lost season for the Arizona Cardinals, but Larry Fitzgerald keeps playing like they are trying to make the playoffs. The 34-year old wide receiver now has his third straight 100-catch season and is still one of the most reliable pass catchers in the league. In Week 16 against the Giants, Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown, giving fantasy owners 18.7 points in standard scoring. The veteran is now a top 10 scoring wide receiver this season and provides owners with a good floor each week. To finish the year, Fitzgerald will face a struggling Seahawks’ defense which he caught 10 passes for 113 yards against back in Week 10. Returning for his 15th season in 2018, Fitzgerald can probably be relied upon again as a solid WR2.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB San Francisco 49ers:
Exciting things are happening in San Francisco, and all signs are pointing towards a better season in 2018. A Lot of the improvement from the 49ers is because of the play of their possible long-term quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. After being Tom Brady’s understudy for the previous three seasons, Garoppolo has finally earned a starting job and has looked just as good as advertised. In Week 16 the fourth-year quarterback threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns,
and he also ran for a short touchdown against an elite Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense. The nice performance gave fantasy owners a season-high 22 points in standard scoring. Over his four starts this season, Garoppolo has seen his fantasy points increase in each game, with this last start being his first with multiple touchdown passes. There are going to be a lot of great options at quarterback next season for fantasy owners, but Garoppolo should be one of the most talked about sleepers in the group as he continues to improve as a starter.
Dion Lewis, RB New England Patriots:
As many fantasy owners know, the New England Patriots have one of the hardest run games to predict, but since Week 6 Dion Lewis has taken the role of lead running back. The sixth-year playmaker has had double-digit carries in all but one game since taking over the backfield, and he has looked very good with the ball in his hands. Lewis has averaged 5.2 yards per carry this year and is making a good case to be the starter for next season as well. In the Patriots’ last game, Lewis ran the ball a season-high of 24 times for 129 yards and a touchdown; he also caught five passes for 24 yards and another score. The big game gave fantasy owners a season-best of 27.3 points in standard scoring and was the fifth double-digit point performance in the last seven games. New England will play the New York Jets in the final game of the of the season and Lewis could have another big performance if he is relied upon as heavily as he was last week.
Giovani Bernard, RB Cincinnati Bengals:
There probably aren’t too many owners who benefited from Giovani Bernard’s big game in Week 16 because he was not even the starter for the game. After usual starter Joe Mixon was forced out of the contest in the first quarter with an ankle injury, Bernard was relied upon to help lead the Bengals to a victory. The fifth-year running back ran the ball a season-high of 23 times for 116 yards and a touchdown, while also catching seven passes for another 52 yards. The big performance gave fantasy owners a season-high of 22.8 points in standard scoring, and he has now produced double-digit points in each of the last three games. With Mixon practically not playing since being injured in Week 13 against the Steelers, Benard has looked good with the ball in his hands and has provided some nice value for any owners who picked him up off the waiver wire. With both running backs questionable coming into Week 17, it will be interesting to see what the Bengals decide to do with their backfield. If Benard does, in fact, take the role as the starting running back again this week, slot him in as a low-end RB2.