Congratulations. If you’re reading this it means that you’re fighting for something. Best case scenario you’re checking out some Week 16 sleepers just for the light reading. Not so best case, you’ve made the playoffs but have endured an injury (Jonathan Taylor or Dameon Pierce perhaps?) and now you need a quick replacement. Worst case scenario your team is in complete shambles and you’re looking to avoid “winning” last place and suffering your league’s punishment. Whatever the reason, I’ve got you covered. In my trending players article I mentioned Chris Moore. You can play the Texans WR against the Chiefs this week. Here are four other players that you can start in a pinch.
Week 16 Sleepers
Gus Edwards- RB, Baltimore Ravens
J.K. Dobbins is the guy, we get that. It’s also plain to see that Gus Edwards has carved himself out a role. For the second straight week, Dobbins reached 120 yards on the ground. And for the second straight week, Edwards played second fiddle but posted at least 50 (55 & 66) yards rushing. That alone makes Edwards a top-shelf sleeper. There is a ton of growth for the running game as a whole to improve. The Ravens are hopeful that they’ll get Lamar Jackson back in action this week against the Atlanta Falcons. If that happens then the Ravens can unlock a whole new section of their playbook that is unavailable with Tyler Huntley under center.
If Jackson is active this week it will be the first time that he, Dobbins, and Gus Edwards are all active for the same game this season. Assuming that there is no rust from Jackson, the Ravens’ potent offense should be able to take advantage of the good field positioning that could be coming their way if Falcons’ rookie QB Desmond Ridder struggles to move his offense again. Ridder was only able to produce 97 passing yards. The Falcons also lost an RB to injury in Caleb Huntley. Along with good field positioning, Edwards could be poised to handle a ton of garbage time carries, making him the most intriguing of my sleepers.
Gabe Davis- WR, Buffalo Bills
Hi, my name is Reese and it’s been 6 weeks since Gabe Davis’ last double-digit fantasy game. When you think of sleepers, you rarely think about Buffalo Bill players anymore. We’ve all been waiting for that next Gabriel Davis blow-up game. When you have a player like Davis who can boom as he can, it’s hard to sit him week after week. Well, I’m here to tell you that my left shoulder is tingling. Whenever I get that feeling in my ball-and-joint socket Gabe usually goes for 20+ fantasy points. My tingly limbs aside, Gabe Davis does have a fantastic matchup. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will get a Chicago Bears defense that was just brutalized by Jalen Hurts and his receiving corps.
A.J. Brown absolutely bullied this defense last week, compiling 181 yards on nine catches. Number two (1B) wide receiver, Devonta Smith had a productive day against the Bears’ pass defense as well. He was able to eclipse the century mark himself, recording five catches for 126 receiving yards. Josh Allen and the Bills passing attack definitely have the juice to produce a similar result this week. Gabe Davis is a sleeper cell just waiting to be activated this week.
Samaje Perine- RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Since Joe Mixon returned from injury, the split in the Cincinnati backfield has basically been 60/40 Mixon/Perine. With Samaje playing the way he did in relief of Mixon in Week 12 and 13, he undoubtedly earned himself more playing time. In the last two games, Perine has seen 6 targets from Joe Burrow in the passing game. The Bengals will face a relatively stout New England Patriots rush defense that ranks top 10 (#9) in yards per carry allowed. Mixon struggled to find any rushing room (21 yards) last week against Tampa Bay who only ranks #20 in that same category.
Samaje Perine on the first play of the game baptizes a Titans LB with a stiff arm pic.twitter.com/SdIWhpgLOP
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) November 27, 2022
Everybody loves a good stiff arm. Perine has had a highlight takedown in both of the games he started this year. It is very possible that Mixon struggles to find running lanes again this week. If that ends up being the case, then it opens up room for Samaje to gain some traction as a sleeper this week. Perine has been seeing a good chunk of the third downs and in addition to being featured in a drive or two. If the Bengals choose to focus their game plan on being successful in the passing game, then that strategy benefits Perine.
Darius Slayton- WR, New York Giants
Thanks to a win last week the Giants’ playoff hopes are still alive. As for Darius Slayton, he’s looking to break out of a two-game slump. In Week 14 volume was Slayton’s enemy. The wideout was only thrown to three times, reeling in two passes for 42 yards. In Slayton’s defense the Giants’ offense as a whole couldn’t get much going against the Eagles. Even Saquon Barkley was bottled up for 28 yards on only 9 attempts. Slayton’s seven targets this past week, however, is a positive sign moving forward. Slayton gets about as good of a matchup as a wide receiver could ask for this week. Darius and the rest of the Giants get the Vikings who have allowed the second-most passing yards (278.8) per game this season. As long as the volume is there for Slayton this week as it was last week, he looks primed to be one of the playable sleepers this week.