News & Analysis

Week 16 breakout candidates and guys who could exceed expectations

By Tyler Loechner
Dec 21, 2017

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort through our expert fantasy player rankings by analyst and league type.

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

  • Start your fantasy season here. Import your league settings to access Draft Master, auction values, and custom player rankings.

PFF Edge

Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

Learn More
$39.99 /yr
$9.99 / mo
Sign Up

PFF Elite

Unlock Premium Stats, Greenline Picks & DFS

Learn More

Includes all of PFF Edge

$199.99 /yr
$34.99 / mo
Sign Up
Nov 19, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) is introduced before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

You likely know the drill by know: Fantasy football success is largely built on matchups and talent. This weekly points-per-opportunity article finds both.

As usual, this article will seek out players who have been making the most of their opportunities, and opponents who have been giving up a ton of fantasy points per opportunity. PPO is a fantastic stat to use for identifying potential blowup spots for fantasy players.

Here is the PPO against data through Week 15:

Below some players that are prime to break out in Week 15, according to the PPO data. (To see individual player PPO scores on a weekly or season-long basis, check out the Fantasy Stats section in our Tools lab.)

Running backs

Dion Lewis should have a massive game in Week 16 against the Bills, who have given up the most fantasy PPO to running backs this year (0.71). Lewis ranks tied for 10th among running backs in individual PPO.

Ezekiel Elliott is going to rip into the Seahawks in Week 16 despite the notion that Seattle’s defense is still great. They have given up the third-most fantasy PPO to opposing running backs this year. Despite missing six games, Elliott still ranks tied for 13th in rushing attempts (191), 16th in yards (783), and tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (7).

Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt will keep his hot streak alive in Week 16 against the Dolphins, who have given up the ninth-most fantasy PPO to opposing running backs on the ground this year, and the second-most fantasy PPO to running backs via the air. Hunt ranks tied for 11th in individual PPO.

Look for Jerick McKinnon to roll in Week 16 against the Packers after posting a 7-114-0 receiving line last week. He might not top 100 yards again, but the Packers have given up the fourth-most fantasy PPO to enemy running backs through the air this year.

Wide receivers

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant are primed for big games in Week 16 with Antonio Brown sidelined. The Steelers take on the Houston Texans, who have given up the most fantasy PPO to opposing receivers this year.

Kenny Stills could have a good game against the Chiefs, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy PPO to opposing wideouts this year while struggling against outside receivers. Stills, though inconsistent, has quietly been a top-30 fantasy wideout overall this year.

Mike Evans finally got it going in Week 15, and he’ll keep the ball rolling in Week 16 against the Panthers, who have given up the seventh-most PPO to opposing receivers this year. Evans will have a huge game should DeSean Jackson miss the game. Receivers have caught seven touchdowns against the Panthers over the past four games.

Mike Wallace is primed for a good game against the Colts this week. Indianapolis has given up the eighth-most fantasy PPO to enemy wideouts on the year. Wallace has strung together some nice games over the past month, producing lines of 5-116-0, 3-72-0, and 6-89-0 in his last three games. Couple a touchdown with a stat line like that and you’re looking at a massive game from Wallace.

Tight ends

I highlighted Ricky Seals-Jones here last week and it didn’t work out, but I’m going back to the well in Week 16, as Jones draws the Giants, who have given up the most fantasy PPO to opposing tight ends this year. Seals-Jones ranks first among all tight ends who have at least five targets this year in individual PPO.

Antonio Gates is in a good spot against the Jets this week, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy PPO to enemy tight ends this year. Gates should see increased work with Hunter Henry now on IR.

Travis Kelce should dominate the Dolphins, who have given up the third-most fantasy PPO to opposing tight ends this year. Kelce ranks fourth among all tight ends who have seen at least 50 targets in terms of fantasy PPO this year. You’re obviously starting him in season-long leagues, and he’s worth a long look in DFS as well.

Is Vernon Davis primed for another breakout game? This could be his week against the Broncos, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy PPO to tight ends this year. Davis had been putting up top-15 PPO numbers Weeks 1-11 before hitting a recent month-long slump. This is his best chance to break out again (well, until next week, when he plays the Giants).

PFF Edge

PFF Elite