Congratulations to fantasy owners that have made it to the fantasy finals. It's a long season, although it seems like it was just Week 1, yet now the season is over for many after this weekend. Fantasy owners have read columns, listened to advice, and even put up Twitter polls to find the best starting lineup. Look at the rankings, read the columns, and listen to what your instincts are telling you to do. They haven't failed you yet.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
It's simple: start quarterbacks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Watson is the No. 2-ranked quarterback, but he is going to challenge Lamar Jackson for the top spot this week. Watson and his receivers should all have a great game Saturday afternoon against the Bucs in Week 16. Start him as a QB1 with confidence, despite some tough games lately.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Mack rushed for 19 yards in Week 15. Since returning from his hand injury, he hasn't been the same. However, with two weeks under his belt, he should have a better performance in Week 16. The Colts face the Panthers in Week 16. The Panthers allow the most fantasy points to running backs. Mack is ranked No. 13 but should exceed that.
Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
After a very disappointing day in Week 15, Cooper should bounce back against the Eagles in Week 16. Their secondary is lacking, to say the least, and Dallas needs to win this game. Expect the Cowboys to lean on their No. 1 receiver as much as they possibly can. He is ranked No. 17 and should exceed that.
Greg Ward, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Ward is an undrafted free agent (and was a QB in college), but he's also the No. 1 wide receiver for the Eagles. Sure, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is there, but he was limited at practice with a foot injury this week. The Eagles just can't afford to lose any more wide receivers, but it paves the way for Ward to have fantasy value in Week 16. He's ranked No. 21 and is a solid WR2.
Jacob Hollister, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Hollister was in the Down section last week, and this week he's an Up. The Seahawks have a great matchup against the Cardinals in Week 16. The Cardinals consistently allow tight ends to score plenty of fantasy points. While Hollister isn't a great fantasy option, he is ranked No. 11 for Week 16 and should exceed that ranking.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Goff has had a few good weeks, but he's also had some terrible weeks. In the past six weeks, he has three games with two touchdowns each and three games with no touchdowns. He also has eight total touchdowns in that span. Goff faces the 49ers on Saturday night in Week 16. The last time Goff faced San Francisco's stout defense, he threw for 78 yards. It was an abysmal performance, and even though he's ranked No. 24, he may finish below that.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
In three of the past four games, Chubb has more than100 rushing yards. He's been a solid fantasy player, even with Kareem Hunt in the picture. The matchup against the Ravens is a tough one, however. In addition, the Ravens know that the Browns' main source of offense is Chubb. They are going to try to shut him down, especially after he had his best game of the season against them in Week 4. Chubb is ranked No. 9, but he's going to be hard to trust as an RB1.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have been using Gurley more, however, he still has gotten vultured at the goal line. He faces the 49ers in Week 16, which should put an end to his three-game touchdown streak. The 49ers are going to get to Jared Goff, but they are also going to look to stop Gurley. With their run defense, they certainly can do it. Gurley is ranked No. 14, but that's too high for someone who is barely an RB2 this week.
A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
Brown is ranked No. 10 after two solid weeks with more than 100 yards each week and three touchdowns. However, he faces the Saints in Week 16 and he's going to be covered a lot more than he was in the past two weeks. Brown is still a rookie, and is not yet at the point where he's matchup-proof. He's ranked as a WR1, but he's barely on the WR2 radar.
Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Sense a pattern here yet? Don't trust the Rams in Week 16. Gerald Everett is back, and while this job is still likely Higbee's, just the presence of Everett will cut into Higbee's value. Add in the fact that the 49ers allow the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends and basically keep any Ram offensive player on the bench this week. (There's risk starting the DST too.) Higbee is ranked No. 5 among tight ends but should finish lower than that.
Full Disclosure from Week 15
5 Up (2/5 correct)
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders (Ranked: 23, Actual: 20)
Marlon Mack, RB, Colts (Ranked: 22, Actual: 69)
Anthony Miller, WR, Bears (Ranked: 38, Actual: 5)
Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers (Ranked: 22, Actual: 72)
Ian Thomas, TE, Panthers (Ranked: 17, Actual: 33)
5 Down (3/5 correct)
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs (Ranked: 7, Actual: 6)
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings (Ranked: 9, Actual: 40)
LeSean McCoy, RB, Chiefs (Ranked: 32, Actual: 71)
James Washington, WR, Steelers (Ranked: 36, Actual: 32)
Jacob Hollister, TE, Seahawks (Ranked: 15, Actual: 29)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.