Jones is expected back on Sunday but you shouldn't trust him to help win a fantasy championship
Many fantasy owners may feel either confident or discouraged following Alvin Kamara’s SIX-touchdown game on Christmas Day. It’s very likely that Kamara either won or lost you the game by Friday night.
However, this is fantasy and this is 2020, so anything can happen. Don’t give up until the last game has been played (whenever that may be). When looking at Week 16, fantasy owners need to be aware that plenty of players are on the injury report and don't forget that four games have already been played. Also, note that the Browns will be down several players for COVID-19 reasons, most notably wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge. This also doesn’t bode well for Baker Mayfield’s chances of having a big day throwing the football, which means Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will probably be very busy. It’s possible there could be more fallout leading up to kickoff of Cleveland’s 1 p.m. ET game at the Jets.
For those still concerned with kickers, Chris Boswell (Pittsburgh) is questionable. For the championship game, find another kicker. Nick Folk (New England) also is questionable, but he’s played through that tag for the past few weeks. For the rest, as always, be sure to check the inactive report before game time. Good luck!
Out (Sunday/Monday games only)
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
DeeJay Dallas, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants
Doubtful (Sunday/Monday games only)
Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
Note: All times are ET and games are on Sunday, Dec. 27 unless otherwise noted. Players are grouped by position.
Daniel Jones (ankle/hamstring), QB, New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Jones is still banged up but is expected to start. He missed Week 15, but should return to a rough matchup this week against the Ravens. It’s hard to say which quarterback gives the team a better chance at a victory in a must-win game in a terrible division, but the team likely thinks it is Jones. Fantasy owners can do better for the championship game.
Alex Smith (calf), QB, Washington Football Team vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:05 p.m.
Smith missed Week 15 with the calf injury he suffered in Week 14. He was able to put in some practice this week, including a full session on Friday. It’s not clear if the off-field issues with Dwayne Haskins will affect the team’s decision on who to start, but Washington can solidify its grip on the NFC East with a win on Sunday. This game is in the late-afternoon slate, so this is going to be an early call. However, know that Terry McLaurin is likely out, so that does downgrade Smith’s value. He’s a low QB2 if active.
Ezekiel Elliott (calf), RB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25 p.m.
Most fantasy owners are likely hoping that the Cowboys make the decision early on whether or not Elliott will play, but it is unlikely. Elliott could end up missing a second straight game, but this also could develop into a fantasy mess. Tony Pollard has been the better running back, but if Elliott is active, he will certainly get work. It is certainly possible that Elliott is only active as a backup, but it doesn’t seem likely. Based on his performance, however, Elliott should only be viewed as a low RB2 if active.
Antonio Gibson (toe), RB, Washington Football Team vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:05 p.m.
Gibson missed the past two games with a toe injury, but he is did put in some practice this past week. With Terry McLaurin likely out, Washington is going to have to rely on the running game. If Gibson is active, he’ll be a solid RB2. The problem for fantasy owners is that the game isn’t until later in the afternoon. If you are counting on Gibson, be sure you have another player (J.D. McKissic?) to substitute in if needed. It seems that he should play, but it is not a guarantee.
Damien Harris (ankle), RB, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. (Mon.)
With the Patriots not playing until Monday night, Harris’ fantasy owners may have to wait until then to know if the running back will be active. However, given the injury and the propensity for Harris to re-injure himself, it’s tough to trust him. Harris missed Week 15 with the injury and Sony Michel filled in. Michel had 74 rushing yards and it seems both backs will be involved. If possible, leave Harris on the bench.
Royce Freeman (hip), RB, Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.
Even with Phillip Lindsay now on injured reserve, Freeman should not be on starting rosters in fantasy leagues. He will likely play this week, but Melvin Gordon is the team’s lead back and should have plenty of work this week. Gordon will be a borderline RB1; Freeman should be on the bench.
Tyreek Hill (hamstring), WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
Hill will play. He’s been seen receiving treatment on the hamstring during games and missed practice on Wednesday. The Chiefs are understandably playing it cautious with their No. 1 receiver, but as long as the team has something to play for (can potentially wrap up the No. 1 seed in the AFC on Sunday), Hill will be active and heavily involved in the game plan. He’s a clear WR1 who just may win fantasy owners a championship.
Allen Robinson (hamstring), WR, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Robinson practiced in full on Wednesday, but then missed Thursday’s practice. He returned on Friday for a limited practice, which means he should be good to go in a great matchup on Sunday. The Bears need a win to stay in the playoff chase while the Jaguars actually benefit more by losing so they can secure the No. 1 draft pick. This game should be a great one for Robinson. Start him as a WR1.
Marquise Brown (knee), WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Fantasy owners started worrying when Brown was added to the injury report on Thursday with a knee issue but the good news is that he was able to return on Friday. After a really rough stretch in the middle of the season, Brown has touchdowns in three of the past four games. He had six receptions for 98 yards in Week 15 and assuming he’s active, is a solid WR2 on Sunday.
Cordarrelle Patterson (knee), WR/RB, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Patterson injured his knee in Week 15 and missed practice this week. He’s listed as questionable, but it doesn’t seem likely that he will play. Between the knee injury and the success of David Montgomery in recent weeks, fantasy owners shouldn’t rely on Patterson in Week 16.
Dez Bryant (thigh), WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Bryant seems likely to play in Week 16 despite being added to the injury report. However, it’s hard to imagine anyone starting him in the fantasy championships (in 2020). The Ravens don’t throw the ball often enough to support multiple receivers in fantasy. Leave Bryant on the bench.
— 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.