Before we get to the rankings for Week 16, let’s tackle some of the biggest questions Fantasy players are facing at quarterback heading into the Fantasy semifinals, beginning with one of the biggest injuries of the season, potentially: Are there any streamers worth trusting to replace Jalen Hurts? Gardner Minshew. He’s probably the only widely available quarterback I would feel comfortable starting this week. In six-point-per-pass-TD scoring formats, he had 22.8 and 18.4 points in his two starts last season, and in 2020, he topped 20 points six times in nine starts – and he didn’t have A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert to throw to. I don’t think Minshew is as good as Hurts, even as a passer, but Minshew is plenty competent, and this offense is in a really good spot for him to hit the ground running. The only hesitation is a very tough matchup, but given that seemingly half the league is going to be playing through sub-zero temperatures and high winds this weekend, that’s not enough to scare me off. Minshew is a top-12 QB for me . What’s up with Justin Herbert? Herbert has been a pretty big disappointment this season, and he hasn’t had nearly as many excuses of late. He’s played without his best weapons and a bunch of key offensive linemen for much of the season, and while the line is still a mess, he’s had Keenan Allen and Mike Williams the past two weeks and has one touchdown and two interceptions on 93 attempts. That’s pretty awful. The Chargers offensive game planning is a mess, rarely taking advantage of Herbert’s massive arm strength with any regularity, and it too often leaves the Chargers trying to string together drives in 5-yard chunks. He still throws the ball 40-plus times most weeks and has prodigious talent, so I’m probably still starting Herbert – his upside is too immense to leave on my bench absent a truly compelling option. But he’s more as a low-end QB1 than the elite guy we expected him to be. Can you still trust Geno Smith without Tyler Lockett? Lockett is expected to miss at least a few weeks with a broken finger, and that’s bad news for a Seahawks offense built heavily around its top two pass-catchers — 48% of Smith’s targets have gone to either Lockett or DK Metcalf, with Noah Fant’s 53 targets ranking third on the team, less than half of Lockett’s total. And Smith has been especially efficient when targeting Lockett, continuing a trend that has held through basically Lockett’s entire career – his 8.9 yards per target stands out relative even to Smith’s very solid overall 7.8 Y/A. Marquise Goodwin is a solid deep threat and Fant and WIll Dissly are a decent tight end duo, but I think Smith is going to miss Lockett, a reliable option in the intermediate and deep games. It’s not enough to sit Smith in what we hope will be a shootout against the Chiefs, but it makes his margin for error a bit slimmer.
Here are my rankings for the QB position for Week 16:
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Patrick Mahomes vs. SEAJosh Allen @CHIJustin Fields vs. BUFJustin Herbert @INDJoe Burrow @NETua Tagovailoa vs. GBKirk Cousins vs. NYGGeno Smith @KCDak Prescott vs. PHITom Brady @ARIGardner Minshew @DALDerek Carr @PITDaniel Jones @MINAaron Rodgers @MIAJared Goff @CARBrock Purdy vs. WASTaylor Heinicke @SFRussell Wilson @LARKenny Pickett vs. LVDeshaun Watson vs. NOBaker Mayfield vs. DENMac Jones vs. CINTrace McSorley vs. TBNick Foles vs. LACDavis Mills @TENTyler Huntley vs. ATLMalik Willis vs. HOUSam Darnold vs. DETAndy Dalton @CLEDesmond RIdder @BAL