Skip to main content

NFL Offensive Line/Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups: Week 16 (Fantasy Football)

NFL Offensive Line/Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups: Week 16 (Fantasy Football)

Week 16 in the NFL is about to get underway, meaning we’re onto the next round of the fantasy football playoffs. Fantasy managers looking to gain an edge can use this article to figure out which fantasy players are in good or bad matchups based on the offensive and defensive line matchups in the trenches. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage, whether it’s negating pressure or creating it.

Since Bye Weeks are in the rearview, we’ve got wall-to-wall action on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in Week 16. That’s right, we’re gifted a Christmas Day prime time matchup between the current MVP favorites, Brock Purdy (QB – 49ers) and Lamar Jackson (QB – Ravens), to wrap up this holiday slate. Huge fantasy and real-life implications will play out based on how Monday night’s game in Santa Clara unfolds, so hold onto your seats and enjoy the ride!

NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay is back to share his latest rankings and analysis for relevant fantasy players based on the offensive and defensive line matchups in their game. Using half-PPR scoring, we’ll discover a few players to target or fade in fantasy lineups to advance into the Championship round in Week 17. Congratulations for making it this far and best of luck this weekend!

Boost your playoff push and lay the groundwork for winning next season with our special Holiday offer. Upgrade today, and we’ll double the length of the subscription you purchase at no extra cost!

Offensive Line Rankings & Matchups

1. Buffalo Bills

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Los Angeles Rams

4. Detroit Lions

5. San Francisco 49ers

Key Week 16 Matchups

Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Fantasy managers should prepare to start all Buffalo skilled players in Week 16. The Bills travel to SoFi Stadium on Saturday night to face the hapless Chargers defense, which just allowed Las Vegas to score 63 points in Week 15, leading to the firing of former head coach Brandon Staley. It’s been the James Cook (RB – Bills) show for a few weeks now, as he delivered a 35-point surge in the first round of the fantasy playoffs, but Stefon Diggs (WR – Bills), Gabe Davis (WR – Bills), and Dalton Kincaid (TE – Bills) should get going in a plus-matchup against Los Angeles.

It’s a top-ten matchup for all skilled Bills players across the board. Buffalo’s offensive line is among the best in the league, while the Chargers generate bottom-ten pressure rate. Conversely, Keenan Allen (WR – Chargers) and Gerald Everett (TE – Chargers) are downgraded options with Easton Stick (QB – Chargers), but Josh Palmer (WR – Chargers) could get some decent WR3/WR2 usage. Austin Ekeler (RB – Chargers) has a tough matchup and he’s been struggling, so he’s a bench candidate despite previous dominance in the fantasy playoffs.

Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans
Cleveland’s overcome tons of injuries to get themselves into a playoff position. Houston is also vying for an AFC playoff berth, while rookie standout C.J. Stroud (QB – Texans) will likely remain unavailable due to a concussion. Myles Garrett (DE – Browns) and the rest of Cleveland’s defensive line should feast on Houston’s offensive line, which ranks bottom-eight in sack percentage allowed.

Fantasy managers with Houston skilled players will have a tough time starting many of them against Cleveland, although Noah Brown (WR – Texans) did have success with Case Keenum (QB – Texans) in Week 15, logging 22.2 fantasy points. Devin Singletary (RB – Texans) is the other option here, as he’ll face a Browns defense that has leaked production to running backs, plus he’s coming off of a 24-point outing against the Titans. Houston’s defensive line, conversely, is a force that should keep Joe Flacco (QB – Browns) under pressure, forcing Jerome Ford (RB – Browns) and Kareem Hunt (RB – Browns) into bigger roles against a weaker Texans run defense.

Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups

1. Baltimore Ravens

2. Miami Dolphins

3. Houston Texans

4. Cleveland Browns

5. New York Jets

Key Week 16 Matchups

Atlanta Falcons vs. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis has rattled off wins late in the season to become an AFC playoff contender, so expect their offensive line to continue giving Gardner Minshew (QB – Colts) protection in the pocket. Atlanta’s the more desperate team in this contest and rosters a stout defensive line, which could reduce the amount of explosive plays from the Colts’ offense.

The Falcons’ running backs should have a huge outing. Do not bench Bijan Robinson (RB – Falcons) after his dud outing in Week 15 against the Panthers, as he gets another cake matchup in ideal conditions in a must-win game at home. Tyler Allgeier (RB – Falcons) and Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – Falcons) are viable options in deeper leagues, as well as potential dart throws to find the end zone and return value as RB2s.

Drake London (WR – Falcons) and Kyle Pitts (TE – Falcons) may have a tougher outing, especially with inconsistent quarterback play facing an underrated Colts secondary. However, Indianapolis and Atlanta both have good defensive lines, downgrading both passing attacks in this contest. Prioritize Robinson as an RB1. Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – Colts), who cooled off a bit in Week 15 with 11.8 fantasy points, should return to 15 or more fantasy points against the Falcons’ pass defense, which has allowed 19 receiving touchdowns, 13th-most in the league.

Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys
A huge matchup with playoff implications once again features the Dallas Cowboys on the road, this time traveling to South Beach to face the Miami Dolphins. While the offense steals all of the shine with Tyreek Hill (WR – Dolphins) and Raheem Mostert (RB – Dolphins), Miami’s defense under DC Vic Fangio has evolved into one of the best front-seven units in the league. Miami has allowed under 40 rushing yards in three of their past five games played, meaning Tony Pollard (RB – Cowboys) will be relegated to low-end RB2 or mid-range RB2 value.

Dallas’ defense has struggled against the run, so expect a heavy dose of Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane (RB – Dolphins) to keep Miami’s offense in sync, setting up play action passes for Hill and Jaylen Waddle (WR – Dolphins) to feast on. CeeDee Lamb (WR – Cowboys) could find success against Jalen Ramsey (CB – Dolphins) due to volume, but Dallas’ success on the road against good teams in 2023 has been limited. Jake Ferguson (TE – Cowboys) can be inserted into lineups, but temper expectations against the 17th-ranked fantasy defense against tight ends. Brandin Cooks (WR – Cowboys) is a boom-or-bust WR3 against the 16th-ranked Miami pass defense against wideouts.

Hill, especially due to a nagging ankle sprain, may be limited against Dallas’ secondary, which was hardly tested during a Week 15 blowout loss to Buffalo. Mostert and Achane could each net 20-plus fantasy points, playing behind an underrated offensive line dealing with injuries, but facing a leaky Dallas run defense that is better at creating pressure on passing plays.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

More Articles

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: NFL Draft Rookie Rundown – Why Bo Nix is NOT a First-Round Prospect

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: NFL Draft Rookie Rundown – Why Bo Nix is NOT a First-Round Prospect

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
4 NFL Draft Risers & Fallers (2024 Fantasy Football)

4 NFL Draft Risers & Fallers (2024 Fantasy Football)

fp-headshot by Richard Janvrin | 3 min read
Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice: Targets & Most Rostered Players (2024)

Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice: Targets & Most Rostered Players (2024)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 1 min read
Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Chris Olave, Romeo Doubs, Trey McBride (2024)

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Chris Olave, Romeo Doubs, Trey McBride (2024)

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read

About Author

Hide

Current Article

3 min read

FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: NFL Draft Rookie Rundown – Why Bo Nix is NOT a First-Round Prospect

Next Up - FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast: NFL Draft Rookie Rundown – Why Bo Nix is NOT a First-Round Prospect

Next Article