2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Vampire League Starters

by Travis Argo
2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Vampire League Starters

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Vampire League Starters article.

Congratulations, vampires, on making it through the first week of the playoffs. I don't know about you guys, but my matchup was quite the battle. My opponent had Christian McCaffrey, Jaylen Waddle, and Terry McLaurin in their starting lineup. McCaffery was the number one player overall in point totals; Waddle and McLaurin finished as the number two and three wide receivers in Week 15. But this monster lineup was defeated by the combined efforts of James Cook, Jahmyr Gibbs, Amon-Ra St.Brown, and Sam LaPorta. It was a very slim margin of victory, but that victory might have been my best one of the season because now Christian McCaffrey is on my team as I march through the playoffs.

Enough of my bragging, and let's focus on conquering Week 16 and getting one step closer to the championship. The Fantasy Gods are less giving in Week 16 than in Week 15. The Fantasy Gods have blessed our running backs with tremendous workloads and matchups, but we have cursed our wide receivers. There are wideouts with great matchups, but their offense is in shambles, or a great wideout on a great offense with a tough matchup. So, we have some tough decisions in Week 16 if we want to make it to the big show next week, so let's get to it.

2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Vampire League Starters

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Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mayfield is having a career year this season. He is currently on pace for 4,025 yards, 29 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Those are some impressive numbers we haven't seen from Mayfield since the early part of his career. Lately, Mayfield has been tearing up, averaging 234.4 yards and two touchdowns in his last five games. Now, Mayfield has the perfect matchup to boost his averages against the Jaguars.

The Jaguars allow the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, allowing 19.1 fantasy points, 271.4 yards, and 1.6 touchdowns. The Jaguars defense is slowly getting worse at stopping quarterbacks. Over the past four weeks, the Jaguars have allowed the second-most fantasy points (24.2) to quarterbacks, so Mayfield is primed to have another great week.

Running Backs

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears

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Roshcon Johnson may be the only risky play among running backs for vampires, but he will be worth the risk in Week 16. Johnson is part of a three-headed committee in Chicago, but each week, he is gaining more traction as the head of the committee, thanks to his pass-catching ability. The Bears have a fantastic matchup against the Cardinals, whose defense is allergic to tackling any opposing player.

The Cardinals allow 29.1 fantasy points, 121.6 yards, and 0.9 touchdowns per game to running backs. Johnson has some competition for workload, but he has the skills to post a decent stat line against a terrible defense.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans

Tyaje Spears appears in the vampire article every couple of weeks, thanks to his decent enough workload in rushing heavy offense, so he'll be on the list in the playoffs. Spears has averaged 7.6 carries, 30.8 rushing yards, four targets, and 24.4 receiving yards in his last five games. That's a decent enough workload to earn a starting spot in vampire lineups, especially against the Seahawks, who are also part of the afraid of tackling group (they meet every Tuesday during the playoffs).

The Seahawks allow 24.4 fantasy points, 94.5 rushing yards, and one touchdown per game to opposing running backs this season.

Wide Receivers

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs

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Rashee Rice has been such an excellent wideout for Vampires and has been one of the better rookie wide receivers. If Jordan Addison and Puka Nacua hadn't had such fantastic rookie seasons, we would be hearing more about Rice and his excellent skills. The Kid has been having a tremendous season, but he has really put it together as the season ends.

Rice is averaging 7.2 receptions, 75.2 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns in his previous five games. Right now, he is the only reliable receiving option behind Travis Kelce, and his incredible 25.3 percent target on-routes run rate, one of the highest rates among wide receivers this season, is proof of that.

In Week 16, Rice will be facing off against the Raiders, a defensive unit that has been hit-or-miss this season regarding defending against quarterbacks. They allow 31.6 fantasy points, 140.9 yards, and 0.9 touchdowns per game to wideouts this season. The stat line doesn't seem impressive at first glance, but vampires need to remember that most of the workload is going to Rice, so he'll have a decent shot at a remarkable game.

Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

Davis has been a hit-or-miss option for vampires this season. He has had fantastic games that have vaulted vampires to victory, and he has had terrible games that kill us faster than Van Helsing. I know it's hard to trust Davis because he is on a two-game streak of posting goose eggs, but his Week 16 matchup against the Chargers is too good to let it pass.

The Chargers allow the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. They allow 39.6 fantasy points, 175.9 yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game to wideouts.

Tight End

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

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Hunter Henry has been an intriguing tight end for vampires this season. He was good at the beginning of the season, then fell off quickly, but he is regaining his traction as he heads toward the end. He has been a touchdown machine in the Patriots' last three games, averaging 5.3 targets, 40.2 yards, and one touchdown. Now Hunter is taking his hot streak against the perfect matchup for a tight end, the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos allow the most fantasy points to tight ends this season, allowing 16.6 fantasy points, 68.2 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns per game. It may seem like starting Henry is risky because the Patriots have been dysfunctional, but the Broncos' defense is way more dysfunctional at stopping tight ends. Henry should provide the vampires with the coveted 60 yards and a touchdown stat line in Week 16.

Henry is dealing with a knee injury that he sustained in Week 15, so his health status will need to be watched throughout the week. If Henry is ruled out, vampires should pivot to Mike Gesicki, or Trey McBride against the Bears.


Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins

Of course, Vampires should rely on Mostert in the playoffs. We have ridden him all season, and it has paid off a ton for us this season. Amazingly, the current number-two running back in fantasy was left for vampires this season. We talk about Hunter Henry being a touchdown machine, and Mostert is the ultimate touchdown machine in fantasy. He has not scored a touchdown in only three games this year, which makes his season touchdown average 1.3 touchdowns. It is tough to average a touchdown per game for a running back, and Mostert is smashing the average with a comfortable margin. We will see if Mostert can continue this success against the Cowboys in Week 16.

The Cowboys have been okay against the running game, allowing 18.8 fantasy points, 87.6 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game to running backs. But the Cowboys defense has been slipping lately, allowing 23.1 fantasy points, 120.2, and 0.8 touchdowns in their last four games.

Defense/Special Teams

Chicago Bears

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The Bears' defense has surprisingly gotten better over the past month. Matt Eberflus taking over the playcalling and the addition of Montez Sweat has vastly improved a unit that couldn't stop anything at the beginning of the season. The Bears' defense averaged 13 fantasy points, three sacks, and 2.4 interceptions in their last five games.

The Bears have a great matchup against the Cardinals in Week 16 to continue improving. The Cardinals offense allows 7.6 fantasy points, 2.7 sacks, 0.7 interceptions, and 0.4 fumbles per game to defenses this season. So, Chicago will have plenty of chances to rack up turnovers and hopefully a touchdown against the struggling Cardinals' offense.

Check out our 2023 Fantasy Football content from our excellent staff of writers here!

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