The end is nigh. Yep, it's the final week of the Fantasy football season -- except for all you Week 17 dead-enders -- and I hope I've helped you in some small way to make it to your championship game. That's the goal of the Fantasy Football Today Newsletter, after all. Of course, if you're not playing in Week 16 and you're still reading th, well … thanks, Mom!

We'll have our regularly scheduled programming this week, but I'm going to try to give you a reason to keep reading even when your season is over, so expect Week 16 analysis as well as some stuff looking ahead to next season -- and beginning next week, I'll be doing some comprehensive reviews of every position and, eventually, every NFL team to see what we can learn moving forward. And then, of course, there's NFL free agency, and NFL Draft preparation, and before you know it, it'll be Fantasy football season again. I'll be here in your inbox throughout the offseason to make sure you have an edge on the competition. 

But first, Week 16! Every Monday evening, I text Jamey Eisenberg asking for his top five waiver-wire priorities for the upcoming week, and see if you can spot the pattern in his response last night:


So … you should probably add Jalen Hurts if he's available in your league. Jamey was nice enough to pass on a few more suggestions.

Jamey Eisenberg's top waiver-wire priorities for Week 16:

  1. Jalen Hurts
  2. Baker Mayfield
  3. Tony Pollard 
  4. Jeff Wilson
  5. Salvon Ahmed 

You can find the rest of Jamey's priorities for every position here to make sure you've got all of your contingencies covered for Week 16. And, by the way: If you don't plan on starting a player, don't make adding them a priority. Instead, try to cover your bases in case someone is unexpectedly missing. Snag a high-level backup (JALEN HURTS, maybe?) and make sure your running back handcuffs aren't on waivers. The last thing you want is an unexpected absence to ruin your season -- as Ezekiel Elliott's in Week 15 almost surely did for some people. 

Otherwise in today's newsletter, you'll find a breakdown of the top news from around the NFL Monday, including some thoughts on a Steelers-Bengals game that featured very little for us to be excited about. Then, I've got eight players who have fallen out of the Circle of Trust for Week 16, including Russell Wilson and Elliott, and some thoughts on eight players closing the season strong. Should you buy their chances of keeping it up in Week 16? And should their late-season success change how you view them for 2021? I answer both questions for all eight. 

Let's go lock up the title. 

Injuries, News and Notes

Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) carries the ball against the Washington Football Team at FedExField.  Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here's what went down around the NFL Monday, and what you need to know about it: 

  • Ben Roethlisberger's struggles continued -- Roethlisberger had just 19 passing yards in the first half on 6 of 17 passing, and it's not like he was particularly good in the second half, outside of one pretty touchdown to Diontae Johnson. This offense is fundamentally broken right now, and it seems mostly due to Roethlisberger's limitations. Johnson is probably the only player you're definitely starting in Week 16 on this offense. Eric Ebron left the game with a back injury and could not return, while James Conner missed the game with a quad injury. 
  • The Bengals offense wasn't much better -- The Bengals had five scoring drives Monday, and they picked up 4, 26, 5, 80 and 9 yards on those five drives. Ryan Finley made some things happen with his legs while Giovani Bernard played well against a tough matchup, but there's no reason to get excited. Bernard is the only player on this Bengals offense you should consider starting, even against a great matchup in the Texans. If it weren't for Pittsburgh's offensive woes, the Bengals probably wouldn't have scored more than once. 
  • James Robinson left Sunday's game with an ankle injury -- This one kind of flew under the radar, but Robinson was unable to return in the fourth quarter from his injury. We'll keep an eye on this one throughout the week, but don't be surprised if Robinson is forced to sit. Devine Ozigbo and Dare Ogunbowale will likely split work in Robinson's absence if it comes to that. 
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire is likely done for the regular season, at least -- Edwards-Helaire has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and a hip strain, and NFL Network reported Monday the team is hoping he can be back for the second round of the playoffs. Le'Veon Bell should be the lead back for the Chiefs until Edwards-Helaire is back, and he could be a top-20 option for Week 16. 
  • Cam Akers will miss at least Week 16 with a high-ankle sprain -- Akers mostly managed to play through the injury last week, with Darrell Henderson only getting one carry. Henderson should be the lead back for the matchup against the Seahawks, but is more like a low-end No. 2 RB, with Malcolm Brown likely handling passing downs. 
  • The Bills don't seem concerned about Stefon Diggs' ankle -- Of course, that could change when the Bills practice Wednesday -- if he doesn't practice, then it's time to worry. 

In The 'Circle of Trust?'

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sep 22, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Douglas DeFelice / USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, having these guys in your lineup meant you could stop looking for upgrades. I'm not saying you have to sit all of these guys, but they shouldn't be guaranteed a spot in your lineup for Week 16. 

  • Russell Wilson -- Wilson has fewer than 20 Fantasy points in four of his past six games, with more than 31 pass attempts in the same game. Of anyone on this list, Wilson's upside makes him the hardest to sit. But we're a long way from being able to set Wilson in your lineup and never think twice about it. 
  • Ben Roethlisberger -- Opposing defenses just aren't afraid of this Steelers offense anymore. Roethlisberger rarely throws deep anymore, and when he does, it's rarely effective. He's averaging 5.3 yards per attempt over his past five games and putting up 16.4 Fantasy points per game in that stretch. He just flopped against the Bengals; why trust him against the Colts
  • Ezekiel Elliott -- I don't think Elliott is going to lose his job to Tony Pollard, or anything, but I do think Pollard isn't going away. Whether that's a 60-40 split for Elliott or something closer to half, it's bad news for a guy whose primary virtue for much of the season has been volume. Who would've thought we'd reach a point where Elliott may not even be a top 30 Fantasy back in the championship week. 
  • Raheem Mostert -- No disrespect meant to Mr. Mostert, but it's not clear if Mostert will even be able to play in Week 16, nor whether he even should. He's now left consecutive games with an ankle injury, after going on IR with an ankle injury earlier in the season. Mostert is an explosive player when he's healthy, but he just doesn't seem right. Let Jeff Wilson finish out the season as the team's No. 1 back and we'll hopefully see Mostert back at 100% for next season. 
  • Todd Gurley -- This one goes without saying, but the Falcons made it official Monday, with interim coach Raheem Morris telling reporters Gurley's role has changed and Ito Smith is the lead runner. That's not to say Smith has much value right now -- he had just six carries in a game the Falcons led 17-0 at halftime in Week 15 -- but it is to say that you should probably just avoid this situation entirely. 
  • Wayne Gallman -- I don't want to say Gallman was fool's gold during his strong run over the past couple of months, because he really has run the ball well this season. However, we're seeing the downside of his profile over the past couple of weeks, and an unsustainable run of touchdown luck had papered over that. With the Giants offense continuing to struggle and the Ravens on the way in Week 16, there's no way you can use Gallman this week. 
  • Tyler Lockett -- The thing about football is, the short season means sometimes players never pull out of a slump. If Tyler Lockett played 100 more games, I'm very confident he would be a must-start Fantasy option again at some point, but I can't have any confidence it'll happen this week. Yes, DK Metcalf will face the tough assignment of matchup up with Jalen Ramsey, but that only led to five catches for 66 yards for Lockett in the last game between these two teams. 
  • Rob Gronkowski - You might have no choice but to trust Gronk, and the matchup against the Lions makes that prospect a little easier to stomach, for sure. But you sure don't feel good about it after Gronkowski caught three passes for 29 yards Sunday, giving him 31 over his past two combined. In fact over the last six games, Gronk has twice as many games with exactly 2 yards as he does with more than 51. He's always a threat to score, and Tom Brady is still looking for him downfield, but he's just another in the crowd of low-end starting TE options. 

Buy or Sell Hot Streaks

Dec 6, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) reacts after a called fumble is confirmed on a play during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Getty Images

Whether you're looking at Week 16 or the 2021 season, how should you view these eight players closing out the season strong? 

Baker Mayfield (QB4, 31.6 Fantasy points per game) 

  • Week 16: Sell - Mayfield is probably worth starting against the Jets, but I certainly wouldn't put him in that "must-start" category. Yes, he's playing extremely well of late, with 11 touchdowns in the past four games, but let's not forget he had zero touchdowns in the three games before that. He's still a low-volume passer, and the Browns probably won't need to throw to beat the Jets, which means you're counting on him to retain his elite per-pass efficiency, and there's a narrow margin for error there. 
  • 2021: Sell - A lot of the same principles apply here -- as long as the Browns are a run-heavy team, Mayfield needs a lot to go right to be much more than a good Fantasy QB. He'll have value, but you don't draft for "good" at QB, so he'll still be a late-round option for 2021. 

Jalen Hurts (QB8, 26.1) 

  • Week 16: Buy - There's no way you can sit Hurts right now. He's been too effective as a runner and showed his tremendous upside as a passer in Week 15. He's got a great matchup on the way against the Cowboys, and could be the guy who leads you to a championship. 
  • 2021: Sell - Look, we'll see. I'd love to see Hurts remain the starter for the Eagles, but the next few weeks (and possibly playoffs) will determine that. If he remains hot and the Eagles move on from Carson Wentz, Hurts could be a top-five QB in drafts next season. However, Wentz has a $34 million dead cap hit if the Eagles can find a trade, so if Hurts doesn't run away with it these next few weeks, they may be inclined to default back to Wentz and give him one more try.  

David Montgomery (RB1, 26.9) 

  • Week 16: Buy - At this point, you have to view Montgomery as an absolute must-start Fantasy RB against all matchups, and he's got an especially good one yet again in Week 16 against the Jaguars. He's averaging 108.5 rushing yards and 34.3 receiving yards over the last four games, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if he does exactly that yet again.  
  • 2021: Sell - Unfortunately, Montgomery was still mostly pretty bad against tough matchups this season. In fact, he was pretty bad right up until this most recent stretch, averaging 52.4 yards per game on the ground on 3.60 yards per carry and only 23.6 per game through the air. He was still mostly a must-start RB because he got so much work so consistently, but the Bears will have Tarik Cohen back for 2021, and I'm not sure the offense as a whole is going to look much better. He probably should be around RB15 for next season; he'll probably be a top-24 pick instead. I'll fade him if that's the case. 

J.D. McKissic (RB8, 18.0) 

  • Week 16: Buy - If we include Week 13, when Antonio Gibson left with his toe injury, McKissic is averaging 90.3 total yards per game with 21 receptions total. There's no reason he won't have a similar role in Week 16 against the Panthers, and there's no reason to think he shouldn't be in your lineup, especially in PPR. 
  • 2021: Sell - And there's no reason to think McKissic will ever be in a situation this positive again. Gibson is the clear future in Washington, and you have to think the team will take advantage of his skills as a pass-catcher in the future, especially with a full offseason to prepare. McKissic might still have a future in Washington, but it'll be as a role player. 

Brandon Aiyuk (WR5, 21.6) 

  • Week 16: Buy - Aiyuk is benefiting from the 49ers injuries, but even on a depleted team, you've got to earn your targets. He's averaging 94.7 yards per game over the past six with four touchdowns in that span and there's no way you're sitting him even against Patrick Peterson
  • 2021: Buy - At this point, the only relevant question is how much it's going to cost to buy Aiyuk in 2021. It's possible he ends up being overdrafted -- Deebo Samuel and George Kittle will be back, and we haven't really seen Aiyuk much with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB, after all. However, Aiyuk has a chance at a 1,000-total-yard season in just 13 games, and he's doing it as a 22-year-old. His skill set should mesh perfectly with Kittle and Samuel too, and his downfield skills should make him stand out moving forward. 

Cole Beasley (WR10, 18.8) 

  • Week 16: Sell - Beasley has been awesome this season, but he's been a lot more involved in the offense when John Brown is out. In the eight games Brown has played, Beasley has 49 targets; he has 53 in the six Brown has missed. He's still been plenty productive -- this Bills offense can support three Fantasy relevant wide receivers -- but he's much more touchdown dependent with Brown active. And it sounds like Brown might be active in Week 16. 
  • 2021: Sell - Looking ahead to next season, Brown is a free agent, so that may not matter much. But Beasley will be a 32-year-old, 5-foot-8 slot receiver with one season with more than 833 yards under his belt. He'll have excellent numbers coming off this season, but it'll probably end up being the best of his career. 

Logan Thomas (TE3, 19.4)

  • Week 16: Buy - It all comes down to volume, as Thomas has 31 targets over the past three games. I wouldn't expect another double-digit game this week, but he's clearly a focal point here in a way few tight ends are these days. He's worth considering in Week 16 unless you have Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or Mark Andrews
  • 2021: Buy - Obviously, a lot is going to come down to what the Washington QB situation looks like, but Thomas has flashed more than enough to be worth buying into next season. He'll have to get better, but given that he's only been playing the position for a few years and the QB situation he's dealt with, I'll be willing to buy as a breakout in 2021. 

Dan Arnold (TE6, 13.7) 

  • Week 16: Sell - This is more a reflection of how bad tight end is right now. Arnold has seven catches over the past three weeks with three touchdowns, and he isn't going to keep up a pace like that. 
  • 2021: Sell - Arnold is a tremendous athlete, and it's possible he could grow into a big enough role to be worth relying on in 2021, but he has more than four targets just once this season. He won't be worth drafting. 

Tyler Higbee (TE8, 11.5) 

  • Week 16: Sell - Before Week 15 against the Jets, Higbee had less than 35 yards in four straight games. Everyone does well against the Jets. Don't expect the same against the Seahawks. 
  • 2021: Sell - The thing about Higbee is that we've seen him play like a must-start, difference making tight end over the last five games of last season, and he actually has a career-high yards per target and touchdown rate this season. Maybe the Rams make him a focal point in 2021, but he'll only be worth a late-round selection.