Week 16 bold predictions: Adrian Peterson a fantasy hero one more time

Every week, our Yahoo fantasy crew will unveil their boldest predictions for the action ahead. With fantasy titles on the line, our analysts think a rejuvenated Adrian Peterson and a cast of surprising pass-catchers will help take home championships. Now, on to the Week 16 predictions!

Adrian Peterson finishes as a Top-10 for league-winners

Over the last two weeks with Derrius Guice largely uninvolved, Adrian Peterson has piled up 39 total touches. The result: 167 yards from scrimmage with a rushing touchdown in each contest. It has hardly been pretty but with how committed this coaching staff is to establishing the run, he’s the primary focal point. Washington’s defensive improvement has been huge for Peterson’s stock, as well. While the team sports the third-worst point differential on the season, it checks in at just minus-4 over the last four weeks. With Daniel Jones looking likely to take the field for the Giants in Week 16, Washington should be able to keep the script close and continue to hand Peterson a beefy workload. — Matt Harmon

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Broncos lead way to fantasy championships

Denver is in a prime spot to bounce back at home against a checked-out Lions team that’s lost seven straight and help fantasy managers in multiple ways this week. David Blough has looked extremely shaky, will again be missing Marvin Jones and the Lions should struggle to run, so I have the Broncos as my No. 1 defense this week, making them intriguing in DFS ($13). Moreover, Courtland Sutton (top-five in WOPR this season) gets a Detroit secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to his primary side over the last month, so treat him as a top-10 WR. I also have Phillip Lindsay as a top-10 RB in this matchup, so fire him up in DFS ($22), as the Broncos provide big fantasy production in crucial Week 16. - Dalton Del Don

Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton are both in line for big games in Week 16 as the Broncos face the fading Lions. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Noah Fant also gets in on the Broncos fun

Through three starts, Drew Lock is resembling the feast-on-the-meek-fold-against-the-mighty quarterback witnessed at Missouri. He has impressed at times, but only against feckless competition. Week 16 presents another golden opportunity to over-inflate the ego of John Elway and the Broncos fanbase. As Dalton mentioned, Detroit, which has allowed the most total air yards and highest aDOT (10.1) of any team in the league, is an ideal matchup for Lock, Courtland Sutton, and Fant. The tight end, hindered by a bothersome shoulder, has fought through the pain, eclipsing 55 yards in four of his past six contests. Similar to Zach Ertz, Evan Engram, and Kyle Rudolph before him, Fant guides the sleigh en route to a top-five week. (Fearless Forecast: 5-62-1) — Brad Evans

Jacob Hollister, top-5 fantasy tight end

Call me reckless, but I'm gonna go ahead and roll the dice on a tight end facing the defense that's allowed the most receiving yards (1,023) and touchdowns (15) to the position by far. Hollister hasn't spiked since Week 10, but his targets haven't evaporated. He's definitely breaking the plane against the Cards, possibly more than once. Those 15 touchdowns allowed to tight ends by Arizona are the most given up by any team since 2013, and the team still has Hollister and Higbee upcoming. — Andy Behrens

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O.J. Howard finishes the season where he should have started it

If you’ve gotten to Week 16 with O.J. Howard on your roster then you’re likely more sold on his athletic upside than Bruce Arians has been for the bulk of the season. While the metrics darling was frustratingly underutilized throughout his third pro campaign, the end-of-the-year injuries to the Bucs’ receiving corps have allowed for a boost in Howard’s opportunities. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both missing time, Howard drew his highest target total (8) of the year in Week 15. Now the healthiest and most veteran playmaker on the roster, Howard figures to eat again when he takes on a Texans defense that’s allowed the fifth-most receiving yards per game (281). Factoring in the talent, opportunity, and matchup... Howard is a top-12 start to close out 2019. (FF: 5-61-1) - Liz Loza

Greg Ward, working-class hero

The Eagles offense has turned into a mix of gum, scotched tape and glue. All of the primary wideouts are hurt or disappointing, forcing Carson Wentz to focus on two super tight ends and a couple of running backs.

But maybe Greg Ward can jump into the receiver breach; he had 61 yards and the winning touchdown last week, and has nine targets in back-to-back games. It’s reasonable to consider him in any fantasy lineup that just lost a key member (say, Chris Godwin); Ward now has a projectable floor for opportunity. Look for him to sail into double-digit points against a grossly-overrated Dallas defense. — Scott Pianowski

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