Fantasy Football Week 16: Players to start or sit
Sitting and starting is relative and depends on the league. Think of some of these suggestions as "fliers" and "dissolves" (note that some are for the DFS).
Good luck with your week 16 lineups.
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
Start: Kirk Cousins, Emmanuel Sanders
Cousins have done better at home this season, but it's sure to expect more volume than usual when faced with a Saints team that is sure to score points on Drew Brees' second start. It's also a defense in New Orleans that is tough on the run and results in one of the higher neutral success rates in the league. So cousins are a Superflex option this week.
[Week 16 Fantasy Ranking: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | Daylight saving time | Kickers]
Sanders is New Orleans' clear No. 1 WR with Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith also ailing. Brees should do a lot better in his second second leg, and the Vikings have given out the sixth most fantasy points to outside receivers this season, making Sanders a top 25 fantasy WR in week 16.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
Start: Leonard Fournette, Matthew Stafford
With Ronald Jones expected to miss another game, Fournette becomes a true top 12 fantasy RB against a Lions defense injured by setbacks for the most fantasy points this season. Fournette is a must-have when it comes to running a team with one of the highest implied totals this week. He's unlikely to bring many fantasy teams to a championship that likely didn't get him.
Even in a disappointing year of Detroit infidelity injuries, Stafford has averaged 275 yards and 2.0 touchdowns at home (after averaging 310 and 3.0 last season), and that game has one of the highest over / unders in the world Week. The Bucs have also committed the most serious of crimes against them in the past 10 weeks. So expect Stafford to throw frequently on Saturday (the team will do without game caller Darrell Bevell).
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Start: Jeff Wilson, Cardinals D / ST
After Raheem Mostert is eliminated, Wilson takes over the lead from San Francisco (with some Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon), and the Niners offensive could get a boost with the return of George Kittle (the team's YPC usually improves when he does too plays). Wilson is a tough runner who always poses a threat to the goal line, and while his advantage is limited given the underrated defense of Arizona and the SF starting a third-string quarterback, Wilson should still be in the top 20 this week -Fantasy apply.
The Cardinals have number 9 in the DVOA and the seventh best print rate (25.3%) this season. On Saturday they get SF's third quarterback, who was last in CPAE when we last saw him from 2018. This year he was lower on the depth map than the now injured Nick Mullens, who made 15 sales over eight starts.
Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
Start: Tua Tagovailoa, Nelson Agholor
Tagovailoa hasn't jumped out like the other rookie quarterbacks (including Jalen Hurts lately), but he quietly has a better CPAE than Tom Brady this season while ranking # 1 in aggressiveness (he's also got under heavy falls and one Number of injuries suffered recipient). Tagovailoa receives a defense in Las Vegas that has been shredded for the most yards per game at home this season (6.4). So it's worth starting in week 16.
Agholor has the fourth highest air yards per game for the last month and it's safe to project more volume as the Raiders are likely to drop a lot of points and the Dolphins absolutely shut off the opposing back.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
Start at DFS: Jarvis Landry (US $ 20)
Sitting: All jets
Adjusted for the schedule, the Jets were one of the toughest opponents for fantasy backs, and Landry has been in the top 10 goal percentage (28%) since Odell Beckham Jr.'s injury. This included a three-game stretch of ruined temporary attacks in the wind. Landry is a must for the entire season and is underpaid in DFS as a clear alpha in what is probably the best improved offensive in football.
The Jets took their worst win in NFL history and will face a strong front in Cleveland on Sunday at one big disadvantage. Ty Johnson has flashed and looks interesting, but Frank Gore remains entrenched as a New York feature. Right now, you can't trust a jet in fantasy formations.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
Start: Giovani Bernard, Keke Coutee
Bernard dominated Snap Share and Touch in the Bengals backfield last week, and on Sunday he is given a Texan defense that allows the second most Fantasy Points to run back this season. Bernard only has $ 13 on Yahoo DFS and may be extra busy this week if Tyler Boyd (Concussion) is unavailable.
Coutee continues to serve as a full-time slot receiver in Houston, and Sunday holds up well against a weak Bengali defense, with an opportunity to see additional targets if Duke Johnson goes down.
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sit: T.Y. Hilton, Steelers D / ST
Hilton has historically been quieter outdoors, and he gets a cheered Pittsburgh team that lost three games. The Steelers' D have allowed the third smallest yards per game (4.5) in that three game time span, making them an incredibly tough matchup, especially for receivers. Hilton is preferred on fantasy benches this week.
Pittsburgh's defense played well enough throughout the team's defeat, but they benefited from an incredibly favorable schedule with weak opposing quarterbacks. On Sunday they get Philip Rivers (who got 7.8 YPA while taking just eight sacks over seven street games this season) and one of the hottest running backs in football. Pittsburgh has been one of the best fantasy defense mechanisms this season, but week 16 you can do better.
Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Mitch Trubisky
Sitting: DJ Chark
Trubisky has been way better than expected since recapturing Chicago's QB duties (and surprisingly number 2 for aggressiveness this season), and this week he's getting a Jacksonville secondary that has been shredded for most touchdowns (31) , the highest YPA (8.3). and the second most popular fantasy points for QBs this season. The Jaguars Defense is IR-filled, and the organization's focus is now on keeping the number 1 on the 2021 draft.
Mitchell Trubisky has played great over the past few weeks, to the surprise of many. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)
Chark had a top 55 ADP on Yahoo but it starts on Sunday after hitting 100 yards just once all season and not scoring a goal since week 9. Jacksonville continues to get a shaky QB game no matter who starts (something you might not be able to say another decade for), and Chicago has ceded its fourth-smallest fantasy points to wideouts this season.
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Football Team
Sitting: Curtis Samuel
Start: Logan Thomas
Samuel was still very involved last week but has to strive for goals with both DJ Moore and Robby Anderson and receives a tough defense in Washington which earns the second lowest Fantasy Points for the slot this season.
Thomas has had a huge PPR game (13-101) and has been valuable in fantasy leagues for a month. He's a must in an extremely thin TE position regardless of who starts quarterback for Washington this week.
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
Sitting: Evan Engram, Marquise Brown
Engram has impressive training metrics and continues to see good volume, but he ranks 38th on fantasy points per goal. So he was a disappointment (if not a broke) despite overcoming the odds by staying healthy. He's not a great fantasy option this week en route to a Ravens Secondary who only allows 6.6 YPA and either Colt McCoy or an immobile Daniel Jones throwing at him.
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Brown has been productive for the last month, but he's had some TD luck and is mostly shadowed by James Bradberry on Sunday. More worrying is the likelihood that the ravens will run away with this one with their defense and quick attack. Brown is therefore worth considering sitting on a bench during championship week.
Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs
Start: Russell Gage, Mecole Hardman
Gage will either continue to see more action outside with Julio Jones seated, or he will return to the slot where KC was injured for the second most fantasy points last month. The Hawks are going to toss a ton given the situation (don't start over with Ito Smith here) and Gage should benefit from that.
Hardman is more of a flier (or DFS tournament game) but he saw nine targets last week and took third place in the air yards (152). On Sunday, he receives a defense in Atlanta that gives most receivers the most Fantasy Points this season. Kansas City has the highest implied total this week, and Tyreek Hill missed training dealing with a hamstring injury (and Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out) so Hardman is asleep.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
Start at DFS: Drew Lock (25 USD), Austin Ekeler (28 USD)
Lock has proven he's not Denver's future at quarterback this season, but he's a Superflex and / or cheap DFS option ($ 25) in a game that should go fast this week. Lock has seen his YPA rise while completing 10 touchdowns over six street games this season, and the Chargers have given quarterbacks the ninth most fantasy points.
It seems like Ekeler only scored four goals last week after scoring a total of 34 goals in their last three games. While it would be better if LA could run the block more effectively (and have a different head coach), it's still a strong DFS start against a crumbling Broncos defense that has been quietly in the most yards per game for the past three weeks the NFL has ceded.
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Start: Darrell Henderson
Sitting: Russell Wilson
Henderson is a gamble after not hitting a snap after halftime last week, but he has an advantage with Cam Akers. Malcolm Brown might be an issue, but Henderson is the more explosive back, and the Rams could easily hide Jared Goff, who relies heavily on their quick attack, compared to a Seattle defense that has played far better off pass lately Has. Henderson is risky, but a definite opportunity to fly during a week of question marks walking backwards.
After 14 touchdowns in the first three games of the season, Wilson was forced to a TD throw in three of his last four games. Seattle has also stopped letting him boil and has inexplicably gotten more bottom-heavy, and this week they're getting a Rams defense that allows the fewest fantasy points for quarterbacks and the fewest yards per game this season (and a half yard less than any other team in the past three weeks). The right alternative would be needed here, of course, but Wilson deserves a consideration on the bench in this slow matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Start at DFS: Jalen Hurts ($ 28)
Start: Michael Gallup
I put Hurts in the DFS category because otherwise it would be too obvious as I ranked him as one of the top 5 fantasy QBs this week. He has impressed both as a passerby and a runner on his first two starts, including ending up as the # 1 QB of the Fantasy last week. Hurts gets a friendly defense in Dallas during championship week, and he could be the biggest differentiator in the fantasy playoffs this year.
Gallup was on his way to a nice game last week before leaving with a hip injury. He is expected to return on Sunday in a favorable setup against an Eagles defense that has put the most fantasy points on his primary side over the last month.
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
Start at DFS: Corey Davis (US $ 20), Aaron Jones (US $ 32)
Weather could be an issue here, but the sum (56.5) suggests a number of points should be scored. Davis is healthier than the more expensive A.J. Brown ($ 27) and he's a top 20 fantasy WR at week 16.
Jones has a case of being number 1 in Fantasy RB this week, with Jamaal Williams potentially out. Green Bay has one of the highest implied totals this week and faces a generous defense in Tennessee that has allowed the seventh highest fantasy points this season to run back. Jones is $ 7 cheaper than Derrick Henry, and he's seen his YPC jump from 3.9 to 6.6 in Green Bay this year.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Start: Invoices D / ST
Sitting: Cam Newton
Buffalo's defense wasn't as good as expected, but the team's great offensive should deliver a cheap script Monday night. That should matter against Cam Newton, who has a home ratio of 2: 8 TD: INT with 13 sacks (and two fumbles) this season. The QB has produced zero touchdowns with more than 3 sacks in three of their last four games, and NE is stepping in as a touchdown underdog Monday night.
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