FANTASY PLAYS: Players to start and sit for NFL Week 16
The championship week is here. Fifteen weeks of ups, downs, waiver gems and first-round draft flops have got the smartest owners to win it all. The work is not done yet, however, as the task of putting together another winners line-up begins on Christmas Day when Vikings-Saints week 16 begins.
For those who didn't make it to the title game, this week is extra motivation to put together a successful line-up for 2021 when the draft season kicks off in just eight months.
START: Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles: Hurts is already a must in its third start. He has made four continuous touchdown passes in 74 attempts, adding 169 rushing yards and a score in the process. He has a great opportunity to get fantasy owners across the finish line when he takes on a Cowboys defense that has the ninth worst fantasy points per game, the quarterbacks on their way to the second highest total score (433) in the league oppose.
SIT: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: This is not the time to trust Big Ben to return to the early season, not after averaging 178.5 meters in his last two games to allow three interceptions complete. The Colts' pass defense has had problems lately, but it still ranks sixth in the fewest fantasy points per game allowed opposing quarterbacks. Pittsburgh's reception group has not yet shaken their penchant for filing passports, all the more reason to leave Roethlisberger out of the running.
START: David Montgomery, RB, Bears: In the last four games, Montgomery has 434 yards and five quick touchdowns, numbers that have brought many fantasy teams into championship week. There is little reason to believe Montgomery will slow down this week, not against a Jaguar defense that has the fourth worst fantasy points per game, allowing them to take on running backs and give up 18 touchdowns on the ground.
SIT: Mike Davis, RB, Panthers: If Christian McCaffery isn't playing, Davis is up for another start. It also means fantasy owners should shy away from him, as Davis was only 61 meters from the precipice in week 15 with the Packers. The Washington encounter, which awards the third-longest fantasy points per game against running backs, makes Davis a clear seat for fantasy owners.
START: Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans: Cooks hasn't scored since week 9 but has been targeted at least five times in every game since week 5. He's overdue for a big outing and should be able to do so against a Bengals secondary that has enabled 19 touchdown passes this season for opposing wideouts.
SIT: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks: He hasn't scored a goal in three of his last four games and was kept at 61 yards or fewer in four of his last six games. Yes, Metcalf is certainly capable of a great week 16, but don't count on it as he faces a Rams defense that offers the stingiest fantasy points per game for opposing receivers and that also lock him up for 28 yards on four targets 10 victory over Seattle in one week.
START: Tyler Eifert, TE, Jaguars: There is a certain risk here, as Eifert only had more than five goals in a game since week 5, but if you line up in the middle of Jacksonville, you have the chance to consistently against yourself with Eifert a to join Bears Defense, which has allowed 10 touchdown passes for TEs this season and has the third worst fantasy points per game against opposing bottlenecks.
SIT: Evan Engram, TE, Giants: Engram peaked in Week 12 with a 129 yard excursion and has faded since then. In the last three games, only 10 yards were administered at 10 receptions. As long as Colt McCoy starts at the quarterback, his numbers could continue to be mediocre. And it doesn't help Engram's cause to face a strong Ravens pass defense that leads the league in lightning percentages.
START: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers: Brady completed a 390 yard performance with two TDs against the Falcons last week and is given another opportunity to reward his fantasy owners when faced with a Lions defense going against Opposing QBs occupy fourth worst place allow 29 touchdown passes.
SIT: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings: Cousins' multiple touchdown passes in six of their last seven games have helped their fantasy owners, but it's time to get off the cousins bandwagon as he's dealing with a pass save Saints grapple has allowed the fourth smallest yards in the league and also ranks fourth as a percentage of total QB pressure.
START: Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys: Despite having his worst start of the season in week 15, Cooper has a good choice to recover as he faces the Eagles against a Eagles defense last week. Cooper had scored in three consecutive games prior to Week 15 and should benefit from a high target volume from QB Andy Dalton.
SIT: D'Andre Swift, RB, Lions: The rookie has scored three goals in his last two games but has the unfortunate job of producing solid fantasy numbers against a Buccaneers defense that the league has allowed in the fewest rushing yards allowed and returns tops a league low of 3.4 yards per carry. Tampa Bay is just as stingy when it comes to allowing quick touchdowns, giving up only nine this season.
START: Zack Moss, RB, Bills: Moss reached his season best with 81 rushing yards in week 15 against the Broncos. Despite sharing with Devin Singletary, Moss has a tremendous chance of not only starting a five-game skid that doesn't score a frenzied touchdown, but also approaching 100 yards against a Patriots defense which is the sixth most frequent yards in the league.
SIT: Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans: He hasn't received 61 yards since Week 3 and hasn't scored a goal in three of his last four games. These are numbers that fantasy owners don't want in championship week. So hold Smith against a Packers defense that ranks fourth on the fewest fantasy points allowed per game against tight ends.
This column was made available to The Associated Press by SportsGrid Inc., www.sportsgrid.com
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