Fantasy Football: Week 16 Starts And Sits
By Pat Pitts
It’s the final week of the Fantasy Football season for everyone who plays in a normal fantasy league. A Week 17 championship is poor decision making by your commissioner. So for the final time in 2020, let’s get into who belongs in your starting lineup to help you hoist your trophy and who should be riding the bench as you rise to glory.
Tom Brady @ DET
Brady waltzes into Detroit this week fresh off a comeback win against the Falcons where he threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions won’t have Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell on Saturday, setting Brady up for great success against a bad Lions defense.
Josh Allen @ NE
The Bills may be the hottest team in football right now, and a lot of that has to do with the play of their MVP candidate under center. The Patriots do not have Stephon Gilmore which should make things even easier for Allen to move the ball down the field. He's locked in as a must start this week.
Jalen Hurts @ DAL
Even in a losing effort, Jalen Hurts looked phenomenal against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards and another score. Hurts matches up against the Cowboys in Week 16 with the NFC East still on the line. Hurts’ versatility gives him the chance to crack the QB1 conversation.
Tua Tagovailoa @ LV (SATURDAY)
The Raiders are missing key members of their defense and the Dolphins are fighting to clinch a Wild Card berth. Tagovailoa should be able to move the ball with ease and be a high-end QB2 with upside in Week 16.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt @ NYJ
The Browns are within reach of winning the AFC North and will have all hands on deck to knock off the one-win Jets. Start both of Cleveland’s RBs with confidence.
Tony Pollard vs PHI
Tony Pollard looked better last week than Zeke has all season, rushing for 69 yards and two touchdowns, as well as being heavily involved in the passing game. It looks like Zeke will be out again on Sunday, making Pollard a must start.
J.D. McKissic vs CAR
McKissic stepped up in a big way for the Washington Football Team in Week 15, tallying 107 total yards and a touchdown. With uncertainty at the QB position for Washington, McKissic should see a heavy workload against Carolina’s up and down run defense.
Derrick Henry @ GB
Henry is going to work his way into the MVP conversation this season and that campaign should continue on Sunday night against the Packers poor run defense. Henry has a shot to finish as the overall RB1 this week and should be locked in to your championship lineup.
Stefon Diggs @ NE
For all the reasons I mentioned to start Josh Allen, they are amplified for Stefon Diggs. Diggs leads the team in almost every category in the receiving game and with Stephon Gilmore out for New England, Diggs has a chance to go nuclear against the Bills division rival.
Justin Jefferson @ NO (FRIDAY)
Justin Jefferson has the most 100 yard receiving games out of any rookie this season. The Saints defensive backs will have their hands full covering the weapons on the Vikings offense, so fire up Jefferson as a potential Top-5 WR overall this week.
Amari Cooper vs PHI
The Eagles secondary is beyond injured coming into this game, giving Cooper a dream matchup in the fantasy football championship weekend. Cooper should be able to dominate and put up “vintage” Amari Cooper numbers.
Robert Tonyan vs TEN
Tonyan is the TE3 overall this fantasy season and continues to put up points week after week. Sunday night will be no different against a lackluster Titans defense. Ride with Tonyan on your way to a title.
Noah Fant @ LAC
Fant has averaged six targets per game over the last three weeks, including a quality game against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 where he caught eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Fant should be able to have his way against a below average Chargers defense.
Jared Cook vs MIN (FRIDAY)
With Michael Thomas out with injury and Drew Brees back in the fold, Cook has an opportunity to produce his fantasy managers a Christmas gift on Friday afternoon. Fire him up as a low-end TE1.
Ben Roethlisberger vs IND
Roethlisberger looked awful against the Bengals, throwing for only 170 yards with a pick and touchdown each. He’s thrown for under 200 yards in back to back weeks and has looked off of his game. The Steelers are home against a Colts team trying their hardest to make the playoffs, so Roethlisberger will be under pressure all night long. Don’t expect much out of him.
Matt Ryan @ KC
Matt Ryan may very well be without Julio Jones against the number one team in the NFL. In five games without Jones since 2019, Ryan averaged 30 less yards in the air than normal and threw three touchdowns to six interceptions. That won’t inspire much confidence against this Chiefs team.
Marcus Mariota @ MIA (SATURDAY)
Marcus Mariota has been thrown into a very difficult scenario, as he has to take over for the now injured Derek Carr during these crucial final weeks. He has extremely limited playing time this season and is coming up against a red-hot Miami defense. Keeping him on the bench would be a good idea.
Mike Davis @ WAS
Davis didn’t have a fantastic game against the Packers last week, don’t expect his luck to change vs a stronger run defense in the Washington Football Team. This defense has just been too strong against the run all season long, starting any running back against them is not a smart thing to do.
Todd Gurley @ KC
Gurley’s knee is acting up right in time for the biggest (fantasy) game of the year. He has been nonexistent the past few weeks, which leads me to believe we won’t see much of him for the rest of the season. Latavius Murray has more value than Gurley for your team.
Josh Jacobs vs MIA
A controversial pick for sure, but the Miami defense is just that strong. Jacobs has had an up and down season all year, especially against good defenses. He should have a quiet night vs the Dolphins.
Brandon Aiyuk @ ARI
Due to QB circumstances out of Aiyuk’s control, starting any 49ers wideout would be a bad move. The passing game just isn’t there to get a good point total out of their receivers, and they’re playing against a hungry Cardinals defense. The Niners offense is going to drop another dud this week.
Juju Smith-Schuster vs IND
The dances may be bringing bad Juju to the Steelers. Three straight losses in which Smith-Schuster only showed up in one. He’s coming off a game where he had 15 receiving yards and a fumble, with a tough Colts defense in his next game. A brutal way for him to end a contract year.
D.J. Chark vs CHI
The Jaguars QB carousel continues to be a mess and Chark has failed to get in a rhythm all season because of it. The Bears defense is the lone bright spot of their team this season, so stay away from starting someone that plays for a team in the hunt for the first overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
TJ Hockenson vs TB
The Lions are going to be without their Interim Head Coach on Sunday, making it too much of a risk to trust any Lions receiving options heading into your Championship matchup.
Evan Engram @ BAL
A controversial Pro-Bowler this year, Engram will probably lay a goose egg for your fantasy team against Baltimore as he’s done all season. Daniel Jones is questionable for the Giants this week, and Colt McCoy doesn’t do much to lead an offense. Keep him on the bench.
Eric Ebron vs IND
Ebron has been having an awful couple of weeks. Multiple drops against Washington and Buffalo led to no receptions against Cincinnati last week. The Indianapolis defense should have a field day against the Steelers offense, meaning Ebron will be locked up.
Best of luck this weekend as you do battle for glory in your leagues and the right to hoist the hardware. Tweet us your scores when they go final and pictures of your trophies. Bring it home!