FFStatistics Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Week 16
Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Week 16
Welcome all fantasy football faithful, to week 16, or Championship Weekend for most leagues. If your team has made it this far, congratulations. Making it to the big game is a difficult task. Being keen on the waiver wire, aggressive trading, and nailing the start or sit decisions all play a big role in success.
This weekly article aims to deliver solid lineup advice based on statistical and matchup analysis for who to start and who to sit. Remember to not try to get too cute with roster decisions. Your studs got you here, let them close it out. Here we are going to focus on the middle-range players that will be reliable starting options and which ones should be avoided.
Start: Ryan Tannehill vs New Orleans
Since week 10, Tannehill is the QB8 overall. His 11 touchdown passes tie him for sixth among his peers during that time. His three rushing touchdowns are good enough for second among quarterbacks during that same span. What has made Tannehill so productive is his reliable volume passing and his ability to add yards with his legs.
The Saints are allowing the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Since week 10 only one quarterback has failed to throw multiple touchdowns against them. The Saints are going to hang some points on the board, forcing Tannehill to look downfield more often. This game has shootout potential.
Tannehill is once again, a top-10 option at the position. He is reliable in single quarterback leagues and a must-start in Superflex formats.
Start: Jameis Winston vs Houston
Bum thumb and throwing tennis balls at practice apparently is not enough to slow down Jameis Winston. The gunslinger followed this same routine leading up to week 15’s matchup where he threw for 458 yards and four scores. The concern some fantasy managers may be facing is how well will he perform minus Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller? It is a fair question. The Bucs have a poor run game and Deshaun Watson and company should be able to score against a weak secondary. Jameis will come out doing what Jameis does, throw the football. A lot.
The Texans secondary is not just beatable, they have been eviscerated lately. They are allowing the third-most production to fantasy quarterbacks. They have allowed 12 passing touchdowns since week 11. Once again, expect big numbers garnished with a couple of turnovers from Jameis this week.
Sit: Kirk Cousins vs Green Bay
Once again, Kirk Cousins has seen up and down production this season. The last three games have been less than stellar, despite two of the three ending with wins. In his last three games, Cousins has four total touchdowns and two picks. With Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both questionable, he may have more attempts than he has had the last several weeks. However, this week they face a Packers defense that is allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Cousins is a safer start in two-quarterback leagues but is just outside of QB1 territory for single-quarterback leagues.
Start: Marlon Mack vs. Carolina
The Colts looked simply abysmal against the Saints in a Week 15 matchup that almost ended as a shutout. Jacoby Brissett did not look particularly sharp and Marlon Mack faced an incredibly tough run defense in that game. Mack finished with 19 scoreless yards on 11 carries.
For week 16, Mack goes from one of the toughest run defenses to the easiest. Yes, the rumor is true, the Panthers are allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season, including 26 total touchdowns. Chris Carson obliterated this team in week 15 for 133 yards and two scores in week 15. Expect Frank Reich to stroll into this game with a run-heavy approach, which is what Mack needs as he offers almost nothing from a receiving standpoint.
Mack is in the fringe RB1 territory just in time for fantasy football finals.
Start: Austin Ekeler vs Oakland
Los Angeles Chargers multi-purpose running back Austin Ekeler has been very consistent for fantasy production this season. His 500 rushing yards and three scores are not exciting by themselves. When mixed in with 892 receiving yards and eight more touchdowns, the whole package becomes much more enticing. His 91 targets are third among the position and his 892 receiving yards leads all other running backs.
The Raiders are only allowing the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs. However, Ekeler remains game-script proof with his ability to run between the tackles or line up wide. Consider him an RB2 option with scoring upside for this matchup.
Sit: Sony Michel vs Buffalo
Sony Michel has had a disappointing season for fantasy owners. He has failed to exceed 91 rushing yards in any contest this season and has 18 total targets. His six scores have kept him somewhat relevant, but otherwise, he has been disappointing to own this season. He is averaging 3.6 yards-per-carry this season.
If we were to compare last season’s stats to this season, we would notice a discernable downward trend. In 13 games last season, Michel had 931 rushing yards on 209 carries with six touchdowns. In 14 games this season, he has 742 yards on 208 carries and six touchdowns. He has not broken the 100-yard mark in any game this season and has almost zero appeal as a pass-catcher.
Since week 11 he has seen five or fewer carries in two games, The Bills are allowing the 13th fewest fantasy points to the position and have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 10. Michel is an RB3/Flex option, at best, in non-ppr formats this week. Sit him if other options are available.
Start: Tyler Boyd vs Miami
Tyler Boyd has had some up and down production this season. There are not many ways to sugar coat how laughably awful the Bengals have been. Still, with Andy Dalton back under center, Boyd has been back on the map for fantasy production, when they are not playing the Patriots that is. He has had two touchdowns in the last four weeks and outside of Joe Mixon is the only fantasy-relevant player on this roster.
Heading into Miami this week, Boyd has back-end WR2 appeal against a defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points to receivers.
Start: Breshad Perriman vs Houston
The name so many people are recently enamored with, Breshad Perriman. Perriman was one of the hottest waiver wire targets this week and once acquired, is one of the most questioned start or sit decisions.
Let’s face it, it is do-or-die, win-or-go-home in most fantasy leagues this week. Can Perriman be trusted in the biggest game of the season?
Yes, he can be started but do not get cute about it. Fantasypros expert consensus rank has him as the WR19 this week, which is in WR2 territory. That might be a little high for a guy who only had six targets last week. In all fairness, he turned those six targets into 113 yards and three touchdowns. Is he going to do that again? Doubtful. However, the opportunity will be there. After losing Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller all down with hamstring injuries, Perriman is the next man up. He can be penciled in for 7-9 targets in a beatable matchup against the Texans. Would it truly shock anyone if O.J. Howard hulked out and had a career game this week? Not really. In deeper leagues, SPARQ phenom Justin Watson could show up for a big game.
What we know is that Jameis Winston is going to come out throwing. Perriman is the most likely target and has a chance at scoring again. He should be in lineups, but should not be expected to repeat last week’s heroics.
Sit: John Brown vs. New England
John Brown put up 99 yards on 10 targets against the Steelers in week 15. It was a good effort in a bad matchup. Brown has actually been very good this season. He has posted career highs in targets, receptions, and receiving yards this season.
This week, Brown draws the attention of Stephon Gilmore who has also had an incredible season. Gilmore shut down Amari Cooper, held DeAndre Hopkins to 47 scoreless yards, and intercepted two passes intended for Tyler Boyd.
Brown is a good receiver and quick enough to stretch the field. But, it will be tough sledding against the Patriots this week.
Start: Jared Cook vs. Tennessee
There are actually quite a few good plays at tight end this week. Jared Cook is easily one of my favorites. While he did not cross the chalk in week 15 during the record-breaking clinic that Drew Brees invited Monday Night Football fans to, he still came down with 54 yards on four targets. Cook strolls into week 16 with six touchdowns, tying his career-high with two games left. The Titans allow the 10th most fantasy points to the position and have allowed two scores over the last four weeks. Cook is in the TE1 mix for this matchup.
Sit: Greg Olsen vs. Indianapolis
Greg Olsen is coming off of a concussion. While it makes sense to have him present for Will Grier’s first career start, it is also part of the reason to avoid starting him in lineups this week. No one is sure what to expect of Grier and Olsen is looking like the older tight end that he is. He has not scored since his two-touchdown game way back in week three.
Hopefully, teams that are playing for their respective championships are not left wondering whether or not to put him in their lineups.
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