Week 16 Start & Sit

We made it! Here we are, the end of the road with the finish line in sight. Week 16 is finally upon us with most fantasy leagues coming to a close except for the true degenerates out there who play in leagues that use week 17. You know who you are and you need help. Anyway, hopefully, you’ve had a successful run this year and after this weekend you can have some additional bragging rights over your friends & co-workers, and even better, a little more cash in your pockets post-Christmas. It’s been a pleasure to pump out these picks for you each week, hopefully, they helped you along the way, and if not, we hope they at least gave you other options to think about when setting your lineups.

In this space we usually cover the Las Vegas betting lines in depth, looking at which games to focus on and avoid based on Vegas’ projections. With so few teams still playing meaningful fantasy games, we’ll scale it back just a bit this week with more of a general approach.

3 games this week look like games to specifically target players in, and oddly enough they all have roughly the same numbers. Tampa at New Orleans, The Panthers hosting the Flacons and the Colts at the Raiders all have an over under (O/U) of somewhere between 52 & 53.5 and all the favorites (Saints, Falcons & Raiders) are picked to win by 2.5 to 3.5. Basically, we’re looking at the same projected outcome among the 3 highest scoring contests, a 28 to 25 win. All 3 should be high scoring, close games and you should try to get as many players from these teams in your lineups as possible.

On the other end of the spectrum 3 games stand out as potential duds, with the 49ers/Rams game and the Bengals/Texans game joining forces with the usual Thursday snooze fest, this week featuring the Giants & Eagles all looking at an O/U around 41 with the favorites laying between 1-3 points. Even worse is the Sunday night game, where the Chiefs host the Broncos with an expected total of only 37.5. Aside from team defenses or IDP players, all four of these games and 8 of these teams should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

A quick peek at some of the bigger favorites, the Patriots are 16.5 point favorites over the Jets, so expect the Pats to jump out to a big lead early and grind the game out with LeGarrette Blount, while the Jets play catch-up through the air. The Seahawks are 8.5 point favorites at home against the division rival Cardinals, so expect to see a decent day out of Thomas Rawls grinding out the clock in this one. And on Monday night, the Lions are a 7 point underdog to the Cowboys in Dallas. It’s only one score so it might be closer most of the game, but I can see a game script where Detroit just can’t run and Dallas uses their ground game to keep the ball away from the Lions.

Featured Starts:

Quarterback: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans. It’s been a bad couple of fantasy weeks for Mariota. But don’t be afraid to start him this week to win your championship game. He’s 6th in fantasy points, 8th in passing TDs and you can’t forget about his mobility – he’s 3rd in QB rushing yards. This week he’s going off on the Jags. – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running back: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears. Howard should be able to continue his hot streak and exploit the Redskins run defense which ranks 26th in efficiency per footballoutsiders.com. The emergence of Barkley has really helped the Bears offense as a whole but Howard has been one of the main beneficiaries. Howard is averaging 5.0 ypc and creating a ton of yardage on his own after contact. – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills. The game script should be favorable for both passing games in this match-up between the Bills and Dolphins. The Dolphins have shown that they can be beaten through the air recently, giving up big games to Kaepernick, Flacco, and most recently, Bryce Petty (it wasn’t that big of a game for Petty, but it was big for Bryce Petty. Alright guys?). When these teams played in Week 7, Tyrod threw for 221 and a score. Watkins wasn’t in that game, though, and because of that we saw Marquise Goodwin get 7 targets and Justin Hunter get 4 targets. If Sammy can get 8-10 targets this week, he’ll be a solid fantasy performer. – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: Daniel Brown, Chicago Bears. Brown has had to step into a starting role since the season-ending injury to Zach Miller and has filled in nicely. Matt Barkley’s lack of arm strength most likely has reduced the playbook and given greater target shares to guys like Brown, Cameron Meredith, and Deonte Thompson. Brown should be able to take advantage of Washington’s linebackers and secure low TE1 production. – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are hosting the awful 49ers, who I think would be beaten easily by the Browns. The ‘9ers have given up sacks in 12 of 14 games this season- and multiple sacks in 10 of those games. They’ve allowed 12 fumbles to be recovered by the opposing defense this season and have tossed 9 interceptions too. This San Fran team straight up sucks, no other way to put it, and then they’re on the road against a strong defensive team with a great D-line. If you’re streaming defenses, here ya go. – John DiBari @dibari22

IDP Starts: courtesy of our very own J.T. Maynard @FatAdamSchefter

LB – Corey Nelson or Todd Davis, Denver Broncos. If Brandon Marshall is still sidelined, you can’t go wrong with either.

Last Week:  Jamie Collins, Cleveland Browns. 11 points (Semi-solid) He was moved to OLB, with Davis moving inside

DB – Bradley McDougald, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints give up boatloads of points to defensive backs. Start him!

Last Week: Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers. 17 points (Solid!) Keep starting him, I am!

DL – Cam Wake, Miami Dolphins. Going to ride his momentum!

Last Week: DeForest Buckner San Francisco 49ers. 12 points (Serviceable) 

Wildcard – Darren Lee, New York Jets. The pats give up a lot of points to the linebacker position. Lee and Harris should be busy!

Last Week: LB Denzel Perryman, San Diego Chargers. 9 points (Serviceable)

*My MFL IDP league records: Well, I got back to the championship in my main historical MFL keeper league. This will be my 3rd trip in 3 years to the bowl in this league against the same team I beat last year. I now hope to bring back to back titles home after this holiday weekend with this IDP lineup. . .

My IDP starting line-up for this week. (I lost Watt, Bowman & H. Smith also)

DT- Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Giants

DE-Leonard Williams, Jets

LB1- Paul “No Neck” Posluszny, Jags

LB2- Ramik Wilson, Chiefs

LB3- Corey Nelson, Broncos

CB- Artie Burns, Steelers

S- Keanu Neal, Falcons

S- Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers

So please if you need any IDP advice, hit me up! GOOD LUCK, and May the Fantasy Football Gods bless you!!!

Follow me on Twitter @FatAdamSchefterI will be on before the games if you have any questions about your IDP lineups! Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

Featured Sits:

Quarterback: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are a team in coaching turmoil. Simply put, I’m not willing to count on garbage-time TDs to balance out the bad decisions and pick-6 work of Blake Bortles. I hope you have a better option this week. – Jeremy Browand @DFF_Madman

Running back: Terrence West, Baltimore Ravens. It’s very hard to rely on West at this point. He’s on an every other week type of schedule production wise. This just happens to be his “Down” week since he put up 16 points in his last outing. Not that any of that really predicts how he will look against the Steelers but he had a total of 27 yards on 16 touches the last time these two teams faced off. With Kenneth Dixon taking some reps away from West, I would consider him to be a sit this week. – Lawrence Chaney @pacificscouting

Wide Receiver: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks. Before this past week against the Rams, Doug Baldwin hadn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 10 against the Patriots (a game in which he was in the end zone three times). His only other touchdowns came in week 1 and week 3. He’s been consistent in his number of receptions, but his ceiling is limited. He’ll probably catch 7 passes for 60 yards like he has all this season, but it’s the dynamic Tyler Lockett who I expect to continue to shine and make the big plays for this offense. – Eric Iannaccone @pprranks

Tight End: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills. Clay been a low-end TE2 for the season and has cracked the TE1 threshold a few times. He has six 5 reception games this season so any amount of yardage accumulation thrusts him close to double-digit points in a PPR league. I don’t think Clay will hit those numbers this week as Miami plays the position well and limited his production in week 7 this year when they only allowed him 2 receptions for 29 yards. – Shaun Crandall @WhiskeyD0G

Defense/Special Teams: New York Jets. On the road, second year QB in only his 5th start going up against Bill Belichick, uh, no thank you. They’re going to stuff the run and make Petty beat them, and he won’t. – John Di Bari @dibari22


Staff Starts:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

Tight End: Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots

Team Defense: New England Patriots


Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Wide Receiver: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots

Tight End: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Team Defense: Kansas City Chiefs


Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Running Back: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

Tight End: Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers

Team Defense: Tennessee Titans


Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Running Back: Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins

Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Team Defense: Dallas Cowboys


John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Running Back: Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wide Receiver: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

Tight End: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers


Staff Sits:

Jeremy Browand: @DFF_Madman

Running Back: Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions

Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets

Tight End: Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

Team Defense: Detroit Lions


Lawrence Chaney: @pacificscouting

Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wide Receiver:  Devante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Tight End: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Team Defense: Green Bay Packers


Eric Iannaccone: @pprranks

Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Running Back: Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks

Tight End: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Team Defense: Minnesota Vikings


Shaun Crandall: @WhiskeyD0G

Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

Running Back: Lamar Miller, Houston Texans

Wide Receiver: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

Team Defense: Los Angeles Rams


John Di Bari: @dibari22

Quarterback: Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Running Back: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wide Receiver: Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs

Tight End: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks


Last week’s record:

Whelp, another 29-21 weekend under our belts. It’s less than ideal, but it’s still a winning record. It’s been a helluva season, and for many of us, this was our first time doing weekly picks. That being said I think we’ve held our own. We’ve tried to stay away from more obvious picks most of the year (start Tom Brady at home against the Saints or bench Justin Hardy against the Broncos type of stuff), which makes it a little more challenging, so hopefully you found our suggestions helpful in that regard. Of interest to us doing the start-sit all season, for the first time all year, Jeremy was bumped from the top spot among our rankers by Shaun. It’s still close with 2 weeks to go any of us can be the leader after next weekend.

Good luck in week 16! If you’re reading this you either are in a championship game or you have sick fantasy football addiction, either way, thank you for reading! Hopefully, our start-sit options have helped you out throughout the season and were of some assistance getting you into your league’s playoffs and eventually the championship game. If you play in a league that uses week 17, you’re a sick person and you need help, but we’ll be here next week to give you some options. Have a winning fantasy weekend and enjoy the holiday festivities as well. Special thank you to the weekly team here at DFF who have helped me put together all of our weekly content this season: Jeremy, Lawrence, Eric, Shaun, Rick, JT, Shane & KJ.  Your work has been very appreciated over the last 16 weeks.



Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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