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Fantasy Football: Start ‘em, sit ‘em for Week 16

Questionable fantasy football advice every Tuesday morning

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

As fantasy football playoffs continue, owners might be looking for one or two changes to get them over the hump. Here we’ll try to point out a few good options for potential last-minute starts or waiver wire claims, while also telling you who to stay away from.

First, let’s check out who had big fantasy performances in Week 15 (standard format):

1) RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals | 39.10 points

L2) QB 2) QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens | 37.08 points

3) QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 33.72 points

J3) QB | 33.72 points

4) RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers | 33.50 points

Here’s who you should start and sit, along with their projected points.

Who to start

P1) QB

1) QB Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Oakland) | 18.79 points

At this point most people already have a decent starter or starters at QB, but Rivers could be a good bet if you’re desperate. He goes up against a poor Raiders defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, averaging 22.35. I mean, the Raiders D has frankly been awful over the past six weeks.

Rivers has been typically hot and cold this year, but I can’t see Oakland’s D doing anything to stop him on Sunday.

2) WR Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. Detroit) | 14.33 points

I really think Detroit’s defense has totally thrown in the towel for Matt Patricia as we come to the end of the season. To let Jameis Winston look like an elite quarterback told me everything I need to know. The Lions have consistently been bad on D this year, and that won’t change against rookie Drew Lock and the Broncos.

Courtland Sutton is the undisputed number one passing option in the Broncos offense and he’s getting an unusually high prediction from I think the folks at Yahoo know that the Lions will give up ample passing yards to wide receivers.

3) RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Jacksonville) | 12.69 points

Devonta Freeman has been popular in this column. Two weeks ago I told you to start him (and he got 17 points). Last week I told you to sit him (he got just 5.5 points).

This week I’m telling you to start him.

Why? Because the Falcons are fired up after a huge win that put their season back to at least some respectability. Moreover, they’re playing against a Jaguars defense that has, at times, totally thrown in the towel this season.

The Jaguars are also the second-worst defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, averaging over 26 points per game. I suspect Freeman will get you points.

Who to sit

1) QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots (vs. Buffalo) | 16.72 points

It sure is a weird day when we tell you not to lean on the GOAT, but I think the Patriots will finally lose to the Bills this Saturday. The Bills defense is playing great football and the team is highly motivated to finally take down Brady and the Pats. Will my prediction ultimately come true? Who knows.

But one thing we do know is that the Bills defense allows the third-fewest points to opposing QBs. For that reason I’m sitting Brady.

2) WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (vs. Kansas City) | 10.22 points

I understand you’re not clamoring to start a member of the vaunted Bears offense, so I hope to simply emphasize that anyone not named Allen Robinson II should not be started. The Chiefs currently allow just 22 points per game to opposing WRs, good for second best in the entire NFL.

3) RB Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (vs. New England) | 10.47 points

Yes, I’m calling a gutsy Bills win against the evil Patriots, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be a great fantasy day for anyone. I don’t see Devin Singletary breaking more than 9 points against a Patriots defense that has been the best against multiple position groups for large parts of the season.

Their defense is the best against opposing running backs, so it won’t be easy for the rookie Singletary (who has had a good season).

Let’s see how my picks did last week (actual fantasy points):


1) QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (vs. Arizona) | 17.98 points

2) WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (vs. Tampa Bay) | 5.90 points

3) RB C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Carolina Panthers) | 3.00 points


1) QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. LA Chargers) | 12.68 points

2) WR Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos (vs. Kansas City) | 9.90 points

3) RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. San Francisco) | 6.50 points