Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 16

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 16

Narrower Playoff Fields

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! Week 16 takes fantasy teams a step deeper into the fantasy playoffs and raises the stakes. Lineup decisions are as crucial as ever as you play your must-starts and tinker with your flex plays. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, Start Sit Week 16 gives guidance on setting your lineups. Good luck!


Start: Baker Mayfield

With a 381-yard, four-touchdown performance in Week 15, Baker Mayfield had his second-consecutive top-12 QB finish. Mayfield averages 17.1 (No. 17) Fantasy Points Per Game and has put it together with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and the Buccaneers offense lately. The Bucs get a matchup against the Jaguars in Week 16.

The Jags have allowed over 300 passing yards in three of their last four games, a stretch that includes seven touchdowns to two interceptions by opposing QBs. Injuries in the Jags’ secondary have hampered the defense overall and put pressure on the pass rush. Mayfield likes to air it out, averaging 8.7 (No. 5) Air Yards Per Attempt. Expect him to connect with his receivers often against a defense allowing the fifth-most passing fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Start Baker this week.

Sit: Sam Howell

The Washington offense continues to be a high-volume passing attack, though they haven’t scored more than 20 points the last four weeks. They face a limiting Jets offense that is allowing under 190 passing yards per game this season. The Jets secondary is averaging more than one interception per game and has been the strength of the team all season. Sam Howell has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback on the season, but has failed to reach 130 passing yards in back-to-back games. Howell has relied on volume and scoring opportunities this season, but expect this to be a low-scoring affair between a pair of bad teams. Facing a tough matchup, Howell is a sit in Week 16.

Running Back

Start: Roschon Johnson

The Bears have employed a committee backfield for most of the season, with three backs rotating in and out. Rookie Roschon Johnson’s usage has been up and down. He most recently got nine touches and produced 60 yards in Week 15. On the season, Johnson is seeing a 35.0-percent (No. 50) Snap Share, limiting his opportunities. However, he has produced 0.82 (No. 23) Fantasy Points Per Opportunity and 4.9 (No. 17) Yards Per Touch.

Johnson capitalizes on his opportunities, which he will get against the Cardinals. Opposing running backs are top-five in fantasy points – both receiving and rushing – against Arizona this season. Backs facing the Cardinals have averaged over 26 carries and five targets per game. With Johnson earning a larger slice of the pie, he is a high-upside flex play and a start this week.

Sit: Tony Pollard

Based on where he was drafted, Tony Pollard has not hit his expected fantasy production. He has dipped to flex play consideration and is closer to a sit than a start this week. The Cowboys face a fast Dolphins team with the potential get Tyreek Hill back. It will be a Game Script that will favor CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and company. A few checkdowns and limited rushing opportunities will go to Pollard while Dak Prescott pushes the ball down field on the high end of his 7.9 (No. 4) Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. Given the Game Script and against a defense allowing under four yards per carry, Pollard is a sit this week.

Wide Receiver

Start: Gabe Davis

Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis has had a volatile season, with three top-12 finishes and seven outside the top-60. However, if there was any time for him to swing back into start territory, a matchup against the Chargers is as good as any. A coaching change may bring the fire back for the Bolts, but this is a defense that just allowed 63 points to the Raiders. There are problems that won’t disappear from the defense immediately, and with an offense starting Easton Stick, the Bills are favored. Davis is in line to get his in a high-opportunity offensive environment for the Bills in Week 16. Fire him up for a positive pendulum swing this week.

Sit: Jakobi Meyers

After putting up zero points in Week 14, the Raiders went out and dropped 63 points on the Chargers in Week 15. Jakobi Meyers has remained a steady part of the offense, with seven catches on ten targets and a touchdown in the Raiders’ last two. However, he has seen a decrease in usage since Josh McDaniels’ dismissal.

From four double-digit target games in the first six games to none in the last seven, Meyers’ role has shrunk as the offense adjusts around Aidan O’Connell. He now gets an opponent in the Chiefs allowing the eight-least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Meyers has operated as the definitive WR2 behind Davante Adams, who has 22 targets in the last two games. Facing a solid Chiefs secondary and behind a target hog in Adams, Meyers is a sit.

Tight End

Start: Pat Freiermuth

With the shifting quarterbacks in the Steelers offense, Pat Freiermuth has exactly three receptions in each of the last three games. He’ll have a chance to rack up targets against the Bengals this week. Cincy is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. They have yielded at least 10 targets to tight ends in each of their last four games. Mason Rudolph is expected to start for the Steelers, and Freiermuth is set to be his target over the middle of the field. With the heart of the Bengals defense being soft, Freiermuth is poised to get easier looks from Rudolph and rack up yardage. Start Freiermuth in Week 16.

Sit: Dallas Goedert

Sadly, the Eagles offense has not hit the same as last season. With consistency issues plaguing the offense, Dallas Goedert has fallen from his weekly-start pedestal. He is just coming back from a multi-week injury and has scored double-digit points twice in 10 games this season.

The Eagles face the Giants, who aren’t the best defense, but are in the bottom-half of the league in fantasy points allowed to tight ends this season. A running Game Script is expected for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense, giving more rushing opportunities to Hurts and D’Andre Swift. Goedert has become the fourth option in the offense, with little red zone usage. Sit him this week against the Giants.

Ring Watch

Week 16 is the semifinal week for most fantasy leagues. A matchup for the championship is right around the corner and the slightest lineup decision can make or break a team’s chances. Good luck, and enjoy both the fantasy and NFL playoff push!

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