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Week 16 Start_Sit: If You’re Not First, You’re Last

week 4 start_sit

Well, this is it folks. For most of you this is the last game you’ll play of Fantasy Football in 2018. It was a journey this year with all the coaching changes, injuries, busts, and surprises. I just want to say congratulations to all of you who made it to the championship, but your jobs aren’t over yet. In the words of one of the most well known race car drivers, Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” That is what Week 16 is all about, winning the championship.

In Week 15, there were multiple people who stunk it up last week. They range from Andrew Luck, Keenan Allen, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Tyreek Hill, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, Adam Thielen, and many others.

For the upcoming Week 16 games, we have to highlight some key storylines. Melvin Gordon will return, Baltimore could take over the AFC North, the L.A. Rams and New England Patriots look to be crumbling, and not to mention all of the different playoff scenarios.

As we look ahead towards some of the Start_Sit players that will be on the list, most will have great matchups, potential upside, have been struggling recently, or have poor matchups.

Please enjoy the last Start_Sit article of 2018.

Start

Quarterbacks

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Baker Mayfield, vs Cincinnati Bengals

If you’re looking for a Waiver Wire addition with one of the best matchups, then look no further. The Bengals are a shell of themselves due to their injuries on both sides of the ball. Only four weeks ago, these two teams met and Baker had his best game that week. He finished with over 250 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and no interceptions. I’d start Mayfield over Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, and Matthew Stafford in Week 16.

Russell Wilson, vs Kansas City Chiefs

After a few outstanding games, Wilson is looking like a viable Fantasy starter again. There has only been one game since Week 4, that Wilson hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns. I know that his yardage hasn’t been high, but he makes up for it with his efficiency. A matchup against a bottom three pass defense can’t be passed up. Russell has top five upside and needs to be started in your lineups.

Running Backs

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Marlon Mack, vs New York Giants

Mack had his best game in five weeks and he has an outstanding matchup this week. In Week 15, Tennessee’s RB, Derrick Henry, lit up that defense with 170 rushing yards and two scores. If you look back, since Week 8, there have been five different backs who have over 100 total yards and they have a combined seven total touchdowns. Mack will look to have similar success as these previous RB’s and has RB1 upside.

Derrick Henry, vs Washington Redskins

I will be the first one to admit, I was wrong about sitting Henry last week. This week, I’m pulling the trigger and put him as a starter. Just a couple weeks ago, Giants’ Saquon Barkley ran for 170 yards and that is good news for Derrick. Over the last three weeks, he has seven touchdowns and heading into Week 16 he’ll look to continue his breakout.

Wide Receivers

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Amari Cooper, vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It wasn’t just Cooper who disappointed in Week 15, but the whole Dallas team. This is a prime bounce-back game for the former Oakland Raider. Since joining the Cowboys, he has been one of if not the hottest receivers. Tampa Bay has given up 19 touchdowns receivers, five receivers have over 100 yards, seven surpassed 90 receiving yards, nine WR’s had 80 or more receiving yards, and finally 12 receivers were over 70 yards. You can’t argue the numbers here, Cooper is ready for a top 15 performance.

Robby Anderson, vs Green Bay Packers

With a two game streak of reaching the end zone, makes Robby a strong Flex or WR3 option. It is becoming evident the relationship between Anderson and Sam Darnold is growing. On top of two consecutive games with scoring a touchdown, he has a three game streak of seven or more targets. He could see additional targets against Green Bay if it turns into a shootout with Aaron Rodgers. Don’t be afraid to take a risk on Anderson because he has so much potential and upside.

Tight Ends

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Eric Ebron, vs New York Giants

Last Sunday, Ebron had his second worst game of 2018, but he has a tremendous matchup this week. Some TE’s have found success playing against the Giants in 2018. There have been eight different players to surpass 43 receiving yards. Even with his quad injury, I’m still confident with having Ebron in my starting lineup.

George Kittle, vs Chicago Bears

It seems like the San Francisco’s only reliable player is this top five TE. If you look back at his last eight games, he has over 50 receiving yards in seven of them. In that time frame, Kittle has been the second best player at that position. There have been many injuries to that 49ers’ offense and Kittle is the only San Francisco player that is safe start. Regardless of his matchup this week, he is a TE1.

Defenses

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Los Angeles Rams, @ Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles have lost two straight, but this game against arguably the worst offense in the NFL is just what the doctor ordered. On the season, Arizona has scored more than twenty points three times. The Cardinals have allowed their QB to be sacked 42 times and as a team have 26 giveaways. You can’t argue with numbers, the Rams will most likely be ranked as the best or at least a top three defense.

Cleveland Browns, vs Cincinnati Bengals

Without Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and most likely Tyler Boyd it makes the underrated Browns defense a must start in Week 16. One of the biggest strengths of this Cleveland defense is their ability to have takeaways. They have 30, 17 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. If Boyd isn’t able to go this week they could stack the box to stop Joe Mixon. I’d feel more comfortable starting Cleveland over Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, or Pittsburgh.

Sit

Quarterbacks

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Philip Rivers, vs Baltimore Ravens

One of the toughest matchups of the week and the possibility of Keenan Allen being out makes me want to sit Rivers. QB’s have had a difficult time against Baltimore ever since Week 6. There have only been two QB’s to throw over 220 yards and they have held four of them to under 200 yards. Good news, Melvin Gordon is expect to return in Week 16, but it is still unclear if he is 100%. With all that being said, it’s very risky to play Rivers against the highest scoring defense.

Nick Foles, vs Houston Texans

I’m unsure if Foles can provide much Fantasy value this week. He only has three starts in 2018 and has one touchdown to two interceptions. Even with all the weapons for the Eagles, they could still take the safe route with him. They could stick with run pass options, simple throws, and could rely on the run more. Even in DFS formats I’m hesistant to start Foles.

Running Backs

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Adrian Peterson, @ Tennessee Titans

The future Hall of Famer made the sit list last week and he’s on it once again this week. The last two weeks, Tennessee has done a great job against the run. They held Leonard Fournette and Saquon Barkley to a combined 67 rushing yards. Peterson has only a single game with more than 67 rushing yards. For even more information and reasons why you should sit AP, take a look back at my Week 15 Start_Sit.

Sony Michel, vs Buffalo Bills

With too many mouths to feed in New England, it has become the downfall of Michel lately. He has three consecutive games with under 64 rushing yards and no touchdowns. Fellow RB, Rex Burkhead, has returned and muddied the New England backfield even more. Buffalo has only allowed two backs to rush over 66 yards since Week 3. New England’s crowded RB depth chart and an even tougher matchup, makes me want to sit the Georgia rookie.

Wide Receivers

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Mike Williams, vs Baltimore Ravens

The second year receiver out of Clemson had a career game on last Thursday, but it will be tough to have similar production in Week 16. Even with teammate, Keenan Allen, exiting early with a hip injury, Williams still only had 76 receiving yards. Baltimore is a tough matchup for him to have, they’ve held 23 different WR’s to under 70 yards. If Allen is active in Week 16, then Mike Williams is a risky Flex option.

Sterling Shepard, vs Indianapolis Colts

On a scale of one to ten, how confident are you in putting Shepard in your championship lineup? For me I’m at about a three. He has seven consecutive games with under 38 receiving yards. The last two games, the Giants have been without Odell Beckham Jr., but that has done nothing for Shepard’s Fantasy value. In those two games, he has four catches on 15 targets, only 54 receiving yards, and just a single touchdown. I hope you all take my advice and sit Sterling Shepard this week.

Tight Ends

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Kyle Rudolph, @ Detroit Lions

Once again, this TE failed to find the endzone. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3 and at this point it is difficult to trust him. To make matters worse, he has under 42 receiving yards in nine of his last 10 games. It’s tough to play Rudolph this week with him consistently under performing.

Cameron Brate, @ Dallas Cowboys

Throughout most of the season, Brate was playing in the shadow of O.J. Howard, but Howard was placed on injured reserve. Brate should’ve broken out, but he has done just the opposite. In all of 2018, he doesn’t have four catches in a single game nor does he have over 37 receiving yards. The only way Cameron Brate has any sort of fantasy value is if he reaches the endzone.

Defenses

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Pittsburgh Steelers, @ New Orleans Saints

After holding New England to 10 points, the Steelers have another tough matchup in Week 16. New Orleans has had difficulty scoring the last few games, but you can’t forget they’re the ones who scored 45, 51, and 48 points in consecutive games. Pittsburgh downfall as a defense is their ineffectiveness to create takeaways. They have only two in their last four games.

Seattle Seahawks, vs Kansas City Chiefs

It isn’t very smart to start any defense against the Chiefs. Kansas City hasn’t shifted their offensive approach with Kareem Hunt out of the NFL. After their last two below average scoring games, the Chiefs are averaging 32 points per game. This AFC West team is on a different level and if you’re able to stream another defense, take the safer option.

Photo Credit: Tom

Conlin Postma

Fantasy Football Writer at So Called Fantasy Experts
An aspiring Fantasy Football Analyst, a member of the #RavensFlock, and the biggest Tyrod Taylor fan you'll meet.
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