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I couldn’t put together back-to-back strong weeks with just an average showing last week. However, the Week 16 Start or Sit is the most important of the year.

If you are reading this, then you are playing for something. Whether it’s the championship trophy and prize, third place’s money back, or staying away from the Sacko, this is THE most important Fantasy Football weekend of the year.

What’s important about setting your lineup this week is honestly assessing your team and chances to win. If you are the top-scoring team and have been all year, ride the horses that got you there.

But, say that you snuck into the playoffs and now are facing the top-scoring team. Shoot for the high-upside even if the floor is low. There is no tomorrow, so “safety” should not be in your brain.

One last thing before we get to the Week 16 Start or Sit plays: don’t blindly “start your studs.” I’ve been seeing this more and more, but just because you drafted Allen Robinson in the second round does not mean you have to start him in the championship week.

As always, if a guy outperforms his ranking as a Start, then it’s a win. If he does so as a Sit, then it’s a loss. Vice versa for the under-performing. If someone outperforms/under-performs their ranking by 12 or more spots, it will be a Major Win. By these metrics, my Start or Sit predictions are 114-85-1 for the year heading into the Week 15 Start or Sit plays, with 62 Major Wins.

Once again, for our Week 16 Start or Sit purposes I am going to focus on guys that are ranked outside of the Top 24 RB/WRs and Top 10 QB/TEs for my “starts,” and inside the Top 20 RB/WRs and Top 8 QB/TEs for my “sits.”

Week 16 Start or Sit

(All rankings are based off of the SCFE Staff Consensus PPR Rankings as of 12/21)

Start

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (QB11)

I have Winston on many of my rosters specifically for this game. You get one of the worst defenses in the league, on a fast track in New Orleans in what should be a high-scoring game. This game has a heavy factor on the Week 16 Start or Sit.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears (QB7)

I know, it’s a bit of a cheat to use a guy ranked in the Top 8. However, I think Cousins is a lock for a Top-3 performance this week. The Redskins are officially backed up against the wall and they will rely on Cousins to air it out against a Bears team that is jockeying for draft position.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (QB16)

Stafford has tailed off since his hot start, but he has actually just had to face some strong defenses. What I like the most in a quarterback during championship week is knowing that he is slinging it around. Stafford has at least 33 pass attempts in every game since Week 7.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. San Diego Chargers (RB28)

I know, he was bad last week. But hear me out: I think the Browns know that this is the game they can win. Knowing that, they are going to pound the rock and keep Philip Rivers off the field. Toss in the fact that only four teams in the league have given up more rushing touchdowns to opposing backs, and I love me some Crowell this week.

Tim Hightower, RB, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB32)

Remember what I said about it being a shootout in New Orleans? Hightower has double-digit PPR Points in five of his last eight games, and looks to be getting the goal line carries now for the Saints.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (RB39)

Like I said, if you are a big under-dog, you better swing for the fences. Peterson did not look completely great last week, but he looked good enough that I would trust him to shoulder 15 carries. And if I need points in a bad way, there are a lot worse places to turn than 15 carries from Adrian Peterson.

Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets at. New England Patriots (WR32)

Bryce Petty took the reins from Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Colts in Week 13. In the three games since that happened, Anderson is averaging almost 17 PPR Fantasy Points per game.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos (WR31)

Hill has six touchdowns over his last four games. He has gotten to the end zone in four different ways. He did not get as many targets last week, but that should pick back up this week.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (WR40)

Shepard has started to just find the end zone. He has five touchdowns in his last seven games. He also has at least three catches in every game since Week 5, besides the blowout of Cleveland. Philly is going to try and take Beckham away leaving Shepard plenty of opportunity.

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears (TE11)

Reed was not much more than a decoy before he was ejected Monday night against Carolina. Now, if he is good to go Saturday, he will have a much larger role. I think he finds the end zone twice just to spite all of the people that lost with him last week. If he plays, he is my top pick for the Week 16 Start or Sit.

Los Angeles Rams DST vs. San Francisco 49ers (DST14)

I like the matchup for the Rams defensive front against the weak offensive line of San Francisco. Aaron Donald should wreak havoc on Collin Kaepernick all day.

Sit

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (QB8)

This feels like a game flow decision in that Baltimore will try to make it a 10-7 slugfest. Roethlisberger has not lived up to the pre-season hype some gave him either. He has just one game with 290 yards since Week 5.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (RB15)

I think Saturday night showed us that this is Matt Moore’s team now and Ajayi will have to take a back seat. Moore just knows how to utilize all of the great skill position guys he has, meaning less of a workload for Ajayi.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (RB23)

Coleman has become touchdown-dependent. He has only one game with more 50 total yards since Week 7. He has not caught more than two passes since Week 5. If he is not scoring, then he is not worth starting.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (WR12)

Thomas has proven his worth by putting up another 1,000-yard season with below-average quarterback play. I just do not like him this high against a really good Chiefs’ defense. In Week 12 against Kansas City, Thomas had just 60 yards. He also has not scored in over a month. You might not have better options, but give me his counterpart, Emmanuel Sanders, before him.

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, New England Patriots vs. New York Jets (WR23)

I had Mitchell in the “Starts” last week but it was almost a Karma thing that I thought he would go off. He ended up with just one catch for 14 yards. He has only two games with more than 42 yards all season. There is just too much inconsistency in the Patriots’ offense for me to roll with Mitchell in a Championship week.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals (TE6)

Graham has just two catches for 47 yards over the past two weeks with no scores. Just like the past couple of years, at the end of the season it is the Russell Wilson-to-Doug Baldwin show and Graham is getting left out.


That’s it for the Week 16 Start or Sit predictions! Check out my personal blog for picks against the spread where my picks are 112-89-7!

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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
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