2019 Fantasy Football Week 16: Starts, Sits, and Sleepers

Joshua AbbeMason ThompsonMike Fanelli | December 20th, 2019

To help fantasy football players with their roster construction, three of our writers have provided some insight on which players they would start, would sit, and consider a sleeper for this week. Be sure to follow all of them on twitter and ask any of The Scorecrow’s fantasy writers for fantasy advice.

Quarterbacks

Starts

Josh – Jameis Winston vs Houston Texan

After a monster showing last week with 458 passing yards and four touchdowns, Winston draws the hopeless secondary that is the Texans. They have given up an astonishing 30 touchdown passes (fourth-most), a passer rating of 101.3, and on top of that, they rank the third-most fantasy points allowed to the position. Winston could be a fantasy championship QB1 for his Saturday matchup.

Mason – Matt Ryan vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan and the Falcons have finally turned a corner, although a little too late to save their playoff hopes. It’s not too late to save your fantasy season though! Ryan and the Falcons are in a prime spot this week as they face off against the reeling Jaguars. The Jaguars have allowed 22 points per game from week 12 on to the quarterback position. Start Ryan this week with confidence.

MikeRyan Tannehill vs New Orleans Saints

Other than Lamar Jackson, no quarterback has been better for fantasy owners than Tannehill over the last eight weeks. Tannehill has scored 18.9 or more fantasy points in seven of those eight games and over 24 fantasy points in three of his last four games. Meanwhile, the Saints have given up over two passing touchdowns per game to quarterbacks since their week nine bye. Both teams need to win this game to improve their playoff positioning and I expect another big game from Tannehill.

Sits

Josh – Tom Brady vs Buffalo Bills

Brady had been rather bad as of late. He’s finished with fewer than 14 fantasy points in his last five out of six games. Now facing the always tough Bills’ defense he hasn’t had much success against. He may be in line for a poor stat line and fantasy performance. In his last five games against the Bills, he has only managed three touchdown passes and an average of nine fantasy points per game. The Bills have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and Brady owners need to look elsewhere this week.

Mason – Josh Allen at New England Patriots

The Bills and Patriots game on Saturday has an over/under of 38 points. A battle of two of the league’s best defenses will occur. Allen has failed to get over 17 points the last two games and the chances for him getting over that barrier are slim this week again. The Patriots defense is a different animal and the Bills travel to Foxborough this week, where the Patriots have given up the least amount of fantasy points to the quarterback position.

MikeAaron Rodgers at Minnesota Vikings

Last week I told you to sit Rodgers and hopefully you did as he scored just 14.4 fantasy points against the Bears. It was the fifth time in his last six games that Rodgers has thrown for one or fewer touchdowns. Furthermore, Rodgers completed a season-low 48.5% of his passes last week and the Packers’ offense isn’t clicking. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ defense has shut down quarterbacks over the last few weeks. Quarterbacks are averaging just 11.1 fantasy points per game against the Vikings over their last three games, scoring under 8.5 fantasy points in two of those games. This game could determine the NFC North champion and given how poor Rodgers has played lately, he belongs on your bench this week.

Sleepers

Josh – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Cincinnati Bengals

It’s not secret Fitzpatrick has been good these past couple weeks. In three of his last four games, he put up scoring performances of 20 or more fantasy points a game and scored eight total touchdowns. Now facing Cincinnati, who are allowing five rushing touchdowns and almost 20 fantasy points a game to enemy quarterbacks this season.

Mason – Andy Dalton at Miami Dolphins

Since becoming the starter again, Dalton has produced for the Bengals, although it hasn’t translated to wins. Perhaps one of the biggest games of the week, the battle for the first overall pick in April’s draft, occurs this week between Dalton’s Bengals and the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are awful on defense and a veteran like Dalton should take advantage of that.

MikeDrew Lock vs Detriot Lions

Coming off a 23.9 fantasy point game against the Texans, Lock struggled against the Chiefs in the snow, scoring just 6.6 fantasy points. However, he has a great matchup this week and should bounce back. The Lions have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, giving up 21 per game. Furthermore, the Lions have given up 23.5 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in two of their last three games, including 32.6 last week to Winston. If you need a last-minute option in a super-flex league, Lock is an excellent option.

Running Backs

Starts

Josh – Joe Mixon at Miami Dolphins

Mixon is coming off a very nice 18.6 fantasy point performance last week against the Patriots. He now draws a very favorable matchup with the Dolphins who are giving up 27 plus fantasy points to opposing running backs since week 12. Also, on the season ranked 23rd for run defense surrendering nearly five yards a carry. Make sure he’s in your lineup.

Mason – Austin Ekeler vs Oakland Raiders

Ekeler has outperformed Melvin Gordon all season. The Chargers have been a disaster this year but Ekeler is in a great spot to succeed against the Raiders. The Raiders allow over 25 fantasy points per game to the running back position and I expect Ekeler to succeed this week.

MikeMarlon Mack vs Carolina Panthers

Mack couldn’t get going last week against the Saints, getting just 11 touches for 19 yards and 1.9 fantasy points. He has struggled since returning from his injury, totally just 11.7 fantasy points in two games. However, he should bounce back with a good matchup this week. The Panthers have given up the most fantasy points to running backs, giving up 30.1 per game. Furthermore, the Panthers have given up at least 30.5 fantasy points to running backs in four straight games, including eight rushing touchdowns during that span. Mack is a low-end RB1 this week.

Sits

Josh – Sony Michel vs Buffalo Bills

Michel is a product of a running back by committee and flat out can’t be trusted to start weekly. He’s ended up being the third-best fantasy back last week after posting a decent stat line and scoring little over 11 fantasy points. With James White and Rex Burkhead in the mix, he isn’t worth rostering.

Mason – David Montgomery vs Kansas City Chiefs

Montgomery has failed to post numbers with good matchups on paper. He gets another one of those this week against Kansas City. The Chiefs defense is finally gaining steam and they now get a great chance to show that against the Bears offense. Tarik Cohen is providing more of a spark for the Bears offense and I think we’ll see more of that this week.

MikeTodd Gurley at San Franciso 49ers

Last week Gurley scored 20.8 fantasy points against the Cowboys. However, the majority of that came off his two touchdowns, including one in garbage time. Gurley averaged just 2.7 yards per touch last week and now he has a tough matchup this week. The 49ers have given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs, giving up just 16.3 per game. Furthermore, the 49ers have held running backs under 15 fantasy points in two of their last three games and have given up just one touchdown to running backs since week 10. Gurley has been inconsistent all season long and should be on your bench this week.

Sleepers

Josh – Devonta Freeman at Jacksonville Jaguars

Even though Freeman’s poor performance last week, I still think he sneaks in a nice performance championship weekend. He plays the Jaguars, who on the season have given up seven total touchdowns and the most fantasy points to the position in their last four games. He looks like a nice RB2 going into Sunday.

Mason – Mike Boone vs Green Bay Packers

Dalvin Cook suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win against the Chargers and with Alexander Mattison out for the game as well, Boone took most of the carries after Cook left. Boone should’ve been the main waiver pickup of the week as he is in a great spot this week as both Cook and Mattison are excepted to miss the game against the Packers, which is in the bottom-five in run defense.

MikeDeAndre Washington vs Los Angeles Chargers

Josh Jacobs has been ruled out for this game with his shoulder injury and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him placed on injured reserve before the game starts. In the one game Jacobs missed this season, Washington had 20 touches for 96 yards, a touchdown, and 21.6 fantasy points; all easily season-highs. Meanwhile, the Chargers have struggled against running backs recently. Over their last five games, the Chargers have given up over 30 fantasy points to running backs three times, including five touchdowns during that span. With Jacobs out, Washington will have a feature role on Sunday.

Wide Receivers

Starts

Josh – Terry McLaurin vs New York Giants

McLaurin seemed to get his groove back with a nice performance of 24 points against the Eagles last week. Now faces the Giants who seemingly are done with their season and ready to move on to 2020. With giving up 11 touchdowns and around 25 fantasy points to receivers lined out wide, McLaurin could be in line for another good game. Consider him to be a nice WR2/Flex play.

Mason – DeVante Parker vs Cincinnati Bengals

Parker has finally broken out this year. He has over 15 points in each of his last four games and has scored four touchdowns in the last three games. What looks like a tough spot against the Bengals, I expect Parker to make the most of his opportunities this week for players in the fantasy super bowl.

MikeWill Fuller at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After missing the game against the Broncos, Fuller returned last week against the Titans and scored 11.1 fantasy points. It was the second time in his last three games that Fuller scored 11 or more fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up 45.3 per game. Furthermore, wide receivers have scored 41 or more fantasy points against the Buccaneers in 50% of their games this season. With his big-play ability and in what should be a high scoring game, Fuller is the perfect high upside WR2 this week.

Sits

Josh – Robby Anderson vs Pittsburgh Steelers

With the Steelers coming to town, Anderson’s recent hot play may come to an end this weekend. The past four weeks he’s been on fire scoring up to 74 fantasy points. Facing the Steelers may be a different story as they have held wideouts on the perimeter to just an average of 87 receiving yards and the sixth-fewest fantasy points. He may need to sit this one out for someone else if you’re in the finals.

Mason – John Brown at New England Patriots

Like Parker, Brown has broken out this year for Buffalo. Unfortunately, he faces off against the Patriots in the championship week. More importantly, he will line up against Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. I’d find another option so that you aren’t frustrated when Brown busts this week.

MikeRobert Woods at San Francisco 49ers

After four straight games scoring 15.5 or more fantasy points, Woods scored just 5.7 last week against the Cowboys. Now he takes on a 49ers defense that has given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up just 29.7 per game. Richard Sherman is expected to return this week, putting more doubt on Woods’ upside. Furthermore, Woods caught none of his four targets when he faced the 49ers in week six and scored just 7.6 fantasy points, thanks to a rushing touchdown. Woods is outside my top 36 wide receivers this week.

Sleepers

Josh – Breshad Perriman vs Houston Texans

It’s not secreted the Buccaneers like to throw the ball and with so many wide receivers out for this game, someone must step up and catch the ball. Enter Perriman who in his last two games has managed 51 fantasy points. With being the only option aside from O.J. Howard and maybe Ronald Jones to catch passes, Perriman is primed to have another great game facing the Texans and it’s no secret their secondary stinks. Play Perriman in your flex with confidence.

Mason – D.K. Metcalf vs Arizona Cardinals

With Josh Gordon’s suspension, Metcalf is in line for more targets. He has enjoyed a solid season but hasn’t fully reached his potential. The Cardinals’ defense is awful, and Patrick Peterson should be all over Tyler Lockett leaving Metcalf with whoever the Cardinals view as their second corner. Metcalf is a boom-or-bust sleeper in the fantasy championship.

MikeSteven Sims Jr. vs New York Giants

Fair warning, unless you are in a super deep league with a ton of starting spots or in a dynasty league and need a last minute fill in, Sims doesn’t belong in season-long lineups. However, for those exceptions and DFS players, I love Sims this week. Over the last three weeks, Sims easily leads the team in targets with 22, including 11 last week, while McLaurin has 16 and Kelvin Harmon has 12. Furthermore, Sims scored a career-high 15.5 fantasy points last week and pulled in his first career receiving touchdown. Meanwhile, the Giants have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up 39.5 per game. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed wide receivers to score 41 or more fantasy points in three of their last four games.

Tight Ends

Starts

Josh – Hunter Henry vs Oakland Raiders

Yes, I know, your Henry shares have been less than desired as of late. I’ve been right there with you. With the Raiders coming to town, Henry gets a nice matchup when in week 10 he scored a touchdown and put up 13 fantasy points against them. The Raiders’ defense is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. With him being the TE1 stud you drafted going into the season, time to reap the benefit.

Mason – Tyler Higbee at San Francisco 49ers

Higbee has had a massive target-share lately, seeing 33 targets in the past three games. Jared Goff has continued to struggle and Higbee has been the main beneficiary, besides the opposing defense. San Francisco’s impenetrable defense is next in line for the Rams. Goff will probably struggle to lead Higbee to receive his usual target share.

MikeO.J. Howard vs Houston Texans

With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scott Miller all out for this game, someone besides Perriman has to catch the ball. Howard tied his season-high with seven targets last week against the Lions and has at least five targets in three straight games. Meanwhile, the Texans have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends, giving up 13.4 per game. Furthermore, over their last five games, the Texans are giving up an average of 19.8 fantasy points per game to tight ends, including three touchdowns. Howard is a mid to low end TE1 this week based on the matchup and expected volume.

Sits

Josh – Jason Witten vs Philadelphia Eagles

If your streaming in your finals, don’t waste your time with Witten. I know he had a great game facing the Rams but it’s not worth the risk facing the Eagles. They have only allowed four touchdowns, the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends and in week seven Witten only managed 33 yards against the Eagles. He’s a bench this week.

Mason – Jimmy Graham at Minnesota Vikings

Graham has been a massive bust in Green Bay. He hasn’t posted eight fantasy points in a game since week eight, including multiple performances with less than four points. The Vikings have allowed just one touchdown to tight ends the whole year and Graham doesn’t seem like he has the potential most people believed he had when coming to Green Bay.

MikeMike Gesicki vs Cincinnati Bengals

After a good couple of games in a row, Gesicki has scored a total of 10.3 fantasy points over the last two weeks, despite averaging 6.5 targets per game during that span. The problem is Gesicki has caught just five of those 13 targets over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the Bengals have given up the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends, giving up just 10.6 per game. Furthermore, the Bengals have given up a total of 20.8 fantasy points to tight ends over their last four games.

Sleepers

Josh – Jacob Hollister vs Arizona Cardinals

Hollister has been rather quiet recently but he faces the worst team against the position and is set for a great stat line. The Cardinals have allowed the most yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points to tight ends. If somehow, he is available, scoop him up and play him.

Mason – Noah Fant vs Detroit Lions

Fant has been a steady riser lately, even with two quarterback changes. He is in a great position this week to succeed as he goes up against the Lions defense. The Lions have no intention of winning as they currently hold the fifth pick in April’s draft. The defense for Detroit also has holes at all three levels. I look for Fant and fellow rookie, Lock to connect on multiple occasions on Sunday.

MikeKaden Smith at Washington Redskins

For those fantasy owners playing in a two tight end league or a heavy tight end premium scoring league, Smith is an interesting last minute option this week. Evan Engram has been placed on injured reserve and Smith has been the starter for a few weeks now. Smith has scored 12.5 or more fantasy points in two of his last four games and now has a great matchup this week. The Redskins have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends, giving up 14.2 per game. Furthermore, the Redskins have allowed tight ends to score 11.6 or more fantasy points in five straight games, giving up an average of 20 fantasy points per game during that span.

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