The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 16 (Fantasy Football)
“I had a conversation with my soon-to-be 18-year-old daughter a few years ago where she was struggling to understand the point of striving for perfection.
All her life, she’d been an A-B student, so when she came home with a D on her report card, it was out of character. We came down hard on her and told her she was better than that. She essentially screamed at me and said, ‘I’m not perfect. I can’t be perfect.’ I sat her down and tried to explain to her that she’s right in a way, that no one is perfect, but that she should always strive to be.
This goes throughout every walk of life. As a husband, it’s my job to treat my wife better than anyone ever could. If someone were able to take your husband/wife out on a date, would they treat him/her better than you do? Would they have a better time? If the answer is yes, then you need to do better.
The same can be said for your kids. The same can be said for your friends. The same can be said for your job.
During the holidays, give your family the best version of yourself. Strive for perfection. Be the person you know you can be. Be the person you love. Be the person that can treat your family like no one else can. You’re going to have hiccups, but that’s all part of the ride.
May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
— Mike Tagliere
Merry Christmas, Footclan! Welcome to Week 16 of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.
The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.
In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.
So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 16:
It’s not easy trusting Daniel Jones during the fantasy semi-finals, but he’s actually been a decent option this year when facing teams outside of his division. Here’s his average output per game:
This Christmas Eve, he’ll be gifted with the sixth BEST matchup for opposing QBs in the Vikings. Their matchup is expected to be a shootout with one of the highest implied totals of the week, as well as one of the few in a dome that won’t be affected by the frigid weather conditions around the country. He’s been finding a way to get it done despite a weak arsenal, and he’s always a threat to run one in himself in the end zone.
Gardner Minshew is a legend of his own, but it’s hard trusting someone who hasn’t started a game in over a year AND is up against a stout defense in a tough divisional matchup. However, he does get to enjoy Philadelphia’s elite O-line and offensive weapons, and there should be plenty of scoring opportunities in another projected high-scoring affair. Uncle Rico’s also not afraid to utilize his legs (though he’s only had one career rushing TD), so he’s a fine streaming option. Just don’t expect him to replicate Jalen Hurts‘ outstanding production.
But when it comes to the two, Danny Dimes is the preferred option by all three Ballers. We know he can score on the ground or through the air. We know Minnesota essentially gives away points. And, most importantly, we don’t know how prepared Minshew is, although he’s likely one of the better backup QBs currently in the league.
Last week against Minnesota, Zack Moss was the clear leader in usage over Deon Jackson, seeing 25 opportunities (24 carries, one target) compared to Moss’ 13 (12 carries, one target). However, Jackson was by far the more efficient back, winning in yards per rush attempt (4.2 vs 3.4) and securing his lone target for a score. Moss had twice as many red zone touches (eight vs four) but was unable to convert any of them.
While Moss appears to be the new lead RB in the wake of Jonathan Taylor‘s season-ending injury, keep in mind that it was a wild game script where the Colts were ahead 33-0 at halftime, allowing the team to attempt to run out the clock with a plodding, run-heavy approach. That game plan obviously didn’t work out as the Vikings surmounted a historic comeback, so unless they’re in a similar scenario, we can expect a more even split between the two, or one that favors Jackson as the pass-catching back. As 4.5-point underdogs against the Chargers, that will probably be the case, although it’s a risk either way. The matchup is great, and while the Footballers prefer Moss, I’d rather ride with Jackson if I had to choose between the two.
The matchup is great as the Cardinals have been atrocious against opposing RBs — particularly in schedule-adjusted fantasy points above expectation — and we can expect the Buccanneers to maintain a healthy lead against a Trace McSorley-led offense. Since their trip to Munich, Rachaad White has seen slightly more usage than Leonard Fournette in the games they played together, averaging 17.5 opportunities to Fournette’s 14.3. But make no mistake, this is still a committee, so we’re banking on either lots of targets (in PPR leagues) and/or a TD.
Fortunately, White has averaged six targets per game and seen six total red zone opportunities since their Week 11 bye, though he’s only scored once in that time span. Comparatively, Fournette has had the same numbers with one less game, just without the lone TD. Both guys have high-scoring upside despite being in a timeshare, and while there is confidence that White can add to his TD total at State Farm Stadium, Fournette is probably the safer bet.
Honestly, I think both of these guys are decent options, assuming they’re both active. Marquise Goodwin is probably everyone’s favorite streamer this week in the wake of Tyler Lockett‘s injury, and his big-play ability against a vulnerable Chiefs secondary is just oozing with upside. The Seahawks are expected to be down early, inferring that Geno Smith will have to chuck it to DK Metcalf, Goodwin, and maybe Noah Fant or Will Dissly. Goodwin’s already had two top-10 performances on limited snaps, so there’s a strong chance of a repeat with a larger role.
Brandin Cooks has been a major disappointment this season, only scoring once this year (which also accounted for his only top-20 fantasy performance). Now that he’s expected back from his calf injury, he’ll get to face the EASIEST matchup for opposing receivers in the Titans. He’ll also be without Nico Collins who has siphoned targets from the veteran wideout. However, it’s not an ideal situation in a lower-scoring matchup with Davis Mills and sometimes Jeff Driskell throwing the ball. Though he’ll likely see enough targets to secure a reasonable floor in PPR, he’s not someone you’d want to trust this late in the fantasy season.
Marquise Goodwin, though check the news reports for both players.
It hasn’t been pretty, but we gotta roll with Dalton Schultz again despite his mediocre output last week and his tougher divisional matchup this week. Sure, Darren Waller looked great in his return to action albeit in a limited role (49% of snaps), and some prefer him this week over Schultz. However, the Ballers all vote for Schultz instead. He’s tied for the third MOST targets inside the 10 (six) and averaged 6.7 targets per game this month, which includes his recent four-target blunder. Neither have good matchups this week, but the Cowboys should have more scoring opportunities at home than the Raiders will at a cold and windy Pittsburgh.