The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 16
If your playoffs hadn’t started last week, they have now. For many of you, Christmas week showed up with a lump of coal. The key players who are now hurt, pardon the pun, have to be replaced for your championship run. It has never been more important to lock in on the Fantasy Footballers and their advice. Thursday, they filled your stockings with their Starts of the Week to try and mitigate the damage already done. To watch the full episode on youtube, see below.
Let’s dive right into the breakdown. There is no time to waste on frivolity, it’s playoff time, baby, and we need those #FootClanTitles to be plentiful! To join in on the fun, go to jointhefoot.com and become a part of our fantasy fanatic community. Now, onto the Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 16.
Andy’s Starts of the Week
The Sequel Starts!
QB- Justin Herbert vs. IND
Last week you didn’t get what you ordered in the mail. The lump of coal Herbert sent you was painful. This week is another plus matchup. It is also a crucial game for the Chargers, and you must believe Herbert will deliver. The Colts are the fifth-best matchup for QBs over the last four weeks. Kirk Cousins lit the Colts’ defense up for 400 yards and four touchdowns last week. Herbert should be safe and could give you a massive game if touchdowns swing back his way.
RB- Isiah Pacheco vs. SEA
The Seahawks are the best running back matchup in the NFL over the last five weeks. The Seattle defense has allowed the second-most rushing yards and the third-most points scored on the season. McKinnon and Pacheco should be good starts, but it would be nice to see the young guy break out in this plus matchup. Over the last six weeks, Pacheco has been averaging seventeen opportunities and 91 total yards per game, and he just hasn’t been scoring. This week could be a good time for a multi-touchdown game.
WR- Mike Williams vs. IND
Tag team Williams with Herbert. Yes, it adds some volatility to your lineup when you play Mike Williams, but the Colts are bleeding. Look at what KJ Osborn did last week in the way he was able to bully the Colts’ defenders. Mike Williams should be able to do the same. When you take out the game he exited due to injury with only 9% of snaps, Williams is averaging eight targets for 75 receiving yards and 12.8 fantasy points per game. That is the same as Tyler Lockett, who is the WR8 on the year. This game is the Monday Night game, but he could provide a big game to help you overcome any deficit you have going into the week’s final game. It might be bumpy, but he should get you to the destination.
TE- Isaiah Likely vs. ATL
The only original pick for Andy this week is a steel underpants play. The passing game in Baltimore is depleted. Duvernay is gone for several months, Batman is gone, and Mark Andrews has been underwhelming. Likely is one of the last men standing. Baltimore runs two tight ends 58% of the time, the highest in the NFL, and that number will go up. Likely is essentially a slot receiver as he lines up in the slot 64% of the time. Basically, this is a slot receiver you can play at the tight end position. 73% of his targets have come from the slot, the highest rate in the NFL. He is averaging 19% on his targets per route run from the slot. He has one fewer slot reception this year than Evan Engram. Cue the Falcons, who allow the fifth most passing yards per game, and the fourth most expected points per pass attempt in the NFL. Andy told you to play Chig Okonkwo a few weeks ago because there were no other pass catchers; this is the same deal. It is a deep roster pick, but you can make that move and reap its rewards.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB- Tua Tagovailoa vs. GB
The Dolphins are a streaky team, but they are at home, where the weather shouldn’t affect the game. The Dolphins have the second-highest team-implied total of the week at 27 points. This game is also the highest over/under of the week at 49.5 points projected. On top of all that, Tua is due for a big game. He hasn’t surpassed 18 fantasy points in over a month. However, in Dolphins wins, Tua is averaging 22 fantasy points per game and a 70%+ completion percentage. The Dolphins are four-point favorites, so it should be a week you can fire him up.
RB- Kenneth Walker III vs. KC
It’s going to be cold, which can help with running games. Last week Walker had 17 opportunities and looked pretty good with those chances. He has the long breakaway speed, as 50% of his rushing yardage has come on 15+ yard runs, which is the highest in the NFL. He is averaging a first down on 23% of his rushing attempts, higher than Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb. This game is the second-highest total of the week, with 49 total projected points. He should be at least a solid RB2 and could have some good upside.
WR- Mike Evans vs. ARI
It is time! Evans hasn’t scored a touchdown in 10 weeks. The Cardinals now have moved into first place for the most points allowed on the season. Opponents are throwing on Arizona at the second-highest rate over expectation. Evans has seen nine targets in three of the last four weeks. That kind of volume and the Jason guarantee of a touchdown should produce a quality game for you.
TE- Taysom Hill vs. CLE
It is going to be a gross game in Cleveland. Both teams are going to have to rely on their run games, which means Taysom will see more work than usual. He should see around eight to ten touches. That is a solid base to start from, which is better than the other streaming tight end options can say. We know his upside with explosive plays, which could happen in Cleveland. The Browns rank dead last in expected points per rush attempt, and 29th in 10+ yard rush plays allowed. Everything aligns to where the running game should be good for the Saints, of which Taysom is crucial.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB- Geno Smith vs. KC
You have to throw against Kansas City. They are seeing the second-highest opponent pass rate because that is the only way to try and keep up with Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the quarterback. That includes the games where they had Bryce Perkins and Malik Willis start against them. They allowed a top-12 finish in 11 of their last 12 games. Yes, there are some concerns with the weapons without Tyler Lockett, but other guys have done well with less. Jason loves to hear the confidence because he has to roll with Geno in the Ballers’ league of record playoffs this week.
RB- JK Dobbins vs. ATL
Since he returned from injury, he has produced lines of 13 carries for 125 yards and 15 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown. Now he gets Atlanta, who is allowing the seventh most expected points per rush attempt. Mike ranked him as the RB21 on the week. He should have a great chance to get in the end zone facing Atlanta, and the Ravens are seven-point home favorites. Again, it could be cold, but that is good for running games.
WR- Darius Slayton vs. MIN
Mike is going for the confidence bump. Slayton is a fringe flex player usually, but you should be starting him this week. It is a dome game, so the weather won’t affect this matchup, which is juicy. The Vikings’ last seven home games have averaged 55 total points. Minnesota is 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. They allow the most first downs via the pass, the second-highest yards per attempt at 7.5, and the second-most total passing yards. Slayton is the number one passing option for the Giants, and this could be a week he comes through for your lineup because the Vikings’ secondary stinks.
TE- Cade Otton vs. AZ
We target the Cardinals with tight ends because they are terrible at guarding them. Otton quietly ranks eighth among tight ends on the season in routes run at 376. Kyle Pitts is the only rookie tight end to run more routes since 2013. Otton is continually featured as a pass-catching tight end in this offense, and the matchup is worth chasing. Arizona averages 15 points allowed to the tight end position per game, which is the most in the NFL and the second most by any team in the last decade. Keep going to the well against Arizona because it is deep and plentiful.