The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 16 (Fantasy Football)

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“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.”
–Mike Tagliere

Willkommen, 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 the 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. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool yourself to catch any last-second changes.

So without further adieu, let’s kick things off with the most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 16:

QB:
Tom Brady (TB) or Tyler Huntley (BAL)?

Tom Brady

  • TB
  • QB
  • @ CAR
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST

Tyler Huntley

  • BAL
  • QB
  • @ CIN
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 21.5 14.1
Andy Rank QB #10 QB #5
Mike Rank QB #7 QB #27
Jason Rank QB #8 QB #31
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 5 8
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 43 45
Line -10 +3.5

What better way to encapsulate this season’s ridiculousness than with Tom Brady vs Tyler freaking Huntley being a top start-sit question in Week 16. But that’s where we find ourselves after the Saints shut out Brady last week en route to his worst fantasy performance this year (4.8 points). Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Huntley is coming off a sensational nailbiter where he threw two TDs AND ran another two in.

Both QBs are facing strong defenses, so there’s no clear matchup winner. Brady will be missing integral pieces of the Tampa Bay offense with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Leonard Fournette out, but what he lacks in weaponry is countered by his sizeable experience advantage. He’ll also have roommate Antonio Brown back in action, although he’ll probably just keep lobbing it to his BFF Rob Gronkowski. We all know Brady should be just fine regardless of his supporting cast, not to mention the “angry Brady” narrative for those searching for hopium, but his upside feels capped with understudies playing against a stout defense.

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But if it’s volatile — some would say, foolish — upside you seek, look no further than last week’s number one fantasy QB, Tyler Huntley. His connection with Mark Andrews has been glorious for fantasy managers to behold. It’s obviously a small sample size, but in the three games Huntley’s played at least 86% or more of snaps, he’s never dipped below a 70% completion rate. But it’s his legs that make him a high-end streamer as he hopes to build on his 73-yard, two-TD showcase last week against the Packers. Huntley projects to be a safe play with TD upside thanks to his efficient passing game and rushing abilities (including those valuable goal-line carries), but his inexperience makes him hard to trust as it could all fall apart away from home against a bitter divisional rival.

The Verdict
I love Andy’s bullish ranking on Huntley (and I expect the others to have their rankings updated soon), but I can’t risk it this late in the game. It’s the Plant Man for me.

RB1:
Ronald Jones II (TB) or Alexander Mattison (MIN)?

Ronald Jones II

  • TB
  • RB
  • @ CAR
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST

Alexander Mattison

  • MIN
  • RB
  • vs LAR
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 22 13.9
Andy Rank RB #7 RB #16
Mike Rank RB #3 RB #14
Jason Rank RB #7 RB #21
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 9 16
Home/Away Away Home
Over/Under 43 49
Line -10 +3.5

It’s the battle of the backups! Honestly, both guys are great plays this week, and if you have both then you should find a way to start them (assuming injuries and COVID hasn’t already forced you to). Ronald Jones is the clear winner for the Ballers as he should receive workhorse usage similar to the 22.5 touches per game he’s historically had without Fournette. He’s always finished as a top-20 RB whenever he’s seen 20+ opportunities. The Buccaneers are also heavy favorites, implying that RoJo’s workload should be secure and on the higher end.

But for some reason, I’d much rather play Alexander Mattison over Jones. Maybe it’s because he’s averaging an absurd 30+ opportunities per game without Cook this year. Or maybe because he’s never hit below 21 PPR points in any of those games. Or maybe because he’ll be heavily utilized against a Rams defense that allows the third-most plays per game. Or maybe I’m just afraid of how angry head coach Bruce Arians would be if RoJo ever fumbles the ball or misses a block.

The Verdict
I love both guys this week, but I’d personally ride with Mattison.

RB2:
Darrell Henderson Jr. (LAR) or Sony Michel (LAR)?

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Darrell Henderson Jr.

  • LAR
  • RB
  • @ MIN
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST

Sony Michel

  • LAR
  • RB
  • @ MIN
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 10 12.7
Andy Rank RB #34 RB #20
Mike Rank RB #33 RB #21
Jason Rank RB #33 RB #19
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 23 23
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 49 49
Line -3.5 -3.5

In the battle for LA, we have two RBs vying for the throne on a lucrative Rams offense. But who’s the better start? The two only have one game together since Henderson’s multi-week absence, and it’s admittedly the smallest possible sample size, but here’s how they fared:

Darrell Henderson Jr. Sony Michel
Rush Att 6 18
Rush Yards 23 92
Targets 2 2
Rec Yards 4 23
Red Zone Att 0 3
Fantasy Points 3.7 12.5

There were murmurs of Michel usurping the lead role due to Henderson’s shaky injury history (although Michel has had similar troubles), but it’s clear that there’s been a change after he led Henderson over practically every tangible aspect. It’s entirely possible that head coach Sean McVay wanted to give Henderson a lighter load to ease his way back onto the field, but it’s also possible that Michel is now the “1A” on the Rams backfield, making him the preferred option and a recommended DraftKings GPP pick.

The Verdict
It’s a murky backfield, but Michel is the unanimous choice.

WR2:
Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) or Russell Gage (ATL)?

Amon-Ra St. Brown

  • DET
  • WR
  • @ ATL
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST

Russell Gage

  • ATL
  • WR
  • vs DET
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 14 12.7
Andy Rank WR #22 WR #28
Mike Rank WR #22 WR #27
Jason Rank WR #22 WR #29
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 28 15
Home/Away Away Home
Over/Under 42.5 42.5
Line +5.5 -5.5

Truth be told, I like both guys this week, but I especially love rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. I could go on and on about how he’s emerged as a  valuable target hog after logging three games in a row with 11+ targets and averaged 8.7 receptions per game, or how he’s racked up over 147 receiving yards and two TDs during that timespan, or how he and Jared Goff have formed a mind-meld that’s benefitted both players AND their real-life team. St. Brown was a surefire, locked-and-loaded WR2/FLEX play for me, until…

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Yuck.

The Verdict
If Goff somehow plays, then St. Brown is the winner. Otherwise, Gage (or virtually anyone else) is the preferred choice.

TE:
Hunter Henry (NE) or Cole Kmet (CHI)?

Hunter Henry

  • NE
  • TE
  • vs BUF
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 1:00pm EST

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Cole Kmet

  • CHI
  • TE
  • @ SEA
  • Sun, 12/26
  • 4:05pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 8.9 7.2
Andy Rank TE #9 TE #14
Mike Rank TE #12 TE #13
Jason Rank TE #10 TE #14
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 5 26
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 43.5 43
Line -2 +6.5

Do you chase the TDs with Hunter Henry, or chase the usage with Cole Kmet? That’s essentially where we are with this matchup as both TEs are coming off top-8 performances.

For Henry, he’ll try to keep the momentum going after a 6-77-2 eruption spot against the Colts. So what’s the problem? He’ll be facing a notorious Bills defense that has been firing on all cylinders. The same defense that just held him to a goose-egg performance in Week 13, although we can blame that one on the weather. He also doesn’t see consistent usage, averaging just 4.1 targets per game, a far cry from the 8 targets he saw last week.

Meanwhile, Kmet has been a steady part of a struggling Bears offense, seeing 9 targets last week and averaging 8 per game since Week 12. There have been obvious growing pains for the entire team, and while things have seemingly improved lately, the team will be shaken up again with Nick Foles now anointed as the starter. While Kmet should still see enough usage to make him a steady play this week, he’s not involved enough in the red zone (average 0.6 RZ targets per game, 0 TDs on the season) which limits his already inconsistent production. Nevertheless, a 22% target share is nothing to scoff at, making Kmet Mike’s TE Start of the Week.

The Verdict
Kmet for floor, Henry for upside.


Merry Christmas, Footclan! Let’s crush those semifinals! Stay on top of the latest news and as always, GO WITH YOUR GUT!

Comments

Brandon Smith says:

CEH or Miles Sanders?

Mark says:

I like your take on Mattison vs Jones, Peter. I was leaning that way and glad to see some validation. The Rams have been vulnerable to pass-catching backs, and Mattison has seen 7 and 8 targets in his two starts this year. I find it difficult to trust Jones (vs Mattison) re targets and ball security, which could unravel Jones’s day big time. Also don’t have a lot of confidence that TB is going to effectively move the ball… sort of expecting more goal line situations for MIN than TB but we’ll see.

So Mattison it is… replacing Antonio Gibson, on account of he’s looking like a GTD for the Sunday night game. Good luck.

Matt+Flannelly says:

Antonio gibson or Aj Green Flex Ppr

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