The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 16

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Ho, Ho, Ho, FootClan! The Ballers were back at it again on Thursday’s Christmas Eve episode, bringing you all the knowledge you are going to need to secure that #FootClanTitle. Before sledding to Starts of the Week, the guys picked their “Taking It Up to 100” players. Andy chose Antonio Brown (and always Banderas), Jason selected Rashard Higgins, and Mike went with CeeDee Lamb.

Later in the show, the Ballers talked about their Starts of the Week for Week 16. The show was a supersized Christmas Eve Extravaganza, so there are plenty of fun segments and festive cheer; you will need to check it out if you haven’t. If you missed the episode, you can listen to the podcast here or watch it on YouTube. Subscribe and hit the bell so you stay informed. Also, give a visit as it offers an abundance of additional resources exclusively for #FootClan members.

Andy’s Starts

QB: Tom Brady @ Detroit Lions

Over the last eight weeks, Detroit has been the most favorable matchup for the NFL’s quarterback position. This game has a 53.5 over/under, as Matthew Stafford is more than capable of keeping up with the Buccaneers. Brady has not always looked pretty this season, something he is presumably not used to hearing. Still, the Tampa Bay quarterback would have been the top QB last week after going for 390 yards and two scores, but two Tampa Bay players were dragged down right at the one-yard line. The two scores he did throw for added to his streak of multiple scores in a game, going for his fifth game in a row with multiple touchdowns. Detroit is yielding 21.8 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks this season, and Tom Terrific should add another big game.

RB: Myles Gaskin @ Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas is the ideal matchup for running backs as they bleed out points to the running back position. It does not matter if the team has a great running back or not; squads can put up points against the Raiders, no matter their skill level. To the Jets, to the Falcons, to the Chiefs, LV has just not looked good against the run. Miami is a team concentrated on the run, even with their running back situation forever being murky. We can safely assume the running back this week will be Gaskin. Las Vegas gives up an average of 25.9 fantasy points a contest to opposing running backs. This is a confident start and smash play for Week 16.

WR: Marvin Jones, Jr. vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For this play, Andy is attempting to look a little deeper at the position, going with Detroit’s playmaker Jones. He has been superb this season and gets to impress even more in Week 16. Jones will be meeting a Tampa Bay defense that has struggled the last four weeks at containing the wide receiver position. In the previous three weeks, Jones has had two top-5 fantasy finishes and four WR1 finishes during the last eight weeks. This is a competition with a huge over-under, and Stafford appears to be focused on getting the pigskin into Jones’ hands. Jones has recorded 12 targets in three of the last four weeks. The opportunity to add another 12+ target game to his resume looks promising. Over the previous six games, Jones is on a pace of 106/1250/8. If you ever were to play Marv, this looks to be the perfect time. (Insert reference to Home Alone)

TE: Tyler Higbee @ Seattle Seahawks

All you want for Christmas is a reliable tight end start for Week 16, am I right? Don’t worry, as Andy brings you his selection for TE start of the week. This contest sees Higbee and company taking on a Seattle team that has struggled versus the tight end position. Throughout the last five weeks, the Seattle matchup is the fifth-best for tight ends. Higbee just hit the 80+-percent snaps mark for the third week in a row. This last week, Higbee brought in a touchdown and had his most yards of the season at 67. Cam Akers will be absent from this game, potentially forcing the passing attack to be relied on even more. If you are hurting for a tight end and want a good shot at a touchdown, Higbee is the way to go.

Jason’s Starts

QB: DeShaun Watson vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Jason says it is the “start your superstars in the championship” call. This week’s matchup has a low over/under. Cincinnati just shut out Ben Roethlisberger, but really, who isn’t shutting him out as of late? Jason further notes that this may not look like a great matchup as there won’t be a million points, but the Texans just can’t run the ball. In turn, they have to air it out more. David Johnson has been utilized more in the passing game recently, and all of the touchdowns for the Texans go through Watson. Watson had double QB1 finishes but then faced Indianapolis, Chicago, and Indianapolis again, where he looked alright, not spectacular. The thing is, Watson perpetually has upside as his floor is always high. Even if his team loses, he still does something like he did last week where he threw for 404 yards against Indy while tossing two scores.

RB: Darrell Henderson @ Seattle Seahawks

Darnel Anderson (AKA Darrell Henderson), the Rams’ running back thrust back into the spotlight after Cam Akersinjury, is an attractive play for Week 16. When Akers went down early in Week 2, Henderson stepped up. Akers didn’t really get back into the Rams’ RB rotation until Week 8. In the six-game stretch with no Akers in the mix, Henderson averaged 86 yards and ¾ a touchdown per game. Through that same stretch of games, Henderson was RB13, with half of those games finishing as an RB1. This contest looks to be a tight one, and it is additionally a slight plus matchup. Henderson battles a Seattle team that has been more generous through the air than on the ground versus opposing running backs. Last week, the Seahawks allowed 112 yards and two touchdowns total to J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber, the Washington RB group. Henderson seems to be a safe plug and play player for teams who have lost a Raheem Mostert/Christian McCaffrey/Antonio Gibson type of player.

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WR: Allen Robinson II @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Robinson has been back and forth with great games and mediocre games (WR5, WR44, WR4, WR33). Don’t let that deter you from the fact that Robinson’s matchup this week against a Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense that ranks 26th on the season is as good as it gets. The Jags have additionally given up 3.5 more fantasy points than the average WR score. I guess you could go with the revenge game narrative here as this is the first time Robinson has faced the Jaguars in his career. Even without that narrative, the matchup here is worth exploring as Robinson gets to take on a team struggling with injuries in the secondary. He should have constant targets in this game.

TE: Austin Hooper @ New York Jets

It has just been one of those years for Hooper, as he has been banged up for a significant portion of it. He missed three of seven games this season due to appendix and neck injuries. The Browns also dealt with Mother Nature numerous times this season. Before those weather games, the Browns’ passing game was non-existent. He looked solid last week, gaining a top-10 performance and a touchdown. This week sees Hooper battling a Jets’ team that is the literal best matchup for any position. 32nd best. Everywhere. It gets even better than that as the Jets have given up 3.6 more fantasy points to a team’s average at TE throughout the season. To understand how important that is, refer to the fact that the 2nd best matchup for tight ends is a full point less at 2.6. Over the previous five weeks, it has been outlandish as teams are averaging an extra 8.4 fantasy points per game at the TE position. Last week, Tyler Higbee did well versus the Jets. Will Dissly, Darren Waller, Mike Gesicki, and Hunter Henry put up great games against NYJ before that.

Mike’s Starts

QB: Jalen Hurts @ Dallas Cowboys

Yep, Mike went back to his selection from last week, listing off Hurts as his Start of the Week at the quarterback position. Hurts takes on division rivals the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16. Versus the Cowboys, Russell Wilson was QB2, Kyler Murray was QB5, and Lamar Jackson was QB7. Hurts has been remarkable on his legs so far in his two starts, going for 106 yards on 18 rushes and 63 yards on 11 rushes. Hurts has proved he can get the ball downfield, which is something he should do a lot of taking on the Cowboys in Arlington. Over four weeks, Dallas has allowed 797 passing yards and yielded four touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Rushing quarterbacks have also fared well against the Cowboys, which should increase Hurts’ value. If you are looking for the title, this is a way to get there.

RB: Leonard Fournette @ Detroit Lions

No Ronald Jones turned into 19 opportunities for Fournette in Week 15. Five carries took place in the red zone, while two of those were goal-line carries. Fournette obtained 49 yards on 14 carries in his last game while hauling in three catches for 16 yards. He also happened to score two touchdowns in that match. In the previous eight weeks, the Lions have been bad against the quarterback position and the running back position, allowing multiple touchdowns by running backs in seven games. It may feel odd thinking about starting Fournette this week after all the ups and downs he has put us through as of late. Tampa Bay announced that they would be without Jones on Saturday, the ideal formula for Fournette success.

WR: Emmanuel Sanders vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Saints face the Vikings on Christmas in a plus matchup. There will be no Michael Thomas in the lineup, which is a situation that continues to benefit the additional pass catchers on the team. In Sanders’ Week 15 game with Drew Brees at the helm, Sanders didn’t have the most fantastic contest. He went for 76 yards on four catches, but do consider that Brees was just coming off injury and looked rusty. With Thomas going on IR, Sanders takes over that WR1 role in New Orleans. If you require a high-upside wide receiver to go into battle for your fantasy championship, Sanders could still be available on waivers. He is a reliable option for Week 16.

TE: Dallas Goedert @ Dallas Cowboys

Mike is facing Goedert in a championship, bringing him to pain while speaking of this start. But yes, he decided on Goedert as the Start of the Week for Week 16 at tight end. Over the last five games, the Cowboys have not been a plus matchup for tight ends. Goedert has seen the highest target share of all players Jalen Hurts has attempted to get the ball to. He has tallied 21-percent of Philadelphia’s targets with Hurts under center, seeing six and eight. If you are looking to get volume at the position, Goedert is your go-to man. Also, can I let you all in on a little secret? Writing about Dallas playing Dallas has been super confusing.

And, finally, Jason Moore gifted the listeners with his Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom Boom Kicker of the Week:

This is the week. You’re at war like it’s the Gaza Strip. You know you need my man, Rodrigo Blankenship.

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