Week 16 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kirk Cousins is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Ben Roethlisberger and Cousins, you should start Big Ben -- and in turn, bench Cousins.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my fantasy football rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 16:

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NO)

One of the biggest surprises in fantasy football this season, Bortles enters Championship Week with the fifth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks -- just ahead of Aaron Rodgers (QB6). Even better, Bortles has been a consistent producer; in other words, his unexpected production isn't due to only a few big games.

Since Week 2, Bortles has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in nine weeks. Over the past four weeks, he's finished as a top-eight performer with a minimum of 22 fantasy points in each of those games. During that four-game span, Bortles has averaged a tad shy of 300 passing yards (299.5/G) and he's thrown 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions. In addition, he has 93 rushing yards and two more scores over that stretch.

The good times should continue to roll for Bortles and the Jags passing offense. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Saints. The Saints have allowed a top-three weekly finish in six of their 14 games this season and Bortles is my third-ranked quarterback for the week behind only Big Ben and Cam Newton.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at PHI)

As I tweeted earlier this week, Cam Newton (four times), Russell Wilson (twice) and Cousins (twice) have finished as the top-scoring fantasy quarterback in eight of the past nine weeks. (Saints QB Drew Brees was the exception in Week 8.)

Someone else may finish as this week's top-scoring quarterback, after all I have Big Ben in the top spot of my rankings, but Cousins at least has QB1 upside given this week's matchup against the Eagles. Only the Saints and Giants have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and the Eagles have surrendered 21 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in their past seven games.

Including his two QB1 performances, Cousins has five top-10 outings in his past eight games. During that eight-game span, he has averaged slightly more than 275 passing yards per game with 20 touchdowns (16 passing and four rushing) and only three interceptions.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (vs. NE)

Before last week's relatively disappointing (fantasy) performance, Fitzpatrick had finished as the weekly QB3, QB8 and QB4, respectively, in his previous three games. Going into the final week of the fantasy season, Fitzpatrick has scored the 10th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks.

In the games that Fitzpatrick did not leave early due to injury, he has accounted for multiple touchdowns in 11 of 13 games. One of those multi-TD games was his Week 7 matchup against the Patriots when he scored 20.7 fantasy points and finished as fantasy's QB8.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. SF)

In the first five games of the season, Stafford finished outside the top-15 fantasy quarterbacks in every game. Since then, however, Stafford has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in five of nine games and has averaged 20.9 fantasy points per game over that stretch.

With multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games, Stafford has compiled an impressive 12:1 TD-to-INT ratio during that span. The 49ers have been middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed only two passing scores in their past four games, but Stafford is still a back-end QB1 for Week 16.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 16:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR)

We only have to look back two weeks for a glimpse of how Week 16 may play out for Ryan. In his first matchup against the Panthers (Week 14), Ryan threw for 224 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. In addition, he lost a fumble and finished with 4.86 fantasy points, 29th-most among Week 14 quarterbacks.

Allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, Eli Manning's QB9 performance last week was only the second time the Panthers have allowed a top-12 outing this season. The other time was to Aaron Rodgers in Week 9.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. SD)

Carr has thrown multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and isn't necessarily a bad option for Week 16. That said, he has finished outside of the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in three consecutive games and he's just outside my top-12 quarterbacks for this week as well. The other factor that could limit his production is the favorable matchup that Latavius Murray has against San Diego's rush defense, but Carr had a strong performance in his first matchup against the Chargers this season.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. IND)

Tannehill has thrown for 236 yards or less, in some cases much less, and a total of two passing touchdowns over the past three weeks. To make matters worse, two of those games were elite matchups against the Ravens and Giants, both of whom rank among the seven friendliest defenses to fantasy quarterbacks. Indianapolis hasn't been much better than Baltimore or New York, but can you trust that Tannehill will exploit the matchup?

QB - Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. WAS)

Since Week 6, Bradford has failed to finish as a top-15 quarterback in any of his games. The good news is that he threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals last week, but he turned the ball over three times as well. More good news is that facing Washington is obviously a more favorable proposition than facing Arizona's defense. That said, now isn't the time to start trusting Bradford or the Eagles offense.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 16 DFS Cheat Sheets:

More of our content and resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle



Post A Comment