Week 16 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends 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, Julius Thomas is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 16 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Thomas, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Thomas.

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:

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at OAK)

Providing Gates fantasy owners with an early Christmas present, the Raiders defense has been awfully generous to the position throughout the year. Granted, they have been a little better defending the position recently, but they have still allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position in 2015.

The first time that the Chargers faced the Raiders, Gates sat out. That said, fellow tight end Ladarius Green did score a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions against them. Gates hasn't scored since Week 12, but he has exactly six catches in three consecutive weeks. It wouldn't surprise me if Philip Rivers and Gates connected for a touchdown, or two, this week.

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (at NO)

As noted above, Thomas and the Jags tight ends have the most favorable matchup of the week as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than the Saints. Eight different tight ends facing the Saints have finished as a weekly top-eight fantasy tight end this season and I expect Thomas to be the ninth.

Over his past five games, Thomas has scored a minimum of 7.5 fantasy points every week and has a total of 27 catches for 292 yards and four touchdowns over that stretch. During that five-game stretch, Thomas has averaged 7.8 targets per game and has finished as a top-10 fantasy tight end four times.

TE - Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (at PHI)

Reed has now finished as the top-scoring fantasy tight end in back-to-back weeks and he has done so in three of the past nine weeks. In his past two games combined, Reed has 16 catches for 204 yards and three touchdowns and has finished with at least 18 fantasy points in each game. On the season, Reed is averaging 6.17 catches, 64.83 yards and 0.75 touchdowns on 8.25 targets per game. This week, Reed will face the Eagles, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, but he's still my top-ranked tight end not named Gronk.

TE - Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (vs. JAX)

With double-digit targets in back-to-back games, Watson has now finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in three consecutive weeks. On the season, Watson has 67 catches for 761 yards and five touchdowns and the eighth-most fantasy points among tight ends.

Watson gets a great matchup this week as the Jags have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the position this season. The only concern for him this week is the availability of Drew Brees (foot).

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 16:

TE - Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (at BAL)

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense has been firing on all cylinders lately with 30-plus points in six consecutive games. While Miller has plenty of receptions (35) and targets (47) during that span, he's averaging only 8.57 Y/A over that stretch and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2. The wide receivers have a tremendous matchup against a Ravens secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing receivers, but they haven't been as fantasy-friendly (third-fewest) to opposing tight ends.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (at BUF)

Since scoring a pair of touchdowns in the opener, Witten has been kept out of the end zone for 13 consecutive games. In addition, Witten has less than 50 receiving yards in eight consecutive games with an average of 37.25/G over that stretch. Perhaps things will be different this week with Kellen Moore getting the starting nod, but there is little upside for Witten in an average matchup.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (vs. DAL)

Clay missed last week's game with a back injury, but the Bills are "hoping" that he'll be good for Week 16. Highly productive in the first four games of the season (9.38 fantasy points per game), Clay has finished as a top-15 fantasy tight end only once over his past nine games. Considering the recent play and volume for Sammy Watkins and the less than favorable matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Clay deserves to remain on your bench should he be active this week.

TE - Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (vs. IND)

What a disappointing season it has been for Cameron and his fantasy owners. Drafted as a starting (top-12) fantasy tight end, Cameron has been anything but for the vast majority of the season. In his past 12 games, he's finished as a top-20 fantasy tight end only three times: TE11 (Week 6), TE20 (Week 8) and TE10 (Week 11). For some reason, he's still owned in 49 percent of Yahoo! leagues as of Christmas Eve (morning), but he shouldn't even be worthy of a spot at the end of your bench.

- 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