2019 Fantasy Football Week 16: Starts/Sits (and Sleepers!)
Week 16 is upon us, and it's time to help win you a title! If you're still mulling over multiple options to slot into your lineup to take down your league championship, this article will hopefully help you whittle those choices down with some quality lineup plays and players to sit given the matchup.
You can also find me on Twitter @ktompkinsii for more analysis including rankings updates, start/sit advice, and much more!
That said, let's get right into it!
START Jameis Winston, TB vs. HOU
The risk is always there with Jameis Winston. The way it's gone for a few weeks here is that Winston throws an interception on the first drive, he gets it out of his system, and goes on to have a prolific day passing. Last week he reeled off his second straight 30+ point fantasy day against the bottom-dwelling Lions without Mike Evans. This week, he goes for three in a row but will need to do it against the Texans without Evans and Chris Godwin. He gets to now throw to Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson, O.J. Howard and a host of others, but I think Winston based on sheer volume alone can get the job done against a shaky Texans pass defense that has allowed 28+ fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks for three games in a row. Don't quit Jameis now, even with a questionable tag, he should play barring any more news.
SIT Josh Allen, BUF @ NE
I know Josh Allen has been excellent throughout 2019, even pulling out some quality fantasy performances against stuff competition. Of all weeks to play Josh Allen, this one in Foxboro is not the one to roll the dice on him. Las Vegas has this game projected at 38 points, a very low total, and with the 20.4 fantasy points Allen has accrued in two prior meetings with the Patriots, you could be seeing more of the same. That 10.2 fantasy points seems right around what you can expect out of Allen this week, not somebody you want to depend on to win a championship.
DON'T SLEEP ON Drew Lock, DEN vs. DET
Last week's snow bowl in Kansas City was a no-win situation for Drew Lock, so he should find it much easier to operate against the Detroit Lions, who allowed the aforementioned Jameis Winston to toss up 458 yards and 4 touchdowns. Are we expecting that out of Lock? Of course not. In a limited amount of work though, Lock has looked fairly competent. putting up 28 fantasy points against the Texans a couple of weeks ago. He has a surprisingly high floor in this matchup for somebody starting out his career just a month ago.
START Joe Mixon, CIN @ MIA
If you drafted Joe Mixon and made it to your championship, way to ride those tough times. Mixon has been nothing shirt of spectacular over the last few weeks, with three weeks of 17+ fantasy points and the last two games nothing over 136 yards rushing. Now he gets to tee off against a Miami squad giving up the 5th most fantasy points to running backs. He's going to get a ton of touches, a lot of opportunity, and every chance to go nuts. As my RB3 for the week, he's got a great shot at being the overall RB1 this week when you need him the most.
SIT Le'Veon Bell, NYJ vs. PIT
The revenge game "narrative" works both ways here, and the way Le'Veon Bell left Pittsburgh, don't you think the Steelers want to show Bell the grass isn't always greener? If I'm the Steelers defense, I'm fired up about facing Bell, who hasn't been anything to write home about this season. He hasn't scored since Week 11, he doesn't have a 100 yard rushing game despite all of the touches he's gotten, and he's just looked like a shell of his former self. At least he got his money, right? This matchup is not money, however, and neither are Bell's fantasy prospects in championship week.
DON'T SLEEP ON Kerryon Johnson, DET @ DEN
Kerryon Johnson was really adamant about wanting to play to finish out the season, and it looks like he's going to get that shot against the Broncos. The touches will be there, and we'll see what he can do. He's always been a quality receiver and he may get more looks than you'd think considering Chris Harris should matchup up with Kenny Golladay. David Blough is not a good option behind center for the Lions, but Johnson as a talent plus opportunity play could see a ton of looks running the ball and out of the backfield running pass routes. If you lost Dalvin Cook and weren't able to get Mike Boone, you could do much worse than a Kerryon Johnson flier as a low-end RB2 this week.
START Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. NYG
Terry McLaurin has sandwiched a shaky middle of the season with a great start and what looks to be a great ending to his 2019 rookie campaign. The main narrative from the offseason was the built-in rapport with Redskins' rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and that's starting to look pretty legitimate. He's scored a touchdown in his last two contests and only needed 5 targets to torch the Philadelphia secondary to the tune of 5-130-1. This week, he faces the Giants, who allow the 4th most yards and fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. He missed the first meeting this season, but he'll do enough damage the second time around as a WR2, and hopefully, in your lineup.
SIT T.Y. Hilton, IND vs. CAR
Yes, T.Y. Hilton has a great matchup against the Panthers as the 4th worst defense against fantasy wideouts, but he's just coming back from a calf injury, and Jacoby Brissett has not looked that good of late. Hilton has only managed 4-25 on 9 targets in that thrashing against the Saints last Monday night, so while it would not surprise me one bit if Hilton scored, I can't trust him in this championship week with such a high amount of outcomes. He's a classic boom/bust player for me, but ultimately, I have him ranked outside the WR3 range into low-end FLEX territory.
DON'T SLEEP ON Greg Ward, PHI vs. DAL
WIth the news of Nelson Agholor possibly being shut down for the season, Greg Ward has turned into a nice little slot machine for Carson Wentz as they have literally scraped the bottom of the barrel for receivers in Philly. Luckily, this former Houston quarterback has been quite the find, putting up a 7-61-1 line on 9 targets. He's gotten those same 9 targets in the last two contests, so he's clearly being used in this offense and in what boils down to the division title game in Philadelphia this weekend, the Eagles will need all hands on deck. I like Ward as a useable WR3 this week for all the marbles in fantasy and reality for the Eagles.
START Austin Hooper, ATL vs. JAX
The Hoop Troop will be in full force here as they will try to will Austin Hooper back to the TE1 conversation. Since he's come back from injury, he's had a rather slow return with 5 fantasy points each in his two contests. Watching Darren Waller tag the Jags for 8-122 should put a spring in his step and see what is possible against a Jags' defense that hasn't defended the position well in terms of fantasy. Keep in mind Hooper had a touchdown called back at the end of that wild contest against the 49ers, and has seen 6 targets in each game, so I'm confident in Hooper as a TE1 this week.
SIT Greg Olsen, CAR @ IND
Greg Olsen may be back as Carolina's starting tight end, but he's going to see his third signal-caller of the season in former West Virginia product Will Grier. It will not be "Almost Heaven" for Olsen and his fantasy prospects this week, as he's just coming off of a concussion and even when healthy, Olsen has just been okay as a high-end TE2 this season, with most of his damage in the first three weeks and an 8-98 game against Green Bay. There are better options out there to stream than Olsen in championship week. Like...
DON'T SLEEP ON O.J. Howard, TB vs. HOU
... this man, O.J. Howard. He's been the bane of a lot of fantasy players' existences this season but has probably found his most usable spot, when attrition has set in for the Buccaneers. Howard is one of the last men standing, and I don't mind him as a quality start this week against the Texans. We all know Jameis Winston is very pass happy and Howard is probably the most trusted target of him, Breshad Perriman, and Justin Watson in terms of longevity within the organization and rapport. That should count for something, so I don't mind Howard as an upside TE1 play this week, yes, even in championship week.