This is it, the final week of fantasy football in most leagues. If you’re in the championship game, then you might need advice on who to make sure is in your starting lineup.
Now seeing as your in the championship, you might not need the most advice but this article can be helpful with one or two lineup decisions that might make the difference from winning a title and being the runner-up. Without further ado, let’s jump into the final week of starts, sits, and sleepers!
Fantasy Football Week 16 Starts, Sits, And Sleepers
Start – Kirk Cousins vs. Green Bay Packers
With Dalvin Cook likely not playing on Monday night, the Vikings offense will need to rely on Cousins more. Playing against the Packers to keep their hold on a wildcard spot, Cousins will be asked to do more than usual and this season he has performed admirably when asked to take more of a load in the offensive playbook.
He is currently on pace to finish the season with a fifth-straight 4,000-yard campaign and also have back-to-back seasons with 30 passing touchdowns. Against the Packers in week two, he didn’t fare so well as he threw for 230 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. This week though, the Packers defense is not as formidable as they were when the season began. They can still generate pressure, but their secondary is more susceptible to big plays and touchdowns. Their defense just allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw for over 300 yards last week, so Cousins should have no problem finding open receivers and moving the ball through the air with ease.
Another start option to consider: Jacoby Brissett vs. Carolina Panthers
Sit – Baker Mayfield vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have only given up 13 passing touchdowns all season long, which is tied for second in the league. Not only that, they are currently seventh in the least amount of passing yards allowed. Everyone is talking about the amazing season that Lamar Jackson is having on offense, but their defense is holding things down as well and giving the offense and Jackson more opportunities to put on a show.
The Browns were officially eliminated from the playoffs last week and they have nothing to play for except for pride. While the Browns need to keep the chemistry going and see if they can build for next year, this defense is trying to lock up a number one seed for the Ravens. This means that Mayfield should be in for a real tough day as he’ll be fighting every down to move the ball down the field. In a fantasy championship match, you should look elsewhere for your starting fantasy quarterback.
Another sit option to consider: Carson Wentz vs. Dallas Cowboys
*Sleeper Start* – Drew Lock vs. Detroit Lions
Lock has come back from his injury and has looked every bit the capable quarterback for the Denver Broncos. At a position that has struggled to find the answer since Peyton Manning was under center, Lock has given Denver hope for the future. Let’s throw out last week’s game as that snow could make even the best quarterbacks look pedestrian. In his other two games, Lock has a 5 – 2, touchdown to interception ratio and he also has a completion percentage of over 70%.
Coming into this week’s game against Detroit, Lock and the Broncos will be at home which should help Lock have a great rebound performance. Plus it helps that he will be facing one of the league’s worst pass defenses. The Lions are one of only two teams that have allowed at least 4,000 passing yards and they are also tied for fourth in passing touchdowns allowed. This is a great streaming start for you if you have been lucky to get into the championship without having a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
Another sleeper option to consider: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Start – Joe Mixon vs. Miami Dolphins
Talk about rising from the dead and becoming an end of season fantasy zombie. Mixon has been playing really well over the last five weeks. He has put together back-to-back weeks of over 125 rushing yards, at least 20 rushing attempts, and over five rushing yards per attempt.
As they come into this week’s match-up against Miami, Mixon should have no trouble putting together another solid performance for the third straight week. Both the Bengals and the Dolphins have the league’s worst and second-worst rushing defenses in the NFL. So expect both teams to come out and establish the run, but the Bengals own the advantage with having the better running back. Mixon should be able to do some damage against the Dolphins and it will come pretty easily. Also, don’t be surprised if they decide to target Mixon in the passing game as well to keep the Dolphins guessing. Mixon is trustworthy again and just in time for the fantasy championships.
Another start option to consider: Miles Sanders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sit – Todd Gurley vs. San Francisco 49ers
The last time these two teams played each other, Gurley was not able to play. In a Saturday night bout, the Rams will be trying to climb into the playoff picture while the 49ers are trying to regain their number one seed from Seattle. Gurley has been playing a little better over the latter part of the season, but last week was a dud that Gurley owners have been experiencing the majority of the season.
While he has found the endzone in three straight weeks, Gurley is not the dynamo that he has been the past two years. While we want to hope that Gurley can bring it against San Francisco in a crucial week for everyone involved (fantasy owners and Rams fans alike), don’t count on it. San Francisco allowed only 89 yards to the Atlanta Falcons, and then the week before the only allowed 116 yards to the New Orleans Saints rushing attack. The Rams will have trouble getting a running game established and Gurley will be better sitting on your bench this week.
Another sit option to consider: Carlos Hyde vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Sleeper Start* – Adrian Peterson vs. New York Giants
If you look at the numbers Peterson put up against the Giants earlier in the season, you would think, why should he be a starter this week? Keep in mind though, in that game, the Redskins had the ball for roughly only 23 minutes and were subject to the Giants controlling the game. This week, Peterson should be able to get into a better rhythm and the offense should have the ball for longer on offense, hopefully.
Peterson is now tied for fourth on the all-time rushing touchdown list. You best believe that the Washington offense will try multiple times to get Peterson that touchdown to move past Walter Payton and take control of third on that list. If you are looking for a spot-start at the running back position this week, look no further than Peterson. He should have no trouble getting you points and helping you grab a fantasy title for 2019.
Another sleeper option to consider: DeAndre Washington vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Start – DeVante Parker vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Count Parker as one of the fantasy surprises this year as he has really turned it on over the past handful of weeks. While the whole season has been great for Parker, these last five weeks are what earned him a contract extension through 2023. Over these last five weeks, Parker is averaging eight targets, five receptions, and 97 receiving yards. Let’s also mention that he has only two 100-yard games this season and both have come in these past five weeks.
Coming into this game against the Bengals, expect there to be a lot of offense as both defenses are sub-par at best. Parker should be started in all leagues this week and he could be a serious difference-maker for your fantasy championship roster. Fitzpatrick to Parker will be heard more than once during Sunday’s game and let’s hope this lands you a coveted fantasy title.
Another start option to consider: Tyler Boyd vs. Miami Dolphins
Sit – Julian Edelman vs. Buffalo Bills
This is a strange one here. While Edelman is far and away the most targeted player on the Patriots roster, playing the Bills will offer tougher sledding for Edelman to perform well against. When these two teams played against each other earlier this season, Edelman was held to only four receptions for 30 yards and no touchdowns. In a game where Bills need to win to keep their division title hopes alive, expect the defense to lock down the main cog in the Patriots passing offense, in Edelman.
Plus, Tre’Davious White is one of the best lockdown defenders in the league and he will make things tough for Edelman and the rest of the Patriots receivers. While Edelman is a great receiver, this week’s match-up makes him a better candidate for your bench instead of your starting roster.
Another sit option to consider: Emmanuel Sanders vs. Los Angeles Rams
*Sleeper Start* – Michael Gallup vs. Philadelphia Eagles
This is a huge divisional game for both teams as the winner of this game will most likely lock-up the NFC East division title. This means that all players will bring their A-game to make sure their team is going to the playoffs and not watching from home in January. While Gallup was shut down last week against the Rams, over the previous five weeks he was a great option for Dak Prescott to throw to. He was averaging nine targets, five receptions, and 90 receiving yards over that span. Amari Cooper is the clear number one in this passing offense, but Gallup has slowly become a dependable and reliable number two option for Prescott. The Eagles defense is not good at limiting opposing passing offenses, so this game should be great for Gallup to put together a solid rebound performance.
Another sleeper option to consider: Deebo Samuel vs. Los Angeles Rams
Start – Tampa Bay Tight Ends vs. Houston Texans
Last week without Mike Evans, Jameis Winston still threw for over 450 yards and four touchdowns. He was still able to rely on Chris Godwin, but his second-most targeted receiver that day was both O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Coming into this week’s game against the Texans, Godwin will not be playing and the offense may rely more on the tight ends to get things going.
Yes, Breshad Perriman had himself a game last week but don’t expect a repeat performance as the defense will work to lock him up. Even if Perriman is involved, you know that Winston will need to find other open receivers to get the ball down the field and into the endzone. Howard and Brate are both good starting options this week as they both are going to be targeted heavily this Saturday. Brate will probably be targeted more in the red zone and is a little more touchdown-dependent. Howard is a good candidate for highest-scoring fantasy tight end this week as he can generate the receptions, yards, and possibly a score or two. Both options are warranted this week, but if you need to make a decision between the two, lean towards Howard.
Another start option to consider: Jared Cook vs. Tennessee Titans
Sit – Kyle Rudolph vs. Green Bay Packers
Rudolph had a wonderful November in terms of production on the field. In three games in November, Rudolph was able to find the endzone four times and was targeted 15 times. While he doesn’t have the yards you might want, Rudolph was a red zone monster and was becoming a hot ticket on the waiver wire. Coming into December though, his production has started to take a dive.
In his three December games so far, Rudolph has only one touchdown and was targeted only 11 times in that three-game span. Another reason to be down on Rudolph is that Adam Thielen is returning for the 2nd straight week. While Thielen was out, Rudolph was relied on more but with Thielen back, expect Rudolph to be relegated to just a couple targets a game again. There is a slight chance he might still get involved, with the loss of Cook in the run game. Those chances are pretty slim though as you are better off getting someone else to start at tight end for your chance at a fantasy title.
Another sit option to consider: Tyler Eifert vs. Miami Dolphins
*Sleeper Start* – Noah Fant vs. Detroit Lions
Fant has been picking things up with his new starting quarterback, Lock. The rookies have been connecting on more than one occasion and it looks like a promising relationship heading into the 2020 season. Until then, Fant will look to close out his rookie campaign with two more solid games. Coming into this weekend, Fant will take on the Lions who have surrendered an average of 317 yards over their last five weeks. Lock should have no trouble getting the ball to Fant to get them in position to score. While he did not get a lot going against the Chiefs last week, the Lions are the opposite of the Chiefs. Fant will be a sneaky pickup for you this week if you need a tight end. He has a strong chance of scoring against Detroit and will be in a good position to cross the century mark in yards. Grab Fant off the waiver wire and he could be a valuable addition to your championship roster.
Another sleeper option to consider: Mike Gesicki vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Start – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets
The Steelers defense has been great at shutting down opposing offenses in all facets. Over the last five weeks, their defense has given up less than 300 yards of total offense. Coming into a game against the New York Jets, the chances of the Steelers continuing that trend is pretty high. This game has an interesting storyline as well, as Le’Veon Bell will face his former team for the first time. The match-up sides towards Pittsburgh as they are currently ranked 11th in rushing yards allowed and second in rushing touchdowns allowed.
Also, let’s not forget the fact Bell didn’t want to report to play for the Steelers last year and so you know the Steelers will be playing with that chip on their shoulder to prevent him from doing anything. One more factor is that the Steelers are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive as well, so winning will keep them in the hunt and possibly extend their season. Any more reasons needed?
Another start option to consider: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Sit – Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Monday night is another great divisional game happening this week. The Vikings are looking to hang on to their wildcard spot and the Packers are looking to hang on to their number two seeding. Expect the offenses for both teams to get after it and neither defense will make a difference. Earlier this season, the Packers got out to an early lead but then surrendered 16 straight points and almost lost the game. While Cook will likely be out for the Vikings, Thielen is back in the starting roster which should pose problems for the Packers secondary. Right now, Green Bay is ranked 10th in most total yards allowed in the NFL. This game should be a shootout and this means leaving the Packers defense on the bench is the smarter idea.
Another sit option to consider: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
*Sleeper Start* – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears
In two straight weeks, the Chiefs defense has surrendered less than 100 rushing yards and less than 200 passing yards. Coming into this week’s game against the Bears, expect the Chiefs to limit the Bears offense as well. While Trubisky did throw for over 300 yards against the Packers last week, he did have to throw the ball over 50 times and he ended with a completion percentage of 55%. Kansas City is going to try to keep the pressure on the Bears all game long and this should limit the effectiveness of Trubisky and the Chicago offense. An under the radar addition to your title game roster, but they could be a serious difference-maker.
Another sleeper option to consider: Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots