Podcastic Week 16 Starts/ Sits
It is CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND! We want you to take home the title and are here to give you our best advice to make that possible. The Podcastic team wants to thank all of our readers for following us throughout the season, but just because the season is over, it does not mean the content is. This will be our last start/ sit article of the season, but we have big plans for offseason content so stay tuned! Now let's get into our week 16 starts and sits!
QB: Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts has come in and invigorated this Eagles team. The offense is humming right now, and Hurts is coming off of a 37.82 fantasy point performance in 4 point per passing TD leagues. He threw for 338 yards and 3 TDs while adding 63 rushing yards and a rushing TD against the Cardinals. This was just his second start. Now he gets a middle of the pack defense in Dallas that I believe he can torch this week. Look at Hurts as a QB 1!
QB: Baker Mayfield (vs NYJ)
Who would have thought that starting Baker Mayfield in the championship would be a viable option coming into this year. Over the past 4 games he has 10 TDs and only 1 INT. He faces the lowly Jets defense that has struggled to stop the pass. Look for Baker to have a another solid week and potentially lead your fantasy team to a championship!
QB: Baker Mayfield
Baker is on a roll right now. Over the last 3 games he has 8 TD passes and only 1 interception and is averaging almost 325 yards in that span. He’s also coming off a game where he completed 84% of passes against a respectable Giants D (5th in fantasy points allowed to QBs). Now he plays the Jets who give up the 3rd most passing yards a game and also the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs. Baker and the Browns should roll in this one too.
QB: Matt Ryan (at Kansas City), ECR QB16
This certainly is not a slam dunk spot for Ryan. Before last week’s QB7 finish vs. Tampa Bay, he had gone four straight weeks without a top twelve weekly finish. This is mostly a bet on the Kansas City offense and it forcing Atlanta into a negative, pass-heavy game script. That is a formula that has led to success in recent weeks. Here are the weekly finishes for recent QBs facing KC (Brees QB13, Tagovailoa QB4, Lock QB25, Brady QB5, Carr QB8, Bridgewater QB6).
RB: Giovani Bernard
Giovani Bernard is in a good position to put up some solid points again this week. He is coming off of a game against a very tough Steelers run defense, where he put up 22.7 PPR fantasy points while toting the ball 25 times. He now gets a much softer run defense in the Houston Texans, and if he gets workhorse touches like he did last week he is a smash start!
RB: Salvon Ahmed (vs LV)
Coming off the best game of his young career Salvon Ahmed is a name to consider for Week 16. There is a chance that Myles Gaskin misses again due to COVID. However, if Gaskin plays there is a chance that Ahmed and him would split carries. He faces a Raiders defense that ranks 29th against fantasy RBs. Look for Ahmed to have another big game if Gaskin is out once again.
RB: Giovani Bernard
Gio is coming off a 2 TD game against the Steelers but it’s his usage that is encouraging here. Touchdowns are unpredictable but Gio played 68% of snaps and dominated backfield carries with 25. He also included a reception for 14 yards and now gets a very beatable Houston D. The Texans give up the 2nd most rushing yards a game and allow the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs. Gio is in a prime position to help you in championship week.
RB: Jonathan Taylor (at Pittsburgh) ECR RB14
The Steelers defense is not one to avoid anymore. After only allowing one team to rush for over 100 yards in their first six games, they have allowed six teams to do it over the last eight games. Meanwhile, Taylor has been on a hot streak, averaging over 100 rushing yards over the last three games. And the way the Pittsburgh offense has been playing the last two weeks, I am not worried about the Colts having to play catch-up and abandoning the run.
WR: Jarvis Landry
The Browns offense is clicking now and Baker looks very comfortable in it. Landry has been the main beneficiary of Baker's resurgence. He has put up double digit PPR fantasy performances in 3 out of his last 4 outings. It would have been all 4 if it was not for a fumble vs the Ravens. He now gets to face a Jets team that is bad at almost anything to do with football. Look for Jarvis to put up another good performance against a Jets team coming off of their first win of the season.
WR: Keke Coutee (vs CIN)
As much as this pains me as a Texans fan, (Coutee fumbled on the 2 yard line last week) Keke Coutee is a solid option in Week 16. He has scored in 3 of his last 5 games. Last week he saw 7 targets and should see volume again this week against a below average Bengals defense. Consider Coutee a solid WR3/FLEX this week.
WR: Brandon Aiyuk
Aiyuk has been on fire the last 5 games, even though the 49ers have not been. He’s averaging 21.5 fantasy points, has 4 of 5 games in double digit targets (1 game of 9 targets), and 4 TDs during that time. He’s now playing with another backup in C.J. Beathard but if Beathard is smart, he’ll continue to feed Aiyuk. With George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and now Raheem Mostert hurt, the 49ers will need to find ways to get Aiyuk the ball.
WR: Jalen Reagor (at Dallas) ECR WR84
This is probably my lowest ranked player that I have recommended this year. Reagor hurt his ankle last week but reports are that he should practice today and be fine for the weekend. His role is starting to increase (season high 8 targets last week), his QB is on a roll, and he is facing the NFL’s worst pass defense (28.5 fantasy points/game to WRs and 24 TDs allowed, both highest in the league). You could do a lot worse as a flex start.
TE: Logan Thomas
Logan Thomas has quickly become one of the better TEs in fantasy football. He is now the #5 TE on the season in PPR formats. He is near the top at the position in many categories.
Snap Share: #1
Slot Snaps: #1
Routes Run: #2
Route %: #2
Target rate: #7
He is coming off of his best game of the season against the Seahawks hauling in 13 receptions on 15 targets for 101 yards! He now gets a Panthers team in the bottom half vs TEs for fantasy. Logan Thomas may now be a must start every week!
TE: Dalton Schultz (vs PHI)
I have been hyping up this match up for a while now. Its no secret that the Eagles have struggled against TEs this season. This game could turn into a shootout and lead to more targets for Dalton Schultz. Consider him a low end TE1 and a solid streaming option for Week 16.
TE: Austin Hooper (at NY Jets) ECR TE15
The Jets are definitely the defense to target for opposing TEs, as they have easily given up the most fantasy points (12.2) and TDs (13) to the position. Hooper also had a good game in his return from injury last week, with 5/41/1 line vs. the Giants (good for a TE8 finish for the week). Do not be shocked if he is a top five guy this week.
QB: Phillip Rivers
The Steelers have been struggling lately, but they still have one hell of a pass rush. With Rivers immobility I can see them putting pressure on him often. Rivers ceiling isn't very high to begin with. Look for a better streaming option this week.
QB: Russell Wilson (vs LAR)
Russell Wilson has failed to pass for over 300 yards in his past 6 games. Over that timeframe he only has 2 games with multiple TDs. Do not get trapped by the "big name" during your championship week. He also faces a Rams defense the has been the best against opposing fantasy QBs this season. He ended up with only 9.92 fantasy points the last time these 2 teams played. Wilson is a clear sit for me this week.
QB: Russell Wilson
After a hot start to the year Wilson has cooled dramatically. He’s failed to reach 20 fantasy points in 3 of the last 4 games, has 3 interceptions in that time, and just passed for only 121 yards last game. Combine that with a matchup against the toughest D against QBs in the Rams and depending on who else you have, sitting Wilson is an option.
QB: Mitchell Trubisky (at Jacksonville), ECR QB12
The matchup against the Jaguars is really tempting but I would hate to be trusting Trubisky in a championship game this weekend. Since he became the starter again four weeks ago, he has had two top-seven finishes and two as QB24. There is a chance that he comes out and throws for three TDs against the Jaguars but there is just as good of a chance that the Bears decide to ride Montgomery and the defense and Trubisky ends with 200 yards/1 TD stat line.
RB: Mike Davis
Mike Davis is facing a good run defense in the Washington Football Team that gives up the sixth least fantasy points per game to the RB position. Davis has not been exactly lighting it up lately either. He has a high of 64 rushing yards over the past six games. You may be forced to start him but do not expect RB 1 numbers this week.
RB: Mike Davis (vs WAS)
I will start off by saying that I do not think Christian McCaffrey will play this week. In most cases this would make Mike Davis an auto start. However, he has turned into a TD or bust type of RB in recent weeks. He faces a Washington Defense that ranks 3rd against Fantasy RBs this season. Another important note is Rodney Smith has played on 23%, 24% and 35% of snaps over the past 3 weeks. It is possible that the Panthers like what they have seen in the UDFA rookie out of Minnesota and want to give him more playing time. Consider Davis more of a FLEX play in week 16.
RB: Mike Davis
Davis has struggled fantasy wise recently when he doesn’t score TDs. In other words, he’s TD depend. He struggled against a very beatable Packers D last week and now faces a formidable front line and D in the Washington Football team. Christian McCaffery’s availability at this point is unknown which could also completely negate Davis’s fantasy value.
RB: Miles Sanders (at Dallas) ECR RB7
You really cannot afford to sit Sanders this week because the upside facing Dallas is too high. But of all the RBs in the ECR top ten, Sanders easily gives me the most pause. He is still not getting a large workload (has not had more than 17 carries since week two) and is still inconsistent in the passing game (two of the last three weeks with two targets or less). He really needs at least one TD to live up to this RB7 ranking.
WR: Laviska Shenault
Shenault has shown well in his rookie season, but he is facing a Bears team that is great at limiting WR production. He is receiving targets but the Jags offense is not clicking at the moment. Even with Minshew at the helm his upside is capped.
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs IND)
This one was a no brainer for me. A WR who is more interested in dancing on logos and making Tik Tok videos than playing football is not someone to start in Week 16. The Steelers offense has also struggled in recent weeks. JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the league in slot snaps. He lines up there on 81% of plays. In Week 16 he will face arguably the best slot CB in Kenny Moore. JuJu is a clear sit this week.
WR: Juju Smith-Schuster
The Steelers and Big Ben have struggled the last 3 games. Smith-Schuster has failed to reach double digit fantasy points in 2 of those 3. The Steelers and JuJu now get a stout Colts D as it could be another tough go of things offensively. I’m not sure I’d trust JuJu this week with your championship on the line.
WR: D.K. Metcalf (vs LA Rams) ECR WR12
Not surprisingly, the slide in Russell Wilson’s recent production has led to a dip in Metcalf’s as well, with two finishes outside the top 40 WRs in the last three weeks. His last matchup vs. the Rams (and Jalen Ramsey) led to his worst game of the year, with only two catches for 28 yards.
TE: Eric Ebron
Ebron has been a solid play for many at TE this season. He is now coming off of a back injury and something just seems off with this Steelers offense. The Steelers are coming off a terrible performance vs a bad Bengals defense. Now with a matchup against a tough Colts defense I would sit Ebron who, even if playing, may still be a little hobbled.
TE: Eric Ebron (vs IND)
I promise that I'm not just trying to beat up on the Steeler offense. Eric Ebron left Week 15 with a back injury after taking a big hit. This gave many owners (myself included) a grand total of 0 points from Ebron. Even if Ebron plays this week he faces a Colts defense that ranks as the 6th best against fantasy TEs. Consider Ebron a high end TE2 if he ends up playing in Week 16.
TE: Jonnu Smith (at Green Bay) ECR TE12
The issue with Smith is that he is still receiving such a low target amount that he needs to basically catch all of them if he is going to have a decent game (like he did last week against the Lions). He also needs to continue his high TD variance if he is going to be a TE1 and that is going to be difficult against the Packers, who have only allowed four TDs to the position this year (tied for fourth fewest in the league).