Week 16 fantasy start/sit advice
The fantasy football playoffs have hit the championship game for most leagues. I’m here to help. In the following column, I will take a look at 10 really close calls for Week 16. These players are likely fringe starters currently on your bench or in your lineups. Some of these players have been every-week starters for you — until now. Others have been on your bench or even the waiver wire, but they now have the perfect matchup to exploit.
Last week, we hit on most of our star/sits. Tyrod Taylor returned decent value with nearly 16 points; Devonta Freeman absolutely exploded after a down Week 14 as we predicted; Doug Baldwin, Ladarius Green and Jerick McKinnon all returned solid value. On the flip side, several sits — including Matthew Stafford, Marcus Mariota, Malcolm Mitchell and Delanie Walker — were all shut down. We whiffed on advising to bench Ryan Mathews — but who could’ve seen that coming against the top-ranked run defense.
As always, I’m here to help on Twitter as well. Send any start/sit decisions or players you want help with to @DanSchneierNFL and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Let’s get after it and advance to the next round of the playoffs — the finals for most of you — by making the tough calls.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers (vs. Falcons)
Newton hasn’t been the elite QB1 that many drafted him as in 2016. He has just 17 passing and five rushing touchdowns through the first 14 games. Many who drafted him have already moved on to their QB2 in critical playoff weeks. Hopefully you didn’t follow that path last week and avoid Newton against a Redskins pass defense we advised to attack. If you followed, you were rewarded with a solid 18-point performance. There’s room for more in a Week 16 matchup against a Falcons defense that has done a terrible job of shutting down opposing quarterbacks.
The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2016. They have also allowed the eighth-most points to opposing wide receivers and seventh-most to tight ends. We know Greg Olsen has fallen partly off the fantasy landscape in 2016, but the Falcons’ zone-based defensive scheme is susceptible to allowing big days from opposing tight ends.