Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Welcome to Week 16 - the Fantasy Super Bowl! Good luck!
Start 'em Ryan Tannehill (TEN, QB)
Ranked 10th this week on FFN is Ryan Tannehill who has been a resurgent force for the Titans since taking over for Marcus Mariota in Week 7. Facing a high-powered Saints offense, it's entirely likely that the Titans will be playing from behind - hence the reason New Orleans gives up 20+ fantasy points each week.
Start 'em Kyler Murray (ARI, QB)
Hopefully Kyler Murray will go out this season the same way we expect him to start next season - running up fantasy points. Murray has tallied over 500 rushing yards and 4 rushing scores this season including a trip to the endzone when he faced the Seahawks back in Week 4. Seattle is giving up nearly 20 fantasy points each week making Murray a low-end QB1 for your championship week.
Start 'em Dak Prescott (DAL, QB)
Limited in practice today was Dak Prescott preparing for a showdown with the Eagles. His right shoulder shouldn't prevent him from this matchup. Philly has recently given up 19 points to Dwayne Haskins last week and 25 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick just two weeks earlier. Prescott himself racked up 20 fantasy points against them in Week 7. Look for Dak to finish as a Top 10 QB play this week.
Start 'em Kenyan Drake (ARI, RB)
Ranked 14th this week on FFN is Kenyan Drake fresh off a monster performance where he rushed 22 times for 137 yards and 4 touchdowns! Statistically speaking, he has little/no chance at producing those numbers again for your championship run, but he is facing a Seattle defense that just gave up 37.5 points to Christian McCaffrey last week. Drake could be nicknamed Santa Claus for the fantasy goods he's going to deliver.
Start 'em Austin Ekeler (LAC, RB)
One third of all championship week rosters on NFL.com have Austin Ekeler on their teams. He's ranked in the Top 12 this week on FFN (PPR) and has been the better fantasy option from the Chargers backfield all year. Ekeler put up 13 points against the Raiders in Week 10 (Gordon put up 20) and should be able to give you double-digit production again this week.
Start 'em Joe Mixon (CIN, RB)
If you managed to get through those rough weeks this year when Joe Mixon could only get you single digits, you'll be rewarded with a 4th-straight week of double-digit production against a Miami defense that has given up the 6th-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Start 'em Breshad Perriman (TB, WR)
Who would have guessed that we'd be talking about Breshad Perriman in the fantasy championship, but here we are. With Evans out and Godwin likely out, it's Perriman's show. He caught 5-of-6 targets for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns against a weak Lions secondary last week and has a favorable matchup against the Texans this week who just gave up 25 points to AJ Brown last week.
Start 'em AJ Brown (TEN, WR)
It's remarkable what AJ Brown was able to accomplish on a handful of targets this season, so it's no surprise to see that he hauled in 114 yards and a score with a season-high 13 targets last week. He has been a solid go-to option for Ryan Tannehill, and in what should be a shootout against the Saints (giving up the 7th-most fantasy points), Brown should deliver a solid WR2 performance for your championship run.
Start 'em D.J. Moore (CAR, WR)
The rookie has surpassed all expectations this year consistently providing fantasy owners with reliable fantasy production. He will likely finish the season as a Top 10 receiver and could very well deliver a Top 10 performance for fantasy owners this week against an Indy defense that is giving up the 11th-most fantasy points to receivers this year.
Start 'em Jacob Hollister (SEA, TE)
Jacob Hollister may not have lit the fantasy world on fire the last few weeks, but this matchup is too good to pass up. Nobody gives up more yards, touchdowns, or fantasy points to tight ends this year than the Cardinals. Hollister is ranked 10th this week on FFN and should be able to produce a TE1 result.
Start 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Hopefully you started Tyler Higbee last week because the TE has been incredible over the past three weeks averaging 21.8 fantasy points per game. While the Niners have been brutal against tight ends this year giving up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to them, we're going to go against the grain and continue to recommend him as a startable option based upon his active role and expected volume with Gerald Everett sidelined.
Start 'em Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT, DEF)
The top-ranked fantasy defense on FFN this week is the Pittsburgh Steelers facing a Jets defense that gives up the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing DST's.
Start 'em Jason Myers (SEA, K)
Ranked 2nd this week on FFN is Jason Myers in what should be an easy matchup. The Cardinals have given up almost 10 fantasy points each week to opposing kickers and Myers put up 9 points against them back in Week 4. Look for a repeat this week.
Sit 'em Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
When Jared Goff faced the Niners in Week 6, San Francisco completely owned him keeping him to 78 yards and an embarrassingly low 1 fantasy point. Now, he's going to put up more than one point this week, but the 49ers have kept quarterbacks to the 6th-fewest fantasy points this season, so it's just not possible to trust him in what is the most important week of the season.
Sit 'em Tom Brady (NE, QB)
It's a bit surprising to see Tom Brady ranked all the way down to #24 this week, but it's for good reason. The Bills have surrendered the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to QB's this year including a paltry 3.7 fantasy points to Brady back in Week 4. The Bills give up just 190 yards through the air and 101 yards on the ground per game - and Tom Brady hasn't been playing strong enough to warrant a starting spot on your roster in Week 16.
Sit 'em Sam Darnold (NYJ, QB)
In dynasty formats, Sam Darnold holds fantastic value, but in season-long Week 16 lineup decisions, he's barely startable even in 2-QB leagues. The Steelers have been brutal to opposing quarterbacks this season giving up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to them.
Sit 'em Carlos Hyde (HOU, RB)
The Bucs have not been kind to running backs this year surrendering the 4th-fewest points to them. He's ranked 33rd this week on FFN in a tough matchup. An analysis of running backs who have done well against Tampa Bay showed that they were heavily involved in the passing game - something Hyde simply isn't a part of. He has just 9 receptions on the year and will need to find the endzone in order to have fantasy value.
Sit 'em LeSean McCoy (KC, RB)
With a snowy game on tap last week, fantasy owners may have been excited for the prospects for LeSean McCoy only to be disappointed with 6 carries for just 16 yards. This is a crowded backfield with Spencer Ware, Darwin Thompson, and the potential return of Damien Williams. Limited carries and a tough Bears run defense is not what fantasy owners need for Week 16.
Sit 'em David Johnson (ARI, RB)
If you haven't thrown in the towel yet on David Johnson, we're not sure what you're waiting for. He's still rostered in nearly 89% of teams across the major platforms. Why? He's clearly lost the starting job atop the depth chart to Kenyan Drake, and over the past five weeks, he has seen just 3 carries per game. 3 carries! DJ is no longer even rosterable much less startable.
Sit 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
We didn't see a typical workload for T.Y. Hilton last week even though he claimed to be 100% over his calf injury. Even if that was just the Colts being cautious, they're out of the playoff hunt so what reason would they have for increasing his snap count? He managed just 25 yards last week, and even though Week 16 is a sweet matchup, Hilton's usage has been secondary to that of Pascal, Inman, and Johnson. Hilton is a risky boom-or-bust play.
Sit 'em Chris Conley (JAC, WR)
Fantasy owners who started Chris Conley last week were rewarded when Minshew Mania found him in the endzone twice. Conley is an attractive option if D.J. Chark were to miss another game, but the Falcons have been pretty solid against receivers over the past several weeks keeping some of the biggest names to minimal points (Emmanuel Sanders 2.9 pts, DJ Moore 12 pts, Michael Thomas 10 pts, and Mike Evans 9pts). Conley is a roll of the dice play for your championship game.
Sit 'em Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE, WR)
As if the Ravens didn't have a tough enough defense (13th-fewest fantasy points, 7th-fewest passing yards). As if Beckham wasn't dealing with a painful sports hernia. As if Beckham wasn't held to just 4 points the last time they met in Week 4. As if Jarvis Landry hasn't been the more productive receiver this year. As if...
Sit 'em Jimmy Graham (GB, TE)
For Jimmy Graham to be fantasy relevant, he needs to find the endzone which he hasn't done since Week 7. Since then, he's averaged just 2 receptions for 26 yards and no scores. He's ranked 24th again this week on FFN - well outside startability. A banged-up Graham is simply not what fantasy owners need in their championship game.
Sit 'em Greg Olsen (CAR, TE)
Greg Olsen has been cleared from the concussion protocol and should be back this week. Unfortunately, his usage remains to be seen - particularly in light of recent play by Ian Thomas. His return dilutes both of their fantasy values. He's ranked 18th this week on FFN with plenty of question marks surrounding him. Whether or not these are his last two games as a Panther, they should certainly be his last games on your roster.
Sit 'em Green Bay Packers (GB, DEF)
The Green Bay Packers have been a solid fantasy option for owners this year, but starting them on Monday night brings about unnecessary risks for a championship run. The Vikings may or may not have Dalvin Cook, but the offense as a whole has been pretty solid surrendering the 5th-fewest fantasy points per game.
Sit 'em Nick Folk (NE, K)
Fantasy owners have become accustomed to fantasy success with Patriot kickers, and for good reason. Gostkowski was fantastic. Nick Folk was productive last week putting up 10 fantasy points, but no other team has given up fewer fantasy points to kickers this year than the red-hot Buffalo Bills.