Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 16 lineups.
Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Start: Will Fuller, Breshad Perriman
Fuller is always at risk of leaving with a hamstring injury, but he’s also got the upside to finish as the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver any given week and especially this week when he’ll face a Buccaneers defense that ranks first against the run in DVOA but has allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts this season.
Perriman blew up for three touchdowns last week and should remain busy Saturday with Chris Godwin joining Mike Evans on the sidelines. Perriman is an extremely gifted athlete who’s 6-foot-2, 215 pounds with a 40 time in the 100th percentile, and Tampa Bay is unlikely to have a lot of success running the ball in what projects as a high-scoring affair. Consequently, O.J. Howard is a top-10 tight end this week as well.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Sit: John Brown
Start: James White
Brown is tough to trust during fantasy championships on the road while being shadowed by the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year.
White leads all NFL running backs in air yards and might very well be New England’s focus on offense this week with a depleted receiving group against a strong Buffalo secondary (Julian Edelman appears to be legitimately compromised, and the next tackle Mohamed Sanu breaks this season will be his first).
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Sit: Jared Goff
Start: Raheem Mostert
The 49ers should get Richard Sherman back, so Goff belongs on fantasy benches during a short week on the road (6.9 YPA this season) against a tough pass defense. The expected return of Gerald Everett also hurts the outlook for Tyler Higbee in an already difficult matchup.
Mostert is coming off a disappointing game, but he led San Francisco’s backfield as promised and watched Matt Breida get benched after coughing up two fumbles. Mostert is 11th in elusive rating while Breida and Tevin Coleman both rank in the bottom-10, and the Rams have been friendly to fantasy backs over the last five games, so start Mostert with confidence Saturday night (when Jalen Ramsey is likely to shadow Emmanuel Sanders).
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons
Start in DFS: Jaguars defense ($11), Devonta Freeman ($22)
Jacksonville is a sleeper defense to rack up sacks at a cheap DFS price ($11), as they have a big advantage up front (the Jaguars are first in QB knockdown% while Atlanta ranks 31st in QB hits allowed). Firing Tom Coughlin (shocking that his archaic ways didn’t result in more wins) should only help as well.
Given Atlanta’s likely struggles in pass protection (and lack of weapons outside of Julio Jones and Austin Hooper), expect the Falcons to feature Freeman heavily against a Jaguars run defense that ranks 31st in DVOA and has been the most favorable matchup for fantasy backs over the last five games.
New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans
Start in DFS: Michael Thomas ($38), A.J. Brown ($26)
Thomas is in the middle of a historic season and looks primed for another huge game against a Titans defense that’s tough to run against yet vulnerable versus wideouts. He’s worth paying up for in DFS as fantasy’s clear No. 1 wide receiver and in a matchup with one of this week’s highest projected totals (50 points).
Brown’s DFS price is rightfully skyrocketing after he saw 13 targets last week (five more than his previous high), predictably resulting in a monstrous game. Since Tennessee’s bye four weeks ago, Brown has averaged 111.8 yards and scored four touchdowns despite seeing a modest 7.3 targets per game, and he should be extra busy (albeit while seeing a lot of Marshon Lattimore) with Derrick Henry banged up during Sunday’s projected barnburner. Brown is third among all wide receivers in yards per route run and second in broken tackles during his rookie season (and tied with Michael Thomas for fifth-best Passer Rating when targeted), and it’s going to be impossible to draft him too high in 2020.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
Start: Golden Tate, Steven Sims
Tate’s had his best games this year with Daniel Jones playing, and he gets a Washington defense that’s been incredibly stingy against outside receivers all season yet has ceded the sixth-most fantasy points to the slot (where he’s lined up 86% of the time this year).
Sims has emerged as Washington’s No. 2 WR and remains the minimum in DFS ($10) despite leading the team with 11 targets and scoring last week. He’s a sleeper facing a Giants secondary that’s yielded the second-most fantasy points to the slot over the last month.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Jets
Sit: James Conner
Start: Jets defense
Conner is at risk of leaving early and will be on a snap count while playing through his injured shoulder. He’s tough to trust in fantasy lineups on the road versus the league’s No. 2 ranked run defense in DVOA.
Jamal Adams is expected to return for a Jets defense that’s weakness isn’t likely to be taken advantage of by Devlin Hodges, who committed an ugly four turnovers last week and now goes on the road likely without much help from his run game.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins
Start in DFS: Joe Mixon ($28)
Sit: Patrick Laird
Mixon was added to the injury report late this week, so his status needs to be monitored, but if healthy he’s an easy top-five RB in this matchup. He’s look possessed recently, averaging 171 yards from scrimmage over the last two games and should remain Cincinnati’s focus on offense in a meeting with some rain/wind concern.
Laird is down to 3.0 YPC on the season, and the Bengals’ defense is playing better lately. Also, keep expectations in check for DeVante Parker in this matchup (and in this weather) against a Cincy secondary that’s allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to outside receivers this season.
Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts
Start in DFS: Will Grier ($20), Marlon Mack ($25)
Grier is a total wild card, and Carolina’s willingness to start undrafted Kyle Allen over him doesn’t suggest the third-round rookie is ready to explode, but he’s intriguing in DFS at a minimum price, given his setup. The Panthers field some real nice weapons for Grier to have at his disposal in a dome game against a Colts defense that just allowed an NFL-record for completion percentage and has been a favorable matchup for quarterbacks all season.
Mack is typically game-script dependent, and the Colts enter Sunday as touchdown home favorites against a Carolina run-funnel defense that ranks top-10 versus the pass and last versus the run in DVOA.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Sit: Marquise Brown, Odell Beckham Jr.
Brown has seen four targets or fewer in six of the last seven games and hasn’t been given double digits since Week 1, and he’ll see a lot of Denzel Ward in coverage Sunday.
I foolishly ranked Beckham high last week, but he’s clearly compromised while playing hurt and won’t be right physically until next year. Assuming that’s in Cleveland, I’m not overly optimistic for a big rebound with recent news of the Browns reportedly set to bring back Freddie Kitchens, and also the very real possibility that Baker Mayfield isn’t going to be the star many expected (myself included). OBJ is also dealing with a tough matchup this week when he’s outside my top-36 WRs.
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos
Sit: All Lions not named Kenny Golladay
Start in DFS: Broncos defense ($13) and Phillip Lindsay ($22)
The Lions are a mess, but Golladay is tough to sit given his likely volume, even if he’ll see a lot of Chris Harris’ coverage. Don’t even think about using Kerryon Johnson if he returns this week.
Denver is in a prime spot to bounce back at home and help fantasy managers in multiple ways this week against a checked-out Lions team that’s lost seven straight. David Blough has looked extremely shaky, will again be missing Marvin Jones and the Lions should struggle to run, so I have the Broncos as my No. 1 defense, making them intriguing in DFS ($13). Moreover, Courtland Sutton (top-five in WOPR this season) gets a Detroit secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to his primary side over the last month, so treat him as a top-10 WR. I also have Phillip Lindsay as a top-10 RB in this matchup, so fire him up in DFS ($22), as the Broncos are set to provide big fantasy production in crucial Week 16.
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Start: DeAndre Washington
Start in DFS: Melvin Gordon ($22)
Washington should dominate carries and saw seven targets during his lone start, so he’s going to be treated as a borderline workhorse with Josh Jacobs out Sunday. The Raiders lack weapons on offense, and the Chargers rank No. 23 versus the run in DVOA, so Washington is a top-20 RB during fantasy championship week (and intriguing at $16 in DFS).
Gordon lost two fumbles last week but should bounce back with the Chargers touchdown home favorites versus a reeling Oakland team that’s welcoming to fantasy backs. The Chargers are weirdly a 5-9 team who currently possess two top-12 fantasy RB options in Week 16.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Start: Michael Gallup, Dallas Goedert
This game is outdoors, and it’s unclear if Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury will compromise him at all, but otherwise, this is a smash spot for Gallup. The Eagles are tough to run against and have allowed the fewest fantasy points to the slot yet the most fantasy points to his primary side this season (Amari Cooper also has massive home/road splits since joining Dallas and who knows how healthy his knee is). Gallup is a top-12 WR on my board this week.
Zach Ertz has a strong argument as fantasy’s No. 1 tight end this week, while Goedert is a top-10 option with Nelson Agholor again looking likely to join Alshon Jeffery on the sidelines. No Philly wideout has stepped up to counter all the team’s injuries, and Dallas has been vulnerable against tight ends this season.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Start: Christian Kirk, DK Metcalf
Kirk may not fully recover from his ankle injury until the offseason, but he should see good volume this week and has suffered from poor TD luck having scored in just one game all season. He’s a fine start in Week 16 and an even better target during drafts next year.
This is a favorable setup all around for Seattle, and Metcalf has averaged 75.2 receiving yards at home this year and should overwhelm Arizona’s secondary. Treat him as a top-20 wide receiver and Jacob Hollister as a top-five tight end this week.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears
Start: Chiefs defense
Sit: David Montgomery
Kansas City’s biggest weakness is run defense — they shut down receivers — so this is seemingly an awful matchup for Chicago. But it’s also a Chiefs defense that’s playing much better of late, while Mitch Trubisky has thrown a pick in five straight games and has taken 20 sacks (with 6.2 YPA) at home this season.
It's tempting to start a feature back facing DVOA’s No. 30 ranked run defense, but Kansas City has quietly been tough against fantasy RBs recently, and Montgomery’s YPC after contact ranks 48th out of 50 qualifying backs (behind only David Johnson and Kalen Ballage). He shouldn’t be trusted during fantasy championship week.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Sit: Aaron Rodgers
Start: Mike Boone
A 24:2 TD:INT ratio suggests Rodgers still has plenty left in the tank, but he’s gotten just 6.3 YPA and taken a whopping 20 sacks over six road games this season. He shouldn’t be treated as a QB1 in a tough matchup in Minnesota on Monday night.
This is tricky given the start time, but if the injury situations have been cleared up over the weekend and both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are ruled out, start the talented Boone with confidence and treat him as a top-10 RB against Green Bay’s soft run defense. Boone and DeAndre Washington could both quickly go from waiver wires to fantasy league winners this week.