Week 16 – Starts/Sits – Christmas Day, Boxing Day & Sunday 6pm Games

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

Without doubt, the biggest head scratcher of a fantasy football player is deciding who to start in their line-up each week. There is nothing worse than leaving a game on your bench and spending the entirety of the next week dwelling in hindsight.

Whether you’re in 1 league or 100 leagues, setting your line-ups is the most crucial part of your fantasy week and we’re here to let you know which players are in the best environments to boom and which are most likely destined to bust.

Don’t forget to keep your #EyesPeeled for tomorrow’s podcast where we dive into a full preview of the weekend games and make sure you head over to Twitter (@F10YFantasy) for “Start ‘em, sit ‘em, GIF ‘EM!”.

Spoiler alert: There’s a bold start ’em in Jacksonville.

Christmas Day Football

Matchup: Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints

Rey Del Rio - Getty Images

Start of the Game

Emmanuel Sanders – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints

With Michael Thomas out for the year and TreQuan Smith’n’Wesson possibly not available for the Saints it’s a gift-wrapped opportunity for the veteran Sanders to have a day against a Vikings team who love to give up points to pass-catchers. Get your Christmas/Fantasy Championship off to a great start and start Sanders.

Other Notable Starts

Minnesota Vikings – N/A

New Orleans Saints – Latavius Murray – Running Back

Michael Conroy AP

Sit of the Game

Kirk Cousins – Quarterback – Minnesota Vikings

Kirk in Primetime is always a contentious issue. Better on SNF than MNF (not difficult) and against the Saints he bested Drew Brees in the playoffs last year. However, the Saints played Patrick Mahomes & co. as well as anyone else this season and Cousins has been…average in Fantasy the last fortnight. I don’t like him to win your title game unless you’re a SuperFlex/2QB player.

Other Notable Sits

Minnesota Vikings – Tyler Conklin – Tight End

New Orleans Saints – Jared Cook – Tight End

Boxing Day Games

Matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions

Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Start of the Game

Leonard Fournette – Running Back – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How very on-brand for 2020 that I am saying to START Leonard bloody Fournette in the last game of the season but hang on a second! He ran all over the hideous Falcons and now faces the even worse Detroit Lions who are worst against the run. Week 2 and Week 15 are the two occasions that Fournette has gone north of 16 Fantasy points. He’ll make it treble this weekend.

Sidebar, Marvin Jones has outscored Corey Davis and DK Metcalf in the last four weeks. Woof.

Other Notable Starts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tom Brady – Quarterback

Detroit Lions – Marvin Jones – Wide Receiver

Mark J Rebilas USA Today

Sit of the Game

Rob Gronkowksi – Tight End – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I thought the Kansas game a month or so ago was the start of Gronkowski rounding into some late-season form but alas, we were chasing fool’s gold there. The one thing the Lions don’t do awfully on the other side of the ball is defend Tight Ends and I think you’ve got so many other options this weekend than Gronkowski.

Other Notable Sits

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Antonio Brown – Wide Receiver

Detroit LionsN/A

Matchup: San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

Robert Deutsch - USA Today Sports

Start of the Game

Jeff Wilson Jr – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

I’ve been in a quandary with the 49ers for a while as it seems like anyone that looks like they’re going to do something gets hurt. Raheem Mostert is out for the weekend so Jeff Wilson Jr should see more touches. I’d hoped to have seen more from Tevin Coleman – and we may – but the only reliable player is Wilson, especially if the third-string QB in CJ Beathard is starting.

Other Notable Starts

San Francisco 49ers – Brandon Aiyuk – Wide Receiver

Arizona Cardinals – Chase Edmonds – Running Back

Vincent Carchietta - USA Today Sports

Sit of the Game

Jordan Reed – Tight End – Arizona Cardinals

A good day for Reed but only because he found the endzone. With Arizona being strong against the Tight End position and the aforementioned Beathard throwing the passes, I don’t like Reed this weekend. Also, he’ll probably get hurt because he’s Jordan Reed.

Other Notable Sits

San Francisco 49ersN/A

Arizona Cardinals – Christian Kirk – Wide Receiver

Matchup: Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders

Charles Trainor Jr - Miami Herald

Start of the Game

Salvon Ahmed – Running Back – Miami Dolphins

They usually use Salvon to treat burns but instead, it’ll be the Dolphins back that’ll be doing some third-degree damage to the Raiders. They rank in the bottom five against running backs and I like Ahmed even if Myles Gaskin is back.

Other Notable Starts

Miami Dolphins – N/A

Las Vegas Raiders – Nelson Agholor – Wide Receiver

Chris O'Meara - AP

Sit of the Game

Tua Tagovailoa – Quarterback – Miami Dolphins

Nothing personal against the kid (I’ll always love you FitzMagic) but for Fantasy he’s just not doing it if he’s not finding the endzone with his feet. Admittedly, he did that twice last week and once the week before that but you can’t rely on that every week so I’d err on the side of caution and sit him.

Other Notable Sits

Miami Dolphins – N/A

Las Vegas Raiders – N/A

Sunday Early Games

Matchup: Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs

Stan Szeto - USA Today Sports

Start of the Game

Mecole Hardman – Wide Receiver – Kansas City Chiefs

A friend of mine has a soft spot for Hardman (wordplay unintended) which may influence this choice but he was targeted nine times last week, only less than Kelce and Hill. I like a woeful Falcons secondary to give him some easier catches. Look for him in your WR3/Flex spot.

Other Notable Starts

Atlanta Falcons – Russell Gage – Wide Receiver

Kansas City Chiefs – Le’Veon Bell – Running Back

Kevin C Cox - Getty Images

Sit of the Game

Todd Gurley II – Running Back – Atlanta Falcons

Boy did Gurley stink against the Bucs. One carry. Two receptions. Bleurgh. The ground game doesn’t really exist in Atlanta and it won’t when they’re playing from behind from the start of the second quarter.

Other Notable Sits

Atlanta Falcons – Ito Smith – Running Back

Kansas City Chiefs – N/A

Matchup: Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets

Jason Miller Getty Images

Start of the Game

Baker Mayfield – Quarterback – Cleveland Browns

The Jets. THE JETS! Are you kidding me?! Don’t think I’m falling into your trap though. Sure, knock off the Rams and also eliminate me from a work Fantasy Semi-Final because I was relying on Cam Akers to have a day. So, let’s go back to the well of December. Baker Mayfield is going to seal the deal for the Browns this weekend and go off. He’s QB3 in the last four weeks. That’s good enough for me.

Other Notable Starts

Cleveland Browns – Rashard Higgins – Wide Receiver

New York Jets– Ty Johnson – Running Back

Timothy T Ludwig - Getty

Sit of the Game

Frank Gore – Running Back – New York Jets

Sorry Frank, it’s Ty-Time. Not that I think you’d be starting Gore in your Fantasy Week 16 game but it’s another PSA just to say…Don’t do it. One win doesn’t make a team good. It makes them 1-13 and 23/59/1 as a final line does not fill me with confidence against an equally good Browns defensive line.

Other Notable Sits

Cleveland Browns – N/A

New York Jets– Sam Darnold – Quarterback

Matchup: Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Start of the Game

Zach Pascal – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts

The weak spot on the Pittsburgh D when it comes to Fantasy is the WR spot. This is great news for Colts pass-catchers and you can take your pick from them. This week, let’s go with the hot hand for your Championship. Zach Pascal netted a line of 5/79/2 so led the team in receiving yards as well as bagging a pair of Tuddys. You won’t go wrong starting him or other Tuddy Bros in T.Y Hilton or even Michael Pittman Jr.

Other Notable Starts

Indianapolis Colts – Michael Pittman Jr – Wide Receiver, T.Y Hilton – Wide Receiver

Pittsburgh Steelers – N/A

Frank Victores USA Today

Sit of the Game

Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback – Pittsburgh Steelers

Is it time to bin Ben? I think for such a crucial game, yes. Especially as the Colts look fantastic right now. The receivers can’t catch and Ben is struggling to find them. Let’s just move along here and hope they come back better offensively next season.

Other Notable Sits

Indianapolis Colts – N/A

Pittsburgh Steelers – Benny Snell Jr – Running Back

Matchup: Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars

David Berding - AP

Start of the Game

Mitchell Trubisky – Quarterback – Chicago Bears

T’IS THE SEASON TO BE FRISKY! Deck the halls with Mitch Trubisky. Yes, a man who I couldn’t have been so down on at the start of the year has made it to the heady heights of the Championship Start ‘Em. There’s no need for any statistical chicanery here. He’s facing the Jags. The Jags stink. Good for you, Mitch. Good for you.

Other Notable Starts

Chicago Bears – Darnell Mooney – Wide Receiver

Jacksonville Jaguars – N/A

Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports

Sit of the Game

Keelan Cole – Wide Receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars

This is a weird one. Cole is on the field a ton for the Jags but rarely sees the ball. I’m not enough of a tape hound to research if it’s because he’s covered so well or poor route-running but despite flashes like earlier in the season or against Green Bay and the Titans more recently, he’s not to be trusted in such a big game for you.

Other Notable Sits

Chicago Bears – N/A

Jacksonville Jaguars – N/A

Matchup: New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens

Mitchell Layton - USA Today Sports

Start of the Game

J.K Dobbins – Running Back – Baltimore Ravens

A good week for Dobbins against the Jags continues against the Giants who aren’t great against RBs. Whilst he’s not been a record-breaker in the last couple of weeks, he’s been reliable and he’s outscored players like Chris Carson and James Robinson in the last fortnight.

Other Notable Starts

New York Giants – Wayne Gallman – Running Back

Baltimore Ravens – Marquise Brown – Wide Receiver

Patrick McDermott - Getty Images

Sit of the Game

Alfred Morris – Running Back – New York Giants

Another week and another Giant sit. They’re just not reliable for Fantasy, the backfield is very much by committee – 21 carries against Cleveland across six different players and the backs are a non-factor in the passing game. Like Golden Tate last week, just don’t bother.

Other Notable Sits

New York Giants – Golden Tate – Wide Receiver

Baltimore Ravens – N/A

Matchup: Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans

Aaron Doster - USA Today Sports

Start of the Game

Gio Bernard – Running Back – Cincinnati Bengals

Fun fact. Ryan Finley threw a third of the passes that Big Ben did last week. The Bengals ran the ball 41 times! Gio Bernard, welcome back into the warm arms of my Fantasy bosom my friend. Forget everything I ever said over the last month about how between yourself and Joe Mixon my Fantasy year had been thrown down the toilet. Go end the year in style and run all over Houston’s terrible run D. Cheers to you, Gio.

Other Notable Starts

Cincinnati Bengals – Tee Higgins – Wide Receiver

Houston Texans – Jordan Akins – Tight End

Jeff Robertson AP

Sit of the Game

David Johnson – Running Back – Houston Texans

Yes I know, he had a great game against the Colts but remember that this is a Houston running back we’re talking about. If they got hot, it ain’t for long. So let’s temper our expectations of David Johnson, he’s not going to go 11/11 every week. His ground yards read as 8/27/0. That’s a more realistic expectation for Sunday.

Other Notable Sits

Cincinnati Bengals – N/A

Houston Texans – N/A

For the latest on each player’s start and sit status, make sure you checkout @F10YFantasy on Twitter. Remember, keep those #EyesPeeled.

Dave Moore

Full 10 Yards

Latest Fantasy Football Articles

Go the Full10Yards with our email newsletter

Join our email list and get our latest news, podcasts, offers and more direct to your email every week.