For Week 16, fantasy owners need to make sure that they don’t make any errors when setting their line-ups. While you cannot predict injury, be sure that your line-ups look the way you want them to. For example, recognize that there are games on Friday and Saturday this week. Do not put those players in your flex spots if you can help it. This will give you more flexibility on Sunday if you want to add an extra wide receiver or running back and start them.
START These RBs
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars
In the four games since the bye, Montgomery has three 100-yard performances and six touchdowns. He has vaulted from being an RB2 for the first half of the season to a must-start RB1. In Week 16, the Bears face the Jaguars, who are likely going to try not to win this game. That bodes well for Montgomery as he will be a focal point of the offensive game plan to help the Bears get on the scoreboard and then control the clock. Start Montgomery with confidence this week.
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (Sat.)
While Ronald Jones II has not been officially ruled out for Week 16, it is hard to imagine him playing. He has a broken finger and he’s also currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The earliest he could resume practice is Saturday, but it’s hard to see him coming back and playing, if he’s even healthy enough to do so. With Jones out, Fournette will get the carries. While he’s not the best running back to start, he will be used at the goal line. In Week 15, he converted two goal-line carries into touchdowns. He’s touchdown-dependent, but he does have a good matchup against the Lions.
SIT These RBs
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins (Sat.)
It seems that Derek Carr will return, which is good news. However, against the Dolphins, Jacobs may struggle a bit. The Dolphins are solid on defense and are likely to try to force Carr, who will be coming back from a groin injury, to try and beat them throwing the ball. Jacobs is banged up himself, dealing with ankle and knee injuries. Regardless of who is at quarterback, it’s going to be hard to trust Jacobs against the team that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers at Washington Football Teams
It seems that Christian McCaffrey will miss yet another week, so Davis will get the carries against Washington, a defense that is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Over the past two weeks, Davis had two touchdowns against the Broncos but couldn’t get anything going against the Packers. The team didn’t use him in the passing game either; he had two receptions for two yards, his fewest since Week 1 (when he didn’t actually play). Fantasy owners may be starting Davis in Week 16, but don’t count on him for big points.
START These WRs
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Even in the embarrassing loss to the Jets, Woods had six receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. He added one 40-yard rush as well. He’s had at least five receptions in the past five games and the Rams face the Seahawks, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The Rams are going to be fighting for this win, coming off a loss to the Jets and facing a divisional opponent.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (Sat.)
Even though Nick Mullens will be out of this game and C.J. Beathard will be at quarterback, Aiyuk should still be the No. 1 option for this offense. It’s not clear if tight end George Kittle will return, but it doesn’t seem likely. Even if he does, Aiyuk will still command the most targets with Deebo Samuel out. The 49ers have had a rough time with injuries this season, but Aiyuk is currently healthy. In Week 15, he had 13 targets. He caught nine of them for 73 yards and a touchdown. He should still be a WR1 in Week 16.
SIT These WRs
DJ Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
The Jaguars face the Bears in Week 16, which is a tough matchup for any team. Add in the fact that the Jags don’t know who will be their starting quarterback and this is going to be tough for all of their pass catchers. In Week 15, Chark had his best game in the past four games with four receptions for 53 yards. Don’t expect him to exceed that in Week 16, regardless if it is Gardner Minshew or Mike Glennon throwing him the ball.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
Lockett has been the No. 2 to DK Metcalf this season, but Russell Wilson also has been struggling. This makes it hard to trust any of the Seattle wide receivers. In Week 7, Lockett had an amazing game, and since then he has yet to top 70 yards. He has one touchdown since then as well. The Seahawks face the Rams in Week 16, who allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Combine that with the fact that the Rams are reeling from their loss to the Jets and they will be out to win this game with everything they have.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of chicagobears.com)