Bolting To A Fantasy Championship | Week 16 Wide Receiver Starts And Sits
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Fantasy football championship week! If you were lucky enough to make it this far, your lineup is probably pretty set. Just in case, though, I’m going to give you some key names that will help you win and others to stay far, far away from in your fantasy championship showdown.
Each week I provide you with my recommended wide receiver starts and sits. I do not discuss obvious must-starts like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, etc. Instead I will assist with the tough lineup decisions such as Doug Baldwin or Golden Tate? Or Davante Adams or Tyrell Williams? You get the idea. It is important to note that these are just recommendations and I always believe following your gut is the way to go when making a final start or sit call.
My suggestions are based on numerous factors such as matchups, opportunities within the offense, and past performances, to name a few. All statistics provided are based on standard scoring (non PPR).
For more start or sit advice and any other fantasy football questions you may have, visit our forums where myself and all of our wonderful writers will be more than happy to help you out. You can also follow FTA on Twitter @FanTeamAdvice or myself @ajohnsonFTA. Finally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this week’s matchups so be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Important Note: Due to the Christmas holiday, 12 games will be played on Saturday 12/24 so be sure to adjust your lineups accordingly.
Start of the Week: Tyrell Williams/Dontrelle Inman (at CLE)
Tyrell Williams has struggled since injuring his shoulder in week 12 against the Texans. He had just 20 yards against the Raiders in week 15 but committed multiple drops and missed some time for a concussion evaluation. This week’s game against the winless Browns should be a great opportunity for Williams to get back on track and his teammate Dontrelle Inman to continue his recent hot streak. Inman has averaged 12.18 fantasy points per game and has found pay-dirt three times over the last four games. The Browns have allowed the most passing touchdowns in 2016 and 24 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers.
Bottom Line: Williams should be started as a WR2 while Inman can be trusted as a high-upside WR3.
Amari Cooper (vs IND)
Amari Cooper has been held under 60 yards in six straight games and fewer than three fantasy points in three of his last four. Cooper has a great opportunity for a rebound this week against the Colts. Indianapolis ranks 27th against the pass and have allowed 49 completions of 20 yards or more in 14 games. There should be plenty of chances for receptions, yards, and touchdowns in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Bottom Line: Cooper can be relied on as a WR2 this fantasy championship weekend.
Malcolm Mitchell (vs NYJ)
The Jets defense is bad. Like, really bad. They’ve allowed three 100 yard receivers in the last five games and trail behind just the Raiders and Bucs for most completions of 40+ yards allowed in 2016. Patriots rookie Malcolm Mitchell has been hot since Rob Gronkowski has been out of the lineup. Mitchell has notched 8+ fantasy points in four of his last five games, scoring four times over that stretch. In New England’s week 12 win over the Jets, the fourth round draft pick caught five passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
Bottom Line: Mitchell is a great option if you’re looking for a sleeper for your fantasy championship. Start him as a WR3.
Others with favorable matchups: Quincy Enunwa (at NE), Taylor Gabriel (at CAR), Demaryius Thomas (at KC)
Sit of the Week: Brandon Marshall (at NE)
When we talk about disappointments in fantasy football this year Brandon Marshall is one of the first names to be mentioned. Marshall ranks 45th among wide receivers in fantasy points (6.7/game). Much like Allen Robinson in Jacksonville and DeAndre Hopkins in Houston, Marshall’s struggles can be mostly attributed to poor quarterback play. Between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty, the Jets have really struggled to get the ball to their star wideout. This week won’t get any easier with a trip to Foxboro to take on the first place Patriots. New England has given up the ninth fewest fantasy points (21.1/game) to wide receivers.
Bottom Line: Marshall is no better than a WR3 vs the Patriots.
Jordan Matthews (*TNF* vs NYG)
Jordan Matthews has been a disappointment in standard scoring leagues this season but his 5+ catches per game have made him a solid WR3 in PPR. With quarterback Carson Wentz struggling and with one of the league’s hottest defenses coming to town, week 16 could be another let down for Matthews’ fantasy owners. The Giants rank 10th in fewest fantasy points allowed (21.2/game) to wide receivers this season.
Bottom Line: Matthews is a WR3 in PPR but can’t be trusted as more than a WR4 in standard leagues. Note: This game will be played on Thursday Night Football, so be sure to set your lineups accordingly.
Steve Smith Sr. (at PIT)
Steve Smith Sr. has averaged just 5.75 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks and has only had more than 60 yards once since week four. In his previous game against the Steelers (week 9), Smith was held to just 47 yards on four receptions. Pittsburgh ranks third in terms of fewest fantasy points (18.2/game) allowed to receivers. They’re second only to Denver in fewest wide receiver touchdowns (8) against them.
Bottom Line: Smith Sr. is no better than a WR3/4 vs PIT.
Others with difficult matchups: Antonio Brown (vs BAL), Tyreek Hill (vs DEN), Brandin Cooks (vs TB)