Week 16 Start'em/Sit'em - Semifinals Edition

Wednesday, Dec 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. 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 Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. 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.

Let's Win This Week - Championships Straight Ahead!

Start 'em Jalen Hurts (PHI, QB)
Hurts has the most fantasy-favorable playoff schedule among all QBs. He delivered 27.6 points against Washington this week and will get them again in Week 17. This week he'll face a Giants defense that has struggled against rushing QBs. Hurts is tied with Cam Newton for most rushing touchdowns in a season, and after adding two on Tuesday is set to claim the record for himself.
13th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Joe Burrow (CIN, QB)
We had Burrow on our Sit list last week and his 12 points was the right call, but a matchup with a depleted Baltimore secondary is just what we want heading into the playoffs. The last time Burrow faced the Ravens in Week 7, he tallied 26.6 points. He should be able to deliver a nice fantasy day this week.
6th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em James Robinson (JAC, RB)
Don't put away your "Free James Robinson" shirts just yet. Without Urban Meyer, Robinson saw more carries than he has since Week 5. He finished the day with almost 18 fantasy points. This week he gets a Jets defense that is giving up more fantasy points to running backs than any other team. As long as the workload remains, we should be able to feel confident that James Robinson will be able to help you make the championship round.
Most pts to RB
Start 'em Ronald Jones (TB, RB)
With Leonard Fournette likely headed to IR, Bruce Arians has said that it will be Ronald Jones' time to shine. If you lost Fournette, RoJo should be at the top of your waiver claims. Carolina has recently given up 16 points to Devin Singletary (Week 15) and 19 points to Myles Gaskin (Week 12). They can be scored on, but make no mistake - Jones is a bit of a gamble here as this is a tough matchup and Jones hasn't topped more than 9.7 points all season. If you can take the risk, RoJo has the potential to be a surprise RB2/Flex option this week.
4th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em David Montgomery (CHI, RB)
David Montgomery might be the lone bright spot on an otherwise lackluster Bears offense. With a healthy workload, he should be able to deliver some fantasy points under the tree facing a Seattle defense that has routinely given up double-digit points each week this season. Hop on the bandwagon and let Montgomery carry you into the fantasy championship.
2nd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Antonio Brown (TB, WR)
Bruce Arians said this week that AB looks like his old self. We'll see...but what we do know is that without Chris Godwin (and potentially Mike Evans), there are a lot of targets to go around. We also know that Brown has a solid rapport with Brady making him an attractive fantasy option even in a tough matchup.
7th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Tee Higgins (CIN, WR)
We're not going to let last week's poor outing prevent us from keeping Tee Higgins in our lineups. Neither Higgins nor Ja'Marr Chase did much, but they should bounce back nicely against the Ravens. When the Bengals played them back in Week 7, Higgins put up 13 points and Chase put up a whopping 34 points. Look for Burrow and company to come out throwing in this one.
13th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET, WR)
Ranked 23rd this week on Fantasy Nerds is Amon-Ra St. Brown who was the biggest WR name on the waiver wire this week. The Falcons present an attractive fantasy matchup for St. Brown - especially given that he's now the top receiving option on this team. The game script is almost certain to favor the passing game making him a nice WR2/WR3 option.
4th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
We like Gronk for the same reasons that we like Antonio Brown. What makes Gronk an even better option is that he's seen at least eight targets in each game since returning from injury. He may have only put up 4.9 points last week, but we expect him to rebound with double-digits this week.
11th Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Dallas Goedert (PHI, TE)
With back-to-back weeks of at least 20 fantasy points, Dallas Goedert is hitting his stride at just the right moment. Let the good times roll with a matchup against the Giants who surrendered touchdowns to tight ends the last two weeks (Dalton Schultz and Jared Cook).
12th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
The Eagles come into our rankings this week at #3 facing a Giants offense that has lost Daniel Jones and has to count on a mixture of Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm. That mixture is certain to lead to both irrational throws and turnovers. The Eagles D should have their way with this offense.
11th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Greg Zuerlein (DAL, K)
When Greg the Leg faced the Washington Football Team two weeks ago, he put up 13 fantasy points. Over his last three games, he's averaged 11 fantasy points. That's the kind of consistent production that can help fantasy owners win a close matchup.
10th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Tua Tagovailoa (MIA, QB)
The Saints just shut out Tom Brady for the first time in 15 years last week. They kept both Zach Wilson and Dak Prescott to less than 12 points in the previous two games. Tua, in a plus-matchup last week, could only muster 13 fantasy points. This is not the kind of matchup or momentum that warrants starting consideration. Leave Tua on the bench.
9th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
Kirk Cousins has been a solid fantasy QB this season (#8 on the season), but a matchup with the Rams is going to present a problem for fantasy owners. The Rams made Russell Wilson look like a rookie Tuesday night posting an awful 4.2 fantasy points. Cousins should fare better than Wilson, but feel free to play another option if you have it.
7th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Myles Gaskin (MIA, RB)
Ranked 37th this week on FN, Myles Gaskin has slipped at the worst time for fantasy owners. Duke Johnson outplayed him (22/107/2) considerably and that kind of uncertainty is difficult to overcome when you have to get a win this week. Add in the fact that his matchup with the Saints is going to be brutal and there's not much to like about Gaskin in this one.
2nd Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em AJ Dillon (GB, RB)
The Quadfather managed to salvage his fantasy day against the Ravens with a short trip to the endzone, but with Aaron Jones back and in command of the depth chart, Dillon's fantasy value returns back to where it was earlier in the season. Over the past two weeks, the Browns have held both Josh Jacobs and Devonta Freeman to 12 points or less. Their backups tallied single digits. Dillon is a TD-dependent player in this matchup and is a risky fantasy option.
14th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Chuba Hubbard (CAR, RB)
Chuba Hubbard is no Christian McCaffrey, and while the comparisons are inevitable, they are not fair. Hubbard's role on this team has diminished. He's a complete afterthought in the passing game catching just one pass in the last five games. He's averaged just 7 carries over the last three games and is losing work to both Cam Newton and Ameer Abdullah.
15th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Kenny Golladay (NYG, WR)
The passing game in New York has been a mess. Daniel Jones has been shut down for the season and the receiving corp is a bandage of players. Golladay managed to put up just 8 fantasy points against them in Week 12. Add in the fact that the Eagles have been incredibly tough on receivers this year and it would be a Christmas miracle for Golladay to hit double digits.
3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Robby Anderson (CAR, WR)
After Robby Anderson put up a solid 21 points in Week 14, he returned back to Earth last week failing to reach double digits. Unfortunately, the prior week was likely an anomaly that we're not going to see again. The QB play in Carolina has not been consistent or serviceable enough to make him startable. The only saving grace would be if D.J. Moore were to miss time, but even then he's not a lock to produce numbers.
16th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Allen Robinson (CHI, WR)
If it wasn't a hamstring injury, it was COVID that has kept Allen Robinson out of fantasy lineups. Oh wait...it's also been quarterback play and the fact that Darnell Mooney has become the go-to option in the Windy city. Assuming Robinson is cleared to play this week, he's still not worth starting. Seattle ranks in the Top 10 in fewest points allowed, and Robinson is simply too risky at this point in the playoffs.
10th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Hunter Henry (NE, TE)
It will be difficult to sit Hunter Henry after he delivered two touchdowns last week against Indy. He'll share targets this week with Jonnu Smith in a tough matchup against a Bills defense that has given up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season. When Henry faced Buffalo in Week 13, he was held to zero catches and zero fantasy points.
4th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Ricky Seals-Jones (WAS, TE)
With Logan Thomas out for the season and plenty of targets to go around, Ricky Seals-Jones hasn't been able to do much of anything. He has yet to top 6 fantasy points since Week 7. It's too difficult to trust him to come through in a matchup that fantasy owners need a win.
13th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Arizona Cardinals (ARI, DEF)
The Cardinals have a good defense, but the Colts have an offense that his humming along nicely. Keep in mind that the Patriots have one of the best fantasy defenses and could not stop Jonathan Taylor from running all over them. The Cards are likely to struggle just as the Pats did.
2nd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Chris Boswell (PIT, K)
Coming off a fantastic 13-point performance last week, it might seem tough to sit Chris Boswell, but this is a much more difficult matchup. The Chiefs have given up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to kickers all year and have allowed only two kickers all year to hit double digits.
4th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

tramz18 CommentedDec 22, 2021 9:35 pm

My question. I am in the semi finals. I have R.Wilson but he hasn't done much as of late. Would you roll with Wilson or try to pick up one of these QB's to play instead? Carr(probably not) M Ryan/ Roethlisberger/ Goff.
What would you do?

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 11:36 am

I think I'd hold tight to Wilson. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 23, 2021 11:54 am

Tough call there, but I might start Big Ben over him this week in what could be a shootout with KC... me thinks RW is past his prime sadly, or at least still hurt and affecting his game.

mrock CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:25 pm

I think Wilson will have a good rebound game

Ty Godwin CommentedDec 23, 2021 7:51 pm

wow. tough one. I held RW for awhile but grew frustrated. totally your call but his ball is not accurate at all of late and can't connect with his top guy/Metcalf. I'd rely on expert rankings but also if you haven't seen it yet, do you want to roll the dice in the playoffs?

RogueRaider CommentedDec 23, 2021 11:15 am

Is ROJO a must start this week? Picked him up and planning on playing over Henderson/Michel since they appear headed for a true game flow timeshare.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 11:37 am

I'd play RoJo over those guys. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 23, 2021 11:55 am

I'm still starting Michel over RoJo... in a full pt PPR league that is...

mrock CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:26 pm

Ronald Jones

OldGeezer CommentedDec 23, 2021 12:57 pm

Lost Fournette and Godwin, have Metcalf, AJ Brown (if activated), AND aiyuk. Planning on starting Chubb, Montgomery, and Patterson at RB, thoughts for WR. Half PPR.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:10 pm

Metcalf > Brown > Aiyuk
Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:27 pm

I would put Brown in. I think he's going to play and Tannehill needs a target.

MSUBDOG CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:15 pm

Please give me a little advice.

I'm Starting Aaron Rodgers @ OB

Start two:
Darrell Henderson,
Justin Jackson,
D'Onta Foreman

Start Three:
Davante Adams (Of Course)
Christian Kirk
Russell Gage
Allen Lazard
K.J. Osborn

Start One:
Greg Joseph
Randy Bullock

Thanks Need to win to move to the Super Bowl next week.

mrock CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:29 pm

I would start Foreman and Jackson at RB and Gage/Kirk at WR and Joseph at K.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:50 pm

Assuming Ekeler isn't cleared in time, then I'd agree with ^^^

mrock CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Start Clyde Edwards-Helaire or James Conner in PPR?

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 1:50 pm

I think CEH is probably the safer play.
Good luck!

Lucky Man CommentedDec 23, 2021 2:29 pm

Ronald Jones or Miles Sanders? Full point PPR

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 6:37 pm

It's RoJo for me
Good luck!

RogueRaider CommentedDec 23, 2021 4:25 pm

Full PPR, need a homerun here: Mattison or Patterson as Flex, have Kamara & Taylor as RB1&2. Other Flex Options AJ Brown, Thielen, Kirk or Connor. Don't laugh worked the waiver wire hard this year.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 6:38 pm

I think Patterson is the safest option there. Incredible RB/Flex

RogueRaider CommentedDec 23, 2021 4:52 pm

I don't see the latest lineup analyzer update for Mattison over Cook, lagging behind!

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2021 6:38 pm

Nope - we update twice per day. Should be updated again as of about 40 minutes ago.

Ty Godwin CommentedDec 23, 2021 7:54 pm

Lost Godwin. Pick who's on the bench; Amon, Davonte, CEH or (not likely) Higgins? PPR Flex.
Current plan is to start Deebo and Higgins at WR.

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 11:12 am

I assume Davonte is Davante Adams? If so, he's obviously a must-start as was Deebo last night.

I like Higgins, St. Brown, and CEH in that order.

Good luck!

Daddysquirt CommentedDec 24, 2021 12:35 pm

Mixon, Ronald Jones, Kirk, Amon-Ra, DK, Odell, DJ Moore, Goedert. Need 1 RB, 1 Receiver and a Flex!

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 12:41 pm

Mixon, RoJo, and DK.
If you're not confident in DK, and there's plenty of reason not to be, then St. Brown.
Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:34 am

I feel like I am the only one who thinks DK will surprise people.

James Durkin CommentedDec 24, 2021 12:39 pm

Merry Christmas!! Should I start Mahomes or Joe Burrow? If Kelce or Hill is back from Covid, same question, and if both are back I know that answer!

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 12:43 pm

Merry Christmas! I think you still have to start Mahomes. The ceiling is so much higher for him - especially if he can get either Kelce or Hill back.

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:34 am

Both Kelce and Hill are going to play.

Qui CommentedDec 24, 2021 1:37 pm

Full ppr… which other two receivers if T. Hill plays… Gage, M. Williams, Beckham?

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 2:19 pm

It's Williams and Gage for me.
Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:35 am

Gage and Beckham. Williams has covid now.

James Durkin CommentedDec 24, 2021 1:41 pm

I can't believe I am asking this, but with D.K. Metcalf hurt, him or Amon-Ra?

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 2:21 pm

I think St Brown will probably end up with more points, but I'd still start Metcalf. The potential is greater and Amon-Ra will not have Goff.

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:35 am


Mustard tiger CommentedDec 24, 2021 2:03 pm

Hard decision this week. Standard scoring league. With tyreek hill status unknown, should I be starting diggs or Higgins this week?

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2021 2:23 pm

Man - I wish we knew the status of Hill. If he doesn't play or you opt to play it safe, then Diggs would be my choice although it's very close.
Good luck!

Tsunamies CommentedDec 24, 2021 2:57 pm

Merry Christmas! A Cooper or Pollard for a flex?

Nerd CommentedDec 25, 2021 9:46 am

Cooper. Good luck!

WhatUptho CommentedDec 24, 2021 6:44 pm

I need a kicker this week

Nerd CommentedDec 25, 2021 9:47 am

Koo should be a shoo-in
Good luck!

deibs81 CommentedDec 25, 2021 9:38 am

Full PPR, need 2 from this group. A. Kamara, J. Conner, Javonte Williams, Ronald Jones. Kamara is normally a no-brainer, but questioning that after last week's dud.

Nerd CommentedDec 25, 2021 9:49 am

With Ian Book under center, it's anybody's guess, but I think they'll lean on Kamara in this one. It's Kamara and RoJo for me, but that's a pretty awesome group to choose from.
Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 25, 2021 2:13 pm

At TE this week, Uzomah or Moreau? Thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 25, 2021 2:22 pm

Uzomah. Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:36 am


James Durkin CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:25 am

I don't know if you answer questions on Sunday, but if you do, I am in a money league and Emmanual Sanders or D.K. Metcalf? Metcalf has been beyond disappointing this year

Nerd CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:32 am

He hasn't lived up to expectations (especially since Wilson's finger injury), but I'd probably still start Metcalf against Chicago. Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 26, 2021 10:35 am


deibs81 CommentedDec 26, 2021 11:35 am

Full PPR. D. Knox or C. Kmet? Concerned with Knox facing New England and Seattle giving up points to the TE has me leaning toward Kmet. Thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 26, 2021 12:01 pm

Tough one. By all means - start Kmet. He's certainly involved in the Bears passing game and you couldn't ask for a better matchup. Personally, I'd probably give a very slight edge to Knox even in a very tough matchup - no Beasley this week means maybe he sees an extra target or two.

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