Week 16 Start Sit Advice - Fantasy Playoffs

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2022 at 11:57 am ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 16 of the 2022 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 Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce, or Jalen Hurts. 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.

Start 'em Geno Smith (SEA, QB)
After posting just 15 fantasy points last week, look for Geno Smith to rebound nicely against the Chiefs this week. Nobody surrenders more passing touchdowns than Kansas City. Even Russell Wilson looked good against them putting up a season high 25 points. This is a great matchup that can help you reach the championship.
4th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
After leading his team back in the greatest comeback in NFL regular season history last week, Kirk Cousins has delivered back-to-back 400+ yard games. He'll come back down to Earth this week, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't still be in your lineups. He should. The Giants present a good challenge, but Cousins has been productive and we're riding the hot hand right now.
16th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em J.K. Dobbins (BAL, RB)
J.K. Dobbins is coming off back to back outings of at least 120 yards rushing. He could certainly make it three in a row against the Falcons who rank in the Top 10 for most fantasy points allowed. Dobbins has been very efficient over the last two weeks and remains a nice RB2/Flex option for Week 16.
11th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Tony Pollard (DAL, RB)
Tony Pollard's role has certainly increased since the last time he saw the Eagles back in Week 6. Since then, he's seen his touches increase, routes increase, and fantasy points go up. There is enough volume here to keep him in high-end RB2 discussions. With double-digit production in seven of his last eight games, Pollard has a safe floor to keep him penciled into your lineup.
16th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Jerick McKinnon (KC, RB)
Jerick McKinnon has been a blessing to many fantasy owners. In a crowded, talented backfield, his involvement in the Chief's passing game has been the differentiator. Mahomes trusts him, and defenses thus far have not had an answer for him. Seattle presents a fantastic opportunity as they give up the second most fantasy points to running backs on the year.
2nd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Christian Watson (GB, WR)
Aaron Rodgers may not be putting up numbers, but Christian Watson has been. He has put up at least 21 fantasy points in four of his last five games. Miami presents a tough matchup, but Watson's role and dynamic play making ability are key to the Packers playoff hopes. One area of concern among analysts is Romeo Doubs' return and potential to eat into Watson's role, but Watson still saw the same number of targets with Doubs back in the mix. Watson remains a low-end WR2/high-end WR3.
15th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em D.J. Moore (CAR, WR)
D.J. Moore has been a perplexing option for fantasy owners. He's produced just two games of double digits in his last six games, but Sam Darnold found him in the endzone last week and could very well do so again this week. Detroit gives up the second-most fantasy points to receivers on the year and is in another smash spot to deliver fantasy goodness this Holiday week. Moore remains a solid WR3/Flex option.
2nd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Mike Williams (LAC, WR)
Despite having Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer in the mix, Mike Williams' role is solid and safe in this offense. For the past two weeks, Williams has seen an average of 7 targets per game and produced an average of 17 fantasy points. The Colts secondary has been solid all year, but we saw them break down last week against the Vikings. The Vikings receiving corp is quite analogous to the Chargers. Last week Justin Jefferson, KJ Osborn, and Adam Thielen put up a combined 75 fantasy points.
8th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Evan Engram (JAC, TE)
The tight end position has been difficult for fantasy owners this season, but fantasy is frequently an opportunity-based endeavor. Evan Engram certainly fits that mold seeing a whopping 32 targets over his last three games. He produced an average of 22.4 fantasy points over that span vaulting him to Top 5 on the season. Engram has enough volume that riding the hot hand could mean riding into the championship.
14th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Pat Freiermuth (PIT, TE)
Pat Freiermuth left fantasy owners with a big fat doughnut last week - his first as a starter all year. To be fair, Mitch Trubisky only threw it 22 times with the bulk going to Diontae Johnson and George Pickens. This anomaly should be forgotten when he bounces back against the Raiders who have been generous to tight ends ranking near the Top 10 in points allowed. Kenny Pickett (concussion) will be back under center and should find Freiermuth plenty.
11th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Los Angeles Chargers (LAC, DEF)
Looking for a nice streaming option this week? Look no further than the Chargers who sacked Ryan Tannehill four times last week, and now gets to face a Matt Ryan who is almost guaranteed to throw at least one pick and find himself sacked on the bottom of the pile. The Chargers are a Top 10 play this week.
UPDATE: Matt Ryan will be benched this week in favor of Nick Foles. This doesn't change our position on the Chargers DST.
3rd Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Chase McLaughlin (IND, K)
With a shaky QB and its star RB lost for the season, the Indianapolis offense is a shell of what they could be. One bright spot over the last two games though has been Chase McLaughlin who has made all seven of his field goal attempts. The Chargers rank inside the Top 10 for most points allowed to kickers this season putting McLaughlin in the streaming discussion.
8th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Aaron Rodgers (GB, QB)
Even in plus matchups, it's painfully obvious that Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corp are largely ineffective. Rodgers has not topped more than 19 points all year and has failed to put up more than 13 points over the last month. Miami should give him a chance to bounce back as they've given up the 4th-most passing touchdowns and the 3rd-most fantasy points, but are you willing to risk a trip to the fantasy championship on him?
3rd Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Deshaun Watson (CLE, QB)
The Deshaun Watson era in Cleveland has not started out with a bang. Watson is averaging just 11 points since his return and has just as many picks as he does touchdowns. The Saints have a middle of the pack defense, but have been very tough on QBs over the last two months. The lack of production from Watson combined with a tough matchup make him difficult to start right now.
14th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Brian Robinson (WAS, RB)
Even though Brian Robinson's snap count is just 2/3 of Antonio Gibson's, he's been efficient with the volume that he's been given. Without that efficiency though, he's a fantasy liability, and that's what we would anticipate against the Niners and their top-ranked run defense. Nobody has given up fewer fantasy points to running backs this year than San Francisco.
Feweset Pts to RB
Sit 'em Deon Jackson (IND, RB)
One of the most popular waiver wire pickups this week was Deon Jackson due to Jonathan Taylor missing the rest of the season. This is a tough one to predict as the matchup is fantastic, but the workload split is up in the air. Zack Moss will compete for touches and how that breaks down remains to be seen. Jackson remains a flex option, but he also carries risk given the uncertainty about volume.
7th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Khalil Herbert (CHI, RB)
With the anticipated return of Khalil Herbert, the Bears get another solid option in their backfield. He's dynamic, quick, and effective as a one-two punch with David Montgomery. A usual flex option in most cases, Herbert's uncertainty of role and game shape makes even the flex option unrealistic.
12th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Michael Gallup (DAL, WR)
With just seven fantasy points over the last two games, Michael Gallup has become an afterthought in fantasy. His targets have steadily declined over his previous four games and now he gets to face a Philly secondary that has largely bottled up receivers surrendering the 6th-fewest fantasy points to them this season. Gallup presents entirely too much risk to be worth starting even in a flex spot.
6th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Treylon Burks (TEN, WR)
It's looking pretty bleak for Ryan Tannehill this week with rumors starting that Malik Willis will get the start. Neither a banged up Tannehill nor an unproven Willis is going to bode well for Treylon Burks. Assuming he clears concussion protocol this week, he'll face a Texans secondary giving up the third-fewest fantasy points.
3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Van Jefferson (LAR, WR)
The top option in the Rams receiving corp is not a top option for fantasy. Without Cooper Kupp commanding the defense's attention and a lack of continuity at the QB position, fantasy owners should stay away from any Rams receivers. That would be applicable in an even contest, but nobody gives up fewer points to receivers than the Broncos making Van Jefferson a must-sit.
Feweset Pts to WR
Sit 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Some of the plays for Higbee last week looked forced and awkward. His day would have been lost if not for a touchdown strike, and that might be the best way to describe Higbee right now. He's a touchdown or bust type player who hasn't seen more than five targets in any of his last four games. Given that last week was his only touchdown on the season, it takes a risk-taking fantasy owner willing to bet that he can repeat.
11th Most Pts to TE
Sit 'em Juwan Johnson (NO, TE)
Anyone starting Juwan Johnson last week was rewarded with a pair of touchdowns. Juwan Johnson has become an effective receiver for the Saints, and while he can be inconsistent in weekly production, he's proven to be a nice target in the endzone. Our concern with Johnson this week is simply the matchup. Only three tight ends have managed to put up double-digit production against them all year.
7th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
The Eagles defense has been incredible this season, and while they are usually a set-it-and-forget-it play, we'd stream another team this week. Dallas has been solid both on the ground and through the air ranking sixth in the league in points per drive. No other team gives up fewer points to DST/s than the Cowboys.
Feweset Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Mason Crosby (GB, K)
One thing you can say about Mason Crosby is that he's been consistent. Unfortunately, he hasn't been consistently good. He regularly returns his average of 5.5 fantasy points, but he hasn't had a single game all year with double digits. That's not likely to change against Miami.
12th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

OldGeezer CommentedDec 22, 2022 4:18 pm

Lost Hurts, what are your thoughts Lawrence or Minshew

Nerd CommentedDec 22, 2022 6:38 pm

Tough matchups for both, but I like Lawrence over Minshew-mania. Good luck!

hogs1959 CommentedDec 23, 2022 11:48 am

I would have said the same thing yesterday but after watching him play last night I would say Gardner Minshew.

RaiderLuv4LIFE CommentedDec 23, 2022 12:09 am

Flex spot, Only have D.Foreman, A. Gibson or Smith-shuster? Thx!

RogueRaider CommentedDec 23, 2022 10:30 am

I'd go JuJu esp he lines up in the slot at least 40% of the time.

hogs1959 CommentedDec 23, 2022 11:49 am


Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2022 11:50 am

JuJu Smith-Schuster for me. Good luck!

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 24, 2022 3:56 am

Go with JuJu

CiaranOD CommentedDec 23, 2022 2:14 pm

Have to choose between Montgomery and Dobbins for the RB2 slot. Projections say Montgomery but my head says Dobbins. What do you think?

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2022 2:47 pm

I'd go Dobbins. Good luck!

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 24, 2022 3:57 am

Montgomery is in a good spot to bring home the bacon. I would start him.

LP54 CommentedDec 23, 2022 4:01 pm

Thanks for your great work this season.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2022 7:30 pm

We gotta build a Like button. Thank you for the kind words.

Ed Chan CommentedDec 23, 2022 5:42 pm

Currently starting Thielen and DPJ as the 2 WRs in this 1/2 PPR league. Have Sutton, Lazard, Chark, M. Brown and V. Jefferson on the bench. My gut tells me to stick to Thielen and DPJ, but somehow my overthinking brain says to consider Lazard and/or Chark. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2022 7:48 pm

I don't think you're crazy for considering alternatives. For me, I think Lazard and Brown are viable options over DPJ.

Of course, now that I say that, DPJ is going to go off

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 24, 2022 3:58 am

I think that Lazard will do better than Peoples Jones. I cant start Hollywood. Bad quarterback and DHop is there.

tramz18 CommentedDec 23, 2022 6:28 pm

Question. Which RB do i go with tomorrow full PPR. Do i use Z.Moss or roll the dice with K.Walker who's banged up a little but is a big play threat when he touches the ball!~ Thanks in advance.

Nerd CommentedDec 23, 2022 7:51 pm

Spot on with the big threat and that's why I'd start Walker.

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 24, 2022 3:59 am

I will take Kenneth Walker III for the win Alex

Hinzie22 CommentedDec 23, 2022 11:03 pm

Thanks for the great advice all season!

Please pick 2 (.5 ppr): Gabe Davis, Courtland Sutton, Marquise Goodwin, or Jahan Dotson.


Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 24, 2022 4:00 am

Gabe Davis and Sutton

pattymelt CommentedDec 24, 2022 7:00 am

Davis and Goodwin

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2022 9:04 am

With Lockett out, I would go Davis and Goodwin. Good luck!

hogs1959 CommentedDec 24, 2022 11:09 am

Agree with the Nerd. Go with Davis and Goodwin.

JordanJ CommentedDec 24, 2022 5:50 am

PPR… Monty or moss??

pattymelt CommentedDec 24, 2022 7:00 am


Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2022 9:05 am

Agreed. I'd go David Montgomery.

hogs1959 CommentedDec 24, 2022 11:09 am

Dont overthink it. Montgomery is the safer option.

T-Jugg CommentedDec 24, 2022 11:39 am

Tua or Burrow?

Nerd CommentedDec 24, 2022 11:42 am

Close. The rankings have Tua slightly ahead, but I'd play Burrow. Good luck!

T-Jugg CommentedDec 24, 2022 11:56 am

Thanks. That's how I was leaning, but good to get some confirmation. Great job all season!

OldGeezer CommentedDec 25, 2022 10:08 am

Flex spot, half ppr. Fournette or Murray

Nerd CommentedDec 25, 2022 11:45 am

Murray. Good luck!

Rbonds_77 CommentedDec 28, 2022 9:58 am

If Hurts and Tua are out, do I start Daniel Jones or Minshew? If Hurts or Tua are a go, are they too risky to start?

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