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Week 16 Fantasy Football Guide (2021) – Start/Sit, Sleepers, and More

| December 20, 2021 11:21 am PDT

Week 15 marked the opening round of the fantasy football playoffs, but we also saw many big-name players go down with injuries. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had three players alone, while Joe Mixon also left early.

As of this writing, Week 15 has a few games remaining. However, we’re already looking ahead to Week 16. Let’s check out my fantasy football guide.

Week 16 Top Waiver Wire Adds

We’ve hit on a few waiver-wire pickups lately, including DeVante Parker last week. Let’s see who I’m looking at in Week 16.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (24% Owned)

All season, it seems like we’ve been waiting for a wide receiver to emerge from the Detroit Lions. With T.J. Hockenson out for the season, it appears Amon-Ra St. Brown has become that guy.

St. Brown failed to clear 70 yards in his first ten games. In turn, he never had over 7.0 points in non-PPR formats. Check out what he has done in his last three games.

Week 13 Week 14 Week 15
Receptions 10 8 8
Yards 86 73 90
Touchdowns 1 0 1

He has become the focal point in the Lions offense. He has a combined 35 targets in his last three games. That’s the kind of usage you want from a potential starter.

This week, St. Brown draws a plus matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons defense has struggled all season, ranking bottom five against wide receivers.

It’s not ideal to start someone on the Lions, but St. Brown has been producing lately. A plus matchup should give you confidence in putting him in the lineup.

Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23% Owned)

Last week, I closed out my fantasy football guide with a remainder to handcuff your star running backs. Well, I hope Leonard Fournette owners listened to me.

Fournette left Sunday night’s game with a hamstring injury. Now we don’t know the severity of the injury, but there’s a chance he misses Week 16.

Losing Fournette would be a significant loss for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, they have a capable backup with Ronald Jones II.

Jones was their starter last season, but he has backed up Fournette this season. Jones went for eight carries and 63 yards in Week 15.

Last season, we saw Jones have plenty of big games. He cleared 100 rushing yards four times, including a career-high 192 against the Carolina Panthers. Oh, by the way, Tampa Bay will face Carolina in Week 16.

Even if Fournette returns for Week 16, fantasy owners should still pick up Jones. He is a premium handcuff that could win you the championship. Feel free to make an aggressive bid.

Week 16 Start/Sit Calls

Last week was interesting because my sit calls worked out, but my start calls weren’t good. Let’s see if I can have more consistency in Week 16.

Week 16 Start List

  • Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
  • James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

Kirk Cousins had a great start to the season. He cleared 22 fantasy points in four of six games, making him an excellent waiver wire add. Since his Week 7 bye, we have seen that same consistency.

He has only cleared 22 points once in his last seven games. On the other hand, his floor is much higher than other quarterbacks.

Cousins has yet to play his Week 15 matchup, but I’m already looking ahead to a Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams also haven’t played in Week 15, but overall, they’ve struggled to defend the pass.

Check out their passing yards allowed in their last three games.

  • Week 12 (Aaron Rogers): 307
  • Week 13 (Trevor Lawrence): 145
  • Week 14 (Kyler Murray): 383

The high passing yards are a combination of teams playing from behind and not wanting to battle a tough run defense.

There’s a chance Adam Thielen returns, but even if he doesn’t, I like Cousins’ chances of having a big day.

From a production standpoint, there’s no one happier about the firing of Urban Meyer than James Robinson. Meyer inexplicably limited his workload in favor of Carlos Hyde.

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost in Week 15, but Robinson saw his biggest workload of the season.

That amounted to 88 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. That’s the kind of usage we expect from an RB2 with RB1 upside. We could see that upside in Week 16.

Robinson draws another great matchup with the New York Jets. New York’s run defense has been atrocious lately, allowing 98+ yards in six of their last seven games. Duke Johnson, of all people, rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns last week.

Jacksonville doesn’t have many games where they aren’t big underdogs, but the early betting lines only have them as (+1.5) point underdogs. If there were ever a game to feed Robinson, it would be this one.

I’m feeling a big week for the Jaguars star running back.

Unfortunately, Jaylen Waddle missed last week’s game after going on the reserve/COVID list. The good thing is he went on the list Thursday, so he’ll have over a week to clear the protocol.

That’s a big boost for the Dolphins, as Waddle has been their best receiver. The rookie is on his way to becoming a superstar.

Before missing last week’s game, Waddle had been on a tear. Check out his cumulative numbers in his previous five games.

  • 38 receptions
  • 46 targets
  • 436 yards
  • 1 touchdown

In that span, he was fifth among wide receivers in PPR scoring. This week, I like Waddle’s matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

Surprisingly, the Saints shut down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. That was impressive, but we can’t forget their struggles before that game.

Before that game, they ranked bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. There’s a strong chance Marshon Lattimore matches up against DeVante Parker. If so, Waddle could be running wild in Week 16.

Week 16 Sit List

  • Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers
  • Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Like Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr has gone cold after a big start to the season. He scored 20+ fantasy points in five of his first seven games. He only hit that mark once since his Week 8 bye.

The biggest difference with Carr has been his touchdown to interception ratio. Let’s compare it before and after his bye.

  • Pre-Bye Week (Seven Games): 10 touchdowns/4 interceptions
  • Post Bye Week (Six Games): 6 touchdowns/5 interceptions

Hunter Renfrow has emerged as a quality starter, but Carr is missing Darren Waller. Waller hasn’t played since injuring his knee in Week 12. The Las Vegas Raiders will play their Week 15 game on Monday, so perhaps Carr will turn things around. If not, I don’t like his chances in Week 16.

The Denver Broncos pass defense has been stingy lately. Since Week 9, only Justin Herbert has cleared 235 yards. In that stretch, Denver faced Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes.

It should be another tough week for the Raiders quarterback.

Chuba Hubbard has been in and out of fantasy lineups all season. Now that Christian McCaffrey is officially out for the season, Hubbard seems like an every-week starter. However, we haven’t seen the same volume as earlier in the season.

Hubbard started five games from Week 4 to Week 8. He played at least 47 percent of the snaps in those games and cleared 11 carries. He also had over 50 rushing yards in four of those games.

As a starter, let’s check out his numbers in his last two games.

Week 14 Week 15
Carriess 10
Rushing Yards 33 40
Touchdowns 1 0
Snap Percentage 39 47

We’re not seeing the same usage we saw earlier in the season. It should be another tough matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers run defense remains one of the best in the league. Since Week 8, only the Atlanta Falcons have cleared 100 rushing yards.

Add in Cam Newton stealing the goal line carries, and Hubbard should probably stay on your bench.

I’ve been fading Michael Pittman Jr. for a few weeks. The Indianapolis Colts have reinvented their offense to take a run-first approach. Last week, we saw just how little they can pass and still win.

Carson Wentz went 5/12 with 57 passing yards. That doesn’t seem like a winning strategy, but it is when Jonathan Taylor rushes for 170 yards and a touchdown.

This approach works for the Colts, but it hasn’t been ideal for Pittman’s fantasy production. Pittman hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 9. In turn, he only has one double-digit performance in his last five games.

In Week 16, Pittman will play on Christmas Day against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona had a disastrous performance in Week 15, but overall, they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game. On the other side, their run defense ranks mid-pack.

We saw something similar with the Colts opponent last week. They proceeded to run 39 times and pass 12 times.

One way or another, I expect Pittman to have another down game.

Best Fantasy Sleepers for Week 16

In Week 14, it was K.J. Osborn. Last week, it was Gabriel Davis. Let’s see if we can hit on another fantasy sleeper.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1% Owned)

Week 15 was brutal for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only did they lose 9-0, but they lost three of their best offensive players.

  • Mike Evans – Hamstring
  • Chris Godwin – Knee
  • Leonard Fournette – Hamstring

Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette have a chance to return in Week 16, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Chris Godwin will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with an MCL sprain.

Antonio Brown will return from a three-game suspension, but who knows how much the Buccaneers trust him. So that leads me to Breshad Perriman.

Perriman was on the reserve/COVID list last week but in Week 13, he stepped right into a full-time role. In Week 14, he caught the game-winning 58-yard touchdown.

While Perriman hasn’t played much with Tom Brady, he did play for Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich in 2019. He cleared 100 yards in each of his last three games. Performances like those are why Leftwich is the favorite to become the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Brady has to throw to someone. Perriman is worth a pickup.

Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (9% Owned)

With all the Tampa Bay Buccaneers injuries, it’s easy to forget Joe Mixon was unable to finish his game. Mixon was dealing with a leg and ankle injury.

Is it possible the Cincinnati Bengals were being cautious with Mixon? Absolutely, but that doesn’t change the fact that Samaje Perine needs to be on your bench, especially if you’re a Mixon owner.

But what if Mixon misses time?

If that’s the case, Perine becomes an immediate starter.

In Week 5, Mixon was dealing with an ankle injury. He ultimately played but Perine saw a decent amount of work. Perine finished with 83 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.

This wouldn’t be Perine’s first opportunity as a starting running back. In 2017, he had a pair of 100-yard games with Washington. He has a ton of upside as a starter.

At this point, there’s no reason not to pick up Perine. If Mixon returns, just leave him on the bench.

Week 16 Fantasy Football Advice

Week 15 reminded us how injuries and COVID could affect your team. I’ll continue to remind you how important it is to handcuff your stars. I’m sure people are kicking themselves for not adding Ronald Jones II. That’s how you win leagues.

Fantasy football has been wild this season. We’re almost to the end of the season, and then it’ll be playoff time. This seems like the optimal time to start looking ahead at future bets.

The top NFL betting sites are the optimal place to make your bets.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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