Week 16 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Start of the Week
Jalen Hurts at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Hurts has been the equivalent of an early Christmas gift for fantasy fans, scoring a combined 57.10 points since taking over as the Eagles starting quarterback in Week 14. He’ll be a top-12 option this week, as Hurts faces a Cowboys defense that’s allowed an average of more than 19 fantasy points per game since Week 9. Overall, six enemy quarterbacks have scored over 22 fantasy points against the Boys from Big D.
Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Be sure to check out my Week 16 rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings.
Tom Brady at Lions (Sat. 1 p.m. ET, NFLN): Brady had a slow start last week, but he finished with over 20 fantasy points in a win over the Falcons. He’s in a great spot this week too, as Brady goes up against a Lions defense that’s surrendered 34 total touchdowns and the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks. What's more, Mitchell Trubisky, P.J. Walker, and Alex Smith are the lone field generals not to finish with 20-plus points against them since Week 8.
Ryan Tannehill at Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Tannehill is on a nice hot streak, scoring 27-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games during which time he's scored a combined 10 touchdowns. This week's matchup isn't great on paper, as the Packers have given up an average of fewer than 17 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. But with an over/under of 55.5 in what should be an absolute scoreboard scorcher, I'm looking past the stats and starting Tannehill.
Mitchell Trubisky at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Trubisky has been up and down in the stat sheets, alternating good and bad stat lines since Week 12. He’s due for a good one, though, and a matchup in Jacksonville makes him an attractive choice. Since Week 9, the Jaguars have allowed 16 touchdown passes and the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Overall, their defense has allowed 18-plus fantasy points to the position nine different times in 2020.
Tua Tagovailoa at Raiders (Sat. 8:15 p.m. ET, NFLN): Tagovailoa has picked up his statistical pace in recent weeks, scoring a combined 45.74 fantasy points in his last two games. He’s in a good spot to succeed this week too, as the rookie travels to Las Vegas. Their defense has been generous to quarterbacks at home, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position at Allegiant Stadium. That includes four signal-callers who’ve scored at least 21-plus fantasy points.
- Justin Herbert vs. Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Jalen Hurts at Cowboys (DraftKings: $7,000)
- Mitchell Trubisky at Jaguars (DraftKings: $5,700)
Week 16 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Cam Newton vs. Bills (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Newton’s stock has taken a nosedive in recent weeks, as he’s failed to score even 13 fantasy points in three of his last four games. That makes him hard to trust against a Bills defense that’s been tough on quarterbacks in recent weeks. In fact, the position has averaged the 16th-“most” points since Week 9. They’ve also held three of their last four opposing signal-callers to fewer than 16 fantasy points, so I’d fade Newton.
Matt Ryan at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Ryan put up a surprisingly good stat line last week, throwing for three touchdowns while scoring nearly 28 fantasy points. However, it was his best total in a month, and he's still tough to trust in traditional leagues during this ever-important championship week. Ryan has also put up fewer than 18 fantasy points in four of his six road contests. He would be more attractive if Julio Jones (hamstring) returns, but Ryan is a sit ‘em for now.
Jared Goff at Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Goff has a great matchup on paper this week, as the Seahawks have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. However, he scored just 10.5 points against them earlier in the year, and Goff’s recent stinker against the hapless Jets has put him on the naughty list in the world of fantasy football. Goff just isn’t a very good (fantasy) quarterback, and he doesn’t deserve to be started (or even rostered) at this point.
Philip Rivers at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Rivers has been mediocre in the stat sheets lately, scoring fewer than 18 fantasy points in three of his last four games. While he has a decent floor, Rivers doesn’t bring much of a ceiling in fantasy play. He also has a tough matchup next on the schedule, as the Colts face a Steelers defense that’s surrendered 10 touchdown passes and an average of 14.4 points per contest to opposing field generals at Heinz Field this season.
Kirk Cousins at Saints (Fri. 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX): Cousins has been productive in recent weeks, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games. And while this week’s game could be a shootout, a matchup against the Saints isn’t a favorable one. In fact, their defense has allowed just 16.1 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. So unless you’re in a league that requires multiple quarterbacks, I’d fade Captain Kirk on Christmas Day.
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- Baker Mayfield at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Ben Roethlisberger vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Teddy Bridgewater at Football Team (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Russell Wilson vs. Rams (DraftKings: $7,300)
- Jared Goff at Seahawks (DraftKings: $5,900)
- Matt Ryan at Chiefs (DraftKings: $5,800)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!