The 2022 fantasy football regular season has come to a close with the playoffs in full swing. The must-win games are here. Our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 16 picks help you identify values to target and fades to avoid.
Here are our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 16
Also, as a friendly reminder, there are 11 NFL games this Saturday.
Editor’s note: This article is written by Bradley Stalder.
Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks)
That is, you are starting Pro Bowl QB, Geno Smith. Smith is currently the QB8 on the season in fantasy points per game, has thrown for 26 TDs in only 14 games, and has eight top-12 performances. The Chiefs give up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs on the season and the game total between the Seahawks and Chiefs is at 49, among the highest of the week. In a potential shootout where Seattle is a 10-point dog, expect Geno Smith to have a bounce-back performance after a dismal Week 15 against the 49ers.
Daniel Jones (New York Giants)
The Giants and Vikings game is worth targeting in a week where there are few game-totals over 45 points. Earlier this season, Jones torched the secondary of the Detroit Lions for a season-high 341 passing yards (425 air yards) and 50 rushing yards. He’s faced difficult secondaries ever since. Now he gets Minnesota, who allows the 2nd most passing yards to QBs and 2nd most receiving yards to WRs on the season. And while Minnesota stifles running backs, they give up an additional 3.42 fantasy points per game for rushing QBs, the 7th highest rate in the league. Jones is 5th among QBs in rushing yards and has 5 rush TDs on the season. Put Jones on your streaming radar in Week 16.
Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns)
Watson has finished no better than the QB14 in his three starts thus far. He’s been held under 14 fantasy points and under 165 passing yards in two of his three games. Amari Cooper, the Browns leading WR, is still dealing with a hip injury. While Watson’s had 6 rush attempts in each game it’s been hard for him to find running room. The Saints, on the other hand, only give up 15.6 fantasy points per game. Fantasy managers should avoid pass-catchers in this Saints-Browns game as the game total is a meager 32.5 and there is the expectation of weather significant enough to affect the game. It would be unsurprising to see 70+ rush attempts in this game.
Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)
Carr has struggled with accuracy this season. He ranks QB25 or worse in the following efficiency categories: Accuracy Rating, True Completion Percentage, Deep Ball Completion Percentage, Red Zone Accuracy, Clean Pocket Accuracy, Completion Percentage vs. Man Coverage, Completion Percentage vs. Zone Coverage, and Pressured Completion Percentage. With poor accuracy and wide receivers who cannot separate, that can pose a problem for Carr as he’s only finished as a top-8 QB once on the season– displaying a lack of upside. The Steelers are favored at home on Christmas Eve for what projects to be 18 team points for the Raiders. The Steelers have allowed the 2nd fewest passing yards to opposing QBs over the last 3 weeks. It’s not the cake-walk matchup fantasy managers might think.
Raheem Mostert (Miami Dolphins)
Even if Jeff Wilson is back to being active for the Dolphins, start Mostert with confidence. He’s coming off a 17-136 performance against Buffalo. Now he gets Green Bay, with whom he has a tantalizing history. Back in 2020’s NFC Championship game, Mostert torched the Packers with a 29-220-4 rushing line. The Packers are among the most generous fantasy matchup for RBs, having allowed 196 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks– the most in the NFL.
Jerick McKinnon (Kansas City Chiefs)
McKinnon, the RB1 overall in both Weeks 14 and 15, should be in the league-winner conversation. He’s averaged nearly 14 touches and over 100 total yards over the last 3 weeks. Seattle is a plus matchup, as the Seahawks allow the 2nd most fantasy points on the season and 3rd most rushing yards over the last three weeks to running backs. Fantasy managers shouldn’t fade Isiah Pacheco either, but McKinnon is the preferred back in the Chiefs backfield.
D’Onta Foreman (Carolina Panthers)
Fantasy managers were on tilt after Foreman gave a 10-9 performance in Week 15 against Pittsburgh. What’s more concerning is that Foreman saw his snap share drop to 30% and Chuba Hubbard’s exceed 50%. The Detroit matchup isn’t an easy one either. The Lions allow the fewest rushing yards to RBs over the last three weeks and give up the 7th fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season.
Zack Moss (Indianapolis Colts)
The hype about Zack Moss seems unwarranted. Yes, Moss did garner 24 carries and 8 RedZone carries in the Week 15 game against Minnesota. But he only rushed for 81 yards and didn’t fall into the EndZone. On 8 Red Zone carries. Moss is averaging 1.1 yards per carry in the RedZone this season. His volume was a coaching decision to try (but was not successful) to salt away a 33-0 lead. Deon Jackson is a better pass-catcher and should be the preferred back in Indy moving forward.
Garrett Wilson (New York Jets)
Wilson is matchup-proof and quarterback-proof as much as a rookie can be. Wilson has finished as WR29 or better in six of his last seven games and with 95+ receiving yards in three of his last four. Even with Zach Wilson, arguably the worst-graded and efficiency-rated starting quarterback in the NFL, Garrett Wilson went 4-98 on 9 targets. The Jaguars give up the 2nd most receiving TDs and the 8th most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Wilson is projected to line up most against Tre Herndon, who has the 5th worst CB PFF coverage grade among CBs with at least 200 coverage snaps.
Isaiah McKenzie (Buffalo Bills)
McKenzie has had an up-and-down year, finishing as the WR11 or better twice, but also finishing outside the top-48 of WRs eight times, and each of his last three games. That may change this week as the Bills face a vulnerable Bears defense. In fact, McKenzie projects to align against rookie Kyler Gordon who is the 3rd worst PFF coverage graded CB with at least 350 coverage snaps. Gordon himself has allowed 50 or more receiving yards in seven of his twelve games this year, giving up an 82% completion percentage against. This poses as a get-right game for McKenzie, Gabriel Davis, and the rest of the Bills offense.
DJ Moore (Carolina Panthers)
The Lions have allowed the 4th most passing yards over the last three games and DJ Moore has a plus matchup against Jeff Okudah. Okudah is the 3rd worst coverage-graded CB since Week 11 per PFF. Okudah has allowed three games of 112+ receiving yards, and DJ Moore is coming off a 5-73-1 performance against Pittsburgh. We’ve seen ceiling games from Moore before, as he’s finished as the WR8, WR5, WR9, and WR13 in weeks this year. A good matchup and 1st round pedigree talent should be enough for Sam Darnold to hit Moore and make good in your fantasy playoffs.
Chris Olave (New Orleans Saints)
It’s not just the weather that should concern fantasy managers. Olave has been dealing with a hamstring injury and has missed practice all week. He only played 50% of snaps in the Week 15 game against Atlanta and has fallen outside the top 40 of WRs each of the last three weeks. Even if Olave gives it a go, and even if the weather isn’t as bad as predicted, Andy Dalton’s passing volume will limit Olave as well. Dalton only threw 17 passes in Week 15. Find an alternative to Chris Olave this week.
Parris Campbell (Indianapolis Colts)
Campbell has struggled as of late, finishing as the WR51 or worse each of the last three weeks. He hasn’t scored 10+ fantasy points since Week 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Campbell squares off against slot corner Bryce Callahan, who has allowed 30+ receiving yards in only three of thirteen games this season. With Nick Foles now installed as QB, there’s not much optimism for Parris Campbell’s resurrection for the rest of the season.
Van Jefferson (Los Angeles Rams)
Ben Skowronek is expected to miss the rest of the season. That doesn’t necessarily mean Van Jefferson will step in and command targets. Jefferson has no more than 6 targets, 3 receptions, or 44 receiving yards in a game this season, topping out at 11 fantasy points as a season-high. The Rams take on the Broncos in Week 16, and Denver allows the fewest fantasy points and 5th fewest receiving yards to opposing WRs. Jefferson projects to line up most of his snaps against Patrick Surtain and K’Waun Williams. Williams hasn’t allowed more than 45 receiving yards in 11 games on the season.
Dawson Knox (Buffalo Bills)
The TE4 for each of the last two weeks, Dawson Knox seemed to finally snap out of a cold streak. Knox has at least 7 targets, 41 receiving yards, and a TD over the last two games. In a game against the Bears where Knox should get room to operate, he makes the most of it. Knox is the TE10 in fantasy points per target on the season and gets the 7th most separation due to his athleticism.
Taysom Hill (New Orleans Saints)
The pivot from Chris Olave, Taysom Hill has shown some very interesting ceiling games so far. But, what’s even more encouraging about Hill is that his snaps have increased to 50%+ each of the last four games. The more Hill is on the field, the more likely he can break off a big fantasy score. In a game anticipated to feature the running game, Hill has three games this season where he’s been entrusted with 9+ carries. In those games, he averages 75 rushing yards and 1 TD.
Chigoziem Okonkwo (Tennessee Titans)
It was fun while it lasted. But we expect Treylon Burks to return to game action after missing multiple games with a concussion. In his stead, Okonkwo played valiantly for the Tennessee Titans, leading them in targets and providing life in the offense. Ryan Tannehill is not expected to play in this game, and with Malik Willis behind center, there are not many reasons for optimism this week for Okonkwo.
Juwan Johnson (New Orleans Saints)
This game is not set up for the makings of a Juwan Johnson game. The cold and wind may limit downfield plays. Johnson Is TE4 in ADOT, TE7 in unrealized air yards, and TE8 in air yards. The projected game total is 32, one of the lowest on the season. Among tight ends, Johnson ranks second in touchdowns and eighth in red-zone targets. While Johnson is as good a bet as any to score a TD at the TE position, there are major concerns as managers prepare for Week 16.