Our Week 16 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is an in-depth look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they will impact your lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Our list of Week 16 quarterback starts and sits features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup, or fail to meet expectations due to the strength of their opponent.
Philip Rivers has long been a model of consistency in fantasy football. Yet, his longevity as an elite QB1 has come unhinged this season, barely ranking inside the top 15 for fantasy quarterbacks. Rivers turned in a solid performance in last week’s loss to the Raiders, as he tossed two touchdowns en route to 15 fantasy points. With two weeks left in the regular season, Rivers has a great chance to up the ante this week against the winless Browns in Cleveland. He’ll have a floor of 15 points this weekend and is a legitimate option for owners still left in the fantasy playoffs.
Drafted as a backup quarterback in the late rounds of fantasy drafts, Jameis Winston has helped fantasy owners turn a profit with a solid sophomore season. With the Buccaneers still fighting for their playoff lives, they’ll depend on Winston and the offense to get things rolling this weekend against the Saints and a beatable secondary. While Mike Evans has gone through a recent rough patch, it’ll be imperative that Winston is able to involve his go-to receiver more frequently in this divisional clash. Look for Winston to provide fantasy owners with an efficient performance in a plus matchup.
The reigning MVP has struggled to replicate last season’s success that made him a fantasy darling and turned the Panthers into NFC champions. The top fantasy quarterback from a year ago, Cam Newton ranks outside the top 10 this season. With Newton and the Panthers coming off a Monday Night victory in Washington, they’ll host the division rival Falcons this week. Newton should have a decent chance of posting legitimate QB1 numbers in a favorable matchup and will provide fantasy owners with a viable option at the qb position for this weekend.
Prior to Monday Night’s loss against the Panthers, Kirk Cousins had established himself as a top-tier fantasy quarterback and a potential MVP candidate, albeit an unlikely candidate. Nonetheless, he certainly had been one of the hottest quarterbacks from a fantasy perspective over the last handful of weeks. Then came Week 15’s loss to the Panthers. Cousins was erratic, displaying little to no semblance of being on the same page as his receivers and struggled to get rid of the ball early in his reads. This week, Cousins and Washington will head to Chicago to take on the Bears in a game that almost certainly will be effected by mother nature. Cousins’ stock is trending downwards and owners should temper expectations for Week 16.
The Bills have made it clear that there’s no guarantee they’ll negotiate with Tyrod Taylor over the off-season when he becomes a free agent. Taylor has taken a step back this season and has settled in as more of a game manager, rather than the dynamic dual-threat quarterback we saw surprise fantasy owners last year. This offense has become even more dominated by LeSean McCoy and the running game and with Rex Ryan playing for his job, you can expect that to remain the case for the final two weeks of the regular season.
Another major disappointment in 2016, Cardinals fans have to wonder how much Carson Palmer has left in the tank moving forward. Palmer has been a shell of the player who was a legitimate MVP candidate a season ago and the lack of steady offensive line play has been partially to blame for his ineffectiveness. That being said, Palmer won’t be much more than a middling qb option this week as the Cards travel to Seattle. Look for the Seahawks defense to make Palmer’s life even more difficult this week, as Richard Sherman and company look to bottle up Larry Fitzgerald and a banged-up Cardinals receiving corps.