Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.
Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.
Week 16 means championship weekend. Hopefully you were not bitten by the lack of offensive production from the Kansas City Chiefs star QB. My buddy had Mahomes in two of his leagues, losing by one point in one of them. Patrick tanked and Todd Gurley’s late game points sunk him.
The challenge for any league commissioner is whether to allow waiver wire transcactions during the playoffs. Obviously any dynasty or keeper league will need limit who can be picked up by teams still in the running, unless transacations are open to all teams. Which are you? Hopefully we can offer some good advice.
Saturday games are a tough sell. You should not touch any of the Redskins, nor any of the Ravens receivers. There is not a tight end worth risking for any team. Also, apart from loving the Chargers offense, I do not see much room for kickers to make an impact. Wait until Sunday for those positions.
With the pickings slim, I give you this.
QB Philip Rivers, Chargers
Late game heroics in Kansas City allowed him to finish with favorable numbers, otherwise he would have been looking at a second straight week of disappointing numbers. That said, Rivers was working without Keenan Allen, who is expected to be back against the Ravens. As is Melvin Gordon.
Start him against the top rated Ravens defense? They are allowing the 4th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, but Rivers is Rivers. The Chargers are battling for the division title. I like him at home to deliver.
Projection: 287 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception
RB Derrick Henry, Titans
How do you not stick with him for the rest of the year? After setting records against the Jaguars he backs it up with another exceptional performance against the Giants. The less Mariota throws the better, and considering the Redskins gave up points to Saquon Barkley two weeks ago, Henry should plow throw them.
Projection: 137 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns, and 2 receptions for 11 yards
RB Gus Edwards, Ravens
From QB to RB, the Ravens are a run heavy team. While the Chargers will surely stack the box to stop the run, Lamar Jackson is matchup nightmare. Edwards is also sure to get the goal line touches. Ride with him again.
Projection: 87 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns
WR Keenan Allen, Chargers
Prior to getting injured in the Chiefs game, Allen was on a run of four games with a touchdown. Rivers should look for him often, and the lot of talent at the receiver position should be a challenge to the stellar Ravens pass defense.
Projection: 7 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown
Tennessee Titans Defense
Shutting out the Giants last weekend, weather assisted, is an indication of just how well this defense is playing. Like the Chargers they are at home and fighting for a playoff spot. The Redskins beat the Jaguars last week only because Jacksonville’s offense is awful. Titans are a must start.
Projection: 194 total yards, 5 sacks, 2 turnovers, and 3 points
QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens
He is not a fantasy grade quarterback. Unless you’re in a two quarterback league it is not worth the risk to hope you get a touchdown pass from a 150 yard passing performance. Unless you get points per rushing attempt it doesn’t matter if he gives you 90 yards on the ground.
Projection: 140 passing yards, 67 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
Baltimore Ravens Defense
You will want to start them, and with good reason. The Chargers bring a healthy offense, and frankly I would ride with Rivers.
Projection: 323 yards, 24 points, 2 sacks, 1 turnover