This week we have a lot of interesting matchups thanks to injuries and freezing temperatures. If you have been paying attention this week, you’ll have seen that quite a few games will be played in below-zero windchill, so expect a lot of low-scoring slugfests this week.
That makes each start/sit decision a little bit harder, since some of your studs may not perform as well as you’d hoped. Now that doesn’t mean you should sit them, but what it does mean is you may have to hit on your other start/sit choices in order to pull off a playoff victory.
Let’s take a look at this week’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em.
Daniel Jones, QB (New York Giants)
The streaming Quarterback options are pretty rough this week, with options like Zach Wilson against the Jaguars or Sam Darnold against the Lions as the “best” matchups.
If you don’t want your fantasy season lying on the shoulders of Wilson or Darnold, your next best bet is Daniel Jones. Jones faces one of the worst secondaries in the NFL this season: the Minnesota Vikings.
This game is in Minnesota so it’ll be out of the cold snap we all will suffer in this weekend, and the Vikings are going to put up points on the Giants. Jones’ rushing ability gives him a solid floor, and he should have to throw a bit more in order to keep up with the Vikings. Jones is a top streamer this week.
Jerick McKinnon, Running Back (Kansas City Chiefs)
Going with some low-hanging fruit here, because Jerick McKinnon has been on fire the last few weeks. He seriously could be a league winner, and he has a great situation in Week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are giving up the second-most points to the Running Back position.
Add to that that this game is in Kansas City, another freezing cold location this week, and you have a great recipe for a ton of carries and short passes.
Isaiah Pacheco will still get plenty of work, but with the conditions and an easy matchup, McKinnon should get even more work than we have seen the last few weeks.
DJ Moore, WR (Carolina Panthers)
DJ Moore gets a dream matchup against the second-worst pass defense in the NFL: the Detroit Lions. This game is in Carolina, which should avoid the worst of the cold snap we will be seeing this weekend, so Moore is a safe option.
The Detroit Lions should be able to score on the Panthers, and the Panthers’ recent struggles to run the ball make this one an interesting matchup for Carolina Wide Receivers. The Lions have also been absolutely filthy stopping the run, so Darnold will be throwing.
Moore has a great opportunity for a week-winning type of game.
Cade Otton, TE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
This one is a bit of a scary option this week, but Cade Otton faces the league’s worst defense against Tight Ends, making him a viable streaming option in an otherwise fantasy wasteland.
Otton faces the Arizona Cardinals, a defense that has given up 1074 yards and 10 touchdowns to opposing Tight Ends this season. Otton has still been a part of this offense even with Cameron Brate back, and it seems like Julio Jones will probably miss this game which should open up some more targets.
Of all the streaming options this week, Otton is the best one figuring he at least has a few RedZone targets.
Graham Gano, K – (New York Giants)
Graham Gano faces Minnesota this week, in Minnesota’s indoor stadium, making him one of the best streaming options of the week. This game is one of the highest over/unders of the week at 48 points, and both offenses should be able to move the ball fairly easily.
Gano should have a few opportunities in this one, and I don’t trust Daniel Jones to punch the ball in every trip down the field.
Cleveland Browns, DST
When you have a 32-point over/under, you know that the game should be low scoring. The Saints’ offense has been awful as of late, and their run game isn’t what it was, which means the Browns have a good opportunity to hone in on stopping the run game.
The cold weather combined with the Saints’ bad offense should make the Browns’ defense a great start in Week 16.
Derek Carr, QB (Las Vegas Raiders)
The Steelers had one of the worst pass defenses in the league to start the season, but they have gotten much better over the last month. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points to opposing offenses in five weeks, and Derek Carr is not exactly a Quarterback I’d be worried about.
The return of T.J. Watt has bolstered the defense for Pittsburgh, and his rushing alone should give Carr headaches. This game is also in Pittsburgh where the wind chills will be negative degrees, making it difficult to throw the ball downfield. Right now the Vegas over/under on the game is 39.5 points.
Carr’s past history and the fact that this will be a freezing-cold game makes Carr an iffy start.
Brian Robinson, RB (Washington Commanders)
I’m not sure how many fantasy playoff teams have Brian Robinson on their roster, but he is a must-sit this week against the league’s best-run defense. The 49ers have absolutely shut down opposing Running Backs, so if Washington wants to win, they are going to have to find a way to throw the ball.
This game is also in San Francisco, so it’ll be a bit warmer than the rest of the country and should allow the Commanders to throw the ball a bit easier than other teams this week.
Trey Burks, WR (Tennessee Titans)
The matchup against Houston might seem like a dream, but the Texans’ run defense is so bad that they actually haven’t allowed a ton of points to Wide Receivers. They allow the fifth-least points to opposing Wide Receivers, so Burks is a no-go this week.
Ryan Tannehill seems like he also won’t be starting after injuring his ankle, meaning Malik Willis will be out there to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry. Henry has absolutely destroyed the Texans the last few years, so expect him to get 30+ carries.
Burks should stay on your bench this week.
Dawson Knox, TE (Buffalo Bills)
The Chicago Bears currently are allowing the least amount of points to opposing Tight Ends this season, and that should continue this week in one of the coldest games of the season.
This game is in Chicago where the temperatures are forecasted to be below zero, so this one probably will be a run-fest. The cold weather, combined with Chicago’s ability to keep Tight Ends in check, make Knox a very risky start this week.
Any Kicker in Freezing Temps, K (Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Seattle)
So rather than just pick one Kicker to sit this week, I figured it would be best to list off all kickers who will be playing in freezing temperatures. It’s obviously harder to kick a ball in below-zero weather and add to that the fact that it probably will be very windy in most of these games and it probably is best for you to pivot off any of these kickers.
For this week, find a kicker that is either playing in the deep south or someone who is indoors.
Tennessee Titans, DST
The Titans were a streaming option this week against the Texans, but recent events give me pause on whether or not you should play them this week.
First off, Ryan Tannehill won’t be playing. That means Malik Willis will get the start, and he has not really shown anything that makes me think he can move the ball downfield. If anything he is a liability for the Tennessee defense because he could turn the ball over and give short fields to the Texans.
Second, the Texans’ offense has been on fire lately, taking both the Cowboys and Chiefs to overtime in high-scoring affairs. The Titans’ pass defense is the worst in the league, so I expect them to give up some points to the Texans’ offense.
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