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Week 16 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Miles Sanders & Saquon Barkley

Nick Lepri

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The fantasy football regular season has ended, and leagues have now been whittled down to the playoffs. It is do-or-die situations from here on out, so making the right lineup decisions could be the difference between the 2021 season continuing another week toward the championship or going up in flames. Below we will break down the NFL fantasy football rankings and go over the Week 16 fantasy football start ’em/sit ’em players.

Week 16 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

Must Start: Miles Sanders – RB – Eagles vs. Giants

While Sanders has been inconsistent all season long, over the last two games the team has committed to Sanders, as he had over 15.5 half-PPR points in both. Last week he had 18 rushes for 131 yards and two receptions for 15 yards. This strong performance came even with Jordan Howard active. Sanders is trustworthy now, especially this week against the Giants, who rank 29th in run DVOA.

Must Start: Amon-Ra St. Brown – WR – Lions at Falcons

It has been very difficult to decipher which wide receiver to start from the Lions. There have been flashes from St. Brown, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds. However, St. Brown has had over 11 targets in all of the last three games. Last week he had eight receptions on 11 targets for 90 yards and a touchdown. This week he faces the Falcons, who rank 31st in pass DVOA, so it should be a dominant performance.

Must Start: Tom Brady – QB – Buccaneers at Panthers

Last week was a complete disaster for Brady and the whole Buccaneers offense. Not only did they lose, but they lost Chris Godwin for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and Mike Evans for an unknown amount of time. Leonard Fournette is also likely to be placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. In that game Brady had 26 completions on 48 attempts for 214 yards and an interception. Even with all of the down from last week, Brady will be able to bounce back this week against the Panthers. Antonio Brown will be returning this week, and Ronald Jones is a fine substitution for Fournette. Fire up Brady with supreme confidence this week.

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Must Start: Cole Kmet – TE – Bears at Seahawks

Kmet has averaged eight targets per game over the last four weeks. Last week he had six receptions on nine targets for 71 yards. This week they face the Seahawks, who are atrocious against the tight ends. On the season they allow an average of 7.5 targets for 5.57 receptions, 57.21 yards and 0.57 touchdowns on a per-game basis. Expect a high-volume game for Kmet this week.

Must Sit: Saquon Barkley – RB – Giants at Eagles

Barkley has been one of the biggest busts of the 2021 fantasy football season. Even with the injuries taking multiple games from his season he has had only a few good games on the season when healthy. Last week he had 15 rushes for 50 yards and four receptions on eight targets for 24 yards with a fumble lost. Barkley is still dealing with an ankle injury and has seen less than 55% of snaps in both of the last two games. Even though it may be difficult to bench Barkley, that is the optimal play.

Must Sit: Tyler Conklin – TE – Vikings vs. Rams

Conklin has been a player getting a bit of buzz over the last two weeks with Adam Thielen banged up. This week it is still unknown if Thielen will play, but reports point towards him having a solid shot of playing. Conklin has yet to score over 10 half-PPR points since Week 10, and it is hard to see that changing. Stay clear away from him against the Rams defense this week.

Must Sit: Matt Ryan – QB – Falcons vs. Lions

Since Ryan’s phenomenal performance in Week 9, he has failed to eclipse 14 points. Last week he had 19 completions on 32 attempts for 236 yards and a touchdown. Even in a great matchup against the Lions, the trust in Ryan is at zero. If there were ever a game that he could bounce back, it would be this week, but there are too many other options available.

Must Sit: Jerry Jeudy – WR – Broncos at Raiders

The passing attack of the Broncos has been lackluster all season long. Teddy Bridgewater does not try to push the ball deep down the field, so the receivers have been struggling. Since Bridgewater is hurt, Drew Lock will take over. Even with the change of quarterback, it is hard to be confident in Jeudy. He had four targets for zero receptions last week. Over his last four games he has seen below a 75% snap share in all games, making it even harder to believe in him.

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