Who Should I Start in Fantasy Football in Week 16? Lineup Advice, Matchups, and More

    With the fantasy football championships around the corner, managers are asking, "who should I start in Week 16?" So we look to answer that with matchup data.

    With the fantasy football playoffs in full swing, the question of “who should I start” arguably takes on even more importance in Week 16 than it has for the rest of the season. With the weather and injuries combined with a very strange-looking week due to Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, there’s a lot that goes into making these decisions.

    One way of helping to decipher some of the concerns is to utilize fantasy points allowed to each position over the last four weeks. Let’s examine who might be some intriguing starting options this week based on that data. In addition, this information can also be used to help make decisions for DFS as well as Underdog Fantasy Best Ball leagues.

    For the purpose of this article, all data discussed is using half-PPR and four-point per passing touchdown scoring unless otherwise stated. The Jaguars and Jets are excluded from matchup data as they have already played.

    Who Should I Start in Fantasy Football This Week?

    When we look at the top of the list in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, there are some intriguing names to consider. Among the top five best matchups are the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, but Josh Allen and Dak Prescott are virtual must-start options regardless.

    The other three matchups are where the intrigue arises. Davis Mills is coming off a week where he threw two touchdowns and rushed for a third. While we cannot rely on him rushing for a touchdown again, the matchup with the Titans presents an opportunity. Mills is really only a realistic option in Superflex leagues, sitting as the QB29 in our Week 16 QB fantasy rankings.

    The other two names to consider this week based on matchups are Geno Smith and Sam Darnold. Smith managed to be fine last week in a tough matchup and has a soft matchup this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, both games have weather concerns, so keeping an eye on the respective forecasts will be key.

    The top matchup for opposing running backs this week is the Seattle Seahawks. That means Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon are both potential starting options this week. Pacheco is the RB16, and McKinnon is the RB28 in our Week 16 RB fantasy rankings. McKinnon is coming off two huge games and could be in line for another good one this week.

    The majority of the other top matchups this week fall into the laps of RBs that are already largely must-start options. Austin Ekeler and Derrick Henry could see huge boosts this week with soft matchups against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, respectively.

    The really intriguing one is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers RBs against the Arizona Cardinals. With an average of 28.43 fantasy points allowed to the position, there is room for both Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette to be starting options this week.

    Despite his injury issues this week, Nick Chubb has been cleared and has a nice matchup. However, if he is slightly limited, then Kareem Hunt could also find value in deeper leagues.

    With rough weather forecasts in a few games this week, the WR position is arguably the most heavily affected. The biggest impact could be on the Buffalo Bills, who should have a matchup that would make Gabe Davis a starting option. However, with temperatures plummeting and wind a concern, it might be risky to start him this week.

    With a good matchup against the Colts on Monday Night Football, the trio of Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Joshua Palmer can all have value this week. Indianapolis has allowed an average of 39.8 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in the last four weeks. All three players sit inside the top 45 WR options in our Week 16 WR fantasy rankings.

    It’s also worth noting that the Eagles’ pair of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith have a nice matchup this week. Even with Jalen Hurts missing this week, backup QB Gardner Minshew should be competent enough to ensure that with a good matchup, both can be worthwhile starting options, even if their ceiling does take a slight dip.

    In one of the other two matchups, DJ Moore is another solid starting option this week. He found the end zone last week and sits as the WR15 this week. It will never feel comfortable trusting him, but this matchup presents an opportunity.

    MORE: Wharton’s Start ‘em Sit ‘em Week 16

    The other matchup that is intriguing is for the New York Giants’ WRs. However, in 12 or 14-team leagues, trusting any of Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, or Richie James in your fantasy playoffs would be tough to do. The Vikings present an intriguing matchup, and in 16-team leagues, all three of them have intriguing upside but a risky floor.

    The tight end position is always one that is hard to judge and play the matchups with. The Atlanta Falcons are an interesting matchup, which could give Mark Andrews the chance to get back on track after a few tough weeks.

    The other matchups in the top five present intrigue for Robert Tonyan, Jordan Akins, Trey McBride, and Ian Thomas. However, none of them are in the top 20 options in our Week 16 TE fantasy rankings. Therefore, outside of TE premium leagues, none are clear streaming options in Week 16.

    Top Fantasy Football Matchups in Week 16

    When making decisions about who to start in Week 16, looking back at recent data in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position can be extremely helpful. Examining data from the last four weeks, we can find the five most favorable matchups for each position.

    The five teams to allow the most fantasy points to opposing QBs in the past four weeks and their matchups for this week are:

    1. Bears (24.39 PPG) | vs. Bills
    2. Titans (23.75 PPG) | at Texans
    3. Lions (22.23 PPG) | at Panthers
    4. Chiefs (21.68 PPG) | vs. Seahawks
    5. Eagles (21.33 PPG) | at Cowboys

    The five teams to allow the most fantasy points to opposing RBs in the past four weeks and their matchups for this week are:

    1. Seahawks (36.63 PPG) | at Chiefs
    2. Colts (34.33 PPG) | vs. Chargers
    3. Cardinals (28.43 PPG) | vs. Buccaneers
    4. Texans (26.45 PPG) | at Titans
    5. Saints (25.23 PPG) | at Browns

    The five teams to allow the most fantasy points to opposing WRs in the past four weeks and their matchups for this week are:

    1. Colts (39.80 PPG) | vs. Chargers
    2. Bears (38.57 PPG) | vs. Bills
    3. Cowboys (38.25 PPG) | vs. Eagles
    4. Lions (37.63 PPG) | at Panthers
    5. Vikings (37.40 PPG) | vs. Giants

    The five teams to allow the most fantasy points to opposing TEs in the past four weeks and their matchups for this week are:

    1. Falcons (20.20 PPG) | at Ravens
    2. Titans (16.30 PPG) | vs. Texans
    3. Dolphins (13.75 PPG) | vs. Packers
    4. Buccaneers (11.29 PPG) | at Cardinals
    5. Lions (10.75 PPG) | at Panthers