Just hours before the start of Week 16 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit?
Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – Running Back
He’s listed as questionable with a hamstring injury for the Cowboys matchup with the Eagles, and things do not look too promising. With Chauncey Washington being promoted from the practice squad, it is clear that the Cowboys are preparing themselves for life without Jones.
Even if he dressess, can we say for certain that he is going to be able to make it through the entire game? There is way too much risk involved to roll the dice on Jones, especially with a 4:15 start time. Sammy Morris will likely get the bulk of the carries if Jones is out of action, though we really have no idea what to expect from him.
Consider him a risky FLEX play, but owners would be better served to look for alternatives.
Kahlil Bell – Chicago Bears – Running Back
According to Brad Biggs (via Twitter):
RB Kahlil Bell will start. Marion Barber (calf) is not expected to play
The Bears could lean heavily on Bell for their matchup with the Green Bay Packers. They obviously have been struggling offensively and Green Bay has been among the worst defenses in the league.
When Matt Forte was injured originally, there was talk that Bell could be a better option in the offense over Marion Barber because his skillset was more comparable. Now, we are going to find out.
Bell totaled 108 yards and one TD against the Seahawks in Week 15 and has 10 receptions over the past two weeks. Consider him a low-end RB2 and a good play as a FLEX option this week, even if the Bears are playing catchup.
Antonio Brown/Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – Wide Receiver
It is not a major surprise, but according to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Charlie Batch will start at quarterback for the Steelers tomorrow, though Ben Roethlisberger may dress and serve as an emergency signal-caller.”
It makes sense that the Steelers give their quarterback a week off, especially taking on a Rams defense that is the worst against the run. I would expect a steady dose of Rashard Mendenhall, which obviously would result in fewer opportunities for the wide receivers.
It’s impossible to sit Mike Wallace regardless of the quarterback, as he has emerged as one of the elite receivers in the game. The same cannot be said for Brown. While Brown has been good this season, with 60 receptions and 984 yards, he does have just two touchdowns and is not the red zone target that Wallace is (8 TD).
Brown is a low-end WR2 and probably better served as a WR3 for today’s games.
Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – Wide Receiver
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter) responded to a question regarding Jackson’s status by saying:
Might not. Game-time decision. Groin hasn’t responded as well as hoped.
The bind he puts owners in is that his matchup with the Lions doesn’t come until 4:15 p.m., meaning we won’t have an answer on his status before the bulk of the games (only five games starting at 4:05 p.m. or later).
If you are determined to roll the dice on Jackson, you will want to stash Vincent Brown or Malcolm Floyd so you at least have a potential replacement. Obviously, Antonio Gates would also get ample opportunities though he is already considered one of the best options in the league.
Depending on your other options, moving Jackson to the bench may be a wise decision.
Roy Helu – Washington Redskins – Running Back
He’s listed as questionable with a toe injury and while he is expected to play, you have to wonder just how effective he is going to be. Does that mean he shouldn’t be used? No, but he is a riskier option at this point.
You obviously need to drop him down your rankings, so it will depend on who your other options are. Helu had been on a roll prior to his matchup with the Giants (69 total yards). If healthy, he would have been a must-start option, but at this point consider him more of a low-end RB2.
Anthony Fasano – Miami Dolphins – Tight End
He was viewed as a low-end option this week against the New England Patriots, but a concussion will rob him of his opportunity. He’s not the only tight end who will be missing, as Jake Ballard has also been ruled out.
They are not major losses for fantasy owners, as you should be able to find a player with similar upside on the waiver wire.
Some potential replacements who could be available include Jared Cook, Ed Dickson and Visanthe Shiancoe.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 16 articles: