Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Advice on Fantasy Football Stars to Play or Bench

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2022

Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Advice on Fantasy Football Stars to Play or Bench

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    ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears looks to hand off to David Montgomery #32 during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
    Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

    No pressure, folks, but it's win-or-go-home time in the fantasy football world.

    The good news is that if you're still standing in Week 16 of the NFL season, you have a really good chance of grabbing your league title and securing those uber-valuable bragging rights. The not-so-great news is that one poor decision could send you packing.

    Let's make some smart calls, then, and help decide some of the trickiest start-or-sit debates.

Start: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (at New York Jets)

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    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws a pass during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at TIAA Bank Field on December 18, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
    Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

    The Jets have a good defense. They limit fantasy quarterbacks like few others, allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points to the position, per Yahoo. You have to really like your signal-caller to trust him to deliver against them.

    Well, how could you not really like Lawrence with the type of damage he's been doing?

    On Sunday, he kept his hot streak going against a Dallas Cowboys defense that's been even stingier than the Jets'. He threw for 318 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with his first interception since late October. It was the third time in four games that he's thrown for at least 300 yards and three scores.

Sit: Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

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    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at TIAA BANK Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
    Mike Carlson/Getty Images

    It's tempting to trust Prescott. You want to trust his talent and the playmakers around him. At times, he'll reward that trust, too.

    But how can you trust him with everything on the line? He'll pounce on a favorable matchup now and then, but good defenses can really limit his output.

    Well, the Eagles have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. They could also be looking to control the clock with Gardner Minshew under center in place of the injured Jalen Hurts. If you have options at quarterback other than Prescott this week, use them instead.

Start: David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. Buffalo Bills)

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 18: David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball during the second half in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Montgomery usually holds more appeal for his floor than his ceiling, but don't tell that to his last few outings.

    He's had the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs since Week 11, per FantasyPros, and that number looks even better when considering the Bears had a bye during this stretch. Switch to average fantasy points, and Montgomey climbs up to No. 4. He has rushed for 260 yards and three scores in these four outings, while adding 13 receptions for another 132 yards and a score.

    The Bills have been leaky against the run of late—Raheem Mostert just ripped off 136 yards on only 17 carries against them—and the Bears will surely be looking to control the clock to keep Josh Allen off the field. That should all give Montgomery a great opportunity to keep things rolling, even if Khalil Herbert returns.

Sit: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Carolina Panthers (vs. Detroit Lions)

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    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 11: D'Onta Foreman #33 of the Carolina Panthers carries the ball during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 11, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
    Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    If you beat everyone to the waiver wire for Foreman earlier this season, you may have victory-lapped that feat more than once.

    Try to get that memory out of your mind, though. He's been trending down, and it might be time to cut bait.

    Over his past four games, he has turned 66 carries into just 220 yards. That's just 3.3 yards per pop. He's also had two targets and one reception (for a single yard) over this stretch. The Panthers can do better at running back, and so can you, especially with Foreman set to face a Detroit defense that has really limited opposing running backs of late.