Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Advice for Fringe Flex Fantasy Football Starters

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 22, 2021

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Advice for Fringe Flex Fantasy Football Starters

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    If you're still in your fantasy football league's playoffs, then you're one step closer to a championship. And it was no easy feat to get there, considering plenty of star players underperformed in Week 15, making it difficult on some managers who thought they were in a good position entering the fantasy postseason.

    Now, the playoff bracket is down to four teams in the majority of leagues. That means there will be berths in the championship game up for grabs in Week 16, making this the most crucial week yet.

    Still, there may be some tough decisions to make when filling out your starting lineup, especially with some key players going down with injuries and others being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This is the time of year when your depth is tested.

    Here's some early start/sit advice to help with your lineup choices for the playoff semifinals in Week 16.

Start 'Em: Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

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    After missing three games due to an ankle injury, Michael Carter returned to the Jets' backfield for their Week 15 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. However, the rookie running back wasn't much of a factor in the loss, recording eight carries for 18 yards and one reception for two yards.

    But there's a good chance Carter needed a game to shake off the rust, and he'll perform better in Week 16. Especially because New York is taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars, which will be a much more favorable matchup for its offense.

    Carter should get more touches now that he's been back for a game, and he's likely to have success against the Jags in a competitive matchup between two struggling teams. So Carter should be a safe flex play for fantasy managers this week.

Sit 'Em: Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

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    Myles Gaskin hasn't scored a touchdown in either of the Dolphins' past two games. He has only 98 rushing yards during that stretch, plus he hasn't been involved in Miami's passing game.

    Last week, the Dolphins opted to lean heavily on backup running back Duke Johnson, who had 22 carries for 107 yards and two touchdown. That makes it even riskier to start Gaskin in fantasy, because it's possible Miami will give Johnson a big workload down the stretch.

    The Dolphins' ground game could have trouble getting started in Week 16, when they're taking on the New Orleans Saints, who are allowing the second fewest fantasy points to running backs per game in the league, per So it's best to leave Gaskin on the bench this week.

Start 'Em: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

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    Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged as a viable fantasy option with his performances over the past three weeks. He's been targeted at least 11 times and had eight or more catches in every game during that stretch, and he's scored a pair of touchdowns.

    Last week, the rookie wide receiver had eight receptions for a season-high 90 yards and a touchdown in Detroit's upset victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Now, St. Brown has a great matchup in Week 16, when the Lions will take on the Atlanta Falcons.

    Atlanta is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers per game in the league, per, and Detroit is likely to continue having success moving the ball through the air. That makes St. Brown a wide receiver who should be started in fantasy lineups this week, and he is a fairly safe play due to his recent consistency.

Sit 'Em: Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

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    In Week 14, Rashod Bateman seemed to have a breakout performance when the rookie had seven catches for 103 yards in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. However, he didn't make nearly as much of an impact last week, as he had only one reception for five yards in a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

    At this point, Bateman is too inconsistent to trust in fantasy lineups, and that's the case no matter if it's Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley at quarterback for the Ravens. Bateman has played well with both under center, and he's also struggled when both have played.

    It's possible that Baltimore's offense will put up some solid numbers in what could be a high-scoring Week 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. But it's too much of a risk in the fantasy playoffs to put your faith in the rookie Bateman.