By: Fan Sports Lists Team
It’s championship week! Week 16 is the final playoff round in most leagues and that means you are likely playing for money this week. Now more than ever, it is tough to balance playing your studs versus following match-ups and trends. Nothing hurts more than to bench a formerly great player at just the wrong time. Here is the Fan Sports Lists Team’s tips on which players should be trusted, passed over for starting duty and picked up in a pinch. Good luck!
7 Players to start this week:
1. Cameron Brate – TE – TB @ NO: Brate has been a favorite target of Jamies Winston, particularly in the red zone. With 19 receptions on 27 targets over the past 4 games, Brate is as close to a must start as there is for a TE.
2. Golden Tate III – WR – Det @ Dal: Tate and QB Matthew Safford have been on the same page over the last month. Tate has 10+ targets in his last 3 game and the Dallas D has given up 264 passing yards per game.
3. Ty Montgomery – RB – GB vs. Min: Ty is worth starting, as long as he handles the ball 15-20 times a game, which he has done lately. With over 200 yards and 3 TDs in the last 2 weeks, he’s good and I think he will continue to prove it. Minnesota’s D has looked very average as of late and may be just what Monty needs to continue his hot run.
4. Derek Carr – QB – Oak vs. Ind: The Raiders have serious play-off seeding implications to play for plus this is a plus match-up for the young QB. The last time the Colts D faced a real passing game was week 12 and Big Ben threw for a quick 3 TDs as Pittsburgh cruised to an easy win. Expect the Colts to score some points thereby making Carr feel the need to throw the ball around the field. It is likely Carr throws for 300 yards and 2 TDs with significantly more upside. You may have other quality options at QB but this is the guy to play.
Honorable mention: Tyreek Hill – WR – KC vs. Den, Jordan Howard – RB – Chi vs. Was, Kenny Britt – WR – LA vs. SF.
6 Players to bench or cut now:
1. Delanie Walker – TE – Ten vs. Jac: Walker will face a tough Jacksonville D with something to prove after the firing of their HC Gus Bradley. The Jags are giving up 210 passing yards a game and pass D is the lone bright spot of that team this season. Walker has only 1 TD in the last 4 games.
2. Andy Dalton – QB – Cin @ Hou: With the Bengals officially eliminated from the playoffs, there will not be much to play for in Houston. A.J. Green will be back this week but I don’t think it will make much difference as he is also a bench candidate if you have options. Houston is giving up 203 passing yards a game and Dalton has not thrown for over 200 in the last 2 games.
3. Spencer Ware – RB – KC vs. Den: The match-up looks pretty good against the Broncos but Ware just has not been productive of late. Try not to bet your fantasy fortunes on a player who has so much trouble producing. He may have an okay game but his upside is likely limited in this O.
(Dis)honorable mention: Kenneth Dixon – RB – Bal @ Pit, A.J. Green – WR – Cin @ Hou.
7 Players to plug-in or pick-up if possible:
1. Hunter Henry – TE – SD @ Cle: Henry has 3 TDs in his last 4 games and finds himself in a gem matchup against the lowly Browns. He is not putting up huge yardage but he is finding the end zone with some regularity.
2. Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Car vs. Atl: The fact that Benjamin is even listed here says about all that needs to be said about his season. He is actually available in about 10% of ESPN and Yahoo leagues. If you need an upside flex play, he could produce for an O that has been heating up, albeit with other weapons. So, in this match-up with a weak Falcon D, consider starting all Panther options relative to your other options.
3. San Diego D vs. Cle: The Super Chargers get back their young stud pass rusher. He will help continue their streak as the only team to grab a turnover in each game this year. If you are streaming your Ds this year, they are the target for championship week.
Honorable mention: Jeremy Hill – RB – Cin @ Hou, John Brown – WR, Derrick Henry – RB – Ten @ Jac, Justin Forsett – RB – Den @ KC.