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Fantasy football expert Nate Hamilton shares his top starts and sits for Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season. Take a look at the players you should be high or low on this week.

Fantasy Football Week 16 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Is It Time to Fade Dawson Knox?

In this weekly Start/Sit article, I aim to guide you in making those difficult decisions. Each week of football presents a whole new list of opportunities for players you may not think about starting. The same goes for higher-profile players. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows for your “every week” starters. There will be weeks that force you to make the tough choice to bench a great player.

My goal is to provide you with enough information to help you make roster decisions that you will feel confident about and have it work out for you each week.

If you have any questions for Nate, follow him on Twitter at @DomiNateFF!

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Starts


Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Carolina Panthers)

This may seem like an obvious start, but I’m sure there are many people panicking over Tom Brady’s lackluster performance in Week 15. Brady also lost Chris Godwin for the rest of the season and has a matchup against a tough Carolina Panthers’ defense.

All of that said, it’s Tom freaking Brady. You can’t bench him. He will be playing with a fire in him after last week’s dud. It doesn’t matter who he’s throwing to, Tom Brady will find a way to get the job done. He still has Rob Gronkowski, he’s expected to get Antonio Brown back, and Mike Evans has a chance to play.

With Leonard Fournette out for this game, you can feel secure the Tamp Bay Buccaneers are going to lean on Tom Brady and the passing game to get the job done against the Panthers.

Additional Week 16 QB Starts

  • Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs Chicago Bears)
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

Running Back

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (vs Washington Football Team)

The Dallas Cowboys have an important divisional game this week and could lock up the NFC East title with a win against the Washington Football Team.

Both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are producers in the Cowboys backfield. Pollard was back last week after missing Week 14 with a foot injury. He showed no signs of slowing down. He

rushed 12 times for 74 yards and added another 13 yards on 3 catches. Pollard was more efficient with his touches than Elliott.

Although Dak Prescott has only thrown 1 touchdown pass in each of his last 3 games, the Cowboys won all 3 games in big part to their defense and run game. I fully expect both Elliott and Pollard to see a healthy workload this week.

Additional Week 16 RB Starts

  • Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams (@Minnesota Vikings)
  • Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (@ Las Vegas Raiders)

Wide Receiver

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (vs Detroit Lions)

Russell Gage has been on fire in his last 4 games. He has over 60 receiving yards in each of the last 4 weeks and has 2 touchdowns in that span. With Calvin Ridley sidelined, Russell Gage has stepped up in a big way for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense.

The Detroit Lions have been decent against wide receivers this year but have given up 60+ receiving yards to 4 different wideouts in their last 4 games including two 100+ yard performances. The Lions have allowed 11 touchdowns to the position this year.

Additional Week 16 WR Starts

  • Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Carolina Panthers)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (@ Atlanta Falcons)

Tight End

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (vs Detroit Lions)

Another Matt Ryan target. Kyle Pitts has consistently seen the volume this year. He’s been targeted 5 or more times in all but 1 game. He has over 60 receiving yards in back-to-back games heading into this week’s matchup against the Detroit Lions.

The Lions have allowed 50+ receiving yards and/or a touchdown to the tight end position in 11 of 14 games this season. That’s incredible news for Kyle Pitts’ managers. If you roster Pitts, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be starting him this week.

Additional Week 16 TE Starts

  • Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (vs Indianapolis Colts)
  • Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (@ Houston Texans)
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Fantasy Football Week 16 Sits


Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (@ Seattle Seahawks)

Don’t let the 285 passing yards and a touchdown stat line fool you from last week’s game against the Vikings. Justin Fields looked horrible, he couldn’t seem to get the offense moving, and his lone touchdown pass came while time expired in a 17-9 loss.

The Seattle Seahawks do not present an easier matchup for Justin Fields in Week 16. The Seahawks have given up the 13th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have allowed just one quarterback (Kirk Cousins) to throw more than 2 touchdowns in a game this season. They have allowed multiple touchdown passes in just 3 of their last 11 games.

Avoid Justin Fields this week.

Additional Week 16 QB Sits

  • Zach Wilson, New York Jets (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Mac Jones, New England Patriots (vs Buffalo Bills)

Running Back

Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams (@ Minnesota Vikings)

Prior to last week, Darrell Henderson missed 2 games while on the reserve/COVID list. The Los Angeles Rams other running back, Sony Michel had been very productive for them while Henderson was out. So productive, Michel still handled the majority of snaps against the Seahawks in Darrell Henderson’s return.

Henderson had just 6 carries for 23 yards while Michel ran the ball 18 times for 92 yards and added 23 receiving yards with 2 catches. At this point, it’s going to be difficult to trust Henderson’s workload with Sony Michel playing so well.

Additional Week 16 RB Sits

  • Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (vs Denver Broncos)
  • Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Carolina Panthers)

Wide Receiver

D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs Chicago Bears)

D.K. Metcalf’s fantasy value has taken a nosedive. Since the Seahawks Week 9 bye, Metcalf hasn’t scored a touchdown and has not surpassed 60 receiving yards in a single game. He has under 50 receiving yards in 5 of his last 7 games.

Even with Tyler Lockett out last week, D.K. Metcalf caught half of his 12 targets for just 52 scoreless yards. If there was ever a time for Metcalf to have a game, it was last week.

Although the Chicago Bears present a great matchup for wideouts, you can’t trust Metcalf in your fantasy playoff lineups.

Additional Week 16 WR Sits

  • Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  • Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (@ Seattle Seahawks)

Tight End

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (@ New England Patriots)

Dawson Knox has 5 or more targets in his last 3 games. Volume is typically a great thing, however, when you catch a combined 6 passes for just 52 yards in 2 of your last 3 games, it’s not encouraging. He did have a great game against the Buccaneers in Week 14 (7 catches for 60 yards and a touchdown), but that could have just contributed to the fact that Josh Allen had to throw a ton to keep up with Tom Brady.

The New England Patriots present the worst matchup for tight ends. They have given up the fewest fantasy points to the position this season. They have allowed just 1 tight end to exceed 30 receiving yards this year (Dalton Schultz, Week 6). They have only given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends this year. If Dawson Knox is going to have another great game this season, it’s not going to happen in Week 16.

Additional Week 16 TE Sits

  • Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (vs Los Angeles Rams)
  • Evan Engram, New York Giants (@ Philadelphia Eagles)

Article Author


Nate Hamilton has produced high-quality content for some of the top fantasy football sites including FantasyPros, The Fantasy Footballers, The Game Day, and now OddsChecker! He is a co-author of Amazon's #1 Best Selling "The Fantasy Football Black Book" with Joe Pisapia. He lives on Twitter: @DomiNateFF

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