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NFL Week 16 fantasy football: Bengals vs Lions starts and sits

A look at who you should start and sit when the Bengals host the Lions.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It is the final week of the fantasy season. That is, unless you have a commissioner who insists on playing until Week 17. In which case, you need to sit Carl down and tell him why he is an idiot.

For the rest of the normal leagues, here are the players from the Bengals and Lions game that you should start and sit this week.

Must starts

Theo Riddick (Lions RB): The Bengals have quickly become a team that you must start any opposing running back that plays them. This week is is Riddick who is one of the best pass catching running backs in the NFL. He is also super quick, which gives the Bengals’ linebacking group trouble. If you play in a PPR league then there is no reason Riddick shouldn’t be in your lineup.

A.J. Green (Bengals WR): Green will be matched up with Darius Slay all game, but he should still be able to have quite the game against the Lions pass defense that ranks near the bottom of the league. Really he is a top talent in the NFL who should see a ton of targets this week. Why wouldn’t you start him the final week of your fantasy season?

Favorable matchups

Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): Mixon will be returning to the starting lineup just in time for fantasy owners. He had been playing great prior to his concussion, and it is clear the Bengals rely on him offensively to keep things going. You should expect a large volume of touches to go his way.

Golden Tate (Lions WR): Tate is the top target for Matthew Stafford in this pass heavy offense. In PPR leagues he should have a monster game. He should get a ton of catches, especially if he is matched up with Dre Kirkpatrick. The thing that will put Tate over the top is whether or not he reaches the end zone. Something he has only done once in the last five games.

Matthew Stafford (Lions QB): The Bengals have looked awful the past two weeks against opposing quarterbacks. Even with Kirkpatrick and Vontaze Burfict returning, you shouldn’t be scared to play Stafford this week. He has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks this season, and he is looking for his fourth week in a row of having a completion percentage over 75 percent.

Good but not great

Marvin Jones Jr. (Lions WR): Jones is a super talented receiver, and the Lions throw the ball a ton, but he hasn’t scored the last three weeks or caught more than four catches in that time either. Jones could explode and have a big day, or he could have a three catch 60 yard game. If that sound like it is worth the risk you should have Jones in your lineup.

Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): The Bengals offense goes better when Mixon is playing, and with his return we could see some easier passes for Dalton. Some people may be streaming quarterbacks after the Carson Wentz injury, and Dalton isn’t a bad option against a terrible Lions pass defense.

Unfavorable matchups

Tion Green (Lions RB): To be fair if Green gets most of the running attempts he should have a fairly nice game, but the risk of playing him is far too high to rank him any higher. The Bengals have been downright bad against the run the past two weeks, and Green could take advantage of that. Still the Lions don’t run the ball nearly enough to accomplish that.

Brandon LaFell (Bengals WR): If you are really desperate for a receiver this week LaFell isn’t the worst option. He was targeted a ton last week during the loss to the Vikings, and if the Bengals over think this they could try and make LaFell a big part of their game plan. It probably wouldn’t lead to a Bengals win, but it would lead to a solid fantasy outing for LaFell.

Just sit them

Ameer Abdullah (Lions RB): Abdullah has fallen out of favor. He only had four touches over the past two weeks compared to Green who has had 15 touches. You really can’t trust him in a championship game.