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Fantasy football starts and sits for Week 16

Nervous about your lineup for your league’s championship? Let us help you out.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It is finally time for most leagues to decide their champion. Week 16 usually marks the end of the fantasy season, and if your league plays in Week 17, you should change that next season. Having a championship in Week 17 has owners playing with situations like teams sitting starters they’ve probably relied on all year, and it becomes a guessing game of who will play, and how much will they play. It just isn’t fun for anyone. But, if this is your final week, you’re in the right place

Here are this weeks starts and sits:

Must starts

Nick Chubb (Browns RB): Chubb had a pretty great day the last time he went against the Bengals. He had 128 total yards and two touchdowns, and it is hard to see it playing out that much differently as he has still receiving plenty of touches every game. The Bengals have allowed the most points to opposing running backs this season, according to Fantasy Pros.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers WR): Many have been giving the Saints defense credit lately for slowing down opposing passing games. I don’t buy it. They stopped Cam Newton, who clearly wasn’t healthy enough to play, and Jameis Winston. But before that they haven’t really shut anyone down that makes you think they’ve solved their problems. Now they’re tasked with stopping Smith-Schuster, who is always a threat to go off when going up against bad passing defenses focused on Antonio Brown (who should obviously already be in your lineup). Smith-Schuster hasn’t been the most consistent fantasy player this year, but this matchup has “boom game” written all over it.

Favorable matchups

Chris Carson (Seahawks RB): Carson has had over 90 total yards in his past three games, and he scored twice over that same span. He has become a crucial part of the Seahawks offense just in time for a Chiefs defense that has allowed the third most points to opposing running backs this season. He is creeping up into the RB2 range, but is probably more comfortable as a flex play.

Allen Robinson (Bears WR): This one is pretty heavily matchup-based as Robinson is set to play the 49ers who allow the fourth most points to opposing receivers. Robinson should have ample opportunity to reach the end zone and be heavily involved in the offense come Sunday, even if he gets matched up with Richard Sherman.

Good but not great

Leonard Fournette (Jaguars RB): The Jaguars are a mess, and Fournette is very much caught up in it all. The Dolphins have allowed 23.2 points per game to opposing running backs, which is great if the Jaguars let Fournette run the ball. The situation with the Jaguars is unfortunate because if this were last season, Fournette would be a must start in this same situation, but Jacksonville needs to figure out what they are doing with him.

Robert Foster (Bills WR): If you are looking for a wide receiver with a lot of upside, Foster may be your guy. He has gone over 100 yards the past two weeks and scored a touchdown last week. He has become one of the favorite options for Josh Allen. The only thing holding him back this week is a matchup against the Patriots who are just in the better half of pass covering defenses this year. Still, it only takes one deep bomb from Allen to make him worth it.

Temper expectations

Melvin Gordon (Chargers RB): The Chargers are going to the playoffs. it is just a matter if they can pass the Chiefs and win the division or not. Gordon will be returning, but unfortunately he will be going up against a Ravens defense that has given up the fewest points to opposing running backs this season. Odds are you don’t have any better options on your bench, and I wouldn’t sit Gordon, but you can’t expect him to carry you to that win this week.

Panthers wide receivers: Carolina is going to be shutting down Cam Newton with the season likely gone. That makes pretty much every receiver on that teams unplayable. The past few weeks we’ve seen that Newton just isn’t healthy anyway, but it is safe to drop receivers like Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel if there is someone else you feel confident in picking up.

Defense stream

Dolphins defense against the Jaguars: If Cody Kessler is still the starting quarterback this week, there is no reason the Dolphins defense shouldn’t be owned. The only other defenses who are safer are the Bears against the 49ers and Rams against the Cardinals, but both of those defenses should be owned.

Titans defense against the Redskins: Josh Johnson is starting for a team in 2018. He took over for Mark Sanchez, and he actually led the team to a victory, which says more about Jacksonville than anything. Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice though. The Titans have a solid defense that should be able to shut down Washington.