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Fantasy Football Week 16 Start/Sits | Christmas Weekend Edition

Start, Sit & The Christmas Cards Age

by Seth Woolcock

“Start, Sit & Seth” is the original column of In-Between Media, bridging feel-good lifestyle advice with redraft fantasy football analysis. Consistently following Seth Woolcock’s journey as a young creator, this series is now in its sixth season. This week brings his reflections on Christmastime as an adult and insights into his Week 16 start/sit decisions.

Ahh, here we are again: Christmas week.

The halls have been decked, trees lit and gift lists checked – let’s be honest – more vigorously than any essay you’ve ever written. You’ve RSVP’d for your Christmas Eve affairs, dragged out that ugly sweater from the back of the closet and hung the stockings. 

Show time.

Holiday Labors of Love

When you’re young, Christmas is all about the bounty. What toys, video games and candy can you collect to help make it through the next 12 months of life? 

As you mature, it’s more about trying to put smiles on the faces of others, working within whatever budget you have.

Then there comes an age – usually in your mid-to-late 20s – when you’re sick of just surviving the holiday season and want to spread a little cheer as far as the United States Postal Service (USPS) can carry it.

I call this “The Christmas Cards Age.”

You know, the kind I’m talking about, holiday-colored card stock with a cheesy greeting and a picture of you and your significant other at a tree farm.

It’s an interesting time, reaching out to everyone from aunts and uncles, college professors and high school friends, trying to track down addresses – most of which you knew by heart in a previous life.

Suddenly, setting those fantasy football semi-final lineups comes second to signing, sealing and taking multiple mid-day strolls to your local drop box. It’s not much, just a way of saying, “Hey, I’m thinking about you and appreciate your existence.” 

Subtle, really.

So, if you have to put the decision of whether or not to fire up Najee Harris in your FLEX this week on the back burner for a minute to make sure your Christmas cards make it out the door, it’s worth it.

Waiver wire additions and start/sits will always be there, but having others in your life that you can send season’s greetings to might not be.

If you’re in your Christmas cards era, just embrace it. Put thought into your photo shoot outfit. Enjoy the awkward moments of PDA in front of the photographer, and – maybe most of all – make someone else smile this holiday season.

Alright, and here we go.

Fantasy football CTA

The following Week 16 start/sit selections are based on stats, trends and film research, reflecting value in Points Per Reception (PPR) Redraft Leagues.

Quarterback I’d Start in Week 16:

Baker Mayfield (Tampa Bay):  I’ve had Baker Mayfield stashed on multiple teams for months in anticipation of this cake matchup against the Jaguars, who have been a top three-matchup on the season and over the past month for opposing QBs.

The former No. 1 overall pick has been balling most of the season, on pace for 29 touchdowns, 4,026 yards and just 10 interceptions. Still, even I didn’t anticipate the heater he’s on coming into this game. Mayfield has scored 49.1 fantasy points over the past two weeks, which includes a QB12 and QB2 overall finish in Weeks 14 and 15, respectively.

Mayfield has the protection and weapons to continue his current run of seven total TDs to zero interceptions, pacing as the QB2 over the past fortnight. He’s close to a must-start here in Week 16.

Quarterback I’d Sit in Week 16:

Kyler Murray (Arizona):  After a hot start in his return from a torn ACL, Kyler Murray has slowed his roll, finishing as the QB18 and QB19 in his past two games, respectively. Blame it on his lack of weapons outside of emerging TE Trey McBride, him still getting back to 100% or a shaky offensive line. Whatever the case, Murray is not the league-winner many thought they were getting when stashing him earlier this season.

Now Murray travels to Chicago, where he’ll face a Bears defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the past month. This includes securing nine interceptions to just four TDs allowed during that span. I’ll avoid Murray in the Windy City, especially with the possibility of afternoon showers rolling through Soldier Field on Sunday.

Running Back I’d Start in Week 16:

Devin Singletary (Houston):  Usually, I’m shooting for straight upside in the fantasy football playoffs, but Devin Singletary is about as safe of a play as it gets right now. Without QB C.J. Stroud in Week 15, Singletary took over. He amassed 75% of the RB snaps and 93.8% of the RB opportunities. This workhorse role resulted in 26 rushing attempts for 121 yards and four receptions for 49 yards, totaling 21 PPR points. That was good enough to finish as the RB7 on the week, making him the overall RB7 since Week 10.

While Cleveland isn’t a fantastic matchup, they’re not a defense to run away from either anymore, allowing the 22nd-most fantasy points to opposing RBs over the past month. This includes allowing 26 targets (the eight-most) and three rushing TDs (tied for eighth-most) to running backs in that span. The running backs faced in this sample size are the Bears’ backfield, Travis Etienne, Kyren Williams and Javonte Williams – a mix of good and bad.

With Stroud remaining in concussion protocol as of Thursday and Nico Collins logging limited practices, Singletary remains the Texans’ best offensive skill player and is about as safe as they come with a low-end RB1 ceiling still intact.

Running Back I’d Sit in Week 16:

Javonte Williams (Denver):  Speaking of Javonte Williams, he is the opposite of Singletary this week, serving as a risky FLEX option. The North Carolina product has scored single-digit PPR points in 53.8% of his games this season, only breaking the 13 PPR points 23% of the time.

After a four-point outing on 14 touches in Week 15, things get even trickier for the third-year RB with the New England Patriots pulling up to Mile High. Despite being just 3-11 and missing key defensive pieces this season, the Patriots allow the league’s lowest Yards Per Carry (YPC) at a 3.1 clip. Over the past three weeks, this mark has fallen to 2.1 YPC. This spells potential disaster for Javonte Williams, who is averaging a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season back from a torn ACL.

Receiver I’d Start in Week 16:

Garrett Wilson (New York Jets):  “If we go down, then we go down together” – The Chainsmokers. Yes, we’re going down with the sip this week in Garrett Wilson and the #FriskyJets.

Zach Wilson remains in concussion protocol, meaning Trevor Siemian will be under center for Gang Green. Truthfully, there’s not much to love about the ninth-year journeyman. However, he has a 115.4 passer rating vs. zone coverage. His Week 16 opponent, the Washington Commanders, allow a 109.6 passer rating (the third-highest in the NFL) when playing zone coverage. With the Commanders running man coverage just 38% of the time and allowing the second-most fantasy points to WRs this season, even Siemian should find success when targeting his No. 1 WR, Garrett Wilson.

The Commanders have allowed all 16 top-40 PPR WRs they’ve faced to score double-digit PPR points against them. Garrett Wilson will be the latest to add to that perfect record come Sunday.

Receiver I’d Sit in Week 16:

Zay Flowers (Baltimore):  I’m having a tough time trusting Ravens’ rookie Zay Flowers after a 1.7-PPR point performance in Week 15. Flowers has now scored in the single-digits in 35.7% of matchups this season and has lived on short catches, reflected in his 8.6 Average Depth of Target (aDOT), 77th among the position. This gives me pause against a San Francisco defense that’s only trending up and allows an aDOT of 7.5, tied for the 12th-lowest among teams.

With Baltimore’s left tackle Ronnie Stanley still in concussion protocol, I expect more quick throws from Lamar Jackson to Flowers to negate Nick Bosa‘s impact. Still, it’ll likely be sniffed out and blown up against a well-disciplined team like the 49ers. I expect a letdown for the Ravens on Monday night, including their rookie wide receiver, who relies heavily on Yards After Catch (YAC).

If you have a feel-good story that you would like to share for an opportunity to be featured in an upcoming edition of “Start, Sit & Seth,” please reach out.

And for more fantasy football and uplifting content, especially start/sit advice, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.

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