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Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

Week 16 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em

by Nick Mensio
Updated On: December 20, 2018, 3:17 am ET

Welcome to the final Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em of the 2018 season. Thanks to everyone for reading this year. Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is geared toward season-long leagues but can also be used for daily fantasy purposes.


Start of the Week: Russell Wilson vs. Chiefs: Wilson bounced back last week from his dreadful Week 14 against the Vikings to throw for 237 yards and a pair of scores in an overtime loss to the Niners, finishing as the overall QB5 in what was a down week across the fantasy land. Wilson has thrown multiple touchdowns in all but two games this season with a career-high 8.2% touchdown rate, up 2.2% from his career average. He now gets a Chiefs Defense that is dead last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, having surrendered the most passing yards while facing the third-most attempts. The Chiefs are also 31st in opponent plays per game. Seattle is very much a run-heavy offense, but Wilson is going to have to put up numbers if the Seahawks are going to compete all night with Kansas City. Philip Rivers laid a late-game barrage on the Chiefs last Thursday night, stunning them at Arrowhead en route to 313 yards and a pair of scores as the QB6. The 53.5-point total for Chiefs-Seahawks is tied with Steelers-Saints as the highest of the week. Confidently run Wilson out there for fantasy championship tilts and in daily fantasy.


Baker Mayfield vs. Bengals: Mayfield came out hot against the Broncos last week, hitting Breshad Perriman for a 31-yard score on the opening drive, but Denver’s pass rush eventually started hitting home as Mayfield finished with just 188 yards and a pair of scores on his way to the QB18 finish. Since the firing of Hue Jackson, Mayfield is the overall QB10 in fantasy points per game with four multi-TD efforts and a combined 15:5 TD:INT mark across six contests. The Browns are now back home with an extra day of rest in hand to face Jackson’s Bengals as 10-point favorites. Cincinnati is 31st in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, 26th in pass-defense DVOA, 27th in opponent passer rating, and 24th in sacks. The only real concern here would be the Browns jumping out to a huge lead, but that may not even matter as they outwardly really want to rub it in Jackson’s face after he joined the division rival. Cleveland blasted the Bengals in Cincinnati back in Week 12, and Mayfield threw for a season-high four touchdowns that day while averaging a robust 9.9 YPA. The Browns are still in the playoff mix — extremely unlikely as it is — but they absolutely have something to play for both in the standings and on a personal level. Cincinnati is 30th in opponent plays per game. The Browns’ team total of 27.25 points is the sixth-highest of Week 16.

Andrew Luck vs. Giants: Luck attempted just 27 passes in a shutout win over the Cowboys last week; the 27 attempts were his fewest since Week 7 and second-fewest of the season. He managed just 192 scoreless yards, his second TD-less game in three weeks. Prior to Week 13, Luck had thrown multiple touchdown passes in all but one game. The Indy defense is set up again for a possible blowout against the lowly Giants, but it’s really hard to see Luck having back-to-back down days at home under the Lucas Oil Stadium roof. The G-Men are 10th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks but 23rd in pass-defense DVOA and 30th in sacks. The Colts also operate at the fastest offensive pace in the league while the Giants are 26th in opponent plays per game. All the stars for the Colts are must-plays in this spot, including Marlon Mack on the ground after his eruption against Dallas last week that coincided with C Ryan Kelly’s return from a knee injury. The Colts’ implied team total of 28.25 points is the fourth-highest of the week behind only the Saints, Rams, and Patriots.

Dak Prescott vs. Bucs: It was hard to find a quarterback that looked worse than Prescott in Week 15. He was the overall QB25 in that shutout loss to the Colts with just 206 yards and a pick without registering a rushing attempt to raise his floor. Prescott should have had one touchdown, but FB Jamize Olawale completely whiffed on the attempts catch at the goal line. Prescott then missed a bunch of throws high and simply struggled as a whole. This does look like a nice bounce-back spot, however. Dallas is back in the home dome environment at JerryWorld against a Bucs defense that is 29th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, 31st in touchdown passes surrendered, and 29th in pass-defense DVOA. The Tampa defense has played better overall of late, but the schedule hasn’t been overly tough from a quarterback standpoint, facing a non-throwing Lamar Jackson last week, Drew Brees on the road outside the week before, an injured Cam Newton in Week 13, Nick Mullens the previous week, Eli Manning before that, and Alex Smith in Week 11. Since the Week 8 bye and trade for Amari Cooper, Prescott is the QB11 in fantasy points per game. This game has some shootout potential with a 47.5-point total, the third-highest of the week behind a pair of 53.5 totals for Steelers-Saints and Chiefs-Seahawks. Dallas’ implied total of 27.25 is the sixth-highest.


Kirk Cousins at Lions: On average, the Vikings are the fifth-most pass-happy offense in the league at 64.84%, but new OC Kevin Stefanski called a pass just 36.5% of the time last week in a win over the Dolphins. It was Stefanski’s first week on the job after coach Mike Zimmer canned John DeFilippo and openly expressed a desire to run the ball more. Cousins still got “his” as the QB10 for Week 15, throwing a pair of touchdowns to go with 215 yards. Miami is 25th in opponent plays per game. Meanwhile, Week 16’s opponent, the Lions are No. 1 while also playing at the league’s second-slowest offensive pace. Those two things severely cap the upside of opposing offenses. Detroit has faced the second-fewest passing attempts on the year. Cousins has shown literally zero upside most of the past 2.5 months. When these two clubs met in Week 9, Cousins attempted just 22 passes, his lowest mark of 2018 prior to last week’s 21-attempt effort. Cousins had a season-low 164 yards passing in that previous tilt with the Lions with just one touchdown. He’s going to need to be incredibly efficient to make a fantasy impact in this one. Cousins is best left for two-QB leagues. The 42.5-point total for Vikings-Lions is the third-lowest of Week 16.

Jameis Winston at Cowboys: Winston had been on a tear as a must-start every-week QB1 prior to last week’s predictable letdown on the road against the Ravens. He managed just 157 scoreless yards with a pick in Baltimore and was one of a number of fantasy passers to disappoint with single digits in points. This looks like another tough spot for the Bucs. Dallas is No. 9 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and 14th in pass-defense DVOA. The Cowboys just shut down Andrew Luck for the most part last week, holding him to 192 scoreless yards and a pick on 27 attempts while Marlon Mack ran all over the Dallas run defense for a pair of touchdowns. The Cowboys are also No. 5 in opponent plays per game, which plays a big role in capping upside from a fantasy perspective. The feathers in Winston’s cap are the Bucs’ pass-heavy approach offensively, this game’s 47.5-point total, and the dome environment free from weather concerns. But Winston will really have a tough time putting together a top-six finish as we’d grown accustomed to prior to Week 15. He’s more in the 12-16 range at quarterback with tough matchups on the outside for wideouts.

Marcus Mariota vs. Redskins: Since the Derrick Henry takeover two weeks back against the Jaguars, Mariota has attempted just 44 passes, second-fewest among quarterbacks in that span. (Ryan Tannehill has attempted 43 passes.) Mariota is the overall QB30 since Week 14. He just doesn’t have to do much of anything right now other than put the ball in Henry’s belly. And it doesn’t look like that is going to have to change this Saturday. The Titans are massive 10-point home favorites against a Redskins team with the lowest implied total of the week at 13.5 points. Both offenses are bottom-10 in pace, and this game’s 37-point total is the lowest on the slate. The Redskins by no means present a tough matchup, but our concern here is volume with Mariota.


Start of the Week: Derrick Henry vs. Redskins: Just as Marcus Mariota is maybe the sit of the week at quarterback, Henry may be the top play at the running back spot with a decent chance at overall RB1 status once again. Henry was the top scorer at the position in Week 14 with 238 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries against the Jaguars. He answered it with a 33-170-2 rushing line against the Giants last Sunday. Henry’s 78 fantasy points the last two weeks is 24 more than second-place Christian McCaffrey in that span. It’s really frustrating for managers who drafted Henry so early in the summer for him just now showing up, but Henry has legitimate league-winning upside right now with another cake matchup. The Titans are massive 10-point home favorites over a Redskins team that somehow has managed a 7-7 record with an outside shot at a playoff berth. The Redskins are 24th in fantasy points allowed to running backs over the last three weeks, facing the third-most rushing attempts in that span and surrendering a 5.52 YPC clip. On the year, Washington is 29th in run-defense DVOA. Leonard Fournette and David Williams combined for 78 yards on 16 totes (4.88 YPC) last week, while Cody Kessler was the Jaguars’ leading rusher with 68 yards on six attempts. The week before, Saquon Barley went off for 14-170-1 on the ground. Eagles RBs combined for 29-134-1 in Week 12. Ezekiel Elliott had 26-121-1 the previous week. Henry is a must-start in season-long and likely chalk in daily leagues; he’ll be near-100% owned on the Saturday slate.


Sony Michel vs. Bills: This backfield has become a three-man timeshare with Michel and James White each handling roughly 40% of the snaps the last three weeks since Rex Burkhead’s activation from injured reserve, as he’s been in on about 20-25% of the downs. To make matters worse, FB James Develin has stolen some goal-line looks and cashed in with three touchdowns on seven carries in that same span. Michel is still getting enough volume to make an impact, averaging 16.7 carries since Week 12, but he hasn’t found the end zone and is a virtual zero in the pass game. We’re going to bank on that volume in this spot with the Patriots as massive 12.5-point home favorites where Michel can maybe flirt with 20 carries and end his three-game touchdown drought. The Bills are No. 23 in fantasy points allowed to running backs and 31st in rushing touchdowns surrendered to the position despite being No. 9 in run-defense DVOA. This is a talented defense that just gets put in so many bad spots because of the offense, though the offense has obviously played much better of late. Still, it’s not a spot where the Bills are likely to stay competitive, thus giving Michel and others clock-killing work in the second half. Despite all the Develin vultures of late and the missed games to injury, Michel remains tied with Saquon Barkley for fourth in the NFL with 24 carries inside the 10-yard line. Michel figures to be lightly owned in daily formats. New England’s implied total of 28.75 points is the third-highest of the week.

Mark Ingram vs. Steelers: Like most of the Saints, Ingram tends to do most of his damage at home on the Superdome turf. He has scored four of his five rushing touchdowns this season in just four home games with a 16-53-2 night in Week 5 against the Redskins and 16-103-2 afternoon in Week 11 against the Eagles. In the other two home games, Ingram mustered a 9-33 line against the Rams and 11-52 versus the Falcons. Ingram has been given double-digit carries in 8-of-10 games, so there’s enough volume there, especially in this high-octane offense to prop him up as an RB2. Pittsburgh plays pretty solid run defense, checking in at No. 8 in DVOA and No. 9 in fantasy points allowed to running backs. But the Superdome is a different animal, and the 53.5-point total for Steelers-Saints is tied with Chiefs-Seahawks as the highest of the week. Ingram is a rock-solid season-long play with upside for tournaments in daily leagues. Alvin Kamara has continued to dominate the red-zone looks, but Ingram gets a couple here and there. He just needs to score.

Jaylen Samuels at Saints: We’re staying in that Steelers-Saints likely shootout in the Superdome with this one. James Conner admitted on Wednesday that he isn’t quite over his ankle issue, and teammates said he did little-to-nothing at practice. Beat writers aren’t expecting Conner to play Sunday, and it makes sense to hold him out with how well Samuels has played in Conner’s absence. Samuels has been in on 88-of-124 snaps (71%) the last two weeks with Conner sidelined and has rushed 30 times for 170 scoreless yards (5.67 YPC) while catching all nine of his targets for 94 yards. All that’s been missing is a touchdown, but Samuels has still been the overall RB11 in that span despite the zero scores. Stevan Ridley scored a short touchdown in Week 14 against the Raiders but has otherwise been a bit player with just eight carries for 20 yards and a zero in the pass game. Samuels looks like a natural pass-catcher and has impressed as a traditional runner. The Saints have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs and are No. 3 in run-defense DVOA, so this looks like a tough on-paper spot. However, there’s no way we’re fading Samuels’ volume and this 53.5-point total on turf in what figures to be a shootout between two high-flying offenses. Fire up all the usual suspects on both Pittsburgh and New Orleans’ offenses.


Matt Breida vs. Bears: Breida returned from injury last week to play a season-high 72.6% of the snaps in the overtime win over the Seahawks, parlaying 22 touches into 96 scoreless yards. Jeff Wilson also lost a fumble as the No. 2 back. That volume for Breida was great, but he aggravated his preexisting ankle issue and was limited in Wednesday’s practice. The guy has been playing hurt all year and will likely have to do so again if he suits up Sunday. Even at full health, Breida would be tough to trust against a Bears Defense that is No. 1 in DVOA against the run, No. 4 in fantasy points allowed to running backs, and No. 1 in rushing scores surrendered to the position. Now at less than full strength, Breida could find himself back in a split with Wilson. This game’s 43-point total is the fourth-lowest of the week, and San Francisco is one of nine clubs with an implied total in the teens at 19.5. Breida is likely going to have to find the end zone in an ultra-tough spot to pay off in fantasy.

James White vs. Bills: As mentioned above, this looks like a week for Sony Michel to potentially bust his slump. That would obviously set up as a week to fade pass-game specialist White. White and Michel have both been playing 40-45% of the downs the last three weeks since Rex Burkhead was activated from I.R., while he has been in on 20-25% of the plays. This has become a three-man committee of sorts with James Develin also making himself a nuisance with three goal-line touchdowns the last three weeks. Since the Week 11 bye, White’s targets have dipped from an 8.9 clip to 6.25 per game, and he’s also seen single-digit carries in five straight games. White had a big game against these Bills back in Week 8 with 15 yards and a touchdown on the ground to go with 10 catches for 79 yards on 13 targets through the air. But both Michel and Burkhead were injured for that one, leaving White and Cordarrelle Patterson as the de facto running back tandem. White’s decreased role has sagged him to RB3 fringe territory. And with the Patriots as heavy 12.5-point home favorites, this doesn’t look like a spot where New England is going to have to play catchup.

Adrian Peterson at Titans: Peterson has played four games since the Alex Smith injury. Across those four contests, Peterson has managed 200 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, 45% of those yards and the touchdown came on a 90-yard scamper against the Eagles in Week 13. Take that away, and Peterson has mustered 110 scoreless yards on 49 carries (2.24 YPC) with five catches for 32 yards in the pass game. Defenses can just key in on Peterson, begging Josh Johnson to try and beat them. And anytime the Redskins fall behind, Peterson pretty much becomes a non-factor, especially with pass-down back Chris Thompson now healthy. With Washington as heavy 10-point road underdogs, there’s a very real chance Peterson falls out of the game plan in catchup mode. On top of that, Tennessee is No. 3 in fantasy points allowed to running backs and No. 10 in run-defense DVOA. Everything stacks up against Peterson making an impact in this one.


Start of the Week: Alshon Jeffery vs. Texans: Dating back to the end of last season, Jeffery has amassed a 24-428-4 receiving line across six games started by Nick Foles. He has 60 yards and/or one touchdown in five of those games, including an 8-160-0 night last Sunday against the Rams. Jeffery and Foles seems to have a real connection, and the lanky quarterback isn’t afraid to throw it downfield and let Jeffery make a play on the ball. This spot sets up really well for that. Houston is No. 10 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts on the season, but the Texans have dipped to No. 24 in the last five weeks, surrendering the second-most yards to the position in that span. Robby Anderson just hung a 7-96-1 line on the Texans last Saturday, a week after T.Y. Hilton went 9-199-0 while teammate Zach Pascal had a career day with 5-68-1 opposite him. The Cleveland trio of Jarvis Landry (6-103-0), Antonio Callaway (3-84-0), and Rashard Higgins (4-62-1) all had above-expectation games in Week 12. And Corey Davis shook loose for 4-96-1 the week before. Outside CBs Johnathan Joseph and Shareece Wright have been getting scorched in coverage. The Texans are also top-seven in offensive pace and bottom-seven in opponent plays per game, giving the Eagles a chance to run a few more plays than normal, which obviously leads to more opportunities for fantasy points. This game’s 46-point total is tied for the fifth-highest on the Week 16 slate.


Robby Anderson vs. Packers: Quincy Enunwa missed Week 15 with an ankle injury that he’s been battling for months, and Anderson parlayed that opportunity into seeing a season-high 11 targets and turning them into a 7-96-1 day against the Texans. Enunwa again didn’t practice on Wednesday and seems unlikely to play as of now. Over the last three weeks, Anderson has seen no fewer than seven targets in a game and is averaging 8.3 in that span. On the year, the Packers are No. 28 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts and No. 22 in DVOA versus No. 1 receivers. Julio Jones gashed them for 8-106-2 in Week 13. Christian Kirk and Trent Sherfield averaged 18.75 yards per catch on four grabs the previous week while Larry Fitzgerald averaged 16 yards a pop out of the slot. And the game before that, Adam Thielen (8-125-1) and Stefon Diggs (8-77-1) both scored touchdowns. This isn’t a matchup to fear by any means. And with Aaron Rodgers set to play through a groin issue for Green Bay, this one should be more competitive with the Jets possibly playing comeback mode late. The game’s 46-point total is tied for the week’s fifth-highest.

Tre’Quan Smith vs. Steelers: Smith has become a forgotten man and non-factor in the fantasy community since his 10-157-1 evisceration of the Eagles in Week 11. He missed Week 12 with an injury, and the Saints have since played three straight road games where Smith has gone 0-0 as a receiver twice before a 2-15 night on four targets this past Monday night in Carolina. Smith simply hasn’t shown up on the road, much like most of the Saints’ passing offense. But in three home games since Ted Ginn (knee) was placed on I.R., Smith has amassed receiving lines of 3-111-2 against the Redskins as the overall WR5 in Week 5, 2-23-1 against the Rams as the WR32 in Week 9, and the aforementioned 10-157-1 against Philly as the WR3. And over the last three weeks, Smith has kept a stranglehold on No. 2 receiver duties, playing 131 snaps to Keith Kirkwood’s 83, while Austin Carr was a healthy scratch in Week 15. Ginn was designated to return from I.R. on Wednesday, but that simply opens his 21-day practice window for activation. Expecting him to suddenly jump into the lineup after not playing since Week 4 would be a stretch. Pittsburgh is No. 16 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts this season and 21st in pass-defense DVOA. The unit’s real strength is its pass rush and run defense. It’s a vulnerable group on the back end, and Drew Brees at home is a totally different animal. This game’s 53.5-point total is the highest of the week. Smith is tough to trust in season-long championship matches, but makes for an excellent DFS tournament play.

Josh Reynolds at Cardinals: Since Cooper Kupp was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 10, Reynolds has played over 98% of the snaps for an offense that operates predominantly out of three-wide sets. In the four games since Kupp’s injury, Reynolds has averaged eight targets, scored against the Chiefs in Week 11, and came inches short of a touchdown last week against the Eagles. He’s dominating the red-zone looks as well with a team-best nine since Week 11. Robert Woods is next with six, Gerald Everett is at four, and Brandin Cooks has drawn a pair. The Rams clearly like Reynolds’ 6’3/196 frame in the scoring area. The Cardinals are No. 9 in fantasy points allowed to receivers, but that’s mostly because teams don’t have to throw to beat Arizona. They throw enough to get up big on the scoreboard before grinding the clock with the run in the second half. Reynolds’ biggest thing this week is he figures to mostly avoid Patrick Peterson, who should see a heavy dose of Cooks on the outside. That’ll leave Reynolds to work on 2016 third-rounder Brandon Williams on the other side. Williams just made his 2018 debut last week after the Cardinals recently released Jamar Taylor. Williams was horrendous as a rookie and barely played last year. This is a matchup Reynolds should win, and an overall spot for Jared Goff to bounce back after three straight rough outings. The Rams’ implied total of 29.25 points is the second-highest on the week.


Corey Davis vs. Redskins: With the Titans’ newfound commitment to Derrick Henry and the running game, Marcus Mariota has attempted just 44 passes over the last two weeks, one more than Ryan Tannehill’s 43 for the fewest in the league in that span. Davis’ numbers have obviously taken a hit as a result. He’s still seen nine of those 44 targets, turning them into a combined 5-54-0 line against the Jaguars and Giants. Davis will now see a lot of Josh Norman on Saturday with the Titans as gigantic 10-point home favorites in another spot where they won’t have to throw the ball to win. This is another spot for Henry to smash while Mariota and Davis sit back and mostly spectate.

Sterling Shepard at Colts: At this point, it doesn’t even matter if Odell Beckham (quad) plays or not; Shepard is a sit either way. With OBJ missing the last two games, Shepard has managed to corral just 4-of-15 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. The volume is nice, but the quality of those targets and Shepard’s poor play has made him a depressing WR3/4. The Colts just shut out the Cowboys last week, holding Amari Cooper to 4-32 on six targets, while Dallas’ leading receiver was TE Blake Jarwin with a 4-45 afternoon. The Colts are No. 6 in fantasy points allowed to receivers on the season and 17th in pass-defense DVOA. They play a ton of zone and don’t allow many big plays through the air, giving up the fourth-fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards and second-fewest of the 40-plus yards variety. Shepard has been a weekly disappointment all year long, and we’re not suddenly going to trust him in this spot. The Giants’ implied team total of 19.5 points is one of the lowest.

Golden Tate vs. Texans: Dallas Goedert’s snaps have come back up in recent weeks, and Tate’s have subsequently tumbled down. He played just 34.4% of the downs last Sunday night against the Rams a week after playing just 38% of the snaps against the Cowboys. Tate has 50 yards receiving combined since Week 14. Even if his snaps come back up some, Tate draws the toughest individual matchup against CB/S Kareem Jackson in the slot for the Texans. Jackson is Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 cover corner out of 117 qualifiers this season. The Tate trade has looked like a total waste of a third-round pick for the Eagles unless they make the playoffs again with a deep run, which seems highly unlikely at this point. Tate is off the board both in redraft and DFS this Sunday.


Start of the Week: Eric Ebron vs. Giants: Ebron played a four-week low 52.8% of the snaps and ran just 26 pass routes last week in the easy shutout win over the Cowboys. He nabbed just 1-of-3 targets for an eight-yard catch on the afternoon while dropping the other two and having a 30-plus-yard grab called back on a penalty. Ebron also drew a defensive penalty on a red-zone look to set up one of Marlon Mack’s two rushing touchdowns. The Colts are again at home as heavy favorites, so that’s a definite concern for Ebron’s usage. But he’s still getting targets in prime scoring areas and is averaging nine targets per game the last three weeks since Jack Doyle’s season-ending injury. I don’t expect Andrew Luck to be held without a touchdown again this week. And the Giants are without SS Landon Collins (shoulder, I.R.) while allowing the 11th-most catches to tight ends. Ebron’s volume and usage in this offense are too much to pass up. He remains a top-five play. The Colts’ implied team total of 28.25 points is the fourth-highest of the week.


Matt LaCosse at Raiders: Since Jeff Heuerman went down with a season-ending injury in Week 12, LaCosse has been in on 77.1% of the snaps and ran 78 routes. The problem is he’s seen just eight targets over the course of three games, but six of those came last week against Cleveland as LaCosse popped back up as part of the offense with four grabs and 43 yards. The guy is incredibly tough to trust with a nonexistent floor. However, the Raiders are 30th in yards, 32nd in touchdowns, and 32nd in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. The only concern here would be the Broncos jumping out to a huge lead and just running it down Oakland’s throat. But with this game in the Black Hole and possibly the last game ever played there by the Raiders, this game should be competitive on Christmas Eve night. LaCosse is pretty much a TD-or-bust play, like most TE streamers.

Evan Engram at Colts: Last week’s TE1, Engram turned a season-high 12 targets into eight catches for 75 yards against the Titans. Engram was really the only thing that went right for the Giants on a day they were shut out. Odell Beckham (quad) remained sidelined on Wednesday, so his status for Week 16 remains up in the air. If he sits, Engram obviously gets a significant boost. But even if OBJ plays, the Giants are significant road underdogs and could be passing a lot. The Colts have also allowed the second-most catches for the most yards to opposing tight ends. Blake Jarwin led the Cowboys in receiving last week with a 4-45-0 line in a Dallas shutout. Engram is healthy and back on the TE1 map.

Blake Jarwin vs. Bucs: As mentioned above, Jarwin led the Cowboys in receiving last week in the shutout loss to the Colts with a 4-45-0 line. The second-year UDFA’s snaps have been up the last couple weeks, and Jarwin is actually a top-10 tight end since Week 14, running 71 routes in that span. He now gets a Bucs defense that has allowed the fifth-most yards and ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends in a home spot where the Cowboys should bounce back offensively. The Bucs play at the fifth-fastest offensive pace, which could lead to a few extra plays for Dallas. George Kittle and Ian Thomas each caught six passes against the Bucs in Weeks 12 and 13. The 47.5-point total for Tampa Bay-Dallas is the third-highest of the week.


Trey Burton at 49ers: Burton ended his five-game scoreless streak last week with 36 yards and a touchdown against the Packers. And his seven targets were Burton’s most since 11 in Week 7. However, Burton hasn’t cleared 40 yards receiving since mid-October. The 49ers are No. 10 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends and surrender the fifth-fewest yards per game to the position. This game’s 43-point total is the fourth-lowest of the week. Burton has been a big disappointment.

Jimmy Graham at Jets: Like Trey Burton above, Graham has been a big free-agent flop in his first year in Green Bay. Graham hasn’t scored since Week 9 and has just two touchdowns on the season. He hasn’t cleared 50 yards since Week 9 and has drawn five or fewer targets in seven of the last eight games. Graham will now face a Jets Defense that allows the fewest yards per game to tight ends and has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to the position.

Kyle Rudolph at Lions: Burton, Graham, and Rudolph have quite possibly been the three-most disappointing tight ends in fantasy outside of Rob Gronkowski. Rudolph has really only showed up in two games against the Packers this season with 7-72-0 and 7-63-0 lines. He hasn’t scored since Week 3 and has cleared 39 yards just once since Week 5. The Lions are 26th in DVOA against tight end and 13th in fantasy points allowed to the position, but Detroit plays at the second-slowest pace and is No. 1 in opponent plays per game. There just doesn’t figure to be a ton of opportunities for fantasy production here, and that’s evidenced by the low 42.5-point total.

Nick Mensio

Nick Mensio has been covering the NFL for Rotoworld since 2012. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.