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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 16
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, or DeAndre Hopkins is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Mahomes’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because McAffrey is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Hopkins and went RB-RB-Kelce in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Dak Prescott

Grab a Helmet

Dak Prescott @ PHI

He didn’t make the NFC’s Pro Bowl squad but does have a chance to win an NFC East crown for his ‘Boys this coming Sunday with a win over Philly. Prescott is fantasy’s QB4 through 15 weeks and with so much at stake and a favorable matchup ahead, there aren’t many signal callers I’d rather have in my lineup come championship week. The Eagles’ secondary isn’t as porous as it was earlier in the season, but did yield a career-high 23.7 points to Dwayne Haskins last week in a game they had to have. That doesn’t bode well with a game they need even more on tap, especially since they’ll be facing a huge upgrade over Haskins and, statistically speaking, the league’s best offense (434 yds/gm). Yup, Prescott’s engineering the league’s most prolific offense but wasn’t voted to the Pro Bowl. Hmmm. Start him Sunday.

Drew Lock v. DET

If Dak is one of the safest Week 16 bets, Lock is one of the riskiest. He was brutal in a snowy loss to the Chiefs (18 of 40, no TDs, and a pick) and will be making only his fourth career start against Detroit this weekend. So why even consider such an unproven greenhorn with fantasy championships on the line? Let’s go back to that Detroit part. The Lions’ secondary just got blasted by Jameis Winston to the tune of 458 yards and four scores (remember: he was missing Mike Evans) and has allowed the last three QBs they’ve faced, Winston included, to complete almost 75% of their passes. Lock has plenty to play for—namely a chance to be Denver’s QB1 in 2020—looked solid in his first two starts, and has a budding superstar to play catch with (Courtland Sutton). Roll the dice.

Ryan Fitzpatrick v. CIN

If I never write another SCR (who knows what the future holds?), I’ll at least take comfort in the fact Ryan Fitzpatrick was my last recommended QB start. Ol’ Fitzy’s “grabbed a helmet” more than he probably should have over the years, but it’s hard to dispute the dude’s got staying power and legitimate game in this, his 15th season. How many folks thought he’d even last this long back when he was throwing scads of picks and losing lots of games for Buffalo earlier this decade? Truth is, Fitzpatrick has played for a SINGLE winning team in 15 years and yet...dude perseveres, throws up a healthy amount of fantasy points (QB6 the last five weeks), and still hasn’t met a defensive back he wasn’t willing to truck for a few more. He’s one of my faves and this is a great matchup. Why not?

Grab a Clipboard

Josh Allen @ NE

Allen’s game definitely has some Fitz to it (erratic passer, prone to carelessness) but he’s more dangerous when on the move (33+ rushing yds/game and nine rushing scores) and has already, in two NFL seasons, managed to do something his Buffalo forebear never did: get Buffalo into the playoffs. The Bills scored a HUGE win at Pittsburgh last week, securing that playoff berth, and even have an outside chance at winning the AFC East, though they’ll have to get by the Patriots in Foxboro to do it. I don’t think that’s happening. Allen was crummy in the first matchup between the two teams (16.3 points) and also struggled against another elite AFC defense (12.2 v. Baltimore in Week 14). He and his Bills are playing with house money and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion they might play like it come Sunday. Sit QB6 down.

Derek Carr @ LAC

The Raiders are two games away from calling Las Vegas home, officially out of the AFC race, and will play out the 2019 string on the road, having now played their final game (again) at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, a disappointing loss to the lowly Jaguars. Though Carr hasn’t been terrible in his Oakland swan song (QB18), he hasn’t really improved upon pedestrian career numbers and has been decidedly more anemic the last several weeks. He’s averaged just 16.2 FPts/G since Week 12 and now faces a Chargers defense that’s allowed just a single 20-point QB since Week 3. Oddly, LA’s playing ITS last game at Dignity Health Sports Park before the 2020 move to SoFi Stadium, meaning the Raiders will play two stadium-closing games in succession. It’s hard to see how they get up for this one. I wouldn’t even start Carr in two-QB leagues.

Aaron Rodgers @ MIN (Mon)

Sitting the Head Cheese in Week 16 used to be considered unconscionable, but if there were ever a year to consider it, 2019 is it. Rodgers is averaging a solid 21.0 FPts/G, putting him right on the doorstep of Top 10 status (QB11), and his underlying fundamentals look very familiar: closing in on 4,000 yards, 30 TDs, and a characteristically absurd TD-to-INT ratio (he’s only thrown two picks). Nevertheless, that FPts/G mark is actually his lowest as a Packer starter and he’s been very disappointing the past month and a half, in particular. Since Week 9, the Pack’s franchise is averaging just 16.3 FPts/G. That’s fewer than Marcus Mariota averaged in his six mostly ineffective Tennessee starts. Downwardly trending superstar playing in a building that’s been unkind to him v. a capable and motivated divisional opponent? Be very careful, folks.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers