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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Friday/Saturday

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Tom Brady
Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · QB
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2020 · 5-9-0

Matt Ryan must really hate Tom Brady, right? Like legit heat, as they say in wrestling parlance. Brady had another rally against Ryan. I mean, it wasn’t 28-3, but close enough, right? And if I’m being completely honest, I was on tilt during that first half, seeing that I started Brady over Russell Wilson. Obviously, Brady figured it out at halftime and finished with two touchdowns. His fifth consecutive game with multiple touchdowns. He also had 340-plus for the third time in five games (it’s been happening every other week). He’s got a great matchup this week against the Lions, who were torched by Ryan Tannehill on Sunday.

Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals · QB
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-9-0

I’m not sure if Kyler was rising to the occasion with his fellow Sooner on the opposite end, but Murray was amazing last week. Kyler is the fourth quarterback age 23 or younger with 400+ passing yards and 125+ passer rating in a game in the Super Bowl era. The three previous quarterbacks all started in the Super Bowl in that season. I’m not predicting Murray is going to the Super Bowl. But damn, the NFC seems wide open this season. I know none of that is answering your question as to whether you should start Kyler this week. But that answer is yes. The 49ers have been good against quarterbacks recently, but struggle against mobile quarterbacks. Like Josh Allen who burned them in Glendale a few weeks back.

Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · QB
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 7-7-0

Tua went up against Bill Belichick last week and scored more than 18 fantasy points, which might as well be 30 given what he’s done to rookie quarterbacks -- including Justin Herbert this year. And when you consider how well he played with the majority of his offensive weapons on the bench, and it might have been the performance of the day. I mean, it wasn’t, but give me that one. I like him against the Raiders, who are rumored to play defense but I haven’t seen any evidence to those allegations. Tua is going to win some people a ‘ship this week.

D'Andre Swift
D'Andre Swift
Detroit Lions · RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 · 9-5-0

The Buccaneers were tough against the run on Sunday against the Falcons but they were pretty generous to running backs heading into that contest. And I’m not sitting Swift under any circumstance. I mean, if I could only start one running back and I had Derrick Henry , sure, I’d sit him. But that seems rather far-fetched. Swift has scored at least 15 points in back-to-back games, and he has three touchdowns in those games.

Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones
Detroit Lions · WR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 · 9-5-0

Jones has been the hero we don’t deserve over the past couple of weeks, stepping up with Kenny Golladay out. Jones had another banner day against the Titans on Sunday, hauling in 10 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. Jones has scored more than 20 points in two of his last three games. And he’s got a great matchup against the Buccaneers, who have allowed the most points to receivers over the past month.

Mike Gesicki
Mike Gesicki
Miami Dolphins · TE
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 7-7-0

Gesicki was inactive last week against the Patriots. So make sure to monitor the injury reports this week. Actually, it’s Christmas week. Make sure you have picked up all the gifts for your family, I’ll keep watching the injury report. I’d be surprised if he sat out an additional week. He was on a hot streak, too, before missing Sunday's game. He had scored four touchdowns in his previous three games.

Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 8-6-0
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-9-0

If you spaced and kept the Cardinals in your lineup last week after they had scored 18 against the Giants in Week 14, that wasn’t so bad against the Eagles. They did manage eight points. Now there is a great matchup against the 49ers this week who have a lot of questions at the quarterback position. And if I’m being honest, I don’t really care because you had Joe Montana and Steve Young for years. Well, at least your parents did. You get no sympathy from me.

Sit 'em

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings · QB
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 10-4-0

Does the Kirk Cousins on-the-road thing matter if they are traveling to a dome? Maybe not. But it’s still Kirk Cousins. He was fine last week, like a vanilla shake. But he didn’t make the big plays. Especially when the Vikings needed him the most. And I think that’s peak Cousins. He’s going to have those awesome magical games during the regular season. And then that’s it. Once it hits December, it’s like a golf course in St. Cloud, it’s unplayable. 

Kenyan Drake
Kenyan Drake
Arizona Cardinals · RB
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-9-0

Drake struggled against the Eagles. He’s been kind of a touchdown-dependent running back over the past couple of weeks. And once you run out of touchdowns, it’s not so great. It’s kind of like the kid who was popular in college because he had car. But once he wrecked it trying to mimic Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift in the dorm parking lot, he was less popular. The 49ers had been tough on running backs before Tony Pollard went off against them last week. But it’s still a risk with Drake this week. Especially with Chase Edmonds in the mix. I’d start guys like Giovani Bernard, Jeff Wilson and David Johnson over him, just to name a few.

Kendrick Bourne
Kendrick Bourne
San Francisco 49ers · WR
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 8-6-0

Look, we advocated for Bourne last week against the Cowboys. And it’s cool that Bourne bailed us out at the last minute. I’m not going to apologize about that. It’s like the fight scene at the end of Anchorman 2 that really saved the whole picture. The Cardinals were lit up by Jalen Hurts on Sunday, but at last check, Hurts does not play for the 49ers, so I’m going to shy away from this matchup.

Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed
San Francisco 49ers · TE
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 8-6-0

There was a time when it was automatic to start your tight ends against the Cardinals, but the Birds have done a really nice job against the position this year. Reed scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass last week, but that was his only catch of the day. Reed is more like one of those things that sound good in theory. Like a desk calendar. But the only purpose a desk calendar serves is to let you know what day you gave up on somebody’s gift.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-9-0
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 8-6-0

I know a few of you had some high hopes playing the Cowboys last week, especially with Zeke out. The 49ers ended with negative points. Which is actually a pet peeve of mine. I always make sure the leagues I’m running don’t allow negative points for defense. But go hit the waiver wire this week. Make the move to try to get the Cardinals if you can. 

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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