Sit/Start Week 16: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Fantasy football Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season

Game Info


Kickoff: Saturday, December 24th at 1:00 PM ET

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Betting Odds: DET -2.5, 44 total via Oddsshark

Network: FOX

Writer: Bryan Sweet (@FantasyFreakTN on Twitter, @bsweet0us on Reddit)


Detroit Lions



Jared Goff (Sit, QB2)


It’s been a bit of a resurgence for Jared Goff in his second season as Detroit’s starting QB, as he’s in the midst of his best season since going to back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018.  Goff hasn’t thrown an INT in his past six games and is sitting on his lowest INT percentage of his career (1.5%).  Goff has also bumped up his TD percentage to 4.8%, which is a full percentage point higher than any of the past three years.  Goff has thrown multiple TD passes in three of his past four games, but will have a bit of a tougher test this week against a Carolina defense that has allowed 250+ passing yards just once in the past six games and is surrendering an average of just one TD per game over that same span.  With Detroit chasing a playoff appearance and a small favorite in this game, I expect Goff to be a bit more conservative to help a struggling defense stay off the field.  As such, I think Goff just misses the cut as a QB1 in Week 16 and I would suggest keeping him on your bench in a likely playoff matchup this week.


Running Backs

D’Andre Swift (Start, RB2), Jamaal Williams (Start, FLEX), Justin Jackson (Sit)


Fantasy managers that drafted D’Andre Swift with the hopes of the third-year RB taking the majority of the snaps for a full season were left mostly disappointed, though there was some false hope following Detroit’s Week 13 game when Swift saw more than 50% of the snaps and handled 18 touches.  It’s back to a full-blown committee, however, as Swift hasn’t seen more than 40% of the snaps since.  Swift carries a bit more value in PPR leagues because of his presence in the passing game (54 targets – second on the team) but has shown an ability to generate yards on the ground as well with a career-best 5.5 yards per carry this season.  Swift would almost certainly rank as a solid RB1 with a full workload, but as long as Detroit continues to rotate out their RBs, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Swift ascends to that top tier.  Swift is a viable RB2 in PPR leagues and sees enough work to be considered as a solid FLEX option in standard leagues in Week 16.

Despite being held out of the end zone the past two weeks, Jamaal Williams still leads the NFL with 14 rushing TDs and is clearly Detroit’s preferred option in the red zone.  Williams is seeing the most extensive workload of his career this season with 226 touches and the 14 TDs this season eclipsed his CAREER total of 13.  Unfortunately for fantasy managers in PPR leagues, Williams is nearly non-existent in Detroit’s passing game, garnering just 13 targets on the season.  Williams is also heavily dependent on TDs to have startable fantasy value, as he hasn’t surpassed 66 rushing yards in his past six games.  Detroit expects to lean on the rushing game to close out a fourth consecutive victory this week, but given the presence of the other two RBs, I can’t find a good reason to recommend Williams as anything more than a FLEX play this week.

The third RB off the bench for Detroit has seen a consistent 15-20 snaps since Detroit’s Week 6 BYE, but hasn’t gotten many opportunities when on the field.  Justin Jackson has been a nice complement to Swift and Williams but has seen more than seven touches just once this season.  Jackson is more valuable to the Lions than to fantasy managers and isn’t a viable option this late in the season.  Keep Jackson on the bench in Week 16.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Amon-Ra St. Brown (Start, WR1), Josh Reynolds (Sit), DJ Chark (Sit), Brock Wright (Sit)


It could be argued that it’s Amon-Ra St. Brown and then everybody else when it comes to the Detroit passing game.  St. Brown has more than doubled every other player currently on Detroit’s roster with 119 targets and is clearly the team’s top receiving option.  St. Brown should surpass 1,000 receiving yards this week (he’s at 974 coming into this game) and could reach 100 receptions as well (89 currently).  St. Brown has added six receiving TDs as well, tied for second on the team with Swift for total TDs.  St. Brown has not seen fewer than nine targets in any game since Week 8 and is a clear WR1 this week projecting on volume alone.  Fantasy managers should continue to roll with St. Brown without question as the fantasy playoffs continue in Week 16.

Despite the overwhelming reliance on St. Brown in the passing game, Detroit actually does run out a couple of other WRs most of the time.  Those guys come in the form of DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds.  Chark has stepped into the starting lineup after missing six weeks earlier in the year with a foot injury but has scored twice in his five games back and is the only WR other than St. Brown to see more than 75% of the snaps.  Reynolds has supplanted Kalif Raymond as Detroit’s primary slot WR and there are times when the rapport gained between him and Goff during their time together with the Rams shine brightly.  That being said, despite seeing 40 snaps last week, Reynolds didn’t garner a target from Goff.  Like Jackson, Chark and Reynolds are better real-life options than fantasy options.  Chark is the better choice of the two and could sneak into the FLEX conversation with a TD, but the lack of consistency from the two makes them hard to trust in the fantasy playoffs.  Bench both this week.

Since T.J. Hockenson’s departure to Minnesota, Brock Wright has assumed the starting TE role for the Lions.  Unfortunately for Wright, he didn’t inherit the target volume Hockenson had.  Wright’s 51-yard catch-and-run to secure the victory over the Jets last week was exciting, but that was his only reception of the game and he has yet to surpass two receptions in a game since Week 7.  Wright simply isn’t involved in Detroit’s offense enough to warrant serious fantasy consideration and is an easy sit for me in Week 16.


Carolina Panthers



Sam Darnold (Sit, QB2)


I’m not ready to say that Sam Darnold has been given new life as a starting QB in the NFL, but the fact is that Darnold has led the Panthers to a 2-1 record as a starter and is only one game back from the Buccaneers in the NFC South.  Darnold finally passed for more than 200 yards as a Panther last week and has one TD in each of his three games as a starter, but gets to face the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense against the pass this week.  Detroit allows an average of 265 yards per game through the air and has allowed two or more passing TDs eight times this season.  Carolina passes just 52% of the time (25th in the NFL), which keeps a cap on Darnold’s ceiling.  Despite the juicy matchup and the anticipation of late-game passing based on Vegas odds, I can’t recommend Darnold as anything other than an option in leagues that allow for two starting QBs.


Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard (Sit), D’Onta Foreman (Sit, low-end FLEX)


While Detroit currently employs a three-headed committee at RB, Carolina is content with their two-man game since jettisoning Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco following Week 6.  D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard combine to handle the vast majority of the RB workload for Carolina, but who will get the lion’s share of the snaps seems to fluctuate from week to week.  Foreman has been the slightly preferred option most of the time but saw half the snaps Hubbard did last week in a bit of a surprising turn.  Is that going to be the trend going forward or was it based on the flow of the game?  Looking at the play-by-play my assumption is Carolina opted to have Hubbard in during the latter stages of the game due to his better pass-blocking ability.  While Hubbard’s 37.5 pass-block rating from PFF isn’t good, it’s miles better than Foreman’s grade of 11.8.  While neither provides much in the passing game, Foreman seems to be Carolina’s preferred option when electing to run the ball as he has a significant advantage in carries per game over Hubbard (11.2 to 4.9).  While neither Hubbard nor Foreman are exciting options for fantasy managers, Foreman should see enough volume to be a viable candidate for a FLEX position this week if injuries have decimated your fantasy team.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

D.J. Moore (Start, FLEX), Terrace Marshall, Jr. (Sit), Shi Smith (Sit), Tommy Tremble (Sit), Ian Thomas (Sit)


Much like with the RB situation for each team, the WRs are eerily similar as well with one guy dominating the targets and stats and the others left to pick up the scraps.  For Carolina, the alpha dog is still D.J. Moore.  It says a lot about the rest of your roster when a guy who hasn’t been on the team for eight weeks is second on the team in targets (McCaffrey – 48).  Moore is arguably more dominant in his target share than St. Brown in Detroit as he paces Carolina with 97 and leads in all other receiving categories with 51 receptions for 678 yards and five TDs.  Detroit’s secondary has well-documented issues and only Chicago failed to have a WR with at least 75 receiving yards against Detroit.  Given the volume of targets and the woes of Detroit’s defense, there is a path for Moore to return FLEX-level value again this week for fantasy managers.

Again, the parallels with Detroit at the second and third WR positions are uncanny as Terrace Marshall, Jr. is the only WR with a snap share higher than 50% consistently since Robbie Anderson’s departure to Arizona.  When Carolina elects to utilize three WR sets, the preferred third option has been Shi Smith.  Both second-year players have seen an expanded role with McCaffrey and Anderson no longer with the team, but there just isn’t consistent enough volume to warrant serious fantasy consideration.  Marshall has seen more than five targets just three times this season and has eclipsed 75 yards just twice.  Smith also only has three games in which he’s seen five or more targets and has surpassed 50 receiving yards just once.  Despite the excellent matchup, Carolina simply doesn’t call enough passing plays to support more than one WR for fantasy purposes and we’ve already established who that is.  Both Marshall and Smith can safely be benched this week.

We’ve come to the portion of our article where we finally see a difference in offensive personnel between the Lions and Panthers.  Carolina frequently utilizes a two-TE set as both Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas see frequent snaps at the position.  When it comes to fantasy production, however, there isn’t as much of a difference between the two teams.  Tremble and Thomas have combined for 52 targets with 32 receptions between them for 297 yards.  Tremble does have the only scores among the pair with two but neither has gained 50 receiving yards since Thomas did it back in Week 1.  There simply isn’t enough here to garner any fantasy interest and neither player should be in a starting lineup in fantasy football in Week 16.

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