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Five Burning Questions for Week 16 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Lauren Carpenter | @stepmomlauren | Featured Writer
Dec 23, 2020

Can you trust Drew Brees to take home your fantasy title in Week 16?

It’s Championship Week! Congratulations to everyone who made it to the final! Let’s dive into five burning questions for Week 16 as we wrap up the fantasy season.

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1. Can We Trust Drew Brees Against the Vikings on Christmas Day?

It was a surprise to see the veteran QB back under center only one month after breaking 11 of his ribs. It was not surprising to see Brees struggle to shake off the rust while playing through the pain. I have broken my ribs before. It hurts for a long, long time.

The Saints were playing against a two-touchdown deficit they could not overcome against Kansas City, but Brees started to look more and more like himself as the game went on. However, the real question here is who can Brees trust in his offense to get the job done?

Michael Thomas is on the short-term injured reserve to get his foot in working order for the playoffs, and Tre’Quan Smith did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday. This leaves veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders as the de facto WR1. Brees wasn’t shy about spreading out his targets. Lil’Jordan Humphrey scored a touchdown and saw four targets, Juwan Johnson also had four targets, and Tommylee Lewis saw one target.

The ticket for the Saints will be how involved they get both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Kamara saw only six targets when Brees returned, which is a drastic deviation from his usual check downs to the running back. Brees will likely finish as a mid-range QB2 against the Vikings in a favorable matchup.

2. Who Will Be the Starting Quarterback for the Washington Football Team?

As of this article’s publishing date … no idea. It’s a bad situation for the Football Team, who have made the best of a rotating quarterback room between Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, and Kyle Allen. When Smith got injured, Haskins had a shot at redemption after being relegated to the practice squad earlier this year.

After their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Haskins drowned his sorrows at the local strip club without a mask and was (of course) outed on social media, thus ending said redemption. Or maybe not. Both Haskins and Smith were seen at practice taking first-team reps.

It is not clear exactly which QB will start yet, but if neither Haskins nor Smith can or will be allowed to play this Sunday, their next two options aren’t ideal. Steven Montez is an undrafted free agent out of Colorado, and Taylor Heinicke is a practiced backup who had a brief tenure with HC Ron Rivera and the Panthers in 2018. Either of these two options will downgrade the surrounding pieces like WR Terry McLaurin and TE Logan Thomas. You may have to start them anyway, but it’s not the best scenario for the championship weekend.

3. What Should We Expect from the 49ers and QB C.J. Beathard?

This is another bad quarterback situation for pivotal fantasy pieces at the worst possible time. The 49ers have had a tough hand to play this season, and now they are on their third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard.

RB Raheem Mostert is on injured reserve, and WR Deebo Samuel has already been ruled out of this week’s matchup. That leaves Jeff Wilson Jr. or Tevin Coleman at running back in deeper leagues and rookie Brandon Aiyuk picking up the slack for Samuel. Aiyuk has been a fantasy gem this season and finds a way to get it done no matter who they play against or who is at quarterback. WR Kendrick Bourne is another option if you are desperate at the WR or Flex position this weekend.

Some good news has emerged for the 49ers recently. TE George Kittle has a chance to play this week. HC Kyle Shanahan wants to see how he handles practice and if Kittle is ready, then he will play. You may be able to snag him off of the waiver wire for a sneaky play if he does indeed return against Arizona.

4. Should You Start Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Against the Cowboys?

I will admit that I was not about the Jalen Hurts hype train. Then I watched him play against Arizona, and I quickly revisited the train station and bought my ticket.

His monster fantasy numbers can be attributed to his rushing yards and touchdowns, but he hasn’t been horrible in the passing game either. In the last four weeks, the Cowboys have allowed 797 passing yards and four touchdowns to quarterbacks, as well as 114 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown to the position. The game carries heavy implications as well as a bitter division rivalry.

You should feel good about firing up Hurts in fantasy. I also feel great about TE Dallas Goedert, and I wouldn’t mind taking a shot on WR Greg Ward Jr. in DFS.

You can check our Expert Consensus Rankings to see where Hurts lands and who you can play him over this week.

5. Which D/ST Can You Stream in Week 16?

This is the third or fourth week in a row where I have been all about the Cardinals’ D/ST. They are seventh overall in the last four weeks and second in the last two weeks with a whopping 14 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and a safety.

This week, Arizona will face the aforementioned San Francisco 49ers with their third-string quarterback at the helm and a largely banged-up squad.

Check out Jacob Herlin’s Let’s Stream Defenses for a full breakdown of DST rankings and who you can stash if you play in Week 17.

Good luck in Week 16! Bring home that championship!

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Lauren Carpenter is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Lauren, check out her archive and follow her @stepmomlauren.

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