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6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 16 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 16 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

Arguably, the most frustrating thing in fantasy football is seeing someone in your starting lineup struggle that week. Therefore, the logic behind this article is simple – identify fantasy football lineup landmines.

These are players you’re leaning towards starting this week but could end up being a landmine that blows up and destroys your starting lineup, potentially costing you your matchup.

Brace yourself and take cover. These six players could blow up in your face this week.

Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 16

Jordan Love (QB – GB)

Love’s first year as the starter has had mixed results. For some weeks, he has looked like the face of the franchise. In other weeks, the quarterback has played awful. After a disappointing performance against the New York Giants, Love bounced back in Week 15, totaling 284 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 17.5 fantasy points. The former Utah State star has played well lately, totaling 20.9 or more fantasy points in three of the past five contests. Unfortunately, his matchup on Sunday couldn’t be worse.

While the Carolina Panthers have the worst record in the NFL, they have completely shut down opposing passing attacks. The Panthers have surrendered only 12.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the fewest in the league. Carolina has held quarterbacks to 10.6 or fewer fantasy points in 64.3% of the games this season, including six of the past seven contests. Opposing quarterbacks have more games with under 8.5 fantasy points (five) than over 13 fantasy points (four) against the Panthers this year. Love isn’t a top-12 quarterback in Week 16.

David Montgomery (RB – DET)

Despite missing three games with injuries, Montgomery is still the RB14 for the year, averaging 14.8 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. The veteran running back has found the end zone in 72% of the games this season. However, he hasn’t had a rushing touchdown in back-to-back games. Montgomery has averaged 17.5 fantasy points per game this year when he scores a touchdown. By comparison, he has averaged only 7.7 fantasy points per game without finding the end zone. More importantly, Gibbs has outplayed the veteran running back lately.

The rookie running back has 100% of the team’s rushing attempts inside the five-yard line the past two weeks. Furthermore, Gibbs has averaged a higher yards per rushing attempt (6.8 vs. 4.6) and missed forced tackle per attempt rate (24% vs. 18%) than Montgomery over the past three weeks (per Fantasy Points Data). Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have had an outstanding run defense when they face anyone but the Philadelphia Eagles. They have surrendered only 14.7 fantasy points per game and four rushing touchdowns to running backs over the past 13 weeks.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

Last week, Pittman was on fire early in the matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had four receptions on five targets for 78 receiving yards and 9.8 half-point PPR fantasy points before leaving the game with a concussion after only 21 snaps. The star wide receiver has been outstanding this season, totaling double-digit fantasy points in 71.4% of the games, including eight straight before the matchup against the Steelers. Hopefully, the former USC star can clear the concussion protocol and play against the Atlanta Falcons.

However, fantasy players should think twice about starting Pittman on Sunday. Atlanta has held wide receivers to only 22.7 fantasy points per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. They are one of two teams to surrender zero touchdowns to wide receivers over the past month. The last time they gave up a receiving touchdown to a wide receiver was in Week 9. More importantly, the Falcons held Adam Thielen, Mike Evans, and Garrett Wilson to 14.1 combined fantasy points over the past three weeks. Temper your expectations if you must start Pittman.

Nico Collins (WR – HOU)

Collins was a popular third-year breakout candidate during the offseason. The former Michigan star didn’t let fantasy players down. He is the WR17 for the year, averaging 13.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game as Houston’s No. 1 wide receiver. However, the young receiver played only three snaps in Week 14 and missed last week’s contest because of a calf injury. While he might return for Sunday’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Collins could be a massive bust for fantasy players. The star wide receiver reportedly won’t have C.J. Stroud under center.

The rookie quarterback will likely miss his second consecutive game with a concussion. More importantly, Collins has struggled in matchups against top-tier pass defenses, scoring under six fantasy points in games against the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and New York Jets. Meanwhile, the Browns have held wide receivers to 22.1 fantasy points per game, the second-fewest in the NFL. Last week, DJ Moore had only 52 receiving yards and 7.2 fantasy points against Cleveland, both his lowest totals since Week 9. Fantasy players should avoid starting Collins this week, especially if Stroud doesn’t play.

Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)

Washington’s offense has been a disaster lately after starting the year playing lights out for fantasy players. Unfortunately, McLaurin has slipped from his typical safe floor WR2 territory to more of a boom-or-bust WR3. The former Ohio State star averaged nine half-point PPR fantasy points per game before last week’s matchup. While the veteran set season-highs in receiving yards (141) and fantasy points (23.1) against the Los Angeles Rams, fantasy players should keep him on the bench for Sunday’s matchup against the New York Jets.

Last week, McLaurin had a season-high 12 targets. While he had 23.1 fantasy points, the star receiver scored over 40% of his fantasy points on a garbage-time touchdown from Jacoby Brissett. More importantly, McLaurin had averaged only 11 fantasy points per game in the other three contests with over 10 targets this season. Meanwhile, the Jets have held wide receivers to 17.9 fantasy points per game, the fewest in the NFL. Fantasy players shouldn’t trust McLaurin after last week’s success – it was a fluke and won’t happen again.

George Kittle (TE – SF)

Benching Kittle during the fantasy playoffs might not be easy to do. Fantasy players shouldn’t start a low-end streamer like Cade Otton or Tyler Higbee over the star tight end. However, Kittle is a risky start in a win-or-go-home type matchup. The former Iowa star has scored fewer than 6.5 half-point PPR fantasy points in nearly half of the games this year, including last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Furthermore, he has seen fewer than six targets and scored under 8.9 fantasy points in three of the past four games.

More importantly, Kittle has an awful fantasy matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Day. The AFC North division leaders have held tight ends to 7.9 fantasy points per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. They have surrendered the 10th-fewest receiving yards (42.1) and the fifth-fewest receiving touchdowns (0.21) per game to tight ends this season. Last week, the recently red-hot Evan Engram had only 28 receiving yards and 4.8 fantasy points on six targets against the Ravens. If you start Kittle this week, be prepared for a low-scoring fantasy performance.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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