Fantasy Football: 3 Players You Must Start in Week 16
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
The fantasy football playoffs are just about to wrap up which means start and sit decisions have become crucial. Starting one player who underperforms can be the difference between a league title and losing it all. Hopefully this list of three must-start players in Week 16 will be able to calm some of the nerves of you fantasy football nerds out there.
TE Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots
The Patriots are playing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars this week that alone is a reason to start Hernandez. The Jags have won just two games all season and their defense is just No. 24 in the league against the pass.
In Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers’ stingy defense, the Pats tight end caught 10 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Tom Brady decided early on that Hernandez was going to be his go-to receiver in that contest, targeting him a whopping 20 times.
If Hernandez gets that same amount of attention from Brady in this game, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t rack up around 120 yards and two touchdowns.
WR Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
I know I spent a whole lot of time trashing the Jags just now, but I meant all that with the exception of Shorts. Somehow, some way the Jacksonville receiver has had four games with more than 100 receiving yards in his last seven contests.
While the Jaguars don’t stand a huge chance at winning against the Patriots in Week 16, garbage time stats are still recorded. It’s extremely likely that New England gets off to a big early lead which means its opposition will be forced to throw the ball.
That means that Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne will need to move the ball down field and his best bet to do that recently is Shorts. If you’re a Shorts owner, you realize just how productive this guy has been as of late. There’s no reason to lose faith now.
QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
If you caught Romo’s performance against the Steelers in Week 15, you know why he’s on this list. The Cowboys have once again become a balanced offense with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. That fact has made all of the Cowboys offense more effective in both real and fantasy football.
Following his 341-yard, two touchdown performance against Pittsburgh last week, Romo faces off against New Orleans’ porous defense. The same Saints defense that is ranked No. 31 not just against the pass, but against the run as well.
Jonathan Velma and co. may have just shut down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week but that’s just one game after the Giants hung 52 points on the unit.
The Cowboys have found their stride with Murray running the ball and Romo finding Den Bryant in the passing game. There’s always a little hesitation to start the Dallas QB in Dec. but given his recent track record, he won’t let owners down come Sunday.