It's championship week in fantasy football.
It would be nice to join in on the fun, like last year when Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt and Keenan Allen were dominating for my team, but this year I was suffering through Alex Collins, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins.
One of the areas I didn't have to worry about, until week 15, was quarterback. Andrew Luck was my only pleasant surprise, but even he struggled in a strange quarterback week in week 15. Only three quarterbacks tallied more than 20 fantasy points, with rookies Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen each registering QB1 numbers. Don't expect those surprises to continue this week. Here's the week 16 fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em list for quarterbacks.
Cam Newton vs. Atlanta Falcons
Newton has not been a reliable option in recent weeks for fantasy owners.
So even though Newton is regularly top-tier fantasy option, everything is on the table in terms of who to start/sit in week 16. Even though Newton is struggling, though, he shouldn't be overlooked against Atlanta.
The Falcons are giving up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in the last four games. They're also allowing 7.1 yards per pass attempt, ranking 22nd in the NFL.
Atlanta also allows the sixth-most rushing yards per attempt in the NFL, which should be the reason why Newton should garner your start this week. He's a run/pass option who can make a mark against Atlanta.
Baker Mayfield vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I'll go with Mayfield again.
He's been a pleasant surprise and now he gets an opportunity to return home against a defense that has been leaky at best against the pass.
The Bengals allow 7.6 yards per pass attempt, the fifth-worst mark in the NFL. Mayfield's problems have been mostly turnover-related. However, he can clean that up against a Bengals team that can't generate much pressure on the defensive side of the ball.
Mayfield will have the opportunity at moving the chains consistently against Cincinnati, so expect him to toss a few touchdowns, too.
Mitchell Trubisky vs. San Francisco 49ers
If you're looking to stream a quarterback, check out Trubisky.
San Francisco has been bad against the pass in recent weeks. And Trubisky has shown at times to be a competent quarterback in fantasy. After a horrendous game in week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, he battled back in week 15 to net 19 fantasy points against Green Bay.
He wasn't great, but he was more careful than in past weeks.
That should help him against a 49ers team with nothing to play for and a Chicago team still battling for a first-round bye. Trubisky is a risky play, but one who has the ability to produce at a high level.
Jameis Winston vs. Dallas Cowboys
Winston actually hasn't been that bad in recent weeks in fantasy football.
In the last four weeks, Winston has generated the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks. However, he took a step back on the road against Baltimore in week 15 and the same will happen once again on the road in week 16.
There are a lot of issues with this game, but one of the main concerns, should be the Buccaneers going on back-to-back road trips with nothing to play for.
And even if that doesn't scare you, the Cowboys have one of the better defenses against the pass in the NFL, and the pass rush will harass Winston on a regular basis. Winston has been a nice addition to any fantasy roster in three of the last four weeks, but he shouldn't be considered a viable optoin in week 16.
Josh Allen vs. New England Patriots
Call me crazy, but I just don't see this fantasy production continuing for Allen.
He's doing most of this through smoke and mirrors, running the ball to go along with timely passes. He has at least 18 fantasy points in each of the last four games, but his passing yardage is just not good enough to keep him on the fantasy radar in week 16. He has less than 210 passing yards in three of the last four games. And New England is a top-half defense against the pass in limiting fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Don't buy into Allen's production and something tells me that the Patriots will be motivated after back-to-back losses.
Matt Ryan vs. Carolina Panthers
I'm not buying into Ryan's recent surge in production.
The offense hasn't been good in recent weeks. However, turnovers by the opposition or garbage-time production has been the calling card of Ryan's fantasy production in recent weeks.
In three of the last four games, the Falcons have either blown out the opposition (Arizona) or been blown out (New Orleans and Green Bay) assisting Ryan's fantasy numbers. That likely won't be the case in week 16, so it has more of a feeling of what happened in the lone game of bad output in the last four games, with a single-digit clunker against Baltimore.
Carolina was able to slow down New Orleans in week 15, so I expect to see a similar defensive effort in week 16.
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH