The fantasy playoffs are no time to mess around with IDPs who have carried us to this point in the season. Still, after a down week across the board, there may be some temptation to swing for the fences. The focus here will be to keep you and your playoff roster on track — don’t fall into any production traps from previous weeks or feel discouraged by starters who may have had a down week. Keep riding the players and sound decision-making that got you to this point, and you’ll be looking at a fantasy championship in 2021.
Here are some key start/sit suggestions heading into Week 16.
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START: ED SHAQUIL BARRETT, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Barrett is coming off one of his quietest games of the season, posting a single QB hit with nothing else in the box score against the Saints on Sunday night. While this is an undoubtedly frustrating performance in the fantasy playoffs, those lucky enough to move on should still trust him in Week 16. Barrett actually had a strong game in Week 15, earning a 76.1 pass-rush grade with five total pressures, keeping his streak of multiple pressures in every single game this season alive.
Barrett gets a matchup against the Panthers, who rank dead last in the NFL in pass-blocking grade (50.3) as a team. Barrett has split his time pretty evenly this year between lining up against the left and right tackle, but the biggest mismatch in his favor will be when he sees snaps against left tackle Cam Erving. Erving owns just a 49.7 pass-blocking grade this season, having allowed 31 pressures and three sacks in nine games. The Panthers also rank 24th in the NFL in sacks allowed per game this season (2.6), making Barrett one of the better options this week along the defensive line.
SIT: DI QUINNEN WILLIAMS, NEW YORK JETS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Williams has had a fairly good season for an IDP defensive tackle, but he has cooled off considerably. Williams is reportedly dealing with a shoulder injury and playing through the pain, but this has affected both his performance and his playing time. Williams most recently left the Week 15 game against the Dolphins because of the injury after just 22 snaps. While he is expected to play in Week 16 despite not being 100%, there is significant risk that his shoulder won’t allow him to be the best DT option we can start at this point in the season.
Since Williams last tallied a sack in Week 12, he hasn’t managed more than a single pressure in any game. This past week against the Dolphins, he didn’t post a pressure and finished with just a 54.1 pass-rush grade. Even in a good matchup against the Jaguars, the stakes are just too high at this point in the year to trust Williams in our lineups.
Williams splits | 2021
|Weeks||Pass-rush grade||Pressures||Snap share|
START: ED CHARLES HARRIS, DETROIT LIONS VS. ATLANTA FALCONS