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The semi-finals are here and fantasy managers have absolutely no room for error in their starting lineups. This weekly article is meant to make those lineup decisions a little bit easier. This week, I've changed things up by only listing which players you should be starting, rather than suggesting any players to sit. You can always listen to the Starts and Sleepers episode of The Footballguys Fantasy Football Show, which releases episodes every weekday - also, check out the Week 16 Player Rankings.
START: Jake Browning @ PIT
- Opponent vs QBs: 9th
- Week 16 Rank: QB14
- Projected Points: 19.1
Browning has been a top-8 fantasy quarterback in each of the last three starts. Since Week 13, Browning has been the QB4 in fantasy points per game. He's been more than just a game manager; he's been a game-winner. The Bengals have made things simple for Browning and kept his average depth of target very shallow. With much of his yardage coming after the catch, Browning is at low risk for throwing turnover-worthy passes. On the other side, the Steelers defense has been falling apart. Pittsburgh will be without both starting safeties in this matchup, so expect Browning to win on short and intermediate throws as usual, but the deep parts of the field could be wide open in this game.
SLEEPER: Joe Flacco @ HOU
- Opponent vs QBs: 22nd
- Week 16 Rank: QB16
- Projected Points: 18.1
Joe Flacco has been the QB8 in fantasy over the last three weeks. He's been averaging over 300 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game. No, seriously... look it up. Since Week 9, opposing quarterbacks are averaging 268 passing yards and 19.2 fantasy points per game. The stars appear to be aligning for Joe Flacco to be a fantasy playoff savior.
SLEEPER: Hunter Henry @ DEN
- Opponent vs TEs: 32nd
- Week 16 Rank: TE13
- Projected Points: 9.7
With Bailey Zappe under center, Hunter Henry has been hovering around a 20% target share as the team's first option in the passing game. Henry has 3 touchdowns over the last two games, and now he faces a Broncos defense that just allowed Sam LaPorta to score 3 touchdowns in week 15. Denver has given up the most points to fantasy tight ends this season. Hunter Henry is an obvious streamer with major touchdown upside.
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