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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wide receivers for Week 16

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Christian McCaffrey. But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Stefon Diggs
Buffalo Bills BUF

While Joe Brady has unleashed James Cook, he’s had the opposite effect on Diggs. Since Brady took over, Diggs is averaging just 10.3 fantasy ppg. He has single digits in four of his last five games. The saving grace is that he did top 19 against the Eagles, his only favorable matchup in that span. The other four teams rank in the top 12 in fewest fantasy ppg allowed to WRs. This week, he has a great matchup against the Chargers, who are in the top four in MOST yards, touchdowns and fantasy ppg allowed to WRs. My approach last week was to start Davante Adams against the Bolts, because I can live with my stud disappointing in a great matchup a lot easier than I could with him going off on my bench. It’s the same approach with Diggs this week. 

Rashee Rice
Kansas City Chiefs KC

This article has been riding with Rice for much of the season, and the rookie's reaching his final form. In Week 15, he played 92 percent of snaps, leading the Chiefs in targets, catches and yards and scoring a touchdown. This has become a weekly trend as of late. In his last four games, Rice has averaged eight catches, 83.5 yards and 20.4 fantasy points per game. He has blossomed into Patrick Mahomes’ go-to WR option -- alongside TE Travis Kelce -- and is a must-start player in fantasy football. 

Tee Higgins
Cincinnati Bengals CIN

It has been a bit of a lost season for Higgins, but he can still make it up to fantasy managers down the stretch. He reminded everyone that he’s still that dude on Saturday against the Vikings, with one of the best touchdown catches you will see all year. He finished the game with two scores and 22 fantasy points. With Ja’Marr Chase banged up and expected to miss time, Higgins should be the top target for Jake Browning, who has averaged 318 passing yards per game over the last three weeks -- with multiple scores in each of the last two. Volume alone has Higgins in play if Chase is out. If Chase suits up -- something Zac Taylor isn't ruling out -- Higgins will be more volatile while still offering plenty of upside.

Jordan Addison
Minnesota Vikings MIN

I will take the L for last week, but I still believe the logic to sit Addison was sound. It just so happened that he had his best game in two months as the third option for a third-string QB. Quite simply, Nick Mullens was able to get the ball to his playmakers better than Joshua Dobbs had of late -- even if it looked extremely risky at times. Addison remains a bit boom-or-bust for fantasy purposes, but this is a matchup he could boom in. The Lions have allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to wide receivers and the eighth-most fantasy ppg to the position this season. The Vikings will have to put up points in an indoor game against visiting Detroit. 

Calvin Ridley
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX

Every week is a game of “Will Calvin Ridley come down with the amazing touchdown grab?” ... and it’s a wild game. Last week, he didn’t, even though we all thought it was a catch. While Ridley is very boom-or-bust, this week's matchup gives him a good chance at upside. The Bucs have yielded the second-most yards to WRs this season and the most since Week 11. They have allowed the fourth-most yards and second-most touchdowns to receivers on deep passes. Meanwhile, Ridley has 25 targets in his last two games and leads the NFL with 17 end zone targets. He must be started in this matchup, even if there is a chance he disappoints. 


Tampa Bay WR Chris Godwin has disappointed for much of the year, but he came through last week with 10 catches for 155 yards on 12 targets. He remains volatile, but there's upside this week against the Jaguars, who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy ppg to receivers. Pittsburgh's Diontae Johnson has a touchdown and more than 13 fantasy points in three straight games. He looks like the Steelers' go-to option in the red zone, though the move to Mason Rudolph adds a little more risk. If you start any Steelers player vs. the Bengals, it should be Johnson. Houston's Noah Brown came through in a huge way without C.J. Stroud (concussion protocol) last week, going for 22 fantasy points on eight catches for 82 yards and a score at Tennessee. Nico Collins’ status (calf) should be monitored, but if both he and Stroud are back, Brown becomes a high-upside, boom-or-bust option this week. If Stroud plays and Collins sits, Brown is a strong option. For those in deep leagues, Giants WRs Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson are options against the Eagles, who have allowed the most fantasy ppg to WRs. They have particularly struggled against slot receivers, so I would prefer the safer route with Robinson, but Slayton brings upside as the downfield threat.

Sit 'Em

Terry McLaurin
Washington Commanders WAS

It was quite the tease to get a quick glimpse of McLaurin with Jacoby Brissett last week. He finished Week 15 with 141 yards, a touchdown and 26.1 fantasy points ...after picking up 93 of those yards, the touchdown and 18.3 of the fantasy points in the half a quarter that Brissett played. Now he faces the Jets, who have allowed the fewest yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to WRs. They’re also extremely stingy against deep passes. I have a league with three wide receiver spots and two flexes; I can’t get away from McLaurin there. And I know that some of you are in similar situations. But wherever you can, get away from "Scary Terry."

Adam Thielen
Carolina Panthers CAR

It has been a fall from grace for Thielen. Early on in the season, Thielen was a must-start wide receiver. But we now have six games of Thielen without Frank Reich calling plays. He has reached 15 fantasy points once and is averaging just 9.9 fantasy ppg in those six games. He is also sharing more work with rookie Jonathan Mingo as of late. Now he gets the Packers, who had been extremely stingy to WRs before running into the Bucs last week.

Marquise Brown
Arizona Cardinals ARI

"Hollywood" suited up last week, but if you started him in fantasy football, you might have thought he was inactive. He played just 32 percent of the snaps and was not targeted, as a nagging heel injury ended his day early. Brown has been dealing with the injury for the last month and it has led to him going without a catch in the last two games. Not only has he not scored a fantasy point in two straight games, but he has fewer than seven in five of his last six. He’s been too boom-or-bust and the heel issue only adds more risk. Given how well the Bears' defense has played recently, there’s no way you can trust Brown with your season on the line. 

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Brown has been ruled out of Sunday's game.

Gabe Davis
Buffalo Bills BUF

Davis is as boom-or-bust as they come. You may see the matchup against the Chargers and want to fire him up, but he’s just too volatile to trust in the fantasy semifinals. Davis has not scored a fantasy point in three of the four games with Joe Brady as the OC. In those three scoreless games, he received three targets combined. He has topped double figures once since Week 9. Starting Davis, even in a matchup like this, is bracing for zero points. If you’re a huge underdog, you could take the shot, but otherwise, look elsewhere. 

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