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Fantasy Football: Who To Start Heading Into The Semifinals



Week 16 of the NFL season is upon us, which only means one thing for fantasy football players: Semifinals. While your roster may or may not be plagued with injuries, there are still games to play and, if you’re lucky enough, championships to win.

The Quarterbacks Dilemma

If you already have a solid quarterback, like Josh Allen or Joe Burrow, then you’re probably set. If you are in a two QB league, then you have a few options. My personal pick is Brock Purdy. With the unexpected turn of events the San Francisco 49ers faced this year, Purdy stepped up to the plate. According to Yahoo Sports, he is the 14th-ranked quarterback heading into Week 16; ranked above Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, and Derek Carr. Over the last three weeks, Purdy has thrown for 612 yards, 6 TDs, and 1 INT while averaging 18.5 fantasy points. The weapons on the 49ers offense (i.e. Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle) help set Purdy up for success, and may set your team up for a semifinal win as well.

Running Backs Have Your Back

Rhamondre Stevenson is back in the conversation. While a brief ankle injury in Week 14 set him back, he certainly made up for lost time on Sunday. With 172 yards and a TD on 19 carries against the Raiders, Stevenson made his return known. In 14 games played this season, the Oklahoma product has scored at least 12 fantasy points 11 times. As the Patriots prepare to take on the Bengals, it is a tough call, but Stevenson is still a good option heading into the semifinals.

Receive Some Points From This Wide Receiver

I understand if you’re still upset about Tee Higgins’ Week 14 performance. However, he rebounded in Week 15 with five receptions, 33 yards, a TD and a two-point conversion for 16.3 points. In 14 games played this season, Higgins has averaged 16 points-per-game, making him a great option for your fantasy offense. The third-year WR has 65 receptions, 894 yards (13.6 avg.), and 6 TDs in 2022. As the Patriots attempt to shutdown Ja’Marr Chase this weekend, it could be a big game for Higgins.

Secure Your Team’s Loose Ends With a Tight End

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles activated Dallas Goedert from injured reserve. As one of fantasy’s surest TEs has re-entered the chat, Goedert could be a good pick for your team. While he last played in Week 10, Goedert is one of just three tight ends to average double-digit half-PPR points per game this season (10.2), only falling behind Travis Kelce (16.6) and Mark Andrews (10.3). With 544 receiving yards so far this season, he could be a key player this weekend as the Eagles prepare to take on the Dallas Cowboys without Jalen Hurts.

Get Flexible With This Flex Player

Zay Jones of the Jacksonville Jaguars remains a solid WR3/Flex option in tonight’s game against the New York Jets. In the past two weeks, Jones has combined for 14 receptions, 186 yards, and 4 TDs on 20 targets. He is facing an uphill battle this week as he will likely see Sauce Gardner for quite a few snaps. But Jones has also had at least seven targets in five straight games. Rising to WR21 in fantasy points per game and ninth in red zone targets, Jones may be the flex player your offense needs.

Kick It Into Championship Weekend

With the massive winter storm moving across the country in the next few days, I recommend taking extra caution when choosing your kicker. As much as I love Tyler Bass, kicking at Soldier Field with temperates below 10°F and expected 20-30 mph winds is less than ideal. For a safer bet, I recommend a kicker playing in a dome this weekend like Graham Gano (NYG). Gano made 24 of his 27 field goal attempts this season, including two 50-yard field goals in Week 14. Averaging around eight fantasy points per game, Gano looks to continue his success against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.

Defend Your Title

The Cleveland Browns are set to take on the New Orleans Saints at home this weekend, and their defense draws an excellent matchup. The predicted freezing cold temperatures, snowfall, and high winds in Cleveland this weekend give the Browns a nice home field advantage. This, combined with the Saints allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position, makes the Cleveland Browns a solid tier-two defensive option heading into Week 16.

As the first game of Week 16 starts tonight, be sure to set your lineup and check the injury reports! Also, Go Bills!

Featured Image: Tony Avelar/AP