The Post is fielding fantasy football questions from readers heading into the fantasy football finals to address your lineup dilemmas and more.
What do you do with George Kittle if he is active for Saturday? Can we trust him to start? — Ryan Hallam
Kittle is as close to a must-start as you can get if he is active for this game. It’s highly unlikely the 49ers would urge their star tight end to return prematurely if he weren’t healthy. There are approximately three tight ends you might feel more comfortable starting (Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews), but it’s unlikely you have one of them and Kittle. He’s a high-end TE1, regardless of who starts at quarterback.
You willing to ride with [Jalen] Hurts at DAL or stick with [Ryan] Tannehill at GB? Stick with Miles Sanders at DAL or sub out for Chris Carson (starting [Austin] Ekeler & [Jonathan Taylor])? (If it isn’t clear, I’m having trouble trusting my Eagles) — Joshua Hudson
Hurts is a top play this week and is absolutely trustworthy heading into the fantasy finals. He finished as the top QB for fantasy last week after completing 24 of 44 attempts for 338 yards, 11 rushes for 63 yards and four total touchdowns. Tannehill is also a solid play for Week 16, but Hurts gets the hapless Cowboys, who are allowing the second-most points per game. Start Hurts over Tannehill with confidence.
As for Sanders vs. Carson, I would personally go Sanders. The hesitation to trust the Eagles isn’t unfounded, but the Cowboys are absolutely atrocious against the run and are allowing a league-worst 161.8 yards per game. Carson faces the Rams, who are allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game. Sanders is an RB1 this week.
What to do at TE this week? Full PPR. [Cole] Kmet is on my team. [Evan] Engram, [Austin] Hooper, Jonnu [Smith], [Dawson] Knox, all available on the wire. Who to pick? Who will score the most points? — @TroopaTom
Would lean Hooper over Kmet or anyone else off the waiver wire. Hooper caught five of six passes for 41 yards and scored for the third time this season last week. The Browns have a fantastic Week 16 matchup on the slate against the Jets, who struggle at everything defensively, but especially against tight ends. Their defense is allowing the most fantasy points to the position this year.
I would rank the rest as follows for full PPR: Smith, Kmet, Engram then Knox.
Do you think being commish of your league puts you at any type of disadvantage? — @clippersinfour
I do think it does put you at a disadvantage if you’re a good commissioner. In normal years, being a commissioner adds non-trivial overhead. This year certainly presented unique challenges, forcing many commissioners to get creative with solutions that would placate everyone. Others were forced to adjudicate novel disputes related to Tayson Hill, COVID-19 IR spots and more. All of this has to be done while appearing impartial, which can run diametrically opposite to your own best interests. I’ve even seen commissioners overcompensate in this department.
None of this means you can’t take home the Shiva trophy as the commissioner — it just might be a bit more of a headache.
If healthy, how much are we trusting Keenan Allen, James Robinson, Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott off injury and Myles Gaskin off the Covid-19/Reserve list? — Dan Gerber
McCaffrey is likely out, as of Friday, so let’s toss him out off the bat.
As for the others, each carries risk heading into the finals:
— Allen will likely be a game-time decision for Week 16 while he deals with a hamstring injury. He was clearly limited in Week 15 in Las Vegas and caught just one pass for 17 yards while Tyron Johnson stepped up. If Allen starts, he’s a WR2 with a near zero floor against the Broncos this week.
— Robinson will likely be a game-time decision as well against the Bears after dealing with an ankle injury he suffered in Week 15 versus the Ravens. Even if he plays, it’s going to be a difficult matchup against the Bears, who are above average against fantasy running backs.
— Elliott is “on track” to play on Sunday per ESPN, but how much were you trusting him prior to the injury? He’s been a pretty big disappointment all season, and has finished inside the top 12 among running backs in just four games all year. In his last game active against the Bengals, he saw 14 touches for 59 total scrimmage yards and finished as RB34. If he plays, he’s a RB3 with serious downside against the 49ers defense, which is allowing the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game.
[Justin] Herbert or [Kyler] Murray. [Andy] Dalton just destroyed the Niners but, Herbert is also just as good i hate having two must start QBs — Joe Endwell
Both have strong start appeal this week, but I would go with Murray.
He tapered off a bit in Weeks 12 through 14, but he bounced back in a big way in Week 15 against Philadelphia and finished as QB4 for the week. As you mentioned, we’ve seen that the 49ers can be exploited, and Murray did just that in Week 1. He completed 26 of 40 for 230 yards, one touchdown, one interception and had 13 rushes for 91 yards and a rushing touchdown. This was also against a much healthier 49ers team led by now-injured Nick Bosa on the defensive side.
Herbert carved up Denver in Week 8 and should finish as a QB1, but Murray has a slightly higher ceiling and higher floor.
[Rob] Gronk[owski] or [Robert] Tonyan? Bench two: D.J. Moore, Marvin Jones, [Antonio Brown], T.Y. [Hilton]. — Lyle Green
Both tight ends are strong starts but Tonyan would be my pick. Gronkowski has a plush matchup in Detroit, but the Titans are bottom four in average passing yards allowed per game. The third-year breakout also leads all tight ends with ten touchdowns this year.
Assuming half PPR, I would bench Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton. Brown scored his first touchdown in more than a year against Atlanta’s terrible pass defense, but could easily bagel at any time. He is a high-risk/potentially high-reward play this week against the Lions. Hilton came back down to earth in an easy Week 15 matchup against Houston and has bust potential in Pittsburgh on the road this week.
Would you risk starting [Le’Veon] Bell over Ekeler or [David] Montgomery in the finals? — @TarikCohenFan
No. Montgomery is a top play this week against the Jaguars, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs this year. The second-year back is also on quite the hot streak: He has scored six times in the last four weeks and is averaging just shy of 143 scrimmage yards per game.
Ekeler is also a strong play this week as a mid-range RB1. He didn’t kill you last week after being on a pitch count and should be healthy heading into the Chargers’ Week 16 matchup against Denver.
Bell should assume a more significant role with rookie Clyde Edwards-Hilaire out for the year. That said, he hasn’t been particularly efficient this year and his ceiling is closer to the floor for Montgomery and Ekeler. Both are safer plays than Bell for your championship.
What are your thoughts on Ben Roethlisberger for Week 16? Was Monday what we can expect? — @PeteCarlson
Full on panic mode. After a hot start, Roethlisberger hasn’t looked right for weeks, which has been reflected in the Steelers’ sudden three-game slide. Losing to Washington and Buffalo is at least understandable, but the Bengals? Now Roethlisberger has Indianapolis, whose defense is allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and boasts a strong pass rush led by Deforest Buckner. He’s an acceptable start for two-quarterback or superflex leagues, but he falls far outside the top 12 this week.
Can I trust Chris Carson in my league finals? Other options are [J.K.] Dobbins, L. Bell, or Damien Harris (if he plays…). Thanks! — Chris Cullinan
Carson should be a good start, but I would lean Dobbins. The Ravens rookie has a better matchup (Giants) and has finished with at least 13 fantasy points in half-PPR in each of the last four games he’s played. He’s also scored in each of those games.
Carson’s also been hot up until last week against Washington’s strong run defense. That said, he gets another tough matchup against the Rams, who stymied the Seahawks last time they met in Week 10. I would rank all of the running backs mentioned as follows: Dobbins, Carson, Bell, Harris. Best of luck in your playoffs!
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