Fantasy football advice, Week 16: Who to start/sit for Broncos vs. Bengals on Monday Night Football
Week 16 caps off with what could be a playoff preview.
The last game of Week 16 could be a playoff preview when the 11-3 Denver Broncos take on the 9-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals, who are clinging to a small lead in the AFC North. As it stands, the teams are in line for the second and fourth seeds in the AFC playoffs.
The Denver injury report leading into Monday is full of fantasy-relevant players. Quarterback Peyton Manning, running backs C.J. Anderson, Juwan Thompson and Ronnie Hillman, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas were all listed. Hillman — who has missed five straight games — and Thompson are the only ones who aren’t definitely going to play Monday, and even those two appear possible. For the Bengals, tight end Jermaine Gresham is expected to return after missing Week 15, and wide receiver A.J. Green will be fine despite appearing on the injury report.
The Bengals will host Monday’s game, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. Here’s a look at the fantasy names to consider:
Start ‘em: Even after some rough performances of late, come on, it’s Peyton Manning. You sink or swim with him. … C.J. Anderson, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas are the same setups as Manning — you run them out there and hope any recent struggles are behind them. … In three games back in the league, Connor Barth has kicked for 43 fantasy points. That’s a must-start rate in all leagues.
Start ‘em?: The Broncos’ defense has improved of late, and with the Bengals’ offense always an unpredictable option, that might be a strong unit.
Sit ‘em: It’s not clear whether Juwan Thompson or Ronnie Hillman will be the team’s No. 2 running back Monday, but for fantasy it doesn’t really matter.
Start ‘em: It’s clear now that Jeremy Hill is the team’s No. 1 running back. He’s averaged 13.4 fantasy points a game in his last five, and must be started. … A.J. Green slumped last week, but he’s still so good that you have to use him.
Start ‘em?: If you’re particularly needy, Giovani Bernard still looks like a flex option, even behind Hill.
Sit ‘em: How could you possibly trust Andy Dalton in fantasy? You can’t even consider him. … Mohamed Sanu’s fantasy value has evaporated. … Jermaine Gresham is only a borderline top-25 tight end, and definitely not a fantasy option. … Mike Nugent had a good Week 15, but he had struggled before that. … The Bengals’ defense isn’t awful, but you don’t like a defense against Dallas.
Start in every league: Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Julius Thomas, Connor Barth, Jeremy Hill, A.J. Green
Start if you’re desperate: Denver defense, Giovani Bernard
Bench: Juwan Thompson, Ronnie Hillman, Andy Dalton, Mohamed Sanu, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent, Cincinnati defense