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Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 16


In a divisional game, this one is a great finale for Monday Night Football. Not just for real football, but especially for fantasy.

There are a ton of stars in this game. Despite Dalvin Cook looking extremely unlikely to play, the rest of the rosters are stacked and should provide a fantasy bonanza.

With that said, let us get started immediately in finding the players to start or sit. You can also read about Sunday's matchups, broken down by Pierre Camus and Chris O'Reilly.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings

Game Time: Monday December 23, 2019 @8:15 pm
Game Line: Minnesota Vikings -5.5 O/U 47

Team Records:
Green Bay Packers 11-3
Minnesota Vikings 10-4

Green Bay Packers Offensive Rankings: Pass 17th, Run 17th
Green Bay Packers Defensive Rankings: Pass 22nd, Run 24th
Minnesota Vikings Offensive Rankings: Pass 12th, Run 4th
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Rankings: Pass 20th, Run 8th

 

Must Starts:

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN) - Cousins is a top-10 quarterback in fantasy this season and he has even been more consistent than the man on the other side of the field in Aaron Rodgers.

With Stefon Diggs staying healthy and Adam Thielen finally back, the weapons in the pass game are there. This is great considering that Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are both set to miss the game. This will put great pressure on Cousins to find his receivers.

A big statistical game is in store for Cousins inside the friendly confines of US Bank Stadium. The Packers Defense has been lacking of late making what was a difficult matchup less so now. The fears of Kirk Cousins in primetime games are valid, but we have seen games from him this season which have started to put those fears to rest. That includes a big game in Week 13 on Monday night in Seattle. If he was able to bring his team back to the brink against a hostile Seattle crowd, a home crowd should be nothing to worry about.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB) - He has not thrown for more than 215 yards in the last 12 games against Minnesota. He has not thrown for more than one touchdown in his last seven games in Minnesota. Even with these numbers, it is nearly impossible to think about sitting Rodgers in a championship game.

He is still Aaron Rodgers. The most talented quarterback of all time. He can make magic happen in an instant and this game feels like one of those moments. We have been counting him out for weeks now but he hasn’t gone over 250 yards since Week 8. But there is still a gut feeling, a feeling that his time is coming to show his detractors why you never dismiss him in a big game. With the division and a possible first-round bye on the line, this is big time. So, don’t bet against No. 12.

Mike Boone (RB, MIN) - With Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both down for the count this week, Mike Boone is the next man up.

Even in limited work last week, Boone managed 50 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers. In a divisional game this week, the emotions may be higher, but so are the rewards. In this case, the reward could be a division title and a playoff berth.

Mike Boone may not get all of the passing down work; some will go to Ameer Abdullah. But Minnesota wants to run the ball. So, Boone, who is going to be in store for 20 touches, is a must-start. Even if he gets you those points strictly due to sheer volume, he will get you those points. That is what matters anyway, right?

Aaron Jones (RB, GB) - Free Aaron Jones. This has been a fantasy mantra for two years now and Green Bay has finally listened. Some of this was due to the multiweek injury to Davante Adams and some of it was due to his newfound ability to pass block. Whatever the reasons, we are just happy to see it finally come to fruition.

Don’t bother worrying whether or not to start Jones in a tough matchup. Yes, the Vikings are better against the run than they are against the pass. But Jones has the talent to overcome the defense. There are certain levels of players that you start no matter the game. In 2019, Jones has emerged as one of those players.

Davante Adams (WR, GB) - In a season full of injuries for big players, Adams was one of the major victims. A preseason contender for the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver, it has been a down season for the star wideout. Not only is he not going to get to the 12-touchdown threshold he has reached in three straight seasons, but Aaron Rodgers has not been looking his way quite as much. Due to the performance of Aaron Jones this season, Adams is no longer the only man in town. Rodgers has felt more comfortable using other receivers. This is great for Green Bay but bad for fantasy owners who thought it would be a one-man-band. Despite this, Adams is still a top-five receiver in the NFL. He is still a must-start. And going up against a diminished Xavier Rhodes, he is in a smash spot.

Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN) - Who would have thought Stefon Diggs would be the healthier of the two receivers in Minnesota. But here we are. He has had a surprisingly good second half of the season after a miserable start. This has to do a lot with the injuries to Adam Thielen making him the only man standing. But the top-10 play of Kirk Cousins during that time frame also made it possible. Even with Thielen back, Cousins is still a top-10 play and both Diggs and Thielen need to be started in this important game in the NFC North.

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN) - After a long absence, Thielen only garnered three catches on three targets last week. But the key was, at least he made it through the game healthy. With the Chargers trying to lose the game with seven turnovers, it was not needed for Thielen to do anything more. So, he didn’t. With Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both out this week, Adam Thielen will be asked for more. A task he will perform after another week to recover.

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Jimmy Graham (TE, GB) - The luster has worn off on Graham in Green Bay. Much like O.J. Howard in Tampa Bay, analysts figured if you have a good tight end you use him. And much like Howard, the team said, wanna bet?

Aaron Rodgers is not a quarterback who looks for the position often. It has shown in almost two seasons with Graham and the rest of his career with the other tight ends who were on the roster.

There is a chance Graham might score a touchdown. There always is. But if he doesn’t, there is also a chance he gets a goose egg. In a championship week for fantasy, this is not a risk worth taking. So, look elsewhere.

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN) - Kyle Rudolph just went through a streak of great games, relatively speaking. He scored a touchdown in multiple games and the resurgence talk was rampant. The reason for this resurgence was clear; the necessity of him stepping up with Adam Thielen out of the lineup. In the first game back from injury, despite only garnering three catches on three targets, Thielen’s effect on Rudolph was clearly felt.

Rudolph was immediately relegated to just another tight end as he had only three for 48 against the Chargers. This despite Thielen only playing 50% of snaps and Dalvin Cook missing most of the game. Mush like with Jimmy Graham, there is a chance a touchdown could come. But it is not a safe bet and therefore he should not be a bet worth using in your lineup.

 

Potential Sleepers

Which Players Could Surprise?

Ameer Abdullah (RB, MIN) - He’s back! Ok, for one week maybe. But for fantasy teams, one week could be enough.

Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are out for this game. Mike Boone had two touchdowns last week and is clearly the back to start. But Abdullah will be the pass-catching back in the rotation. This could make him a sneaky start to get you double-digit points, but only in PPR leagues. If you are in a standard league or a ½ point PPR he is not worth a start.

Don’t expect Abdullah to explode for 150 yards and multiple touchdowns. But if 50 yards on three or four catches with a chance at a touchdown is satisfactory, he could be in play here.

Jamaal Williams (RB, GB) - Definitely the second running back to own. Not only is he a better player than Ameer Abdullah, but he has a role set in concrete. Whether or not Aaron Jones is on the field, Williams will have a big role in the offense of Green Bay. Even with Jones being freed in 2019, Jamaal Williams is still getting his points. This allows him to remain in the conversation for a flex start this week. If things go right for the Packers, which they could against a less than stellar Minnesota defense, Williams could finish even higher than flex. So, having him in your flex position could be a boon for you in the most important game of the season. Not just the most important game for you, but for the Packers as well. There could be a few players this week with more potential as a flex-start, but the list is short. So, if you have him, you just might want to start him up on Monday night.

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