Week 16 of the NFL season is championship week in a lot of fantasy football leagues.
Since NFL teams are known to sometimes give their star players a rest in Week 17 -- either to preserve them for the playoffs, or reduce the risk of an injury at the end of a season that will end with them not making the playoffs -- it's best to end the fantasy football season before that. No one wants their fantasy championship to be lost because one of their key players was a healthy scratch from the lineup.
For fantasy football managers, it doesn't matter that the Week 16 matchup between the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars pits arguably the NFL's worst team against a team whose hopes of making the playoffs are hanging by a thread.
The Jaguars (1-13) and Bears (7-7) will still field players who can either exceed or fall short of expectations and play important roles in the fantasy football week.
(All scores are taken from Yahoo! Sports' fantasy football scoring format.)
Bears at Jaguars fantasy football: Start 'em
Bears RB David Montgomery
The Bears running game, and their No. 1 running back David Montgomery, struggled for most of this season. In the nine games Montgomery played while Chicago head coach Matt Nagy was the primary offensive playcaller, Montgomery scored just one touchdown on the ground and failed to gain 90 yards in any game.
In the four games Montgomery has played since Nagy stepped aside as playcaller and handed the job to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Montgomery has topped 100 yards rushing three times and scored five touchdowns.
Or, in fantasy terms, Montgomery has gone from someone who had six single-digit fantasy scoring efforts in those first nine games, to scoring 20-plus fantasy points in his last four games. In last week's win over the Vikings, Montgomery racked up a season-high 28.2 fantasy points.
The Bears have finally figured out how to use their best running back, and this week he's facing one of the NFL's worst defenses.
Jaguars RB James Robinson
Robinson is one of the few bright spots on the Jaguars from a fantasy football perspective and a real football perspective. The surprisingly productive rookie is the fourth-highest scoring running back in fantasy football this season, totaling 202.4 points going into Week 16.
Robinson was quiet in last week's loss to the Ravens (11.3 fantasy points), but he's generally a reliable fantasy producer. He'll be facing a Bears' defense that allowed 21.9 fantasy points last week to Vikings RB Dalvin Cook.
Bears at Jaguars fantasy football: Sit 'em
Bears WR Darnell Mooney
It may be tempting to take a chance on Mooney, the Bears' No. 2 receiver who has scored a touchdown in each of Chicago's last two games.
But with the Bears' ever-unstable quarterback situation, it's not worth the risk to start any receiver on this team except No. 1 option Allen Robinson. Mooney's targets are inconsistent; he had just two targets in Week 14 and five in Week 15.
Mooney's 12.5 fantast points in Week 15 was his first double-digit fantasy performance since Week 8.
Jaguars TE Tyler Eifert
If you're in a jam and need to pick up a tight end this week, you might see Eifert's name on the waiver wire and remember that he used to be a Pro Bowler not to long ago with the Bengals. And you might think that the quarterback on a bad team like the Jaguars might look toward his tight end regularly as a safety valve when he's constantly under pressure.
Maybe you think Eifert is a diamond in the rough who will come through for you in Week 16.
Don't bank on it. Eifert hasn't been productive this season. He has not had one double-digit fantasy scoring game all year. His best effort was 9.6 fantasy points in Week 2, when he scored one of his two touchdowns he's had all season.Published 23 Dec 2020, 15:11 IST