Fantasy Football Week 16 Start/Sit: Start Jared Goff in semifinal week?

After a huge rebound performance in Week 15, should Lions quarterback Jared Goff be in Week 16 fantasy football lineups?
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After a stretch of not-so-great play, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff rebounded big in Week 15 against the Denver Broncos (278 yards, five touchdowns). He finished as the QB1 in fantasy, even if it's unlikely he was started in very many leagues.

To prove how reality and fantasy football can be disconnected, Goff has been more consistent in fantasy lately than he was early in the season. He has finished outside the top-18 fantasy quarterbacks once in his last six games, after doing so four times in his first eight games. He has multiple passing touchdowns in five of those six, with at least 16.3 fantasy points in those same five.

In Week 16, Goff faces the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota is middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks for the season as a whole. But over the last several weeks they've faced a lot of backup quarterbacks, and Jake Browning had 324 passing yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 15. Even with that, they've allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last four weeks ( scoring).

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Start Jared Goff with confidence in Week 16?

Over the first five weeks of the season, three quarterbacks topped 19 fantasy points (Yahoo! scoring) against the Vikings, and another topped 16 fantasy points against them. That first trio was Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, which is important context. Goff sits somewhere between those guys and the run of backup signal callers Minnesota has faced recently.

Vikings' defensive coordinator Brian Flores is sure to blitz Goff heavily on Sunday, and that usually goes poorly for the Lions' quarterback. But there is this, via ESPN, which presumably Flores is aware of.

"Stat to know: Goff has consistently excelled against defensive back blitzes. He has the third-highest completion percentage and yards per attempt when defenses send a DB blitz, which the Vikings do at the highest rate in the league."

Goff is being tabbed as a fantasy start for Week 16 by Pro Football Focus and Yahoo!. Part of the premise in both cases is the idea Goff will have to throw plenty against a tough Vikings' run defense, and the game carrying one of the higher over-under totals on the Week 16 NFL slate.

Fantasy owners who have gotten to the second round of the fantasy playoffs with Goff as one of their quarterbacks have clearly navigated when to start or sit him very well. But in any critical week, or any week for that matter, his downside is hard to just set aside and the upside is unpredictable. Ideally, Goff's fantasy owners in one-quarterback leagues have a better option available in Week 16, and being able to bench him is a comforting feeling.


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