Saints vs. Rams Fantasy Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 16: Should you start Taysom Hill, Matthew Stafford on TNF?

When the Saints and Rams meet in Los Angeles to open Week 16 of the 2023 NFL regular season on “Thursday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video), fantasy football owners should have plenty of viable start ’em, sit ’em options from both teams for their season-long playoffs.

For visiting New Orleans, wide receiver Chris Olave (ankle) is expected to return after missing Week 15 vs. the Giants. The Rams will also get a passing game boost with Tutu Atwell (concussion) set to rejoin the wideout corps. Overall, given the lateness of the season, both teams are rather healthy with the key, playable assets.

Here’s looking at who to start and sit and also some DFS lineups for the latest edition of TNF:

MORE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
DK lineup | FD lineup | ATS pick | Top props

Saints: Who to start, sit in fantasy football on TNF

Sit: QB Derek Carr

Carr is coming off his best overall game with three TDs vs. the Giants despite limited passing volume. The Rams can be either very giving to the position or surprisingly stingy. Carr is definitely more comfortable at home, and there’s a lot of volatility with him wherever he plays. In an unpredictable QB season, he’s the hardest streamer to trust, so you can do better this week.

Start: RB Alvin Kamara

Kamara has been getting massive touches since returning from his suspension, as this hasn’t been the expected situational committee. Carr will feed him plenty on check-downs, per usual, with some good pressure vs. a banged-up offensive line. Kamara should also have some decent rushing success, as the Rams’ run defense rates in the middle of the pack.

WEEK 16 FANTASY ADVICE:
Sleepers | Busts | Projections | Start-sit

Start: WR Chris Olave

Olave (ankle) missed the Giants game, perhaps to ensure he was ready for this bigger game on a short week. There’s plenty of wild-card implications in this matchup, and Olave should be geared up well after getting in some practice work. He can take it to either of the Rams’ weak outside corners, Ahkello Witherspoon and Derion Kendrick.

Sit: WRs Rashid Shaheed, A.T. Perry and Lynn Bowden

Olave’s return should make sure he dominates the targets after Kamara. This trio was stuck in a spread committee when Olave missed time, so with him back, it’s even harder to trust one more than the other given the tight ends also will be involved.

WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Sit: TE Juwan Johnson

The Saints are fickle on throwing to Johnson, who hasn’t been the expected big factor playing off Olave with no Michael Thomas (knee). He also isn’t the tight end of choice in the red zone, as Jimmy Graham throws it back there. You could get a zero from him easily, especially after he got in the end zone last week.

Sit: TE Taysom Hill

Hill used to be a lock to just get into the lineup in some form, but that was before more mouths were being fed as runners and receivers. He has become more high-risk than high-reward of late with his recent injury issues.

WEEK 16 STANDARD RANKINGS
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Sit: Saints D/ST

They are typically a solid play under Dennis Allen with their potential for sacks, takeaways, and big plays on special teams, too. The Rams are playing clean, balanced, and explosive offense and will be steady at home in prime time.

Start: K Blake Grupe

Grupe is the other Notre Dame kicker (see Brandon Aubrey) performing as a reliable fantasy asset every week. He should get multiple field-goal attempts in a controlled environment.

WEEK 16 DFS:
DK lineup | FD lineup | Best values | Best stacks

Rams: Who to start, sit in fantasy football on TNF

Start: QB Matthew Stafford

Stafford is on an absolute high-floor heater with the chance to push through the ceiling depending on how many TDs he can get with his big-time yards. The Saints’ pass defense is tricky, but so was the Browns’ and Ravens’ and Stafford ripped those before controlling the Commanders. Sean McVay has his gunslinger healthy and is letting him loose playing well off the run.

Start: RB Kyren Williams

Williams has been incredible this season, as no back has been more capable of big games than fellow division runner Christian McCaffrey. Williams keeps chugging along well behind a good run-blocking unit, and the Saints’ run defense can be vulnerable enough for him.

Start: WR Cooper Kupp

Kupp is back to being Kupp. He’s getting schemed open well all over the field per usual under Sean McVay. The Saints are minus Marshon Lattimore ( ankle) on the outside, and that’s caused a trickle-down where Paulson Adebo is their one reliable corner. Kupp can stay hot as a WR1 working inside-outside at home, drawing Alontae Taylor most of the time.

Start: WR Puka Nacua

Nacua gets the biggest break without Lattimore, as he will see most of Adebo. Allen and the Saints should do their best to contain Kupp, but Nacus will see some favorable single-coverage opportunities to stretch the field. He’s a WR2 this week.

Sits: WRs DeMarcus Robinson and Tutu Atwell

Robinson has been solid while Atwell (concussion) has been on the shelf in their 11 personnel with Kupp and Nacua, but Atwell’s return will mean some split usage in that role. There’s too much spreading around with the third target, including sometimes to tight ends (who have a good matchup), to go in either direction as a WR3 or flex.

Sit: TE Tyler Higbee

The Saints have a strong recent history covering the tight end, but they have been more vulnerable this season despite having similar strengths at linebacker and safety. That said, Higbee’s targets and red-zone usage are rather random behind the wide receivers, and you can’t expect him to see enough targets.

Start: Rams D/ST

The Rams have Aaron Donald to help disrupt things reality-wise, but the fantasy numbers aren’t there this season.

Sit: K Lucas Havrisik

The Rams excel in the red zone with Williams and their pass-catchers, and Havrisik isn’t known as a booming volume guy, either.

Saints vs. Rams: DraftKings Showdown lineup

  • Captain (1.5X): Rams WR Cooper Kupp $16,500
  • FLEX: Rams QB Matthew Stafford $10,000
  • FLEX: Saints WR Chris Olave $8,600
  • FLEX: Saints TE Taysom Hill $6,600
  • FLEX: Saints K Blake Grupe $4,600
  • FLEX: Saints TE Jimmy Graham $1,600

A Kupp-Stafford stack, plus grabbing Olave without Carr, makes a ton of sense. Grupe should be busy knowing how the Rams yield field goals. Graham and Hill are the randos here looking for a TD.

Saints vs. Rams: FanDuel single-game lineup

  • MVP (1.5X): Rams WR Cooper Kupp $14,500
  • AnyFLEX: Rams QB Matthew Stafford $15,500
  • AnyFLEX: Saints WR Alvin Kamara $15,000
  • AnyFLEX: Saints K Blake Grupe $8,500
  • AnyFLEX: Saints WR Lynn Bowden Jr. $6,500

There’s the same strategy here with Kupp, Stafford, and Grupe, but here’s going to Kamara vs. Olave and also treating Bowden as the rando to punt on over Hill and Graham.

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