Scott Engel is in his ninth season of Fantasy Football coverage on Seahawks.com. Scott is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. You can find more of his Fantasy analysis at RotoBaller.com and SportsLine.com. You can listen to Scott on weekend mornings and on demand on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. This week, Scott is playing in his sixth Fantasy Super Bowl in his oldest league, which started in 2005.
If you have made it your Fantasy Super Bowl this week, you are likely feeling a lot of nervous excitement. You are on the verge of accomplishing something very special. Yet you are not done with achieving a goal to win a championship. It's a big accomplishment to make it this far, one that should certainly be commended. It is not easy to make it to a Fantasy Football Super Bowl. Now you have to lock in, focus, and not let the pressure get to you.
A legendary story from the Seahawks' run to the Super Bowl XLVIII title is when Russell Wilson asked Terry Bradshaw how to handle playing in the big game moments after the team had won the NFC Championship. "You've got to be really cool," Bradshaw reportedly told Wilson. "Don't let the moment catch up to you."
Bradshaw was right, and his words can apply to how you approach your own Fantasy Super Bowl this week. You may impose a lot of pressure on yourself, overthinking decisions and obsessing about who to start. You may worry about who the other team has and whether your squad can produce well enough to outscore the opposition. You might consider benching some of your best players because of tough-looking matchups on paper.
As we have advised you all season long, though, keep employing the same simple fundamental approaches that have gotten you this far. Just make the most informed decisions you can for your starting lineup, and realize once the games start, it's on the players to execute from there. Knowing what you can and cannot control will lead to a more poised and confident mindset when setting a Fantasy Super Bowl lineup. You can control who you start, and the best lineup decisions are made based on player trends and matchups. You cannot control spontaneous athletic execution once the games start, and that is an inherent risk you take when playing Fantasy Football. Just set your best possible lineup, take a deep breath, and hope for the best from there.
Who your opponent starts and what they are projected to score has to be tuned out. There is no way you can control who your opponent has and very often your team will exceed pregame projections, especially if you have made it to a Fantasy Football Super Bowl. You cannot make any moves to suppress or dilute what the other team scores. Your one prime goal is to simply outscore the other team, and is achieved by setting your best possible lineup based on all the information you have absorbed and gathered.
This is not the time to sit the essential players who have taken you to the brink of a championship. The Rams have the NFC's best pass defense and have allowed the least Fantasy Points Per Game to wide receivers. But there is no way you should even remotely consider not starting DK Metcalf based on the matchup. Metcalf is the No. 5 wide receiver in Fantasy Football, which means he is elite. You don't bench your best players based on matchups alone. The defense doesn't always win in a tough-looking matchup. The best players in Fantasy Football like Metcalf often deliver winning performances against some of the league's best defenses and secondaries they face throughout the year. Fantasy superstars earn their status because they come through against all levels of competition. Your better players frequently perform at high levels when they line up against a formidable opponent. It's a challenge they relish. Don't fear the matchup when it's very likely your better players won't back down from it themselves.
You may feel a lot of self-induced pressure this week, and it may almost be like you are at Super Bowl media day in your mind. There's a ton of questions being fired at you, just from yourself instead of reporters. It just needs to blocked out while you hone in on the tasks at hand. It's time to lock the doors to your mental locker room and make it just about you and your team. Prepare as you always have this year, trust yourself and your proven abilities to make sound decisions, and then trust in your chosen players to help you achieve Fantasy Football glory in Week 16. This is the final step on the path to being a champion, and now is not the time for doubts to stand in the way of your date with destiny.
Fantasy Football Super Bowl recommended starters for Week 16
We help you make tough lineup calls for the biggest game of your Fantasy season here. Many of these recommended starters will pair ideally with your best players, and we also feature a reminder that one top Seahawk is ready to boost your team to a title when it counts most.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers: He will start again in Week 16 and can be utilized as a RB2 replacement or flex play. Fournette rushed for two TDs as the clear goal-line option for the Tampa Bay offense in Week 15. The Lions have the 26th ranked pass defense and have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing RBs. Fournette will not only have more opportunities to finish off scoring drives, he could also provide some respectable yardage totals as well.
Le'Veon Bell, Chiefs: Kansas City will turn to Bell as their starting running back as the Chiefs look to wrap up the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC with a win over the Falcons. Bell should be the top option for TD runs near the goal line, and when you consider Atlanta has allowed the fifth-most receptions to running backs (82), you could see him involved enough to boost his final line with some receptions. Bell is worthy of lineup consideration in Week 16 for at least respectable production.
J.K. Dobbins, Ravens: Like many other rookies, Dobbins has been looking stronger as the season has progressed. The Ravens are making a strong push for an AFC playoff berth, and their running game has been at the forefront. Dobbins has scored in four consecutive games and he is capable of making an explosive play from anywhere on the field. Go with Dobbins this week for some upside, as the Giants have allowed the 24th most Fantasy Points Per Game to RBs.
Chris Carson, Seahawks: At this point of the schedule, what NFL teams are playing for can spur strong performances. The Seahawks are headed for a very important NFC West showdown with the Rams, and Carson is a must-start as a prime offensive option in a game of major significance. Carson has nine total TDs in 10 games played this season, including a career-best four TD receptions. He has averaged 4.6 yards per carry and has been highly efficient when carrying the ball.
Antonio Brown, Buccaneers: In his return to action this season, Brown has looked like he is still in fine playing shape and has been regularly challenging defenders downfield. Brown had his best game as a Buccaneer in Week 15, catching five passes for 93 yards, including a 46-yard rainbow TD pass from Tom Brady. The Lions allow the fourth most FFPG to WRs, so Brown should be considered for your Fantasy Super Bowl lineups if you need a WR streamer.
Rashard Higgins, Browns: The Cleveland passing game has been surging as the Browns attempt to nail down a playoff berth. Baker Mayfield has thrown for over 324 yards per game and has eight TD passes in his past three games. Higgins has stepped forward as Cleveland's clear No. 2 WR during that span, as he has averaged almost 80 yards per game with 24 targets, 16 receptions and two TDs. The Jets are 26th in FFPG allowed to WRs.
Marvin Jones, Lions: Jones has continued to be a quality TD producer, as he has seven scoring catches this season, and two in his past three games. He also has registered eight-plus receptions and gone over 100 yards in two of his past three. Jones has not shied away from being asked to operate as Detroit's No. 1 WR this year. and Tampa Bay is 25th in FFPG allowed to WRs.
CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys: This rookie has flashed considerable promise throughout the season, and had a respectable line in Week 15, catching five passes for 85 yards. He is worth a WR play again this week, as the Eagles are 19th in FFPG allowed to WRs. The Dallas offense looked re-energized last week and the Cowboys remain alive in the NFC East playoff race. Lamb could make some key plays for Dallas in a pivotal divisional matchup.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles: This call sounds highly risky on the surface, as Hurts will be making only his third NFL start. But after an impressive debut vs. a highly respected Saints defense, he was the highest-scoring player in Fantasy Football in Week 15, with 37.8 points. Hurts has quickly revived the Eagles offense and the Cowboys are 21st in FPPG allowed to WRs.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals: We saw the best version of Murray again in Week 15, as he looked fully healthy while leading the Cardinals to 30-plus points for the first time since Week 10. Murray was the fourth-highest scoring player of the week with 33.1 points, also the most he had scored since Week 10. Murray threw for a career-high 406 yards and rushed for a TD, leaving no doubt that he has recaptured his better form in time for your Fantasy Super Bowl.
Austin Hooper, Browns: He has caught TD passes in two of his past three games played, and the Jets have allowed an NFL-high 13 scoring catches to tight ends.
Noah Fant, Broncos: Fant resurfaced with a career-high eight catches for 68 yards in Week 15. In his first meeting with the Chargers (23rd in FFPG allowed to TEs) this season, he had seven receptions.
Week 16 Defensive Streamers
Arizona is a top streaming option vs. the 49ers, who are dealing with some unfortunate QB issues. … Buffalo should be a strong pick again this week vs. New England. … Carolina has been aggressive and opportunistic recently, and should provide quality production vs. Washington.
Fantasy Insider Scott Engel helps you make tough lineup calls for the biggest game of your Fantasy season. Read more: https://shwks.com/uynsq