Fantasy football start/sit advice Week 16: Kirk Cousins has top matchup, but presents both risk and reward

Kirk Cousins posted gaudy totals in his first start of the season, and has another prime matchup for Week 16 versus the Dallas Cowboys. We break down the fantasy implications.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins got his first start of the season on Sunday, and he did not disappoint fantasy owners who made the decision to plug him into their lineups.

His line of 381 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and a lost fumble placed him in the top-seven at the position despite his three turnovers against a porous Atlanta Falcons defense. This week, Cousins has an even more favorable matchup versus the Dallas Cowboys, a team that has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than any other team. The chance to build off of a near 400-yard performance while facing one of the league's worst defenses has fantasy owners salivating, and with good reason.

Fantasy Spin: The issue with Cousins' prospects this week is that despite all of the things going in his favor, fantasy owners would be playing with fire starting him over a stud quarterback that likely got them to the finals. No fantasy owner wants to stare at the final scoreboard in their opponent's favor, especially knowing that they had a stud like Drew Brees, Cam Newton or Nick Foles on the bench.

Furthermore, Cousins' statistics, while impressive and reflective of his performance as a whole, are a bit inflated. Take away completions of 62 and 53 yards away, and factor in that five of his final seven drives resulted in either a punt or a turnover by him, and Cousins' first start of the season doesn't seem as impressive. He has enough talent and factors going for him in Week 16 to make him viable in fantasy leagues, but just as much downside presents itself as upside. Start him with caution, but not over any of the usual top fantasy plays.

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