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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 16: Buccaneers vs. Rams

Both of these teams have been unlucky this season, and both look more promising going forward than their records might suggest.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 4-10, but have the points scored and points allowed of a team with about 5.5 wins. The St. Louis Rams are 6-8, but have scored and allowed basically the same amount of points, indicating they ought to be about a .500 team. Basically, these are two teams that are varying levels of mediocre that look even worse due to other factors. Sunday, they face off (at 1 p.m. ET in St. Louis) in a game that will help at least one of them look better going forward. Here's a look at the fantasy players who matter in the matchup.


Start in every league: Bobby Rainey, Vincent Jackson, Defense/special teams

Start if you're desperate: Tim Wright

Bench: Mike Glennon, Rian Lindell

The Buccaneers might have fewer players to even consider in fantasy than any other team except perhaps Jacksonville. There is really only one running back worthy of consideration, and one wide receiver. Luckily for them (and fantasy owners), Rainey and Jackson are probably both worthy starts in Week 16. The Rams' defense is good overall, but really bad against running backs, and Rainey has been able to gash middling defenses since getting the starting job. ... Jackson, meanwhile, has finally started showing some consistency, not having one of his one- or two-point no-show games in five weeks. ... Meanwhile, the Buccaneers' defense has been the league's No. 8 unit.

Wright, to an extent, has inherited Jackson's high/low crown, as he has offered exactly one fantasy point four times in nine games, and seven-plus in all the others. If you use him, you have to be aware a one-point game is on the table.

The bloom has come off Glennon's rose of late, with three games of seven or fewer points in his last six. Against a good defense, he's a scary play. ... Lindell has topped out at 12 fantasy points this season, and has scored zero or one field goal seven different times.


Start in every league: Defense/special teams

Start if you're desperate: Zac Stacy

Bench: Kellen Clemens, Austin Pettis, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Jared Cook, Greg Zuerlein

The Rams' defense -- like all the NFC West defenses -- is an elite unit, and one that probably has as high a ceiling as any defense in the game. Against the fifth-lowest-scoring offense in the league, there's a lot of potential.

Stacy has feasted on middling defenses, but his production has dropped way off against top-flight defenses -- he's averaging only 71 rushing yards a game against top-10 run defenses, and that number includes 134 yards against Seattle. Tampa Bay's run defense is No. 7.

Clemens has now started seven games, and he still hasn't topped 70 fantasy points. He's the No. 39 fantasy quarterback. That's amazing. ... No pass-catcher in St. Louis -- Pettis, Austin, Givens, Cook -- has done enough to even consider using in a fantasy finals. Austin, the No. 46 wide receiver, is the highest-ranked Ram at the position, and Cook is the No. 14 tight end almost entirely because of his big Week 1. Take that out, and his 5.5 per-game average falls to 4.1. ... Zuerlein has missed only two field goal tries all year, but the team just hasn't put him in position to score much; he's attempted more than two field goals in a game twice all season.

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