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Should you play Saints TE Juwan Johnson in fantasy football in Week 16 TNF vs. Rams?

New Orleans has a big matchup vs. the Rams on TNF this week. If you need a tight end for your fantasy football playoff matchup, is Johnson a viable option?

Juwan Johnson of the New Orleans Saints warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers at Caesars Superdome on December 10, 2023 in New Orleans, LA. Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints enter a key matchup vs. the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football in Week 16. The Saints improved to 7-7 last Sunday with a 24-6 win over the New York Giants. In that win, we saw a bit of life from Saints TE Juwan Johnson, who was touted as a sleeper pick at TE before the season for fantasy football purposes. That pick hasn’t panned out for fantasy football managers but is there time to salvage that relationship in Week 16? Johnson is coming off two catches for 38 yards and a TD for 11.8 fantasy points. If he can duplicate that, it would make him a viable option for your playoff matchup. Let’s break it down.

Fantasy football start sit advice: Saints TE Juwan Johnson

Johnson has had few weeks where he’s been considered a startable tight end in fantasy football. Last week was one, Weeks 9 and 12 were the others. Aside from that, it’s been weeks where Johnson has busted or weeks in which he was unable to play due to injury. So overall, Johnson has likely left a sour taste in your mouth if you drafted him with hopes of a breakout under QB Derek Carr.

The Saints get a decent matchup vs. the Rams, who have been scoring a ton lately. L.A. is averaging almost 30 points per game over the past five games. The over/under for this matchup is set at 46 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, with most of the handle and bets on the over to hit. So the public betting splits suggest a high-scoring game. If that’s the case, we can expect Johnson to at least get a handful of targets. Or will he?

One snag in Johnson’s potential for fantasy points is Foster Moreau, who is seeing more offensive snaps the past three weeks. Not only is Moreau seeing more snaps at TE, but Johnson is also competing with Taysom Hill and veteran Jimmy Graham for snaps and targets. In fact, Graham has turned back the clock to score three TDs over the past three games. So really the expectation for Johnson would be tops around 4-5 targets. That makes him incredibly TD dependent in this matchup for fantasy football.

Verdict

Don’t play Johnson. In most leagues, you’ll be able to snag Graham or Hill, both of whom appear to be better options. Hill is definitely a better play in standard formats. You also should be able to snag a TE off the waiver wire. Pat Freiermuth of the Steelers may be available since he’s been injured. Also check in on Darren Waller, who returned for the Giants last week. Either way, Johnson doesn’t feel like a safe play and you don’t want him to bust and score a few points for your playoff matchup on TNF.