NFL Starts/Sits – Week 1

Hey guys – I’m back with my first start/sit article of the season. If you are guys are like me and already down 67 points because your opponent had Mike Gillislee and Kareem Hunt, don’t sweat it, myself and the Fantasy Forecast team have you covered.

Normally I’d have a lot of stats in the article, but it’s week 1, it’s kinda too early for stats. So anyway let’s get right into it starting with the QB position. My starts will be guys who aren’t the obvious choices like Matt Ryan vs the Bears or Wilson vs the Packers, they will be guys who you might have on your bench or on waivers and overlook.


Quarterback
Starts:

Jared Goff vs the Colts – Colts’ secondary is horrible and missing their best corner. The Rams spent the entire offseason signing or acquiring pieces to improve their O-line and receiving core. What better test than Week 1 vs a bottom 5 Colts secondary?

DeShone Kizer vs the Steelers – Kizer is gonna show up throwing. Even if he gets 2 picks I could see 300 yards and 3 TDs. Browns O-line is legit and Kizer has shown flashes in preseason of being a great QB for years to come.

Philip Rivers vs the Broncos – Now this is the interesting one, normally I wouldn’t play any QB against that secondary, but they just lost TJ Ward. Their secondary is completely different from last year, and everyone is sleeping on the Chargers offense.

Sits:

Matthew Stafford vs the Cardinals – Despite what people think the Cardinals secondary is actually probably second best in the league.

Dak Prescott vs the Giants – This should be the lowest scoring game of the entire week in my opinion.  I could see a 21-20 final, with the Cowboys relying mostly on Zeke, who is going to be running angry.

Sam Bradford vs the Saints – Everywhere I’ve looked this week I’ve seen people saying he’s a good start, and frankly I just don’t see it. Unproven run game, horrible O-line, and a Saints D-line with something to prove.

Running Back
Starts:

Todd Gurley vs the Colts – Gurley disappointed everyone last year in the fantasy world, well unless you were going against him. Rams spent the entire offseason revamping their entire O-line and giving Goff some more weapons on his team besides just Gurley and Tavon Austin. I expect Gurley to bounce back in a huge way.

Frank Gore vs the Rams – The Rams’ front seven and is very good and very underrated, but the thing is they are missing the one guy who holds it all together, Aaron Donald. Donald has been holding out for a new contract all offseason, and will continue holding out into week 1. Hopefully when Gore runs for 150 and 2 touchdowns against them, the Rams will see how much they need Donald. Plus, it’s Scott Tolzien passing the ball. Do you really want to bet on him making a good deep pass? I wouldn’t, I expect the Colts to use their run game a lot.

Isaiah Crowell vs the Steelers – Steelers front 7 is another that is very good, but they aren’t elite just yet. They have guys who are pro bowlers and All Pro, but it always seems like they all just can’t fit together, and Crow showed us all last season that he can be a pro bowler himself.

Sits:

Jordan Howard vs the Falcons – Jordan Howard is a very good running back. I think this is going to be high scoring game with both teams passing a lot to stay in it. Plus after last season I can’t trust any second year running back until I see they aren’t cursed with the sophomore slump.

Devonta Freeman vs the Bears – I’m a huge fan of Freeman, but the Bears have a stout run defense. Also Freeman just got paid huge money this offseason, I’ve learned never trust a RB who just got paid.

Rob Kelley vs the Eagles – You might say I’m biased because I am in Eagles fan, but after watching this team in preseason, hearing all the buzz around camp, and knowing how a Jim Schwartz defense works our front seven could be the most ferocious and most underrated groups in the league. Don’t sleep on the Eagles.

Wide Receiver
Starts:

TY Hilton vs the Rams – Yes I know Andrew Luck is out this week, and yes I know his splits without luck are terrible, and yes I know Scott Tolzien is terrible, but the thing is – so is this Rams secondary. This past offseason they went and traded their best corner, who wasn’t that good anyway, for Sammy Watkins. I’m expecting Hilton to be a PPR monster this week because I said above I don’t expect Tolzien to be making many deep passes. I expect most of Hilton’s Targets to be short passes at the first down line. Hilton has the speed and talent to break any of these short passes into huge yards after catch

Deandre Hopkins vs the Jaguars – All I’ve been hearing all week is Tom Savage is horrible and the Jags secondary is legit. While yes I agree their secondary is legit, the Texans had have seen something in Hopkins to offer him his huge extension a few weeks ago, so what better test for him to earn his money than in a divisional game vs Jalen Ramsey and company. If Hopkins can get past Ramsey, it could be a huge day

Keenan Allen vs the Broncos – Now, normally Keenan Allen wouldn’t be on this list because well he’s Keenan Allen, but with his injury history and it being the Broncos, I think people will be scared to play him. I have 2 words for those people – “Don’t be”. This offseason the Broncos cut TJ Ward, now yes that secondary is still elite, but Talib is starting to slow down and we’ve already seen what happens when a star receiver can get by Harris (Antonio Brown 2 TDs). So just like some of the best corners in the league, Richard Sherman included, if you don’t have a good safety behind you it doesn’t matter if you’re the best corner. TJ Ward was a great tackler and coverage safety, I’m all in this week on attacking the Broncos defense and seeing what they are like without Ward.

Sits:

Terrelle Pryor vs the Eagles – The former QB turned WR had a great season last year with the Browns and got himself a contract with the Redskins this offseason. However, this preseason and training camp he has struggled with drops going into the last preseason game he played in he had 0 catches, and I think only finished with 3 or 4 in that game on a lot of targets. Until he can show me he can catch a deep ball from Cousins, he is off my radar.

Sammy Watkins vs the Colts – As I stated above with Goff, the Colts’ secondary is horrible and missing their best corner. Sammy Watkins was a top 4 draft pick for the Bills a few years back and he’s just never been able to stay healthy. While we can’t predict injuries, we can predict chemistry. This preseason Goff had the most chemistry with number 3 receiver Cooper Kupp, a rookie with a some good speed, great route running and awesome catching ability. Kupp was listed as questionable early in the week, but looks ready to go, and I think he will see the most targets out of any of the Rams receivers.

Demaryius Thomas vs the Chargers – Thomas year in and year out continues to be a fantasy star no matter who is throwing to him, but I just can’t play him this week against Heyward and the Chargers secondary. Chargers are a sneaky good team with an underrated defense. I expect Siemian to have a short leash seeing that the Broncos brought in Brock Osweiler, who already knows the system, to back him up. If Siemian gets hurt, which could be a real possibility with his O-line vs that Chargers pass rush, that saps most of DTs value because last time Osweiler was on the Broncos his favorite receiver was not DT, it was Emmanuel Sanders. If Osweiler ends up starting at some point this season I will be trying to get at least one share of Sanders.

Tight End
Starts:

Jimmy Graham vs the Packers – Jimmy Graham is an obvious play this week, but I’m hearing people talking about benching him. If you’re one of those people don’t do it. Put him in your lineup and thank me later.

Zach Ertz vs the Redskins – Zach Ertz admitted this offseason that his biggest issue is he’s better at the end of the season, and Eagles fan let him know it every chance they get. Ertz dominates the Redskins for his career and with Jeffery and Smith on the outside, Ertz might be getting much better coverage and might have more wide open zones.

Sits:

Austin Hooper vs the Bears– I’m expecting this game to be a shootout, and as good as Hooper was last year I’m still not a believer.

Eric Ebron vs the Cardinals– Eric Ebron has a chance at not playing so then he would be a definite sit, but if he does play I would still sit him. The Cardinals defense is really good especially against tight ends and can get to a QB. I’m not sure how many targets Ebron is gonna get with 2 pass catching backs in backfield.

Hunter Henry vs the Broncos – Hunter Henry is an interesting case. I actually drafted him in a few leagues, but this week I’m keeping him on my bench. Antonio Gates is one TD away from breaking the record for touchdowns by a TE so I’m expecting the Chargers to try to get him that record whenever they get a chance, plus Henry might be needed to block with how bad the Chargers O-line has been in the past.

Kicker
Starts:

Zane Gonzalez vs the Steelers– Rookie kicker for the Browns. Looked great in preseason and has a leg that can make a field goal from 50+.

Will Lutz vs the Vikings– Will Lutz was a surprise for fantasy owners last season and he didn’t disappoint. Lutz has shown he has a leg that can hit 50+ and be extremely accurate, which with Drew Brees as your QB, you need.

Defense
Starts:

Cardinals vs the Lions– I’ve said it before Cardinals defense is really good and have maybe the best corner in the league if you throw to his side he’ll make you pay.

Bengals vs the Ravens– Joe Flacco has been hurt all preseason with a shoulder injury. I think the Ravens are rushing him back, and could see them run the ball 30+ times so he doesn’t have to do it all. Bengals have a very good run defense and Ravens have had a lot of O-line issues all camp and preseason. It’ll be interesting to see how this one shapes out.

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