With week 1 coming up fast, fantasy owners are scrambling to decide whether or not to start the young, unproven stud, the aging vet, or the player with a brand new team. While you and everyone else is bound to be subbing players in and out of your lineup up until game time, we are here to help you make a confident choice. Below is our Week One Start/Sit highlighting depth players that could help or hurt you this week:
Starts of The Week
QB: Philip Rivers (vs KC): You may not realize it but Philip Rivers has been a top 9 quarterback each of the last two seasons and he has more weapons now than ever. The Browns defense looks to be better than they have been the past decade but they are still young and traveling across the country to play a formidable offense. Philip Rivers is a locked and loaded top-10 quarterback this week.
RB: Peyton Barber (at NO): Who is the top RB in Tampa Bay right now? With Doug Martin gone and Ronald Jones failing to step up during the pre-season, Peyton Barber is the defacto number one. The Buccaneers are also going to be relying on the run game with quarterback Jameis Winston suspended for the first four weeks of the season. Skill is a great thing to have in fantasy football but an opportunity is better. Barber should have 20+ touches against a middle of the road Saints rushing defense.
WR: Chris Hogan (vs HOU): This start is a no-brainer. If you have Chris Hogan on your roster, he should be in your starting lineup. Hogan was a WR1 during the first half of the 2017 season before he sprained his A/C joint and missed 7 of the last 8 games. The Patriots only kept three non-suspended (Julian Edelman) wide receivers on the initial 53-man roster which will leave most of the work to one person. Once again, opportunity is king and no one will have a better opportunity than Chris Hogan against a poor Texan’s secondary.
TE: Ricky Seals-Jones (vs WAS): Unless you have Gronk, Ertz, or Kelce, the tight end position is likely going to be a weekly decision for you. Sam Bradford loves to use his tight ends and the uber-athletic Seals-Jones could be looked at often. The Redskins were the 6th worst team against the tight end position last year and Seals-Jones could easily find himself with a couple of red-zone targets.
DEF: Denver (vs SEA): The Broncos defense took a major step back last season when their offense was unable to produce. Case Keenum and company should be able to keep them in games now, and the defense will come back to life. Getting their opening matchup against a Seattle offense that lost its tight end, has a wide receiver that is nowhere near full strength, and a quarterback that consistently struggles during the first half of the season should help as well.
Sits of the Week
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (at MIN): Lets all just settle down for a minute on Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, he may have won all five of his starts last year including one against Jacksonville. But let’s look at what he is going up against. Teams have extended amounts of tape on him and he starts the season off against arguably the best defense in the league in Minnesota. San Francisco also lost its primary running back Jerrick McKinnon to a torn ACL. Let’s just wait a couple of weeks before we make Jimmy Garoppolo the new GOAT.
RB: Derrick Henry (at MIA): Derrick Henry has yet to show what many people think he is capable of. Do the Titans believe in him? They went out and signed veteran Dion Lewis to a sizeable contract. It isn’t the matchup for Henry this week but the unknown. Just like Garoppolo, Henry is someone that needs to prove it to me before I would put him in my starting lineup.
WR: Marquise Goodwin (at MIN): Goodwin will be joining his quarterback in the sit ’em category for week one. Minnesota was the second-ranked pass defense in the NFL and can absolutely shut wide receivers down. It may be hard to sit a guy that has been going in the 5th round of drafts lately, but this is a battle you don’t want to be in.
TE: Evan Engram (vs JAX): Having one of the best rookie tight end seasons ever, Evan Engram was the primary target for the Giants in 2017. With Odell Beckham Jr coming back and Saquon Barkley joining the team, there will be far fewer targets available to go his way. Couple that with the fact that his week one matchup is against arguably the best defense in the league, you may want to stay away from Evan Engram this week.
DEF: Seattle (at Denver): The Seahawks lost Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Sheldon Richardson this offseason. They may still be a good defense but going on the road against Denver who is looking to rebound this season with new quarterback Case Keenum and rookie running back Royce Freeman could be a very tough matchup.