It’s that time again. Here are your fantasy start and sits for Week 1.
NOTE: This is a list of players who are on the bubble when it comes to deserving a starting spot for the week. Obvious choices won’t be mentioned, and likewise - some under-the-radar guys, will. Advising you to start Tom Brady offers no value to you as a fantasy owner.
Marcus Mariota vs. Raiders- The Oakland Raiders were among one of the worst defenses in terms of points per game and passing defense. Mariota, at home, should be able to put up some good numbers in the opener.
Christian McCaffrey vs. 49ers- Yes...start the rookie running back for the Panthers. The San Francisco 49ers gave up the most points to running backs last season. McCaffrey will be a huge part of their offense this season.
Devonta Freeman vs. Bears- This is a good week one start because the Bears gave up 122 yards per game last season to running backs. Seeing as Freeman gives you options as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, he’s a good option to open the season. The Falcons will be looking to start off hot after that blown Super Bowl.
Martavis Bryant vs. Browns- The Browns are going to focus most of their attention on Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, understandably so. Bryant has always been on the receiving end of some great plays when he’s had to step in. Bryant will give fantasy owners big returns in this game. The Browns were giving up 250 yards per game in pass defense last season.
Sammy Watkins vs. Colts- It’s a good bet to start any teams receivers against the Colts. They have a good corner in Vontae Davis but he is hobbled. The Rams will be looking to be on the offensive after setting new lows in production last season. Watkins can really take advantage of one of the most porous rosters in the NFL. The Rams will be mentioned again in this post, they’re poised to have a darn good opening day.
Evan Engram vs. Cowboys- Here’s the second rookie to make our must starts list. There are plenty of reasons to trust Engram, a dynamic tight end that New York hasn’t had in a while. Engram will be facing a Cowboys’ defense that gave up the third-most points to TE’s last year. Also, the Giants’ OL is so weak that Engram may have to bail out Eli Manning.
Charles Clay vs. Jets- Clay hasn’t always been the most consistent tight end but he should be a great play in week one against a stripped Jets’ defense. New York is trading assets quickly and stacking up picks for next season. Clay will be a big red zone target this week for the Bills.
Rams D vs. Colts
The Rams are a solid defense for any week but especially when facing the Colts without Andrew Luck. This could be an ugly first week for Indianapolis as we mentioned is one of the worst rosters from top to bottom.
I really like the revamped secondary for the Jaguars and especially against a guy like Tom Savage with limited experience. The Jags have one of the better constructed defenses in the league, they should see good production from this unit.
Sit Them Down
Matthew Stafford vs. Cardinals - Even though the Lions are at home, drawing Arizona first isn’t an easy matchup. They have one of the toughest secondaries in the league and gave up the fourth-least passing yards while adding 14 interceptions.
Philip Rivers vs. Broncos- This is the best secondary in the NFL for my money even without T.J. Ward. In two outings, Rivers never got above 13 points last season. Rivers also threw 21 interceptions last season, he has Keenan Allen back but this is too tough a test for opening day.
Marshawn Lynch vs. Titans - BEAST MODE will have to wait another week to be activated as the Titans gave up the fewest points to running backs last season. They have a sneaky solid defense.
Bengals RBBC vs. Ravens- No matter who gets the start, rookie Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill, or Giovanni Bernard, it’ll be tough sledding against the fifth-best run defense from 2016. The entire front seven for the Ravens will be bringing the pain for any ball carrier.
Keenan Allen vs. Broncos- If we’re sitting Rivers, go ahead and sit his star receiver too. Again, the Broncos’ secondary is going to shut things down for week one.
Michael Thomas vs. Vikings- Drew Brees tends to always put up numbers but the Saints are a different team on the road. The Vikings pose one of the toughest secondaries in the league, I would imagine that Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, and my pal Andrew Sendejo will keep a lid on NOLA’s top target.
Martellus Bennett vs. Seahawks- Green Bay just doesn’t use their tight ends as much as other teams in the NFL. Also, the Seahawks averaged less than six points per game to tight ends last season. They have the safeties that can cover these guys.
Eric Ebron vs. Cardinals- If you’re still drafting Ebron, it’s a mistake. He’s been “poised to break out” for years now. The Cardinals’ defense gives up the least amount of points to tight ends.
Chiefs D vs. Patriots- The Chiefs are playing in Foxboro against the champs, enough said.
Titans D vs. Raiders- The Titans run defense may be able to bottle up Lynch but their secondary against Oakland’s
Must Start Dallas Cowboy of the Week:
Jason Witten- We’re not sure what it is but Witten performs very well against the GMen. He’s caught 146 receptions, almost 1,500 yards, and 13 touchdowns in his career against New York. His catch percentage is 71.9% against the Giants, who are still trying to find a guy that can cover him.
Must Sit Dallas Cowboy of the Week:
Dak Prescott- Hopefully he’ll have better success against New York in 2017 because he had only 17 combined points in 2016 versus their defense.