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Week 1 Fantasy Football Start/Sit

Jared Goff
Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Can you hear the choir singing? The sun shining? That’s right. The NFL season is amongst us and all I can say is FINALLY! It has been a long, dreadful offseason. If you had your fantasy football draft, hopefully you came to FlurrySports for fantasy advice because lets face it, if you did, then your commissioner might as well hand over the championship trophy. Start/Sit is a very important article for the guys who have fringe players who might be playing for various reasons: injury, suspension, etc. Let’s get your week 1 roster ready for domination. For any questions or comments go over to my twitter at the link above.

Week 1 Rankings

 

Quarterback

Start

Marcus Mariota @ Dolphins

Marcus Mariota is a perfect fit for teams that have a starter who is facing a tough matchup, or a team who streams quarterbacks from week to week. Mariota had a down 2017, but the Titans were experimenting with the famous exotic smashmouth style that, lets just say, failed to live up to the hype. Miami is looking as the early favorite to finish last in the NFL standings, and Mariota can have a day against an average at best secondary. Not to mention, Mariota has rushing ability to get some points on the ground.

Jared Goff @ Raiders

Breakout sophomore Jared Goff looks to build on a much-improved 2017 season. With the acquisition of speedster Brandin Cooks, and another season of Robert Woods manning the starting receiver spots. Not to mention complimentary pieces Cooper Kupp and superstar running back Todd Gurley, Goff looks locked and loaded for another great season. For week one, Goff faces the Oakland Raiders. Last season, the Raiders gave up an average of 17.2 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, while only intercepting five passes. Goff looks on track for a great week one.

 

Sit

Jimmy Garoppolo @ Vikings

One of the most hyped quarterbacks this offseason, Jimmy G is a candidate to have a great year after leading the 49ers to a 5-0 record when he was the starter. Although I think Garoppolo is a great quarterback, I would avoid starting him here in week 1. The Minnesota defense was one of the best pass-defending teams in the NFL in 2017, only giving up 12 passing touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Garoppolo also does not have an abundance of weapons to throw to, with Jerick Mckinnon tearing his ACL. Do yourself a favor and look to someone else for week 1.

Andrew Luck vs Cincinnati Bengals

Once regarded as a top quarterback in fantasy football, Andrew Luck is coming off a shoulder injury that kept him out for all of last season and then some. Of course, if you were bold enough to draft Luck, you want to play him. I am aiding on the side of caution for week 1. Seeing what Luck looks like after not seeing a regular season snap in over a year and a half is a key factor in starting him. He also may be without his left tackle for this game. I say go with a safer option in week 1 and see if Luck still has what made him the number one quarterback in drafts, two season ago.

 

Running Backs

Start

Alfred Morris @ Vikings

We almost made it the whole preseason without any big time players being injured….almost. 49ers offseason acquisition Jerick Mckinnon tore his ACL on the final play of practice last week, causing fantasy owners to frantically open their waiver wire to see if Morris was still available. The Niners running back depth is shallow, with only Matt Breida, Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert on the active roster. Brieda is listed as the top option, but only carried the ball 10+ times in five games during his rookie 2017 season, while Alfred Morris has rushed for 3,962 yards and 28 touchdowns in a three-year stretch with the Redskins, also under then offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, now head coach of the Niners. I think Morris could be in for a big workload come this Sunday.

Peyton Barber @ Saints

Peyton Barber was officially announced as Tampa Bay’s starting running back for week 1, with rookie second-round pick Ronald Jones III being listed as the third string. Barber will look for a big workload against a New Orleans squad who finished middle of the pack last year in rushing yards allowed. I would be confident in Barber to earn himself a good amount of carries after his impressive preseason.

 

Sit

Kerryon Johnson vs Jets

It’s fair to be excited to start the electric rookie, but it’s also fair to doubt the Lions ability to run the ball. Detroit hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since Reggie Bush left, and I don’t see that streak breaking against the Jets this week. With how the Lions looked in the preseason, it’s worth taking a week to feel things out with Kerryon Johnson.

Royce Freeman vs Seahawks

Rookie running backs are all the rage nowadays in the fantasy football community. Royce Freeman is no exception to this fad. Freeman had a solid preseason, where he earned the starting job over Devontae Booker. I advised against Freeman this offseason, after thinking he’s just another guy. For week 1, I don’t think anyone knows how Denver plans to use the rookie. I would look somewhere else for week 1. Simply put, I’m scared of the unknown workshare in Denver.

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Wide Receivers

Start

Nelson Agholor vs Falcons

After a slept on 2017 season, Nelson Agholor is in prime position to improve on last season’s performance, in which he finished 23rd in PPR leagues. The Eagles will be without Alshon Jeffery for week 1 and potential beyond. The Super Bowl hero Nick Foles will start for Philly, as Carson Wentz recovers from his torn ACL. I have confidence in Agholor to be featured in this Eagles offense, especially with Jeffery not being available. Agholor is a great play for Thursday Night Football.

Devin Funchess vs Cowboys

Funchess is an excellent play for week 1. The Dallas Cowboys gave up the second-most touchdowns (20) in the NFL last year. Funchess is a known touchdown-maker, with eight last season. With Dallas’ rushing defense being top-10 in fewest fantasy points allowed during the 2017 season, Cam Newton could look to the passing game for production. I would look for Funchess to be a candidate for a touchdown in week 1.

 

Sit

Doug Baldwin @ Broncos

Doug Baldwin sat out all preseason with an unknown injury to his knee. Reports are Baldwin will be ready for week 1, but Baldwin himself claimed he will be playing at 80-85 percent. I wouldn’t be starting a player that’s not fully healthy, playing one of the toughest defenses in the NFL, while being on the road. Not to mention, we should see plenty of Chris Harris on Baldwin in this game. I would keep him out and see how he performs.

Josh Gordon vs Steelers

Josh Gordon is back with the Browns and will play in week 1. The concern for Gordon is that he was listed behind Antonio Callaway and Jarvis Landry on the depth chart. Gordon’s week 1 snap count will remain a mystery and will be a big risk for opening day.  I would avoid playing Gordon, and go with a safer option. Gordon is not my cup of tea.

 

 

Tight End

Start

Delanie Walker @ Dolphins

 Officially off the injury report, Walker is a full go in week 1. He should continue to be one of Mariota’s favorite targets, and he finds himself in a pretty sweet matchup. The Dolphins gave up the most points to tight ends last season, with over 1,000 yards given up and a whopping ten touchdowns, and that was with only one actual game against Gronk.

Tyler Eifert @ Colts

He’s back, ladies and gentleman. After a long, rocky, injury-filled road, Tyler Eifert is back and ready for week 1. Tyler Eifert has battled injuries for a few seasons, but is reportedly ready for week 1 after getting some preseason action. In a span of 2015-16 Eifert, he had caught 18 touchdowns in 21 games, but has since not been able to find the field. The Indianapolis Colts averaged 12.1 points per game with 8 touchdowns to tight ends in 2017. With A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert being just about the only two proven receiving weapons in Cincinnati, Dalton will look to Eifert when it comes to the red zone.

 

Sit

Evan Engram vs Jaguars

This explanation doesn’t have a lot to it. The Jags defense was the best in the entire NFL last season, and only allowed 10.3 points per game to opposing tight ends. With Odell Beckham returning, and rookie phenom Saquon Barkley manning the backfield, I would expect Engram’s role to take a step back against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate @ Saints

The Buccaneers pass catchers have a rough start to the season with their week 1 matchup against the Saints. The Saints only gave up 9.1 points per game to tight ends and ranked first in tight end yardage allowed with 577…that’s 36 yards a game. Not to mention, the Saints only gave up 10 or more points to tight ends in six games last season. Tampa Bay is also without quarterback Jameis Winston due to suspension, and veteran Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for week 1. On top of all of this, we do not know how these two will eat into each other’s snaps, so let’s just be cautious this week.

 

Defense/Special Teams

Start

Baltimore Ravens vs Bills

The Ravens defense is a great candidate to have a nice start to the 2018 season. The Bills are starting Nate Peterman, who is famously known for throwing five interceptions before halftime. I don’t believe he will repeat his historic performance (although if he did, this call would look really good). Peterman doesn’t have much experience or the weapons to put up a fight against a strong Ravens D.

Carolina Panthers vs Cowboys

The Cowboys offensive line has been hit with some injuries this preseason, losing center Travis Frederick to a rare illness, which the length of his absence is unknown. Zack Martin has an injured knee that is reported as not an issue, but we shall see. Dallas also has a lot of question marks with the receiving corps, post Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. I know Dallas can dominate a game rushing the ball, but considering rush defense in the Panthers’ strength, it could be rough sledding for Dallas.

 

Sit

Seattle Seahawks @ Broncos

The Seahawks roster has changed more than any team has in years. The Seahawks lost Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and are on the verge of trading Earl Thomas. Denver has gotten stronger with the acquisition of Case Keenum, and looks to have an actual NFL level quarterback. Apparently Paxton Lynch wasn’t cutting it. I think Seattle could be a mistake start here in week 1, as we don’t know what this defense will become after their reign of terror of opposing offenses is now likely a thing of the past. Do yourself a favor and sit Seattle this week.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Falcons

The defending Super Bowl champs head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The Falcons are always a team that I hate starting a defense against. They have playmakers all of the field in Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and potentially rookie Calvin Ridley. The Eagles have a stout defense, but in a matchup with no Wentz, the Falcons can force some turnovers and get into some very positive scoring situations.

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