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Week 1 Fantasy Football Start/Sit

Well, it looks like we are a full go for Week 1 in the NFL, which means it’s time to set your lineup and start off the season with a win. With no preseason this year, there are plenty of question marks out there, so let’s see if we can answer some of yours prior to setting your lineup this week. We won’t be looking at any top flight starters in this article, but rather players who are on the fringes at QB, RB2 and WR2 in single QB PPR leagues to consider. Welcome to our weekly fantasy start/sit!

Tyrod Taylor chargers
Credit: Ben Margot/AP Photo

Week 1 Fantasy Football Start/Sit


Start: Gardner Minshew II vs. Colts

If you held off on QB in your draft and are taking the streaming route, Gardner Minshew II sets up well this week at home verus the Colts. Minshew offers a stable floor with his rushing yardage, and with the Jaguars defense that is quite possibly one of the worst in the league this year, the mustachioed one will be dropping back to pass all day, making him a fine Week 1 streamer.

Start: Tyrod Taylor @ Bengals

If you happen to have Tyrod Taylor on your roster in a deeper league, this is a great week to start him against the defensively-challenged Bengals. Taylor’s dual threat ability give him a solid floor in this matchup, and he has a better surrounding cast than he had in his previous stops with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler providing him with plenty of weapons for a nice ceiling as well. This still hold true whether Williams is active or not.

Sit: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Cardinals

Despite what looks, on paper, like a good matchup against the Cardinals, Jimmy Garoppolo is a trap. The 49ers were the second-most run-heavy team in the league last season and now have a healthy Jerick McKinnon back to complement Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. Their top WR, a banged up Deebo Samuel, is pushing the timeline on a foot injury, leaving Brandon Aiyuk as their top perimeter threat, likely to draw Patrick Peterson coverage. Look elsewhere for your Week 1 starter.

Sit: Matthew Stafford vs Bears

Despite liking Matthew Stafford for the season, this spot is actually risky, with a lower floor than you may realize. Over the last six games against the Bears, Stafford has been under 20 fantasy points three times, including two stinkers of 12.4 and 11.8 points. Now, the Lions have added second rounder D’Andre Swift and Adrian Peterson to the mix and are looking to establish the run more than ever this season. Between this and the matchup, you are likely better off starting your other late round QB, if you have one, or rolling out a streamer if you don’t.

Check out our Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings, including scoring settings for PPR and half PPR leagues! Ranking are updated throughout the week.

James White
Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Running Backs

Start: Jonathan Taylor @ Jaguars

This is a great matchup for the Colts RBs to start the year off against a Jaguars D that was gashed last season to the tune of 205.2 rushing yards per game. Then, they downgraded over the offseason. This backfield is going to be a split between Taylor and Marlon Mack, at least early in the year, with Nyheim Hines also getting some reps on passing downs. Even so, Taylor will have plenty of opportunity to put up RB2 stats Week 1.

Start: James White vs. Dolphins

With Sony Michel coming back from an offseason foot surgery, the Patriots will look to limit his usage Week 1, which will give White several additional touches in addition to his pass catching role. White has a TD in four of his last five games against the Dolphins, and he had three receptions and a TD in both games last season. Albeit with Tom Brady, but let’s not forget that Cam has been very effective with dump-offs and screens, as he completed 80 and 107 passes to Christian McCaffrey his first two years in the league. White is a low end RB2 this week.

Sit: D’Andre Swift vs. Bears

With the addition of Adrian Peterson last week, who is now listed as the starter, to go along with the incumbent presence of Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift already has his work cut out for him. To make matters worse, he has been nursing a hip injury throughout training camp, which has cost him valuable practice reps to earn more playing time. Add these factors up and throw in a divisional matchup against a healthy Bears D, and it looks like a week to sit the talented rookie.

Sit: Ronald Jones II @ Saints

This is a tough matchup to start the year, facing a Saints D that was one of the best in the league at stopping the run last season. In addition, Leonard Fournette’s presence looms and LeSean McCoy will get some passing down work as well. While Bruce Arians has said that the starting job belongs to Jones, he has also talked about Fournette getting a solid role in Week 1. The best option, if you have either, is to sit both this week and wait to see how the situation sorts out.

Courtland Sutton Broncos
Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Wide Receivers

Start: Courtland Sutton vs. Titans

The Broncos have some exciting new additions to their offense this season, with the additions of Melvin Gordon, first rounder Jerry Jeudy and second rounder KJ Hamler. They will provide second-year QB Drew Lock with plenty of weapons at his disposal for the season, but he will look Sutton’s way early and often Week 1, against the Titans CBs who are merely average in coverage. Start Sutton as a WR2.

Start: Stefon Diggs vs. Jets

Whether he did or did not facilitate a trade out of Minnesota, Stefon Diggs has gotten what he wanted — the chance to be a number one. The Week 1 matchup is an opportunity to showcase Josh Allen’s ability to throw deep and Diggs’ ability to go and get it against a Jets secondary that no longer has Jamal Adams covering over the top. They should be able to connect on at least a couple of deep targets to solidify Diggs as a WR2 this week.

Sit: Jarvis Landry @ Ravens

Having just come off of the PUP list a couple of weeks ago following offseason hip surgery, Kevin Stefanski has said that the Browns will slowly work him back into the offense. This almost assuredly means reduced snaps in an offense that will be much more run heavy this season than last. In addition, the Ravens cover duo of Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey are tough matchups as well. It would be a good idea to sit Landry, as his floor is lower than usual this week.

Sit: DeVante Parker @ Patriots

Last season, DeVante Parker finally put all of the pieces together and finished as the WR11 in PPR. This year, though, Preston Williams is back healthy and will assuredly cut into Parker’s target share beginning this week. Parker has also been hobbled by a hamstring injury this week during practice and has a matchup against Stephon Gilmore. It would be a good idea to look elsewhere for your WR2.

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