Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week 1

Well, we waited several long months, and we are finally here to start the fantasy football season. It should certainly be an exciting one. Going into week one is typically a little bit difficult as we don’t know exactly how the offenses, and defenses for that matter, will perform. I am not going to discuss kickers, as it is a position that should be eliminated anyway. I am very excited for this week, but next week I will be turning the article over to a new contributor.

With that being said, let’s move on to the picks!

QB’s TO START:

Derek Carr – Oakland @ New Orleans

In DFS, I expect Derek Carr to be one of the highest owned options at the position this week. The Saints defense should be bad once again, and that will give Carr all the opportunity he needs to put together a big game. Vegas is expecting the same out of him. You likely got him late enough that he was your QB2, but this week, he is in play for the top position.

Matthew Stafford – Detroit @ Indianapolis

Stafford is a guy that I think the average fantasy football player has written off. After all, Calvin Johnson is no longer on the team. Quite frankly, I don’t think that is going to matter as much as folks think. I would not hesitate rolling him out against a Colts defense that will likely not be that good this year. I love him in tournaments in DFS as well.

QB’s TO SIT:

Andrew Luck – Indianapolis vs. Detroit

Oh boy – I’m waiting for the hate to start here. Luck is typically being drafted as a Top 3 quarterback going into the year, but I have very serious reservations about this season. The team didn’t do enough to improve the offensive line, or provide an aging Frank Gore with a reliable back-up, and I think it is going to be tough for Luck to do what he needs to do. I would rather start either of the above over Luck this week.

Jimmy Garopollo – New England @ Arizona

I can’t say that I saw Garopollo drafted too much, after all he is only going to be making four appearances. Still, even in two QB leagues, there will be people who will want to play him due to the others on this offense, and I would just advise to stay away. This is not an ideal situation for him, and you will be better suited going with many other players.

RB’s TO START:

Spencer Ware – Kansas City vs. San Diego

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ll know that Jamaal Charles is highly unlikely to play, and if he does, possibly won’t see much action. Spencer Ware had a pretty amazing preseason and should be the ball carrier here for most of the game. The Chiefs are expected to be ahead in this game, and that could mean heavy doses of Ware in the fourth quarter.

Todd Gurley – Los Angeles @ San Francisco

I almost broke my running back in the first round rule this year and took Gurley in many draft, but I only did it twice to get it out of my system. This matchup is excellent, and I don’t care that there isn’t anything else going on in this offense. Gurley should be able to call his own number in rushing yards in this game and I expect him to put up a massive outing.

RB’s TO SIT: 

Melvin Gordon – San Diego @ Kansas City

For what it is worth, I do expect Gordon to have a much better sophomore season than freshman season, but this isn’t a good matchup for him. The Chiefs are imposing up front, and the offense will likely put a lot of points up on the board, forcing the Chargers to throw. At that point, I think that we are more likely to see more Danny Woodhead than Gordon.

Matt Jones – Washington vs. Pittsburgh

Again, much like with Gordon, I expect Jones to have a great year, but this won’t be the start in my opinion. Pittsburgh has a better than you think defense up front, and I think it will cause Washington to have to rely on their passing game. While Jones can catch, I just like looking to some of the full time passing options.

WR’s TO START:

Sammy Watkins – Buffalo @ Baltimore

I am torn as to how the DFS ownership of Watkins will look [yes, I know this is a season long article], because I think some people will look at the matchup from previous years and thing it is tough. They may also think that he is going to get locked down easily. I disagree. He is an imposing receiver, and I think he’ll be able to pull down a lot of yardage and catches, and has the upside for a few touchdowns as well.

Anquan Boldin – Detroit @ Indianapolis

Bolding was basically going undrafted in most drafts, but I think he makes a nice WR3 play this week. I think Stafford and company are going to score multiple times through the air, and I am banking on Boldin grabbing one of them. He is sneaky and risky, but ultimately, I am reasonably convinced that it will be a good week for him.

WR’s TO SIT: 

Jeremy Maclin – Kansas City vs. San Diego

I have a tough time putting Maclin here, BUT I think this game is going to be dictated so much on the ground that Maclin might not be needed as much. There is a chance that they can get ahead because of Maclin, but ultimately, I think most of it will be going through Ware. If the game flow goes according to what Vegas thinks, there won’t be much passing in the fourth quarter.

Allen Robinson – Jacksonville vs. Green Bay

Here’s another guy who you probably drafted relatively early in your drafts, and I get that he had a big 2015 season. I think the Jaguars defense will be improved enough that a lot of those deep shots that Robinson converted won’t be necessary this year. As a result, I think you’ll see more Ivory and Julius Thomas. I know it is going to be hard for you to sit your top receiver, but sometimes you have to take risks to make money.

TE’s TO START:

Jordan Reed – Washington vs. Pittsburgh

As I indicated with the Matt Jones breakdown above, I think that Washington’s key to success in this game is going to be through the air. Reed is in contention to unseat Rob Gronkowski as the top tight end in fantasy football in 2016. I think Reed will cause matchup problems for the Steelers secondary, and he is my bet to finish the week as the top scoring tight end.

TE’s TO SIT: 

Delanie Walker – Tennessee vs. Minnesota

I think a lot of people need to start to lower their expectations about what Walker is going to bring to the table this year, and it should start in week one. With Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe, the receiving unit is already better, and DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry are markedly better than what they ran with last year. I like Minnesota’s defense as well, and I think it’s a clear avoid for me.

DEF’s TO START:

Cleveland @ Philadelphia

I don’t ever draft a defense with the attention in keeping them for more than a few weeks. Once Sam Bradford was traded, I started drafting the Browns more and more. A rookie quarterback, a suspended left tackle, a poor receiving unit and not the greatest running back group should attract anyone’s attention. If this defense was anyone other than Cleveland, you would have never stopped hearing about them.

DEF’s TO SIT: 

NY Jets vs. Cincinnati

OK, this is gut reaction time: I have a feeling A.J. Green is going to have a monster game, and that the Jets are going to get abused on Sunday. There is no narrative here, and it is nothing more than a gut reaction. There are a number of teams you could play instead, and I would suggest that you do.