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Fantasy Football: Start/Sit Week 1

Hi, it’s Aaron Truesdale and I’m back and ready to give you the fantasy advice you need for the upcoming NFL season. Also, I answer any fantasy questions you may have every Thursday morning through Sunday on Facebook under various fantasy football groups. Be sure to follow me on Twitter.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about my start/sit column. Each week I will be giving my top 3 starts & my top 3 sits at each position. There will be a start & sit of the week at each position with projections. My column will not include the automatic starters. Automatic starters are guys you don’t bench unless they’re injured or on a bye week. I am going to give 2 examples of automatic starters at each position. QB: Josh Allen & Patrick Mahomes, RB: Christian McCaffery & Dalvin Cook, WR: Tyreke Hill & Stefon Diggs, TE: Travis Kelce & George Kittle, K: Justin Tucker & Harrison Butker. For defenses, Pittsburgh Steelers & Los Angeles Rams. Now, I’ve added a twist to my article that will mention a sleeper of the week at each position who did not make my top 3 starters list. Also, a player that is most likely on the waiver wire that you can stream if you’re in a jam at a position. Let’s get started with Week 1.

START

1. Tom Brady vs DAL

Projection: 20/28 | 285 YDS | 3 TD

Brady has this massive offensive core around him and will pick up from where he left off last season. He is up against a Cowboys defense that was terrible last year. I know they made few moves to help make their defense better, but not enough to make them much better than last year. Weak defense versus Brady ends in great fantasy numbers.

2. Jalen Hurts vs ATL

Hurts looked decent last season. He kicks off his year against the very suspect defense of the Falcons. He will go out show everyone that he belongs in the NFL because some are doubtful. Look for a great fantasy day for Hurts against this poorly-improved Falcons defense.

3. Trevor Lawrence vs HOU

Lawrence gets a good matchup for his first official NFL start. The Texans’ defense is bad and they didn’t do anything to improve it. Lawrence will have a field day versus the Texans which will translate into good fantasy numbers.

SIT

1. Tua Tagovailoa vs NE

Projection: 11/26 | 200 YDS | 2 INT | 1 FUM

Tua in my opinion will be a huge bust for the Dolphins and it will show in week 1 against the Patriots. He will lay a huge egg against Belichick and the Patriots. Avoid him this week, and my advice is, avoid him all season long in fantasy football.

2. Justin Herbert vs WAS

Herbert was a beast last season but this week he will come slow against a stout Washington defense. Please don’t judge him on this game and drop him. It will look like he is hitting a sophomore wall but he’s not. He just got a tough week 1 matchup in fantasy football. So avoid him this week but ride him this season because he will end up putting up studly numbers.

3. Dak Prescott vs TB

Prescott scares me with his injury issues. Last year, the knee injury, this year he is already having shoulder problems and for that reason I would avoid him this week and also play the wait-and-see game from week to week to see how that shoulder affects him. Oh, by the way, on top of that – he plays against a tough Buccaneers defense.

SLEEPERS

Sam Darnold vs NYJ

Darnold could be a very sneaky pick up and play if you want to play the matchup game this week. He going to want to hit his former team right in the mouth. I expect he will do just that and get his revenge. If you start him, you won’t be disappointed this week. Also, I believe he will be a breakout player of the year in the NFL and fantasy football.

START

1. Antonio Gibson vs LAC

Projection: 21 C | 116 YDS | 1 TD | 6 REC | 66 YDS | 1 TD

Gibson will start his second season with a bang. With Fitzpatrick there now, it will open up more opportunities for Gibson this season. He has a mediocre matchup against the Chargers’ defense and he will shine, so don’t hesitate to start Gibson. Also, this is a no-brainer.

2. James Robinson vs HOU

Robinson didn’t have as much fantasy momentum going into the season because the Jaguars drafted Etienne out of Clemson. However, things opened back up and gained momentum when Etienne going down with a season-ending injury. Week 1 Robinson has an A+ matchup against a terrible Texans team. He should be started with confidence in all fantasy football formats.

3. Najee Harris vs BUF

Harris will start his rookie season off with a huge bang and he will start the road to offensive rookie of the year. He will surprise many people in week 1 with his hard-hitting and explosive running style. Trust him in week 1 and beyond, as he will turn into a must-start every week. Even against a decent Bills defense, he won’t disappoint.

SIT

1. Josh Jacobs vs BAL

Projection: 12 C | 48 YDS | 2 REC | 7 YDS

Tough draw in week 1 for Jacobs against one of the deadliest defenses in the NFL of the Ravens. Plus, he may not be able to be trusted early on until we see what his timeshare is with Drake this season. It is a wait-and-see situation in fantasy football until we see how the Raiders’ backfield will work.

2. Joe Mixon vs MIN

Mixon is injury-prone so it is a matter of time until he gets injured this season. Even when healthy, he isn’t a very good fantasy football running back. He is overhyped in fantasy football every season and this year will be no different. Mixon isn’t worth a second-round pick but that is where he is going again this year. My advice is to avoid Mixon at all costs this season. If he doesn’t get hurt, the Vikings will shut him down in week 1.

3. Saquon Barkley vs DEN

Barkley is only here because he is on a snap count this week against that great Broncos’ front seven. Limited snaps + Broncos front seven = no production for Barkley. Avoid him if possible if you have better options on your bench.

SLEEPERS

Trey Sermon vs DET

Now I know Sermon won’t be on too many waiver wires, but he will be on plenty of benches to begin the season. He could be very sneaky play week 1 against a horrible Lions football team.

START

1. Adam Thielen vs CIN

Projection: 6 REC | 92 YDS | 2 TD

Thielen is up against a defensive backfield that isn’t very good in week 1. Also, Jefferson will be the guy that teams plan to stop and he will see double coverage because of that which will open up things for Thielen. Plus matchup against Cincinnati. Start Thielen with confidence.

2. D.J. Moore vs NYJ

Moore is an underrated wide receiver in fantasy football. He is in for a big game this week against a Jets defense that is underwhelming. Also, it’s a revenge game for new quarterback Sam Darnold against his former team, so that will help him as well.

3. Deebo Samuel vs DET

Samuel is an explosive wide receiver when healthy – in real life and fantasy football. Week 1 he got the best matchup you could ask for in the horrid Detroit Lions. Look for Deebo to open the season with a bang. In my opinion, if he stays healthy, he will be a wide receiver 1 in fantasy football. Ride Deebo this week and all season long.

SIT

1. Allen Robinson II vs LAR

Projection: 4 REC | 38 YDS

To be honest, Robinson wouldn’t be here as the sit of the week if Fields was the Bears quarterback. However, since it’s Dalton, he is the sit of the week. Dalton couldn’t do anything with the weapons he had last year and he certainly will do nothing with the weapons he has this year. Also, take into account he is up against one of the best, if not the best, defenses in the NFL which doesn’t help.

2. Keenan Allen vs WAS

The Chargers are going to struggle this week against a stout Washington defense. I would suggest avoiding Charger players in fantasy football entirely this week. Herbert will struggle and with his struggles, Allen will as well.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. vs KC

So I believe the Browns will focus more on the run game than the passing game in week 1. Also, I think when they do pass it will be the tight ends who benefit the most. Landry and People-Jones will do better this week because the focus will still be on Beckham. Avoid him in week 1.

SLEEPERS

Jalen Reagor vs ATL

Now, if you’re looking for a great sleeper in week 1 or a plug-and-play player – I suggest Reagor. I believe he will be the diamond in the rough among wide receivers on the waiver wire in week 1. Also, he is up against a less-than-stellar Falcons defense. So grab him and start him if you need a wide receiver in week 1.

START

1. Rob Gronkowski vs DAL

Projection: 4 REC | 55 YDS | 2 TD

Just like Brady, Gronk will pick up right where he left off last year. Now that Gronk and Brady are on the same page after another season together with the Buccaneers. That just spells trouble for the Cowboys and all other teams in the NFL this season. Start Gronk with confidence.

2. Gerald Everett vs IND

Wilson loves his tight ends and Everett will reap the benefits from that and I love his matchup against the Colts in week 1. Also, Everett, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL. Now that he is a Seahawk he will break out in fantasy football this season and that all starts in week 1. Start him and don’t think twice about it.

3. Kyle Pitts vs PHI

Pitts will come out with a bang in his first official NFL game. He has a decent matchup against a mediocre Eagles’ defense. Pitts will be tight end 1 all season long due to teams focusing on shutting down Ridley and is a must-start in Week 1.

SIT

1. T.J. Hockenson vs SF

Projection: 3 REC | 31 YDS

This offense is by far the worst in the NFL and the only receiver that has a chance this season is Hockenson. Defensives will double-team him to make another receiver beat them. Also, Goff is a terrible quarterback so you can add poor quarterback play to the list of reasons why not to trust Hockenson this season. I didn’t even mention he is up against a tough and healthy 49ers defense. Avoid this week for sure.

2. Robert Tonyan vs NO

Adams is the focus of Rodgers in this offense, plus they brought Cobb back as well which doesn’t help Tonyan’s cause either. The Saints’ defense is pretty good as well. I would avoid Tonyan because he is too touchdown-dependent. Tonyan will begin to fade away in this offense and that will start week 1.

3. Eric Ebron vs BUF

Ebron will not be the tight end of focus in this Steelers team as that job now belongs to Freiermuth. Like Tonyan, Ebron’s fantasy value will also begin to diminish. This game will be a shootout but Ebron will have no factor in the game.

SLEEPERS

Adam Trautman vs GB

Winston is the new sheriff in New Orleans. With that said, if you want a plug-and-play at tight end, I would go with Trautman because he will be the one, in my opinion, with the most targets from Winston in week 1. Those targets will pay high dividends for Trautman. So if you need a tight end in week 1 pick up and play him.

For Kickers and Defense. I’m only going to give a projection and an explanation for the starts/sits of the week. The rest of the top 3 will just be listed with no explanation.

START

1. Matt Gay vs CHI

Projection: 4 XPS | 2 FG

Gay is my choice for a kicker this week. In that high-powered Rams offense, he will kick plenty of extra points. But the Bears defense is good enough to hold the Rams to a couple of field goals. Gay could be the difference between winning and losing your fantasy matchup this week. Remember, kickers are important in fantasy football.

2. Rodrigo Blankenship vs SEA

3. Brandon McManus vs NYG

SIT

1. Tyler Bass vs PIT

Projection: 3 XPS | 1 MXP

Bass will be a good reliable kicker this season but this week this game will be a shoot-out against the Steelers and he will kick nothing but extra points which will result in a low fantasy score for Bass this week.

2. Jason Sanders vs NE

3. Dan Carlson vs BAL

SLEEPERS

Evan McPherson vs MIN

If you want to play matchup at kicker this week, I would suggest going with McPherson. He could have to kick many field goals this week against an improved Vikings defense and might even be trusted as a kicker to start every week in fantasy football.

START

1. San Francisco vs Detroit

Projection: 0 PTS | 222 YDS | 5 SKS | 2 INT | 1 FF | 1 FR | 1 TD

The 49ers are the sure-fire, can’t-miss defense to start this week against the horrible Lions offense. I predict the 49ers will shut out the Lions in week 1. So if you own the 49ers defense, don’t hesitate to start them over any other fantasy football defense.

2. New England vs Miami

3. Baltimore vs Las Vegas

SIT

1. Buffalo vs Pittsburgh

Projection: 31 PTS | 438 YDS | 2 SKS | 1 INT

The Bills and Steelers game is going to be a shootout this week. So I would avoid Buffalo’s defense for that reason. To be honest, I would avoid both defenses in this game. Son, if you have Buffalo’s defense I would search the waiver wire for a plug-and-play this week.

2. Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington

3. Indianapolis vs Seattle

SLEEPERS

Carolina vs New York Jets

If you are one of those team owners who choose the stream defenses from week to week, then I would go and snag the Carolina defense who plays the Jets week 1 off of the waiver wire. A rookie quarterback and a rookie running back means the Panthers will smell fresh meat and take advantage of it. So my advice is to pick up Carolina’s defense and start them in week 1 against the Jets if you need a plug-and-play.

I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope all of my week 1 start/sit advice helps everyone. I’ll be back next week with more fantasy start/sit advice.

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