It's officially week one! Feels great to be back posting in-depth articles and getting you guys ready to win your leagues! Real quick though, for week one you want to stick to your studs and go with what you know.
Sticking to your studs basically entails starting anyone you drafted in the first 4-5 rounds no matter what. Don't get too cute with your lineups and sit Saquon Barkley because he's facing the Steelers. He's a stud for a reason.
"Go with what you know" mainly applies to week one, but I like to use it as a tiebreaker when I'm deciding between two players. So if those players are Hayden Hurst and Hunter Henry, we know (for the most part) Henry's role on that Chargers team. While Hurst has yet to be a starting TE for any team, nevertheless a new team. So in that scenario you would ride with Henry because we are more informed of his role with the team, as with Hurst it's "How involved will he be?", "How many targets does he get?", "Do other TEs get involved?", etc.
Enough talk, let's get into some WEEK ONE START/SIT ACTION!!!!
START - DeSean Jackson (WR) @ WAS
As of this moment, Djax and Jalen Reagor (practiced in full) are the only healthy starting WRs on the roster. Alshon Jeffrey, although he was able to sneak past the PUP list, has already been ruled OUT for this week. They have other unproven guys like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward, but I'm not expecting much involvement from them. On Top of that, WAS starting (CB) Kendall Fuller has already been ruled OUT for Week One as well.
So it's really just Djax and a rookie WR in his first ever NFL game (outside of the TEs and RBs of course). He may be 33 Years Old, but he's still got that burner speed and he had a VERY impressive W1 performance last year with Wentz (also against Washington) where he caught 8 of 9 Targets for 154 Yards and 2 TDs (35.4 Points). He was the WR2 that week behind only Sammy Watkins (go figure). Jackson doesn't even need 9 targets to get the job done, and he's got big play potential. I'd consider him a solid FLEX/WR2 play, even more so in a standard or half PPR league!
START - Mark Ingram (RB) vs CLE
In a home matchup against the Browns (who allowed a collective 21.4 PPG to RBs in 2019), Ingram has a good shot at starting off on a high note. J.K. Dobbins (who I also love), is currently 4th on the depth chart and will have to work his way up throughout the season. That being said, Ingram will likely not keep his starting role for more than half the season, but we know for sure that he'll get the nod in week one.
Now is the time, in a good home matchup, to capitalize on starting a RB on the best rushing team in all of football. It's really just as simple as that. Ingram may not have as good of a floor with all the guys behind him, but his ceiling in this offense remains elite. He's definitely worth a FLEX/RB2 play in this opening week!
START - Mike Gesicki (TE) @ NE
A lot of people have pivoted from starting Gesicki in light of the fact that he was listed as the #2 TE on the Dolphins official depth chart behind blocking TE Durham Smythe, but as I explain in my BUY/SELL post (link), Smythe is not a threat to his playing time or targets.
Normally, going playing in New England would be a situation to avoid, but it might actually be a good matchup for Gesicki. We can assume the Dolphins will be playing from behind, with Parker banged up in a match against Stephon Gilmore and Preston Williams fresh off an ACL Tear. While Gesicki, playing in the slot has dream mismatches against LBs like Ja'Wuan Bentley and Josh Uche (rookie). The opt outs of Dont'a Hightower and Patrick Chung are crucial and could lead to issues guarding guys like Mike Gesicki on the inside. Plus, as good as the Pats Defense was at stopping QBs, RBs, and WRs, TE was their weak spot last year.
Other Starts explained on IG; Michael Gallup @ LAR & Stefon Diggs vs NYJ.
Desperate Starts explained on IG; Jonathan Taylor @ JAC & Chris Thompson vs IND.
SIT - DeVante Parker (WR) @ NE
Parker throughout the week was dealing with hamstring injury, which lead to three consecutive limited practices before logging a full practice on Friday. So hopefully the hamstring won't be an issue, but that's not guaranteed. Outside of injury concerns, Parker is matched up against the toughest CB in the entire league, Stephon Gilmore.
In their first meeting in 2019, Gilmore held Parker to exactly ZERO catches. While in their W17 meeting Parker torched him for 137 Yards on 8 Catches. Both are pretty extreme outcomes, but considering both tract records I'd lean Gilmore's way in this 3rd Meeting. Parker dealing with hamstring issues only puts Gilmore at a bigger advantage, and I'm sure Gilly is itching to hand it to Parker after he mocked him on Instagram last year (link).
SIT - James Robinson (RB) vs IND
After placing both Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo on three week IR, Robinson figures to "carry the load" as the teams starting RB. Pretty impressive role for an undrafted free agent rookie who's never touched an NFL field. I'm fine stashing him and awaiting results, but not starting him.
It's almost too impressive to buy into, and maybe he could pan out, but trust me, this is NOT the game to test him out in your lineups. Chris Thompson is going to be on the field for all passing situations, and they WILL be playing from behind. The Colts also quietly had one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL last year and have only added NFC Champion DeForest Buckner to their DL. Plus, rookie (WR) Laviska Shenault figures to play a Cordarelle Patterson type role and has the chance to get some work as a runner. Did I mention he's an UDFA Rookie playing his first ever NFL Game?
SIT - Courtland Sutton (WR) vs TEN
Honestly, it's not a bad matchup, and if Sutton was healthy I would probably have him as one of my starts. But suffering a sprained AC Joint halfway through the week is just not good for his availability. ESPECIALLY, because it's the unknown of Monday Night Football. Meaning if he's still questionable Sunday at before the early games, you keep Sutton in, and Sunday night a report pops up that he's doubtful/out or will play limited snaps.
It's a situation that hopefully most can afford to avoid. But it does make guys like Noah Fant and even rookie (WR) Jerry Jeudy more appealing.
Other Sits explained on IG; Daniel Jones vs PIT & Leonard Fournette @ NO
Lower Expectations explained on IG; Miles Sanders @ WAS & Kenny Golladay vs CHI
Enjoy W1 and may the fantasy gods be with you!