Start or Sit: Week 1

It’s finally here.

Just like any sport, the beginning of the season brings hope to everyone. Even the teams that drafted poorly have a chance by hitting the waiver wire or the trade market.

This year the start sit article is coming with some extra fun. This year there will be players featured in a contest on No Halftime. No Halftime is the ultimate start and sit DFS platform. Think Derek Carr outscores Cam Newton? Put a contest out there and put your money where your mouth is, or find an existing challenge to accept. No Halftime also has contests in other sports as well.

Each week I will create a contest involving either one player listed as a start or a sit. Don’t agree with me? Take the challenge. Use this link to download the No Halftime app and join the Fantasy Assembly league to challenge me or other readers each and every week. If you are going to download the app, please show your appreciation for the Fantasy Assembly by downloading using one of the links provided. I will always post my paid contests on Saturday mornings and I will post free ones throughout the week for anyone interested in trying it out. Make sure you join the group to get alerted to anytime I post a challenge.


What this article is here for

This weekly article is here to help you through those tough decisions. They won’t all be right, far from it to be honest. I am not going to say to start Todd Gurley this week just to bump up how many of these I hit, just as I am not going to say sit Carson Wentz. These types of recommendations don’t help anyone.

For the starts category I am looking for players started in fewer than 65 percent of ESPN leagues. There might be an outlier or two if there are certain people I feel really strongly about that are slightly over that percentage. When it comes to sit the threshold is just the opposite; players I recommend sitting are being started in more than 65 percent of leagues, although the classic one player positions of quarterback, tight end, and defense.

Not all start and sits are created equal. Saying I would start Eli Manning and Jameis Winston does not necessarily mean I am looking for the same output from those two players.  All of these decisions come in a vacuum. Obviously don’t sit Adrian Peterson if I recommend him as a sit if your next best option is Duke Johnson, and don’t start Matthew Stafford if you’re starting quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.

There is also a digging deeper section that involves players started in fewer than 35 percent of leagues.

If you have any direct start or sit questions feel free to ask in the comment section or on Twitter @TheSportsGuy40. On game days I will be tweeting and retweeting news from the games. 



Matthew Stafford @ Colts: This is one of the highest over/under games of the week at 51. With no real ground game the Lions are rumored to go to the pass early and often. With a sped up offense Stafford’s baseline should be 30 attempts, and in a high scoring game you can expect Stafford to throw it even more. After the bye last season, about the time of the Lions’ coaching change, Stafford averaged 272 yards and totaled 19 touchdowns to two interceptions in eight games. Matt Stafford is my week one No Halftime play against Philip Rivers.

What you can expect this week: 325 yards and two touchdowns

Derek Carr @ Saints: The Saints pass defense was terrible last season and shouldn’t be much better this season. Carr took a big step forward last season with the additions of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and might do it again this season. The only players to not score at least 17 points in 4-point per passing touchdown leagues were Brandon Weeden and Jameis Winston.

What you can expect this week: 300 yards and two touchdowns

Eli Manning @ Cowboys: I don’t think he has the same struggles against Dallas that he had last season. Between suspensions, injuries, and just quality of players, the Dallas defense is in rough shape to start the season. He should utilize extra time in the pocket to find Odell Beckham Jr. a lot this week

What you can expect this week: 300 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception


I am already breaking my rules. There are no quarterbacks I would sit being started in more than 65 percent of leagues. Here are a few that are lower that I don’t want to start this week.

Blake Bortles vs. Packers: I don’t think he is a good quarterback. So much of his production came with them trailing late in games and it is hard to bank on that week in and week out. That being said, this is a classic game for them to get behind early and air it out in a comeback effort, but with so many other good week one options that I actually think are good quarterbacks, I would pass on Bortles.

What you can expect this week: 300 yards, one touchdown, and two turnovers

Philip Rivers @ Chiefs: I don’t like that matchup against a good Kansas City defense. Always a turnover prone quarterback, Rivers is a risky bet against a good defense. The Chiefs held him to less than 15 total points in the two times these teams played last season.

What you can expect this week: 250 yards and one interception

Digging deep

Matt Ryan vs. Buccaneers: This is a really good matchup for Ryan. Even after he struggled to throw for touchdowns last season he is a decent week one option. Do you trust the Falcons to continue to score so many rushing touchdowns? If you don’t you should expect Ryan to find the end zone twice this season.

What you can expect this week: 275 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

Robert Griffin @ Eagles: This is a two quarterback league play. I can’t imagine anyone in one quarterback leagues needing to go anywhere near him. The Eagles’ defense isn’t great. He showed flashes in the preseason, but he doesn’t have Josh Gordon. Between his arm and his legs he can have a decent day for those looking for a second quarterback.

What you can expect this week: 275 yards passing, one touchdown, one interception. 30 yards rushing.

Dak Prescott vs. Giants: The running quarterbacks have a nice weekly floor. I am not going crazy on the Dak attack. Even with what should be a heavy ground attack Dak can have a decent game.

What you can expect this week: 225 yards passing, one touchdown, 40 yards rushing.

Running Back


Ryan Mathews vs. Browns: Shocking news here, but the Browns do not have a good defense. Sure Mathews has health issues, but he is a good running back when he is on the field and he is on the field this week.

What you can expect this week: 85 yards rushing, 2 catches for 15 yards.

Spencer Ware vs. Chargers: With Charles out or limited Ware is looking like he will be getting a nice workload in a fantastic matchup, and he had some nice games last season with Charles injured. Just don’t be surprised if he is splitting time with Charcandrick West rather than having the backfield to himself.

What you can expect this week: 80 yards and a touchdown


Jeremy Hill @ Jets: The Jets had one of the best defenses against the run last season. Hill doesn’t profile well against the Jets’ run defense. This seems more like a Giovani Bernard game to me.

What you can expect this week: 45 yards rushing

Thomas Rawls vs. Dolphins: He is going to be worked in slowly this week and Christine Michael might receive the majority of the carries. The Seahawks should win this one easily so they might try to get him out of the game early.

What you can expect this week: 40 yards rushing

Digging deep

Arian Foster @ Seahawks: The matchup is terrible. The Seahawks might run away with this one by 20 points. Why would I say Foster is a start and not a sit? His ability as a pass catcher. Foster is one of the better receiving backs in the NFL when healthy and he can use that to his advantage this week.

What you can expect this week: 40 yards rushing, 5 catches for 60 yards receiving.

Christine Michael vs. Dolphins: He should get more work than Rawls this week, as Rawls works his way back from an ankle injury, against a bad Dolphins defense. If you are in a deep league, or have no other replacement for Charles or Le’Veon Bell, Michael can do just fine.

What you can expect this week: 60 yards and a touchdown

James White @ Arizona: I don’t think the Patriots do well against the Cardinals without Brady. I expect White to get a lot of work as the Patriots play catch-up in the second half.

What you can expect this week: 10 yards rushing, four catches for 50 yards receiving, 1 receiving touchdown

Charcandrick West vs. Chargers: Ware is by far the Chiefs’ running back people are going for in fantasy leagues, but West received more touches last season. West will have a role in the offense while Charles is out. Unlike much of the community, I don’t think that Ware is a true handcuff because I think West gets work too.

What you can expect this week: 50 yards rushing, two catches for 20 yards receiving

Wide Receivers


Donte Moncrief vs. Lions: The Colts have highest implied team total of the week. Moncrief is the more consistent week-to-week threat in the Colts’ offense and should be targeted a lot in what should be a shootout.

What you can expect this week: Eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown

Michael Crabtree @ Saints: All in on the Raiders against the Saints this week. It is a combination of the bad defense and faith in what Crabtree did last season as the most targeted receiver in the offense.

What you can expect this week: Seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown

Marvin Jones @ Colts: I am all in on Marvin Jones this season and it starts in week one against the Colts. The Lions are going to be airing it out this season, and with no true number one Jones could wind up with 10 targets every week. When you factor in his ability to get into the end zone when the team gets in close, Jones has a great floor.

What you can expect this week: Eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown


Julian Edelman @ Cardinals: I don’t have a lot of faith in Edelman being able to be himself this week. A lot of what he does is timing patterns that he has built up chemistry with Brady over the years, and I think the Brady suspension hurts him the most.

What you can expect this week: Four catches for 50 yards

Jeremy Maclin vs. Chargers: This is a bad game script for Maclin to have success, and he has to face off against one of the better corners in football. Maclin did a lot of his work last season when the Chiefs had to air it out and that isn’t their bread and butter. Even without Jamaal Charles I think the Chiefs are going to try to take the air out of the ball.

What you can expect this week: Five catches for 60 yards

Digging deep

Jordan Matthews vs. Browns: The good: the matchup and he is the number one target in the offense. The bad: he has a rookie quarterback throwing to him coming from a small college that barely played this season. I can understand some of the worry with Matthews, but I think he should be locked in as a high-end third receiver and solid flex play.

What you can expect this week: Seven catches 80 yards

Willie Snead vs. Raiders: If you are on board with this being a high scoring game then the Saints need to have some good performers too. Snead looks to be locked in as the number two option in the passing game and I am not convinced Coby Fleener is going to end up as a top option.

What you can expect this week: Seven catches 70 yards and a touchdown

Terelle Pryor @ Eagles: He might be the number one option in the passing game. He showed some nice upside in the preseason and could capitalize on Josh Gordan being suspended for the first four games. From what I saw in the preseason I think he is more of a deep threat than a possession receiver so if you’re starting him keep that in mind.

What you can expect this week: Three catches for 75 yards and a touchdown

Tight End


Dwayne Allen vs. Lions: Another guy in the high scoring Colts and Lions game. Without Fleener, Allen doesn’t have to split reps with another tight end and should be a pretty consistent check down option for Luck.

What you can expect this week: Six catches for 50 yards and a good chance of a touchdown

Clive Walford @ Saints: Don’t be surprised to see another Raider here. I’m all over the players going against the Saints.

What you can expect this week: Six catches for 60 yards and a good chance for a touchdown.

Martellus Bennett @ Cardinals: As of this writing it looks like Rob Gronkowski is on the wrong side of questionable. At this point even if Gronk suits up he didn’t make the trip to Arizaona. Bennett should play a large role in the New England offense.

What you can expect this week: 5 catchers for 60 yards and a touchdown


Coby Fleener vs. Raiders: As I said earlier I am not sold on Fleener being a great option. He had trouble in the preseason and is rumored to not have a great grasp of the playbook. I think Brees leans on the targets he has more confidence in.

What you can expect this week: Four catches for 50 yards

Antonio Gates @ Chiefs: I have Gates, and because I refuse to carry two tight ends I am starting him in a couple of league because I believe in his year-long value and I can take a one week bad matchup. The Chiefs are great at defending against tight ends, but Gates did have one good game against the Chiefs last year.

What you can expect this week: Three catches for 40 yards and a 50/50 chance at a touchdown.

Jimmy Graham vs. Dolphins: He isn’t ready. If he plays bench him, and if he doesn’t – obviously bench him.

What you can expect this week: One catch for 10 yards.



Rams @ 49ers: Blaine Gabbert is going to be in a fast paced offense. That is great news for defenses. The more passing attempts Gabbert has the more chances for good outcomes for the Rams.

What you can expect this week: 20 points allowed, 2 interceptions, 2 sacks

Vikings @ Titans: This will be a low scoring game. Both teams want to run and run a lot. There wont be as many opportunities for turnovers, but the point total should be low.

What you can expect this week: 17 points allowed, one sack


Raiders @ Saints: The Raiders might be better, but this game has shootout written all over it.

What you can expect this week: 28 points allowed, one interception

Patriots @ Cardinals: The Patriots are shorthanded and this isn’t the week they want to be shorthanded. The Cardinals will have all of their weapons on offense and should be ready to roll.

What you can expect this week: 28 points allowed, one interception, one sack


Fantasy Rundown BannerNeed more start/sit options, position battles, injury news, waiver wire pick-ups, etc.., head on over to Fantasy Rundown.

Andy Germani

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I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.

8 thoughts on “Start or Sit: Week 1”

  1. As always, thanks for the great insights Andy!
    Is there any way you start Giovani Bernard, James White, or Christine Michael over Lamar Miller, Latavius Murray, Michael Floyd, Mike Evans, or Keenan Allen this week?
    My opponent has CJ Anderson… Who went off this week, so I may need to play guys with higher ceilings to catch up.

    Also, is Jay Ajayi now a drop candidate with him being cleary behind foster?

    1. Miller, Latavius, Evans, and Allen are easy starts for me in all formats. Allen even more so in a PPR.

      I might start Michael over Floyd. The only scenario I see Rawls being able to get a ton of works is if Michael is horrible and Rawls steps in and is immediately fine. In what should be a blowout win for the Seahawks I think Michael gets a lot of work.

      I could see solid performances from Bernard and White but I wouldnt be able to start them over anyone you listed. All the players you have are yardage and upside potential guys while Bernard and White dont find the end zone often.

  2. Which WR would you start between J. Landry (Mia), D. Jackson (Wsh), M. Crabtree (Oak), and R. Matthews (Ten)?

      1. Thanks for answering. Would you start Crabtree over any of these RBs as a flex: Lacy, L. Murray, or S. Ware?

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