Start and Sit Week 1

A new Fantasy season is upon us. We can put behind us deflate-gate and all the other soap opera drama that has been going on for several months. Now, we can look forward to a new season of fulfilling our hopes and dreams of Fantasy Football Glory. Each week on Fantasy Assembly, we will have a weekly start and sit column that will help fantasy owners set their weekly lineups. We will give insight on who to start and who to sit – minus the obvious starts like Aaron Rodgers. But, if we feel Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck is not worth the start one week, we will gladly let you know our thoughts. Week 1 is here; Lets Get It On! (all times Eastern)

Quarterbacks

Start:

Sam Bradford vs Atlanta: Atlanta finished dead last defending the pass in 2014. With a great preseason behind him, Bradford has a chance to a have a great season depending on his health. Atlanta’s secondary will give Bradford every opportunity to show why he was the 1st overall pick in the 2010 draft. He should light up Atlanta with 3 TD passes and close to 300 yards.

Ryan Tannehill vs Washington: Washington allowed 24.3 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks last season. Tannehill is on the verge of becoming a star in the NFL. He has plenty of weapons and Washington has many question marks on defense. Tannehill, who is going into his 4th season, has increased his completion percentage, yardage and touchdowns every year. Tannehill will reach those 24 fantasy points and he could easily surpass that number with a huge opening week.

Tyrod Taylor vs Indianapolis: Taylor is the surprise pick to be the starting QB of the Bills. He beat out Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel for the position. Taylor has a nice arm and he has wheels too. The key to this game is how LeSean McCoy can use his running to open up the passing game for Taylor. The Colts defense was 18th against the run last year which could give Taylor a nice amounts of  fantasy points on the ground with a possible TD run. He should also be able to do some damage in the air with weapons like Sammie Watkins, Robert Woods and Charles Clay. Taylor is my Super Sleeper of the week.

Sit:

Andrew Luck vs Buffalo: Due to a strong Bills defense, this sit might not be that big of a surprise. The Bills defense could be the best in the NFL; they’ve recorded 111 sacks over the last two seasons. Last year, they made Aaron Rodgers struggle in Buffalo with 2 interceptions and a fumble in a 21-13 Bills victory. Luck could have the same struggles Sunday. If you have a solid backup, I would suggest sitting Luck this week because Luck owners will be disappointed in his performance. Believe me, this will should be the only time this year that Luck will be on the sit list.

Drew Brees vs Arizona: Arizona is a tough place to play for opposing QB’s during the Bruce Arian era. Brees does have questionable weapons. Brandin Cook could be a star, but he is unproven. The Saints will try to be more balanced on offense this season and we could see Brees’ huge stats coming to an end. I would suggest staying away from Brees this week and I expect just modest numbers throughout the season for the once great NFL fantasy QB.

Alex Smith vs Houston: Smith has had an impressive preseason.  He completed his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver in 594 days.  The last touchdown pass that Smith threw to a wide receiver was during a playoff loss against the Colts in January 2014. The Texans defense will be stout this year and they will be chopping at the bit to hit the QB. JJ Watt and company will make it a long day for Smith. This game will be a low scoring affair with Jamaal Charles doing any damage that might be done to that Texan defense.

Running Backs

Start:

Ryan Mathews vs Atlanta: The Falcons and Eagles will be in a shootout on Monday night, and this could be the highest scoring game of the week. I suggest start em if you got em. Mathews will split carries with DeMarco Murray. Chip Kelly has a way of not playing the percentages and it is paying off. Mathews could get close to the amount of carries of Murray and he should steal a touchdown or two away from Murray as well.

Chris Ivory vs Cleveland: Ivory will be the main back for the Jets. New offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will use Ivory in many different ways against the Browns. He will be involved in the passing game and could reach over 20 touches this week. Last season the Browns allowed 12 backs to reach double digits in points. The Browns did try to shore up their run defense in the off-season, but they will struggle to slow down Ivory this week.

Latavius Murray vs Cincinnati: Murray is the biggest back in the league going against a very good run defense in the Bengals, but the Bengals placed their standout linebacker Vontaze Burfict on the PUP list. Murray averaged 85 yards a game in 4 of the final 5 games last year on a very bad offense. Amari Cooper will open things up for Murray who has a chance to have a big game week 1. He is a solid RB2 this week.

Sit:

Carlo Hyde vs Minnesota: The 49ers will not have any fantasy players this year that will help teams win their league. Hyde is probably the best of a lackluster bunch. The Vikings will have a sleeper defense this year; with Sharrif Floyd clogging up the middle, Hyde will struggle to find room to run on Monday night.

Joique Bell vs San Diego: While Bell is coming off a couple of off-season surgeries, he is still being selected as a RB2 in most leagues based upon last seasons performance. He has not really practiced and he will be limited in week 1. I would start Ameer Abdullah over Bell this week. Bell might have bigger upside than rookie Abdullah as the season goes along, but I would bench Bell this week due to the fact he is probably not in real football shape.

Alfred Morris vs Miami: Morris will be the starter at the beginning of the season for the Skins, but Matt Jones is waiting in the wings to take away touches from him as the season goes along. Morris YPC is way down when Kirk Cousin starts over RGIII. The coaching staff is in love with Jones and they have cooled on Morris. The Dolphins did sign the best defensive tackle in the game in Ndamukong Suh. He will be going up against a rookie right guard and this should keep Morris in check and possibly on the bench as he watches Jones take his job.

Wide Receivers

Start:

Terrance Williams vs New York Giants: Every year, the Cowboys and Giants seem to play in shootouts. Williams, who is starting his 3rd year, has developed a great chemistry with Tony Romo. He got a lot of work in this preseason due to an injury to Dez Bryant. Williams could be the number one receiver on a lot of teams in the NFL and he will score double-digit points this week. He has big play ability and will start the season off big time with a 2 touchdown game.

Jarvis Landry vs Washington: Landry is ready for a breakout season, and he will be Ryan Tannehill’s number one target. He did have 84 receptions last year with 5 TDs, and his role will be expanded this year. Washington will give up a lot of yards and with Landry lining up in the slot, he will have an outstanding week 1 and he should be in your lineup.

John Brown vs New Orleans: Brown has become a favorite of Carson Palmer; they trained and lived together in the off-season. The Saints defense is nothing to write home about. Also, the saints will be without #1 corner Keenan Lewis and FS Jarius Byrd so this will be Palmer and Brown’s chance to connect on a couple of deep balls.

Sit:

Brandon Marshall vs Cleveland: His career is slowly coming to an end. He needs to stay in the studio of Inside the NFL but until that day he will be a starting WR for the Jets. Marshall will be matched up against the Browns great corner Joe Haden. The strength of the Browns defense is their secondary so this will give Chris Ivory a lot of work. Ryan Fitzpatrick will attempt to get the ball to Marshall, but he could be picked a couple of times as a result.

Alshon Jeffery vs Green Bay: Jeffery has been in a walking boot for most of the preseason. He has a strained calf that could be something that lingers during the season. Jeffery has had a nice start to his career, but he has struggled against the Packers. Plus Jay Cutler, who had a horrible 2014 season, struggles against the Packers as well. This matchup seems like a train wreck for both Cutler and Jeffery. The addition of Eddie Royal will cut into Jeffery’s touches all season and especially this game on Sunday.

Torrey Smith vs Minnesota: Smith was a top 20 wide receiver for the Ravens last season and he is projected to be the 49ers number one receiver this year. He still needs to get on the same page with Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers will struggle this year and they could possibly end the season in the basement of the NFC West. Smith will have his good days and his bad days. No receiver in the league is more of a bust/reward type than Smith. Almost half his fantasy points come from end zone visits, but he will not see the end zone much with Kaepernick throwing the football. This week he is going against a solid Vikings defense that will keep the 49ers from reaching the end zone for most of the game. This will be a low scoring affair.

 

Besides for a few examples like tight end Rob Gronkowski and the Seattle D, tight ends, kickers and defenses are a crap shoot. Play your best one and do not hesitate to change them from time to time and play the matchup. For this week I do like:

TE Delanie Walker Tennesse vs Tampa Bay
TE Kyle Rudolph Minnesota vs San Francisco
Kicker Mason Crosby vs Chicago
Kicker Dan Bailey vs New York Giants
Defense Green Bay Packers vs Chicago
Defense Miami Dolphins vs Washington

Good luck week 1 and I will see you next week!

 

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Andy Germani
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.