Start Em, Sit Em
First off, before I go over start em, sit em, PLAY YOUR STUDS! DO NOT SIT THEM! don't worry about matchups with your best players!
We have finally made it! Week one of the NFL season is here. In this start em, sit em column this week, and every week after, I will not include the obvious big-name players that should be in your lineups. You won’t see Alvin Kamara or Kyler Murray in here. Let’s get to it.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts is a player that can be a league winner. He gets a very favorable matchup in week one against an Atlanta defense that allowed over 20 points per game last season against opposing quarterbacks at home. To add, Atlanta was the worst defense in passing yards allowed last season. Start Hurts with confidence.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers
As a Jets fan, I want this to be a bust pick, but in reality, the Jets' secondary is terrible. Robby Anderson and DJ Moore should have big games. The only thing stopping Sam is his offensive line and himself. The Jets were a bottom-five unit in fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins is a nice sleeper option this week against a Bengals defense that gave up almost 20 points a game to quarterbacks in 2020. Cousins has Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen as well as Dalvin Cook. He is a sneaky start this week.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
The top picks first game is against the Houston Tankins, I mean Texans. Expect Lawrence and his wide receivers to have a big game. The Texans were top ten in passing yards allowed and had the worst rush yards allowed last season. I’m firing up Lawrence as a low-end QB1.
Raheem Mostert/Trey Sermon
I think both Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon will provide fantasy value against a Lions defense that ranked in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. I would rank Mostert as an RB2 and Sermon a decent flex option this week.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
I normally wouldn’t put a higher draft pick on here, but I LOVE the matchup this week for James Robinson. The Texan’s run defense was abysmal last season, allowing over 150 yards per game to opposing running backs. Robinson should have a huge game.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins
Let’s get this straight, Myles Gaskin is a three-down back for Miami. I am starting him this week against a Patriots defense that is in the middle of the road in regards to defensive running backs. I would expect him to merit RB2 consideration.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots
Damien Harris isn’t a threat in the passing game, that’s James White, but with a rookie quarterback making his first career start, I would expect the Patriots to go run-heavy to take the pressure off Mac Jones. With Cam Newton gone, Harris becomes the favorite for goal-line carries against a stingy Miami defense. I think he will merit enough volume for a low-end RB2/Flex play.
Marvin Jones/Laviska Shenault
The Houston Texans' defense is on a severe decline, and ranking top ten in passing yards allowed, should give room for Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault to get a handful of targets. Expect Shenault to run some gadget plays such as jet sweeps, and Marvin Jones is a very sneaky flex play that could run up to double digits.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers
The New York Jets have one of the worst secondaries on paper. With Bryce Hall matching up against DJ Moore, Anderson could likely line up against a mid-round rookie. With Sam Darnold back throwing him passes, Anderson could easily have a monster game against the Jets. The Jets' defense ranked near the bottom overall in total defense last season.
Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts
TY Hilton is on the IR, and Paris Campbell is already battling an injury. Enter the second-year wideout who becomes the top target for Carson Wentz. The Seahawks were a bottom three unit in total passing yards allowed. Pittman could be set up nicely for a breakout.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Rondale Moore is a perfect start in deeper leagues such as the Scott Fish Bowl or Warrior Bowl. The Tennessee Titans were a bottom three unit in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. The Cardinals also lined up a lot in four-receiver sets, meaning Moore should see the field fairly often. Rondale Moore is setting up to be on every waiver wire article next week.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Austin Hooper is a nice sleeper stream this week. The Kansas City Chiefs were a bottom ten unit last year in fantasy to opposing tight ends. With a shootout possible, expect Baker Mayfield to throw the ball a lot this game.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
With Gerald Everett gone, and Matthew Stafford playing quarterback, Higbee becomes a nice play this week against a Chicago Bears defense that was a bottom-five unit last year to opposing tight ends.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers
Digging deep here, and I come up with Eric Ebron. The Buffalo Bills surprisingly were a bottom-five unit in receiving yards allowed to opposing tight ends. I expect Pittsburgh to need to throw the ball a lot in this game.
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos
Teddy Bridgewater is starting for the Denver Broncos but draws an under-the-radar tough matchup on the road against the Giants. They were a top-five team last year against opposing quarterbacks
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr is a lowkey sleeper in Superflex leagues. However, he draws a tough matchup this week at home against the Ravens. The Ravens have been stingy against opposing quarterbacks, and I expect this to be a rough night for Carr.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs draws a tough week one matchup against a good Ravens defense that keeps opposing running backs under 100 yards. With Kenyan Drake in the backfield as well, Jacobs is a shaky start.
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
With Sony Michel arriving in LA, and Henderson coming off an injury, he needs to prove himself. The bears are not an ideal matchup. They are a top ten unit in fantasy points allowed to running backs.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon has to deal with the pressure of having rookie Javonte Williams behind him. The Giants are a good matchup on paper for opposing running backs, but the backfield split is unknown, and something I may avoid if I have better options.
Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons
Mike Davis draws a matchup against a sneaky Philadelphia Eagle defense that was top ten in the fewest points allowed to opposing running backs. He’s a flex option at best for me this week.
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
I’m not sold on D’Andre Swift yet. He fought a groin injury this summer and was cleared just this week. The Lions claim he’s not on a count but he’s got Jamaal Williams behind him who was signed by the current staff. To add, the San Francisco 49ers who had a top ten run defense in 2020
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Going against the Buffalo Bills isn’t an ideal first matchup for Chase Claypool. The Bills kept him to three catches for fifteen yards last season. To add, the Bills have a top-tier passing defense.
Kenny Golladay, New York Giants
Kenny Golladay has question marks on his health. He battled a hamstring injury this summer. He finds himself on a team with a shaky offensive line and a quarterback fighting to prove his spot. The Broncos defense is a middle-of-the-pack defense, but I’m sitting on Golladay this week unless I don’t have a better option.
Mike Williams, Los Angles Chargers
Mike Williams is entering a potential breakout season if he can remain healthy. However, this Sunday he plays a Washington team that is one of the best in the league against opposing wide receivers in fantasy.
Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns
Odell Beckham is back! Coming off a torn ACL, Beckham returns to the field this Sunday. He draws a tough matchup against a Kansas City defense that ranks among the top against yards allowed to opposing wide receivers.
Jared Cook, Los Angles Chargers
For tight-end streamers, Jared Cook is a very good option this season. This week though, he gets a tough draw against Washington who ranks in the top ten in the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
With Zach Ertz fully committed to the Eagles, I’m fading Goedert in my lists. Last season with Jalen Hurts he never exceeded double-digit fantasy points in three full games. He may need a few weeks to build some in-game chemistry.
Defensive stream options
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (in Jacksonville)
Denver Broncos at New York Giants