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Just like with my waiver article earlier this week, my suggestions are going to a bit light this week. I’m only going to be making 1 start and 1 sit recommendation per position since it is only week 1. Going forward I’ll have a lot more data, injuries, tendencies and trends from which to base my selections. Also like the waiver wire article, you won’t find obvious names on here — you know to start your studs and bench your duds.

However, as always, please comment like crazy below and I can get to your league specific questions before game day on Sunday!

 

Quarterbacks

Start:

Tyrod Taylor (vs. NYJ): Past few years you would think twice about starting a QB against the Jets. Now, this freshly neutered Jets defense has traded arguably one of its best players in Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks. Taylor is going to run, jump, throw and kick the Jets butt all over the field. If you are a Jameis Winston owner Taylor could be a good spot starter for you.

Sit:

Kirk Cousins (vs. PHI): I know preseason games are meaningless, but Cousins doesn’t seem to be on the same page with his new wide receiver gem Terrelle Pryor Sr. just yet. Last year Cousins only scored 16 and 15 fantasy points against the Eagles and while they have  a new, young secondary, DL Fletcher Cox is still out there for Eagles and he will be in Kirk’s face all game.

 

Running Backs

Start:

Jonathan Stewart (vs. SF): While everyone else is going to be staring at the sexy young stallion Christian McCaffrey, the old trusty mule Jonathan Stewart will sneakily score 20+ fantasy points against 2016’s (and possibly 2017’s) worst defense. I think McCaffrey is going to get slowly eased into games (by mid-season it’ll be the McCaffrey show) but until that time Cam and co. are going to ride the horse that got them there.

Sit:

Ezekiel Elliot (vs. NYG): But, but Kerry! I just got him back and he fell in my draft! Well, may I remind you that Elliot’s two worst games last season were against…the New York Giants (12 points) and…the New York Giants (10 points.) Elliot will be great for the rest of the season (depending on how this whole weird situation shakes out) but Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon’s crew have Elliot’s number.

 

Wide Receivers

Start:

Adam Thielen (vs. NO): With Sam Bradford dinking, dunking and west coasting I expect Thielen to get a lot of targets out of the slot this season. While the Saints smartly spent their #11 overall pick on Marshon Lattimore, his team was still second to last in receiving yards allowed in 2016. Thielen is going to get a lot of looks from Bradford in this game.

Sit:

T.Y. Hilton (@ LAR): This is me putting trust in my boy Tehol ranking the Rams as his #1 defense this week. As I mentioned in my waiver wire article earlier this week, the Colts are out of Luck at QB for Week 1. Plus the Rams actually did place 9th last season in receiving yards allowed in 2016. With Scott Tolzien under center, T.Y. this week will stand for totally yucky passes coming his way.

 

Tight Ends

Start:

Hunter Henry (vs. DEN): In 2016, Henry scored 20 fantasy points with 83 yards and a TD against Denver. The Broncos also allowed the 7th most receptions to tight ends last year. If you need a quick fill in, Oh Henry!

Sit:

Jordan Reed (vs. PHI): This puts me in direct opposition to ESPN who has Reed as their top ranked TE for week 1, but there are just a few red flags for me. 1.) his injured toe. 246 pounds of torque on a toe that isn’t 100% healed can’t be good. 2.) in their 2016 matchup, Reed managed only 1 reception for 10 yards against the Eagles. 3.) in 2016 the Eagles allowed the fewest receiving yards to tight ends.

 

Defense & Special Teams

Start:

LA Rams (vs. IND): I’m sorry for being Captain Obvious here, but Luck is out: so there goes their passing game. 34-year old Frank Gore is the Colts RB1 so there goes their running game. The Rams were ranked 9th in fewest yards allowed in 2016.

Sit:

Arizona Cardinals (@ DET): Despite being the 3rd highest scoring defense in 2016, the Cardinals make me worried against Money Matthew Stafford in week 1. The uber-athletic Golden Tate, Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah will be running all over the field tiring out the Cardinals and causing a lot of frustration and confusion.

 

Kickers

Start:

Will Lutz (@ MIN): With the owner of 5 of the top-10 single season passing yards as his QB Lutz will always have a safe PAT floor. Playing in the cozy kicking confines of US Bank Stadium in week 1 should allow Lutz to get you close to 9-10 fantasy points.

Sit:

Adam Vinatieri (@ LAR): This is less of a commentary about Vinatieri and more about the Colts. I’m again going back to the “Andrew Luck is injured” well. There shouldn’t be many PAT opps for Vinatieri and the offense will struggle to get into field goal range.

 

  1. Jeffrey Gilden says:
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    Hey Kerry –

    2 questions —

    1)
    I’m looking for a high upside player to replace some lost players for the week. Been reading a lot about Paul Richardson. What do you think? PPR league

    QB Brees
    WR Cooper, Britt
    RB M Gordon, Hyde
    TE Ertz
    FLEX Abdullah

    Bench: Zay Jones, D Parker, Evans, D Martin, Perine

    Is Britt an “exciting” enough starter? Would Jones be better there or as flex now that Taylor is playing? Or is Richardson worth a try, and if so, who should I drop?

    2)
    1/2 pt PPR, 2 QB league

    QB Rodgers, Goff
    RB David Johnson, Kareem Hunt
    WR Garcon, Watkins, D Adams
    TE Ertz
    FLEX Ingram

    Bench: Marvin Jones, Duke Johnson, Derrick Henry, Josh Doctson, D Parker, Winston

    Is Jones a better play here than Ingram? Or someone else from my bench?

    Thanks for the help!
    Jeff

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Jeffrey Gilden:
      1.)Britt is the safe play, Zay is the upside play. I’d just watch Richardson for now. Leave Abdullah at your flex spot. For week 1, since Zay is a rookie — I’d go Britt. Not the sexiest pick, but the safer one. Week 1 will dictate what I’ll say for week 2 though.

      2.) Stick with Ingram this week. I’m really worried about Ingram this year though. I think AP takes a bunch of his touches away and I think Alvin Kamara will creep towards more playing time as the season rolls on.

  2. Cobi says:
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    Good morning, I’m in a 10 team Standard League. Should I start or sit Dez Bryant ? Or even trade for Isaiah Crowell, Adrian Peterson etc. ? Because he has a hard schedule all season.

    These are my other wide receivers.
    Mike Evans on bye
    Martavis Bryant
    Stefan Diggs
    Jeremy Maclin
    Devante Adams

    These are my running backs
    Doug Martin/Jacques Rodgers on bye
    Ameer Abdullah/Theo Riddick
    Mark Ingram

    Or should I keep him regardless of how tough his schedule is?
    Thanks for your help

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Cobi: Honestly just looking at your lineup construction right now I would definitely consider trading Dez for Crowell. You dont really have a true RB1 on your team but have Evans and Bryant who I think will be phenomenal this year and I really like the Diggs/Maclin/Adams trio as match-up plays. Take a look around your league at who is weak at WR and see which RB you can poach from them. Especially in a non-PPR league.

  3. Coolio says:
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    It’s the freakin weekend I’m about to have me some fun! Can I get a toot toot?!

    Lol! .5 PPR league; firstly I got hit by Irma on my team; I’ll be w/o Winston & D Parker. However I did add Carson Palmer who gets lions in Detroit rock city! I was also debating between some Monday night magic for sam Bradford who hosts the saints

    Next I made an idiot move I started Chris bleeping hogan on Thursday at WR3, I thought hey may pats will target hogan a ton & he’ll get a TD in there too: nooope! 1 rec 8 yards & two rushes bringing his points to 1.5!

    To make mattters worse I started mcaffery over Kareem hunt at flex! 53.5 pts sitting on my bench

    —-

    Based on my roster & my opponent do I have a chance?

    Here’s my team:

    QB: Palmer at Detroit

    RB1: DJ at det
    RB2: Gordon at DEN

    WR1: martavis Bryant at Cleveland
    WR2: Marshall at Dallas
    WR3: hogan 1.5 pts

    TE hunter Henry at Denver

    Flex: mcaffery at SF

    D/ST: bills

    Kicker: slot is open I dropped lambo since he was cut I’m thinking of either
    McManus vs chargers MNF
    Younghoe Koo at Denver MNF
    Kai forbath vs saints MNF
    Wil lutz at Minnesota MNF

    My bench: Maclin, alshon, Smallwood, Abdullah, Jamaal Williams, snead , Winston, Parker

    ———

    Opponents team:’

    QB: Brees at minn

    RB1: Ingram at minn
    RB2: j stew at SF

    WR1: cooks 9.5 pts
    WR2: Cobb vs Seahawks
    WR3: amendola 17 points

    TE: Rudolph vs Saints

    Flex: adam thielen vs saints

    Giants D

    Kicker gostkowski 9 pts

    His bench Incase of last min swap: decker, Ben Watson, Prescott, Jordan Matthews, vereen, Beasley, Duke Johnson.

    Current score he is up 35.5 to my 1.5.

    – if you were me & based on my RBs would you package mcaffery + Parker for an upgrade at WR? If yes who to target? Cooper? Baldwin? Or just try mcaffery straight up?

    — what about sending my mcaffery + Alshon or Parker for Michael Thomas or is that not enough?

    — lastly waiver Q:

    Hold or drop snead for either Kendall wright, funchess, Brandon Coleman, JJ Nelson,Kupp, Dorsett, Paul Richardson, perriman, galloday, Terrence Williams, Allen hurns

    Regardless If OBj starts or sits is Evan Engram must start? Are you starting him over hunter Henry?

    Thanks man!!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Coolio:

      Do you have a chance: Nothing is impossible.
      Brees>Palmer
      DJ/Gordon>Ingram/Stewart by a LOT
      Marshall and Bryant will help you make up some of the points that Amendola and Cooks got for your opponent.
      Rudolph>Henry
      Bills>Giants
      And I think Lutz could match Gostkowski’s 9 points this week.
      Big games from your running backs could bury your opponent.

      I wouldn’t try and trade McCaffrey just yet. I think your team will be okay.
      Hold on to Snead. He’s the reason you don’t need a WR just yet.
      Nah I’d stick with Henry over Engram.
      Kicker options: I’d roll with Lutz.

  4. Groovygreg says:
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    A few questions…

    1. do you trust Seattle’s defense in Lambeau or should I bench them and go with Carolina’s D against the 49ers?

    2. I see you’re high on Thielen would you go with him over Diggs in that Vikes offense?

    3. In a 2/2/flex league my RBs are LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Isaiah Crowell but my WRs are TY Hilton, Michael Crabtree, Stef Diggs, Thielen… should I sit tight or try to trade up in the WR category

    Thanks!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Groovygreg:
      1.) I’d go with Carolina
      2.) I like Diggs more.
      3.) I’d sit tight.

  5. Henry Muto says:
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    Sure I will sit Elliot my 2nd round pick for ??????????????

    Yah good advice sure he might have a bad game but I am not starting Joe Blow over him come on man.

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      @Henry Muto: i’m pretty sure he didn’t say that, he means he’s lower than most on zeke this week, not “start your worst RB over him”. i doubt say he’d tell you to play peterson over zeke this week or something like that.

  6. Bigbear says:
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    Looking for the golden ticket… Chris Carson or Jamaal Charles? Leaning toward Carson, but if Jamaal is healthy. And if Jamaal can wrestle the starting gig… If ifs and buts were…

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Bigbear:
      I’d roll with Charles for at least this first week

      • bigbear says:
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        @Kerry Klug: Thanks for the Rams D call out!

  7. JohnRamboJr says:
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    Looking for some flex advice…

    A. Robinson or J. Stewart? Ppr

    Thanks in advance

    JRJ

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @JohnRamboJr:
      Robinson

  8. Mike says:
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    Drafted Doyle, but with no Luck…..get it! I’m considering stream Clay or Engram? Am I getting too cute here?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Mike: Nah, I’d stick with Doyle. He might end up being a security blanket for Tolzien.

  9. ziggaman730 says:
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    ppr need to start 2 out of the following. Moncrief, Rob Kelly, Beast Mode

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @ziggaman730: Moncrief, Lynch.

  10. Corey says:
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    PPR Perkins or Blount?
    D Thomas E Sanders A Robinson S Shepard
    Need 3 WRs out of that

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Corey:
      Perkins despite Dallas’s D.
      Thomas, Sanders, Robinson

  11. Blake says:
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    STD league – blount or Kendall wright in my flex spot? OBJ has me scrambling

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Blake: Blount.

  12. Chris says:
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    Hi Kerry,

    For my flex, would you start RB Terrance West at CIN, RB Perkins at Dallas or WR Mike Wallace at CIN?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Chris: Go West young man.

  13. Scott P says:
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    My dilemma,and I am probably not the only one; I have OBJ, but as a game time decision on a Sunday night. Our bench is just six player, so I don’t have a lot of droppable depth.

    Standard scoring, non-PPR 10 team league

    Bench WR are A. Robinson, Tate and D. Parker.
    Bench RB are Ajayi (usually CJ Anderson), R. Kelley, P. Perkins.

    Basically, I start Allen Robinson to be safe. Or, I start OBJ and drop Paul Perkins for Ted Ginn if OBJ doesn’t actually play. I am leaning towards the safe play, but of course am fearful of losing that big OBJ game.

    Any thoughts?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Scott P: Last i heard OBJ was doubtful — don’t have him in your lineup.

  14. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    Just like everyone who has DJ, I need someone to talk me off the cliff (although I still won my week 1 match luckily).

    12 tm, standard with $100 Free Agent budget

    We start 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 Flex

    My RBs are: DJ, Cook, Gore, Mack, Breida
    My WRs are: Kelvin Benjamin, Jeffery, Garcon, Hogan, Maclin

    Available RBs: K. Williams, Kamara, Chris Thompson, Tolbert, Buck Allen

    But I love Golladay.

    My question, do I drop Breida and bet the farm on Golladay and ride with 3 wrs until DJ gets back or do I drop Breida for one of those not so exciting RBs? Or do I grab Golladay then hope a better RB option pops up?

    Or do I drop Breida and Hogan and/or Maclin for Golladay and 1 of those RBs?

    Thanks for you advice.

    TFD

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