Here comes your week 1 disclaimer! Individual roster talent has everything to do with how you use the information in this post. Different folks have different strengths and weaknesses on their roster. If I say that I don’t like JuJu Smith-Schuster this week and you are in a 14 team league and your next best option is Sammy Watkins, that doesn’t mean that you should take “sit JuJu” as gospel. It just means that I like other players in a certain player’s tier more. I’ll specify if I think a player is going to put up a donut. Let’s sort through the rosters and find the plays for week 1.
Shout out to Homer’s got the Runs who is a Razzball commenter. He asked me about Jimmy G vs. Cam this week and pointed out how well JG did against the Cardinals in 2019. I remembered the 49ers scored a lot in those games, but didn’t remember JG specifically. I told him I felt safer with Cam against the Dolphins, but then I took a look at JG and my lord, he pounded the Cardinals last year. In their two matchups last season, Garoppolo combined for 741 passing yards and 8 touchdown passes in their two games. I moved Garoppolo to QB12 for the week.
Rookie running backs are going to be tough to project in week 1, but I’ll be starting Taylor in both of the leagues that I have him in. Marlon Mack is the “starting running back” in Indianapolis but we should expect a 50/50 split right off the bat. This is a great spot for Taylor because of the matchup. The Colts have the Jags and I expect the Colts to gain a sizeable lead with a lot of time left on the clock. This should give the Colts an opportunity to get a good look at their prized running back for an extended amount of time. I think Taylor gets 15+ touches in this one and he has the talent to do a lot with that workload.
Everything that Bruce Arians has said this week leads me to believe he will see a boatload of snaps on Sunday. This isn’t the week to get a look at Leonard Fournette. You have to give the ball to your back that has done all of the offseason programs and knows the playbook. This will be a tightly contested divisional battle and Leonard Fournette will have been a Buccaneer for a little over a week when this one kicks off. Jones is a great flex option this week or a RB2 in deeper leagues.
DeSean Jackson may be an idiot off of the field at times, but when he is healthy and on the field, he is still dynamic. Jackson played two games last year and one of them was against the Washington Football Team. In the game against Washington he caught 8 passes for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Outside of Ertz, Jackson is by far the best option for Carson Wentz. There is a new coaching staff in Washington, but looking back to 2019, Washington was outside of the top half of the league against the pass. I like Washington to keep this one closer than a lot expect, but I also expect Jackson to have a big game.
The injury news for Brandin Cooks led me to move Will Fuller up to WR18 this week which is well within WR2 territory. Will Fuller is all that is dangerous and awesome when he is on the field. When the Texans played the Chiefs in the playoffs, Fuller caught 5 balls for 89 yards. Now without Hopkins in a Texans uniform anymore, Fuller is the guy. The Chiefs are going to score and the Texans are going to have to try and keep up.
I also like Preston Williams this week but there is no need to bend your ear about him anymore. If DonkeyTeeth, Boof, or myself haven’t gotten you on the Preston train at this point, nothing will. But I also like Gesicki a lot against a Patriots team that had a lot of starters opt out. Gesicki is listed as the #2 tight end on the depth chart and was a limited participant in practice, but if he is playing, I am starting him. He’s the 3rd best pass catching option in this offense and can and will play snaps out of the slot. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, I expect the Dolphins to unload in the passing game to try and upend the Patriots.
I don’t hate Roethlisberger this week, so don’t get it twisted. The Steelers have a pretty good matchup against the Giants, so don’t go scouring the waiver wire for Mitch Trubisky or anything. But I do have Roethlisberger outside of the top 12 QBs this week which would make him a QB2 in my book, although a high end one. My outlook on the Steelers is that they are going to try and win games with their much improved defense and preserve Roethlisberger to the best of their ability because he’s old and seemingly hurt all the time, even though he has played through said injuries often in the past. Big Ben admitted to having nerves heading into the season and will have to shake off the rust after missing last year. The Giants also did improve in the offseason by adding James Bradberry to the secondary. I’ll gladly take the contrarian side on this one.
I like Cam Akers for the year, but I’d like to wait and see him pull away from the other backs that L.A. has before putting him in my lineup. Sean McVay admitted that Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, and Darrell Henderson will all see work on Sunday. Unfortunately in SFBX, I have to start Akers, but I’m hoping that you have a better option.
Earl Thomas is gone, and that is certainly a big hit to Baltimore’s secondary, but it is still very good if not great. Baker did have a great game against Baltimore last year, but it was Jarvis Landry who caught 8 passes for 167 yards. In 2 games against the Ravens last year, Beckham caught a combined 6 passes for 64 yards. Stefanski probably won’t want to shake Baker’s confidence in week 1 and have him try to unload to Beckham down the field right out of the gate. Chances are that Beckham is pretty quiet in this one.
A lot of analysts like Chris Herndon to have a nice breakout season and I’m not opposed to the idea. But Buffalo has a pretty stout defense, especially when it comes to defending tight ends. In fact, the Bills allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2019. I’d pick another week to run him out.