[brid autoplay=”true” video=”1385528″ player=”10951″ title=”2023 Fantasy Football Rookies” duration=”173″ description=”0:24 Jahmyr Gibbs 1:05 Kendre Miller 1:54 Jaxon Smith-Njigba ” uploaddate=”2023-08-19″ thumbnailurl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_th_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” image=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_sd_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” contenturl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/sd/1385528.mp4″ width=”480″ height=”270″]

To start, or to sit? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously bad fantasy decisions or to take arms against a sea of injury woes and clouded matchups, and by further educating oneself, end them. To lose—to writhe in anger, no more. Indeed, that is the question.

To start Anthony Richardson in his NFL debut, or have him ride the pine. Do you roll with Breece Hall at home against Buffalo in Week 1, or wait and see how the Jets backfield shakes out? To start or to sit. To sit or to start. In some aspects of life, it is essential to sit before you start. Such is the case with the words before you. Take a seat, fire up that roster, and start reading. Week 1 start vs. sit begins now. 

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START: Anthony Richardson. This might contrast with the opinions of other publications, but I expect Richardson to have the type of NFL debut that we talk about for years to come. It will still be a trying year for Richardson and the Colts at many points of the season, with the season’s trajectory probably looking more like an obese 80-year-old’s heart rate monitor than anything else. That said, Richardson is going to get off to a scorching start in a divisional matchup at home against the Jaguars. It won’t all be sunshine and roses in 2023, but it’s going to start off that way with a top-eight QB finish.

HAT TIP: Derek Carr. A lot of people might chuckle at this thought, but 2023 is going to reveal the true range of talents of Carr — who was been plagued by weak rosters and constant turnover (both on the field and on the sideline) during a tumultuous Raiders tenure. In the end, the Saints will finish 10-7 and win the NFC South with relative ease. It all begins in Week 1, as New Orleans will turn to Carr in an elevated role amidst the absence of Alvin Kamara. It’s a good matchup for Carr at home against Tennessee, and there’s no doubt he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder.

SIT: Deshaun Watson. Watson is a garbage human being that I have no desire to watch play football again for the rest of my life. Quarrels aside, he is going to provide substantial fantasy value this season and rebound (marginally) from an ugly 2022. However, that isn’t going to start until a Week 3 home matchup against the Titans, and maybe not until after the Browns’ Week 5 bye.

Running Back

START: Khalil Herbert. Although Herbert has an expert consensus rating (ECR) of RB29 in Week 1, he matches up against a Packers front seven that allowed 5.0 yards per carry and 18 rushing touchdowns last season. The unit may be better in 2023, but not by enough to keep Herbert out of RB2 territory. Heck, he might even challenge the RB1 range in Week 1. Herbert has already proven to be the type of back capable of booming routinely in the right matchup, and with a hold on the Bears’ starting job out of the gate, he could very well feast alongside Justin Fields.

HAT TIP: J.K. Dobbins. I didn’t go with Dobbins on this one, seeing as he is currently ranked at RB13 for Week 1, but fire him up as a borderline RB1 against Houston. Lamar Jackson and Dobbins are going to have elite opening weeks.

SIT: Breece Hall. I love Hall’s talent. Snagging him in Round 4 of drafts this year could turn out to be a league-winning pick for many. But after missing practice Monday and being limited on Thursday from last season’s ACL tear, expect the Jets to ease in their talented young back. After all, we knew this would be a two-headed backfield to some degree with the offseason arrival of Dalvin Cook. Why not run the old man into the ground and play it safe with the franchise back?

Wide Receiver

START: Terry McLaurin. I’m not sure why Scary Terry currently has an ECR of WR38 for Week 1. Perhaps it’s the preseason turf toe injury, and ECR hasn’t had enough time to catch up yet. Regardless, McLaurin is officially off the injury report for Week 1 and will be a full go. Sure, the passing situation in Washington is sketchy, but it has been that way for McLaurin’s entire career! I’m not afraid of anything that has to do with the Arizona Cardinals this year, pass defense included. McLaurin should be a back-end WR2 who sees plenty of volume against Arizona.

SIT: Zay Flowers. An elite talent that I’m all in on in 2023, just not in Week 1. It’s going to be a heck of a rookie campaign filled with numerous WR2 finishes or better for Flowers. But not this week. Jackson, Dobbins, and Mark Andrews will all cook, but Flowers is too risky a play in his first NFL contest, as game script against Houston is going to limit volume and second-half targets for the Baltimore receiving core. If Flowers hits, it’s going to be because he found pay dirt in Week 1. I’m not watering my Flowers until at least Week 2.

Tight End

START: Juwan Johnson. Carr loves tight ends, and Johnson will benefit from such right out of the gate. Oh, and Tennessee was the fifth-worst fantasy defense against tight ends last season, allowing 98 receptions for 1,130 yards and six scores. Look for Johnson to see plenty of targets, finishing with 50-plus yards and a score in Week 1.

SIT: David Njoku. I refuse to buy into this hype train anymore. Even if Njoku pans out as Watson’s quarterback play improves, it won’t be in Week 1 (see Watson blurb). Njoku’s big performance in Cincinnati last season is going to leave a lot of people disappointed and scratching their heads after this past weekend is through. 

That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.