Before we start I want it to be known that on this list you will not find guys like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Todd Gurley, or David Johnson. As long as those guys are healthy you are starting them. So don’t get mad at me because I did not identify Brown as a must-start this week. It would be too easy to say I recommend starting Brown. So you won’t see it here.
Giving fantasy advice week 1 is usually a difficult task to do. You can look at last years numbers and get a rough idea or you can try to read into preseason games, but until you see a team play a real game its hard to tell what the strengths and or weaknesses are. My best advice for week 1 is to usually just go with what you drafted. Which works well for your top 6 or maybe 7 guys, but maybe you drafted heavy at WR in the beginning and you have 4 guys for 3 spots. Or maybe you did a zero running back draft and you have no clear cut top backs. So for those of you that have some decisions to make maybe I can help.
If the guy you are stressing over is not on this list feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @mikekelleydlp with any additional sit/start questions you might have. Or you can join my Facebook Group, Dynasty League Problems and be a part of the conversation. Good luck this week to everyone, unless I am playing in one of my leagues.
START of the Week:
QB Andrew Luck (IND)
It was a tale of two seasons for Andrew Luck. In 2014 he was 2 points from being the number 1 QB in fantasy and in 2015 he fell to 27th due to injuries. Well, Luck is healthy again and I firmly believe he will be back to his 2014 form. Last year the Lions were no push over, but they did finish in the bottom half of the league in yards, TD’s, and fantasy points allowed to QB’s. There are guys like Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr that have better matchups, but those guys are not as prolific as Luck. Throw in it’s the home opener and a healthy WR corp and I think Luck goes off just to prove he is back and he is healthy. I like him for 350+ yards and 3 TD’s in this one.
SIT of the Week:
WR Alshon Jeffery (CHI)
This was a tough one because I actually like Jeffery a lot. If he were on a better team he might be one of those unsittable guys for me. Him being on here is actually a combination of things. First Jay Cutler has not looked sharp thus far and secondly the offensive line has looked even worse. In fact, the entire Bears offense has not looked good at all in the preseason. Throw in that they are playing a tough Texans defense that can get pressure on the QB, and I just see no way Cutler is going to get the ball to Jeffery on a consistent basis. There are just too many things working against Jeffery in this one. I would not be surprised if he is held to 6 receptions for 70 yards, which is not terrible, but not what you would expect from Jeffery.
START Derek Carr (OAK)
I really like Derek Carr this week. Going up against a Saints defense that was 31st in passing yards allowed, 32nd in TD’s allowed and 32nd in fantasy points to QB’s last year. You can’t get a matchup much better than that. The Saints have a high-powered offense as well, so this game has great potential to be a shoot out. Maybe not like the Saints and Giants game from last year, but there could still be plenty of points to be had in this one. I am thinking 250+ yards and 3 TD’s on Sunday.
- Drew Brees (N.O.)
- Russell Wilson (SEA)
- Aaron Rodgers (G.B.)
- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
- Kirk Cousins (WAS)
SIT Cam Newton (CAR)
In a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, the Panthers and taking on the Bronco’s opening night. Last year this did not go for Cam. 18 of 41 for 265 yards 0 TD’s and 1 INT. I am not so sure this week will be any better for him. I think Cam will have a fine season this year, but this game is going to be a difficult one and I would avoid him if you can. I would not go as far as starting someone like Blain Gabbert or Trevor Siemian, but if you have a decent backup with a favorable matchup you might want to consider it. I would not be surprised if he throws for less than 225 yards and 1 or less TD’s with at least 1 INT.
START Lamar Miller (HOU)
I am super excited to see Miller finally get used like the talent he is. For the last 4 years, he had been foundering in Miami. Now he is on a team that should use him like a number 1 running back. He gets his first game as a Texan at home against a Bears D that was 22nd in yards from scrimmage allowed last year. I can easily see Lamar going over 100 rushing yards, 30+ receiving yards and at least 1 TD this week. Even in standard scoring, he should light it up.
- Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
- Latavius Murray (OAK)
- Duke Johnson (CLE)
- Eddie Lacy (G.B.)
- Spencer Ware (K.C.)
SIT C.J. Anderson (DEN)
While Anderson had a decent game in last year’s Super Bowl, it was not great. While the QB play was limited, it was still Peyton Manning back there running the show. Trevor Siemian is not Peyton Manning, he is not even on the same level as bad Petton Manning. So with that information, I suspect the Panthers will be stacking the box, and challenging Siemian to beat them.For those reasons, I am avoiding Anderson if I have other options. I see Anderson getting 20 carries with 70 yards at best and maybe a couple of receptions for less than 15 yards.
START Keenan Allen (S.D.)
Philip Rivers has his favorites. His favorite check down guy, Danny Woodhead, his favorite guy for moving the chains, Antonio Gates, and he has his favorite big play guy, Keenan Allen. Allen was on pace for a monster year before his freakish injury, and I suspect he will pick right up where he left off. The Chiefs are 26th in yards allowed to receivers and 18th to TD’s allowed to receivers. I can see Allen hauling in 12 receptions for 120 yards and a TD.
SIT Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
The Broncos have some great receivers and some would even say they are QB proof. They might be, but going up against the Panthers who are a top D, and a quarterback starting for the first time, that is just not a good situation. On top of that, Trevor Siemian did not even play that well in the preseason. So until I see some good work from Siemian or I see better matchups I would be looking for other options to start over Thomas. If Thomas is lucky he might pull in 7 catches for 62 yards. His volume of receptions might be what saves him until Paxton Lynch comes in or Seimian figures things out.
- Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)
- Jarvis Landry (MIA)
- Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)
- Julian Edelman (N.E.)
- Jeremy Maclin (K.C.)
START Travis Kelce (K.C.)
If Travis Kelce could get a few more trips into the end zone he would easily be a top 5 TE. Last year Kelce caught 72 passes for 875 yards and only 5 TD’s. Despite the lack of TD production, he is still a great play this week against the Chargers. The Chargers are in the lower half of the league in yards allowed, TD’s allowed and fantasy points to TE’s. Even if he doesn’t find the end zone this week he could easily bring in 5 reception for 80 yards.
SIT Delanie Walker (TEN)
Last year Walker was the passing game for the Titans. Walker was targeted 133 times hauling in 94 of them for 1,088 yards. Well, this year Marcus Mariota has actual weapons at receiver. This does not mean Walker will be removed from the game-plan, but with a very promising running game and reliable receivers they won’t need to lean on Walker as much anymore. As a result, I suspect there will be a large regression in the reception category, which in turn will mean less yards and less TD’s. Plus the Vikings don’t give up TD’s or fantasy points to TE’s. I would not be surprised if he is held to 4 reception for 42 yards in this one.
START Seattle Seahawks
I am actually high and the Dolphins offense this year, but I am not high enough to think they can put up points against the Seahawks in their home opener. The Seahawks have been great on D for a number of years now and it’s not changing this year. They are one of the few defenses I would actually draft. I can see the Seahawks creating enough pressure to create 3 turnovers and get to Ryan Tannehill for 5 sacks.
- Tennesse Titans
- Los Angles Rams
SIT Pittsburgh Steelers vs Washington Redskins
Steelers at Redskins – In this game, I am recommending sitting both of the team’s defense. 30+ points from each team is more than reasonable to expect here. Both teams have a high-powered offense and neither team has players on its D to stop the other high-powered offense. Look elsewhere for your defense, not only this week but probably all season long.
- New England Patriots
- Detroit Lions
Michael Kelley is the founder of Dynasty League Problems. You can find him on Twitter @mikekelleydlp spreading fantasy knowledge for the masses. Or you can join his Facebook Group, Dynasty League Problems and be a part of the conversation.