Week 1 is upon us, so of course, we need to know who to start and who to sit. Our start/sit article is not going to discuss the obvious players who should always be played. We examine matchups and usage from week to week, to give you the best chance at winning your weekly matchup. Good luck this week and don’t forget to not overthink it. Here are the Starts/ Sits for Week 1:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New York Giants
Big Ben is back, and he opens up with a great matchup against a weak defense. The Giants were one of the worst defenses in the league last year and not much has changed. The Steelers should have no issue running and throwing the ball this week in New York. Roethlisberger is a low-end QB1.
Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots Vs. Miami Dolphins
It is going to be weird to see Cam in a Patriots jersey, but I have a feeling he is going to ball out this week against Miami. The matchup is right, and the upside is there for Cam to have a good fantasy performance. Most likely undrafted in your league, or picked as a backup. Cam is a high upside streamer for Week 1. He is a QB2 with upside this week against the Dolphins.
Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Rivers isn’t a game-changer, but when it comes down to it he can do the job if needed. This week the Colts face the Jags, and there’s a good chance the Colts are going to have plenty of chances to score. This means Rivers has a good chance of putting up a solid fantasy day for those who start him. Rivers is a QB2 with upside this week the Jaguars depleted defense
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns Vs. Baltimore Ravens
As I have written in previous articles for this year, this is a make or break year for Baker in Cleveland. Personally I am optimistic about Baker this year, but not in this matchup. The Ravens are one of the best defenses in the NFL. They have the ability to shut down offenses and I could see the Browns being limited, especially in the passing game. I would roll the dice on Baker going forward, but he is set up to disappoint in week 1.
Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets Vs. Buffalo Bills
I don’t think I have to write much to compel you to not play Darnold this week. The Jets are in a rough spot, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get out of it anytime soon. The Bills on the other hand have an up and coming defense this year. This game has a low score written all over it, at least on the Jets side of the ball. I would leave Darnold on the Bench/ Waivers this week.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
This is not an insult to Jones talent, as I think he will continue to grow in 2020. But that does not mean I would recommend anyone playing him against a stout Steelers defense in week 1. Ultimately we also know the chances he is sacked and fumbles are very high. There are far better options out there that you shouldn’t have to rely on Jones this early in the season.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New York Giants
If you drafted Conner, you are most likely starting him on a weekly basis. If you are stacked at running back and are questioning who to play, I would definitely put Conner in your lineup this week. This is as juicy of a matchup as they come, and the Steelers should be in full control of the game. There is a good chance the Steelers will be up by a decent margin, which will leave Conner to run out the clock. Conner is a low end RB1 with upside this week against the Giants.
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Gibson went from late-round sleeper to mid-round starter within just a week. Once Washington released Adrian Peterson, Gibson became the favorite to lead the backfield. There are reports that Gibson isn’t the starter, but I believe that is all fluff. This week Washington faces an Eagles defense that is improved but can still get beat through the air. After Terry Mclaurin, Gibson could very well be the #2 target on the Washington Football team. Gibson should be able to be slid into your rosters as a flex with upside this week against the Eagles.
Zach Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Jets
You most likely didn’t draft Moss to be a starter right off the bat, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be used this week. Buffalo should be in control of this game, and I believe there is a good chance that they will be running out the clock. Singletary is the lead back, but chances are that Moss can come in and steal that role at any time if he performs at a high rate. Moss is a sneaky starter this week against the Jets. He is a low-end flex with upside.
New England Patriots Running Backs Vs. Miami Dolphins
We all thought Damien Harris was going to be the guy for the Patriots, nope. Then we thought Lamar Miller was going to be the guy, nope. In reality, nobody really knows what’s going on up there in New England. Sony Michel is the top name on the list, but he is not alone. In all honesty, even when he was the lead back, his performances were gross and unstartable. I would watch what happens this week and take it from there. There is no New England running back that I would recommend starting this week against the Dolphins.
Detroit Lions Running Backs Vs. Chicago Bears
Very similar to the above backfield, the Detroit Lions backfield is just plain gross. It was difficult to predict what was going to happen when it was just Swift and Kerryon Johnson. Now with Adrian Peterson in the fold, I would avoid this backfield completely. One of these guys could put up flex numbers, but I would not risk it if you have better options.
Leonard Fournette/ Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. NO Saints
Tampa Bay’s situation is not as bad as the two teams above, but that does not mean it is easy to predict. Both Jones and Fournette have upside this week in New Orleans, mainly because there are going to be plenty of scoring opportunities in this game. But figuring out which running back will get the most opportunities will be difficult to presume. If you can avoid Tampa’s backfield this week, I would. The ability to see how the touches play out will give us a better understanding of what is in store for Tampa’s running backs in 2020.
Terry Mclaurin, WR, Washington Football Team Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Washington might have a new team name, but one thing that didn’t change is that Terry is the best offensive player on the team. Terry faces a Philadelphia team that he torched not once but twice last year. The Eagles did improve on the defensive side of the ball, but Terry should be utilized enough to have a solid fantasy outing. Tery is a mid- WR2 with upside this week.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots Vs. Miami Dolphins
Edelman is the forgotten man at the wide receiver position it seems. Yes, he is a year older and no longer has Tom Brady. That does not stop me from wanting him on all my fantasy rosters as a total value this year. If you went running back heavy, Edelman was a great late-round steal in drafts this year. He was the most talented receiver on the Patriots in 2019 and I don’t see that not being the case for this season. Edelman can be put into your WR2/ flex spots this week against Miami with confidence. He should get a solid amount of targets and get enough yardage to warrant flex value at the very least.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New York Giants
Johnson was great for those who used a waiver on him last season. This year the situation in Pittsburgh is even better as Big Ben is back. Johnson is a sneaky play this week as he faces a weak Giants defense. If you are looking for a cheap stack with a high upside you could do a lot worse than Johnson/ Big Ben this year.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Jets
This one might not sit well with a lot of people, but I am waiting on starting Diggs until I see how he connects with Josh Allen. Diggs is a great talent and does have upside, but there’s the chance the Bills will be up by a decent amount. Which will leave them to rely upon the run game to kill the clock? Diggs has the ceiling this week, but his floor may be surprisingly low if the Bills get off to a hot start in week 1.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets Vs. Buffalo Bills
What can I say, I don’t have a lot of faith in the Jets this week in Buffalo. Crowder is no different, although he is pretty much one of the only guys that they have left. He may warrant enough targets to have a solid day but I wouldn’t risk it if I had other options. Crowder is a risky play against a solid Buffalo defense in week 1.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Giants wide receiver group is packed with upside, but it isn’t enough to make me want to play them on a regular basis. I believe there will be weeks where Slayton is the guy and weeks where Tate is the guy. It will truly be difficult to know who to play and when to play them from week to week. If you need to play Shepard this week, you need to go into it knowing that his floor could be extremely low. He is a low floor/ low ceiling play in week 1.
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I know, it must be surprising that I have a New York Giant in the Start slot at a position. We all know how volatile the tight end position is in fantasy football and this year is no different. When we look at the tight end position we want a combination of upside and athleticism. Engram fits that mold and is the only player I would warrant playing outside of Saquon this week. Engram is a mid- TE1 this week in Pittsburgh.
Hunter Henry, TE, LA Chargers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
A lot of people are fading Hunter Henry this year, and it’s understandable. But I think everyone is forgetting how Tyrod Taylor used to utilize the tight end position( Charles Clay) in Buffalo. Henry faces a beatable Bengals defense this week and should be the #3 passing option behind Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler. Henry is a low-end TE1 with upside if he finds his way into the endzone.
Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New York Giants
The forgotten man at the tight end position, Ebron is yet again relevant. Just like his time in Indianapolis, Ebron has red-zone monster written all over him. If you are feeling unsteady at the tight end position or just need upside this week against your opponent, Ebron is the man for the job. He is a TE2 with TE1 upside if things fall into place in New York this week.
Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns Vs.Baltimore Ravens
Similar to his quarterback, hooper has a very low floor and ceiling heading into week 1. This is not the same type of situation as the Falcons last year, Hooper is not the #3 option in Cleveland. With a tough opponent and limited targets, I would leave Hooper on your bench/ waivers in week 1.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. New Orleans Saints
The name is enough to want to start him in fantasy, but it looks like this is not the Gronk of the past. No matter what Bruce Arians says, Gronk’s age has caught up with him. He is also sharing the #1 tight end spot with O.J. Howard. There is always the chance he will get that touchdown from Brady, but I am not willing to bank on that in week 1. Gronk is a low end TE2 this week in New Orleans.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Chicago Bears Vs. Green Bay Packers
Similar to Gronk, Graham is a known name at the tight end position. That does not mean he should be started or has any true upside in Chicago. Not only is he on the wrong side of 30, but he also has Mitch Trubisky throwing him the ball in week 1. There are far better options with safer floors and higher ceilings that you can play in week 1.