Start & Sit Week #1
Now that the preseason has finally wrapped up and we helped you to draft a championship team, it’s time we help you with who start and sit each week. No one needs help with the obvious, so we’re going to dig in and give you the advice that you can’t get anywhere else but here. In this installment I’m going to give you the start/sits/claims to help you win week 1.
RB’s to Start
Ryan Mathews (Philadelphia) : Most projections have Matthews listed as a flex option at best, but you can feel confident putting in as your starter this week. The Eagles have traded Sam Bradford and declared Wentz the week 1 starter, so they will lean heavily on the ground game. Matthews is now the lead back with Murray gone and no real competition to steal away any early down carries. He is in a prime position to be a week 1 star. He has scored a TD in the season opener the last two seasons and in his only career game against Cleveland he posted a line of 24/95/0. Look For Philly to feed him early and often.
Derrick Henry (Tennessee): If you are looking for a good flex option, then I would make this my top choice. He will work behind Murray but is going to get his share of carries, as coach Mularkey has imposed a run, run, run offense. He finished 2nd in rushing for the preseason with a line of 34/216/3 in four games. So if you look at how that averages out that’s a line of 8/54 and he scored in three of the four. I think that is what you can expect on low-end for week 1 versus Minnesota. In standard leagues that comes to 11 points, not bad for a rookie in a backup roll.
Spencer Ware (Kansas City) : When asked about Jamaal Charles’s availability for week 1, coach Andy Reid said “I think it’s a stretch for him to play on Sunday.” So with Charles most likely out, in his place is Ware. If you are looking for someone to grab off waivers, this is definitely someone you need to go get if he is available. In the three games in which he had double-digit carries, he posted a line of 46/286/4. He has proven success against the Chargers. In a week 11 matchup versus San Diego last season, he had 11 carries for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns. San Diego hasn’t changed their defense much, so Ware should be in line for a big game
RB’s to Sit
Mark Ingram (New Orleans) : Ingram has a history of bad first games to start the season. In five career opening day games, he has posted a combined line of 50/150/2 and if you take away the 2014 game (13/60/2) his numbers in openers get much worse. He has 1 career game versus the Raiders (12/67/1), but this isn’t the same push over defense they were in 2012. Plus you have to take in to account that he will come off the field on passing downs. There are plenty of more viable options to start week one. I would rather start a player like Danny Woodhead over Ingram this week
Matt Jones (Washington) : After missing time in preseason due to a shoulder injury, all signs point to him being a full go for week 1 versus the Steelers. There is a lot of hype for Jones for the season, but until I see him do it on a consistent basis I’m not sold. He only had three games with over 50+ yards rushing a year ago and will be going against a Pittsburgh defense that is usually pretty solid versus the run. Also keep in mind that undrafted rookie Rob Kelly had a very good preseason and will steal a few touches away from Jones.
Melvin Gordon (San Diego): He had a disappointing rookie season in which he didn’t even sniff the end zone. He has had a better preseason this year, but I am not buying into it, He isn’t even the best fantasy option at the position on his team. That honor goes to Danny Woodhead. He is facing the Chiefs in week 1 and if you look back to how he performed against them last season, he didn’t do so well. In two games against them last year he posted a line of 29/72/0. Not the kind of numbers owners want or the return for where he is being drafted.
WR’s to Start
Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland) : Now is the time to start Pryor as he will most likely lose targets once Josh Gordon is back. But until then this is a nice start for cheap. He has developed a nice rapport with RGIII this preseason, with a line of 5/122/1 and has two catches of 40+ yards. He should see quiet a few targets against the Eagles as I think Cleveland will be trailing and be forced to throw. For fantasy owners this is exactly what you want. I think this is the perfect matchup for Pryor and I expect him to get quiet a few targets thrown his way. He is a great option for those of you in deep leagues
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati): If you are looking for a solid flex option, this is a great pick. He will be overlooked because AJ Green is the man in Cincinnati, but for that same reason Boyd should be owned and started in all leagues. Green is going to draw all the attention his way, which will leave Boyd in some very favorable match ups. He has given glimpses this preseason of what he can do, with a 5/92/1 line. He should get a healthy dose of targets versus the NY Jets and with Green drawing Darrelle Revis, he will be counted on to make the most of these opportunities. Grab this rookie now before its too late!
Travis Benjamin (San Diego) : Benjamin is a boom or bust pick most weeks, but I think with a more stable QB throwing to him, he will have a more consistent game. Keenan Allen will garner the most targets but Benjamin will play the old role of Malcolm Floyd. He has been known for his big plays and that shouldn’t change in San Diego. Last season with Cleveland and their musical QB chair, he had 12 catches of 20+ yards and 6 of 40+ yards. I expect San Diego to trail in most of this game, which means Rivers will be slinging it all over the field
WR’s to Sit
Kenny Britt (LA Rams) : No matter who the Rams roll at QB, I am not liking Britt as a starter. He has been positioned as the #1 wide receiver ever since he was drafted by Tennessee, but that’s not his fit. He would be better suited in a #2 WR role. In his last four games versus the 49ers he has posted a line of 17/152/1. Not eye popping numbers or what you would expect from a team’s lead receiver. Over the last four years in the opening game of season he has posted a line of 4/57/0. There are just too many options out there to take a chance of losing week 1 by starting Britt.
Chris Hogan (New England) : With Arizona having such a talented secondary, I expect the Patriots to take advantage of the size of their tight ends. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them using 2 TE sets a bunch. This in turn hurts the value of Hogan. Plus, Julian Edelman will get a lot of targets. And we all know you can’t predict from week to week, who Bellichek will decide to utilize the most. Until I can see just how much Hogan will be used.
Steve Smith (Baltimore) : I would be very cautious of starting Smith until he can prove his fantasy worth. He is coming off an ACL injury and at his age that could have a big effect on how he bounces back. He was having a decent season last year before the injury, but injuries of this type and at that age typically leave players a shell of their former selves. Don’t be the owner that goes by name recognition and gets burned. In CBS leagues he is only being started in 3% of the leagues, which is a very telling sign.
Working the Waiver Wire
WR Tajae Sharpe (Tennessee) : I know Tennessee is going with a full on old school rushing attack, but they will have to throw the ball some. And the guy catching those throws will be rookie phenom Tajae Sharpe. He has been turning heads since the beginning of preseason. In fact, he has played so well this preseason that the Titans released both Dorial Green Beckham and Justin Hunter. Plus there is no one to really compete with him for playing time. I expect him to get at least 6 to 7 targets this week. For those of you in PPR, he is definitely worth a look. according to CBS sports, he was the 2nd most added (56%) WR so far this week, so you better grab him now while you still can.
RB Arian Foster (Miami) : There has been a lot of uncertainty about who was going to start for the Dolphins, but like I stated in my rankings, there was never any doubt once they saw he was healthy. Most will think he doesn’t have an ideal match up this week versus Seattle, but historically the Seahawks tend to start slow. If you happen to be in a league where he is still being doubted by owners, then put your claim in on him now. He is a hot grab right now as he has been added at a 97% clip in CBS leagues.
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Major League Fantasy Sports: Join Ej Garr, Corey D Roberts, and Coach Jeff Nelson live Sunday September 11th, 2016 from 11am-12:30pm EST for episode #67 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. We will be breaking down key matchups, discussing fantasy start/sit, some DFS, and handicapping as well.
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