Week one is finally upon us! Thursday, September 6th at 8:20 PM (Eastern) fantasy football teams around the world will start racking up points in hopes of the coveted championship sixteen weeks later!
You have drafted, you have spent the time following camps, news, injuries, and trades, you may have even tinkered with your lineup a time or two.
Well, I hope to help you with some decisions on who to roll out week one and give you the advantage to the start of this new season.
Jimmy G has been all the hype since he made his debut in San Francisco last year. Unfortunately, he plays the Vikings in Minnesota to kick off the new season. The top-rated defense of 2017 has only improved, returning nearly all starters while adding George Iloka, Sheldon Richardson, and first-round rookie Mike Hughes. Being relatively unproven, I am not entirely convinced that Jimmy G will be able to take advantage of the top level defense of the Vikings. I am fading him this week at least.
Y’all, don’t hate me on this, but I am fading Barkley for week one. He is nursing a hamstring issue, and just like our man Jimmy G above, takes on a top level defense. Yes the volume will be there, yes they will try to use him to alleviate some pressure off of Eli Manning, but with that workload comes fatigue and risk of re-injury. I know you will all read this and send me nasty-grams on Twitter, but I just want you to temper some expectations going into week one. Play him cautiously, but with his ADP of 1.06, I know you are playing him, and maybe, just maybe, I am incredibly wrong about him?
Confusion at running back, uncertainty at quarterback, and a league-worst defense do not bode well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Mike Evans. Coming off of a down year last year, his situation has not changed much, outside of Jameis Winston being suspended to kick off the season. This isn’t too much for Evans to overcome, he played last year with multiple QBs at the helm, but week one has Tampa visiting the New Orleans Saints. Last year the Saints held Evans to 68 yards on 19 targets in the two games played. I do not like the matchup at all, and I would actively avoid him in week one.
Sean McVay was able to guide the LA Rams offense, and Jared Goff, into the top spot for points per game (29.9) in 2017. This was an incredible feat considering the Rams were dead last in scoring in 2016 with 14 PPG. Goff did not look good under the tutelage of Jeff Fisher (does anyone though? Nick Foles, anyone?), but really found his stride in the faster-paced offense McVay was able to cultivate. Goff improved dramatically in completion percentage, TD/INT ratio, and passer rating and has had a second offseason to fine-tune some things. Taking on an Oakland Raiders defense that finished 23rd in total defense in 2017, and just traded away one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL, bodes very well for Goff and the Rams. I have no problem firing up Goff this week, and he is my number one streamer this week at 20.2% and 32% starting percentage in ESPN and Yahoo, respectively.
Kenny Stills sits as a perennially underrated fantasy asset. With the absence of target monster, Jarvis Landry, Stills is in line to pick up much of that slack. Known mostly as a deep threat, this preseason has shown Stills is able to do some damage closer to the line of scrimmage. Parker is still nursing a hurt finger, which could open up the door for even more volume for former Oklahoma Sooner. He could easily fill a WR2 roll or FLEX if you feel solid in your WRs.
If you play fantasy football, I shouldn’t have to say more to you than this, “The Jaguars are playing the New York Giants in week one.” Against the absolute WORST team regarding defending the tight end position, allowing the most TE touchdowns in 2017, ASJ gets a juicy matchup to kick off the new season with his new team. The Jaguars have been looking for a legitimate receiving threat at the TE position, and are hoping they found their guy, but either way, expect ASJ to get you a TD, which almost automatically puts him into top-12 weekly TE scoring.