The start of the NFL season also means the start of the fantasy football season. Millions of people all over the world play fantasy football and make adjustments to their rosters constantly before game day.
Let’s look at Week 1 and break down important news, starts of the week, bust candidates, sleepers and the injury report.
- Mitchell Trubisky named Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback heading into the season
- Joe Flacco to start first three weeks at quarterback for the New York Jets
- Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins not listed on injury report heading into week one after offseason shoulder surgery
- Green Bay Packers WR Allen Lazard did not practice Wednesday with a toe injury
- San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle did not practice Wednesday with a groin injury
Starts of the Week
QB Aaron Rodgers @ Minnesota Vikings: Rodgers is in a great spot to put up good numbers this week in Minnesota. Last season he averaged 26.91 fantasy points in two games against the Vikings. He plays very well against his division rival and will have to score with an explosive Minnesota offense highlighted by Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. Expect the Vikings to try and stack the box and stop the Packers run game. This will allow Rodgers to air the ball out and put up good numbers.
RB Kareem Hunt @ Carolina Panthers: Hunt is still playing second fiddle to Nick Chubb but he will be on the field a ton in week one with Jacoby Brissett starting. Expect a lot of two running back sets that will keep the great tandem heavily involved. The Browns should be trailing in this game with Brissett at the helm, meaning Hunt should have a lot of receiving opportunities. He should get 10-15 touches between the ground and air attack and is motivated to have a great start to the season as he looks for a new contract.
WR Marquise Brown vs. Kansas City Chiefs: This is Brown’s regular season debut with the Cardinals as they host the Chiefs. Hollywood is by far the number one pass catcher on the field this week as DeAndre Hopkins is suspended and Zach Ertz is coming into the game hurt. Kansas City also has two rookies that are expected to get playing time in their secondary. This will be a high-scoring game and Arizona will be forced to throw the ball Brown’s way.
RB D’Andre Swift vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Swift enters Week 1 projected just north of 16 fantasy points in point-per-reception leagues (PPR). He matches up against a massively improved Eagles defense that sports one of the best defensive lines in the league. It will be tough sledding for the talented back as Philadelphia will stack the box and force Jared Goff to throw the ball. If Swift can get involved in the passing game, he may reach his point projection, but he will not make a significant impact on the ground.
WR Darnell Mooney vs. San Fransisco 49ers: Mooney comes into week one against an elite defensive group in the 49ers. The Bears have a bad offensive line and will not give quarterback Justin Fields the time he needs to find the receiver. The reality is Mooney’s ceiling is capped in a bad Bears offense and an elite defense on the other side of the field will hurt him in week one.
TE Dawson Knox @ Los Angeles Rams: Knox just signed a four-year extension to stay in Buffalo, but he is facing a tough matchup to open the season. The tight end was extremely touchdown-dependent last season as he had nine weeks last year with three catches or less. The Bills will be spreading the ball all over the field against a tough Rams defense that is hungry to defend its title. If Knox fails to find the end zone he will be a bust in Week 1.
Sleepers of the Week
RB J.D. McKissic vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: McKissic comes into Week 1 with an easy matchup against the Jaguars defense. He was on the verge of signing with Buffalo this offseason, but the Commanders paid him his money and brought him back to have a major role in this offense. He will get all of the passing down work in a game that may be high scoring as the Jacksonville offense has some weapons. His only real competition in the backfield this week is Antonio Gibson who was on the cusp of losing his job late in the preseason. Expect McKissic to get a lot of work this week in what will be a higher scoring game than most think.
WR Sammy Watkins/Randall Cobb @ Minnesota Vikings: Watkins has had a history of having some crazy high-scoring Week 1s in years past in fantasy. He joins a new offense with an elite quarterback in Rodgers who has talked about how great he has looked in practice recently. Cobb on the other hand is the only player in this receiving core that has an elite connection and chemistry with Rodgers. This game will be high scoring and someone in the Packers receiver room will need to step up against a weaker secondary. Watkins and Cobb could both have nice weeks against Minnesota.
Questionable: RB J.K. Dobbins, RB Ty Montgomery, WR Diontae Johnson, WR Jaylen Waddle, WR Michael Thomas, WR Drake London, WR Allen Lazard, TE George Kittle, TE Zach Ertz, TE Robert Tonyan
Out: QB Zach Wilson, RB Gus Edwards, WR Michael Gallup, WR Tyquan Thornton, WR Van Jefferson, WR Jameson Williams