Disclaimer: Fantasy football advice is not an exact science. I cannot promise a victory, a championship, or that you will win money in your office pick em’ pool. This is just my opinion, and in Week One it means even less.
We are finally here, at the start of regular season football and fantasy football alike. This is my favorite part of the season, clouded by insurmountable faith and candy-coated dreams of championships, when the playing field is still level and our teams have yet to disappoint us. In an effort to stave off the inevitable fantasy slump and resulting depression as long as possible, here is my advice for a respectable Week One and beyond.
Texans Player of the Week:
Since BRB is a haven for Texans fans, I assume most of you have a Houston player (or three) on your fantasy roster. Depending on our opponent each week, I’ll recommend who I consider the best bet for a Texans starter. This week, the majority of the Houston offense should succeed against a struggling Bears defense. Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins will both be solid plugs in RB1 and WR1. Keep an eye on Will Fuller, who is listed atop the newly released depth chart opposite Hopkins, though it may still be a little soon to start the rookie.
Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Across the League:
I will leave the obvious names off of this list barring a particularly difficult or beneficial matchup. You know you need to start Todd Gurley, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown. I shouldn’t have to remind you.
Anyone who is playing the Cleveland Browns. This just tends to be a good strategy. This week that would be Jordan Matthews, Ryan Mathews, and Zach Ertz.
Markus Wheaton is a solid option if you drafted too many RBs for some unadvised and unknown reason and therefore don’t have much depth at WR. Since Martavis Bryant was suspended for the season, Wheaton could step in and make some big plays for the Steelers, particularly against a pass-friendly Washington defense.
Derek Carr and Amari Cooper should both have big games against the poor Saints defense this week. Two talented quarterbacks could produce a shootout, and the Raiders' offensive stars are poised to put up big numbers for your roster.
The players that you drafted to be your starters. This is Week One, people. We aren’t plagued by injuries or desperate for waiver additions. You drafted your top players for a reason. Trust your lineup until you have a reason not to.
Tennessee RBs. Until one of these two steals the spotlight (or they prove that they can shine together), the Titans backfield is more risk than reward. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry are both talented, but a shared backfield does not a RB1 or RB2 make.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks RB units (despite Thomas Rawls’ potential) could find themselves favoring a RBBC strategy this year, and their backfields are littered with uncertainty. Like the Titans, these situations are best avoided until things settle down and depth charts are more reliably established.
Stefon Diggs could end up being a very good fantasy WR this season, but with all of the questions surrounding the Vikings' QB situation in the wake of Teddy Bridgewater’s injury, a Minnesota WR is not the safest option this week. If you can afford to bench him until the Vikings find some stability at QB, you should.
Waiver Wire Watches:
It’s too early in the season for most of us to need fill-in options. This week, the WWW section will just be a recommendation for players to keep an eye on in Week One.
Dak Prescott may be unavailable on your WW after his preseason hype (I scooped him up when I lost Bridgewater), but if he isn’t, he’s worth a look this week. The Dallas o-line is exceptional, and weapons like Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant give Prescott plenty of firepower.
Robert Griffin III could use this week to prove that he’s worth a Week Two pickup. The quarterback gets a second chance in Cleveland and has some stunning WR talent in Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon (who will return Week Five). Most people didn’t take a chance on drafting RGIII, but if he lives up to his former potential over the next few weeks, he could be a huge sleeper down the stretch.
Tajae Sharpe’s value skyrocketed when the Titans traded away Dorial Green-Beckham to the Eagles. Sharpe figures to be the go-to receiver in Tennessee, but his seasonal worth will rest on how heavily the Titans lean on their RB tandem of Murray and Henry. If Sharpe is available in your league, keep an eye on his Week One performance.
Speaking of DGB, he was a good option for Titans QB Marcus Mariota last season and should become a top wideout for Carson Wentz in Philadelphia this year. He’s worth a look in the first few weeks to see how the chemistry with the rookie QB develops.
Oakland RB Latavius Murray had a good season in 2015, breaking 1,000 yards and racking up six TDs. But fellow Raider and fifth-round draft pick DeAndre Washington has been a popular name in sleeper discussions this year, making him a RB option to watch out for or stash if you need depth at the position.
That’s about all of the fantasy advice I can give before the regular season starts to play out. If you have any questions, predictions, or recommendations, please share them in the comments section below.
Best of luck in your Week One roster endeavors.
Bears vs Texans coverage