Welcome back to another season of Start/Sit. The offseason is officially over and Kickoff for Week 1 is so close you can hear the Bears and packers bickering already. Players changing teams, rookies entering the NFL via the Draft and much more lead us to even more challenging start or sit situations. I will do my best week in and week out to set your team up for success. One final note before we get going here is that do not expect to see the studs in this section. You’re obviously starting players you took in the 1st and 2nd round of your fantasy drafts. With that being said, Let’s get into it!
Jameis Winston VS SF
The 49ers have made some improvements on defense over the offseason but how formidable they can be as a defensive unit remains to be seen. Now, the hype for Bruce Arains’ new offense in Tampa Bay is reaching its boiling point. Will it be as good as advertised or will it be a dud? One thing is for sure; they are going to pass a ton due to the litany of receiving options as well as the lack of an effective run game. Winston should throw the ball a ton against a defense that gave up the 7th most fantasy points to QBs in 2018.
Josh Allen @ NYJ
The rushing upside of Josh Allen is just part of the reason he is a start heading into a Week 1 tilt with the Jets. New York also gave up the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks and honestly did not do much to improve the secondary. The hype has been on the Jets and their high spending ways this offseason but Buffalo is the team to watch in the East. I expect them to put the Jets on notice in Week 1.
Sam Darnold VS BUF
On the other side of the field from Josh Allen is Sam Darnold. I want to start by saying I believe in Sam Darnold and think he takes a nice leap forward this year. However, the Bills defense gave up the least amount of fantasy points to opposing QBs in 2018. They are still a very formidable group heading into 2019 and I think things start off a bit rough for Darnold and the Jets.
Derek Carr VS DEN
Little to no offseason work with Antonio Brown, a dominant defensive line in Denver and much more are reasons to shy away from Derek Carr in week 1. Denver was the 7th best defense in terms of fantasy points surrendered to opposing QBs and the progression of Bradley Chubb is enough to scare me away from Carr in Week 1. We’ll find out how good that revamped Oakland O-Line is right away.
Kerryon Johnson @ ARI
The hype has died down a bit on Kerryon since it hit a fever pitch in the early days of training camp. I expect to ramp right back up again after he goes off against what was officially the worst defense in the league in 2018 against RBs. Arizona gave up the most points to opposing RBs and they honestly don’t look much better heading into this year. This matchup actually looks pretty juicy for all Lions offensive skill players.
Chris Carson VS CIN
These two starts for RB are for people who are likely getting too cute in Week 1. Don’t overthink this one because you have a promising rookie or a guy you like. You likely spent at least a 3rd or 4th on Carson and you should absolutely fire him up against a Bengals defense that gave up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Penny sounds like a distant 2 on the depth chart so fire up Chris Carson right away.
Aaron Jones @ CHI
The Bears were then number 1 defense in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to the running back position so let’s start there. Add to that the fact that we don’t exactly know how this new look Green Bay offense will play out. We assume Aaron Jones should be the guy (as we should) but there is enough uncertainty heading into this tough Week 1 matchup to shy away from Jones. You likely have a running back on your bench with a better matchup/situation.
Duke Johnson @ NO
Duke Johnson being relatively new to the Texans offense is primarily a factor here. Also a factor is the New Orleans defense being the 3rd best in terms of fantasy points allowed to RBs in 2018. Houston, traveling into a tough environment, is facing an uphill battle against a very good Saints defense and I think they will lean on Hopkins, Fuller and Watson to try and pull the upset. Duke isn’t ready just yet.
Chris Godwin VS SF
Admittedly I am not a Godwin believer. I think he is overvalued and overhyped heading into 2019 BUT this matchup is too nice to ignore. The 49ers gave up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Bruce Arians said he wants Godwin to catch 100 balls and this matchup should get him off on the right foot.
Deebo Samuel @ TB
If you haven’t caught on by now, I like how this SF @ TB matchup is shaping up in terms of fantasy. This one I’m going out on a limb on. The 49ers are a bit of mystery heading into 2019. They face a Bucs defense that gave up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing WRs. I’m putting my money on rookie Deebo Samuel to be the guy out of the gate. The draft capital, the solid preseason performance and the lack of a better option tell me he will be fantasy relevant right away.
Sterling Shepard @ DAL
Let’s see here. Missed the entire preseason with a thumb injury? Check. Figures to be in a bad offense with an aging QB? Check. Facing a very good defense that allowed the 6th fewest amount of fantasy points to opposing WRs a year ago? Check. Yeah I’m good on Sterling Shepard, it’s a big no for me.
Robby Anderson VS BUF
I said above how good the Bills defense is and Robby Anderson specifically will be dealing with shutdown corner Tre’Davious White. The Bills defense was 4th best in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing WRs in 2018. All it takes is one deep ball from Darnold to Anderson to make this a good day for the receiver but it’s a risky bet to make.
Noah Fant @ OAK
Meet one of the new saviors of the tight end position in fantasy football. Noah Fant is a stud out of Iowa who should be fantasy relevant right away in the Denver passing offense. He’s the clear cut TE1 on the offense and is also a good run blocker so he doesn’t have any reason to come off the field. The Raiders gave up the 3rd most fantasy points to the TE position in 2018 and unless rookie Safety Jonathan Abram turns the entire unit around, I don’t see much improvement coming from Oakland.
Hunter Henry VS IND
Welcome back Hunter Hearst Henry! The TD machine missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL and is looking to officially break out in 2019. Antonio Gates is gone and Henry will likely be the 3rd or even 2nd receiving option in LA. He also is a very good red zone threat so the TD potential is high. On top of all of that, Indy gave up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing TEs in 2018.
David Njoku VS TEN
I like Njoku the NFL player but the fantasy football player is fools gold. Landry and OBJ are both a target monster, the run game is going to be featured heavily and I just don’t know if there is a big enough piece of the pie for the talented Njoku. On top of all of that, Tennessee allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to the TE position in 2018.
Jimmy Graham @ CHI
I am out on Jimmy Graham heading into 2019. He looked like a shell of himself last year and isn’t getting any younger. He also has a finger injury he is dealing with heading into Week 1. Not to mention the Bears gave up the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs in 2018. Put it all together and I’m avoiding Graham in Week 1.