The most glorious time of the year is finally here football fans! If you didn’t have any players going in the Thursday night opener between the Texans and Chiefs, then here is your meal ticket to a victory in your week one matchup.
We’re going to avoid the no-brainers here and dig in a little deeper to wider pools and bigger leagues.
Kyler Murray – In most leagues, Murray may have been drafted as a “solid backup” quarterback. In others, he was drafted as a potential starter depending on the matchup. Well, I’m here to tell you that week one is a golden opportunity for the second year leader in Arizona. With newly acquired wideout DeAndre Hopkins and seasoned veteran Larry Fitzgerald returning for his 101st season, Murray is next in line for a breakout season. The Cardinals travel to San Francisco to face the scary 49ers defense from a year ago, however, the 49ers are bound for regression in 2020. Not having a proper training camp is cause for miscues in the secondary and unpreparedness against the NFL’s number one wide receiver.
Josh Allen – This one should be pretty simple to determine given the defense that Buffalo is playing against on Sunday. However, that’s not the most obvious reason why you should absolutely start Josh Allen. Stefon Diggs and Zack Moss add an extremely dynamic force to be reckoned with for the Bills. Diggs is clearly the number one target that Buffalo so desperately needed, and Moss adds versatility in the short-passing game that is so useful against run-stuffing defenses, like the Jets had only a year ago. I expect big things from Josh Allen this year, now that he finally has some weapons properly placed around him. Oh, and it does help that they’re playing a Jets secondary that just traded away Jamal Adams? Set him and forget here.
Jared Goff – The Rams are debuting their incredible new stadium in Los Angeles this Sunday night against the Cowboys. Unfortunately, I fear that stadium is going to be the only incredible thing wearing Los Angeles colors. This Dallas Cowboys defense is good and their offense can put up points. I’m expecting the Rams to be playing from behind early in this game, which theoretically should point their air-attack in the right direction. I’m not sold on Goff and you shouldn’t be either. If you have a viable second option, explore it, and hope for the best here.
Teddy Bridgewater – I was a big fan of Teddy Bridgewater in the few games that he started and won for the Saints during Drew Brees’ injured month just last year. Teddy finally has the opportunity to start and he definitely deserves it. The Panthers are going through a mess of changes this season and dumping the ball off to Christian McCaffrey is a surefire way to pad your stats, but it’s just not enough for me this week.
Running Back Starts
Melvin Gordon – The obvious choice at running back in this game between the Broncos and the Titans is without a doubt Derrick Henry. The man across the field from him isn’t a terrible start either though. Gordon is in line to split carries with Phillip Lindsay, but his veteran status and fresh-start initiative could yield a big boom for him this week. We know the Titans’ ground-and-pound game is their bread and butter, so how do you stop that? It’s a simple formula of using your own ground game to keep the opposing offense on the sidelines. I expect a heavy dose of Denver Bronco rushing attempts in this game.
Jonathan Taylor – The Colts have already announced Marlon Mack as their starting tailback for week one, including a timeshare with Jonathan Taylor. That should make you hesitate to start Taylor. However, remember last season when the Jaguars gave up over 25 fantasy points to opposing running backs? Timeshare or not, there is plenty of real estate to go around in the Colts backfield. You could easily see Taylor notch 60 yards and a touchdown with a few receptions and another 30-40 yards receiving.
Running Back Sits
Leonard Fournette – It’s entirely possible that Tampa Bay gets into a goal line situation and Leonard Fournette gets a one-yard touchdown, but is that really enough to warrant a start? I do not think so. There is so much talent throughout the Bucs’ receiving core, and a crowded backfield that already contains Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy makes it difficult to justify starting Fournette unless you’re part of a gigantic 16+ team league.
Wide Receiver Starts
A.J. Brown – In his rookie campaign, Brown turned 52 catches into over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. The Broncos are going to be without Von Miller for the entire season which should give Ryan Tannehill plenty of time to find the stud wideout for a big score. As the Titans open things up with their rushing attack, the play-action pass to Brown downfield will be ever-so enticing.
Wide Receiver Sits
Michael Gallup – Until proven otherwise, I would stay away from Gallup if possible. Newcomer CeeDee Lamb is the next man up for Dallas and could pose a serious threat to Gallup’s targets. This could be a hit or miss play here, but if you have other options in deeper leagues with guaranteed wide receiver production, then I would choose those.
Curtis Samuel – Having a competent quarterback in Bridgewater sure is nice for Curtis Samuel, but the addition of Robby Anderson is not. This acquisition is only going to diminish Samuel’s targets which were already low. He had 54 catches for 627 yards and six touchdowns last season. The addition of Anderson, and reliability of McCaffrey, will only hinder Samuel’s ability to make plays when they come his way in limited fashion.
Good luck in week one! Don’t forget to follow FantasyHRontap for more fantasy football information and please let us know how you fared in week one.