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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

WKF Week 1 Fantasy Breakdown

Dallas vs. Tampa Bay (-7.5 / 51.5)

The‌ ‌official‌ ‌kickoff‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌2021-2022‌ ‌NFL‌ ‌season‌ ‌officially‌ ‌arrives‌ ‌on‌ ‌Thursday‌ ‌evening‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌matchup‌ ‌that‌ ‌pits‌ ‌last‌ ‌year’s‌ ‌Super‌ ‌Bowl‌ ‌champion‌ ‌Tampa‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Buccaneers‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌exciting‌ ‌return‌ ‌of‌ ‌Dak‌ ‌Prescott‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Dallas‌ ‌Cowboys.‌ ‌This‌ ‌game‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌certain‌ ‌to‌ ‌bring‌ ‌excitement‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌plethora‌ ‌of‌ ‌fantasy‌ ‌superstars.‌ ‌

Look‌ ‌for‌ ‌Tom‌ ‌Brady‌ ‌and‌ ‌Dak‌ ‌Prescott‌ ‌to‌ ‌each‌ ‌put‌ ‌up‌ ‌big‌ ‌numbers.‌ ‌Each‌ ‌quarterback‌ ‌faces‌ ‌a‌ ‌pass‌ ‌defense‌ ‌that‌ ‌ranked‌ ‌middle‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌pack‌ ‌last‌ ‌season,‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌Buccaneers‌ ‌allowing‌ ‌the‌ ‌12‌th‌‌ ‌most‌ ‌total‌ ‌passing‌ ‌yards‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌season‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Cowboys‌ ‌allowing‌ ‌the‌ ‌11‌th‌‌ ‌most‌ ‌passing‌-yards‌ -per‌ -game.‌ ‌A‌ ‌pair‌ ‌of‌ ‌quarterbacks‌ ‌–‌ ‌each‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌stacked‌ ‌receiving‌ ‌corps‌ ‌–‌ ‌should‌ ‌put‌ ‌up‌ ‌large‌ ‌numbers.‌ ‌Some‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌benefactors‌ ‌of‌ ‌these‌ ‌quarterbacks‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌Amari‌ ‌Cooper,‌ ‌CeeDee‌ ‌Lamb,‌ ‌Mike‌ ‌Evans,‌ ‌Chris‌ ‌Godwin‌ ‌(if‌ ‌healthy),‌ ‌Antonio‌ ‌Brown‌ ‌and‌ ‌Michael‌ ‌Gallup.‌ ‌All‌ ‌of‌ ‌these‌ ‌players‌ ‌have‌ ‌fantasy‌ ‌upside‌ ‌this‌ ‌week.‌ ‌

In‌ ‌the‌ ‌running‌ ‌game,‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌worried‌ ‌about‌ ‌Ezekiel‌ ‌Elliott.‌ ‌The‌ ‌Tampa‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌run‌ ‌defense‌ ‌was‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌by‌ ‌far‌ ‌last‌ ‌season,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Zeke‌ ‌is‌ ‌coming‌ ‌off‌ ‌a‌ ‌season‌ ‌where‌ ‌he‌ ‌failed‌ ‌to‌ ‌reach‌ ‌expectations‌ ‌despite‌ ‌finishing‌ ‌the‌ ‌season‌ ‌as‌ ‌an‌ ‌RB1.‌ ‌I‌ ‌expect‌ ‌Zeke‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌slow‌ ‌start‌ ‌to‌ ‌this‌ ‌season‌ ‌as‌ ‌well,‌ ‌but‌ ‌in‌ ‌all,‌ ‌I‌ ‌expect‌ ‌him‌ ‌to‌ ‌bounce‌ ‌back‌ ‌to‌ ‌normal‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌year.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌league‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Zeke‌ ‌owner‌ ‌sees‌ ‌him‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌bad‌ ‌game‌ ‌in‌ ‌prime‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌open‌ ‌the‌ ‌season,‌ ‌shoot‌ ‌them‌ ‌an‌ ‌offer.‌ ‌You‌ ‌might‌ ‌just‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌trade‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌discount‌ ‌RB1.‌ ‌

Pick:‌ ‌Dallas‌ ‌31,‌ ‌Tampa‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌21‌

Jacksonville vs. Houston (+2.5 / 44.5)

We’ll get our first glance of the Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville. The Texans were the worst against the run a season ago and I expect that trend to continue into 2021 as that entire roster (and organization) is in turmoil. With that being said, the new #25 (James Robinson) should have a field day. In the second game against the Texans last season, games ran for 99 yards and a score. If you have Robinson, you should expect RB1 numbers out of him this week. As for the receiving corp in Jacksonville, I’m taking a step back to see how things pan out. Obviously if you have to, play them, but we’re unsure of what the likes of Marvin Jones’ role may exactly be. Laviska Shenault should be a safe play in PPR leagues and D.J. Chark has shown flashes in the past. The Texans did allow the ninth most receiving yards per game last year so if your hand is forced, you should get a somewhat safe floor out of these guys. On the Texans side of the ball, I don’t think you can play anyone but Bradin Cooks. You have to have a better quarterback option than Tyrod Taylor. David Johnson, Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay should all get some touches behind PFF’s 23rd ranked offensive line at the conclusion of the 2020 season. I don’t even mention the tight end position because there’s no value there. I’m not starting any Texans runningback.

Seattle vs Indianapolis (+2.5 / 49.5)

Seattle has a well funneled offense, and while the matchup could be better, I’m not sitting any of their key players (Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett or Chris Carson.) I can’t recommend starting the tight ends, as there have been reports that both Gerald Everett and Will Dissly will split time and both have been effective as receiving weapons – this likely means that they will cap each other and should only be considered in deep leagues (Everett is my clear preference as Dissly is still working back to 100-percent health from a significant lower body injury.) I have much less confidence in Indianapolis – their scheme will rotate their receivers, so even being shorthanded, I don’t expect Michael Pittman or Parris Campbell to put up a huge game. Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson are both returning from foot injuries, so there is the risk that they aren’t 100-percent (although Wentz looked to be in good shape in practice clips I’ve seen.) You’re obviously not sitting him, but I still have questions about how the Colts will use Jonathan Taylor this year. Will he get the true workhorse role, or will he continue to lose snaps to players like Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines? If you drafted him, you likely believe it’s the former, so you’re not going to listen to my words of caution anyway.

New York Jets vs. Carolina (-5 / 45.5)

This is probably the least exciting of the Week 1 matchups, especially for fantasy football. Of course, CMC will never not be in your lineup if healthy and not on a bye. Outside of that, I’m interested to see how Sam Darnold does away from the Jets, but I don’t think Week 1 is the time to play him. Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore should be safe plays this week as the Jets’ defense is, well, the Jets defense. I’m waiting to see if Dan Arnold can be a productive fantasy football tight end or if the Cardinals just can’t involve a tight end, ever. On the Jets side, Cory Davis has been the talk of the town over the preseason. Of course, he has rookie Zach Wilson throwing to him, who’s had a decent preseason. Go ahead and play Davis and Jameison Crowder, especially in PPR leagues, but in your flex positions, or possibly in a WR3 slot if your league has that. I’m not comfortable playing anyone in the Jets’ backfield until we get some clarity. Tevin Coleman is listed as the starter by Ty Johnson and rookie Michael Carter has to have a role, at least one should expect. There isn’t a tight end worth mentioning for the Jets and you will have a better play in this Week 1 than Zach Wilson.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Washington (+1 / 44.5)

Justin Herbert and the Chargers look to breakdown the Washington Football Team’s impressive defense in their Week 1 outing. News broke late Wednesday that Austin Ekeler suffered a hamstring injury during practice. If he is to miss out, I still wouldn’t be comfortable sending out Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley or Larry Rountree III. This Washington defense is no joke and their new look offense led by Fitzmagic can put some points on the board. As for Keenan Allen, he’s a must play weekly and the same can be said about Mike Williams (if he can stay healthy.) This Washington defense is tough, but their front seven is better than their secondary. If Ekeler is to play, I think you have to play him due to the draft capital you put into him, but hinder your expectations. A tweaked hamstring and one of the best rushing defenses in the league? That isn’t an equation for success. Jared Cook is an okay play at tight end, but that’s it. I feel like you would have a better option. Oh, and the sophomore quarterback Los Angeles has, you can probably play him this week as well. As for the Washington side of the game, I would be hard pressed to start Ryan Fitzpatrick as he either throws for 500 yards or 150 yards and five interceptions, there’s no inbetween with the guy. But it’s safe, of course, to roll out Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin. Curtis Samuel left Wednesday’s practice with an injury but if he was a go, I think he’s safe to play at flex. Logan Thomas can be slotted in of course and let’s hold off on J.D. McKissic untill we see how much of the workload they give Gibson.

Minnesota vs. Cincinnati (+3 / 48)

If this was last year, fantasy managers would be salivating to see the Vikings and Bengals facing off. Last year they were ranked 27th and 26th in total defense respectively, and fantasy stars could feast. That said, both teams made concerted efforts to improve that in the offseason, devoting literally hundreds of millions of dollars to signing and resigning some stars. But does that mean they’re the real deal?

With Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce coming back from injury, along with the signings of Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander, I think the Vikings defense will be a jarring wake-up call for Joe Burrow in his second year, especially playing his first full game back from a brutal knee injury. If you have another starting option at quarterback, I’d fade Burrow.

This also means a potentially down night for the trio of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase, but you should still watch this game carefully! It’ll be our first look into the target shares of these three folks that have been giving fantasy managers headaches throughout the fantasy draft process. I still think Higgins will lead the team in targets and yards based on the connection he had with Burrow last season, but especially with Patrick Peterson hanging around… Who knows?

Fade Joe Mixon. Did you see that revamped Vikings defensive front?

Following up on the revamped defenses - I don’t have quite as much faith in the Bengals. To that end, I think the Vikings are going to take an early lead and Dalvin Cook will provide immediate validation for all you fantasy managers who drafted him with your second overall pick.

(Side note - hey Cook owners! Did you grab Alexander Mattison to handcuff? Do it. You don’t want a potential tweaked hammy in Week 1 to derail your fantasy season before it even starts.)

Check out tight end Tyler Conklin if you’re looking to save some budget on a DFS lineup. Chris Herndon is currently third on the depth chart as he learns the playbook and finds his groove with his new team. This means it’s Conklin’s first (and maybe only?) game as the TE1 for the Vikings, and we know Cousins likes targeting his Tight Ends - particularly in the end zone - hence the hype surrounding Irv Smith before his injury.

As far as receivers go, Justin Jefferson will get the yards, Thielen will get the TDs. For whatever reason, that seemed to be the trend from last season, and I expect it to pick up where it left off immediately. Just because J-Jeff has made it clear he’s the fantasy superstar doesn’t mean Thielen will just disappear overnight.

San Francisco vs. Detroit (+7.5 / 45.5)

Jared Goff makes his debut in Detroit against a familiar opponent. He will have seen plenty of the 49ers’ defense coming into this one, but that shouldn’t matter. This is a terrible matchup for Detroit, a team that has been regarded as bottom five in the league all offseason long. While there are a few sleepers on this offense, I’m largely avoiding most of the pass catchers. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is entering a potential breakout year as the main receiving option for Jared Goff. Start him everywhere you have him. Amon St. Brown is also a name to remember. The rookie has flashed at camp, but it remains to be seen how involved he’ll be Week 1. Outside of them, Tyrell Williams could be a decent DFS dart-throw. He will see enough targets to be semi-relevant. Whether or not he can produce with a high target share remains to be seen.

For this particular matchup, I’m also looking at the Lions’ backfield for fantasy value. Jamaal Williams is a proven NFL running back that can pass protect, catch the ball and run between the tackles. While not as special of an athlete as his running mate D'andre Swift, Williams is a more complete back and should provide the most fantasy value in Week 1. Swift is still coming off a rough groin injury that sidelined him through most of camp. For this week, I expect a larger workload for Jamaal Williams. Lower your hopes for Swift, at least for this week.

If you’re starting a D/ST in this one, it has to be SF. When fully healthy, this is a top eight defensive unit. Against this motley crew Lions’ offense, I expect the 49ers to largely dominate this matchup on both sides of the ball, having been gifted one of the best matchups in Week 1. Their offensive and defensive lines should easily outclass their opponents, which will allow for the 49ers to do what they do best. Run the football.

Mostert is still the lead back, and possesses the ability to score on every play. He’s an easy RB2 against the Lions’ weak defense. Trey Sermon could also see a decent workload out of the gate after impressing in training camp. He also has the potential to unseat Mostert if given the opportunity. I like him as a spot start flex option this week.

The passing game for the 49ers should also yield great results. Regardless of who is at quarterback, wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are both great WR2 options with explosive, week-winning type upside. Lock both of these guys into your lineup if you can. Furthermore George Kittle is going to do what George Kittle does; terrorize the opposing defense. He’s a top three tight end who should be started every week. With Garoppolo starting, I expect a lot of short routes in space to let the playmakers showcase their talents. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance is a great stash, but shouldn’t be in your fantasy lineups until winning the starting job. I like the 49ers here, and being 7.5 point road favorites probably means it won’t be close.

Score prediction: 49ers 30, Lions 13

Arizona vs Tennessee (-3 / 52)

Derrick Henry should get things rolling against a Cardinals team that allowed 125.5 yards-per-game on the ground (11th worst in the NFL) in 2020. I expect both A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to be fine in this one. Although Arizona was very good against the passing game (226.4 ypg), I do expect them to take a step back. The Titans will likely lean on Henry in this game, but expect Ryan Tannehill to efficiently take shots with his pass catchers so everyone should put up solid numbers for Tennessee. Firkser also gets his first chance to shine after taking over for Jonnu Smith. For the Cardinals, I’m extremely comfortable rolling out Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Chase Edmonds; but would want to take a wait and see approach on A.J. Green, Rondale Moore and James Conner.

Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo (-6.5 / 48.5)

Even in a matchup with one of the most dominant defenses in football, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are going to be in your lineup. In their last meeting this past season, Diggs brought in 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He is an elite WR1 backed by an elite quarterback, so naturally Diggs is an auto start. The Bills passing game only figures to get better this season with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the rise of Gabriel Davis. Cole Beasley is the forgotten man in this system, but his PPR value makes him a sneaky spot start as a WR3/flex play. In 2020, especially in the absence of John Brown, he proved to be a more than capable fantasy option, finishing the year just outside the top 24 WRs in PPR scoring (27th.)

While Buffalo’s passing options are fantastic, their rushing options aren’t so great. Devin Singletary has plenty of talent, but his lack of usage in the passing game and lack of goal line touches is worrying. Meanwhile, his counterpart Zach Moss provides slightly better TD upside with his running style, but lacks in ability and touches in between the 20’s. Especially against a front seven that shut down far more elite runners a season ago. I’m fading the Buffalo backfield this week, outside of Josh Allen of course!

2020 was a strange year for the Steelers, who went on an improbable winning streak before falling apart at the seams down the stretch. Reports out of Pittsburgh suggest that quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger’s arm strength looks much improved from a year ago, coming off surgery to reattach three tendons in his elbow. Against this Buffalo defense, Ben should only be in fantasy lineups involving superflex/two quarterback formats. Otherwise, I’m looking at other streaming options like Kirk Cousins against Cincinnati. His receiving options are among the most talented in the sport, and all three can be considered WR2/flex options this week. They will have to throw to keep up with Buffalo. Diontae Johnson is the safest option, while Chase Claypool (many people’s 2021 breakout candidate) provides an immense touchdown upside and should see more touches than his rookie year. JuJu Smith-Schuster ranks last for me out of the three, but he will see enough volume to be a startable asset this week as well.

Speaking on volume, rookie runningback Najee Harris should see at least 20 opportunities right out of the gate. With little competition and a first round investment, he should see not only plenty of carries but also plenty of targets in the passing game. Even if it’s a rough debut for Harris, the volume alone is enough for me to start him. His unique skill set makes him a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside this week. Just start him and watch him eat!

One position group for both teams that I am staying away from is tight end. Pat Freiermuth could very well become a regular contributor, but with Eric Ebron still in the picture it could be a slow start for the rookie. On the other side, Dawson Knox will get the majority of the work, but with Buffalo running a lot of 11 personnel and empty sets, he likely won’t get the volume necessary for me to plug him in my fantasy lineup. I see him as a desperation play in deeper leagues.

If you drafted the PIT D/ST you’re probably going to want to play them given the draft price. However, while they can make big plays and force turnovers regularly, I am not starting ANY defense against Buffalo this season, certainly not in Buffalo. Conversely, the Bills D/ST ranks in my top 12 this week at home playing in front of Bills Mafia at full capacity.

Score prediction: Buffalo 31 Pittsburgh 17

Philadelphia vs. Atlanta (-3.5 / 48)

Jalen Hurts will be leading his partially revamped offense into Hotlanta for their season opener. He will have a new flashy weapon on the outside in first-round draft pick Davonta Smith. The offensive line is healthier coming into the season, as is Miles Sanders. I'm personally not a big believer in this offense's fantasy value, however Atlanta's defense doesn't necessarily strike fear into anyone.

Look for Hurts to push toward QB12 or so this week, maybe higher if he's able to make plays with his legs. Top outside targets Smith and Jalen Reagor should see six-to-eight targets each in a game that could end up being a shootout on both sides. Many have fizzled on the potential of Miles Sanders, however he could be a sneaky good play this week behind a solid offensive line that should be able to impose their will on the Falcons front seven. I wouldn't be shocked to see him flirt with high RB2 numbers this week.

Matt Ryan will start the 2021 campaign leading the dirty birds for a 14th straight season. I don't hate starting him In a deeper league here. The Eagles front seven can be dominant, but their secondary is underwhelming to put it nicely. I'm fully expecting a pass happy gameplan from Head Coach Arthur Smith this week. Mike Davis has bell cow potential this year, and I'm still starting him this week in PPR due to his ability to catch out of the backfield, but I'd be surprised to see him amass over 70 yards on the ground against this defensive line. I'd prefer starting Sanders to Davis this week.

Ridley is a must start almost every week, as I'm expecting the fourth year wideout to build on last year's impressive numbers. This week is no different, look for 10-plus targets for the former Nick Saban product. Gage has some value as a flex in deeper leagues, but it's a riskier play until we know how this team's target share is going to shake out. Looking at tight ends, I am a huuuge believer in Kyle Pitts' talent. I think he's the most likely gold jacket player from this year's class. But I would have to be hard up to start a rookie tight end Week 1 in fantasy. Outside of quarterback, the tight end position is probably the hardest transition to make for rookies. The Falcons may keep the reigns on Pitts for a while before they rely too heavily on him.

In a nutshell, sit the defenses if you for some reason roster either one. Look for Eagles to be run heavy and the Falcons to be anything but. But hey, it's Week 1. Trust your gut people. You know as much as any of us right now. Embrace the chaos. It's back. We've made it. Cheers.

Score prediction: Atlanta 31-Eagles 16.

Cleveland vs. Kansas City (-6.5 / 52.5)

Last season’s runners-up - the Kansas City Chiefs – open the season at home in a matchup with one of last season’s AFC wild cards – the Cleveland Browns. Last season the Browns’ playoff run was ended by these very same Chiefs in the Divisional round of the playoffs where Mahomes and company earned a 22-17 win en route to a Super Bowl appearance.

Both of these teams return most of their offensive fantasy weapons for the 2021 season. Patrick Mahomes leads the charge for Kansas City with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire all slotting in as fantasy must-starts for me. In last season’s Divisional Round game, both Kelce and Hill notched eight receptions for over 100 receiving yards apiece. Kelce also found the endzone in that game. Edwards-Helaire did not play, but fellow backfield-mate Darrel Williams carded 13 carries for 78 yards (6.0 ypc).

For the Browns, the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt look to run it back on a season where they finished as RB10 and RB11 in PPR scoring. Both backs averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry on the ground in last year’s matchup with Hunt also finding the endzone. Odell Beckham Jr. returns to the fold after suffering a torn ACL in Week 7 of last season. I’m intrigued to see what – if anything – Beckham still has in the tank as a productive fantasy receiver. Kansas City presents a decent matchup, as the Chiefs were a mid-tier defense against the pass last season. OBJ is a solid flex option this week, but I wouldn’t expect much more from him.

With an expected temperature of 91 degrees at kickoff, this could be the hottest game of the week. Expect to see some cramping and potentially some starters taking a few reps off to cool down.

Pick: Kansas City 31, Cleveland 24

Green Bay vs New Orleans (+3 / 50)

The Last Dance. That’s all you need to know. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have something to prove, so if you have them, you better use them. Aaron Jones is always safe (although the Saints’ defense is quite strong.) I’m probably not relying on anyone else from the Packers in this one. New Orleans on the other hand has a lot of question marks. Will we see the Jameis that won the starting job (ball security, good accuracy) or the Jameis that lost his job with the Buccaneers (turnover machine, highly aggressive?) Marquez Callaway has been the talk of Saints’ training camp and looks to show that he belongs while replacing injured wide receiver Michael Thomas. I’m hoping to not rely on the New Orleans passing attack, as Green Bay typically allows yards on the ground and fields a stout secondary. Alvin Kamara should be in line for a great day, and we’ll see whether Tony Jones inherits the full RB2 workload following the release of Latavius Murray. There are also reports that Juwan Johnson has won the receiving tight end role over Andrew Trautman who is dealing with injury, so keep an eye on him as a potential pickup, but I’m not starting either if both suit up.

Denver vs. New York Giants (+3 / 41.5)

Call me a cynic, but I’ve been living in New York City for eight years now, and every offseason the Giants promise that they’ll improve, and they never have. This is supposed to be the year that Daniel Jones proves that he was worth a sixth overall pick! They got Golladay! Saquon is back! Enter: The Denver Broncos.

The Broncos are projected to be a top three defense this year, and New York’s three top skill position players have been dealing with injuries throughout the preseason. Evan Engram probably won’t even play with his calf injury. Saquon is working on coming back from his torn ACL, so we’ve already been told he won’t be taking on his classic full workload. Kenny Golladay is dealing with a hamstring injury, and even said himself last week that the Giants’ offense will **literally a quote** “be a little probably slow to get off.” When your top wide receiver doesn’t have faith in your offense to kick things off on a good note, neither should you fantasy managers.

To that end, I think the Broncos are going to ground and pound and let their defense win this one. Melvin Gordon looked good in his final preseason appearance after dealing with a groin injury for a bit, but the potential for a lingering injury opens up more playing time for Javonte Williams in this first game. Even if Gordon is close to or at 100-percent health, the coaching staff will want to make sure he stays that way. I expect the Broncos to run the ball 35-40 times in this game, so when debating between Gordon and Williams… Porqué no los dos?

This also means you should temper your expectations on the Jerry Jeudy coming out party. I think Teddy Bridgewater will be a slight upgrade from Drew Lock for Jeudy, but this isn’t the game for it. Same with Fant, though Fant always has a chance of snagging a touchdown because he’s a big ol’ target in that end zone.

Dolphins vs. Patriots (-2.5 / 43.5)

A lot to look forward to in this game. We get the NFL debut of Mac Jones and a look at Tua in his first full season as the Dolphins’ starter. We also get to see if my backing of Damien Harris this past offseason was all worth it. I think Harris has a safe floor with Mac Jones starting in his first game. Harris will have RB2/Flex value for sure and should be relied on heavily in this Week 1 divisional matchup. On the other side of the ball, Myles Gaskins has also been a big offseason topic. The Patriots were the seventh worst team in the league last season against the run. Gaskins is a safe RB2, or may I even say, RB1 play this week. As for the receivers, the Patriots will be without Stephon Gilmore. I personally can’t wait to see Jaylen Waddle operate in this Dolphins’ offense. I think he and DeVante Parker can be played this week, especially in leagues with two flex positions. On the Patriots’ side, Jakobi Meyers should have a decent game as well. For tight ends, Mike Gesecki was drafted as a top ten positional guy so you’re playing him and there are big hopes for both the Patriot’s two new additions; Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. I’d prefer to play Jonnu over Henry as I feel Henry will be touchdown dependent, but both can probably be played.

Chicago vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7 / 44)

Excitement will be in the air in Los Angeles as the Matthew Stafford era begins for the Rams. Man folks have the Rams pegged as an early season Super Bowl favorite, but the team looks to get off on the right foot against a tough Chicago Bears’ defense.

For the Rams, the skill position players take a slight hit for me against a tough Bears’ defense. These two teams have met up in each of the last three seasons, and the final scores of those games were 15-6, 17-7 and 24-10. I’m expecting to see a low-scoring affair with Rams’ starters getting their first reps together against a tough defense, and Andy Dalton leading the way on the other side against an equally tough Rams’ defense. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods should be started, but it’s tough to say what you may get out of each player as far as fantasy points go.

This is a tough matchup for Allen Robinson, as Jalen Ramsey may shadow the Bear’s top weapon. Robinson is still a must-start, but his upside is limited. I’m expecting to see a lot of David Montgomery in this one as long as the Bears can keep it close. Their best chance to win is to run clock and keep the game low scoring. To do that, Montgomery will see plenty of touches.

Don’t forget about Andy Dalton’s primetime record. Dalton was 6-19 as a member of the Bengals in primetime games. It will be interesting to see if he can shake his seemingly bad luck in prime time.

Pick: Rams 21, Bears 10

Ravens vs. Raiders (-4.5 / 51)

I’m kind of upset that we only get one Monday Night Football game this Week 1 opposed to the two we normally see, but at least we get a decent one to start the season. The Ravens are littered with fantasy value. Of course you’re playing Lamar Jackson if you have him. Gus Edwards was being drafted as a RB1, so he’s a must play. On top of that, the Raiders allowed the ninth most rushing yards last season. As for Ty'Son Williams and the hype train within the fantasy community he’s started, he can be left on your bench until we see what is to happen with him. Of course, Mark Andrews will be in your lineup and if you have Hollywood Brown, I think you’re safe to play him. The Raiders allowed the seventh most passing yards-per-game last season. On the Raiders side, I think Derek Carr is a safe play. This game is projected to be the fourth highest scoring game in Week 1. There will be plenty of chances for Carr to put up a ton of yards and touchdowns. The Ravens were pretty decent against the run last season, which points to me steering away from the new tandem of Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake, but again, if you own Jacobs your hand may be forced. Just don’t expect a big week out of him and keep Drake on the bench. Darren Waller will never not be in your lineup and both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards will have some good value. I’d prefer to wait a week or two to see how Edwards does in his new rule with the team.

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