Sunday’s kickoff is fast approaching and information is key to victory. Here are some tips for setting your fantasy lineup for this all important first week of the fantasy football season. Week 1 is always tricky as no one has a great idea what to expect from individual and team concepts, but here’s my fantasy advice going into Week 1.
Derek Carr (QB) – Carr proved to be a consistent quarterback in fantasy terms last year with 32 passing touchdowns in only his second NFL season. He starts this season with some serious weapons in Amari Cooper, Latavius Murray, and a resurgent Michael Crabtree. As well as a very favorable matchup against last year’s 31st ranked pass defense, expect some big numbers from Carr down in the bayou today.
Arian Foster (RB) – With the inactive Jay Ajayi twittling his thumbs back in Miami as the team is in Seattle, Arian Foster now becomes a solid RB2 or Flex position starter. As I recommended earlier this week I always thought Foster was worthy of Flex consideration, but it is now a must to get him into your lineup today. His fantasy football projections have all moved into double digit territory after the news of Ajayi being left in the dog house this week. Strike while the Foster iron is hot, because we know he burns fast and bright before he gets struck down by another injury.
Martellus Bennett (TE) – DON’T START GRONK! Just in case you were living under a fantasy rock this past week Rob Gronkowski was listed as out for Sunday night’s game in Arizona. This development puts Bennett in prime position to ball out this week in the tight end heavy offense that New England runs. Don’t let newbie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo scare you off from starting Bennett. Young quarterbacks are prone to tight end check downs to get their confidence going, so Bennett should have a very productive night in your starting TE slot.
Marvis Jones (WR) – Normally I would NEVER recommend starting a lesser known receiver who was playing for the Detroit Lions in Week 1, but has really impressed in preseason. Matthew Stafford is still going to be slinging it around the field in search of someone to fill the gaping Megatron-sized hole in the Lions offense. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb thinking it will take both Golden Tate AND Jones to bridge the gap. This week’s matchup against the meager Colts secondary will prove to be the beginning of the Stafford-Jones connection we will be hearing about in 2016 and beyond.
Dak Prescott (QB) – I was impressed like everyone else by the performances of Prescott this preseason. He has great mobility, a strong arm, and is nicknamed as Luke Skywalker’s co-pilot on Hoth. Damn that malfunction in fire controls! You may be drinking the Prescott Kool-Aid especially in a first week matchup with 2015’s worst pass defense, but I would advise putting down the red solo cup for now. The Giants invested heavily in improving their pass defense with the addition of Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins. I see the Cowboys going more conservative and Prescott having a big day, but only in terms of handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliot and Alfred Morris.
Thomas Rawls (RB) – This one is somewhat of a surprise as most fantasy experts had Rawls as a definite RB2 going into the season. The Seahawks have officially listed Christine Michael as the starting running back for Week 1 over Rawls. I don’t believe this means Rawls has dropped dramatically in value yet as he will be serving in the goal line battering ram role, but if you have a capable RB3 or WR3 in your flex you should consider a change for Rawls.