Football is back, which means so is our national pastime. No, I’m not talking about baseball which has long since been surpassed by the pigskin sport. I’m not even talking about the actual football games themselves. I’m talking FANTASY FOOTBALL, baby! Every year, you do countless mocks, anticipating the glorious day of your fantasy football drafts. Hope springs anew, and you see the twinkle of your league’s championship trophy in your mind’s eye, knowing you’ll do anything and everything to raise the gold at the conclusion of the season.
But, you can’t do it alone. You need help! We all need help! That’s where I come in. Now, I’m not saying that by reading my weekly START/SIT column you’ll be guaranteed to toast your competition. But, I can guarantee that if you take my advice, you’ll at least have someone else to blame when your match-up goes awry and you fall in defeat to your opponent. The feeling you get for not being at fault when you face misfortune is a close runner-up to the exaltation of sweet, sweet victory. Let me be that scapegoat for you.
Each week I will take a look at three STARTS and three SITS around the league, and since we’re on a Miami Dolphins site, at the end of each article, I will give you one START and one SIT for the Fins as well. Let’s get started!
Chris Godwin – WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There are many mouths to feed in the Tampa Bay offense, but the same thing was said last year, and Godwin had a great season, averaging 12.9 yards per catch and scoring 7 touchdowns through the air. Godwin’s week one opponent, Dallas, ranked 11th against the pass last season, but teams simply didn’t need to throw the football against the Cowboys, as they just weren’t a very good team without Dak Prescott at QB, and therefore didn’t have many late leads. PFF ranks Dallas as the 31st secondary heading into the season, so if you have Godwin, or any Bucs WR, you’re starting them on opening night.
Raheem Mostert – RB – San Francisco 49ers
Mostert’s ability on the field is not in question this season, it’s the amount of time he spends off of the field nursing injuries that has fantasy managers worried. Well, it’s early in the year, and Mostert is healthy, so get your points from him while you still can. One of the fastest players in the NFL, playing in one of the most creative offenses, with a young QB in Trey Lance rotating in and helping to spread the defense... Sounds like Mostert could be in for a big day against a Lions defense that ranks as the 9th worst along the defensive front according to PFF. Add in Mostert’s receiving ability and you have all the keys for a successful week one.
DeVonta Smith – WR – Philadelphia Eagles
DeVonta Smith didn’t exactly light up defenses this preseason, but the Eagles will most certainly want to get the ball in the hands of their young WR early and often this year. A week one matchup against the lowly Falcons defense could be just what the doctor ordered for the rookie pass catcher. Atlanta will trot out four new safeties, including two rookies, as almost their entire safety unit from last year left in free agency. Their starting CB unit also grades out as one of the worst in the entire league. Especially in PPR formats, Smith should have a really nice day and I project him to end up in the WR2 range for the week.
Randall Cobb – WR – Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers got his wish and was reunited with former Packer great, Randall Cobb, this offseason. In his heyday, Cobb was a favorite target of Rodgers’, and was used all over the field as a Swiss Army Knife type of player. Those years have come and gone, and Cobb, now 31 years old, will probably only be serviceable for your fantasy squad when your starting receivers are on BYE weeks. If you have hopes of Cobb returning to his glory years of six or seven seasons ago, it would be best to temper those expectations until he proves otherwise.
Kenny Golladay – WR – New York Giants
A prized free agent acquisition by the New York Giants this offseason, Golladay has spent more time in the trainer’s room nursing a hamstring injury than he has spent on the practice field. Chemistry between he and QB Daniel Jones is most certainly not there yet, so trusting him against a secondary as stout as the Denver Broncos’ unit is not the smartest of plays in week one. If you own Golladay, you probably drafted him decently high and you may not have another option to go with week one, but if you have the luxury of a solid backup WR, you may want to take the safer route and leave Golladay out of your lineup to start the season.
Sony Michel – RB – Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers went down with injury this offseason, so in stepped Darrell Henderson to the Rams’ backfield. Then, Darrell Henderson injured his thumb, which prompted the Rams to trade for former 1st round pick of the New England Patriots, Sony Michel. Some are predicting a big role for Michel in Los Angeles, and that may prove to be true as the season progresses, but for week one, I’m not trusting a guy who hasn’t had much time to adjust to new surroundings and most likely doesn’t have a solid grasp on the Rams’ playbook. One of Chicago’s strengths is their defensive line, so all things considered, predicting a good day for Michel is something I just can’t do.
Mike Gesicki - TE
New England has a tough defense, and they get even tougher with the returns of multiple players who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns. Predicting a stellar day from any Dolphins playmaker is a difficult task, but if you’re going to roll the dice on a Fins skill position group, why not look at the tight ends? Tua Tagovailoa targeted his tight ends a whopping 31.1% of the time in 2020. Gesicki is in a contract year and is looking for a massive payday. If you want the big bucks, you have to put up the big stats. With the addition of Jaylen Waddle, and the return of Albert Wilson, Miami hopes that the added speed will free up some chunk plays for Gesicki down the middle of the field. Start Gesicki in your lineup and hope for the same thing.
Malcolm Brown – RB
The Dolphins have had a horrid history of poor production from their short yardage running backs going all the way back to Daniel Thomas, a former 2011 second round selection out of Kansas State. Need a more recent example? Jordan Howard averaged 1.2 yards per carry for Miami last season before finally being put out to pasture via his release. Could Brown get lucky and score a goal-line touchdown against the Patriots? Possibly, but I’m not going to bet my week one match-up on that scenario. Let Brown ride the pine.
There you have it! That’s my advice for week one. Let me know how you do in week one by tweeting at me at @MBrave13! Did you win? Did you lose? Do you love me? Do you hate me? Either way, I’ll be back giving you my START/SITS for week two next week!