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Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 1

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports



Cam Newton, Patriots (vs. Dolphins): Newton has been earning rave reviews in training camp and was even named a team captain. He has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, but he still flashed the ability to be a meaningful fantasy contributor when on the field. In 2018, he was eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. He will open the season with a great matchup against the Dolphins, who gave up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (vs. Cardinals): Only one team gave up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Dolphins last season: the Cardinals. In fact, Garoppolo had his two best fantasy performances against the Cardinals last season scoring 28.88 points in Week 9 and 29.66 points in Week 11. He is a strong streaming option.

Sleeper: Tyrod Taylor, Chargers (vs. Bengals)


Baker Mayfield, Browns (vs. Ravens): Contrary to the Cardinals and Dolphins, the Ravens shut down passing offenses last season allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Now with the additions of Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe. and Patrick Queen, they could become even better this season. Mayfield does have some bounce-back potential, but this is not the week to start him.

Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. Bills): Darnold has struggled against Buffalo’s strong defense. In his three career games against the Bills, Darnold has never reached 200 passing yards or thrown multiple touchdown passes.

Running backs


Mark Ingram, Ravens (vs. Browns): The Browns gave up the third-most rushing yards last season. The Ravens backfield is crowded with the addition of J.K. Dobbins, but Ingram is still unquestionably the lead back in the most prolific rushing offense in NFL history.

James White, Patriots (vs. Dolphins): The Patriots will reportedly “ease” Sony Michel back into the mix this week, and Damien Harris is on the IR with a hand injury. White has always been a strong PPR option. He scored a touchdown in both games against the Dolphins last season and has recorded 159 receptions over the past two years. With Michel limited and Harris out, White is in line for a larger workload this Sunday.

Sleeper: Chris Thompson, Jaguars (vs. Colts)


Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers (vs. Saints): Fournette just signed with the Buccaneers on September 2nd, so I do not anticipate him leading the backfield Week 1. In addition, Bruce Arians said that Ronald Jones is still the starter.

Kareem Hunt, Browns (vs. Ravens): Hunt provided value in his role as a third-down back and started off his career in Cleveland with six straight double-digit fantasy weeks. Nevertheless, the Ravens gave up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Last season, they were able to hold Hunt to only four receptions and 41 total yards.

Wide Receivers


Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (vs. Eagles): McLaurin was sensational in Washington’s two games against the Eagles last season. He had five receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown in their first matchup, then followed that performance with five receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown later that season. Furthermore, the Eagles gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last season, and Washington will likely have plenty of opportunities to throw the football playing from behind against the strongly favored Eagles.

DJ Chark Jr., Jaguars (vs. Colts): Chark is the clear number one wide receiver in Jacksonville. The Jaguars actually pulled off a Week 17 upset over the Colts with a final score of 38-20, and Chark had a monster game against the Colts earlier that season with eight receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

Sleeper: Kendrick Bourne, 49ers (vs. Cardinals)


Tyler Boyd, Bengals (vs. Chargers): The Chargers have a strong secondary, even without Derwin James; they gave up the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers last season. Boyd will also have to contend with A.J. Green and John Ross, who are returning from injuries, and rookie Tee Higgins for targets.

Odell Beckham Jr., Browns (vs. Ravens): Beckham’s teammate Jarvis Landry produced well against the Ravens last season, but Beckham was shut down by the cornerback duo of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. He only had a combined 64 receiving yards in two games against the Ravens, despite being targeted a total of 13 times.

Tight Ends


Hayden Hurst, Falcons (vs. Seahawks): Hurst will take over Austin Hooper’s role in Atlanta’s offense. The Seahawks allowed the second-most points to opposing tight ends last season; Hooper even had 18.5 PPR points in Atlanta’s Week 8 game against them. Hurst should provide good production this week at a shallow fantasy position.

Sleeper: Dallas Goedert, Eagles (vs. Washington Football Team)


Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (vs. Patriots): Gesicki was limited in practice Wednesday due to a glute injury, which could limit him Sunday.

Additionally, Durham Smythe was listed as the starting tight end on Miami’s first depth chart.

Finally, New England’s secondary is far from an ideal matchup.