NFC playoffs analysis… Can the niners or vikings make it? Who will win the nfc east?

While reading this keep in mind these are projections and what if scenarios for the Niners, Vikings and NFC East teams.

Current NFC Standings:

  1. Saints (9-2)
  2. Packers (8-3)
  3. Rams (7-4)
  4. Seahawks (7-3)
  5. Buccaneers (7-5)
  6. Cardinals (6-5)
  7. Giants (4-7)

In the Hunt:

  1. Niners (5-6)
  2. Vikings (5-6)
  3. Bears (5-6)
  4. Falcons (4-7)
  5. Washington Football Team (4-7)
  6. Lions (4-7)

Let’s look at the top 3 teams in the hunt and their next three matchups.

Niners: The next 3 matchups are: The Bills, Washington and the Cowboys. Looking at record only the Niners need to beat Washington and the Cowboys. Ideally go 2-1 in the next 3 weeks.

Vikings: The next 3 matchups are: The Jaguars, the Buccaneers and the Bears. They need to be able to go 2-1 losing only to the Buccaneers.

Bears: The next 3 matchups are: The Lions, the Texans and the Vikings. The way the Texans and Vikings are playing and how Bears have been struggling at the QB position they are likely to go 1-2. They need to go at least 2-1 to stay in the hunt.

The Cardinals have an easy schedule for the next 3 weeks and should be able to go 3-0 and be a lock. The Rams play The Cardinals, the Patriots and the Jets, the Patriots are a wildcard team that could take down the Rams but it is likely that the Rams go 2-1 in the next 3 weeks. The Rams need to go 1-2 for the Vikings or Niners to have a true shot.

Projected NFC standings going into week 16:

  1. Saints (11-3)
  2. Packers (11-3)
  3. Seahawks (11-3)
  4. Buccaneers (9-5)
  5. Cardinals (9-5)—- Next two opponents The Niners and The Rams
  6. Rams (8-6)—- Next two opponents The Seahawks and The Cardinals
  7. Giants (4-10)(all NFC East teams will be 4-10 except the Eagles at 3-9-1)—-Next two opponents The Ravens and The Cowboys

In the Hunt:

  1. Niners (7-7)—- Next two opponents The Cardinals and The Seahawks
  2. Vikings (7-7)—-Next two opponents The Saints and The Lions
  3. Bears (6-8)—- Next two opponents The Jaguars and The Packers (likely eliminated)
  4. Cowboys (4-10)—-Next two opponents The Eagles and The Giants
  5. Washington Football Team (4-10)—-Next two opponents The Panthers and The Eagles

What needs to happen for Niners to make it:

Niners are likely to get Jimmy Garoppolo and Pro Bowl TE George Kittle for week 15 and 16 and they need to hope everyone on the roster stays healthy. With that team they can take down the Cardinals and the Seahawks and go 2-0 from weeks 15-16. They also need the Rams to lose at least one game out of the Seahawks and the Cardinals which is likely as both are high powered teams. This would put the Rams and the Niners at 9-7 each and the Niners would go ahead and take their spot since they swept the Rams.

What needs to happen for Vikings to make it:

The Rams need to 0-2 and the Niners need to go 0-2 or 1-1 while the Vikings go 2-0 against the Saints and the Lions. They are likely to lose to the Saints however as they are the best team in the NFC currently. But if they clutch the 2-0 they can take the Rams spot in the playoffs.

How will the NFC East shape out?

Out of the Cowboys, the Giants and the Football Team the Football Team or the Giants have the best shot. At the end of the day however, which ever team can have the best record in these two weeks will take that spot and this team will have to go 2-0.

Projected NFC playoff record:

  1. Saints (13-3)
  2. Packers (12-4)
  3. Seahawks (12-4)
  4. Buccaneers (10-6)
  5. Cardinals (9-7)*
  6. Niners (9-7)
  7. Giants (6-10)

*If the Cardinals lose to the Rams week 13 and week 17 they could get replaced by the Rams in the playoffs.

Special scenario… 8 playoff teams?

If any game were to be canceled and their was a week 18 added due to COVID reasons (Ravens VS Steelers for example) 8 teams from the NFC and the AFC could make it and that would mean all 4 NFC West teams have a chance which would be the first time in history. This would also give the Bears and the Falcons a shot at making an attempt.

If you want to see the AFC projections comment below!

WEEK 8: Plug em in/ sit em out

Quarterbacks 

Plug em in 

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (SF 49ers):
    • Divisional header versus the Seattle Seahawks who are allowing 26.4 fantasy points a game on average to opposing QBs.
    • Must win game for the Niners in the toughest division in the league. 
    • Last week Garoppolo threw two picks, one of which came with 10 secs in the half when he had to throw it deep. 
    • Jamaal Adams might still be out this week which would leave George Kittle to feast on the Seahawks weak secondary. 
  • Derrick Carr (LV Raiders):
    • Derrick Carr and the Raiders are playing a Browns team that is allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs (21.3 avg). 
    • Ruggs is finally healthy. 
    • Agholor is stepping up.
    • Renfrow is a great 3rd down option.
    • Darren Waller. That’s it. 
    • The Raiders will be looking to win after getting blown out by the Bucs offense. 
  • Ryan Tannehill (TEN Titans):
    • The Titans will look to show out after taking their first loss of the year to the Steelers during week 7. 
    • The Titans play the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
    • The Bengals are allowing almost 20 points a game to opposing QBs. 
    • The Cincinnati Bengals also have a turnover differential of -2. 
  • Other plus: Carson Wentz (PHI Eagles), Joe Burrow (CIN Bengals), Teddy Bridgewater (CAR Panthers)

Sit em out

  • Mathew Stafford (DET Lions):
    • The Lions play the Colts this week. 
    • This is a must win for the Lions as they are in a tough division and have a shot to make the playoffs.
    • That being said, the Colts have the best defense in the league. Colts are allowing a league low 11.7 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs, 
  • Jared Goff (LA Rams): 
    • The Rams take on the Dolphins led by Tua during this week’s matchup. 
    • The Dolphins cornerback duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones has been allowing a mere 16.8 fantasy points to opposing QBs. 
    • Jared Goff has also been unimpressive lately.
      • In the past 4 weeks; having only 1 game over 20 points, thrown 2 interceptions and averaging 2 Tds a game. 
  • Daniel Jones (NY Giants):
    • Daniel Jones has had one game over 20 fantasy points (20.68) and that was due to his 80 yard rush. 
    • Jones has just been unimpressive this year. 
    • Jones also has a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have been allowing a low 13.6 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs. 
    • The Buccaneers secondary is very tough.
  • Other sits: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA Dolphins), Drew Brees (NO Saints), Kirk Cousins (MIN Vikings)

Running Backs

Plug em in  

  • Todd Gurley (ATL Falcons):
    • Gurley might’ve choked the win for the Falcons last week but he did drop over 20 PPR fantasy points. 
    • Gurley finds himself in another favorable matchup on Thursday Night Football against the Carolina Panthers.
    • Panthers are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing backs at 23.1 per game. 
  • Kareem Hunt (CLE Browns):
    • Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. are both out for the Browns.
    • Kareem Hunt will look to carry the load this week against a Raiders weak run defense. 
    • The Raiders defense is allowing the third most fantasy points to backs at 25.4 per game. 
    • Hunt has double digit points in every game except the Steelers who are very tough against backs. 
  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts): 
    • Jonathan Taylor hasn’t broken out like everyone thought he would. 
    • Taylor has yet to crack 20 fantasy points or go over 60% snap share. 
    • However, coming back from a bye week against an easy rushing matchups in the Detroit Lions JT will look to show out. 
    • JT also has a top 3 offensive line blocking for him, his breakout is inevitable. 
  • Other Plugs: Le’veon Bell (KC Chiefs), Boston Scott (PHI Eagles), Darrell Henderson (LA Rams)

Sit em out

  • Carlos Hyde (SEA Seahawks):
    • Chris Carson might have a shot to play this week as he is GTD.
    • Carlos Hyde is dealing with an injury of his own that makes him QUES.
    • Even if Hyde plays and Carson sits, look for Deejay Dallas to get carries as well because of Hyde’s injury.
    • The Niners Defense is also allowing a league low 12.7 fantasy points to opposing backs. 
  • JK Dobbins (BAL Ravens):
    • Mark Ingram might be out this week and we might finally see the Dobbins show.
    • But Gus Edwards will liley take all the goal line work and split some of the first down work. 
    • Dobbins also faces a Steelers defense allowing the third least points to backs at 13.4 per game. 
    • This game is likely to be a shootout as well. 
  • Chargers RBs:
    • Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley are splitting running back duties 50/50.
    • Neither of the backs have stepped up in Austin Ekeler’s absence. 
    • To make matters worse, the Chargers play a Denver defense allowing the second least points to backs at 12.7 per game. 
  • Other sits: Latavius Murray (NO Saints), D’andre Swift (DET Lions), Ezekiel Elliot (DAL Cowboys)

Wide receivers 

Plug em in 

  • Robby Anderson (CAR Panthers):
    • DJ Moore is also a great start, as well as Curtis Samuel in deeper leagues. 
    • Divisional header and a must win for the Panthers in a tough division. 
    • Falcons are allowing 29.6 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs which is the fifth highest in the league. 
    • Thursday night primetime matchup.
    • Anderson has double digit points every game this year and only two games with less than 8 targets. 
  • Travis Fulgham (PHI Eagles):
    • Jalen Raegor is a great sleeper option this week as well.
    • Desean Jackson is out and Alshon Jeffery is questionable. It might go down to Fulgham season once again. 
    • In these 4 games, Fulgham has gotten 13.70, 31.20, 19.50 and 12.30 fantasy points respectively. To make matters even more impressive all of those showings were against top 10 secondaries. 
    • Cowboys are allowing the 4th most points to WRs this season at 30.0 points per game. 
  • Rashard Higgins (CLE Browns):
    • OBJ is out for the season and so look for Higgins to step up in his replacement. 
    • Last week after OBJ wnt down Higgins stepped up and caught 6 passes for 110 yards. 
    • Higgins has another favorable matchup against a Raiders defense allowing 27.2 fantasy points per game. 
    • The Raiders have allowed a 100 yard receiver every week since week 4. 
  • Other plugs: Tee Higgins (CIN Bengals), Brandon Aiyuk (SF Niners), Marquise Brown (BAL Ravens)

Sit em out

  • Robert Woods (LA Rams):
    • Robert Woods has shown a tendency to be locked down in tough matchups as well. 29 yards against Jason Verrett, 22 yards against Fuller, 36 yards against James Bradberry and 14 yards against Darius Slay. 
    • Robert woods finds himself in another tough matchup against the Dolphins secondary. 
    • The Dolphins are allowing 23.0 fantasy points to WRs but with everyone fully healthy and the CB duo of Byron Jones and Xavien Howards Woods will struggle. 
  • DK Metcalf (SEA Seahawks):
    • Jason Verrett is currently a top 3 cornerback in the league. 
    • Last week DK struggled for the first time this season against Patrick Peterson. 
    • Look for the Niners to to gamescript DK and Lockett out this week since Kuan Williams is also returning from IR. 
    • Tartt and Ward might also make a return this week for the Niners. 
    • The Niners are allowing the 4th least points to WRs at 18.8. 
  • JuJu Smith-Shuster (PIT Steelers): 
    • Juju finally woke up last week and had a great performance. 
    • This week the Steelers play a Ravens defense allowing a mere 19.5 fantasy points to backs which is the 6th least in the league. 
    • Big Ben has also found his favorite target in Dionte Johnson. 
  • Other sits: Preston Williams (MIA Dolphins), Julio Jones (ATL Falcons), Denzel Mims (NY Jets)

Tight ends

Plug em in 

  • Jonnu Smith (TEN Titans):
    • Jonnu Smith has a great matchup this week.
    • Jonnu scored less two weeks ago due to an injury he suffered early. He struggled last week because he had a tough matchup. 
    • Jonnu is still a top 10 tight end in the league. 
    • The Bengals are allowing the third most points to opposing tight ends.
    • It’s a “REEEJONNUVATION!”
  • Richard Rodgers (PHI Eagles):
    • Rodgers stepped up in the absence of Ertz and Goedert last week catching 6 passes for 85 yards and was a few yards away from a TD. 
    • If Goedert is out again this week, start Rodgers. 
    • Rodgers faces a Dallas defense allowing the 8th most points to opposing tight ends. 
  • Other plugs: Jimmy Graham (CHI Bears), Drew Sample (CIN Bengals)

Sit em out

  • Mark Andrews (BAL Ravens): 
    • The only reason Andrews is a reliable start is because he is a TD machine. 
    • Other than that he sees 3-5 targets most games. Lamar doesn’t throw enough.
    • Andrews plays a Pittsburgh team allowing the 4th least points to tight ends. 
  • TJ Hockenson (DET Lions): 
    • Hockenson plays the Colts this week, the toughest defense against tight ends allowing a league low 2.3 points per game.
  • Other sits: Trey Burton (IND Colts), Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett (LA Rams)

D/ST

Plug em in 

  • KC Chiefs D/ST
  • LA Rams D/ST

Sleeper pick

  • Bills D/ST
  • Chargers D/ST

Desperate pick

  • Colts D/ST
  • Titans D/ST

Sit em out

  • Niners D/ST
  • Bears D/ST

week 3: game by game starts/flexes/sits

Game by Game Starts/flexes/sits

Start= Solid start.

Flex= Be wary, try to replace but isn’t the worst start.

Sit= Do not start.

Game 1: Dolphins VS Jaguars

  • Gardner Minshew: Start
  • D.J. Chark: Start
  • James Robinson: Start
  • Keela Cole: Flex 
  • Lavishka Shelnut Jr.: Flex
  • Devante Parker: Start
  • Preston Williams: Flex
  • Mike Gesicki: Start
  • Myles Gaskins: Flex
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: Flex 

Game 2: Browns VS Washington

  • Baker Mayfield: Sit 
  • Odell Beckham Jr.: Start
  • Jarvis Landry: Flex
  • Nick Chubb: Start
  • Austin Hooper: Sit
  • Kareem Hunt: Flex
  • Terry McLaurin: Start
  • Dwayne Haskins: Sit
  • Antonio Gibson: Flex 
  • Logan Thomas: Start (Browns have been exposed be TEs, same with last year)

Game 3: Raiders VS Patriots 

  • Josh Jacobs: Start
  • Henry Ruggs: Flex 
  • Bryan Edwards: Sit
  • Darren Waller: Start
  • Cam Newton: Start 
  • Julian Edelman: Start
  • Sony Michel : Sit
  • Kneal Harry: Flex 

Game 4: Titans VS Vikings

  • Ryan Tannehill: Flex
  • AJ Brown: Flex
  • Corey Davis: Flex  
  • Jonnu Smith: Start
  • Derrick Henry: Start 
  • Adam Thielen: Start 
  • Justin Jefferson: Sit
  • Dalvin Cook: Start
  • Kirk Cousins: Sit
  • Kyle Rudolph: Sit

Game 5: Niners VS Giants

  • Jimmy Garoppolo/Nick Mullens: Start/ Sit
  • Jerrick Mckinnon: Start
  • George Kittle/ Jordan Reed: Start/ Start
  • Niners WRs: Sit
  • Daniel Jones: Start
  • Golden Tate III: Sit
  • Sterling Shepard: Flex
  • Giants RBs: Sit
  • Darius Slayton: Start (Start now that shepard is hurt)
  • Evan Engram : Start

Game 6: Bengals VS Eagles

  • Joe Burrow: Start
  • Joe Mixon: Start
  • Sample: Start (Flex, wait for further usage unless absolutely needed)
  • AJ Green: Flex
  • Tyler Boyd: Start
  • Desean Jackson: Start
  • Miles Sanders: Start
  • Zach Ertz: Start
  • Dallas Goedert: Flex
  • Carson Wentz: Start
  • Jalen Raegor: Flex

Game 7: Bears VS Falcons 

  • Matt Ryan: Start
  • Todd Gurley: Flex
  • Julio Jones: Start
  • Calvin Ridley: Start
  • Russell Gage: Flex
  • Hayden Hurst: Flex
  • Allen Robinson: Start
  • Anthony Miller: Flex
  • Mitchell Trubisky: Start
  • David Montgomery: Start
  • Tarik Cohen: Sit

Game 8: Rams VS Bills

  • Jared Goff: Start
  • Malcolm Brown/ Darrell Henderson: Start 
  • Robert Woods: Start
  • Cooper Kupp: Start
  • Tyler Higbee: Start
  • Josh Allen: Start 
  • John Brown: Start
  • Bill’s Backfield: Flex
  • Stefon Diggs: Flex

Game 9: Texans VS Steelers

  • Ben Roethlisberger: Start
  • James Connor: Start
  • Benny Snell Jr.: Sit
  • Juju Smith-Schuster: Start
  • Dionte Johnson: Start
  • Eric Ebron: Sit
  • David Johnson: Flex
  • Brandin Cooks: Flex (Start if Will Fuller is inactive)
  • Deshaun Watson: Start
  • Will Fuller V: Flex
  • Duke Johnson: Sit

Game 10: Panthers VS Chargers

  • Austin Ekeler: Start
  • Joshua Kelley: Flex
  • Keenan Allen: Start
  • Hunter Henry: Start 
  • Tyrod Taylor: Flex
  • Mike Davis: Flex
  • D.J. Moore: Flex
  • Curtis Samuel: Sit
  • Robby Anderson: Flex

Game 11: Cowboys VS Seahawks

  • Dak Prescott: Start
  • Amari Cooper: Start
  • Michael Gallup: Start
  • CeeDee Lamb: Start
  • Ezekiel Elliot: Start
  • Dalton Shultz: Start
  • Chris Carson: Flex 
  • Russell Wilson: Start
  • D.K. Metcalf: Start
  • Tyler Lockett : Start

Game 12: Jets VS Colts

  • Sam Darnold: Sit
  • Jets Rbs: Sit
  • Jamison Crowder: Start 
  • Chris Herndon: Flex
  • Chris Hogan: Start if Crowder is out otherwise Siit (Flex not start)
  • Johnathan Taylor: Start
  • Nyheim Hines: Flex
  • Philip Rivers: Start
  • T.Y. Hilton: Start
  • Michael Pittman Jr.: Flex

Game 13: Lions VS Cardinals

  • Matthew Stafford: Start
  • Kenny Golladay: Start
  • Marvin Jones: Flex
  • D’andre Swift: Start
  • Adrian Peterson/ Kerryon Johnson: Sit
  • Kenyan Drake: Start (RB2-RB3 fringe)
  • Kyler Murray: Start
  • DeAndre Hopkins: Start
  • Christian Kirk: Flex

Game 14: Buccaneers VS Broncos

  • Tom Brady: Start
  • Chris Godwin: Start
  • Mike Evans: Start
  • Leonard Fournette: Start
  • Bucs TEs: Sit
  • Jeff Driskell: Sit
  • Melvin Gordon: Flex
  • Phillip Lindsey: Flex (Watch Injury Report)
  • Jerry Jeudy: Flex
  • Noah Fant: Start

Game 15: Packers VS Saints

  • Aaron Jones: Start
  • Aaron Rodgers: Start 
  • Allen Lazard: Flex
  • Davante Adams: Start
  • MVS: (Flex for deeper leagues)
  • Drew Brees: Start
  • Trequon Smith: flex
  • Emmanuel Sanders: Sit
  • Alvin Kamara: Start
  • Jared Cook: Start

Game 16: Chiefs VS Ravens 

  • Patrick Mahomes: Start
  • Tyreek Hill: Start
  • CEH: Start
  • Travis Kelce: Start
  • Sammy Watkins: Flex
  • Mecole Hardman: Sit
  • Lamar Jackson: Start
  • Marquise Brown: Start
  • JK Dobbins: Flex
  • Mark Ingram: Flex 
  • Mark Andrews: Start

Week 2 Waiver Wire Adds

Week 2 was plagued by injuries in one of the most painful Sundays I’ve seen. I personally lost Saquon Barkley, Courtland Sutton and Sterling Shepherd this week. These injuries make this weeks waiver wire picks even more important. Here is our list of waiver wire targets for week 2:

  1. Mike Davis (CAR Panthers): Christian Mccaffrey was one of the few first round picks that got hurt this week. He is likely to be out 4-6 weeks, but he did say he would work hard and be back sooner than expected. So at least for the next three to four weeks expect Mike Davis to take the workhorse role. The next three games for the Panthers are the Chargers, the Cardinals and the Falcons. Other than the Chargers, the Cardinals and the Falcons both struggle against the run and Davis should have big games. Mike Davis should be the first player targeted this week.
  2. Dion Lewis/ Wayne Gallman (NY Giants): Saquon Barkley was the other top pick to suffer an injury this week and sadly, he will be out all year. The next running back in the depth chart is Dion Lewis and then Wayne Gallman. I would expect a committee in the Giants backfield moving forward with Lewis handling third down work along with some early down work and Gallman to handle redzone work. I believe both should be rostered with Dion Lewis having a higher priority and Wayne Gallman being targeted right after.
  3. Jordan Reed (SF 49ers): The Niners got the worst of the bunch this past Sunday, losing Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas. The Niners are also missing George Kittle and Deebo Samuel the top two receiving threats for the Niners in 2019. In week two’s matchup against the Jets, Jordan Reed had 8 targets from which he caught 7 passes for 50 yards and 2 TDs. If Kittle misses more time which is probable, Reed should be in for an expanded role in the depleted Niners receiver core.
  4. Dalton Shultz (DAL Cowboys): Blake Jarwin went down in week one’s matchup against the Rams and he is expected to be out for the season. Backup tight end, Dalton Shultz, stepped up big in the Cowboys week 2 matchup. Dak Prescott has also already developed a connection with Shultz. Dak targeted Shultz 10 times from which Shultz caught 9 for 88 yards and 1 TD. Week 3, the Cowboys are up against a depleted Seahawks defense that lost another two starters this past Sunday. Dalton Shultz should be in for a big game along with Dak Prescott as Seahawks have allowed two 395+ yard QBs in both their matchups.
  5. K’Neal Harry (NE Patriots): Cam Newton is looking better than his MVP season and we saw just a glimpse of that on Sunday night. The Patriots receiver core is very depleted as well, having no one outside of Julian Edelman. The only target Cam Newton has is second year WR, K’Neal Harry. After an underwhelming rookie season due to injuries, Harry cam out Sunday night with a mission. Harry had 12 targets from which he caught 8 passes for 72 yards and was inches away from a game winning TD. Edelman had 11 targets so it is promising to see that Harry had more targets and has a real connection with Cam Newton.
  6. Other additions: Devonta Freeman (FA), Justin Herbert (LA Chargers), Drew Sample (CIN Bengals), Gardner Minshew (JAC Jaguars), Van Jefferson (LA Rams), Justin Jefferson (Min Vikings), Kendrick Bourne (SF 49ers)

Week 2 Plug Em In/ Sit Em Out

Week 2 is upon us! Week 1 was definitely a weird one with all the injuries and the surprising backfield snap percentages. Mainly I believe that due to no preseason, players are being eased into the offense and as the weeks progress we should see an increase in snap percentages. Without further ado let’s get into this weeks plug em and sit em’s!

Quarterbacks

Plug em in

  • Jared Goff (LA Rams): Goff had a great game against a stellar Cowboys defense, throwing for 275 yards on 20 completions. Malcolm Brown got both the touchdowns resulting to a low fantasy game for Goff. This week Goff is up against a very weak Eagles defense that blew a 17-0 lead to Dwayne Haskins. I’d expect Goff to air out this very weak Eagles defense that might be without DE Barrnet this week.

  • Tom Brady (TB Buccaneers): Brady had a poor first half against the Saints last week, he had trouble getting anything going. His main target, Mike Evans, was shut out by a very good Saints defense. This week, Brady is up against a Panthers defense that allowed Derrick Carr to throw for 239 yards and drop 34 points during week 1. With Evans back in the mix, I would expect this to be a blowout by the Bucs and Brady to take advantage of this week defense and regain his hype.

  • Mathew Stafford (DET Lions): Mathew Stafford looked great week 1 against a very good Bears defense and without his favorite target, Kenny Golladay. He threw for 297 yards to TJ Hockenson and Danny Amendola. With Golladay expected to be back for the Lions and Matt Patricia desperate to win, Stafford will air out the Packers who defensively did not look great in week 1. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings dropped 34 points on the Packers defense and Adam Thielen had 6/110/2 stat line. Big day coming up for the Stafford/ Golladay duo this Sunday.

Sit em out

  • Derrick Carr (LV Raiders): Derrick Carr was able to have a nice game against a weak Panthers defense. This will not be the case this week against a good Saints secondary that picked off Brady twice and shut down Mike Evans. With a young receiver core, Carr will struggle this week against the Saints.

  • Deshaun Watson (HOU Texans): The Texans offensive line looked absolutely horrendous in the season opener against the Chiefs. This made it very hard for Watson to find his receivers. Also majority of Watsons fantasy points last week, came during garbage time when Chiefs were up by 3 scores (only had 7 points first half). Texans are against the Ravens defense in week 2 that has an even better defensive line (Derek Wolfe, Calias Cambell, Mathew Judon, Brandon Williams) than the chiefs. The Ravens shut down OBJ (3 catches for 22 yards on 10 targets) and Baker Mayfield (189 yards and 1 int) in week 1s bout against the Browns. Even with Watson’s rushing ability I would be wary of starting him his week against the Ravens.

  • Daniel Jones (NY Giants): Jones had a decent game week 1 putting up 19.36 fantasy points against the Steelers in a close game. He will have a much harder time week 2 against a Bears defense that allowed an average of 13.7 fantasy points to QBs in 2019. The Bears defense includes many big names in Tashaun Gipson, Danny Trevathan, Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack. Jones will have a tough time this week against a strong Bears secondary.

Running Backs

Plug em in

  • Raheem Mostert (SF 49ers): Mostert was the only thing going for the 49ers offense on Sunday against the Cradinals. The surprising part was that Mostert was given goal line work as well. With a 60% snap percentage among RBs in week 1, Mostert put up 25.10 fantasy points. This week Niners are up against a Jets defense that allowed 98 rushing yards to the Bills rushers (Allen, Singletary and Moss). I am expecting a blowout game this week considering how much the Jets offense struggled against the Bills defense, Mostert should have another nice game running out the clock. Deebo Samuel is also still out with an injury which bodes well for Mostert.

  • Todd Gurley (ATL Falcons): Todd Gurley put up 13.70 fantasy points playing only 46% of the snaps for the Falcons. This low percentage may be due to the Seahawks airing it out in the first half and HC Dan Quinn wanting to rest Gurley. Quinn did mention before season started that Gurley will see 15-25 carries a game on a weekly basis. Falcons are against a Cowboys defense that maybe without Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee in week 2. In week 1 Cowboys also let Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers run for a 100 yards against them and let uppitiest 2 rushing TDs. Gurley should see a higher snap percentage this week against the Cowboys week run defense.

  • Jonathan Taylor (IND Colts) : Phillip Rivers loves throwing to his running backs (Austin Ekeler owners you can cry its okay), in week 1 Rivers targeted Taylor 6 times and Hines 8 times as well as Mack 3 times before he got hurt. Now with Taylor having the starting role he will see an increaser in carries and targets. Colts are also against the Vikings this week who looked decent against the run but still allowed the Packers to have 158 rushing yards (mainly due to Packers running the ball with the lead). The promising part however, is the efficiency of the Packers backs in the passing game and that is where Hines and Taylor will shine this week.

Sit em out

  • Mark Ingram (BAL Ravens): 3 headed committee in the Ravens backfield as it seems from week 1. Ingram only played 36% of the snaps and wasn’t targeted at all in the passing game. Even though the Texans defense let CEH run all over them week 1 I would be wary of starting Ingram this week just because of Dobbins and Edwards stealing carries.

  • Kenyan Drake (ARI Cardinals): This one hurt to watch week 1. Drake and Edmunds seems to be in a full on committee in the Cardinals backfield. Drake got 16 carries and Edmunds got 6 however, Drake was barely used in the passing game only getting 2 receptions. Edmunds got targeted 5 times by Murray. Cardinals running backs also have a really tough game this week against Chase Young and the talented Washington front 7. Eagles only managed 57 yards with 17 attempts against Washington. Sit Drake this week against the Washington football team

  • Melvin Gordon (DEN Broncos): Melvin Gordon owners might have gotten a steal as Phillip Lindsey is expected to miss time due to turf toe. Even then I would bench Gordon this week against a Steelers defense that shut Saquon Barley down to 6 yards on 15 carries! This Steelers defensive line is legit.

Wide Receivers

Plug em in

  • Anthony Miller (CHI Bears): Anthony Miller (4/76/1) out played Allen Robinson (5/74/0) week 1 with only 42% snap share! Nagy was easing in Miller who’s returning from a shoulder injury especially since there was no preseason. I would expect this percentage to increase going into week 2 against a very weak Giants secondary that allowed JuJu (6/69/2) and Dionte Johnson (6/57/0) to have great games. If Mitchel Trubisky can keep up his performance I would expect both Robinson and Miller to have great games.

  • Cowboys WRs (Dal Cowboys): I was reluctant of drafting Cowboys WRs due to the insane amount of talent on the field however, Dak Prescott was able to get everyone the ball. Cooper, Gallup and Lamb had 18.10, 8.00, 10.90 fantasy points respectively against a good Rams defense that includes pro bowl corner back, Jalen Ramsey. This week against the Falcons who allowed Wilson to throw for 322 yards and drop 4 TDs I would expect the Cowboys offense to have field day.

  • Parris Campbell (IND Colts): It was Parris Campbell (6/71/0 on 9 targets) who was Phillip Rivers favorite target week 1 and not veteran TY Hilton (4/53/0 on 9 targets). Campbell plays the same role for the Colts that Keenan Allen played for the Chargers making him a go to target for Rivers. A favorable matchup against a Vikings defense that got aired out by Rodgers in week 1 bodes well for Campbell and the Colts WRs.

Sit em out

  • DJ Moore (CAR Panthers): This ones an easy sit em for this week and there are two reasons why. First reason is that Teddy Bridgewater and DJ Moore will be up against a tough Buccaneers defense that shut down Drew Brees (18/30 for 160 yards and 2 tds) and Michael Thomas (3/17/0). Second reason is that DJ Moore wasn’t Teddy Bridgewater favorite target week 1, it was actually Robby Anderson who had 6 receptions fro 114 yards and 1 touchdown. DJ Moore is a must sit this week in a tough matchup.

  • DJ Chark (JAC Jaguars): Minshew Mania is back BABY! However, it seems like Chark got left behind. Out of Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark, Chark had the least amount of targets with 3 and Cole led the way with 5. I don’t expect it to stay the way but I would be wary of Chark until I see him lead the pack. Jags also play the Titans defense this week that have a solid corner back in Malcolm Butler. There are better options available than Chark this week.

  • AJ Green (CIN Bengals): AJ Green is finally back and ready to take the league by storm… it might have to wait a couple weeks. Green had a tough matchup week 1 against Casey Hayward and was held to 51 yards and no touchdown. Green has another tough matchup week 2 against Denzel Ward who ranked as a top 25 CB in 2019 according to PFF. Joe Burrow is also getting eased into the NFL and without a preseason its going to take a few weeks. I would be wary of Green this week in a tough matchup.

Tight ends

Plug em in

  • Logan Thomas (WAS Football team): Logan Thomas is this years Darren Waller. Thomas and Haskins have already developed a really promising connection. Thomas led the Washington football team in targets (8) against the Eagles week 1. He hauled in only 4 receptions but got 37 yards and 1 td from it. The promising part are the targets. Week 2 the Washington football team are up against the Cardinals who allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2019. With Scary Terry likely to be covered by Pro Bowl corner, Patrick Peterson, Haskins will be looking at Thomas a lot this week.

  • CJ Uzomah (CIN Bengals ): Rookie QBs love their tight ends and that was evident in the Bengals versus Chargers game last Sunday. Joe Burrow targeted Uzomah 5 times from which Uzomah hauled in 4 receptions for 45 yards against a tough Chargers defense. This week the Bengals are up against the Browns who just let up 2 TDs to Mark Andrews in week 1s matchup against the ravens. With Denzal Ward on AJ Green and Joe Mixon struggling on the ground, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Boyd are in for a big game on Thursday night.
  • Other starts: Tyler Higbee (LA Rams), Jared Cook (NO Saints), Eric Ebron (PIT Steelers)

Sit em out

  • Noah Fant (DEN Broncos): Noah Fant was the only viable fantasy starter for the Broncos since Courtland Sutton did not play week 1. Fant flourished catching 5 passes from 6 targets for 81 yards and 1 touchdown. For a relatively new QB like Drew Lock, a tight end can really be a quarterbacks best friend. I would expect this connection to struggle however in week twos matchup against the Steelers who shut down Evan Engram to 2.90 fantasy points and ranked 5h in 2019 against TEs. If Sutton is able to suit up this week expect Fants numbers to drop even more.

  • Rob Gronkowski (TB Bucs): Gronkowski has been on our do not draft list since the Bucs added him. Once again this week, he isn’t someone you should start. OJ Howard led all tight ends for the Bucs in targets and receptions. Howard also got looked at in the red zone. Gronk on the other hand did not get a single red zone target. The Panthers defense was surprisingly tough on Darren Waller last week and held him to 45 yards and 0 TDs. I just don’t like Gronk as a fantasy viable TE this year.
  • Other Sits: Hayden Hurst (ATL Falcons), Chris Herndon (NY Jets), Jack Doyle (MIN Vikings)

D/ST

Plug em in

  • Rams D/ST: Rams are up against a weak Eagles offense that is missing 3 starting offensive linemen and let the Washington defensive line sack Carson Wentz 8 times week 1! Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd are going to eat this week. Also the Rams Secondary led by Jalen Ramsey are much stronger than the Washington secondary so expect more turnovers.
  • Other Starts: Bucs D/ST, Niners D/ST, Bills D/ST

Sit em out

  • Cowboys D/ST: Matt Ryan and the Falcons aired out the Seahawks defense throwing for 450 yards during week 1. Cowboys also lost Leighton Vander Esch during week 1s loss to the LA Rams. I am expecting this game to be a shootout and neither of these defenses will show up this week.
  • Other sits: Titans D/ST, Patriots D/ST, Chargers D/ST

Week 1 Waiver Wire Adds and Fades

We look at players to pick up and players to fade from your lineups after the week 1 games have passed!

Below is a list of players to add to your lineup and a few to drop. Week 1 waiver pickups can be the most valuable additions you make to your roster throughout the season. These choices should benefit you throughout the season, not necessarily for one or two weeks. Pick up one of these players before picking up a weekly defense!

WAIVER WIRE ADDS:

  1. Malcolm Brown (LA Rams): ADD– Brown got 18 carries for 79 yards and 2 rushing TDs along with 3 receptions for 31 yards. He is the clear red zone back for the Rams giving him a high ceiling in the weeks to come. He dominated the snap percentages, playing 44 snaps compared to Cam Akers’ 24. With the Rams offensive line back to full health, Brown is a must add this week.
  2. Sammy Watkins (KC Chiefs): ADD– It was Sammy Watkins that unexpectedly led the Chiefs stacked receiving core in the season opener. Watkins had 9 targets from Patrick Mahomes from which he caught 7 for 82 yards and 1 touchdown. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill both had 6 targets. Even though its unlikely we see a similar stat line from Watkins, given the offensive talent on that team, he is someone to add to your rosters this week as a high-risk high-reward flex.
  3. Nyheim Hines (IND Colts): ADD– We were high on Marlon Mack all offseason and were sad to see him go down with an Achilles tear. Next in line is Hines, not rookie Jonathan Taylor. During the Colts week 1 matchup, Hines got 7 carries for 28 yards and 1 rushing TD as well as 8 receptions for 45 yards and 1 receiving TD. Phillip Rivers loves throwing to his backs more than any QB in the league (17 receptions to the RB week 1), and Hines is both the receiving back and the goal line back for the Colts. With Rivers under center and Mack out for the season, Hines is a weekly flex play.
  4. James Robinson (JAC Jaguars): ADD– After Leonard Fournette’s departure there was no clear back in the Jaguars backfield all offseason. However, after the week 1 matchup against the Colts it seems like James Robinson has emerged as the true lead back. He had 16 carries for 62 yards, but was the only RB to take 100% of his team’s carries week 1. Even though his performance was unimpressive, the amount of carries alone and lack of competition in the backfield make him a weekly flex play.
  5. Robby Anderson (CAR Panthers): ADD Teddy Bridgewater showed up week 1 against the Raiders and threw for 270 yards and 1 TD. The surprising part however, was that Robby Anderson (115) led in yards, not DJ Moore (54). The targets were similar as Moore got 9 and Anderson had 8. Next week the Panthers are up against the Buccaneers who just shut down Michael Thomas. With Moore being the focal point for most defenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson has another big game.
  6. Other additions: Joshua Kelley (LA Chargers), Myles Gaskin (MI Dolphins), Laviska Shenault (JAC WR), Dallas Goedert (PHI Eagles), Logan Thomas (WAS Football team), Parris Campbell (IND Colts), Dalton Shultz (DAL Cowboys).

PLAYER FADES:

  1. Kerryon Johnson (DET Lions): Fade– There is a full on committee in the Lions backfield and Johnson is barely a part of it. It seems as if De’Andre Swift was the most trusted back in the bunch, as he played for the 4th quarter drive. Swift also took 3 goalline carries from which he got the Lions sole rushing TD. Adrian Peterson looked really good as well taking 14 carries for 93 yards and serving as an early down back with over 100 scrimmage yards. There is no room for Kerryon Johnson in the Lions backfield or on your roster.
  2. Cooper Kupp (LA Rams): FadeCooper Kupp is not a player you should drop… yet. Instead he is someone to stash and wait how the season progresses or someone to trade away. The Rams appear intent on running 12 personnel this season, which reduces Kupp’s opportunities and touches. At best he is a flex play based on his weekly matchup until he proves otherwise.
  3. Rob Gronkowski (TB Buccaneers): Fade– We said it earlier and now we are saying it again, “Gronk is not the same TE 1 he once was!” If you drafted him as your starting TE don’t worry there are many others you can target like Logan Thomas, who appeared to be the secondary pass-catching option from QB Dwayne Haskins. Gronkowski got a mere 3 targets from Tom Brady’s 36 attempts, catching 2 for 11 yards. OJ Howard on the other hand had the second most targets on the team, with 6. Howard hauled in 4 receptions for 36 yards. Cameron Brate also got 1 target but no catches. It seems like the Bucs are running a TE committee, and while it may change from week to week, Gronk doesn’t look like he will be a reliable fantasy option.
  4. Other fades: Chris Thompson (JAC Jaguars), Baker Mayfield (CLE Browns), Hunter Renfrow (LV Raiders), Cam Akers (LA Rams)

WEEK 1: PLUG EM IN/ SIT EM OUT

This article goes into depth of some players you should start (plug em in) or bench (sit em out) during week 1. This doesn’t include the top 5 at every position as they are always must start and not dependent on matchups. As always comment any questions and what y’all think!

‘Plug em in’ Quarterbacks

  • Ben Roethlisberger: The Giants have arguably the worst defense in the NFL. They lost key pieces of their secondary over the last two seasons, including Landon Collins, Deandre Baker, Eli Apple and Janoris Jankens. Even with last week’s addition of Logan Ryan, the Giants will struggle to shut down opposing offenses. Ben Roethlisberger is coming off an injury but has been having a great training camp. In 2018, (the last time Big Ben played a full season), he led the league with 5129 yards. Expect a big game from Roethlisberger and the Steeler’s passing offense. 
  • Matt Ryan: The Atlanta Falcons play the Seahawks this week in a game that should be a shootout due to both teams lackluster defenses and high powered offenses. The biggest weakness of the Seahawks defense is their defensive line. With the loss of Jadeveon Clowny and Frank Clark over the past two seasons their d-line lacks the ability to create QB pressure it once possessed. This will allow Matt Ryan to have an abundance of time in the pocket to read the defense and complete passes. Ryan also benefits from his WR duo that includes Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, along with the Falcon’s new offensive weapons, Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst. The Falcons are also getting back their right guard, Chris Lindstorm, who was held out his rookie season in 2019 due to an injury. Sit back and watch Matt Ryan air out the Seattle defense. 
  • Cam Newton: Dual-threat Quarterbacks are always valuable in fantasy football. Cam Newton is up against a developing Dolphins defense. Since he got signed, Cam has been on a mission to regain his spot as an elite NFL QB. Patriots coaches and players report that Newton practices nonstop, being the first one in and last one out. It’s been a while since Newton has seen the field. He was reinjured early in 2019 after initially injuring his shoulder in 2018. In 2018 Newton was averaging over 20 fantasy points a game before his injury. Now that he is healthy and has new offensive weapons in Julian Edelman, James White, K’Neal Harry and one of the greatest coaches in our generation in Bill Belicheck, Cam Newton should have a good game against the weak Dolphin’s front-seven. 
  • Carson Wentz : The Washington Football team has a really good defensive line, but their defense has lots of missing pieces. Their secondary ranks at 30th overall according to PFF for 2020. With the loss of their star CB Quinten Dunbar, WAS’s secondary will be even weaker than last year. Offensively, Wentz will have Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery back as weapons. He will also have Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert in the passing game. In 2019 the two games against Washinton, Wentz had 25 and 19 fantasy points respectively. Carsen Wentz should be in for a big game on sunday. 
  • Sneaky starts QBs: Daniel Jones, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garroppolo

‘Sit em out’ Quarterbacks

  • Aaron Rodgers: Aaron Rodgers is not the same since his injury and one of the biggest reasons for that is the lack of receiver talent for the Packers. Other than Devante Adams the Packers don’t have a clear WR2  rather they have two WR3s. Matt LeFluer also did not make any attempt during the draft to grab one, instead he drafted QB, Jordan Love in the first round. They also grabbed running back AJ Dillon in the draft. Matt Lefluer is also leaning towards running the ball a lot more in Green Bay. Finally looking at Aaron Rodgers’ two games against Minnesota in 2019 he scored 13 and 9 fantasy points respectively. There are lots of better options than Rodgers this week don’t settle. 

  • Kirk Cousins: It’s very simple to dissect why Cousins is a bench player for this week. First of all the Packers defense is very good, especially their pass rush led by Za’darius Smith and Preston Smith. Cousins will be under pressure all game and will need to get that ball out quick. This results in a problem because Packers have Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos sitting in the secondary awaiting a bad throw. Secondly, the Vikings lack a receiver other than Adam Thielen. Thielen will be the primary target of the Green Bay defense. Justin Jefferson is a rookie and this will be his first NFL game (due to no preseason), in a tough matchup here it’s likely he struggles. Lastly in 2019 Cousins scored 8 and 7 fantasy points respectively against the Packers and ended as QB20 overall. Kirk Cousins will be a matchup dependent starter for 2020. 

  • Phillip River: Phillip Rivers is coming into a run heavy offense with the Indianapolis Colts (in 2019 Colts ranked 4th with 29.4 rush attempts per game). In San Diego with Keenan Allen, Rivers ended as QB6 however, you should expect his numbers to drop without his star wideout and in Frank Reich’s offense. The Colts are also up against a very lacking Jaguars team in a game that is likely to be a blowout. Colts will be running out the clock with the dynamic duo of Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor. Finally the Colts receivers are still very underdeveloped outside of TY Hilton and Jack Doyle. Rivers will likely lean on the run game for week 1 as well as for the majority of the season. 

  • Ryan Tannehill: There is no doubt that the Titans are a run heavy offense. In 2019 the Titans ran 48.79% of the time which was the third highest in the league. Week 1 the Titans are up against a very formidable Broncos defense. The biggest talents on this defense include their front seven as well as a solid corner in Bryce Calahan. This will make it very hard for Tannehill to get the ball into his star wideout, AJ Brown’s hands, as he is likely to be shadowed by Callahan or AJ Bouye. Outside of Brown this team lacks reliable receiving targets. Against this tough Broncos defense bench Ryan Tannehill. 
  • Bust QBs: Drew Lock, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater 

‘Plug em in’ Running backs

  • Marlon Mack: Marlon Mack has been getting the majority of the first team work throughout training camp. Mack has notably been excelling with passing work, catching everything Philip Rivers throws in his direction. His backup, Jonathan Taylor, has been struggling throughout camp with receiving work and pass blocking. Taylor is likely to get some of the first down work but expect the majority of it to go to the Colts star back who ran over a 1000 yards last season. The Colts are also up against a poor Jaguars defense that has lost its talented players over the past two seasons. Other than Josh Allen, the defensive line includes a few unproven no names who will have trouble stopping Mack and the Colts O-line. Colts are likely to go up in score early and just run out the clock with Mack and Taylor. 

  • David Johnson: David Johnson is getting another shot in 2020 with the Houston Texans. Bill O’Brien traded potentially the best receiver in the league for Johnson in the offseason and has claimed he wants the Texans to start running more this season. The Texans offensive line (ranked 22) is also a moderate improvement over the Cardinals offensive line (ranked 29). David Johnson has proven himself as a receiving back for the Cardinals, so in a high scoring game against the Chiefs, Johnson should get his share of targets. The Chiefs also allowed 124.8 rush yards per game last season, which ranked 8th highest in the NFL. In his Texan’s debut, David Johnson should act as a workhorse back and gather a touchdown or two. 

  • Todd Gurley: Gurley has a chance to be one of the biggest steals of 2020. As previously mentioned, the Falcons-Seahawks game is projected to be one of the highest scoring games of the week. In a game that is set to be an offensive battle, Gurley should run through Seattle’s defensive line that is devoid of talent. Todd Gurley is coming off a great training camp receiving praise from coaches and players like OT Jake Mathews and FB Keith Smith. The OC for the Falcons has also stated that Gurley will be given 15-25 carries a game, which could give him RB1 potential. Gurley has also said his knees feel much better from the past two seasons. The Falcons have spent numerous high-value draft picks on offensive lineman the past two seasons, and the signing of Todd Gurley makes their intent to run the football more obvious. Plug in Gurley in your lineups this week!

  • James Conner: James Conner and the Steelers are up against a weak Giants defense in week 1. The Steelers will be running the ball a lot to control the clock and keep the ball way from Saquon Barkley and the talented Giants offense. James Conner missed 6 games in 2019 due to assorted injuries saw his rushing numbers drop tremendously. Now fully healthy and with Ben Roethlisburger under center, James Conner can hopefully get back to his 2018 pro bowl form. This favorable matchup for the Steelers lead back is a great opportunity for fantasy owners to regain trust in him. 
  • Sneaky start RBs: Jordan Howard, James White, Boston Scott 

‘Sit em out’ Running Backs

  • David Montgomery: David Montgomery is returning from an injury he suffered at camp just a few weeks ago. It is likely he will need some time to fully recover before he cant get back to his 2019 form. The Bears are also up against a high scoring offense on the Lions. The Bears will have to pass the ball a lot more this game to keep up with Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. The Lions front seven also added two new weapons in DT Nick Williams and LB Jamie Collins Sr. David Montgomery will have a tough time producing to start off 2020. 

  • Lions backfield:  The Lions backfield is a mess fantasy wise. With the addition of rookie, D’andre Swift, and veteran, Adrian Peterson, to the 1-2 punch of Kerryon Johnson and Ty Johnson, the Lions backfield is too crowded. D’andre Swift is a player to keep on your bench for now as he is the RB4 in the Lions depth chart currently. Swift is also returning from an injury he suffered at camp a few weeks back. Adrian Peterson will steal goal line work from Kerryon Johnson as well as some early down work. This would ideally lead to Kerryon Johnson as being a weak flex however, this week he is someone you should bench. This is because the Lions are up against a top 5 defensive line and both Johnson and Peterson are unlikely to produce. If you have any of the Lions running backs on your roster, just wait and see how the season progresses and who emerges as the lead back. 

  • Miles Sanders: Miles Sanders is a stud and it will be very tough for you to bench him as he was likely an early round pick. However, I advise you to be wary of him and see if it’s possible to rely on him a little less in week 1. Washington’s defensive line is projected to be one of the best in 2020. With the addition of Chase Young to Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Daron Payne, this group will be very tough to run against. Not to mention that Miles Sanders is coming off an offseason injury and will be slow to start. Another reason to be wary is that the Eagles offensive line has lost three starters over the past couple of months. Running the ball may not be as easy with a group of lineman who haven’t had any game time to garner chemistry. More so I would expect the Eagles to go up early and run out the clock with backup RB, Boston Scott in order to keep Sanders healthy. Don’t expect Miles Sanders to put up RB1 numbers during his week 1 match up.

  • Melvin Gordon: Melvin Gordon is now in a full blown committee in Denver with Phillip Lindsey and Royce Freeman. What makes it worse is that Gordon is coming off a rib injury that kept him out of practice just last week. This led to Lindsey and Freeman cutting into Gordon’s first team reps. The Broncos are also up against a former playoff contender, the Titans. The Titans were also ranked 13th in 2019 in rush yards allowed per game. With the tough matchup and the limited reps it’s safe to say bench Gordon week one. 
  • Bust RBs: Jags RBs, Bucs RBs, Cam Akers

‘Plug em in’ Wide Receivers

  • Jamison Crowder: Jamison Crowder looks to be the newest PPR darling in fantasy football. He doesn’t get a whole lot of YAC and doesn’t get many deep targets, but Darnold loves to hit him on short passes. Against Buffalo last season, Crowder scored 24.3 and 20 fantasy points in PPR leagues. Crowder should be able to avoid All-Pro CB Tre’davious White by moving into the slot, where he does most of his damage. With Darnold under center, Crowder is set to produce a consistent 15+ points, and should be considered a high-end flex or WR 2 every week.

  • DeSean Jackson: Jackson has been performing great in training camp and is set to explode this week. The Eagles are projected to blow WAS out this week in what should be a decently high scoring performance by PHI’s offense. With rookie WR Jalen Reagor expected to miss the first game, DeSean Jackson should slot in as the #1 option for QB Carson Wentz. WAS also traded away star CB Quentin Dunbar, who was the best coverage back in the NFL according to PFF. Last season, in week 1 against WAS, Jackson caught 8 targets for 154 yards and 2 TDs. While he likely won’t achieve that same level of production, Jackson is the #1 option for a quality quarterback and should see his fair share of targets. I would definitely start him as a high-end flex if you were able to draft him.

  • Michael Gallup: All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey will have the responsibility of shadowing WR Amari Cooper on Sunday Night Football. This means that both Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb should be inline for more targets than normal. The Rams-Cowboys game should be a high-scoring affair on both sides of the football and Dak Prescott should have a good game. While Cooper will likely get his fair share of targets, Gallup should see an increased workload with Ramsey on Cooper. I like his odds of ending as a WR 2 this week and I think he should be started in all leagues.
  • Sneaky Start WRs: Calvin Ridley, DK Metcalf, Dionte Johnson

Sit em out’ Wide Receivers

  • Devante Parker: While Devante Parker was able to get the better of Stephon Gilmore in their second matchup last season, I would stay wary of starting him. The reigning DPOY is still a tough matchup and Parker has been limited in practice with an injury. If you have other options to start over Parker I would definitely use them. I would consider Parker a low-end flex this week.

  • Terry Mclaurin: While the hype on McLaurin has been out of control this offseason, his week 1 matchup doesn’t look great. Newly acquired CB Darius Slay should shadow McLaurin for most of the game. With a ferocious Eagle’s pass rush, QB Dwayne Haskins will have to get rid of the ball quickly. This means McLaurin will have to win his matchups with Slay, which is no easy task. Whie he likely won’t be shut down, I don’t think McLaurin is a dependable WR 2 this week, and should be relegated to your bench.

  • AJ Green: A.J. Green faces CB Casey Hayward in his first game since 2018. While Green was dominant when healthy, he hasn’t played in almost 2 seasons. He comes back to face one of the top corners in football. To add onto that, rookie QB Joe Burrow will take the stage for the first time in his NFL career. With Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram rushing Burrow, I don’t like the Bengal’s passing offense week 1. That being said, as Burrow acclimates to the NFL after the first few weeks (and Green stays healthy) I think Green can become a dependable WR 2 for the future. This week, I would try and find a better option.

  • Amari Cooper: Amari Cooper will be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey in week 1. As previously mentioned, Ramsey is one of the top corners in the NFL, and Cooper likely won’t be as effective as usual. Cooper, who tends to be a boom-bust receiver, is set up to bust in week 1. I personally wouldn’t start Cooper if I had better receivers with more favorable matchups, but if you are desperate then he is a high-risk, medium-reward level play.
  • Bust WRs: Allen Lazard, Tyler Boyd, Deebo Samuel 

‘Plug em in’ Tight Ends

  • Hayden Hurst: The Falcons are playing the Seahawks in a high scoring matchup. Everyone on the field should have a nice outing, especially Falcons newest addition, Hayden Hurst. In 2019 Falcons TE, Austin Hooper, ranked seventh in PPR PPG with only thirteen games under his belt. It seemed like the Falcons finally utilized their TE under their new OC Dirk Koetter. Koetter specifically traded for Hurst for this high powered Falcons offense for 2020. Moreover Seattle is very weak against TEs, in 2019 they allowed 70.8 yards per game to TEs which was the third most in the league. 

  • George Kittle: George Kittle is an absolute beast and is a must start most weeks, especially week one against the Cardinals. In 2019 Cardinals allowed the most points to opposing TEs with 13.1 fantasy points per game! Even with the addition of rookie Isiah Simmons, expect this number to stay relatively high mainly with Kittle, who is arguably the best TE in the league. Another reason to expect Kittle to produce this week is that this Niners versus the Cardinals game is a set to be a high scoring divisional game. Expect many targets to George Kittle as Deebo Samuel is likely to be shadowed by standout CB Patrick Peterson. 

  • Austin Hooper: Austin Hooper finally broke out in 2019 with the Atlanta Falcons. In 2020 he finds a new home with the Browns. Throughout training camp it’s been reported that Hooper and Mayfield have a real connection on the field and that Mayfield has found him multiple times in the endzone. Expect this connection to carry over to the week one matchup against the Ravens. The Ravens were tough against TEs in 2019 allowing only an average of 5 PPG. However, they lost Tony Jefferson and Earl Thomas during the offseason so expect this number to rise. Especially against a stacked Browns offense because the main targets for the Ravens defense will be to stop Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt. Hooper is our high-risk high-reward starter of the week!
  • Sneaky start TEs: Tyler Higbee, Blake Jarwin, Will Dissly 

‘Sit em out’ Tight ends

  • Mike Gesicki: Gesicki developed a ton of offseason hype over the past few months. However expect him to under-produce during the start of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has gotten the start over Tua which will lead to less receptions to the TE, as Fitzpatrick rarely targeted his TE in 2019. Rookie QBs tend to target TEs more due to them being a security blanket for dump offs. Until Tua gets the start I would be wary of Gesicki. Another reason to bench Mike Gesciki week one is because they are up against a tough Patriots defense that only allowed 6.6 fantasy points to opposing TE in 2019. The first game in 2019 against the Patriots, Gesicki only scored 2.10 fantasy points. It’s safe to say be wary of Mike Gesicki until Tua gets the start.

  • Chris Herndon: Chris Herndon will be a vital part of the Jets offense in 2020 however, it’ll have to wait till week two. The Jets are up against a tough Bills defense that only allowed 5.8 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. In 2019 the Jets also had a tough time involving a TE into their offense. When Herndon went down due to an injury, Ryan Griffen stepped up and also played no role in that Jets offense. With no preseason this year it will take time for Herndon to learn to play a big role in this offense and this tough Bills defense doesn’t bode well for him. 

  • Rob Gronkowksi: Rob Gronkowski has been reunited with QB, Tom Brady in Tampa Bay and expectations are high for this duo. However we are not on this hype train especially against the Saints who allowed only 7.1 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs in 2019. The Buccaneers offense includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and rookie Ke’shawn Vaughn. So Gronk will have to compete for targets with all these offensive weapons when he is on the field. Not only that but Gronk will have to compete for field time with Cameron Brate and OJ Howard as Bruce Arians has mentioned he wants a TE committee to keep all his TEs fresh. 
  • Busts TEs: Dawson Knox, Packers TEs, Maxx Williams 

‘Plug em in’ D/ST

  • Eagles D/ST: Eagles D/ST is up against a weak Washington offense that only has Terry Mclaurin as a weapon. Mclaurin will likely be shadowed by Darius Slay leading the offense to get shut out. Eagles defense also made many new additions during the offseason that include CB Darius Slay, DT Javon Hargrave, CB Nickel Robey-Coleman, LB Jatavius Brown as well as a rookie LB in the third round of the 2020 draft. The defensive line for the Eagles is fully healthy as well. Expect the Eagles D/ST to put up solid numbers against the Washington Football team. 

  • Colts D/ST: Colts are up against the Jaguars in week one. Jaguars have one of the weakest offenses heading into the 2020 season. With the loss of Leonard Fournette and Nick Foles during the offseason this offense which ranked the 13th lowest in 2019 is expected to be worse heading into 2020. The Colts also made a big upgrade to their defensive line by adding a top 5 DT in Deforest Buckner. Expect Buckner to make an immediate impact on their defense. The Colts D/ST also has a very underrated secondary in Malik Hooker, Xavier Rhodes and Rock Ya-Sin who will make more plays now that the defensive line, led by Buckner, will be pressuring opposing QBs. 

  • Chargers D/ST: The Chargers are up against a newly led offense, the Bengals. Without a preseason it’s hard to predict how Joe Burrow will perform in his first NFL game. To make matters worse for Joe Burrow, he is up against a top ten defense in the Chargers. With the loss of Derwin James during the offseason this defense will take a big hit but that impact will be limited due to the Chargers newest additions. The Chargers drafted Kenneth Murray, LB in the first round who is expected to be their starting LB. They also added a top 5 slot CB, Chris Harris Jr. in the free agency. Their standout LE, Joey Bosa is expected to be fully healthy heading into the 2020 season. The Chargers D/ST is a must start this week against the Bengals. 
  • Sneaky stats D/ST: Colts D/ST, Titans D/ST, Bills D/ST

‘Sit em out’ D/ST

  • 49ers D/ST: The Niners arguably had the strongest defense in 2019. However, they went all the way to the super bowl so it’s likely they show a slight regression. With the loss of Deforest Buckner and no new additions to their CBs, the Niners defense will struggle against a tough matchup against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. The Cardinals added Deandre Hopkins, arguably the best WR in the league during the offseason. Since Richard Sherman doesn’t follow and stays on only one side of the field, Hopkins will have a few favorable matchups against Emmanuel Mosely. Against the Niners as a rookie in 2019, Kyler Murray was able to amass 391 passing yards, 4 pass td’s, 0 interceptions, 101 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. It’s clear that even the 49’ers dominant defense wasn’t able to stop him. This is also a divisional game, expect it to be high scoring and controlled offensively. 

  • Patriots D/ST:  The Patriots D/ST in 2019 was absolutely insane, averaging a whopping 14.8 fantasy points a game. Expect this number to drop a lot heading into 2020. The New England Patriots had a league high covid-19 opt out with 8 players. Two of those players are linebackers Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung. The Patriots also arguably have a weaker offense than in 2019 due to the loss of Tom Brady and no sign of a clear running back. A weaker offense puts more pressure on the defense to finish games. There is also a trend of the Dolphins showing out against the Patriots every year. Devante Parker destroyed standout CB, Stephon Gilmore in their 2019 matchup getting 8 catches for 137 yards. I would avoid the Patriots D/ST this week. 
  • Bust D/ST: Cowboys D/ST Ravens D/ST, Vikings D/ST, Browns D/ST