Sit/Start Week 1: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Fantasy Football Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 1 of the season.

Game Info

 

Kickoff: Sunday, September 11 at 1:00 PM ET

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Betting Odds: DET +4, 48.5 Total on Oddshark

Network: FOX

 

Writer: Drew DeLuca (@DrewDeLaware on Twitter)

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Quarterback

Jalen Hurts (Start), Gardner Minshew (Sit)

 

Jalen Hurts has his share of detractors, but he is a no-brainer must-start against a Detroit Lions defense that ESPN’s Mike Clay called the  “NFL’s worst.”  Some have questioned his arm strength and accuracy, but Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes that the Eagles’ second-year starter has made strides in those areas and others, echoing observations from most beat writers this offseason. Hurts, who finished as fantasy football’s QB6 in points per game last season, should be ranked no lower than such entering into the 2022 season. Don’t be surprised if Hurts finishes Week 1 as the overall top-scorer.

 

Running Back

Miles Sanders (Sit), Boston Scott (Start, Flex), Kenny Gainwell (Sit), Trey Sermon (Sit)

Miles Sanders missed 20 straight days of practice with a hamstring injury before finally returning to the mix as a limited participant last week. According to FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings for Week 1, Sanders is the RB31 as of Monday night, making the Penn State product a worthy flex option against a terrible defense in the eyes of most experts. Totally understandable when remembering how efficient Sanders is on a per-touch basis.

 

 

However, concerns about lingering hamstring soreness and the potential for reinjury or aggravation make Sanders far from a safe bet. He’s an even riskier proposition when his inconsistent usage under this coaching staff enters the equation. Sanders led the team in rushing attempts in every game he played last year. However, he scored zero touchdowns and logged ten or more carries only six times.

There will be fantasy points to be had in this backfield in this matchup against the Lions. The problem, however, is that it’s a total guessing game in terms of identifying whose number will be dialed up by head coach Nick Sirianni. Jordan Howard led the team in carries per game (12.3) last year, and while he’s no longer with the team, Boston Scott (9.7) and Kenny Gainwell (4.3) remain. Newcomer Trey Sermon also offers a similar skill set to Howard.

Howard led the backfield in red zone touches last season (24), followed closely by Sanders (23), Gainwell (23), and Scott (20 in only nine games). If Sirianni is following a “hot hand” approach, it would seem that Scott and Gainwell are likely to play a larger role in Week 1 than most think, given Sanders’ recent hamstring troubles. Gainwell entered the Eagles’ most recent relevant preseason game after Scott, a signal that the latter is once again in line to play a key role at the outset. Those in need of a flex option, especially those who followed the Zero RB draft model, would be wise to look Scott’s way: his seven touchdowns in nine games last year offer proof that Sirianni trusts him in goal line situations.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

A.J. Brown (Start, WR1), DeVonta Smith (Start, WR3), Quez Watkins (Sit), Zach Pascal (Sit), Dallas Goedert (Start)

 

A.J. Brown is one of the best young receivers in the game, an unquestionable starter in leagues of all sizes. DeVonta Smith set a franchise record for most receiving yards by a rookie wide receiver, a remarkable feat given that the Eagles have been around since 1933. Now, the former Heisman Trophy winner gets to line up against CB2s instead of the best defensive backs opposing teams have to offer. Fantasy managers have every reason to be bullish on his Week 1 outlook against a weak secondary. Quez Watkins makes an interesting DFS tournament play, but he’s someone to avoid for the time being in traditionally managed leagues. Zach Pascal is merely an afterthought in what’s shaping up to be a high-powered offense.

Tight end Dallas Goedert may not enjoy the same weekly consistency in terms of volume, but expecting a jump in red zone production would be wise, given the context of both his skill set and likely role in the offense. Goedert will create several mismatch opportunities, so expect Hurts to look his way in the red zone on multiple occasions. The other tight ends should be non-factors, save for a random catch here and there.

 

Detroit Lions

 

Quarterback

Jared Goff (Sit), Nate Sudfeld (Sit)

 

Last year, Jared Goff might’ve actually been a fringe Start against the Eagles with a healthy complement of weapons. At best, the Eagles were league average on the defensive side of the ball. Over the last three games of the 2021 season, Philadelphia actually finished in the bottom five in yards allowed per game, and only the Lions themselves allowed more points during that span.

During the offseason, however, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman significantly upgraded each and every unit on the defensive side of the ball, and Philadelphia boasts a defense that’s almost as good as any other in the league, at least on paper. Goff is more accurate than most realize, but he doesn’t do much of anything exceptionally well. For fantasy purposes, his lack of rushing upside makes for a questionable start in 2QB and superflex leagues, and he absolutely belongs on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues that start only one signal caller.

 

Running Backs

D’Andre Swift (Start, RB1), Jamaal Williams (Sit), Craig Reynolds (Sit)

 

D’Andre Swift should benefit from another year under the tutelage of running back coach Duce Staley, the best in the business. Swift, an excellent receiver out of the backfield, should rack up fantasy points, even in negative game situations. Start him with confidence in all leagues. Jamaal Williams will spell Swift from time to time, and likely will be flex-worthy on occasion, but volume inconsistency should make most fantasy managers hesitant to start him. Craig Reynolds shouldn’t be rostered; he should continue to be a non-factor in lineup decisions going forward unless a tragedy befalls Swift or Williams.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Amon-Ra St. Brown (Start, WR3), D.J. Chark (Sit), Josh Reynolds (Sit), Quintez Cephus (Sit), Kalif Raymond (Sit), T.J. Hockenson (Start)

 

Last year, when T.J. Hockenson and Swift went down with injuries, Amon-Ra St. Brown was peppered with targets in the last five games of the season, and boy did he answer the bell. While his target volume spiked during that span, those weren’t the first games in which the fourth-rounder out of USC showed up:

 

While St. Brown makes a great start, D.J. Chark‘s prospects are a bit more ambiguous. He offers boom-or-bust potential, but he’ll likely see a ton of Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry, one of several impressive new additions to the Eagles defense. Chark might make sense in larger leagues, but Josh Reynolds, Quintez Cephus, and Kalif Raymond shouldn’t be anywhere near fantasy lineups in Week 1. Hockenson, however, is a must-start. When the former Iowa Hawkeye suffered a season-ending injury in Week 12 of last season, he was trailing only Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews in targets and receptions by a tight end. Hockenson boasts clear top 5 upside at the tight end position, making him a fine weekly start.

5 responses to “Sit/Start Week 1: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game”

  1. Tracey says:

    Great format! I’ll be looking at your site all year if this is the standard. Thanks

  2. Gustavo says:

    Excellent job! Thanks for the info !!!

  3. Anthony says:

    This is great info, love the format. Will definitely be looking for more.

  4. Mark Borezo says:

    Me likey the list !!! Bestest start/sit list this side of the Mississippi buster !

  5. CB says:

    Thank you for this! I look forward to reading this every week!

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