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

The QB List staff helps you make your sit/start decisions for every Week 1 game.

Game Info

Kickoff: Monday, September 14 at 7:15 PM ET

Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Betting Odds: PIT -3, 48.5 total via Oddsshark

Network: ESPN

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger (Start, QB1)

 

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, further noted as Big Ben, will be making his seemingly fully healthy return as the leader of this Steelers offense. There has been a mixed bag of reports about whether his throwing mechanics and arm strength would be the same upon his return from surgery to fix his throwing elbow. With no preseason, it is a wait and see approach. Regardless, in this matchup, I am being bold and pegging him as a QB1. Why? The Giants were the 3rd worst defense in the league on points allowed to the QB position. While the Giants did sign former Panther James Bradberry, Big Ben is going to come out firing in this one. Of course, if you are in a more shallow league where Big Ben is more likely a bench piece, I wouldn’t be starting him over the elites in the class, but I do have him in my top 12, making him a QB1 this week.

 

Running Back

James Conner (Start, RB2)

 

Remember how I said that the Giants were almost last in the league at defending the QB position? Well, they were more middle of the pack against the run, coming in around fifteenth at stopping opposing rushers. Still, James Conner, who is also coming off an injury-riddled season, is going to come out and churn some yards and a touchdown against the Giants. This offense just couldn’t get it going last year in the health department, but Conner is just one year removed from 13 total TDs and a top ten finish at the position. For now, treat him as an RB2, but as the year goes, don’t be surprised to see him moving up the rankings week to week.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight End

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, WR2), Diontae Johnson (Start, WR3), James Washington (Sit), Eric Ebron (Sit)

 

Like I said earlier with the quarterbacks, the Giants stunk against the pass last year. They added James Bradberry but a locked and loaded connection of Big Ben to JuJu Smith-Schuster has proven deadly in the past, and we should see it clicking again this year. There is no way around it, the best WR to own last year was not JuJu, it was up and comer Diontae Johnson, especially in leagues with return yardage. Both are going to contribute, as we have seen Big Ben support two guys in the past. Everyone thought the next big thing was going to be James Washington, but with the addition of Eric Ebron who has seen a more prominent passing role in recent memory, there will be fewer targets to go around. I would be sitting Ebron until we know if it will be him or Vance McDonald that becomes the pass-catching tight end. My guess is neither will be viable, but we will see as the year goes on.

 

New York Giants

 

Quarterback

Daniel Jones (Sit)

 

The Steelers pass defense is almost as good at defending the pass as the Giants are at giving up points to opposing quarterbacks. With that in mind, this is an easy sit for me from sophomore Daniel Jones. There is a lot of hype surrounding Jones as a breakout candidate after 3,000 yards and a 2:1 TD to INT ratio last year, but this is not the game you want to pay for that breakout upside. Just wait for when they play the newly named Washington Football Team.

 

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley (Start, RB1), Dion Lewis (Sit)

 

Giants RB Saquon Barkley had a somewhat injury-riddled season last year, ranking 16th in the league in yards and 19th in rushing touchdowns. This year, assuming health, he should live up to his number two or three consensus selection. With improved quarterback play and less stacked boxes, this should be a year more like two years ago where he had 1,300 yards on the ground to go along with 90+ catches and 15 total TDs. Lock him in as a set it and forget it focal point. Dion Lewis, and any other backup to Barkley, will just be cheering from the sidelines this year and learning how to improve the sides of their quads in hopes of getting one of SaQuads touchdowns this season.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight End

Sterling Shepard (WR3, Start), Darius Slayton (WR3, Start), Golden Tate (Sit), Evan Engram (TE1, Start)

 

If I am being completely honest, this is a tough one to crack with no preseason reps. We simply don’t know the official order of targets here. Based on last season, I would treat all of them as mid-low end WR3’s until we know where the pieces fall. Sterling Shepard showed flashes in ten games last year, putting up over 50 catches, and I think he is your biggest upside play this season. Darius Slayton is the deep ball specialist. Think DeSean Jackson, but not as talented, averaging 15 YPC. Then there is Golden Tate who averaged a little over four grabs a game. The hard part is none of these guys played 16 games last year, and a lot of their time was played while another was injured so we haven’t had extended time with them in three-wide sets. Until one emerges, I’m playing them only on an as-needed basis. The sure thing here is Evan Engram, who put up 44/467 in only eight games. Given a full year, he should push for 1,000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. He is that talented. I would treat him as the WR1 for the Giants until we see otherwise. Start with confidence.

 

-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)

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

  1. Bob Sacamano says:

    Won’t Conley be occupying that second WR spot on the Jags? At least to start?

    • Bryan Sweet says:

      Honestly, Bob, I can’t make heads or tails of who will be lining up outside versus in the slot for Jacksonville. I think Shenault ends up playing outside more than Conley but I expect all 3 to be on the field most of the time. I don’t think Conley is a candidate for starting this week even if he does start over Shenault. Thanks for the question!

      • Bob Sacamano says:

        Thanks. Makes sense. Shenault certainly seems like the better talent. I’ll be on the sidelines until one of them separate

  2. Narwhal says:

    Mike Evans, DeVante Parker, or Deebo Samuel? All on the injury report lol

    • Erik Smith says:

      Might come down to kickoff and who’s healthiest. But if they are all borderline, I would go Evans, he just has the most upside. Parker against New England isn’t a fun matchup regardless of injury.

  3. Daniel Kholodenko says:

    Start Ertz or Andrews in full ppr?

  4. Kev says:

    Is Kerryon Johnson droppable for handcuffs or backup QB in 12T?

    • Frank Costanzo says:

      Yea, I think Kerryon is droppable now.

    • Bryan Sweet says:

      He’s not in an ideal situation, but I might hold for week 1 if you’ve got some guys with injuries who might not start or will be limited (Golladay, Evans, Miles, etc.). He might be a “Break Glass in Case of Emergency” player this week. If your lineup is solid top to bottom and a top-end handcuff is available (Mattison, Latavius, Pollard, Edmonds, Scott) or a guy like James Robinson then I’d swap Kerryon for one of them. A high-upside QB2 is less than ideal, but if you’re only carrying one it might not be a terrible idea.

  5. Drew says:

    A.J. Brown, Courtland Sutton, Antonio Gibson – Start 2. Standard Scoring.

  6. Roo says:

    What’s your pick on Diggs, White, or Crowder for PPR Flex spot?

  7. TJ says:

    With Goladay doubtful, is Marvin Jones a must start? Over McLaurin, Gallup, and J. Brown

    • Bryan Sweet says:

      I like Jones but don’t know if “must-start” applies. Chicago still has a formidable defense and I think Hockenson gets a bigger bump than Jones with Golladay’s (likely) absence. If you have the bench space, Quintez Cephus might be a sneaky pickup. Beat writers are talking up Marvin Hall, but I think Cephus is the long-term WR3 for Detroit and should see some playing time in week 1.

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