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2018 Week 1 Start_Sit: Start Your Studs, But Who Else?

week 1 start_sit
Photo Credit: Matthew Deery

Welcome to SCFE’s 2018 Week 1 Start_Sit article. I will list all the games (except Thursday for this week only) and give my reasons why you should start and sit certain players each week.

The reasons to start and sit those players can range from good/bad matchup (Baltimore D/ST & new England D/ST), injured (Rashaad Penny), low on the depth chart (Ronald Jones II), and various other reasons. This is my take on the players I would start and sit for Week 1.

Given that it is Week 1, you obviously start your studs, but who else should you plug into your roster? Check out the Week 1 Start_Sit to find out.

Week 1 Start_Sit

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts

Start: Andy Dalton, QB, CIN

Plain and simple, the Colts defense isn’t that good. A.J. Green, John Ross, and Tyler Eifert should all have a productive game. Don’t be surprised if Dalton throws for more than 250 yards and 3 TDs.

Sit: Jordan Wilkins, RB, IND

There are multiple reports coming in that the rookie, Jordan Wilkins, is going to be the starter in Week 1. This is due to Marlon Mack being sidelined with an injury. I’m not a fan of his match-up against an underrated Bengals’ defensive line. The Colts could be down by a couple touchdowns and have to rely on their passing game.


Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens

Start: Baltimore Ravens D/ST

I got two words for you, Nathan Peterman. That will be the Buffalo’s starting QB and his first game will be against the team that led the NFL in interceptions last season. Even with Jimmy Smith suspended for four games it doesn’t matter. Baltimore could be a unanimous #1 ranked defense for Week 1.

Sit: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF and Charles Clay, TE, BUF

These two players are the only notable receiving threats for Buffalo. It will be a tough climb this week for this offense and having Peterman as their QB doesn’t make that climb any easier. Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, it will be a tough day for all Bills’ players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

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Start: New Orleans Saints D/ST

With Jameis Winston suspended and Ryan Fitzpatrick taking his place, this is a good matchup for the Saints’ defense. They added a key pass rusher in the 2018 NFL draft (Marcus Davenport). You can’t forget they have the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Marshon Lattimore. In their Week 9 face off last season, the Saints won 30-10 and had four sacks. That game Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB for much of the game as Winston suffered an injury.

Sit: Ronald Jones II, RB, TB

There was a lot of hype surrounding Jones after he was drafted to Tampa Bay. People were expecting him to become the starter, but ultimately fell to #3 on the depth chart. He is behind Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers. Since he is not the starter there is no need to play him this week.


Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Start: Lamar Miller, RB, HOU

This is a relatively easy start. He has no competition in the backfield. Yes, Alfred Blue is back there, but I’m not worried about that. Once the Texans get down to the goal line, Miller will be the primary back. You also can’t forget how well of a pass catcher he is, too. He should be in line for a solid day.

Sit: Patriots D/ST

A tough Week 1 game against the highly explosive Texans offense. With Watson under center, this Patriots defense will have their hands full. These two teams actually faced off last season and Houston hung 33 points on them. This isn’t a matchup that favors New England.


San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Start: Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN

With Adam Thielen still battling a leg injury suffered in practice last week and Stefon Diggs being Kirk Cousins’ go to receiver, this opens the door for Rudolph. The 49ers are still reworking their defense and other than Richard Sherman, there are real question marks in their secondary.

Sit: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF

I know what everyone is thinking, “Conlin, Jimmy G is amazing he is undefeated as a starter. Why on Earth would I sit him?” I’ll tell you why. He has never faced a team like Minnesota before. This defense will hit Garoppolo again, again, and again. He has never played in a stadium as loud or as crazy as the SKOL. He now has seven games under his belt and that is quality film for the Vikings to study. This will be a smash mouth game for Jimmy G. and this will be his first real test as a starter for the 49ers.


Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins

Start: Kenny Stills, WR, MIA

Devante Parker is doubtful for this Week 1 game and that leaves more targets for Kenny Stills. As a great deep threat, Stills could have a good game. A good thing about Stills is that he is Ryan Tannehill’s longest tenured receiver. Stills could be a sneaky WR3 or Flex play this week.

Sit: Corey Davis, WR, TEN

He was battling a hamstring injury that kept him on the shelf for a majority of 2017. Coming into this season there was a lot of hype surrounding Davis. He couldn’t even catch the two passes that were targeted to him in his third preseason game. He could be shadowed by top CB, Xavien Howard, and that is a bad matchup.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants

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Start: Keelan Cole, WR, JAC

Marqise Lee entered as the Jaguars best WR. Unfortunately, Lee suffered a season ending knee injury in the preseason. The person stepping into the leading receiver role in Jacksonville will be Keelan Cole. If the Titans are smart they will put eight defenders in the box and force Blake Bortles to beat them, not Leonard Fournette. This only benefits Cole as he is poised for possibly double-digit targets.

Sit: Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG

A matchup against the Jaguars defense already is a reason to be weary. Shepard will face off against both Jalen Ramsey and Boyue, unless Ramsey decides to shadow Odell Beckham. If he gets covered by either Ramsey and A. J. Boyue, so it’ll be a tough game for him.


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

Start: Josh Gordon/Jarvis Landry, WR, CLE

Don’t be afraid of starting the Browns’ players this year. This isn’t the usual 2-14, 1-15, or 0-16 Cleveland team. This Cleveland team will compete and surprise many people. Cleveland’s offense will revolve around Josh “Flash” Gordon and Jarvis “Juice” Landry. Even with Josh Gordon not starting, I would put him in my lineup. We all know his potential and he could still be productive even with a limited snap count.

Sit: Steelers D/ST

In past, you could easily start this Pittsburgh defense. Not this year! Like I said above, this isn’t your usual Cleveland Browns team. For the first time in probably 10 years this is the best offense the Browns have had. There are so many weapons and I simply can’t trust this Pittsburgh defense.


Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers

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Start: Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC

I’m a huge fan of Patrick Mahomes this year. If you want to see why then go check out my 2018 bold prediction here, SCFE Bold Predictions.

Sit: Antonio Gates, TE, LAC

The injury to TE, Hunter Henry, left a massive void at that position. People were wondering when or if the L.A. Chargers would bring back Antonio Gates. On September 2, they did just that, for his 16th season. You shouldn’t have him in your lineup on Sunday, however. The main reason is because of the limited snaps he’ll receive as he tries to learn the playbook and get back to in season form.


Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers

Start: Devin Funchess, WR, CAR

Greg Olsen is back, D.J. Moore has been drafted, Christian McCaffrey is the leading back, and I’m still starting Devin Funchess. I know there are a lot of mouths to feed in Carolina, but Funchess is still the best WR on the Panthers roster. We saw what he was capable of last season when they traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills. Funchess is a big and powerful WR that can push around the Cowboys’ weak secondary and could have a touchdown or two.

Sit: Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley, WR, DAL

I’m not a huge fan of these four players this week. There is a dark cloud looming over just who will be the number one WR in 2018. With Ezekiel Elliott back, the Cowboys will continue to be a run first offense. Hopefully after this Week 1 game it’ll shed some light on who the go to receiver in Dallas will be.


Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Start: Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS

This will be a revenge game for Peterson as he faces off against his former team. With Rob Kelly being inefficient, Samaje Perine still banged up with injuries, and this being Chris Thompson’s first game back from breaking his leg, Peterson should get the lions share of the carries. There is a strong chance Peterson can get 20 carries and five to eight targets. At the end of the game he should see over 25 touches.

Sit: Jordan Reed, TE, WAS

It seems like Reed is healthy for the first time since AC/DC was atop of the Billboard charts. He has a long injury history, especially soft tissue injuries. I can’t trust him being healthy for one reason … he hasn’t played all preseason. Reed is supposedly “on pace” for Week 1 according to Head Coach, John Gruden.


Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Start: Royce Freeman, RB, DEN

Finally, our Fantasy Football prayers have been answered. Freeman has been named the starting RB ahead of Devontae Booker. Freeman was clearly the better back as he ran for 89 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns. Compare that to Booker’s 9 carries for 33 yards. Freeman is a must-start this week against one of the weaker Seattle defenses we’ve seen in years.

Sit: Rashaad Penny, RB, SEA

A finger injury has kept Seattle’s first round pick out all preseason. With this injury, Penny has lost his starting RB spot to former seventh round pick, Chris Carson. Carson showed he was a capable starter last season before suffering a season ending leg injury. Penny is listed behind Carson on the depth chart and is questionable to play in Week 1. Those two negatives make it a strong case not to play Penny.


Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers

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Start: Allen Robinson, WR, CHI

Robinson is the primary receiving threat and is looking for a bounce back season after tearing his ACL in Week 1 last year. I’m a big fan of this matchup that Robinson has. Marvin Jones, who is similar in size to Robinson, scored three touchdowns in two games against Green Bay. There is definitely touchdown upside for Robinson due to his size.

Sit: Ty Montgomery, RB, GB

As a backup to Jamaal Williams and being used most likely as their third down back, there is a limit to his production. It doesn’t help that Montgomery will also be going against one of the better defenses against the run.


New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions

Start: Lions D/ST

Rookie QB, Monday Night Football, and a new defensive minded Head Coach. This seems like a recipe for success for the Lions’ defense. The Jets will be starting rookie, Sam Darnold at QB. Matt Patricia has been strategizing against the Jets for years now while with the Patriots. He will look to pressure and attack Darnold in his first career start.

Sit: Kerryon Johnson, RB, DET

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WHY DID EVERYONE OVER DRAFT KERRYON JOHNSON??? When he was drafted, there was electricity in the air. All that has happened since he’s joined the Lions is a static shock. LeGarrette Blount is listed as the starter and it seems like Johnson could be the second or third back on the depth chart. Fellow RB, Theo Riddick, will be the primary pass catching back.


Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders

Start: Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR

Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods are phenomenal deep threat receivers, but lack size. That is where Cooper Kupp comes in. When the Rams make it within the 10-yard line, expect to see Kupp get a few targets. He is two inches taller than Woods and is four inches taller than Cooks. Cooper could be a nice WR3 or Flex option.

Sit: Derek Carr, QB, OAK

Generally, a lot of quarterbacks are going to be sits when they face off against the Rams. It just happens to be Carr this week. Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson will be covered all game by Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. There is a strong possibility that Carr falls out of the Top 20 QB’s this week. It is a smarter option to try to get a streaming QB, like Andy Dalton, than start the Raiders’ QB Week 1.

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