Fantasy Start ‘Em/ Sit ‘Em: Week 1

Start 'Em/ Sit 'Em Kelvin Benjamin Fantasy Football
Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck - Under Creative Commons License

Here we are, Week 1! We finally made it through the long season and get to watch regular season football! It also means time for the Fantasy Football season! So now it’s time to figure out those last-minute decisions by taking a look at our comprehensive start ’em/ sit ’em list. Thankfully, here at SportsAlDente, we do the work for you. Obviously, you will not see names like Tom Brady or David Johnson on here. I want to help with those mid and late round match up based guys. So without further ado, let’s look at week 1!

Start ‘Em


Ted Ginn Jr., WR

Willie Snead has been suspended three games and behind him, Michael Thomas, and Ted Ginn, there’s not much else. So expect the beginning of this season to be the Ted Ginn show. Thomas will see Xavier Rhodes across from him this week while Ginn will be matched with injured Trae Waynes or veteran Terence Newman. Both of those corners struggled this preseason and if Waynes is out week one, Ginn should have no problem getting past him on his deep routes. The offense has featured the older wide receiver heavily in the preseason offense and expect him to produce fantasy wise week one.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR

Benjamin’s looked great this preseason. He’s used his big body to make contested catches and has even shown some ability to make a play after the catch. With Cam Newton looking healthy for week one, I can see Benjamin being the main target in the passing game and catching a touchdown or two. Let’s also remember he’s playing against the 49ers, who don’t have proven corners. However, the 49ers front seven is good enough to prevent a huge rushing attack from the Panthers which means more potential for Benjamin.

Zach Ertz, TE

As Carson Wentz has become more comfortable in his NFL offense, we’ve seen a relationship form between the young QB and his tight end Zach Ertz.  A second year together should make Ertz a comfortable start every week. Especially in week one where the Eagles play the Redskins. Ertz dominated the Redskins defense the second game they played and performed really well overall the second half of the 2016 season. The departure of Jordan Matthews should also prove to benefit Ertz as more of a target share is available. Ertz should start off a successful 2017 campaign with a productive first game.

Marcus Mariota, QB

Mariota is a dark horse for MVP this season. He has one of the best running games in the NFL behind him and his front office just keeps putting more and more weapons around him. His pass catchers last year were Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, and Delanie Walker. This year he’s upgraded to having Eric Decker and Corey Davis while still keeping productive veterans in Matthews and Walker. In the red zone Mariota has been amazing and while his interception record will probably break this year, the potential with Decker and Walker in the red zone is amazing. The Titans do play the Raiders but their top corner David Amerson could be out due to a concussion which only helps Mariota.

Todd Gurley, RB

I still have my doubts about Gurley and this Rams offense as a whole. but this week one matchup is too good to pass up on. With Andrew Luck being ruled out for week one, the Colts are expected to completely crumble under the inexperience of Scott Tolzein. If the Rams can keep the Colts’ offense from doing anything crazy the Rams offense should see plenty of time on the field. Gurley should see plenty of opportunities this first week and an easy opponent should give Gurley owners great fantasy output.

Start 'Em/ Sit 'Em Kelvin Benjamin Fantasy Football

Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck – Under Creative Commons License

Gurley should see plenty of opportunities this first week and an easy opponent should give Gurley owners great fantasy output.

 Sit ‘Em


T.Y. Hilton/Colts skill positions

This is simple. Andrew Luck is out for week one. The new starter is Scott Tolzien. In the preseason Tolzien has been unable to move the offense and basically makes all of the Colts skill players irrelevant in fantasy. There’s no need to take a risk, even on Frank Gore. Gore has a loaded backfield behind him and will see a loaded box all day long Sunday. Just keep the Colts on the bench this week.

Travis Kelce, TE

Okay, I know Kelce is one of the top fantasy tight ends. I know that Jeremy Maclin‘s gone and that Kelce will have a larger target share. Trust me I know. But the reason to sit him and to stream someone with a better matchup is because of who the Chiefs play week one. Yep, it’s New England. What does New England’s defense do well? Take out the top target of the offense. I know there are not really any superstars on the Patriot’s defense but I still do not trust this matchup. If you can stream a better matchup like Zach Ertz, you will have better luck.

Jeremy Hill/Joe Mixon, RB

This competition has been going since the draft and it seems like Hill is the starter at the moment. But who starts this week does not really matter. Baltimore’s defense was excellent against the run last season and there’s no reason to expect that to change. I would sit both of these guys until someone just completely beats out the other. Committees are never good for fantasy and Giovani Bernard is still expected to have a role.

Eric Ebron, TE

Ebron has been hyped up all offseason about having a breakout 2017 and being a good fantasy tight end. Well, those predictions might have to wait. Ebron has been out most of the preseason with a hamstring injury. He might not even be on the field much in week one. The matchup against the Cardinals is also tough on Ebron because the Cardinals defense has been good the past two seasons at shutting down tight ends.

Dak Prescott, QB

I do not agree with all of these predictions of a sophomore slump for Prescott but I do see him struggling in week one. Prescott was a bad fantasy QB when he played against the Giants twice last year. Both games combined, he only had one touchdown and two interceptions. His completion percentages were 55% game one and 45% in game two. The Giants defense has not changed that much this offseason and Prescott has to prove he can beat his division rival before he’s a confident fantasy start against them.