Fantasy football is back! It is that magical time of year when anything is possible as everyone starts with a fresh season. The first week can often be tricky as we do not have much to go off of but that doesn’t mean there aren’t nuggets of information we can use to help set lineups. Here are three starts & sits for week 1.
Starts & Sits For Fantasy Football Week 1
A quick caveat for this list. I am going to try and stay away from the obvious. I don’t need to tell you to start Justin Jefferson or Patrick Mahomes. Those players are matchup-proof. Even if those players have a tough matchup, you are likely still starting them. The goal is to try and point you in the direction of some players that you may be on the fence about.
Start: QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Rams)
Smith finished as the QB5 in fantasy last year though it was a mixed bag of results. However, we don’t care about the whole season. They kick off the season against their division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams. In the first matchup, Smith threw for 367 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The second matchup saw him struggle as he threw for 213 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. However, Leonard Floyd, Bobby Wagner, and Jalen Ramsey are all gone from this team and are replaced with undrafted free agents. Start Smith with confidence as this matchup is one of the easiest of the week.
Sit: RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. 49ers)
The darlings of the preseason start the season with a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. While the Pittsburgh offense may have a much better season this year, I want nothing with Harris in week 1. Even if Nick Bosa does not play, the front seven of the 49ers is tough against the run. They ranked second in rushing yards allowed and yards per carry allowed in 2022. Harris had a measly 3.9 yards per carry last season. With Jaylen Warren lurking in the RB2 slot, I am keeping Harris on the bench this week.
Start: TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (at Seahawks)
This one is very simple. Cooper Kupp is likely out for week 1. Someone has to catch the ball. Quarterback Matthew Stafford tends to rely on veterans come game time and when Higbee is targeted, he is a productive tight end in fantasy football. In the last four seasons, when Higbee has seen double-digit targets, he has averaged nearly 14 points per game in half-PPR formats. With tight end injuries possibly becoming an issue, Higbee is a good start for this week.
Sit: RB D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles (at Patriots)
Swift seems like the perfect back for the Eagles. He is more of a pass-catching back which is perfect for the offense but the matchup is a nightmare. In 2022 the Patriots allowed just 13.3 points per game to RBs. This will likely mean that the team decides to air it out and Swift is likely not even a top-three option in the passing game with AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert on the team. Keep Swift on the bench this week.
Start: RB Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins (at Chargers)
Mostert has two things going for him. He has a favorable matchup against the Chargers who allowed 145 yards per game on the ground in 2022. He also has very little competition right now in the backfield. Jeff Wilson Jr. will start the season on the IR meaning he is out for at least four games. Rookie De’Von Achane is dealing with an injury as well and it is unclear how much he will play. This means Mostert likely gets a significant amount of snaps. Last year, he had 1,093 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns last year while sharing carries.
Sit: RB Breece Hall, New York Jets (vs. Bills)
Hall is going to be tricky every week in fantasy football with Dalvin Cook sharing backfield duties. I simply do not like the matchup this week. The Bills defense was fifth in the league against the run allowing just 104 yards on the ground per game. The other reason is more of a gut feeling. It is Aaron Rodgers‘ first start, at home, on Monday night football. I think he is going to want to put on a show for the fans and will audible out of a lot of run plays to try and make a big play happen. Keep Hall on the bench this week.
Those are my week 1 starts & sits for fantasy football. Good luck to all as the season begins!