Start 'Em / Sit 'Em - Week One

September 08, 2018 - 2:50 pm
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Derek Kramer
@DerekKramerWGR

Well, time to put my neck out there and try to help out with some fantasy picks to try and get you an edge as the season finally gets started this weekend. Here are some players at each position who can either give you an edge -- or be part of your downfall.

I'm not in the business of wasting your time saying to start guys like Tom Brady or Todd Gurley. You already know that, no need to state the obvious, right? Let's get going.

QB

Start 'em
Jared Goff, Rams (at Raiders)

Goff is a sneaky start candidate, only in the starting lineup for only 23% of ESPN leagues. Which is bizarre, since the Raiders were 25th in allowing points to QBs last year and just traded their best defensive player in Khalil Mack. Goff and the Rams offense are expected to light up the league again under 2nd-year head coach Sean McVay. It's a great offense and a great matchup late on Monday night, Goff should be seen as a QB1 this week.

Sleeper - Andy Dalton, Bengals (at Colts)

Sit 'em
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (at Browns)

We all know the tale of home Ben vs. road Ben. Big Ben is on the road against Cleveland, with a drama-filled Steelers team missing and angry with RB Le'Veon Bell. Add in that the Browns have a pass rushing terror in DE Myles Garrett. Roethlisberger is starting in 64% of ESPN leagues. Add in the potentially terrible weather, and there is a recipe for disaster if you have Roethlisberger in.

Look out for a letdown - Deshawn Watson, Texans (at Patriots)
 

RB

Start 'em
Adrian Peterson, Redskins (at Cardinals)

Adrian Peterson was a no-doubter back in the day. Now with his third team within a calendar year, Peterson found himself a starting spot in Washington. The Cardinals were 6th last year against the run, but lost a lot of talent. However, this will be strictly a non-PPR suggestion, as not only is pass catching an absence from Peterson's game, the Redskins have Chris Thompson to snag catches in passing situations.

Sleeper - Giovani Bernard, Bengals (at Colts)

Sit 'em
LeSean McCoy, Bills (at Ravens)

Seems harsh, but despite McCoy being fresh, Baltimore is notorious for shutting down the running game as it is. In addition, there will likely be no respect for Bills QB Nathan Peterman. So McCoy will see not only 8 in the box, but a team that will also likely bunch the middle and bait the sidelines on Peterman, who has shown a large weakness to hitting the sideline passes. Add in the sloppy conditions and it's tough sledding for McCoy (and the Bills offense).

Look out for a letdown - Jordan Howard, Bears (at Packers)
 

WR

Start 'em
Golden Tate, Lions (vs. Jets)

Tate is a solid producer in fantasy since joining the Lions, gathering over 1,000 yards in 3 of the 4 seasons he's been in Detroit. Touchdowns have often been a question mark (averages 5 TDs per season), but Tate and the Lions have a nice first week matchup against a Jets defense with major question marks at cornerback. Expect another strong seasonfor Tate, starting with Week One.

Sleeper - Robert Woods, Rams (at Raiders)

Sit 'em
Amari Cooper, Raiders (vs. Rams)

Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and LaMarcus Joyner in the secondary is not a good look for many starting wideouts. While the Raiders may be in a spot to throw often, Cooper might be a focus for the Rams talented secondary. Jordy Nelson's presence may also dampen Cooper's numbers throughout the year.

Look out for a letdown - Odell Beckham, Giants (vs. Jaguars)
 

TE

Start 'em
Delanie Walker, Titans (at Dolphins)

Walker is silently one of the top 10 tight ends in fantasy, yet not seen as must start all of the time, for some reason. Walker has a solid start against Miami, who was the worst last year at defending tight ends. Walker should have another solid season as a top target for Marcus Mariota.

Sleeper - Jack Dole, Colts (vs. Bengals)

Sit 'em
O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate, Buccaneers

Brate and Howard tend to steeal fantasy points and targets from each other. However, with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick starting and the Saints defense being much more improved, both Howard and Brate may be in "pump the brakes" territory. New Orleans has a disruptive pass rush to throw off Fitz and were the best against tight ends last season.

Look out for a letdown - Antonio Gates, Chargers (vs. Chiefs)
 

D/ST

Start 'em
Detroit Lions (vs. Jets)

Fun fact, the Lions had the 4th-best fantasy defense in default scoring leagues last year and didn't lose much talent on the defensive side of the ball. The Jets trot out a not-so-great supporting cast for rookie Sam Darnold, which means the Lions could feast.

Sleeper - Titans (at Dolphins)
 

Sit 'em
Chicago Bears (at Packers)

Anytime Aaron Rodgers is on the schedule, try to find a replacement in the wire. Rodgers is back, lots of cash in hand and mad that his season was cut downby injury. While Khalil Mack is a nice addition, they might be in a slug fest. In leagues that heavily reward sacks, keep them in. In standard scoring, leave them out.

Look out for a letdown - Steelers (at Browns)

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