The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 1 (Fantasy Football)

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Cole Komo… it’s a place that you wanna go… you get there fast and then you take it slow, baby.”
Mike “the Hitman” Wright

Bonjour, Footclan! Welcome to the Start/Sit series for Week 1 of the 2022 season, where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.

The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.

So, without further adieu, let’s kick things off with the most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 1:

Featured Matchup

RB:
Chase Edmonds (MIA) or AJ Dillon (GB)?

Chase Edmonds

  • MIA
  • RB
  • vs NE
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST

AJ Dillon

  • GB
  • RB
  • @ MIN
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 4:25pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.2 12
Andy Rank RB #22 RB #21
Mike Rank RB #23 RB #21
Jason Rank RB #21 RB #25
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 19 23
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 46 47
Line -3.5 -1.5

Talk about a close one! In this showdown of ambiguous backfields, we have Miami’s presumed “1A” and Jason’s (as well as writer Lauren Carpenter’s) My Guy, Chase Edmonds, versus Green Bay’s alleged “1A” and Andy’s My Guy, AJ Dillon. Mike also prefers Dillon, although Edmonds is right behind and was one of the Hitman’s ultimate value hitsquad targets.

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Edmonds was by far the most asked-about player by the Footclan. He’ll be on a new team under new head coach Mike McDaniel’s zone-blocking offensive scheme that should continue to be fantasy-friendly for a speedy, pass-catching back such as himself. With Sony Michel released, only Raheem Mostert stands in his way; a man who — like the Concorde — is as fast as he is unfortunately explosive.

Edmonds’ efficiency ranks him 6th in fantasy points per touch, a stat lofted by his utilization in the passing game (averaged 4.8 targets, 3.9 receptions, and 28.3 rec yards per game last year when fully active), making him a PPR darling when given ample opportunity. The matchup is good, and the RBs could see more work if they’re leading as Vegas projects. Just be sure to monitor practice reports as he’s currently dealing with a groin injury, although it’s encouraging to hear that he practiced fully on Thursday.

Dillon is quickly cementing his place in the Packers’ backfield, but make no mistake, Aaron Jones is still the top dog. However, Aaron Rodgers will certainly lean heavily on both of his phenomenal backs with so many injuries in the receiving room, especially in enemy territory at U.S. Bank Stadium. It helps that Dillon performs exponentially better each time he’s pitted against the Vikings. In four career matchups against Minnesota, he’s scored 1.4, 4.2, 12.7, and most recently 21.3 fantasy points. It’s important to note that while Jones was absent for the middle two games, he was fully active in the last one where Dillon out-snapped (52% vs 41%), out-touched (16 vs 13), and outscored (21.3 vs 13.1) him. Now, don’t expect Dillon to go off for 40+ points, but he’s a worthwhile start in your RB2/Flex spot and an intriguing DFS play because it’s clear that the team — and more importantly, Rodgers — trusts him.

The Verdict
Edmonds in PPR, Dillon in Standard. In half PPR? I’d stick with Quadzilla.

WR:
Mike Williams (LAC) or Courtland Sutton (DEN)?

Mike Williams

  • LAC
  • WR
  • vs LV
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 4:25pm EST

Courtland Sutton

  • DEN
  • WR
  • @ SEA
  • Mon, 9/12
  • 8:15pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.9 12.8
Andy Rank WR #13 WR #16
Mike Rank WR #15 WR #16
Jason Rank WR #15 WR #13
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 5 6
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 52 44
Line -3.5 -6.5

Another extremely close matchup between two heavily hyped wideouts. Mike Williams is the slight favorite by Andy and Mike while Jason remains the lone dissenter. We’re all hopeful that Sutton can finish the season as a WR1, but we know Williams can be the WR1 in any given week. He’s already done so twice last year and is fresh off a 119 yards, 2 TD showcase against the very same Raiders in Week 18 back in January. This divisional battle should be a firefight with one of the higher game totals, while the Broncos are predicted to blowout the Seahawks, which potentially caps Sutton’s upside.

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The Verdict
I’m all about the upside, so I’m rolling with Williams. But you can’t go wrong with either guy.

WR:
Brandin Cooks (HOU) or Marquise Brown (ARI)?

Brandin Cooks

  • HOU
  • WR
  • vs IND
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST

Marquise Brown

  • ARI
  • WR
  • vs KC
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 4:25pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.2 12.8
Andy Rank WR #19 WR #17
Mike Rank WR #22 WR #14
Jason Rank WR #19 WR #14
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 21 22
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 45.5 53.5
Line +7 +5.5

Look, I love Brandin Cooks just as much as the next guy. I know he’s constantly underrated. He’s finished as a top-15 WR in 5 of 8 career seasons, something Marquise Brown has never even done once. Brown is coming off his best season where he totaled 180.8 fantasy points; Cooks has outscored that six times, which is twice as many seasons as Brown has in the NFL. But… I’m still riding with Hollywood. Kyler Murray will have no one else to throw to with Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz hobbled while DeAndre Hopkins remains suspended, and he’ll need to chuck it deep in order to catch up with the Chiefs. Cooks will also be peppered as the team’s top weapon, but I’d rather bank on targets from Murray than from Davis Mills, who has flashed potential but is still finding his footing.

The Verdict
Hollywoooooood!

RB:
Breece Hall (NYJ) or Dameon Pierce (HOU)?

Breece Hall

  • NYJ
  • RB
  • vs BAL
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST

Dameon Pierce

  • HOU
  • RB
  • vs IND
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 9.7 10.8
Andy Rank RB #42 RB #27
Mike Rank RB #31 RB #29
Jason Rank RB #31 RB #30
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 10 5
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 44.5 45.5
Line +7 +7

It’s the battle of the no-faces! This offseason has been a wild ride for both rookies, with Dameon Pierce‘s stock skyrocketing while Breece Hall‘s simultaneously plummets. The Ballers unanimously agree on Pierce, who should see a higher workload as the team’s de facto RB1 albeit in a tougher matchup. But as our content manager Kyle Borgognoni explained, only one 4th-round rookie RB has ever finished inside the top-24 since 2014. Pierce could be the second, and it’s in the realm of possibilities that he notches a few splash games, but on a devastatingly bad offense that has had the lowest expected points per rush attempts since 2000?

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Meanwhile, Hall has to compete with Michael Carter vulturing carries and valuable targets. But Hall could silence the naysayers with his dual-threat abilities and goal-line proficiency that resulted in a 99 grade on Next Gen Stats and made him the first RB taken in the 2022 NFL draft. Problem is, he’s on the Jets, so there may not be many goal-line opportunities, to begin with. If you’re starting him, you’re praying Hall can break away for a home run play, something he excelled at in college but will admittedly have a tough time doing so with limited usage against a formidable Ravens defensive front.

The Verdict
You probably should play it safe with Pierce, but I’m personally going for glory with Breece Lightning.

TE:
Cole Kmet (CHI) or T.J. Hockenson (DET)?

Cole Kmet

  • CHI
  • TE
  • vs SF
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST

T.J. Hockenson

  • DET
  • TE
  • vs PHI
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 8.5 9.2
Andy Rank TE #9 TE #7
Mike Rank TE #11 TE #7
Jason Rank TE #13 TE #7
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 8 31
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 40.5 48.5
Line +7 +4

All three guys favor T.J. Hockenson over Cole Kmet. Hock is the no-brainer choice. Andy boldly predicts Hockules to show out against the Eagles, who project to be very generous to opposing TEs as they gave up the most receiving TDs to TEs last year. That’s a perfect setup for Hockenson as he’s scored in every season opener en route to finishes as that week’s TE2, TE4, and TE3. But he did so with Matthew Stafford slinging the rock in 2020, then with guys like Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds starting in 2021. Since then, Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged, while the team also signed D.J. Chark. Jared Goff will be up against a daunting Eagles defensive front, but this could also mean he’ll have to rely on short dump-off passes to his trusty TE.

Kmet, everyone’s favorite late-round TE, should produce well as the clear number 2 option. He should also have positive TD regression on his side, especially with Jimmy Graham out of the way. Unfortunately, they’re facing a scary 49ers defense that doesn’t give up many yards to TEs, so you’re banking on a high target share and a trip to the endzone in order to compete with Hockenson. But not all hope is lost as Andy made Kmet his TE Start of the Week. And while the 49ers were stingy in yardage, they allowed the fifth highest pass rate inside the 10, paving the way for “Cole Komo” to finally score again and live up to his tremendous hype.

The Verdict
Hockenson is the smart choice. I am not smart though, so I’m rocking with Kmet.

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D/ST:
Denver Broncos or Cleveland Browns?

Denver Broncos

  • DEN
  • D
  • @ SEA
  • Mon, 9/12
  • 8:15pm EST

Cleveland Browns

  • CLE
  • D
  • @ CAR
  • Sun, 9/11
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points
Andy Rank D #4 D #6
Mike Rank D #1 D #6
Jason Rank D #1 D #7
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 12 30
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 44 42
Line -6.5 +1.5

I get the appeal, but I wouldn’t want to rely on a middling Browns defense that will probably be on the field way too much due to their struggling offense headlined by Jacoby Brissett. On the other hand, the Broncos are ranked highly by nearly every reputable analyst for a reason, and they’re huge favorites against a Geno Smith-led team that boasts the league’s worst offensive line.

The Verdict
Broncos all the way.

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