The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 1 (Fantasy Football)
We’re back, baby! Welcome to the 2023 season of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll 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.
In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. 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 ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 1:
As a Vikings fan, I’m more than familiar with annual disappointments. So it wouldn’t totally surprise me if the incumbent lead RB, Alexander Mattison, follows tradition on Sunday with a plodding, low-volume stat line in a suddenly crowded RB room against an underrated Buccaneers’ D-Line.
— NFL (@NFL) March 19, 2023
Or, maybe he’ll be the magnificent stud he’s always been whenever he’s had the chance. Remember how hopeful you’d get when you heard a news alert that Dalvin Cook was injured because you had Mattison chilling on your bench? He’ll get the workload (Ty Chandler and Myles Gaskin don’t scare me). He should have gamescript on his side (MIN favored by six at home). He may not finish in the top 10, but that’s already been baked into his ADP as you probably got him as your RB2 or flex. He’s the Hitman’s Start of the Week for a reason.
Similarly, Miles Sanders finds himself with a clear path to fantasy gold, but that’s only contingent on him receiving the volume that we’re hoping for. We saw glimpses of this last season, and the belief is that this trend will continue with the Panthers.
I’m not entirely sold. He’ll undoubtedly have spike weeks when he breaks free for multiple scores, but I have a feeling those moments will come at a frustratingly inconsistent pace. Having a rookie QB and a lackluster receiving room doesn’t help matters, not to mention his recent appearance in the Footballers’ esteemed groin index. He has a great matchup though, and with DJ Chark already ruled out, Sanders may see an uptick in carries and dump-off passes, so this could certainly be one of his spike weeks.
Since the season’s just getting started, I’m playing it “safe” with the guy who’s expected to see more usage, and that’s Mattison. He’s also the Ballers’ consensus favorite over Sanders.
For now, Raheem Mostert is the Miami Dolphins‘ bona fide lead back with Jeff Wilson on IR. Rookie Devon Achane will command his share, but until that happens, Mostert should enjoy a workload that’s as healthy as he is. We all know he’s an injury risk. But, for now, enjoy Mostert’s RB2 production with upside, making him a strong FanDuel and DraftKings DFS play, though he’ll be without standout LT Terron Armstead (Mostert averaged 8.6 fantasy points per game in four games last year without Armstead, and 9.9 points otherwise). Khalil Herbert should have a decent floor as the Bears are a slight favorite in a divisional matchup, but Mostert has the upside we want.
This is as close as they come, but Jahan Dotson is the winner for me. Terry McLaurin is dealing with turf toe (though he is expected to play), making this a prime spot for a Dotson showcase. The Cardinals’ depleted secondary should provide the Commanders’ offense with heaps of opportunities.
Speaking of weak secondaries, I also like Evans this week as he should embarrass Minnesota’s corners with a patented Mike Evans splash play. But Dotson is the preferred choice this week with a higher implied total, and he’s a recommended DFS play and Jason’s Start of the Week.
I actually think DJ Moore will have a good (not great) season as Justin Fields‘ WR1. He may not become a game-changer like Stefon Diggs is with Josh Allen, or AJ Brown is with Jalen Hurts, but he is Fields’ best receiving option and should be relied on enough for WR2 production.
However, Tyler Lockett is the slight favorite (Andy is the only one choosing Moore) because of his iron-clad rapport with Geno Smith and favorable matchup. Lockett hasn’t always been the most consistent player, so a bust week is definitely in the realm of possibility. Then again, so is a blow-up week, just like the last two times he’s faced the Rams. Lockett is Mike’s Start of the Week.
It’s always a crapshoot at the TE position, but Juwan Johnson has all the makings of an eruption season. He broke out last year as the overall TE11 thanks to his emerging red zone usage (11 RZ targets), which should only continue with a better QB in Derek Carr. Incidentally, Carr and co. have also been busy out there hyping up Johnson as a fantasy star. Johnson is Jason’s Start of the Week.
Gerald Everett was a solid streamer last season, but that was only in the absence of Keenan Allen and/or Mike Williams. Their match against the Dolphins is projected to be a firefight with a 51-point over/under, meaning Everett could benefit. But as of now, the Bolts receiving weapons are all healthy, so it’s best to wait on Everett until his situation changes.
Good luck Footclan, and let’s start this season off right! If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter. And don’t forget to tune in to the Sunday Live broadcast where Mike will answer your last-second Start/Sit questions!