The Fantasy Footballers “Starts of the Week” for Week 1
AAAAHHHH! It’s Football time! Finally, week one is here! Sadly, there are already some of you in a pinch due to injuries to top-tier fantasy options. Cough cough, Travis Kelce. What are you going to do? Who can you look to as a quality pivot option? The good news is that the Fantasy Footballers are here to help you navigate the season. They bring you their Starts of the Week for Week 1. If you want to see the entire episode on YouTube, check it out below:
If this wets your whistle and you want more fantasy football goodness, join the #FootClan and get involved in our Discord Community. Now, let’s get into The Fantasy Footballers Week 1 Starts of the Week!
Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB- Derek Carr vs. TEN
Send in the Carr. The matchup is juicy for Derek Carr‘s first start in the new city and uniform. The Titans allowed the most passing yards per game last year. Chris Olave and the weapons in the passing game will be necessary for the Saints to win. The Titans’ defensive line is a strength for them, as they ranked first against the run last season. Add in the suspension of Kamara and injury concerns with Kendre Miller, and Carr will be the ball mover for the Saints.
RB- Brian Robinson vs. AZ
It isn’t sexy, but for week 1, sometimes you must take what they give you. Brian Robinson is coming into his second season without the recovery process he had last year. He should see 18 touches, at least in this game. Both teams want to run the ball, which could muddy this game up. The Commanders are seven-point home favorites against the NFL team, formerly the Cardinals. Last year, Washington had the second-highest first-half run rate and the 5th highest rush rate when leading. Ron Rivera loves to grind out a game and use his running backs heavily. Robinson is the team’s main guy, and they will ride him this game. They should take care of business against Arizona, who allowed the second most points per game last year.
WR- Chris Olave vs. TEN
Andy is getting a nice fantasy stack in his starts of the week. Olave is one of the young receivers everyone is hot and heavy for this year. The Titans’ defense allowed the most fantasy points to Wide Receivers last year, and WR1s averaged 18.4 fantasy points per game. This rocket ship is ready to get off the ground and journey to the moon.
TE- Tyler Higbee vs. SEA
He is the perfect replacement for a team with Travis Kelce or George Kittle, especially in full-PPR leagues. With Cooper Kupp out, Higbee projects to get enough volume to hold you over until your high-round TEs return. Seattle was the matchup target for TEs last year. The Seahawks gave the most fantasy points to the tight end last year. Higbee also quietly had 108 targets last year, which was 4th most of the season. If the Rams get down early, they will have to throw the ball more, which could make for some garbage time points for Higbee.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB- Geno Smith vs. LAR
Jason titles him the “must start” outside the main guys in week one. Why? The matchup is so juicy! The good news is that next week is also juicy playing Detroit. The Seahawks are 5.5-point home favorites with a 25.5-team implied total. That is the fifth-highest total of the week. Geno was a top-12 QB twice last year, and he has added weapons with Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet. The Rams are not the team they used to be, so don’t be afraid to target them with your offensive weapons.
RB- JK Dobbins vs. HOU
He has two legs at his disposal this season. Guess what? He faces the Texans. Who were terrible last year. Teams ran the ball against the Texans 573 times for 2,894 yards and 25 touchdowns. That is the most rushing yards allowed by a team in 40 years. The Texans should be better, but how much better can they be in just one season? The Ravens will throw the ball more than they did in the past. However, when Baltimore, who are 10-point favorites, get up, they will give the ball to Dobbins and let him burn the clock. He also could get some goal-line work and get into the end zone, starting the season off right.
WR- Jahan Dotson vs. ARI
You likely drafted him later in the draft, and he could end as the best option for the Commanders as a pass-catching weapon. He is a great route runner and has fantastic hands. Please don’t wait and see with Dotson. The matchup is too good not to get him in your lineup. The Cardinals allowed the second most points per game in 2022, and they didn’t get much better from a talent standpoint. While the Commanders will probably throw the ball very little in the second half, Dotson can make enough plays in the first half to have a great fantasy week.
TE- Juwan Johnson vs. TEN
Again, a pairing for a QB start of the week, and again with Derek Carr. The Titans were a team to target last year in the passing game, especially against TEs. The Titans were the second-worst schedule-adjusted defense against tight ends. Until Tennessee proves otherwise, you should continue targeting them. In the final preseason game with Derek Carr, Johnson led all TEs in snaps and routes run by a wide margin. We also forget that last year, Johnson had seven touchdowns. He is a red-zone threat, and we know Derek Carr loves a good Tight End.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB- Tua Tagovailoa vs. LAC
This game has the highest over/under of the week outside the Thursday night game. The Chargers defense can give up explosive plays in the passing game. Last year, LA ranked 31st in Explosive Pass Rate Allowed on 15+ yard plays and the second highest passer rate allowed on 15+ yard attempts. Meanwhile, Tua led the NFL in passing yards on play-action last season. Because if anyone bites just a little on a play-action, then the receivers for the Dolphins will take advantage. Tua will keep throwing, as Miami ranked fourth in pass rate last year while leading. So, regardless of the score, the Dolphins will let Tua get the ball in the hands of his playmakers, which is glorious for fantasy football.
RB- Alexander Mattison vs. TB
In the most minor shock, Mike goes with his boy Alexander Mattison to start the season. The Vikings are six-point home favorites against the Buccaneers. On DraftKings, Mattison’s odds to score a TD is -115. Only Ekeler, Chubb, Henry, and Pollard have better odds in Week 1. The Tampa Bay defensive front allowed a top-12 running back in 4 of seven of their last games. Tampa ranked 26th in points per game and 23rd in explosive rush rate allowed. It is a great matchup to start the season, and Mattison should get the opportunity to show what he can do for the Vikings.
WR- Tyler Lockett vs. LAR
It’s a nice pairing with Jason’s QB start of the week. Lockett makes so much sense. Last year, in the two games against the Rams, he had 12 targets for nine catches, 128 yards, and a score in week 13 and 7 targets for four catches, 54 yards, and a touchdown in week 18. The Rams’ defense has a lot to deal with this Seahawks passing attack, which means Tyler Lockett should eat heavily versus LA.
TE- Gerald Everett vs. MIA
Start climbing Mt. Everett. The Chargers and Ravens have the 2nd highest team-implied total of 26.8 points. Meanwhile, Miami allowed the 4th most fantasy points to the TE position last year. That is a pairing you want for a tight end. He has an excellent offensive point total and a team that struggles to guard tight ends. He is a solid low-end TE1 option this week.