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

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“Picking people is the hardest thing that we do in life. All of us that have teams want to pick the right people. The key to being a good manager… is to pick the right people. Pick the right people, and they’ll make you look good.”

– Joe Gibbs

Bonjour, Footclan! Welcome to the inaugural article of this brand-spanking new series 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 the 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.

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

Corey Davis (NYJ) or Chase Claypool (PIT)?

Corey Davis

  • NYJ
  • WR
  • @ CAR
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST

Chase Claypool

  • PIT
  • WR
  • @ BUF
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 11.3 12.1
Andy Rank WR #33 WR #31
Mike Rank WR #33 WR #31
Jason Rank WR #39 WR #32
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 10 6
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 45 48.5
Line +4.5 +6.5

Former first-round “bust” Corey Davis has certainly seen his stock rise once he packed his bags and set sail for a fresh start in the Big Apple. The newly crowned team captain has been the talk of the fantasy town during the offseason as clips emerged of his instant mindmeld connection with rookie QB Zach Wilson. Davis projects to be Wilson’s safety valve, supplying the receiver with enough volume to enjoy a comfortable yet pedestrian floor. As Jason said on Thursday’s show, Davis is a good choice if you’re projected to win your matchup and want to play it safe. But despite being the presumed target hog albeit on a new (and historically horrendous) team, he still lacks the upside that other elite receivers possess on high octane offenses with proven play-callers.

Enter Chase Claypool, the Steelers’ towering jump-ball phenom who’s apparently only capable of producing highlight-reel catches. Sure, he’ll have to contend for targets with the likes of Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and even rookie RB Najee Harris, plus he’ll have an awful matchup against Bills’ shutdown corner Tre’Davious White. But there’s a reason why he’s Mike’s Ultimate Value Hit Squad target and My Guy this season… because he’s an endzone monster and only needs one successful deep shot to cash in. He also has the scientifically proven sophomore bump going for him. The two wideouts are both decent WR3/FLEX plays this week, but Claypool’s big-play potential makes him the preferred option until we see more from Davis in his new surroundings.

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David Montgomery (CHI) or Raheem Mostert (SF)?

David Montgomery

  • CHI
  • RB
  • @ LAR
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 8:20pm EST

Raheem Mostert

  • SF
  • RB
  • @ DET
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.6 14.7
Andy Rank RB #20 RB #16
Mike Rank RB #20 RB #15
Jason Rank RB #21 RB #13
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 3 32
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 47 45
Line +7.5 -8

Matchups matter. That’s how 49ers’ RB Raheem Mostert ended up with a higher projected Week 1 ranking than David Montgomery, despite being drafted 30 spots below him.

Montgomery was a surprise hit last year, making the most of his “Mopportunity” against a Charmin-soft schedule in the second half of the season and finishing as the overall RB4. But he’ll have a brutal start against an ironclad Rams defense that blanketed him in their past two encounters:

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  • 2019: 14 carries, 31 yards, 0 TDs | 1 reception, 19 yards, 0 TDs
  • 2020: 14 carries, 48 yards, 0 TDs | 5 receptions, 21 yards, 0 TDs

Perhaps Montgomery can silence the doubters and ride the momentum of last year’s success into a dominating performance, but chances are he’ll struggle to get things going against stiff competition.

Meanwhile, Mostert is a big-play speedster who can break away any carry for a long score. Rookie Trey Sermon looms in the distance, but make no mistake, Mostert is the man in the 49ers’ backfield. He’s a “Buy” for 70+ rushing yards, a strong FanDuel and Draftkings DFS play, Jason’s Start of the Week, and should have no problem balling out against a porous Lions defense that is rated the WORST in the league against RBs.

D’Andre Swift (DET) or Chase Edmonds (ARI)?

D’Andre Swift

  • DET
  • RB
  • vs SF
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST

Chase Edmonds

  • ARI
  • RB
  • @ TEN
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 11.6 10.7
Andy Rank RB #21 RB #28
Mike Rank RB #21 RB #29
Jason Rank RB #32 RB #27
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 7 26
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 45 52
Line +8 +3

Has anyone been more disrespected than D’Andre Swift? The second-year RB has all the talent in the world, but a troublesome groin injury, gutted offense, crowded RB room, and questionable coach speak caused his stock to plummet. It doesn’t help that he’ll face a formidable 49ers defense in what Vegas projects to be the most lopsided match on the slate, but Swift should still command the lion’s share (sorry) of touches under an improved O-line and will be a serviceable RB2 who could flirt with RB1 numbers if he makes it to the endzone.

On the flip side, Cardinals’ RB Chase Edmonds has a much better matchup in a potential shootout against the Titans. There are clear questions on just how much action Edmonds and newly signed James Conner will see, but Edmonds should have enough involvement to finish as an RB3. It might be best to take the “wait-and-see” approach before deploying Edmonds into your starting lineup, but the temptation is understandably real with such a juicy matchup on the table. He’s a great contrarian DFS pick for those willing to gamble.

Ryan Tannehill (TEN) or Jalen Hurts (PHI)?

Ryan Tannehill

  • TEN
  • QB
  • vs ARI
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST

Jalen Hurts

  • PHI
  • QB
  • @ ATL
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 20.9 21.2
Andy Rank QB #8 QB #9
Mike Rank QB #9 QB #8
Jason Rank QB #9 QB #8
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 17 31
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 52 48.5
Line -3 +3.5

This is another one that’s almost too close to call. QBs Jalen Hurts and Ryan Tannehill are within 0.3 fantasy points based on the gang’s projections. Andy’s the only Baller who has the Titans play-caller ranked one spot ahead, going so far as to make “Tannethrill” his Start of the Week, while Mike and Jason have him a notch lower than Hurts. He also happens to be Jason’s Start of the Week. Both guys are solid plays this week, but while Tannehill will thrive off of insanely efficient play-action passes against the Cardinals and their “poor excuse of a secondary,” Hurts will get it done through the run game.

In the four weeks Hurts played as the starter last year, he averaged 68 rushing yards and nearly a TD per game. Yes, his passing game leaves a lot to be desired (averaged 230 passing yards and 1.3 passing TDs per game), but when he’s got a ~12 point fantasy floor from his rushing volume alone, the ceiling’s sky-high for the Oklahoma product, especially when you consider he’ll be throwing against a laughable Falcons defense that is rated second-worst in the league.

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Ty’Son Williams (BAL) or Laviska Shenault Jr. (JAX)?

Ty’Son Williams

  • BAL
  • RB
  • @ LV
  • Mon, 9/13
  • 8:15pm EST

Laviska Shenault Jr.

  • JAX
  • WR
  • @ HOU
  • Sun, 9/12
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 8.1 10.6
Andy Rank RB #35 WR #36
Mike Rank RB #22 WR #37
Jason Rank RB #63 WR #41
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 29 27
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 50 45.5
Line -4 -3.5

An interesting FLEX question being asked is whether to play hot-topic RB Ty’Son Williams or fan-favorite WR Laviska Shenault Jr. Both are great options on paper, but are loaded with questions.

For Williams, the obvious concern is what his workload will be like ever since his ENTIRE RB room (J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill) has gotten hurt in back-to-back-to-back season-ending injuries. It’s as if thousands of desperate fantasy managers wished on a monkey’s paw for the undrafted rookie to become a starter, only to watch in horror as the backfield is replaced with the likes of LeVeon Bell, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray, all of whom have achieved fantasy glory throughout their careers. Heck, even Trenton Cannon is there to siphon a touch or two. Williams could become the next big rookie sensation à la James Robinson, but Baltimore’s M.O. has always been to share the workload between each back while QB Lamar Jackson vultures at the goal-line, making Williams a risky option this week who unfortunately might see his usage diminish once the veterans have caught up with the playbook.

On the other hand, Shenault will also contend for looks in a crowded offense under rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, who certainly won’t be afraid to spread the ball. While all lights are green for the entire Jacksonville offense against an abandoned Houston team, Shenault will occasionally have to battle against talented CB Desmond King, who presents the most difficult matchup for the Jaguars receivers. But odds are that the Swiss army knife weapon will have enough manufactured touches to enjoy a reliable fantasy floor, especially with first-round pick Travis Etienne out for the season.

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