The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 1
Hey there, Footclan! It’s football time! On Thursday’s episode, the Ballers brought you their Starts of the Week for the season’s first week. If you have yet to check out the show, you can listen to the podcast here or watch it on YouTube. Subscribe and press the bell so you stay informed. Also, give JoinTheFoot.com a visit as it provides a ton of additional resources exclusively for #FootClan members. Now let’s take a look at who the guys think you should start this week.
The Cardinals’ secondary is non-existent, which benefits Ryan Tannehill in the first game of the season. Andy pointed out that Malcolm Butler has retried, Patrick Peterson is gone, and no one outside to slow down the pass-catchers on this team (Julio Jones, AJ Brown, and Anthony Firkser, who was thrown in for fun).
Well, we know what happened here. The Reaper showed up early this season, with Gus Edwards suffering a season-ending torn ACL. Edwards was Andy’s selection for running back start of the week, citing how Edwards would be the primary ball carrier for Baltimore. Expect Andy to pivot on Friday’s show.
Last season, Antonio Brown ranked second among all wideouts in the percentage of routes targeted, discussed by the guys last week. Both Bruce Arians and Tom Brady have given Brown a vote of confidence, and Andy feels Brown will be a valuable part of the offense.
Atlanta has Calvin Ridley as their WR1, but Kyle Pitts is the WR2 in Atlanta. This weekend, the Falcons take on the Eagles and a defense that has allowed over 11 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends last season. One of those games was the George Kittle monster game, where he caught 15 balls for 183 yards and a touchdown. Multiple tight ends had 8-9 target games last year. Pitts’ yards after catch should be good in this game. Haters, such as Jason might want to put their heads in the sand but ignore those haters.
Jalen Hurts started four games last season, and his rushing lines in those games were 18 carries for 106 yards and zero touchdowns, 11 carries for 63 yards and one score, and eight carries for 34 yards and two touchdowns. He also has rookie DeVonta Smith in the mix, whom he played with in college. Jason pointed out the Taysom Hill template is vital to look at as Hill was able to rush for 84 yards and two scores in two games against Atlanta last season. Hill ended those games as QB4 and QB8. Atlanta does not have a good defense, giving up the most passing yards, most fantasy points to QBs, and most WR fantasy points.
Detroit allowed the fifth-most rushing yards last year. The Lions were ranked last in defensive DVOA in that season as well, according to Football Outsiders. Trey Sermon might be the new hotness, but Jason is putting his faith in Raheem Mostert. Mostert fell in drafts, primarily because of a back injury that never really was there. This contest is an excellent matchup, and Mostert will show why he is a great value this season.
For what Adam Thielen has been, he fell in fantasy drafts this season. People tend to overcorrect when dealing with “touchdown regression,” and 14 touchdowns was a lot. But Jason states Thielen’s volume could quickly go up from 108 total targets in 15 games played. Cincinnati has a weak secondary, including Eli Apple, on his fourth team (a player who should be in coverage).
Curtis Samuel is on the record saying, “Ackkkkk!!!, my groin!” (Samuel is not expected to play). Logan Thomas should be the perfect target for Ryan Fitzpatrick in this team, seeing the second-most targets after Terry McLaurin. Thomas is a necessary player on Washington’s roster. Last season, the Chargers tied for fourth-most touchdowns allowed to tight ends, including great games by Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. Opposing tight ends against LAC had over six targets a game last season.
Matt Ryan is a yardage monster when playing at home. We already talked about massive targets in both Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Per Pro Football Focus, the Eagles are the 25th best-ranked secondary. This game could turn into an offensive shootout, meaning Ryan will be throwing the ball. Look for Ryan to give you solid QB2 play or to be a helpful streamer.
The last time Mike checked, DraftKings had the over-under at 54. Mike acknowledges that Hunt has been better in losses than Nicholas Chubb (or Nick Chubb if you’re not formal). Over the final four weeks of last season, Kansas City allowed the most RB receptions. This matchup should be a productive “revenge” game for Hunt.
A “my guy,” so why not? Kenny Moore should be in coverage during this game, and he did get banged up this week. He should play, but he shouldn’t be at 100%. Indianapolis allowed the second most wide receiver receptions over the final four games of 2020. Also, in 2020, Lockett saw more targets than DK Metcalf and finished the season with 14 “EndZone Targets.” Lockett tied with Metcalf for fourth-most EndZone Targets last year.
Tyler Higbee is known for yards after the catch, something the Bears love to give up. Chicago allowed 962 total yards to tight ends last season as well as 13 touchdowns to the position. The Bears gave up double-digit tight end fantasy points in 2020, which can happen in this first-week matchup.
Boom Boom Kicker of the Week
And, back at it again for the 2021 season, Jason brings you his Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom Boom Kicker of the Week:
“I choose to sit when I pee, and I sit when I poo. But your team can withstand victories with the Falcons’ Younghoe Koo.”