Welcome to my first ever Fantasy Football weekly Start/Sit advice column. Once a week I will provide you with Start/Sit advice for your Fantasy Football lineups. This column will focus on some obvious Starts (Always Start your Studs) and hopefully some not so obvious. I will also give you some matchups to shy away from, those will be your Sits. Let’s get started.
Start: Kirk Cousins vs Packers
Cousins has a new offensive-minded head coach in Kevin O’Connell, who was the offensive coordinator last year for the Rams and designed the offense that led to the season that Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp had. Cousins has a history of success at home against Green Bay. He has combined for 47 points the last two home games and averaged 21 fantasy points in three of the last four.
Start: Matt Ryan at Texans
The Colts are going to want to unleash their new offense against a struggling Texans defense and, in a division game, they are going to push hard to get a win and show dominance. Ryan has a good offensive line and good weapons for the first time in a couple of years, look for him to try show he still has it.
Sleeper: Jameis Winston, Joe Flacco, Justin Fields
Sit: Joe Burrow vs Steelers
First as a fellow Bengals fan this pains me to say it as much as it will pain you to read it, but hear me out. I know they revamped the offensive line and I know this team is explosive but Burrow has struggled against the Steelers. In three starts he has only averaged 16 fantasy points per game. This offense as a whole has not played together in a game setting this season. This offense started slow last season. I expect it to start slow against Pittsburgh; I expect a low scoring game, and I expect the Steelers to blitz that line early and often. Play Burrow if you have to, but sit him if you can.
Sit: Trey Lance at Bears
I am going against the chalk or what I am seeing in other places. Trey Lance has had a mixed bag of success. Reports from training camp are that his throws were off target and it looked like he had a lot to learn about being an NFL QB. There is a reason why San Fran brought Garoppolo back after naming Lance the starter for $10 million for one season (highest paid backup). It will also be raining in Chicago and that field has issues, it’s not going to be an easy place to play.
Start: Nick Chubb at Panthers
Nick Chubb is a start against a weak Panthers front seven. With the Browns utilizing Jacoby Brissett at QB, they are going to lean on the run and they are going to lean on Chubb. Expect him to get 20 touches and every opportunity he can handle.
Start: Antonio Gibson vs Jaguars
Antonio Gibson was embarrassed in training camp losing his starting job to rookie Brian Robinson. Now because of the unfortunate events surrounding Robinson, Gibson gets another chance to prove he can be the starter. You have to think he will be running with a purpose. Head coach Ron Riveria stated “We are going to give him the ball.”
Sleepers: AJ Dillon, Kareem Hunt, Rhamondre Stevenson
Sit: Dameon Pierce vs Colts
There was a ton of hype for him in the off-season and, of course, he was named the starter, but I don’t want to trust him in his first game if I can avoid it. The Colts have a strong defensive line and we don’t know if the Texans can even move the ball well enough to give Pierce room to run. Don’t trust him in Week 1, if you can avoid it.
Sit: The entire Baltimore Ravens Backfield at Jets
What a mess! J.K. Dobbins is coming off an ACL tear and is questionable to play. Gus Edwards, also coming off an ACL tear, is on the PUP. They brought in Mike Davis and he looked bad last season. Kenyan Drake has been cut by three teams in two years. Oh yeah and they have a QB who pulls the ball down and runs and runs in the red zone. I’m avoiding this hot mess for a couple of weeks until it gets sorted out.
Start: Terry McLaurin vs Jaguars
The Jaguars have suspect cornerbacks and McLaurin and Jahan Dotson are good plays this week. Reports from training camp is McLaurin has had good chemistry with new QB Carson Wentz. Wentz has a big arm and will target McLaurin in this game.
Start: Michael Pittman Jr. at Texans
If I am going to tell you to start Matt Ryan at QB, I should probably tell you to start his favorite target WR Michael Pittman Jr. This is it, this is Pittmans breakout and he has a good QB to get him the ball. This is a great matchup and like I said before, they are going to want to come out hot.
Sleeper: Tyler Boyd, Josh Palmer, Jahan Dotson
Sit: Any Packers Wide Receiver at Vikings
I worry about this entire situation. Allen Lazard is injured and may not play. They haven’t established a WR pecking order. I think Aaron Rodgers will struggle without his No. 1. Avoid this mess until it works itself out.
Sit: Tyler Lockett vs Broncos
When Seattle traded Russell Wilson and decided that Geno Smith would be the starter, there went any opportunity for Tyuler Lockett. Lockett was a favorite deep target for Wilson, and Seattle is going to struggle every week and especially this first week against the Broncos. Also DK Metcalf has been a favorite target of Geno Smith.
Start: Dallas Goedert at Lions
QB Jalen Hurts has shown a tendency to throw underneath to the TE and to use the TE as a security blanket. Goedert has a good matchup against a Lions defense that struggled against the TE last season.
Sleeper: Hayden Hurst, Isaiah Likely, Albert Okwuegbunam
Sit: Mike Gesicki vs Patriots
Facing trade rumors, being used as a blocker, and a WR corps of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson, there aren’t many targets left for Gesicki. Can Tua Tagovailoa spread the ball around enough? Oh yeah and the Patriots were the best defense against the TE last season.
Thank you for reading my Start/Sit column. You can find this and the rest of my work over at FantasyHolics on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/FantasyHolics.
Jeremiah Orcutt is from Hillsboro. He is an Air Force veteran, married with three kids. He started playing fantasy football in 2007 and started writing for a fantasy football Facebook advice page called FantasyHolics in 2016. In 2020, he took over as the head administrator on the page.