This is the favorite time of year for most fantasy sports players. Fantasy football draft day has become a tradition like Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Okay, not that huge, but for many people it is true.
Remember those sleepers you took in the last few rounds of your fantasy football draft or may have spent a buck or two on late in your auction? You will most likely know more about those guys after Week 1.
You normally never have to deal with bye weeks during Week 1, but due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami/Tampa Bay game is postponed until November. Your sleepers may come into play this week if you were planning on starting any Miami or Tampa Bay players.
Which guys will be a bust in Week 1?
Here is our Fantasy Football Sit/Start for Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season.
I want to explain what I mean by “sit” and “start.” Of course you are going to start some of the guys i say to bench this week, because you probably used high draft picks or a lot of money in an auction for them. My ‘sit’ players are guys I am just not completely sold that they will have good weeks. If you have a guy that you are on the fence about, maybe this will help you pick between the players.
- WR Danny Amendola & WR Chris Hogan (New England Patriots) – Julian Edelman is out for the year and the Patriots will need to split up his production in-between Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Amendola. I predict Amendola and Hogan will get the majority of the spots in Edelman’s offensive packages. These two guys could become major players in PPR leagues.
- WR Kevin White (Chicago Bears) – Cameron Meredith ran into some bad luck in the preseason. He was slated to have a fantasy stud for the Bears, but Meredith blew out his knee. White was a first round pick in 2015, but missed all of his rookie season with a leg issue…and only played in four games last year due to another leg injury. White is a big target and I would start him Week 1 against Atlanta.
- WR Zay Jones (Buffalo Bills) – I know what you’re thinking, what’s up with all these wide receivers? The position is more fluid than any other in the NFL. Jones should see an increase in targets with Jordan Matthews dealing with a chest injury. It also helps that Buffalo dealt Sammy Watkins to the West Coast.
- QB Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) – Dalton had an average season a year ago, but he played most of that season with limited options at receiver. A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert missed a huge chunk of the 2016 season (along with the departed Marvin Jones and Muhamed Sanu). Dalton didn’t have much talent left to catch passes. I also like the additions of John Ross and Joe Mixon to the offense…if not this week, in weeks to come.
- Pittsburgh Steelers Defense/Special Teams – I would start just about any team against the Cleveland Browns offense right now. It just so happened to be the Steelers, who should ruin rookie QB Deshone Kizer’s first NFL start.
- RB Rex Burkhead (New England Patriots) – Berkhead should take over the role LeGarrette Blount had the last few seasons in New England. Mike Gillislee will be the starting running back, but Burkhead will get the goal-line carries. I know Dion Lewis and James White makes the backfield situation a bit rough, but Burkhead is different than the other three backs, so his role is a bit more defined.
- TE Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints) – Fleener didn’t set the world ablaze in his first season in New Orleans, but he had his moments. Willie Snead is suspended the first few games of the season, so I expect Brees to target Fleener early this year.
- RB Jamaal Charles – Charles has been out with a knee injury for most of the last two seasons. I saw him in a couple preseason games and he still has the explosive speed around the corner. C.J. Anderson is the starter, but Charles could get more carries if Anderson gets off to a slow start (which is he is wont to do).
- QB Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals) – Palmer is a sneaky fantasy sleeper. He isn’t even getting drafted as a backup quarterback in most leagues. Palmer has David Johnson to dump passes off to as well as Jaron Brown, John Browns and Larry Fitzgerald…and tight end Jermaine Gresham. He will be just fine this year and will have a few insane fantasy weeks. He could have a big week against Detroit in Week 1.
- WR Ted Ginn Jr. (New Orleans Saints) – I usually avoid playing Ginn due to his brick-like hands, but he has a place in the Saints passing offense. Like I said before Snead is suspended the first couple games, so Ginn might be a nice addition if you have a Dolphins or Buccaneers player in a flex spot.
- WR Marvin Jones (Detroit Lions) – The Lions did a great job replacing Calvin Johnson last year. They spread the money around and were able to get a few good receivers. Stafford has more reliable targets than he has had in his career. Jones and Stafford just have chemistry together. Passes are rarely overthrown or bobbled when he throws to Jones.
- WR Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams) – DEEP LEAGUE START – Kupp is owned in a little over a dozen leagues, but he has a shot to be a nice PPR flex addition. He was a possession receiver in college and will be a Rams slot option. I wouldn’t expect a ton of yards, but Kupp should be a nice source of PPR points in a deep league.
- WR Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins) – Doctson is dealing with a hamstring issue, but is expected to be ready for Week 1. I am unsure of his role in Washington’s offense. Kirk Cousins looks comfortable in a pass-first offense, but I’m not sure if they have the kind of wide receivers that can handle that workload. Doctson missed his entire rookie season, so he’s a big question mark. He could be worth a roster spot just to see what kind of role he has with the Redskins. If doesn’t get many targets in Week 1, you can drop him for a better flex player.
- TE Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions) – Ebron missed some preseason due to a hamstring. During his time out Darren Fells and rookie Robert Tonyan filled in better than expected. The pair may have played themselves into some offensive packages. Ebron could see his snaps reduced a bit, but not a huge amount. There are better options like Coby Fleener out there to start until the Ebron situation is played out on the field.
- New York Giants Defense/Special Teams – Some people drafted the Giants D/ST expecting Ezekiel Elliott to miss Week 1. It looks like his six-game suspension will start in Week 2 (if he even serves a suspension). I wouldn’t trust the Giants defense to handle the Cowboys with full power. There are better options out there. The Giants might be a smart play other weeks, but not now.
- WR Corey Davis (Tennessee Titans) – Titans head coach Mike Mularkey had to come out and say that Davis will be used in specific situations against Oakland. It sounds like a part-time role. Eric Decker could be above him on the depth chart. You should wait for things to play out in Week 1 before thinking about adding Davis to your starting lineup.
- RB Chris Thompson & RB Samaje Perine (Washington Redskins) – Redskins have all but officially announced that Rob Kelley will start Week 1 against the Eagles. I don’t like him much either. The backfield situation is too muddy to confidently start any of these guys. Thompson could get some PPR points, but it’s not worth the risk.
- RB Latavius Murray (Minnesota Vikings) – This is another muddy backfield situation. Murray got a nice payday to sign with the Vikings, but they went ahead and drafted Dalvin Cook early in the NFL Draft. Murray is expected to start, but he has dealt with ankle issues this preseason and Cook is right there breathing down his neck. I just don’t feel comfortable starting him in Week 1.
- QB Tom Savage (Houston Texans) – If you are stuck with a roster that you must decide between Savage and just about any other starting quarterback (with a few exceptions), I’d pick the other guy. Savage does not have a long leash. Rookie Deshaun Watson is the backup and you know the fans will not be shy to let the Texans know if Savage struggles early in the season. I just don’t trust him against the young and hungry Jaguars defense, who should be better than expected.
- RB Thomas Rawls (Seattle Seahawks) – Rawls is dealing with an ankle injury and his status will not be known until late in the week or even as late as a game-time decision. Seattle also has C.J. Prosise and Eddie Lay as backfield options. Rawls may not be a very good fantasy option Week 1.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.