Fantasy Football Week 1: Starts and sits, sleepers and risks for every game on the NFL schedule

Looking for some lineup advice? You've come to the right place. First, go through every game on the schedule right here to find out who Dave is starting and sitting for all 32 teams on the schedule for Week 1. Then, head to the lineup cheat sheets — PPR here, Non-PPR here — to make sure you're locking in the right lineup.

L.A. Rams at Carolina

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Rams, -3

Start Him
LAR L.A. Rams • #18
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
40
TAR
56
REYDS
566
TD
6
FPTS/G
16.8
Most everyone is planning on going with Kupp anyway — typical for players drafted in the first five rounds. But I actually love his matchup in the slot way more than the ones teammates Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods will have. Kupp will draw Javien Elliott in coverage, and while Elliott has had a nice camp with the Panthers, the 5-foot-11 corner will have a dramatic size disadvantage against the 6-foot-4 Kupp. Maybe the Panthers opt to shadow Kupp with a bigger defender near the end zone, but that's not enough to deter Jared Goff from throwing to his red-zone buddy. I'm going to use him in my DFS lineups.
Sneaky Sleeper
CAR Carolina • #10
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
39
TAR
65
REYDS
494
TD
7
FPTS/G
10.5
I'm not sure the rest of the NFL has caught up to just how refined Samuel's route-running is, or how fast he genuinely is. There were times last year when Rams cornerback Marcus Peters got burned pretty badly by speed guys, and the Panthers could try taking shots with Samuel against him (or against anyone, really). Once upon a time, Wade Phillips' defense destroyed Cam Newton's numbers in Super Bowl 50. But the Rams' current roster doesn't have that kind of pass rush firepower, nor does it have as good of a secondary. Newton should be fine, and the defense will have its hands full with Samuel. He's worth taking a chance on as a flex.

Washington at Eagles

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Eagles, -9.5

Sneaky Sleeper
PHI Philadelphia • #10
Age: 32 • Experience: 12 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
41
TAR
74
REYDS
774
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.5
We're going to get an immediate look at just how potent this Eagles offense is against a Washington defense that's pretty easy to prepare for. Top cornerback Josh Norman figures to play on one side with Quinton Dunbar opposite him. Norman gave up eight touchdowns and 258 yards after catch in 16 games while Dunbar allowed five touchdowns and 170 yards after catch in seven. Maybe both appeal to the Eagles' coaching staff, but the idea of D-Jax lining up across specifically from Dunbar and hustling downfield gives off crazy-good vibes for a big play or two to help Fantasy managers dominate. And I know the whole "revenge game" narrative is silly, but Jackson has provided at least 11 PPR Fantasy points in each of his last three meetings against his old squads, including two last year when he was playing with worse quarterbacks. Jackson's worth a spin as a high-upside flex and a darn good under-the-radar DFS choice.
Sit Them
PHI Philadelphia • #24
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
935
REC
20
REYDS
145
TD
9
FPTS/G
11.2
PHI Philadelphia • #26
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
2018 Stats
RUYDS
1274
REC
24
REYDS
139
TD
9
Which Eagles back is best in what should be a blowout Eagles win? I took a look back at last year's results when the Eagles won by two scores, which was only three times ... but twice against Washington. An Eagles back had 18-plus carries in two of them, but only one scored more than 10-plus non-PPR/12-plus PPR Fantasy points ... and neither came against the Skins. Know who did have big games? Carson Wentz — multiple touchdowns and over 250 passing yards in two blowout victories and Nick Foles had over 225 yards and two touchdowns in the other. I like Washington's run defense to have a chance to contain both backs, and until we see the Eagles dedicate more to the run game, it's for the best to have lowered expectations.


Bills at Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread:
 Jets, -3

Sneaky Sleeper
BUF Buffalo • #15
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
42
TAR
97
REYDS
715
TD
5
FPTS/G
8.9
The Jets' secondary is in suspect shape. Top cornerback Trumaine Johnson is on track to play but it's not at 100 percent. Fellow outside corner Darryl Roberts and nickelback Brian Poole are serviceable, but not shut-down guys. Brown's speed and route-running ability pushed him to the top of the Bills' receiver depth chart and should put him in play as a primary option for the Bills. He's gotten off to hot starts before and figures to see a nice dose of targets as the Bills may find it hard to succeed in the run game given the Jets' monstrous D-line and addition of linebacker C.J. Mosley. Like DeSean Jackson, consider Brown a high-upside flex and an unpopular DFS receiver.
Flex Starter
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #11
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
50
TAR
93
REYDS
752
TD
6
FPTS/G
11.2
The Bills' secondary should be pretty good, but Robby Anderson has experience working against this zone-coverage unit and has even has multiple deep catches on Tre'Davious White over the past couple of seasons, including a touchdown. Adam Gase's track record in Miami against the Bills defense is brutal (no 100-yard receiving games the past two seasons), but he's got a better offense and a better quarterback now, along with a much better running back who can suck the safeties forward in play-action.


Falcons at Vikings

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Point spread:
 Vikings, -4

Sit Him
ATL Atlanta • #2
Age: 34 • Experience: 12 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
4924
RUYDS
125
TD
39
INT
7
FPTS/G
26.4
Ryan's last two games against Mike Zimmer's Vikings totaled one touchdown and two interceptions with a low-for-him 63.3 completion percentage. His last great game against Minnesota came in 2014 when Zimmer didn't have a complete secondary or a scary pass rush. He's had both since then and it's rattled Ryan. Furthermore, Julio Jones has been held in check his whole career against Zimmer's scheme, which isn't surprising since the Vikings have afforded six receivers to get over 100 yards over the past three seasons! Another factor: Ryan's offensive line is sure to be challenged by the Vikings' front seven, and given the inexperience they have, could struggle in protection. Only two quarterbacks all last season threw multiple touchdowns against Minnesota.


Ravens at Dolphins

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread:
 Ravens, -6.5

Start Him
BAL Baltimore • #8
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
1201
RUYDS
695
TD
11
INT
3
FPTS/G
10.6
The whole world will ride Lamar Jackson in both seasonal and DFS in Week 1. It's understandable from a rushing perspective — the Dolphins have a very suspect (I'm being nice) front seven that doesn't appear to have the speed to run with him. They also don't have the pass rushers to make him uncomfortable, so there's a chance Marquise Brown or Miles Boykin could haul in a long touchdown, especially if they can find cornerback Eric Rowe in coverage. He'll be Miami's biggest liability in pass coverage.
PPR Flex Starter
MIA Miami • #32
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
535
REC
53
REYDS
477
TD
9
FPTS/G
12.8
New Dolphins playcaller Chad O'Shea comes from the Patriots, who love game-planning for their opponents. Though I expect a bunch of YOLO tosses from Ryan Fitzpatrick, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Miami test a Ravens front seven that lost five key players this offseason. It also wouldn't be surprising to see the Dolphins trail, and that should lead to a bunch of playing time for Kenyan Drake as a check-down option. If the Dolphins coaching staff saw what we all saw this preseason, Drake will have a lot more playing time than Kalen Ballage.

Chiefs at Jaguars

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Chiefs, -4

Start Him
KC Kansas City • #26
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
256
REC
23
REYDS
160
TD
6
FPTS/G
6.1
Yep, that's right. I know there's nothing about Williams' situation that seems particularly good. LeSean McCoy is his new teammate and a potential drain on his touches. The Jaguars defense is scary. The Chiefs are on the road. But guess what? Williams' skills as a receiver will pull him through for a nice game. I expect Andy Reid to test the Jaguars outside linebackers and safeties, looking for mismatches with his tight ends and running backs. Can McCoy be up to speed on the Chiefs' playbook and develop chemistry with Patrick Mahomes in a week? I don't think so. And he doesn't have to — Williams held the fort down last year, catching a minimum of five passes in all but one of his last five games, averaging 12.3 yards per catch. We've already seen him shine as a receiver this preseason. As for his carries, maybe he gets around 10, but we know the Jaguars can't afford to inch their safeties and linebackers close to the line of scrimmage or else they risk getting destroyed by Mahomes' cannon. Last year the Chiefs got 87 yards and a score out of Kareem Hunt against Jacksonville. You should carry mild No. 2 running back expectations with Williams.
Start Him (PPR)
JAC Jacksonville • #12
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
66
TAR
101
REYDS
717
TD
5
FPTS/G
10.8
It might not all come on one or two plays, but Westbrook should win his battles with Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller in the slot and come away with nice numbers in PPR. Fuller yielded five or more receptions in four of his last six games with a high completion rate given up in all of them. We know Nick Foles has eyes for Westbrook and can easily utilize him as an alternative to the run game to keep the clock and chains moving. He's a little less appealing because his scoring opportunities and 100-yard potential are limited by the Jaguars' conservative nature and run-first approach inside the 10-yard line.

Titans at Browns

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread:
 Browns, -5.5

Sit Him
TEN Tennessee • #22
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
1059
REC
15
REYDS
99
TD
12
FPTS/G
12.4
If Henry were part of a creative, up-tempo offense that would find ways to get the ball in his hands besides running between the edges, I'd be more interested in starting him. But the Titans new playcaller doesn't deserve any leeway or props since he's a first-timer who's using someone else's playbook. It's hard to expect the Titans to be exotic offensively, which won't help Henry when he's running into the teeth of a much-improved and underrated Browns front seven. Additions like Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson will make the running tough for Henry. Furthermore, until Marcus Mariota establishes himself as a consistently dangerous passer, boxes will be stacked rather frequently for Henry. I like his chances for a better game versus Indianapolis in Week 2.
Sit Him
CLE Cleveland • #80
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
81
TAR
150
REYDS
976
TD
5
FPTS/G
13.5
Expectations are down for Landry with Odell Beckham now in Cleveland and Nick Chubb taking on a sizable portion of the offensive touches. The matchup against the Titans doesn't help either. Tennessee slot cornerback Logan Ryan was ranked top three in Pro Football Focus' slot performance metric last season and is among the league's better cover guys inside. They used to face off when Ryan was with the Patriots and he'd always hold Landry in check when lined up across from him. With his targets not expected to be very plentiful, it should be easy to leave Landry on the bench.

Colts at Chargers

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Point spread:
 Chargers, -6.5

Start Him
IND Indianapolis • #85
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
66
TAR
110
REYDS
750
TD
14
FPTS/G
13.9
Look, the Colts need help. Jacoby Brissett's not going to get the job done on his own — he needs mismatch guys like Ebron to help put points on the board. He's a gigantic, fairly quick pass-catcher who will be a tougher matchup for the Chargers to deal with now that safety Derwin James is out for at least half the season. While Ebron might not play every snap, it is clear that he was in on a slew of red-zone plays last year and should at least be in on them again in Week 1. Odds are the Colts won't have a commanding lead, either, helping him push his way to six or seven targets.
Sit Him
IND Indianapolis • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
908
REC
17
REYDS
103
TD
10
FPTS/G
13.6
No one knows for sure how the Colts offense will operate under Brissett, but the hunch is that they'll be a little more conservative and a little more controlled. That also means defenses won't be shy about stacking the box to try and contain the run. Mack's two-year track record in Colts wins (15.4 carries, 4.7 yards, 12 total touchdowns) versus losses (6.8 carries, 3.7 yards, two total touchdowns) doesn't paint a rosy picture. A Chargers defense with a lot of beef up front is expected to be as tough as it was in 2018 when only two backs had 100 rush yards against them.
Start Him
LAC L.A. Chargers • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
554
REC
39
REYDS
404
TD
6
FPTS/G
12
The Colts were quietly one of the best run defenses last year. They didn't allow a single 100-yard rusher and yielded only eight rushing touchdowns to running backs. But they also had teams trying to keep up with them on the scoreboard, so it means less rushing and more passing. Other than the addition of veteran Justin Houston, who won't play every down, and a couple of interesting rookies, the unit is basically the same. They'll be without run-stuffer Jabaal Sheard in Week 1, helping the Chargers' cause. Last season, the second Chargers running back each week had about 10 touches per game while the starter had the rest, usually well over 15 touches. That should be the expectation in Week 1 — Ekeler leads the way with Justin Jackson pitching in. Jackson also seems best suited for short-yardage duties, and that's where his Fantasy success will hinge. If he scores, he'll be good, which makes him a fair flex. Ekeler is more appealing in all formats but especially PPR given his penchant for catching passes.
Flex Starter
LAC L.A. Chargers • #81
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
43
TAR
66
REYDS
664
TD
11
FPTS/G
11.2
With Williams, it comes down to touchdowns. He's never had a 100-yard game in his career and has been above 60 yards five times in 26 games. For what it's worth, six of the seven games he's scored at least once in have been Chargers wins, and the Bolts scored 23-plus points in six of those seven games. I think it's fair to say the Chargers can put up 23 points on the Colts and that they'll win, so Williams is worth the flex start. Plus it helps Williams that two of the Colts' top three corners are under six feet tall; Williams is 6-foot-4.

49ers at Buccaneers  

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Pick'em

Sneaky Sleeper
SF San Francisco • #18
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
27
TAR
44
REYDS
467
TD
5
FPTS/G
8.6
After poo-pooing him for the last month, there's a specific matchup the Niners may choose to exploit, and Pettis is best suited to take advantage. The Buccaneers secondary boasts an unproven cornerback trio, but much has been made about Vernon Hargreaves and Carlton Davis. Those guys might be better, but slot cornerback M.J. Stewart was incredibly bad last year, giving up an 85% catch rate, plenty of yards after catch and five touchdowns on 40 targets. Pettis might be most likely to line up from him because he's good for the slot given his quickness and Gumby-like contortions to make plays in tight spaces. Granted, it's possible the 49ers use Marquise Goodwin or rookie Deebo Samuel in the slot as well, but Pettis had more experience there last year and lined up in the slot more this preseason (23) than Goodwin (3) and Samuel (10) combined. It's risky, which is why he's a flex starter instead of something more, but this is the matchup I think the 49ers can attack, and Pettis is the guy to do it.
Flex Starters
SF San Francisco • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
800
REC
32
REYDS
276
TD
9
FPTS/G
12.1
SF San Francisco • #22
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
814
REC
27
REYDS
261
TD
5
FPTS/G
11.6
A lot of the Bucs' breakdowns against the run last year came after they took on injuries at linebacker. They're fairly well stocked defensively this year — defensive tackle Vita Vea is expected to play, and he'll line up next to Ndamukong Suh. Rookie linebacker Devin White should pair nicely with Lavonte David. This might not be the pushover front-seven we saw before. It could mean the 49ers lean on their running backs to hit the edges and make plays through the air. Both Coleman and Breida can excel there, but interestingly enough, in 2018 it was Breida who had more success on converting downs of three yards or less (10 of 16) than Coleman (10 of 23). While it's true Coleman played more with the starters this preseason than Breida, this one's a toss-up, and since that's the case, both aren't any better than flex plays.
Start Him
TB Tampa Bay • #3
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
2992
RUYDS
281
TD
20
INT
14
FPTS/G
21.2
Winston qualifies as a starting Fantasy option because the Bucs run game doesn't figure to play well against the 49ers' stout and underrated front seven. While I have some hesitations about Winston staying clean behind his offensive line, I do think he will find the passing easy, particularly to Chris Godwin (love his matchup against slot corner K'Waun Williams) and tight ends — the 49ers didn't have a good answer for Cameron Brate in their matchup last year and will struggle to find an answer for O.J. Howard now. So long as Winston doesn't get sacked into oblivion, he should finish in the top-10.


Bengals at Seahawks

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Seahawks, -9.5

Sneaky Sleeper
CIN Cincinnati • #15
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
2018 Stats
REC
56
REYDS
876
TD
10
If you're desperate at receiver and need a 6-foot-2 wideout with 4.5 speed and aggressive receiving skills, check Willis out. The undrafted rookie beat out a bunch of average Joes for a starting job with the Bengals and should see a lot of playing time as Cincinnati figures to throw a lot while playing from behind at Seattle. Starting outside cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers each allowed a catch rate above 60 percent last year. Expect Willis to get a shot at a couple of deep balls and even one or two end-zone targets during the game. Don't tell anyone, but I'm starting him in all my DFS lineups.

Giants at Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)
Point spread: Cowboys, -7

Risky Starter
NYG N.Y. Giants • #87
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
66
TAR
107
REYDS
872
TD
4
FPTS/G
11.4
Shepard's got a great opportunity to hog targets with Golden Tate suspended for the first four games and no real threat coming from other Giants wide receivers (Evan Engram will definitely get plenty of looks, as will Saquon Barkley). But the Cowboys have absolutely had his number over his career. It's not only Byron Jones shutting Shepard down — other starting corners like Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown have stuck on him and kept his receiving average to a minimum. Maybe you'd think this opportunity to be the top receiver would put him over the top, but even in his Week 17 game against Dallas, who had nothing to gain by winning, Shepard turned nine targets into a 4-67-0 line ... and that was a personal best in receiving yards against the Cowboys!
Super Sneaky PPR Sleeper
DAL Dallas • #18
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
38
TAR
61
REYDS
383
TD
2
FPTS/G
9.6
If you've got the guts (or if you're desperate enough), check out Randall Cobb. His matchup against Giants slot corner Grant Haley could end up being one the Cowboys target. Haley allowed a gross 76% catch rate with four touchdowns on 33 targets last year. How he has the job again I'll never know, but I'm old enough to remember when Dak Prescott leaned on Cole Beasley as a short-area outlet. He can do the same with Cobb — and Cobb is faster than Beasley.

Lions at Cardinals

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread:
 Lions, -2.5

Flex Starter
DET Detroit • #11
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
35
TAR
62
REYDS
508
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.8
Sure, the Lions should be able to lean on their run game more than usual given the Cardinals' poor showing this preseason. But there's an equally amazing matchup along the outside for both Jones and Kenny Golladay. They'll either line up against rookie corner Byron Murphy or veteran Tramaine Brock, both of whom offer some appeal in man coverage. It's also been well known that Matthew Stafford trusts Jones — before he got hurt last year, Jones was among the top-15 leaders in deep targets and end-zone targets according to Sports Info Solutions.
Start Him
ARI Arizona • #13
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
43
TAR
68
REYDS
590
TD
3
FPTS/G
10.3
The Cardinals' matchups against slot cornerback Justin Coleman figure to be tough. As a Seahawk, Coleman shut out Larry Fitzgerald (five targets, no catches) and held Christian Kirk to just 14 yards last year. But the Cardinals will prefer to fan out their receivers in four- and five-wide formations to pick on weaker defensive backs, so don't assume Kirk and Fitzgerald will consistently face stiff coverage. Kirk is the speedier receiver of the two and probably the best overall fit for the Arizona offense. He should see good target volume and fall into at least decent stats.


Steelers at Patriots

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Patriots, -6

Sit Him
PIT Pittsburgh • #7
Age: 37 • Experience: 16 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
5129
RUYDS
98
TD
37
INT
16
FPTS/G
25.6
I'd feel more comfortable waiting to start Roethlisberger after we get a good look at how his offense operates. I'd also prefer to start him when he's not taking on the Patriots. Expect double-teams on JuJu Smith-Schuster in the red zone and a good amount of pressure on Roethlisberger. Frankly, New England should have a much easier time operating against the Steelers pass game without Antonio Brown. That's not good for Big Ben, who has had 21 or fewer Fantasy points in four straight against the Patriots and has only one game with over that amount in five career trips to Foxboro.
Start Him
PIT Pittsburgh • #89
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
50
TAR
72
REYDS
610
TD
4
FPTS/G
8.9
There is temptation to start Vance McDonald. Last year against these same Patriots, he scored on strong safety Patrick Chung, who guarded him for most of the game. Chung figures to be that guy again in Week 1. Of the eight touchdowns the Patriots allowed to tight ends last year, Chung yielded three and was partially responsible for two others. That's good enough for me to spin the roulette wheel on McDonald to come up with a touchdown. It helps that Chung is 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds while McDonald is 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds.
Risky Starter
NE New England • #28
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
425
REC
87
REYDS
751
TD
12
FPTS/G
17.3
You already know the Steelers to carry a tough run defense, but they've got an intriguing enough front seven to keep White under wraps in the passing game, too. Vince Williams and Terrell Edmunds figure to contribute to keeping White's stats from getting wild. There's also an expectation that we'll see the Patriots try and use their twin tower receivers, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas, to make big plays. Pittsburgh allowed under 35 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs last year.

Texans at Saints

Monday, 7:10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread:
 Saints, -7

Start Them
HOU Houston • #25
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
201
REC
47
REYDS
429
TD
3
FPTS/G
8.2
Something tells me this is going to be a high-scoring game. Maybe it's the Vegas total (53, highest of the week) or maybe it's just the unbelievable offensive talent on display in the Superdome. With that being the case, the expectation is that Deshaun Watson will throw plenty. That means a lot of Johnson, who's easily the Texans' best passing-downs back. The Texans coveted a runner with that specific skill set all offseason and finally caved when they traded for Johnson in August. Don't be shocked in the least to see him reel in over seven receptions in the shootout, especially as the Saints defense plays zone coverage to avoid giving up a big play.
HOU Houston • #15
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
32
TAR
45
REYDS
503
TD
4
FPTS/G
15.1
If Marshon Lattimore is going to go toe-to-toe with DeAndre Hopkins, then that means Fuller will see a lot of Eli Apple. The fourth-year cornerback played a little better with the Saints last season but will be seen as a liability by the Texans. Count on Fuller getting a couple of deep targets along with some short-area/red-zone throws as the team's sure-fire No. 2 receiver. In a high-scoring game, he should thrive.

Broncos at Raiders

Monday, 10:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Raiders, -1

Flex Starter
DEN Denver • #10
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
71
TAR
99
REYDS
868
TD
6
FPTS/G
16.6
If we didn't see Sanders fly around the field like he never had ankle surgery, we would never have thought of him as a Fantasy consideration. But he looked great this preseason and figures to be the Broncos' most reliable receiver against the Raiders. If he plays the slot he'll match up with Lamarcus Joyner, who was actually fantastic last season with the Rams (38.5% catch rate allowed). However, the hunch is that the Broncos will find creative ways to get Sanders open and it'll be enough to make him worth using as a flex.
Sneaky Sleeper
OAK Oakland • #83
Age: 27 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
6
TAR
6
REYDS
75
TD
0
FPTS/G
3.8
You <i>knew</i> I'd find a way to work Waller in front of your face, didn't you? Last season, the Broncos ranked in the bottom 10 in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends. They've put a facelift on this defense with new coach Vic Fangio calling the shots, but I'm not sure he's got a defender big enough or fast enough to run with Waller. Remember, Waller is 6-foot-6 and has incredible speed to go with underrated power. He's a converted receiver, so he's got some nifty route-running skills, too. The Broncos might opt to roll with safety Justin Simmons to tangle with Waller as he matches up well size-wise and speed-wise, but he allowed a 79% catch rate last year with four touchdowns over 61 targets.

Green Bay at Chicago

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, Live on fuboTV)
Point spread: Bears, -3

Risky Starter
GB Green Bay • #12
Age: 35 • Experience: 15 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
4442
RUYDS
269
TD
27
INT
2
FPTS/G
22.6
Everyone knows Rodgers is a great quarterback with maturing receivers, a fresh playcaller and a refurbished offensive line. But this is a tough matchup for Rodgers to open the season, and it's just the beginning of a challenging schedule. Chicago's pass defense has some new pieces in suspect slot corner Buster Skrine and ex-Packers safety HaHa Clinton-Dix. It would make sense for Rodgers to challenge both — he's had success against Skrine in the past when he was with the Jets and Browns, and he has to be familiar with Clinton-Dix after practicing against him for so many years. You shouldn't have to make contingency plans for Rodgers in Week 1, but he's not a great DFS play and doesn't have nearly the upside Lamar Jackson, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Tom Brady do.
Sit Him
GB Green Bay • #33
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
728
REC
26
REYDS
206
TD
9
FPTS/G
14.2
The Bears were running back crashers in 2018 and have basically the same personnel returning in 2019. Over 17 games, they allowed only four scores on the ground to rushers, two 100-yard rushing games (Saquon Barkley, Frank Gore in an overtime game) and three with 100 total yards. The last Packer to run for 100 yards against Chicago? Ty Montgomery in late 2016. We know new Packers coach Matt LaFleur wants to run the ball, but we don't know what share of the split Jones will have. Considering he has 14 or fewer carries in 19 of 21 career games, it's probably safe to say he gets about that many with a handful of catches. The uncertainty of a hefty workload combined with a very challenging matchup makes Jones difficult to trust.
Risky Starter
CHI Chicago • #29
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
444
REC
71
REYDS
725
TD
9
FPTS/G
14.7
The Packers' answer for Cohen last year was typically playing zone defense so he couldn't easily break away for a long score. That could lead to some decent smaller gains (around 5 yards or so per touch), but the Bears typically only give him around 10 touches per game. With the team excited about David Montgomery's arrival and the Packers pass defense featuring a banged-up starting cornerback, a rookie pass rusher, a rookie strong safety and an ex-Bears free safety, don't be surprised if the Bears try to find mismatches further downfield. Cohen's a little less risky in PPR leagues.


Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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