Week 1: Fantasy Football Starts and Sits


QB -- Tom Brady, NE

Sometimes, when it comes to Week 1, it can be hard to tell how a team will play out of the gates. However, the opening Thursday (and rare Wednesday) night game can be the lone exception. In the past four years, the winning quarterback has thrown for a total of 15 TDs. Sure, Peyton Manning helped boost that number when he threw seven touchdowns against the Ravens, but no one has thrown fewer than two TDs from that group. Brady is going to want to make a statement for the season opener. I feel sorry for the Steelers defense.

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Other notables: Ryan Tannehill (MIA), Eli Manning (NYG), and Matt Ryan (ATL)

RB -- Tevin Coleman, ATL

Atlanta's rookie running back will earn the start in Week 1. The job was between Devonta Freeman and Coleman. However, Freeman has been battling a hamstring injury and has failed to play in a preseason game. Coleman also suffered a hamstring injury, but he was still able to play in the final two preseason games. The over/under for PHI/ATL is around 55 total points. I'd recommend almost everybody in that contest.

Other notables: Doug Martin (TB), DeAngelo Williams (PIT), and Latavius Murray (OAK)

WR -- Eddie Royal, CHI

This is just choosing a starter by default. Rookie Kevin White is out and sophomore Alshon Jeffery is suffering from a calf injury. Royal has seemed to fully recover from his hip injury and will likely be good to go for the Bears against Green Bay. If Jeffery is out, Royal could become the No. 1 receiver and Jay Cutler's primary target in the opening game.

Other notables: Rueben Randle (NYG), Markus Wheaton (PIT), and Terrance Williams (DAL)

TE -- Delanie Walker, TEN

While I wouldn't start either rookie quarterbacks in the Titans/Buccaneers matchup, I would start both TEs. Rookie quarterbacks tend to lean on the TE in check-down scenarios and panic situations. Walker led the Titans in receptions (63), targets (108), and yards (890) last year when Tennessee had a trio of young QBs.

Other notables: Tyler Eifert (CIN), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TB), and Josh Hill (NO)


QB -- Nick Foles, STL

The quarterback facing the Legion of Boom will almost always be somewhere on this side of the start/sit post. Foles is not an exception. Las Vegas has deemed this game with an over/under in the low-40s. Plus, with Todd Gurley and possibly Tre Mason out for St. Louis, Seattle will focus on the passing defense and dare the Rams to run with Benny Cunningham.

Others include: Kirk Cousins (WAS), Brian Hoyer (HOU), and Marcus Mariota (TB)

RB -- Isaiah Crowell, CLE

For what it's worth, I think Crowell could be a decent fantasy running back this season. Terrance West is in Tennessee now and Duke Johnson Jr. is dealing with a concussion. However, this Jets defense is almost as stingy as Cleveland's. I wouldn't advise any players on offense from either sideline in this game.

Others include: Danny Woodhead (SD), Bishop Sankey (TEN), and Rashad Jennings (NYG)

WR -- Brandon Marshall, NYJ

As I mentioned in Crowell's post, the Browns and Jets defense will be two of the best in the league. For Marshall, he will likely face Joe Haden. Unless he is an elite level receiver, the person Haden is shadowing will probably land on this list on a weekly basis.

Others include: Pierre Garcon (WAS), Roddy White (ATL), and Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)

TE -- Vernon Davis, SF

Davis is an enigma. In 2013, he scored 13 TDs and tallied 850 yards. Last year, he scored twice and notched only 245 receiving yards. Now, there are so many options at TE that I would rather roll the dice on a more consistent, reliable option. Plus, with Torrey Smith in San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick might look beyond Davis in the passing game.

Others include: Heath Miller (PIT), Dwayne Allen (IND), and Kyle Rudolph (MIN)