Start'em Sit'em

Start ’Em Sit ‘Em Week 1

Trevor Lawrence

Start ’Em Sit ‘Em Week 1

It is finally that time of year again. School has begun, trees are turning colors, pumpkin spice is everyone’s favorite flavor, and fantasy football season has arrived. Before we start, I wish everyone good luck this season, and remember to have fun!

 

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Trevor Lawrence

Jaguars @ Colts | 4:25 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 71.9%

The Jaguars are heading into the 2023 season with high expectations. Lawrence is projected to finally have a breakout season with the addition of Calvin Ridley whom the Jaguars signed in free agency. With new offensive weapons and a revamped offensive line, Lawrence is listed as a top 10 fantasy football quarterback. In week 2 of last season, the last time these two teams faced off against each other, Lawrence completed 25/30 passes for 235 yards, and threw 2 touchdowns to Christian Kirk. Going into week 1, the Colts have allowed 20.1 fantasy points on average and allowed a 2022 season total of 341 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks which allows Lawrence to have a chance to start the season on a high note.

Kirk Cousins

Buccaneers @ Vikings | 1:00 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 37.7%

Cousins should have a solid outing against the Buccaneers with the addition of rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison who has had a fantastic preseason. During the offseason, the Buccaneers lost cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and safeties Mike Edwards and Keanu Neal. Going into week 1, the Buccaneers allowed an average of 18.9 fantasy points per game and a 2022 season total of 321 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. I expect Cousins to score a minimum of 20 fantasy points if not more in the Vikings week 1 match-up against the Buccaneers.

Cam Akers

Rams @ Seahawks | 4:25 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 50.0%

Akers’ 2022 season did not pan out as expected, but he ended the season on a good note, finishing the last three games with double-digit fantasy points. Now removed two years from his achilles tear, Akers is fully healthy to start the 2023 season. In week 18 of the 2022 season, Akers scored a total of 12.8 fantasy points against the Seahawks defense. Going into week 1 of the 2023 season, the Seahawks defense allow 20.4 fantasy points per game on average and allowed a 2022 season total of 347 fantasy points to opposing running backs. During the offseason, head coach Sean McVay stated, “Akers is going to be a huge part of what we’re doing moving forward.” Akers is expected to start the season hot; I believe it will happen this time.

Brian Robinson Jr.

Cardinals @ Commanders | 1:00 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 16.5%

Unlike the 2022 season, Robinson Jr. is healthy to start the 2023 regular season. Robinson Jr. and the Commanders are facing the worst run defense in the league and should perform well. The Cardinals defense on average allow 20.6 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 350 fantasy points to opposing running backs. Don’t overthink this one and start Robinson Jr.

Christian Watson

Packers @ Bears | 4:25 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 71.1%

The Packers open the season against their NFC North rival the Bears. The biggest story of the offseason for the Packers is how efficient their offense will be with new starting quarterback Jordan Love. Fortunately, for the Packers, the Bears are a good matchup. The Bears defense on average allows 20.1 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 342 fantasy points total to opposing wide receivers. This is a good matchup for Watson, and he should put up double-digit numbers in week 1.

Courtland Sutton

Raiders @ Broncos | 4:25 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 18.1%

The Broncos hired former Super Bowl winning coach Sean Payton as their new head coach. The offense should be firing on all cylinders including Courtland Sutton finally breaking out this season. Sean Payton’s offense revolves around a vertical passing attack which should see the receivers accumulating many fantasy points. Additionally, fellow receiver Jerry Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury in August that will have him sidelined for several weeks. Sutton can make an instant impact in week 1 in a good matchup against the Raiders defense that allows on average 19.1 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 330 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Cole Kmet

Packers @ Bears | 4:25 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 30.4%

The Bears face off against the Packers in week 1 of the regular season. The tight end position has historically been a good matchup against the Packers defense. Kmet is solid contributor to the Bears revamped offense under head coach Matt Eberflus. The Packers defense on average allow 5.4 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 91 fantasy points to opposing tight ends. With the loss of Adrian Amos and Krys Barnes, the Packers defense may take a step back this season. The last time that the Bears played the Packers, Kmet recorded 6 receptions for 72 yards. I expect Kmet to have a solid performance in week 1.

Jake Ferguson

Cowboys @ Giants | 8:20 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 0.9%

Ferguson emerged as the starting tight end for the Dallas Cowboys after former starter Dalton Schultz signed with the Texans during the offseason. There are high expectations for the Cowboys offense under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who signed with the Cowboys this offseason. Ferguson’s first game as the starter is against NFC East rival the New York Giants defense that allows on average 7.2 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 122 fantasy points against opposing tight ends. I expect Ferguson to perform well in week 1 against the Giants.

 

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Aaron Rodgers

Bills @ Jets | 8:15 pm EST Monday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 26.9%

The biggest concern of the offseason for me regarding the Jets offense is their offensive line. While watching their preseason game against the New York Giants, the Jets offensive line collapsed quickly against the Giants defensive line. If this continues to be an issue for them, it is going to be a long season for Rodgers. The offensive line is an issue, and the Jets are playing against one of the best defenses in the league. The Bills defense on average allows 15.4 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 246 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. I recommend starting a streamer option such as Commanders quarterback Sam Howell who is playing against the Arizona Cardinals defense that allows 20.2 fantasy points per game on average to opposing quarterbacks.

Najee Harris

49ers @ Steelers | 1:00 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 88.6%

As if the drama surrounding the starting running back situation in Pittsburgh wasn’t enough this offseason, the Steelers are unfortunately playing against the best rushing defense in the National Football League. I don’t expect much from the Steelers running backs in this matchup as the 49ers defense only allows 9.4 fantasy points per game on average and allowed a 2022 season total of 165 fantasy points to opposing running backs. Instead, the Steelers will most likely opt to throw the ball much more than usual in this particular matchup due to the 49ers passing defense not being great as they allow 21.8 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on average. I would prefer you start a streamer such as Khalil Herbert who is playing against the Packers defense that allows 18.4 fantasy points per game on average.

Terry McLaurin

Cardinals @ Commanders | 1:00 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 45.3%

McLaurin looked like he was going to start the season strong after having a good offseason, especially with the progression of quarterback Sam Howell. Unfortunately, in the Commanders preseason game against the Browns, McLaurin suffered a toe sprain and is currently listed as questionable. If he plays in week 1, he will not be playing healthy. I advise sitting McLaurin until we have further evidence that he is healthy and will become a solid fantasy football performer. Instead, I recommend starting a streaming option such as Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin who is playing against the Vikings defense that on average allows 22.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers.

Mark Andrews

Texans @ Ravens | 1:00 pm EST Sunday

ESPN Starting Percentage: 98.4%

Andrews has missed the last six practices due to an undisclosed injury and his status for week 1 is unclear. I would recommend sitting him this week as his injury is listed as questionable and he is playing against a decent defense who only give up minimal points to tight ends. The Texans defense on average allows 6.4 fantasy points per game and allowed a 2022 season total of 116 fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Instead, I recommend you start a streaming option such as Saints tight end Juwan Johnson who is playing against the Titans defense that on average allows 8 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

 

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