As a preface, this weekly article will be similar to your traditional Start/Sit that you see elsewhere, but just a change in terminology and a slight deviation in meaning: “Woo” for a player I like and “Boo” for a player I don’t, not necessarily a “start” versus a “sit.” That will be the name of this article as I try to give you an edge in your weekly matchups in season-long leagues.
Who I am Wooing
Jared Goff @ Oakland Raiders
The Rams’ offense led the league in scoring in 2017, and I expect Jared Goff and company to pick back up where they left off in this matchup. The Raiders were one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing quarterbacks last season and are now without top playmaker Khalil Mack. Look for Goff to take full advantage of this to the tune of 300 yards passing and a minimum of two passing touchdowns. He’s easily worth the start and should provide QB1 numbers for those that waited on a quarterback in drafts.
Andy Dalton @ Indianapolis Cots
According to Vegas, this game should be a shootout due to neither team having a premier defense. Andy Dalton could be in store for his highest points total of the season in this matchup. If you find yourself looking for a starter this week after drafting Carson Wentz, give Dalton a shot. He could easily go for 280 yards and two touchdowns in this game and is worthy of a streaming option in this Week 1 matchup.
Alex Collins vs. Buffalo Bills
It flew under the radar, but Alex Collins tied for the league lead in touchdowns by a running back from Week 10 on last season. With Collins seeing little work in the preseason, he could be in store for a big workload, as the game-script should be heavily in the Ravens’ favor. The Bills had one of the league’s worst defenses in points allowed to running backs last season, so expecting a 100-yard, one-touchdown game from Collins is within reason. I currently have him ranked as an RB1 in my Week 1 rankings.
James White vs. Houston Texans
Call this a bit of a hunch, but with the receiver situation for the Patriots a bit unsettled, James White could be a big beneficiary in the game plan. While the Texans had an average defense against opposing running backs last season, White isn’t the typical back, thanks to his involvement in the passing game. While Brady will be looking to throw, expect a few check-downs to White. Look for six to eight catches in this matchup, plus a potential touchdown. In a PPR format, I have him ranked as a low-end RB2 in Week 1.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Cincinnati Bengals
As I mentioned earlier with Andy Dalton, this should be a high-scoring game. Hilton will be glad to see Andrew Luck back under center, as he had a dismal season without him. With Luck and the offense potentially needing to match points with the Bengals, Hilton is primed for a big Week 1. Six catches for 110 yards and a score seems like a reasonable projection for him in this game. He’s worth the WR1 ranking I have for him.
Golden Tate vs. New York Jets
Golden Tate will be looking to take advantage of one of the best cornerback matchups of the weekend as he faces off with Buster Skrine. Couple that with the fact that the Jets secondary as a whole was a bottom-half defense in points allowed to wide receivers and you have the makings of a good day for Tate. I am expecting a seven-catch day for 95 yards and a score in this matchup for him, making him an easy play as a WR2 in Week 1.
Trey Burton @ Green Bay Packers
In 2017, the Green Bay Packers were one of the better teams in the league in defending opposing tight ends. But in a matchup where both teams’ offenses could be putting up points, I expect Mitchell Trubisky to develop a rapport early with Burton. A five-catch day to the tune of 75 yards and a score seems about right for Burton here. He will pay off for the owners that had faith in him on Draft Day in Week 1.
Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins
Although the Titans’ defense did not look great in preseason play, they can take advantage of a matchup against the Dolphins. The game could potentially be a low-scoring affair, playing right into this defense’s hands. Also, with Ryan Tannehill making his first start after missing the 2017 season, I can see mistakes being made. If you are looking to stream a defense in Week 1, the Titans could be a sneaky play that leads you to a win.
Who I am Booing
Jimmy Garoppolo @ Minnesota Vikings
The love affair that many people have with Garoppolo may get off to a rocky start in Week 1. Playing on the road against the Vikings will be a struggle for the young quarterback with only a few starts under his belt. The Vikings’ secondary should keep the 49ers’ receivers in check, leading Garoppolo into making a few bad throws or holding onto the ball too long. He could potentially throw for just over 200 yards while getting just one touchdown along with two interceptions. If you have another option to swing to, I would definitely do that.
Cam Newton vs. Dallas Cowboys
I know what you may be thinking: The Cowboys’ defense isn’t exactly a shut-down type of a team. But with the injury situation that is plaguing the Panthers’ offensive line, this Cowboys’ pass rush could cause Newton problems. As always, he won’t provide you with much through the air. But, if he is held inside the pocket for most of this game, his rushing numbers could falter as well, killing his value. It’s hard to bench a player like Newton in Week 1, but if you could pick up a player like Andy Dalton to start, I would.
Saquon Barkley vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This is where this article can differ from your traditional Start/Sit because I’m not exactly saying to “sit” Barkley in Week 1. But, keep in mind the matchup against the Jaguars’ defense. You will have to temper expectations here, as he likely does not live up to the gaudy hype right out of the gate. They yardage in this game will likely not be there for you, leaving you to hope he gets into the end-zone. Not exactly what you want out of a player you drafted early in Round 1 of drafts.
LeSean McCoy @ Baltimore Ravens
LeSean McCoy will be active for this game, but taking on the Ravens’ defense is a tall task. He could still see a heavy workload in this game, but it may be hard for him to eclipse 80 yards from scrimmage. A negative game script may be a routine obstacle for McCoy in 2018.
Tyreek Hill @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs will more than likely be playing from behind in this game, so why should you be Booing Tyreek Hill? Well, he could potentially be matched up against shutdown corner Casey Hayward, limiting his potential. Most owners will be hoping for the home-run ball to Hill to pay off, but if it doesn’t, you’re looking at a low-touch game from Hill. There are other options to potentially divert to in Week 1.
Amari Cooper vs. Los Angeles Rams
The same could be said for Amari Cooper and his Week 1 matchup. Although I like the potential for Cooper on the season, the Rams present a big problem for the Raiders in this game. Whether it be Aqib Talib or Marcus Peters, I expect to see Cooper get shut down. In fact, the entire Raiders’ offense could be staring at a shutout to open the season.
Evan Engram vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are a tough draw for any Giants player to open the season against. Couple that with the concussion that Engram has been fighting and you have a player that could potentially return a low point total to open the year. Eli Manning will likely have to spread the ball around to attack this Jaguars’ defense, meaning that Engram could have a small target share in this game.
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
The Bears’ defense has been the talk of the NFL since the acquisition of Khalil Mack, which could sway many Fantasy owners into starting them Week 1. Not so fast. This is still Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, a team that consistently causes problems for the Bears. Going back to last season, Rodgers hung a four-touchdown day on this team and could go for that number again Sunday. I do like the Bears’ defense to finish as a starting unit in Fantasy in season-long formats, but don’t expect those types of numbers in this game.
Roto Superstar’s Week One Lineup Rankings
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