Start/Sit Week 1
September 4, 2014 | Mike Braude
Shaun Hill vs. MIN
Since there are so many good quarterbacks to play, I’m going to be outlandish and give you guys a streamer. The Vikings give up the most expected fantasy per game to opposing quarterbacks and he a cheap investment across all daily fantasy sites and season-long leagues. If you’re looking for free points out of the quarterback position, Hill is your guy.
C.J. Spiller at CHI
The 2013 Chicago Bears defense was historically bad: they gave up 5.3 yards per carry and 161.4 rushing yards per game. That’s 0.5 more yards per carry and 25 rush yards per game more than any other team. They can’t be as bad this year but they also didn’t improve greatly during the offseason. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both good starts in this one.
Arian Foster vs. WAS
I’m not an Arian Foster guy, but that’s not because of how he plays when he’s healthy, it’s because of the risks that are involved with owning a 28 year old running back with a history of back and hamstring issues. When he’s healthy, Arian is a great running back with a history of production. Facing the Redskins, Arian has a top five matchup in terms of expected fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Frank Gore at DAL
Perhaps no defense is in worse position than the Dallas Cowboys without Sean Lee. The Cowboys allowed the 3rd highest yards per carry last season and are now without their best defensive player – they’re going to be giving up boatloads of points all season. Luckily for Frank Gore, he gets them while he’s fresh, as we know he’s prone to wearing down late in the season. Still, he should be able to exploit this favorable matchup in Week 1.
T.Y. Hilton at DEN
For wide receivers, there may be no better team to face than the Broncos. Manning and Co. usually take the lead in a hurry and force opposing teams to pass for the vast majority of the game. With Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks serving as Week 1 questions, I’d feel comfortable starting proven wideout T.Y. Hilton.
Cecil Shorts at PHI
Going to Philadelphia, the Jaguars are going to need to put up some points to keep up with Chip Kelly’s offense. They probably won’t, but they’ll certainly be pass-heavy for the second half. I expect Shorts to lead the group in targets and could easily prove to be a solid spot start.
Marques Colston at ATL
When deciding between who to start on your fantasy team, Vegas combined point totals are a good thing to look at. For Week 1, Saints/Falcons is one of four games that have a total above 50 points. In a game that is a likely shootout, Marques Colston is a solid start.
Antonio Gates at AZ
While I’m not smitten about Gates this season, Week 1 could easily prove to be his best game of the year. The Cardinals were by far the worst team against tight ends last season and not much has changed this offseason. I expect Gates, not Ladarius Green, to be the one who capitalizes.
Alex Smith vs. TEN
As a big late round QB guy, I’ve ended up with Alex Smith on a lot of teams – I don’t mind it, but Week 1 isn’t the best time to start him. Facing a Titans defense that was top five against opposing quarterbacks last season in fantasy points allowed, Smith is without his best wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe. While he certainly could have a good game, it’s not the best week to rely on him.
DeAngelo Williams at TB
While DeAngelo Williams was a cheap starting running back in drafts this season, he doesn’t have a favorable Week 1 matchup. The Panthers are facing a good Buccaneers run defense and have a lot of questions on offense. Their offensive line has downgraded, Cam Newton isn’t 100 percent, and their wide receivers are weak. With Jonathan Stewart playing, it would be smart to wait and see this week.
Bernard Pierce vs. CIN
While Ray Rice is out with his suspension, Bernard Pierce will draw the start. That’s all good but the Cincinnati has been stout against the run and tough for opposing running backs. They also get their dominant defensive tackle, Geno Atkins, back from injury. This is another wait and see type of game.
Maurice Jones-Drew at NYJ
Receiving his first start in a Raiders uniform, Jones-Drew will play against the Jets dominant front seven. It doesn’t help that he has a rookie starting at quarterback. There are better options to start at RB than MJD in Week 1.
Mike Evans vs. CAR
The Panthers were a really tough team for opposing wide receivers last season so I’d rather wait and see how Mike Evans performs. It doesn’t help that rookie wide receivers often struggle out of the gates.
DeSean Jackson at HOU
After a shaky preseason, I’d prefer not to be relying on DeSean Jackson and RGIII. The issue for DeSean is he’s typically a guy that catches downfield passes, but with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney coming for RGIII, he may not have a whole lot of time. This isn’t an ideal week to play DeSean.
Golden Tate vs. NYG
Last season the Giants were very good against opposing wide receivers so it’s not a week to take a chance on Golden Tate. We’re still not sure how big his role is going to be or how often he’ll get targeted. I’d rather take a chance on Rueben Randle or DeAndre Hopkins this week.
Delanie Walker at KC
Last year the Chiefs were tremendous against opposing tight ends. The Chiefs like to match tight ends up with Eric Berry, who is a great cover safety. There are better options this week than Delanie Walker.