The fantasy season is finally here. It’s probably the best time to remind fantasy players of the very important rule to start Week 1. That piece of advice (which I myself struggle) is do not overthink Week 1.
It’s obviously tempting to try and look like the smartest person in the league by playing your sleeper running back early, but if it comes at the cost of benching one of your best players it isn’t worth it. If you drafted a guy to be your RB1 or even RB2, you need to trust that you knew what you were doing when you drafted the team.
Another important thing to remember is that because there are 17 games in a season, you will likely have a 15 and 16-game fantasy season this year.
And in the coming weeks, there will be more in-depth numbers brought to us by Fantasy Pros, but since we don’t have 2021 numbers to go off yet, it will have to wait for next week.
I also urge against basing your entire Week 1 strategy based on defensive numbers from last season. Those things can drastically change from season to season.
Tyson Williams, Baltimore Ravens: Tyson Williams seems to be the last man standing for Baltimore's backfield in Week 1 after J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill each went down with season-ending injuries. Le'Veon Bell should now assuredly be in line for more work down the road, but this is Williams' backfield to takeover in Week 1 with a run heavy team.
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos: Williams will be splitting time with Melvin Gordon, but Williams is clearly the most talented back. The Giants are also going to be a terrible team. Broncos could be milking a lead, which should leave plenty of touches for Williams to work up plenty of points.
Corey Davis, New York Jets: Davis was a consistent producer behind A.J. Brown with the Titans, but now as a member of the Jets he has seen plenty of targets already via the preseason. Davis should be a reliable FLEX start in Week 1 against the Panthers, and this Jets team may be playing in some garbage time situations as the season goes on for the passing game to get that extra push in fantasy.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars: Playing offensive players against the Texans may be the thing to do again this season. We will see how the Houston responds to an offseason filled with off the field issues as well as just downright bad player management. Shenault has the added bonus of having Trevor Lawrence throwing him the ball, and rookies tend to love their safety blankets over the middle. Marvin Jones Jr. and D.J. Charck are equally strong FLEX plays.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team: The name of the game in fantasy is volume. Volume means consistency, and Thomas will have plenty of consistency. Ryan Fitzpatrick constantly targeted Thomas during the preseason, and Washington loves using Thomas as more of a receiver than a tight end.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams: Matthew Stafford is the new man in town for Los Angeles. Stafford has never been shy about including his tight ends in the share of targets, and Higbee simply finished 2020 in an eye-opening way. This could easily grow into a connection that is just a no-brainer play each week.
Defenses to stream
- Jacksonville Jaguars defense at Houston Texans
- Denver Broncos defense at New York Giants
- Seattle Seahawks defense at Indianapolis Colts
Zach Moss and Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills: This backfield really just needs to sort itself out. The Bills are going to put up a ton of points, but these guys stand too much in each other’s way to be fantasy relevant. It also hurts that Josh Allen will take away vital red-zone touches as well.
Myles Gaskins, Miami Dolphins: The only league you should even consider playing Gaskins is a PPR league, because he does get targeted quite a bit. That could even be in danger though with the amount of other skill position players who could warrant targets. This backfield is crowded and the offensive line is pretty bad.
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns: Cleveland has a really good team. However, running the ball is their most consistent way of scoring points. Landry has become a touchdown dependent play as he simply doesn’t see the volume of targets necessary for him to be worthwhile in fantasy.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Bills didn’t take too kindly to Smith-Schuster’s pregame dance that eventually led to a Steeler loss. He had an okay outing getting into the end zone in the fourth quarter, but that will be the difference between him again having either an okay outing or a disappointing one. Hard to believe that Bills defense lets that happen again.