Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and it sure was a wild one.
We saw a little bit of everything on the first Sunday of the new campaign including a wild upset, a miraculous return from injury and even a tie.
Given the ridiculousness of Week 1, there are a lot of question marks and uncertainties in the fantasy football world heading into Week 2. With that in mind, we’re here to help you optimize your lineup as best you can in hopes of earning a victory.
Here are NESN.com’s top five fantasy football starts and sits for Week 1:
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Redskins
The Redskins could surprise a lot of people in the NFC this season, and they certainly got off on the right foot in Week 1. Smith was very sharp in his Redskins debut, completing 21-of-30 passes for 255 yards with two touchdowns on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. The veteran signal-caller likely will keep the ball rolling this Sunday in Washington’s home opener against the Indianapolis Colts, who are on pace to feature one of the worst defenses in the league this season.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles made an investment in Ajayi when they struck an early-season trade for him last year, but the power back didn’t really get to flash his talents with LeGarrette Blount ahead of him on the depth chart. Well, Blount has moved on to Detroit, and Ajayi appears to be Philly’s go-to muscle in 2018. The “JayTrain” carried the ball 15 times for 62 yards with two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons on Opening Night, and he should get a similar or greater number of looks in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Look for Ajayi to really cash in in goal-line situations.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets
Crowell has been a reliable back throughout his NFL career, and he continued that trend in his Jets debut on “Monday Night Football.” The fifth-year RB rushed for 102 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions, and he’ll get another opportunity to shine this Sunday against a Miami Dolphins team that didn’t look overly impressive on defense in Week 1. While Bilal Powell will get his touches, don’t let that scare you away from inserting Crowell into your lineup.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton’s arsenal of weapons is dwindling. The Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin last season, and the team now will be without Greg Olsen for the foreseeable future after the tight end re-fractured his right foot. Carolina still has a highly skilled playmaker in Christian McCaffrey, but it will need Funchess to step up if the offense has any hope of moving the ball and putting up points. Look for Newton to start targeting Funchess a lot more from here on out.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson typically is one of the best fantasy quarterback plays on a week-to-week basis, but it’s tough to imagine the Seahawks star posting a big performance in Week 2. Seattle has a severe lack of game changers on offense, especially now that Doug Baldwin is sidelined with a partially torn MCL. There will be a ton of pressure on Wilson, who could be in store for a long night against a ferocious Chicago Bears defense that really can get after the quarterback.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
There’s always somewhat of a risk in starting Freeman. The Falcons back is highly versatile, but Atlanta typically does a good job of distributing the wealth with Tevin Coleman. In fact, Coleman could end up getting the majority of the touches in Week 2 as Freeman continues to nurse an injured knee. Not to mention, the Falcons will be going up against a Panthers defense that limited Ezekiel Elliott to just 69 yards in Week 1.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
Drake was expected to be one of the breakout fantasy stars this season, but we might need to put a hold on that idea. Veteran back Frank Gore still is chugging along, which limited Drake to just 14 carries in Week 1. Drake also doesn’t have a favorable matchup Sunday against a Jets defense that looked surprisingly stout on the road against the Detroit Lions.
Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
Hogan was one of the biggest fantasy disappointments in Week 1, which saw him catch only one pass for 11 yards against the Houston Texans. The sixth-year WR, obviously, is worth keeping on your roster, but it’s probably best to sideline him this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars have two sensational cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, both of whom should make life very difficult for Hogan in Week 2.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
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