If we learned anything from the first game of the 2019 NFL season, it’s to expect the unexpected.
Both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers — teams with pretty good offenses — were stagnant with the ball, and the season opener proved to be a defensive battle. That’s sort of emblematic of fantasy football Week 1 as a whole when you think about it, as players progress and regress and you really have no clue what they’re going to be until a couple of weeks into the season.
Because of that, we’re sure you have plenty of questions about what to do with your lineup. We get that, and we’re here to help.
Here are NESN.com’s starts and sits for Week 1:
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
If Wilson is available in your 10-team league, grabbing him might be beneficial if you’re streaming QBs. The Seahawks signal-caller is pretty consistent from a fantasy perspective, and he’ll benefit from a Week 1 matchup against an abysmal Cincinnati Bengals team that allowed the most passing yards per game in 2018.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
You probably could put Ekeler in the “must-start” category so long as Melvin Gordon is holding out. He has solid running ability, but he’s also a useful weapon in the passing game, so expect him to see plenty of work as Los Angeles’ de facto top back.
Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans
The New Orleans Saints give up a ton of yards in the air, and Fuller is a deep threat who sometimes gets left alone because every secondary’s attention is on DeAndre Hopkins. That seems like a pretty good combination for success.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
His best football probably is behind him, but the Cleveland Browns gave up a ton of yards to tight ends last season and Walker still has value as a receiver.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco Giants
He might finally be the quarterback people expect him to be, but it’s been months since Garoppolo played in a meaningful game and he was pretty bad at times during the preseason. Unless your league is deep, there likely are better options.
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s unclear what Williams’ role will be with LeSean McCoy in the mix, and lest we forget the Williams sample size is pretty small. Starting him could be a gamble except maybe in a FLEX role, especially since the Jacksonville Jaguars defense should be a handful.
Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders
OK, so this might be a spicy take, but hang with us here. It’s not a slam dunk Brown plays in Week 1, and the Raiders are the second Monday night game. If you’re planning on starting Brown and he ends up not playing Monday, for one reason or another, you’re going to be hosed — especially if a suspension is announced Monday, not earlier. If you have another viable option on your bench, at least consider putting him in for Brown, as you never know what’ll happen with him over the next couple days.
UPDATE (2:55 p.m. ET): Brown will play Monday night against the Denver Broncos, according to Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. So there’s that.
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Ebron was a touchdown machine last year, but having Jacoby Brissett under center changes things. The 26-year-old might still be a fine enough pass-catcher again this season, but starting him Week 1 is risky considering it’s unclear what Frank Reich will do with Indy’s offense post-Andrew Luck.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images