This is it. You studied hard and created your big board, you won your draft, picking up those late round darlings that were the talk of training camp and the preseason. But now Week 1 is here, poop just got real and now you have to set that lineup that’s going to get your season off to a winning start.
I’m going to be here each week to help you identify who you should be slotting into those second and third running back and receiver spots, your flex positions and quite frankly, anyone else that I’m high on each week. I will not however, be telling you to start Christian McCaffrey or DeAndre Hopkins. If you need that sort of help, I’m not sure fantasy football is for you.
Onto the Week 1 must starts.
QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
Jackson has been the Fake Teams sweetheart this draft season and he could not wish for a better start to his 2019 campaign against the Dolphins, a team doing the least subtle tank job the NFL has ever seen. If we see even a slight improvement in Jackson’s passing, his fantasy floor as runner will see him be a must start every week and against what looks like is going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, he is set to get off to flying start in Week 1.
RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
Ignore the hype about Royce Freeman’s expanded role, Lindsay showed last season he is by far the better runner and it will quickly show out against a Raiders defense that will be the worst in the league in 2019. Expect a big day from the second-year back.
RB Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The best runner on the 49ers roster, I expect Breida to take the bulk of the ground work against the Bucs in what has been a confusing backfield throughout the off-season. Breida achieved 5.3 yards per carry in his 14 games in 2018, including 3 games where he topped 100 rushing yards and I am forecasting him to go over 100 yards in the season opener.
WR Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams @ Carolina Panthers
It’s a case of pick your poison here as any of the Rams’ receivers could go off in this game. I’m looking at Cooks as the deep threat to take the top off a Panthers secondary and post the best numbers in Week 1. He’s a traditional fast starter too, averaging 17.5 PPR points per game in the first game of the season in the 5 years of his career to date.
WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
Despite Ezekiel Elliott returning to the team this week, I’m still projecting a big opening week for Gallup. With Amari Cooper recovering from Plantar Fasciitis, Gallup could push for 6-8 targets and approach 100 yards. Gallup has been getting rave reviews in training camp and against a Giants defense lacking proven quality, the Cowboys are set to make a big statement in their home opener and Gallup is primed to make a big contribution.
Bonus Start - WR Marvin Jones Jr, Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals
Don’t get carried away with Kenny Golladay being the presumptive number 1 receiver. When both Jones and Golladay are on the field Jones sees just as many targets and is a more consistent producer. Against a Cardinals defense which will challenge to be the worst in the league this year, Jones could be a matchup winner in Week 1.
Which "must start" will have the best fantasy performance?
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