So, here we are, Week one of the NFL, all the planning and drafts are over and it’s time to get things poppin’! Here’s where things get tricky because you want to start off your year with a W, so my advice is, don’t get too cute. You drafted your guys, you have your starters, and yes, that’s who you’re going to play. You may be stuck in a spot where you’re undecided on who to start with your guys, or you don’t like the matchup of a certain position. Here is where we come in to help you with some Lemonsiders Fantasy Facts on who to Start, Bust Alerts & Sleepers for Week one of the 2018 NFL Fantasy Football Season.
Start: Philip Rivers vs. Chiefs
This is coming from a Chiefs fan of 25 years when I say this, “The Kansas City Chiefs defense is NOT good at all”. In the offseason they lost Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Marcus Peters. They released safety Ron Parker last year. He couldn’t make the squad in Atlanta (who needs safeties), and is now starting for KC. Eric Berry has been limited and may not play week one. Their pass rush, aside from Justin Houston, is below average, and all their cornerbacks are more suited as slot corners. They started their first team defense against the Bears 2nd & 3rd stringers in the pre-season, and got exposed so bad they made Chase Daniel look great, and even allowed Kevin White to have a highlight reel. The Los Angeles Chargers are at home, their offensive line is healthy, and their offense is full of fire power. If you have Philip Rivers as a second QB, unless you REALLY like your matchup for your other QB, I’d consider starting him.
Bust Alert: Patrick Mahomes vs. Chargers
I know what you’re saying, “Start and Bust for the same game?” I get it. This should be a high scoring game, but what makes me worried as a KC fan is how inconsistent the offensive line has been and how good the Chargers defense is. Their secondary is STACKED and with pass rushers, like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III. They may be tough to handle for the Chiefs offensive line. Patrick Mahomes can light it up, and could even run well, but he’s also a gun slinger, meaning he will take chances. Not to mention, this is a tough matchup for his first NFL start, and on the road no less. There’s always that chance he throws for three TD’s, but also three INT’s. I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting Mahomes unless I absolutely have to.
Sleepers: Andy Dalton vs. Colts, Tyrod Taylor vs. Steelers & Marcus Mariota vs. Dolphins
— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) September 6, 2018
Start : James White vs. Texans
Not sure if you have checked out the Patriots roster, but they only have FOUR WR’s listed. Sony Michel likely won’t play, Rex Burkhead has knee issues that could limit his touches, and it should be a high scoring game. This is a game script that should be favorable for the pass, and this is right up James White’s alley. Would I look to start him over guys like Jordan Howard or Joe Mixon? Definitely not, but if you waited long to draft RB’s in your draft, and were able to pick up James White, he should get you by, at least as a flex option in PPR leagues.
Bust Alert: Matt Breida @ Vikings
Jerick McKinnon going down with a torn ACL had his owners feeling upset, like Flight and Willie did when they lost to Sidney Deane and Billy Hoyle in the finals. So, the question is, who is the next man up? Is it Alfred Morris or Matt Breida? This week, Breida ran with the 1st team offense, and reports came out that Alfred Morris is still learning the playing book and looks to get touches, but the main back will be Breida. He should be fine in PPR leagues overall, but this week, on the road, AT the Minnesota Vikings is a tough task. The game script does favor his catching abilities, but he’s an extremely risky option to plug and play this week, in my opinion.
Sleepers: Boston Scott / Mike Gillislee vs. Bucs, Latavius Murray vs. 49ers & James Conner vs. Browns
when your RB is 2X Super Bowl champ James White & not dude up in Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/ANfbuHmkEz
— Drew ❄️🎃 (@NewEnglandDrew2) September 6, 2018
Start: Kenny Stills vs Titans
Reports came out that DeVante Parker will be out Week 1 (not surprised), and this opens the door for Kenny Stills. I’m not too excited for this offense overall, but Stills should be the most targeted Dolphins receiver and has the best chance of stretching the field on big plays. I get it, you may not be big on Tannehill but a home game for the Fins against the Tennessee Titans defense should be favorable for Kenny.
Bust Alert: Marquise Goodwin vs. Vikings
Love, love, love Marquise Goodwin‘s potential for the season, but drawing Minnesota week one is a rough matchup on the road. The former Olympian and Jimmy G have great chemistry, and are in line for a great season, but this is a risky spot to plug in Goodwin. We can’t forget how Jimmy G carved up the Jaguars defense last year, so anything is possible, but Goodwin might be in for a long day.
Sleepers: John Ross @ Colts, Philip Dorsett vs. Texans & Tyrelle Wiliams vs. Chiefs
When you want to start Kenny Stills in all of your dynasty leagues but realize your teams are too good to justify starting him and then he goes 6-140-2 in week 1 on your bench pic.twitter.com/GAiWLvETQS
— Ryan (@DFF_RyanB) September 6, 2018
Start: Austin Seferian – Jenkins @ Giants
The New York Giants covering tight ends last year looked like Mugsy Bogues trying to cover Shaq in the paint; it was ugly. The Giants gave up at least one TD to the TE per game last year in nearly every game. It was like an automatic streamer option, “Whomever the Giants play, add their TE to your roster”. Austin Seferian – Jenkins is low key a very good TE who had a good year with the Jets. Now he has Blake Bortles as his QB and I’m here to tell you, DO NOT sleep on Blake B this year. Yes, the Jags are a run first team, but they do have some weapons in the air, and ASJ is their best red-zone threat, so I expect him to be very productive throughout the year, especially game one against the G-men.
Bust Alert: Charles Clay
Can anyone name a Bills receiver besides Kelvin Benjamin? The easy thought is, “No one else to throw it to but Charles Clay”. Yeah, that sounds good in theory, BUT Nate freaking Peterman is throwing him the ball, guys. This is the starting QB of the Buffalo Bills. A guy who threw FIVE picks in a game will be the starter OVER Josh Allen who they selected in this years draft in the 1st round! That’s not a good look at all. On top of that, they are on the road against a very nasty defense in the Baltimore Ravens? Yeah, no thanks on playing Clay this week.
Sleepers: Antonio Gates vs. Chiefs, Ricky Seals Jones vs. Redskins & Ben Watson vs. Bucs
— Anthony Renish (@ren2tone) September 3, 2018
Start: Saints vs. Bucs
This is a gut call, and yes, I could be off, but Ryan Fitzpatrick either slings it really well or really bad. There’s no in between. The New Orleans Saints defense is legit, they are at home, and I would not be surprised if Fitzmagic threw at least two INT’s in this game. Not to mention, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting RB is Peyton Barber, and if they actually do play Ronald Jones, you won’t have to worry too much about him. Remember folks, always look for teams playing at home who are favorites to win as good defensive streaming options.
Bust alert: Steelers
The Browns eh? Yeah, they are never good, so let us plug in the defense they go against right? In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend”. The Cleveland Browns offense, believe it or not, is actually GOOD. Jarvis “Juice” Landry, Josh Gordon, David Njoku, Antonio Callaway, three solid running backs, AND a good offensive line is very promising for new play-caller Todd Haley. The Pittsburgh Steelers struggle up the middle. Tyrod can work that middle of the field very well, and has running ability. This is NOT an easy plug and the Steelers are on the road in this one too. Them Browns may not be ALL the way back this year, but I would hesitate on playing my DST against them right now.
Sleepers: Lions vs. Jets, Packers vs. Bears & Ravens vs. Bills
This evening we host the kitty cats from the North Florida territory for one final skirmish tuneup. Then we prepare for the real battle, when we will march to the Louisiana swamps to face the hostile Saints.
Love like described in the Good Book,
— Major Ryan Fitzpatrick (@MajorRyanFitz) August 30, 2018
Start: Matt Prater vs. Jets
The Detroit Lions offense is loaded with firepower, so much so that Matthew Stafford is my quarterback in all of my fantasy leagues. The Lions should be able to move the ball well against the New York Jets setting up Matt Prater for opportunities. I like this play here, even though it’s not a sexy name for a kicker.
Bust Alert: Matt Bryant @ Eagles
On paper, this seems like a high scoring game, and it very well could be, but let’s not forget, the Philadelphia Eagles D is really good. The Eagles should try and control the clock more with Foles under center and can’t see them slinging it around as much as they would with Wentz. The Falcons have some firepower of their own, but not sure how much opportunity Matt Bryant will get in this game, so he is on bust alert watch.
Sleepers: Ka’imi Fairbairn @ Patriots, Caleb Sturgis vs. Chiefs & Ryan Succup @ Miami
Be sure to check with us each week where we will discuss not only start, bust alerts, and sleepers for that particular week, but also who you should be adding to your roster and who you should be dropping.