It seemed like only yesterday that the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers on national television. Oh wait… it was!
It was the second time in as many games that the Panthers held Denver to under 180 passing yards and still lose to the Broncos. Last night, CJ Anderson looked like the running back that led to him going in the first round in many 2015 fantasy football and Kelvin Benjamin looked like his 2014 self. Fantasy football is back, and so are GOAT and A-Mac! The 2016 NFL season crept up on them as well and they will be providing their weekly starts and sits before every week all year.
Let’s get this started! Here are GOAT and A-Mac’s Start ’em and Sit ’ems for Week 1 of the fantasy football season!
A-Mac’s Week 1 Starts:
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (Owned in 41.5% of ESPN leagues) – In 2016 fantasy drafts, Matt Ryan was the on average the 23rd quarterback drafted behind guys like Brock Osweiler, Robert Griffin III, and Dak Prescott. Ryan’s stock has taken a huge dip in the eyes of fantasy owners, but Ryan draws a great start Week 1. The Falcons host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in the last three home games against the Bucs, Ryan has thrown eight touchdown passes and averaged 318 passing yards per game.
Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (ESPN 76.4% owned) – In the last week, Ware ownership has gone up 40% in ESPN leagues with the news that Jamaal Charles’ knee won’t be ready for Week 1. It is a shame for Charles owners, as the Chiefs face the San Diego Chargers who were 28th against the run in 2015, and who Ware has had success against, rushing for 96 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 last season.
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns (ESPN 68.4% owned) – It is a huge risk to play a rookie in his first week of his NFL career, but Coleman has a too good a match up to pass up on. The Browns will face the Philadelphia Eagles who were a pathetic 29th against the pass and gave up the second most receiving touchdowns last season. With Josh Gordon out the first four games of 2016, Coleman is set up to be new Brown QB Robert Griffin III number one option for this week and the rest of September.
GOAT’s Week 1 Starts:
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (ESPN 95.3% owned): In the first seven weeks of 2015, Moncrief caught 34 passes for 381 yards and 5 touchdowns. That put him on a pace to catch 78 balls for 870 yards and 11 scores before Andrew Luck went down for the season. Andrew Luck is back and the Detroit defense is nothing to write home about. Look for Moncrief to get close to 1,000 yards receiving this year and that starts this week against the cowardly Lions.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (ESPN 93.8% owned): Gordon’s rookie season was a disaster. But after an offseason of training with Adrian Peterson, Gordon is looking more explosive and more decisive when carrying the ball. Kansas City has a decent, but not stellar, run defense. The Chiefs rush defense ranks 11th by Football Outsiders, so Gordon should get plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents that was expected of him last season.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (ESPN 80.3% owned): Taylor was quietly a top ten quarterback in fantasy points per game in 2015. He was the fifth highest ranked QB in yards per attempt and second only to Cam Newton in rushing yards. The Bills offense head into the 2016 season with most of the offense back, and they start the season against the Baltimore Ravens, who ranked 25th against the pass a year ago. It’s a great match up to start the 2016 season for Tyrod and the Bills.
A-Mac’s Week 1 Sits:
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (ESPN 97.1% owned): The Bengals take on the New York Jets on the road in Week 1. New York returns most of the starters from their defense last season that was second against the run and allowed just two rushing touchdowns to running backs all year. Week 1 will not be a good season starter for Hill and the Bengal offense.
Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Chicago Bears (ESPN 99.6% owned): I talked about Jeffrey in my season-long preview as a guy I wouldn’t want to draft. If you did draft Jeffrey, I wouldn’t start him this week, as he faces the Houston Texans who were fifth against the pass last year and held wide receivers to just 16 receiving touchdowns all season.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers (ESPN 90.6% owned): The 14-year veteran is still one of the more reliable fantasy tight ends entering this season. However, Gates runs into the Chiefs defense that was ninth against the pass and even more effective against tight ends in 2015. The Chiefs allowed only three touchdowns to tight ends and let just one tight post a double-digit point total last year.
GOAT’s Week 1 Sits:
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (ESPN 92.2% owned): In the second half of last season Blake Bortles ranked 29th in QBR. Facing a strong Packers defense and a team that is designed to run the ball more should see a significant reduction in Bortles pass attempts and touchdowns. The Jaguars have also improved on the defensive side of the ball which will reduce the amount of garbage time they are playing. Not your QB answer this week.
Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (ESPN 89.2% owned): While playing for the New York Jets, Chris Ivory was effective for fantasy owners, tied for eight among running back fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring leagues. This year in Jacksonville, he likely will split carries with second-year back TJ Yeldon. In week one, with most passing down work going to Yeldon and facing a strong Green Bay defense, Ivory will likely be a bust this week.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (ESPN 98.5% owned): Landry will be facing Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom this weekend, who were ranked third against the pass. While Landry played almost 80% of his snaps out of the slot, he will draw a lot of coverage as the clear number one wide out for Miami. If the rest of the Dolphins offense can’t effectively move the ball with Landry on lock down, it will be a long season for him.