Week 1 Start ‘Em / Sit ‘Em
We’ve made it. The long and winding road of the offseason has led us to the precipice of real NFL football. That means we’re also back with our start and sit recommendations, to help your fantasy team get off to a flying start this season.
Quarterbacks – Start ‘Em
Jared Goff (@ KC)
The Lions keeping offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was one of the biggest coups of the offseason. Detroit’s offense exploded down the stretch last season with Goff averaging almost 300 yards per game over his final six matchups. He has an excellent chance to carry this form into the opening game against the Chiefs with the game’s over/under standing at 51.5. I’m happy to take a risk in what should hopefully be a high-scoring affair.
Sam Howell (vs ARI)
You would be forgiven for thinking that having last year’s fifth-round pick under centre wouldn’t excite fantasy managers but there are plenty of positive signs. Howell showed some promise in his only game as starter at the end of last year, and provides ample upside on the ground. In his final year in college, Howell rushed for over 800 yards and 11 TDs. Against a lacklustre Arizona team, he presents an intriguing option this week.
Quarterback – Sit ‘Em
Daniel Jones (vs DAL)
I generally feel positive around Daniel Jones this year. After proving many doubters wrong last season with minimal weapons, there is certainly more positivity going into 2023. His week 1 matchup, however, may be one to avoid if more favourable options are available. In his two games against division rivals Dallas last season Jones scored fewer than 15 points. While his rushing always provides upside, it’s a matchup in which I’m lowering my overall expectations.
Deshaun Watson (vs CIN)
Which Deshaun Watson we’re going to see in 2023 is one of the biggest questions we have heading into 2023. Watson scored just 14.3 points per game over his six starts in 2022, according to FantasyData. He starts against Lou Anarumo’s Bengals defence, which should prove to be a tricky matchup again in 2023. The Bengals allowed the joint-fewest points to quarterbacks last season, per FantasyData. While questions remain, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Running Back – Start ‘Em
Brian Robinson/Antonio Gibson (vs ARI)
Picking running backs against the Cardinals will likely become a common theme over the course of the season. With Arizona quick out of the gate in the race for Caleb Williams, it’s clear that opposing running backs will perpetually have positive game scripts. This starts with the Commanders this week who are 7-point favourites at present. Both Robinson and Gibson are worthy starts this coming Sunday, with a slight edge to Robinson given his likelihood to see the majority of carries.
Raheem Mostert (@ LAC)
The Miami backfield became a little clearer with the announcement that Jeff Wilson would miss time with injury. While fantasy managers will rightly be excited about the prospect of De’Von Achane, it will likely be Raheem Mostert leading the charge to begin with. His opening matchup looks to be favourable, opening against a Chargers team which allowed the fifth-most rushing yards in the league last year. Mostert is a high-upside flex play in game with a 51-point over/under in betting markets.
Running Back – Sit ‘Em
Williams’ staggering 17 touchdowns propelled him to a RB18 finish in points per game in PPR scoring, per FantasyData. He now, however, faces one of last year’s toughest matchups for Running Backs in the Titans. Tennessee allowed the fifth-fewest points to the position last year, with opposing offenses scoring just nine rushing touchdowns against the Titans in 2022. You may want to temper expectations for Williams in week 1.
D’Andre Swift (@ NE)
How this backfield shapes up is anyone’s guess. At present the Eagles appear to have a four-headed monster which appears unlikely to provide much fantasy success. The team targeted running backs at just a 12.1% rate last season, which gives me concern for D’Andre Swift. Swift faces one of 2022’s worst matchups for running backs in the Patriots, who allowed the fourth-fewest points to the position in PPR scoring last year.
Wide Receiver – Start ‘Em
Christian Watson (@ CHI)
Watson was one of the stories of the latter part of 2022. After a slow start Watson burst onto the scene with eight touchdowns across a four week stretch between week 10-13. He enters this season as the team’s presumed WR1 and a constant big-play threat. Given the questions around Chicago’s defence, specifically the defensive line, I’m betting on a big game for Watson in Jordan Love’s first start in the post-Rodgers era. Just keep an eye on injury reports in case the hamstring injury prevents the start this weekend!
Courtland Sutton (vs LV)
The less said about the Broncos offense last year, the better. Sutton started the year well but faded as the season progressed. With Jerry Jeudy struggling with injury Sutton will likely need to step up, even if Jeudy makes it onto the field. Sutton is in line to take advantage of a poor Raiders secondary in a (hopefully) improved offense with the arrival of Sean Payton.
Wide Receiver – Sit ‘Em
Treylon Burks (@ NO)
A few months ago, the hype around Treylon Burks was building. After signing veteran DeAndre Hopkins plus recent injury issues, however, momentum has slowed. The Saints were a tough matchup last year, something which is unlikely to change in 2023. The team allowed the tenth-fewest points to WRs last season. Until there is more clarity, he will likely remain on my bench.
Marquise Brown (@ WAS)
Marquise Brown never quite returned to his early season form after a blistering start to his Cardinals career. Now with the team in full rebuild mode plotting for 2024 and a choice of Joshua Dobbs expected to start at quarterback, prospects of Brown hitting those heights again appear slim. Brown presents little upside against a solid Washington defensive unit.
Tight End – Start ‘Em
Tyler Higbee (@ SEA)
With a lack of notable offensive weapons, Tyler Higbee always looked set to receive a sizeable portion of work in 2023. With Cooper Kupp out with a hamstring injury, his workload should be enhanced even further. The Rams are a team in flux at the moment, with several key defensive pieces leaving this offseason. Expect Stafford and the Rams offense to be pass heavy this year, giving Higbee plenty of opportunities to contribute, starting this week.
Juwan Johnson (vs TEN)
Need a last-minute start after you drafted Kelce in round 1? Look no further than New Orleans’ Juwan Johnson. As mentioned in our waiver wire article, Johnson looks ready to step into a greater role. In 2022 he was a constant red zone threat, scoring seven touchdowns last year, third-most amongst tight ends in the league. He offers fantasy managers a high-upside option on a weekly basis.
Tight End – Sit ‘Em
Dalton Schultz (@ BAL)
Following a stellar 2021, Dalton Schultz took a step back last year before joining the Houston Texans. Schultz faces a tough start travelling to a Baltimore team which allowed the ninth-fewest points to the tight end position in 2022, per FantasyData. Upside is a question mark for the former fourth-round pick in rookie CJ Stroud’s first career start.
Greg Dulcich (vs LV)
As a rookie, Dulcich showed plenty of promise on an uninspiring team. He regularly saw over an 70% snap share and received at least five targets in six of his ten games. However, the arrival of Adam Trautman from New Orleans to join his old coach Sean Payton, leaves some worries as to his role in 2023. With questions over his usage, I would look elsewhere in week 1.