Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 1 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Week 1 is here! Each week we will be taking a look at some players with favorable matchups that are start-worthy and others with not-so-favorable matchups that you should keep on the bench. If you are a daily fantasy player, some of these starts could be great values. Be sure to check back often for updated player rankings and weekly waiver wire targets.

If you have Sit/Start questions, try out the Sit/Start Tool and/or My Playbook, contact me, or hit up @PDWonderland on Twitter.

Start ‘Em

Derek Carr (QB, Oakland Raiders) at Tennessee Titans

Carr is in the driver’s seat in Oakland and he’ll be leading a formidable offense in 2017. The Raiders are facing off with Tennessee, and I look for Carr and company to overpower the opposition in Week 1 in a game that could wind up being a high scoring shootout. Fantasy owners love those kind of games.

Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) at San Francisco 49ers

Cam had comparatively down season in 2016, but still not so down that fantasy owners should be down on him. I was a bit shocked to see how far he was sliding down draft boards in redraft leagues. Injury woes and lesser production aside, Cam is still a freak and still capable of big things. His Week 1 matchup is a favorable one versus San Francisco. Start Newton with confidence.

C.J. Anderson (RB, Denver Broncos) vs L.A. Chargers

Despite the running back stable being full in Denver, Anderson should be the primary back this season. The matchup will be good in Week 1 as he’ll be facing a somewhat depleted Chargers defense that will likely suffer with middle linebacker Denzel Perryman out.

Rob Kelley (RB, Washington Redskins) vs Philadelphia Eagles

Despite Chris Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine nipping at his heals, Kelley will be the feature back for the foreseeable future in Washington. He played well in the preseason and should be geared up for a solid Week 1 performance against the Eagles.

Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Carolina Panthers) at San Francisco 49ers

KBenj should be back in 2017. A slow return after injury and production woes limited him last season, but look for the Cam to Benjamin connection to be back in effect. He’s a great play in Week 1 versus the Niners and I expect him to have a great season.

Robby Anderson (WR, New York Jets) at Buffalo Bills

Anderson should be a nice under the radar guy with a good deal of upside in 2017. Look for him to see a ton of targets. I like him as a low end WR2/high end WR3 this week.

Charles Clay (TE, Buffalo Bills) vs New York Jets

The Jets have struggled again tight ends in recent years. That spells good things for Bills TE Charles Clay. He’s probably not going to have a monster season for the rebuilding Bills, but he is worth the play this week in an ideal matchup.


Sit ‘Em

Joe Flacco (QB, Baltimore Ravens) at Cincinnati Bengals

Flacco my be ready to play after sitting out with back issues, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to produce. I don’t expect him to jump right back in without issues. I’m expecting the run game to be active for the Ravens in Week 1 to ease Joe back into things. Flacco is a wait-and-see QB for now. No need to start him this week versus the Bengals.

Dak Prescott (QB, Dallas Cowboys) vs New York Giants

Dak had a great rookie year and the urge to jump right back into 2017 with him is certainly there. But, he isn’t the best play in Week 1. The Giants should continue to have a tough defense this season, and Prescott’s track record against them isn’t so good. The Cowboys QB will be a good start plenty of weeks this season, but this week isn’t one of them.

Joe Mixon (RB, Cincinnati Bengals) vs Baltimore Ravens

Everyone is excited about the rookie’s upside in Cincy, but we should tap the brakes a bit. Jeremy Hill is still going to see the majority of the touches for the Bengals and Bernard is in the mix. If Mixon arises this season, I’m guessing he’ll be a late season surge. Besides, the Ravens are typically pretty stingy against the run. Hold off on Mixon for now.

Eddie Lacy (RB, Seattle Seahawks) at Green Bay Packers

Rawls is still sitting at the top of the depth chart in Seattle with Lacy and rookie Chris Carson behind him. Rawls has been injured but is trending towards being available on Sunday. That means the Eddie Lacy is going to be competing for significant carries. The tendency is to play him against his former team, but it’s not a good idea in Week 1.

Tyrell Williams (WR, L.A. Chargers) at Denver Broncos

Williams really came on in the second half of 2016 in the absence of Keenan Allen, but I’m not optimistic that he can continue the upward trend this season working as a number 2. Combine that with a nagging groin injury that could potentially limit his Week 1 production and the fact that he’ll be facing the NFL’s toughest secondary, and he’s not so safe of a play.

Dez Bryant (WR, Dallas Cowboys) vs New York Giants

Similar to the warning about Prescott, Bryant stands to struggle against a tough Giants secondary in Week 1. In two games versus NYG last season Dez only had 2 receptions for 18 yards. That’s no bueno. It’s probably a good idea to steer clear this week.


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...