Week 1 QB Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Quarterback Fantasy Football Strategy

Going into Week 1 we have had no preseason, limited camp, and very little information. I am here to help answer the question of what quarterbacks you can trust this week and which ones to keep out of your starting lineup.

Start Them

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: Washington Football Team

Carson Wentz has been plagued with injuries, both to himself and his surrounding weapons. It is looking more and more likely that his only healthy starting WR for the game against the Washing Football Team will be Desean Jackson. However, this does not worry me. He still has Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at the TE position, Miles Sanders coming out of the backfield for swing and screen passes, and Desean Jackson will be taking the top off of a horrid Washington defense. Carson Wentz should score big this week and the hope is that Washington is able to put up enough points to make it a shootout.

Cam Newton, New England Patriots

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Cam Newton is probably going to be the entire offense for this Patriots team. Yes, they just cut
Mohamed Sanu but the whole reason you are starting Cam Newton against a weak Miami defense is for his running base. He should score a ton of points on the ground this week. Another bonus is the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still the starter in Miami and can air it out to run up the score. I love to pair Newton with my deep league sleeper N’Keal Harry in this plus matchup.

Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

This has very little to do with the trust I have in Tyrod Taylor to be productive, although he does have the scrambling potential to give you a good base on the ground. This pick has everything to do with the fact that I believe the Bengals have the worst secondary in the league. With Trae Waynes, their top corner acquired in free agency, out with injury they have absolutely no one to cover Keenan Allen. This may be the only week that I advise starting a Chargers QB but the Bengals defense calls for it.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: New York Giants

The weapons Big Ben has at his disposal are plentiful. Dionatae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Shuster, James Washington, Eric Ebron, and James Conner are more than enough weapons to allow Big Ben to have a crazy good game. Mix this with the fact that the Giants probably have a bottom-five pass defense and you, my friend, have yourself a great Week 1 start. Do not let the fact that Ben struggled prior to injury last year deter you. The kind of injury he had was something that did not just happen, he was dealing with pain and weakness in his throwing arm the entire time. If he is truly healthy then we are in for a treat this game.

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

This is not a pretty start but ironically enough I see this similarly to how I saw starting Blake Bortals as a Jaguar in his highly successful fantasy season of 2015. The Jaguars are trash and there will be a ton of garbage time in this game for Minshew to throw for a free 200+ yards and maybe a couple of TDs. Not to mention I believe that Minshew is a decent QB with one of the best deep threats in the league in DJ Chark. Cutting Fournette leaves them only with a young Ryquell Armstead on the ground and really leaves Minshew to carry the team. Not a pretty play but a very effective one.

Sit Them

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

I can already see you typing in the comments about Godwin, Evans, Howard, Gronk, and the Bruce Arians system! However, this is the first game of the new Bucs and the Tom Brady era. He is not going high enough in drafts where he is a must-start and I highly recommend waiting a week and seeing what Brady does. I honestly believe his arm talent is not fully there and we may very well see a 2015 Payton Manning season out of Brady. Not to mention that this is away from home against a great defense in the Saints. While home-field advantage will not be as big of a deal this year, the travel is still something to think about.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

Jimmy G is left with only a rookie WR in Brandon Ayuk and George Kittle as his primary passing weapons. While Arizona’s pass defense was awful last year, it has gotten better and Vince Joseph has adapted a much better scheme in place. The 49ers want to run the ball down your throat and they will do that against the Cardinals front 7. While the Air Raid offense of Arizona will push the tempo up in this game, Shanahan will surely be trying to slow it down when his team has the ball. I am staying far away from Garoppolo this game.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Denver Broncos

Vic Fangio is a mastermind defensive coach and I do not want to start a QB against him. The Denver pass rush is going to be intense and the Titans lost Jack Conklin in free agency this past offseason. I think Tannehill is a good QB and I like him to be a safe play in most matchups this year. However, not against this Denver defense led by Fangio. Derrick Henry is the only offensive weapon I would be happy starting this week on Monday Night Football from the Titans.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Last year Cousins struggled mightily against the Packers’ secondary and this year it is not getting any easier. The interior of the offensive line is even worse at pass blocking, they lost Stefon Diggs, and Kubiak will probably want to run the ball even more. We saw Cousins ball out against the Packers two years ago, but the two 10 point performances from him last year against this Packers’ D has me way too scared to even think about starting him.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

I really like the Cowboys’ defense and I really hate how Jared Goff played last year. On top of this, the limited camp that I have watched and heard about Robert Woods does not look fantastic, the backfield situation is unclear, and the offensive line does not look improved enough to make a huge difference. Goff often disappointed you last year and I foresee that being the case in this game. The only player on the Rams worth trying is Cooper Kupp and he will be the beneficiary of any successful play from Goff. However, there are many better options this week at QB.

Matthew is a UC Berkeley economic and philosophy graduate. He has played DFS, Football pools, and survival leagues for most of his adult life. Matthew brings to the table great strategies for both your GPP and Cash plays as well as a winning track record with his picks of the week.

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