Welcome all to another season of CPGM fantasy football start/sit. If you are new to the weekly start/sit lets get one thing clear before we begin. Always start your studs! You drafted your studs high for a reason so don’t second guess if they should or should not be in your lineup. A.J. Green was one of your top picks, don’t get cute and bench him because he is playing against a tough Jets defense and CB Darrelle Revis. With the obvious out of the way we will only focus on the borderline guys at each position to help you decipher if you should start em or sit em.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week 1
Start – Matthew Stafford vs Colts
In what figures to be an opening game shootout at Lucas Oil Stadium, Matthew Stafford takes his Calvin Johnson-less offense for a test drive against a decimated Colts secondary. Stafford ended last season with a bang with new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s no-huddle, quick passing offense throwing for 1,655 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 1 interception in his last 6 games. Although I expect some regression due to Megatron’s retirement and a more balanced approach, I do not believe the regression starts in week 1 as Stafford gets a sweet matchup against a Colts defense that will be without top corner Vontae Davis. Not only will they be without their perennial pro bowler and Top 10 CB in the NFL but their number 2 corner Patrick Robinson and number 3 corner Darius Butler are also battling their own injuries. Desperate for an upgrade at the position the Colts signed former Jets corner Antonio Cromartie who we last saw getting roasted on a consistent basis a year ago. It should be easy pitch and catch for Stafford as he will spread the ball all over the field and produce QB1 numbers in Week 1.
Notables – Derek Carr vs Saints, Jameis Winston vs Falcons
Sit – Marcus Mariota vs Vikings
In our AFC South Bold Prediction YouTube video (Please subscribe) I stated that Marcus Mariota will have a tremendous fantasy season throwing for 3500 yards while rushing for another 500 in an attempt to play catch up all season long. I don’t believe the fantasy points will come in this matchup against an angry Vikings defense who just lost their young QB Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings have ballers at every level of the defense; Everson Griffen a ferocious pass rusher, Anthony Barr an athletic do it all line backer, and Harrison Smith who is quietly one of the best safeties in the entire NFL. Look for them to put the team and city on their back and give Mariota and the Titans offense fits all game. The defense of the Vikings is not the only obstacle Mariota will have in this matchup. If the offseason/preseason is any indication on what the Titans want to do this season, then the exotic smash mouth old school football rushing attack will be their bread and butter. I see this game as a physical, close matchup that will be run heavy on both sides which limits the fantasy production of Mariota.
Notables – Andy Dalton vs Jets
Start – Spencer Ware vs Chargers
Jamaal Charles owners might have to wait a couple more weeks to get the old Charles back as he recovers from the ACL injury he suffered last season. However, Spencer Ware owners should be ecstatic that they get a nice matchup against a Chargers defense which ranked 27th in run defense and 30th in yards per attempt allowed (4.8) last season. I know that was last season but losing Eric Weddle doesn’t help your defense. Also the Titans manhandled their first team run defense thoroughly in the preseason and I don’t see any substantial improvements on that side of the ball. If you know anything about Andy Reid you know he likes to use one running back predominately and his running backs always have a fantasy impact despite his pass happy mentality. Ware will get the first nod in the backfield and should produce RB2 numbers with an added bonus in the form of his improved pass catching abilities this offseason.
Notables – Ryan Mathews vs Browns, Latavius Murray vs Saints
Sit – Arian Foster vs Seahawks
Arian Foster has 9 lives it seems as he is back from another injury, this time with a new team, to demonstrate the fantasy prowess he has showcased in his career. The older, injury riddled back beat out the second year pro Jay Ajayi and has looked like the better back of the two in the preseason. So what does he get as an offering, the Seatlle Seahawks defense in Seattle. I wouldn’t start any Dolphins player other than Jarvis Landry in this matchup because the Seahawks are nearly unbeatable at home and play a lot faster with the 12th man behind them. Foster should have some success later on this season but I’m not betting on it in this game as Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and company bring hats to the party. This game can get ugly early, the only chance I see for an upset is on the other side of the ball if the Dolphins defensive line can wreak havoc on Russell Wilson.
Notables – LaGarrette Blount vs Cardinals
Start – Donte Moncrief vs Lions
After a season to forget for the Indianapolis Colts offense, the franchise QB Andrew Luck, who threw for 40 TDs in 2014 is back. All the talk understandably has been about the potential of T.Y. Hilton with a healthy Luck, but Donte Moncrief on the other side is primed for a breakout season. Last season Luck was injured, missed 9 games and wasn’t quite the same guy we all were accustomed to seeing, however when he played, Moncrief averaged more catches and TDs than Hilton. Moncrief’s production was hampered by the Colts showcasing their new shiny toy Andre Johnson last season. This will not be the case in 2016 as he comes into the season as the unquestioned number 2 receiver who will be their possession and red zone target. I believe Moncrief’s rise to fantasy stardom starts this week against a Lions defense that will have their number 1 corner Darius Slay on T.Y. which should free up Moncrief to do work. The Colts offense will pass the ball “ALOT” this season due to a bad defense and a lack of running game and it will be no different this week if they want to keep up with the Lions and Stafford.
Notables – Marvin Jones/Golden Tate vs Colts, Sterling Shepard vs Cowboys
Sit – DeVante Parker vs Seahawks
I just finished raving about the Seahawks defense this week so it’s only natural that DeVante Parker is a sit in Week 1 against Richard Sherman and The Legion of Boom. Parker came into 2015 with tremendous hype as the deep threat Ryan Tanehill has been missing his whole career. Parker never asserted himself to be that guy until later in the season due to injury. Fast forward to 2016 and he still can’t get over the injury bug. It now seems that the other deep threat receiver on the roster Kenny Stills has the inside job as the WR2. As of right now Parker is questionable to play Sunday due to his ongoing hamstring issues, but even if he laces them up and gives it a go, you should still keep him on your bench.
Notables – Julian Edelman vs Cardinals
Start – Jason Witten vs Giants
Let me put out the disclaimer that I am not a big fan of the fantasy prospects of one Jason Witten in the 2016 season. However, just for this one game which figures to be a shootout against a team that Witten has owned over his career, he is a sneaky start if you didn’t get a TE1 caliber tight end in your fantasy draft. Over the past three seasons, Witten has posted some of his best games against the division foe G-men, including 14 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns in 2015 (only 3 TDs the entire season), and 12 catches for 107 yards and 4 TDs in 2013. Yes, he will be without his BFF Tony Romo for this game but backup turned starting quarterback Dak Prescott should lean heavily on the reliable Witten in the middle of the field against a Giants defense lacking talent at the linebacker position.
Notables – Travis Kelce vs Chargers, Will Tye vs Cowboys
Sit – Jared Cook vs Jaguars
Am I the only person not on this Jared Cook hype train? There are many fantasy experts all over this guy as “The” fantasy football breakout tight end this season. Yes, he is super athletic and yes he is in the best situation in his career playing with Aaron Rodgers, but I’ve seen this movie enough to know Cook will somehow self-implode. Did everyone just forget about the inconsistencies that have plagued him his entire career or the fact that he hasn’t been the steadiest in terms of character. Or maybe people forgot that the other tight end on the roster Richard Rodgers caught eight touchdowns last season and has shed 20 pounds this offseason to become a more explosive player. Maybe I am missing the boat on Cook and he will somehow be the fantasy sleeper that can catapult your team but I will be very cautious with him until we learn his role in the Packers offense. Although the matchup looks good on paper against the Jaguars, I am not a believer in Cook.
Notables – Vance McDonald vs Rams
Defense to stream
Rams vs 49ers
Chip Kelly’s offense have been difficult to stop in the past when they had Shady, D Jack and Jeremy Maclin but Blaine Gabbert and his receivers are not it. The Rams D will stifle the Niners offense.
Notables – Vikings vs Titans