So, you fell in love with the whole “zero RB” strategy during your fantasy draft and now you find yourself with a roster full of wide receivers and tight ends. That’s all fine and dandy, but just exactly who should you start in Week 1?
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Find out who you should start and who you should sit at wide receiver and tight end in fantasy football to help you get off on the right foot in Week 1.
START THESE WRs...
Corey Davis, TEN (at MIA)
This recommended start may seem too obvious, but ESPN is showing that Davis is only being started in 33.4 percent of all fantasy leagues entering Week 1. Titan fans have been overly critical of Marcus Mariota in a pro-style offense, but that chatter could be put to rest in 2018 thanks to the hire of new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. LaFleur was the Rams' OC in 2017 and he also spent two years as the Falcons' QB coach prior to that. Having a QB-driven coach calling the plays for the Titans is a positive sign for Mariota and his soon-to-be stud target.
Keelan Cole, JAC (at NYG)
Cole is going to be the No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville with Marqise Lee out for the season. While Blake Bortles might spread the ball around, Cole is the big-play threat and will have a chance to break some big ones against the Giants' spotty defense. He may draw some coverage from Janoris Jenkins, but Cole still has the speed to beat him at times.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Jordy Nelson, OAK (vs. LAR, Mon.)
Jon Gruden and his “oldest NFL roster in years,” is not getting any love from fantasy fans. Just about everyone not named Amari Cooper is near the bottom of positional fantasy rankings this week. While the matchup isn’t ideal, Jordy could surprise a lot of people on Monday night. Nelson was let go from the Packers in what appeared to be a youth movement in the offseason, but the 33-year-old receiver has turned heads throughout training camp. He’s playing with a chip on his shoulder and seems motivated to prove age is just a number in 2018.
SIT THESE WRs...
Sammy Watkins, KC (at LAC)
Lots of people bought into the hype of Watkins being productive last season, but they should pump the brakes for 2018. Watkins may have signed a ridiculous contract with the Chiefs in the offseason, but he is an average at best WR. Watkins is on his third team in five years and has only surpassed the 1,000-yard mark once. Patrick Mahomes has already shown he loves to target Tyreek Hill, making Watkins possibly the third best option behind tight end Travis Kelce.
Marquise Goodwin, SF (at MIN)
The receiver to own in San Francisco, Goodwin will be tasked with beating CB Xavier Rhodes in Week 1. Good luck. Rhodes was Pro Football Focus’ No. 29 cover corner last season, allowing a 73.2 passer rating and just two touchdowns when thrown at. As a team, the Vikings surrendered the ninth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Minnesota plays even better at home, and the 49ers have the sixth-lowest implied team total of Week 1 as near-touchdown underdogs. Goodwin is best left on the bench as a WR4 this week. In a week with no byes, there should be better options available.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Josh Gordon, CLE (at PIT)
Gordon is not 100 percent, he barely practiced with the team and is a part of a Browns offense that is no longer desperate for targets. Jarvis Landry has become a vocal leader and will get a large portion of the volume. The Browns also have an underrated tight end in David Njoku that could expose the Steelers from a game plan standpoint. Not to mention, there is a trio of running backs, two of which have excellent hands and could also see targets in the passing game.
START THESE TEs...
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JAC (at NYG)
If you’re looking at last year’s statistics, the Giants were one of the best teams to exploit in daily fantasy or to have players matched up against in seasonal leagues. However, that was last year, and the Giants' defense will be much-improved thanks in part to new coordinator James Bettcher. Bettcher’s blitz-happy aggressive scheme should cause problems for QBs looking to find the time to get the ball down the field. However, to counteract that, a team like the Jaguars could take advantage of targeting their 6-foot-5, 262-pound tight end across the middle.
Trey Burton, CHI (vs. GB)
Burton played 34 snaps this preseason, roughly the equivalent of half of an NFL game, and was targeted six times, corralling five of them for 50 yards and a touchdown. As an Eagle last year, Burton made two starts with Zach Ertz out and posted 2-41-1 and 5-71-2 receiving lines in those games. When given the chance to run with the ones, Burton has always made plays. He’s clearly been Mitchell Trubisky’s favorite target throughout the summer, and Bears beat writers have been predicting him to flirt with 1,000 yards. Burton is expected to challenge a top-five tight end finish this season.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI (vs. WAS)
This is simple. The Redskins were one of the worst defenses at covering TEs last year (9.3 FPPG allowed), and not much on paper has changed.
SIT THESE TEs...
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. LAR, Mon.)
Cook had a strong year for Oakland last season, setting a career-best with 54 catches. He mixed in some appealing stat lines with five games of no more than 20 receiving yards. The Rams present a tough matchup, even though they allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to the position in 2017. They return starting safeties Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson but had an addition by subtraction with the trade of ILB Alec Ogletree. Cook will have his boom weeks, but this doesn’t look like it will be one.
Antonio Gates, LAC (vs. KC)
Tight end is the weakest skill position in fantasy, so Gates’ addition back to the stable is at least interesting. But it’s hard to get excited about a 38-year-old who hasn’t practiced at all since last season and was sitting on his couch last weekend. Gates will likely have his big weeks with no Hunter Henry (ACL) and no other competition at the position, but this isn’t the week to try and turn back the clock with him. Mike Williams and Melvin Gordon are expected to take on bigger roles in the red zone in the absence of Henry.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Evan Engram, NYG (vs. JAC)
Last year’s overall TE5, Engram bucked the trend of rookie tight ends struggling in the NFL. He really didn’t have a choice, though, as the Giants lost Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall to season-ending injuries and Sterling Shepard missed time as well. But OBJ is now back to full health, Shepard is back as the No. 2 wideout, and Saquon Barkley was drafted second overall. Engram is expected to take a big hit in the targets department.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.