Everyone wants to get off to a good start in Week 1, but choosing who to start and who to sit on your fantasy team can lead to frustration when you bench the guy who has a huge game.
But fortunately for you, you have come to the right place. Let’s take a look at which QBs I think you should start and which you may want to consider sitting. I also dive intot the defense/special teams realm as well.
START THESE QBs...
Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. GB)
The last time Wilson faced the Packers, he tossed five interceptions and scored a mere 5.5 fantasy points in what was a 38-10 loss. Don't let that keep you from starting him this week, however. Last season, Green Bay's defense allowed 14 touchdown passes to quarterbacks at Lambeau Field. That ranked tied for the fifth-most in the NFL.
Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. OAK)
The Oakland Raiders were one of the worst defenses in terms of points per game and passing defense. Mariota, at home, should be able to put up some good numbers in the opener.
Derek Carr, OAK (vs. TEN)
Carr finished last season ranked 10th in fantasy points among quarterbacks, but he still came off the board in the late rounds in drafts. If you were fortunate enough to take him, this is a good week to drive that Carr into a matchup versus the Titans. Their defense allowed the second-most points to quarterbacks at home last year.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. DET)
Palmer has a beautiful opening schedule, making him the perfect pairing for Andrew Luck owners. Word out of Arizona is Palmer’s arm is fresh, meaning the Cardinals offense should regain the explosive form we are used to seeing. The Lions defense should not scare fantasy owners from starting Palmer on opening week.
SIT THESE QBs...
Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. DEN, Mon.)
The Broncos might still have the best secondary in the NFL even without T.J. Ward. In two outings against Denver, Rivers never got above 13 points last season. Rivers also threw 21 interceptions last season; he has Keenan Allen back, but this is too tough a test for opening day.
Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. ARI)
The last time Stafford faced the Cardinals was 2015 in Week 5, and he passed for 188 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He should be better than that, but it will be hard to trust him. The Cardinals still have a standout secondary led by Patrick Peterson, and only five quarterbacks last year had multiple passing touchdowns against this defense. And last season, Stafford struggled to the finish line, partially due to a finger injury, when he scored fewer than 20 Fantasy points in eight of his final 10 outings.
Joe Flacco, BAL (vs. CIN)
Flacco might be an option for fantasy owners who have Jameis Winston or Jay Cutler, but this week's matchup in Cincinnati makes him a serious risk. The veteran missed the preseason due to an injured back, and his track record in Cincinnati is troublesome. In fact, he's scored 12-plus fantasy points just once in eight career games there.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. NYG)
Prescott was awesome as a rookie in 2016, and he scored at least 20 Fantasy points in nine of the 15 full games he played (he barely played in Week 17 to rest for the playoffs). Two of the games he failed to score 20 points were against the Giants. In fact, he combined for 18 points in those matchups. The Giants allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last year, and only Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger had multiple touchdowns against this defense in 2016. It should be another big year for the Giants defense, and Prescott is not worth starting in Week 1.
Defense/Special Teams (DSTs)
START THESE DSTs...
Los Angeles Rams (vs. IND)
The Rams are a solid defense for any week but especially when facing the Colts without Andrew Luck. This could be an ugly first week for Indianapolis, which may have one of the worst rosters from top to bottom.
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)
I really like the revamped secondary for the Jaguars and especially against a guy with limited experience like Tom Savage. The Jags have one of the better constructed defenses in the league, and they should see good production from this unit.
SIT THESE DSTs...
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. WAS)
The Eagles had one of the six best defenses in fantasy football last season, but an upcoming road matchup against Kirk Cousins and the Redskins makes this unit a questionable option. Defenses failed to put up good numbers against this offense a season ago, scoring an average of 5.44 fantasy points a game. Avoid these birds.
Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)
The Cardinals will have a bit of a new look on defense this season, and an opening week road matchup against the Lions isn't a favorable one from a fantasy perspective. Matthew Stafford and Detroit's offense weren't kind to defenses a season ago, as their opponents put up an average of just 5.44 fantasy points per contest.
— 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.