Michael Florio's Week 1 fantasy matchups

It’s finally back. There were times in the last few months when none of us were sure what fantasy football would look like this season or if we would even be able to play the game that we all love so much. But we made it through what felt like the longest offseason ever and have come out on the other side. Now is not the time for celebrations, though. Now is the time to break down matchups and set fantasy lineups!

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Must Play: QB Russell Wilson, WR Julio Jones

Start: QB Matt Ryan, RB Todd Gurley, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Calvin Ridley, WR DK Metcalf, TE Hayden Hurst

Stream: K Younghoe Koo

Sit: Seahawks DEF, Falcons DEF, TE Greg Olsen, WR Russell Gage

Beware: RB Chris Carson

Stats to know: SEA allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to TE in 2019 (15.23)

SEA allowed the second-most (18) rush TD to RB in 2019 and Gurley has scored 14+ in three straight seasons.

SEA allowed 35 FG attempts in 2019, which tied for the fourth most in NFL. ATL attempted 40 field goals last season, tied for the most in the league.

ATL averaged 1.6 sacks per game in 2019, which tied for the second fewest in the NFL.

Fantasy Thoughts: This game has the potential to be one of the best fantasy matchups of Week 1. There are a lot of starting options here, beginning with the two QBs who were drafted in the top 10 at their positions. Russell Wilson is usually a must-start option, but even more so against a team that struggles to sack the QB. Both RBs have the upside to finish top 10 at the position this week, but also come with some health concerns — Gurley with that knee that plagued him last year and Carson returning from a fractured hip. There are loads of WR goodness in this game. Julio Jones should be in your lineup every week he is active but there is a lot of talent outside of him as well. Tyler Lockett is one of the most efficient WRs in the NFL and was putting up top-10 WR numbers before he suffered a leg injury last year. DK Metcalf oozes potential and this is not a secondary that scares me away from him. Plus, his 19 end zone targets tied for the league lead last season meaning he is always a threat to score. Calvin Ridley will see single coverage often opposite Julio Jones. Hayden Hurst is in a great position to succeed this season with Matt Ryan and he has a fantastic matchup to kick off the season. Do not forget that Austin Hooper was the TE1 before getting hurt in Week 10 last year. And in any high scoring affair, the kickers are in play too. But the defenses? I would avoid those.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Must Play: QB Lamar Jackson

Start: RB Mark Ingram, TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore DEF

Upside Flex: WR Marquise Brown, RB Kareem Hunt

Sit: QB Baker Mayfield, TE Austin Hooper, RB J.K. Dobbins

Beware: RB Nick Chubb, WR Odell Beckham Jr, WR Jarvis Landry

Stats to know: BAL allowed 7.95 fantasy PPG to TE in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

BAL allowed 3 rec TD to TE in 2019 (T-2nd fewest in NFL)

BAL allowed 12.02 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (2nd-fewest in NFL)

CLE allowed 5th-fewest fantasy PPG to WR in Weeks 9-17 (26.24)

CLE allowed 144.7 rush YPG in 2019 (3rd-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: If you can’t tell, I am worried about the Browns offense this week. If you drafted Nick Chubb, you must use him, but the expectations should be lowered. In two games against the Ravens last year he had both his highest scoring game (39.3 fantasy points) and his lowest scoring game (4.5 fantasy points) against the Ravens. His range of outcomes is wide. Odell Beckham Jr. did catch a touchdown in the second matchup against Baltimore last year, but he was held under 15 fantasy points in both games. Jarvis Landry fared better against them, but he is coming off a hip surgery and he is in a tough matchup. I would try to take a wait-and-see approach with him. Kareem Hunt is a flex option because if the Browns are trailing, we can see him rack up catches in the second half. As for the Ravens, you never sit Lamar Jackson or Mark Andrews. Marquise Brown is one of my favorite breakouts picks this season now that his foot is healthy, but this isn’t the easiest matchup as the Browns secondary played well down the stretch. Mark Ingram is the starter until we see otherwise, and I want to start the RB playing with Jackson. I would bench J.K. Dobbins until we see how the RB work behind Ingram shakes out. He was listed fourth on the RB depth chart. The Ravens DEF is always in play, but I am not starting any defense against the reigning NFL MVP.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Must Play: Buffalo DEF

Start: QB Josh Allen, RB Le’Veon Bell, WR Stefon Diggs

Upside Flex: RB Zack Moss, TE Chris Herndon, WR John Brown

Sit: QB Sam Darnold, WR Breshad Perriman, WR Denzel Mims

Beware: RB Devin Singletary, WR Jamison Crowder

Stats to know: BUF allowed 5th-fewest fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (29.46)

BUF allowed 5 fantasy PPG to K in 2019 (T-fewest in NFL)

NYJ allowed fewest fantasy PPG to RB in Weeks 9-17 (16.8)

NYJ allowed 20 rec TD to WR in 2019 (T-6th most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: These are not the most appealing fantasy matchups. I like Josh Allen more than most because of his rushing ability and the weapons around him, but he is not a must start option yet. Still, if you have him, start him. This is one of those situations though where I like the QB more than the weapons, as the Bills will still run a good amount and rely on their defense. Stefon Diggs, though, is the one to start, while John Brown only needs one long one to make him a worthy start. As for the Bills backs, I am worried about Devin Singletary. The Bills have talked up Zack Moss as the goal line and pass-catching back. Those are the two fastest ways for RBs to rack up fantasy points. I think both are in the flex range. The Jets do not have many players I would trust this week. The Bills allowed the third fewest fantasy PPG to QBs last season (12.52) and Sam Darnold doesn’t run too much. He is an easy sit this week. Le’Veon Bell is the only Jet I’d feel comfortable starting and that is more as an RB2. The Bills ranked in the middle of the pack against the run last year. Plus, if the Jets are trailing, Bell can rack up catches quickly, especially since the Jets receivers have missed a lot of practice time recently and likely aren’t ready to take on a full workload. Chris Herndon could see sneaky volume because of that as well.

Las Vegas at Carolina Panthers

Must Play: RB Christian McCaffrey, RB Josh Jacobs

Start: WR DJ Moore, TE Darren Waller

Upside Flex: WR Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards

Stream: QB Teddy Bridgewater, QB Derek Carr

Sit: WR Robby Anderson, WR Curtis Samuel

Beware: TE Ian Thomas

Stats to know LV allowed 2.1 rec TD/gm in 2019 (T-4th most in NFL)

LV allowed 20.2 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (7th-most in NFL)

LV allowed 33 pass TD to QB in 2019 (T-4th most in NFL)

CAR allowed 3.3 offensive TD/gm in 2019 (2nd-most in NFL)

CAR allowed 31.09 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (most in NFL)

CAR allowed 30 TDs to RBs last year, the most in the league.

Fantasy Thoughts: This can be a sneaky fun matchup for fantasy. You do not need to be told to start Christian McCaffrey. You shouldn’t need to be told that about Josh Jacobs either, but he may give CMC a run for the top RB in Week 1. The Panthers last year allowed 30 touchdowns to RBs, while no one else allowed more than 22. This is a prime matchup for Jacobs, and he is a top 5 fantasy RB to open the season. DJ Moore is the top passing-game option for the Panthers and should be started with confidence. But behind him there are questions of how the volume will shake out, so I would be recommending sitting Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel and Ian Thomas. Teddy Bridgewater, though, is a streaming option for those in deeper leagues or in two-QB formats. The Raiders last season allowed 272 passing yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game to QBs. Derek Carr is also a streaming option, but I prefer Bridgewater of the two.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Must Play: WR Allen Robinson

Start: Bears DEF, WR Kenny Golladay

Upside Flex: WR Marvin Jones Jr., WR Anthony Miller, RB Tarik Cohen

Stream: QB Matthew Stafford, TE T.J. Hockenson

Sit: RB D’Andre Swift, RB Adrian Peterson, QB Mitchell Trubisky

Beware: RB David Montgomery, RB Kerryon Johnson

Stats to know: Bears allowed 237.3 pass YPG in 2019 (8th-fewest in NFL)

DET allowed 20.35 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (5th-most in NFL)

CHI allowed 13.85 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (7th-fewest in NFL)

DET allowed 40.58 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (3rd-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: This is another one of the more unfriendly fantasy games on the Week 1 docket. Allen Robinson, though, should once again see big volume, both in the slot and out wide. The Lions did draft cornerback Jeff Okudah, but I am giving the veteran WR who was a top 10 fantasy option last year the edge there. Speaking of the slot, Mitchell Trubisky threw to the slot on 38.8 percent of his throws last season, the second most in the NFL. That means Anthony Miller is in the flex range in this positive matchup. Tarik Cohen is a safe floor play because of his involvement in the passing game, but he could see a slight uptick in volume if David Montgomery misses time. Montgomery’s status needs to be monitored up until game time, but even so, beware this week. Stay away from the rest of the Bears. The Lions offense is one I like a lot for fantasy, but this is a tough matchup. Due to that, Stafford is more of a streaming option in the 10-15 QB ranks this week than in the top 10. Kenny Golladay is a beware because he is dealing with a hamstring injury that he suffered in practice. His status will need to be monitored, but he is sounding risky. That makes Marvin Jones Jr. a strong flex option as he would be the Lions top target and down field threat. That would also mean more volume for T.J. Hockenson, as the Bears allowed 13.41 fantasy PPG to TEs. The Lions backfield is one I would try to avoid this week. With Adrian Peterson now in the mix, we must see how this three-headed backfield will be managed. If I must pick one, it would be Kerryon Johnson just because he is the incumbent starter, and the other two are new to this roster. The possibility for this backfield to be a nightmare with all three involved, in a tough matchup no less, is very real.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Start: WR D.J. Chark Jr., RB Jonathan Taylor, RB Marlon Mack, WR T.Y. Hilton

Upside Flex: RB James Robinson, RB Chris Thompson, TE Jack Doyle,

Stream: QB Gardner Minshew II, QB Philip Rivers

Sit: WR Michael Pittman Jr., WR Parris Campbell, WR Laviska Shenault, RB Nyheim Hines

Beware: Colts DEF

Stats to know: JAX allowed 29.99 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (2nd-most in NFL)

JAX allowed 18 rush TD to RB in 2019 (T-2nd most in NFL)

JAX allowed 2.8 offensive TD/gm in 2019 (T-8th most in NFL)

IND allowed 37.2 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (9th-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: This is a game I am very interested in for fantasy even if there isn’t a bunch of must-start players. Both offenses will look very different compared to last year. For the Colts, Philip Rivers is now at the helm. They also added rookies Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor, plus a healthy Parris Campbell. I like both of those WRs but would sit them until we get a better feel for this offense. I think Jack Doyle is sneaky, as he could be the second target behind T.Y. Hilton and Rivers has averaged 7.7 passes per game to tight ends since 2010. I really like Taylor to have a big season and I think it starts this week. Marlon Mack will start and is also in the RB2 mix, but I think Taylor is the superior talent and given the matchup there is room for both to eat this week. As for the Jags, Gardner Minshew is in play in deeper leagues or two-QB formats. He is now in a pass-happy offense with new OC Jay Gruden, can add points with his legs and will likely be trailing in this one. D.J. Chark Jr. is the clear top target and is firmly in the WR2 mix with upside. It’s looking like James Robinson is the favorite for touches in the backfield, but he is more of a low-end flex option. I’d prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with him. Chris Thompson is a sneaky flex option as he is the passing-down back and could see big volume if the Jags are trailing. That was basically his recipe for success with Gruden the last five years. Laviska Shenault has tons of potential but I would not start him out of the gate until we can trust his usage.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Must Play: RB Dalvin Cook, WR Davante Adams

Start: RB Aaron Jones, WR Adam Thielen

Stream: TE Irv Smith Jr., TE Jace Sternberger, WR Allen Lazard

Sit: QB Kirk Cousins, WR Justin Jefferson

Beware: QB Aaron Rodgers

Stats to know: MIN allowed 38.24 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (7th-most in NFL)

MIN allowed 14.1 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (8th-fewest in NFL)

MIN allowed 14.4 rec/gm to WR in 2019 (2nd-most in NFL)

GB allowed 9.8 rec/gm to WR in 2019 (2nd-fewest in NFL)

GB allowed 13.32 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (5th-fewest in NFL)

MIN allowed 14.10 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (8th-fewest in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: Outside of the top fantasy options, there is no one I love in this game. Aaron Rodgers has played well in season openers throughout his career, but this is a tough matchup without a whole lot of proven weapons around him. These are also two teams built to run the ball. But don’t worry, Rodgers is still the top QB in this game. Kirk Cousins last year scored less than nine fantasy points in both games against the Packers. That can’t come near my Week 1 lineup. If you need a streaming tight end, both Irv Smith Jr. and Jace Sternberger are athletic tight ends on teams searching for someone to step up as a second target. Allen Lazard is in the mix because he is the favorite to fill that role in Green Bay.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Start: TE Mike Gesicki, Patriots DEF

Upside Flex: WR Julian Edelman, RB Sony Michel, RB James White, WR Preston Williams

Stream: QB Cam Newton, Dolphins DEF

Sit: RB Rex Burkhead, WR N’Keal Harry

Beware: WR DeVante Parker, RB Jordan Howard, RB Matt Breida

Stats to know: MIA allowed most rec TD to WR in 2019 (27)

MIA: 21.8 rush/gm in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

MIA allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (40.89)

NE allowed 2 scrimmage TD to RB in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

NE allowed 25.55 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

NE allowed 10.97 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: I am excited to see Cam Newton healthy and playing again. But he has not looked like himself since he injured his foot late in the 2018 season. Perhaps he is his old self again, but it won’t hurt to take a week to find out before getting him into your lineup. Julian Edelman is still in play, but there’s more variance with him than ever. He was Tom Brady’s go-to target, but will he be with Cam? The Pats also have three backs, which means they do not have one. Sony Michel and James White are in the flex range, but I wouldn’t be excited to start either. The Patriots defense isn’t what it was a year ago, but I am not ready to just play all Dolphins against them. Especially the running backs. Both Jordan Howard and Matt Breida are flex options are in the flex range, but Howard could be game-scripted out if they fall behind and we aren’t fully sure what kind of work to expect for Breida. Mike Gesicki has a tough matchup, but tight end isn’t the deepest position, so you still got to roll with him if you took him as your starter. DeVante Parker had plenty of success against Stephon Gilmore in Week 17… and then he went to social media and talked that trash. Poking the bear is never a good thing. Also, he and Preston Williams have been limited at practice and Brian Flores hinted that limited players may be on a snap count in Week 1. It makes Parker a boom-or-bust WR3 and Williams a flex option, but you know the risk.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team

Must Play: RB Miles Sanders, WR Terry McLaurin, TE Zach Ertz

Start: QB Carson Wentz

Upside Flex: WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jalen Reagor, RB Antonio Gibson, RB Bryce Love

Stream: WR Steven Sims (deep leagues), RB Boston Scott

Sit: QB Dwayne Haskins, RB J.D. McKissic

Stats to know: PHI allowed 39.38 fantasy PPG to WRs in 2019 (4th-most in NFL)

PHI allowed 20.54 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (7th-fewest in NFL)

WAS allowed 19.50 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (9th-most in NFL)

WAS allowed most scrimmage yds to RB in 2019 (2,770)

WAS allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (29.06)

WAS allowed 29.06 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (3rd-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: This is going to be a fun game for fantasy. Miles Sanders has been limited at practice but if he suits up, he should be started. Boston Scott is in the flex range because he could see an uptick in work with Sanders a little banged up. Terry McLaurin should eat this week. Not only is this a great matchup, but he was also (by far) Dwayne Haskins’ favorite target last season. You start Zach Ertz every week. Jalen Reagor is looking like he will be able to suit up and he is getting the hype, but I think DeSean Jackson is sneaky. Reagor is a rookie who missed a lot of practice time with that shoulder injury. Last season Week 1 against this Washington team was the only game DJax was healthy for and he scored over 35 fantasy points. I like both of Washington’s backs, but I would like to take a wait-and-see approach if possible. Antonio Gibson is expected to be used more in the passing game. Bryce Love has a chance to carve out a nice role as the lead runner, but with the workload in question and it being a tough matchup, I’d try to stay away.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals

Must Play: RB Austin Ekeler, RB Joe Mixon

Start: WR Keenan Allen, TE Hunter Henry

Stream: QB Joe Burrow, QB Tyrod Taylor

Sit: WR A.J. Green, WR John Ross III

Beware: WR Tyler Boyd

Stats to know: LAC allowed 8th-most rush TD in 2019 (15)

LAC allowed 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (28.39)

CIN allowed 5 defensive TD in 2019 (T-2nd-most in NFL)

CIN averaged 17.4 PPG in 2019 (3rd-fewest in NFL)

CIN allowed 10.4 rec/gm to WR in 2019 (3rd-fewest in NFL)

CIN allowed 6 rec TD to TE in 2019 (T-10th most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: I am excited about the Bengals offense this season, but not in Week 1. Joe Mixon is a must-start option, but outside of him it may be best to stay away. The Chargers are a tough defense and last season allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs. That means it is a tough matchup for both Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. I would sit green – we haven’t seen him play since 2018 and his QB is playing in his first game. Take a wait-and-see approach and if he looks good, plug him in next week. The Chargers offense is going to be slower paced and less pass happy than in recent years. But this is a favorable matchup, so it is safe to use Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry. Austin Ekeler could be in for a huge day especially if the Chargers are playing with a lead. Tyrod Taylor provides a sneaky streaming option as he adds points with his legs.  

Tampa Bay Bucs at New Orleans Saints

Must Play: RB Alvin Kamara, WR Michael Thomas, WR Chris Godwin

Start: QB Drew Brees, QB Tom Brady, WR Emmanuel Sanders, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Jared Cook

Upside Flex: RB Leonard Fournette, RB Ronald Jones II

Sit: RB Latavius Murray

Beware: WR Mike Evans  

Stats to know: TB: 38% run plays in 2019 (7th-fewest in NFL)

TB allowed 43.88 fantasy PPG to WR (most in NFL)

TB allowed 16.51 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (2nd-fewest in NFL)

NO allowed 39.14 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (6th-most in NFL)

NO allowed 6th-most rec/gm to RB in 2019 (5.9)

Fantasy Thoughts: This easily could be the highest-scoring game of the week. There is so much fantasy goodness here. You do not need to be told to start Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas or Chris Godwin. Both QBs are top 10 this week with even higher upside. If you drafted Jared Cook or Rob Gronkowski as your starting tight end, play them. Mike Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury and you need to have a backup plan just in case. If he suits up, though, I would use him as it takes just one long pass for him to have a nice day. Emmanuel Sanders is a nice option this week too as the Bucs finished in the top two for most fantasy points allowed to receivers and slot receivers. The Bucs RBs are a big question mark and one I would like to avoid in Week 1 if possible, but those in deeper leagues may not have a chance.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Must Play: TE George Kittle, WR DeAndre Hopkins

Start: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Kyler Murray, RB Kenyan Drake, RB Raheem Mostert

Upside Flex: WR Christian Kirk, WR Kendrick Bourne

Sit: WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Deebo Samuel

Beware: WR Brandon Aiyuk

Stats to know: SF allowed 190.9 pass YPG to QB in 2019 (fewest in NFL)

SF allowed 22.41 fantasy PPG to QB in Wks 9-17, 2019 (most in NFL)

ARI allowed 2.9 offensive TD/gm in 2019 (6th-most in NFL)

ARI allowed 38.17 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (8th-most in NFL)

ARI allowed 19.05 fantasy PPG to TE in 2019 (most in NFL)

ARI allowed 22.81 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: George Kittle was my No. 1 tight end heading into the season and he is facing the team that allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than anyone else last season. I also am excited for Jimmy Garoppolo as the Cards allowed the most fantasy points to QBs, plus Jimmy G had his two best fantasy games against them. It is a tough matchup for Kenyan Drake, so he is not a slam dunk RB1, but I still trust him and this offense enough to start him. DeAndre Hopkins is matchup proof so if you drafted him, you start him. Christian Kirk will be the second target and has the upside to be a nice flex. But I would stay away from Larry Fitzgerald and the other Cards receivers. With Deebo Samuel missing practice and Brandon Aiyuk dealing with an injury of his own, Kendrick Bourne is a sneaky flex option.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Must Play: QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Robert Woods

Start: QB Jared Goff, WR Cooper Kupp, TE Tyler Higbee, TE Blake Jarwin

Upside Flex: WR Michael Gallup, WR CeeDee Lamb, RB Cam Akers

Stream: RB Darrell Henderson

Sit: RB Malcolm Brown 

Beware: WR Amari Cooper

Stats to know: DAL averaged 27.1 PPG in 2019 (6th in NFL)

DAL: 431.5 total YPG in 2019 (most in NFL)

DAL TE: 95 recs in 2019 (T-7th in NFL)

LAR allowed 12 rec TD to the slot (T-3rd most in NFL)

LAR: 28.8 PPG since 2018 (4th-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: This is a game to get excited about. There are a lot of fantasy studs in this game and for the most part you should start them all. I am worried about Amari Cooper getting a good amount of Jalen Ramsey on his dish. Last season both Cooper and Michael Gallup combined for less than five fantasy points against this Rams defense. Rookie CeeDee Lamb should line up in the slot and has a good chance of scoring as the Rams allowed 12 touchdowns to players in the slot last year, tied for the third most in the league. Blake Jarwin could also be used in that same role. The Rams backfield is a murky one right now, but if I trust any of the three it would be Cam Akers. I expect all three to be used, but if I had to choose, I think Akers leads them in touches. He is still more of a flex option.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants

Must Play: RB Saquon Barkley

Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB James Conner, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, TE Evan Engram

Upside Flex: Diontae Johnson

Sit: WR QB Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard, WR Darius Slayton, WR Golden Tate

Stats to know: PIT allowed 12.84 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (4th-fewest in NFL)

PIT allowed 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to QB in Weeks 9-17 (11.67)

PIT allowed 41.8 rec YPG to TE in 2019 (4th-fewest in NFL)

PIT allowed 18.9 PPG in 2019 (T-5th fewest in NFL)

PIT allowed 19.38 fantasy PPG to RB in 2019 (5th-fewest in NFL)

NYG allowed 39.14 fantasy PPG to WR in 2019 (5th-most in NFL)

NYG allowed 22 rec TD to WR in 2019 (2nd-most in NFL)

NYG allowed 20.69 fantasy PPG to QB in 2019 (3rd-most in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: Saquon Barkley is a must-start option every week. Outside of him, the only Giants player I would want in my lineup is Evan Engram. Last season the Steelers ranked in the bottom six in fantasy PPG allowed to QB, RB and WRs. They were tough on tight ends too, but that is the best way to attack this defense and Engram is the Giants’ best pass-catching weapon. Sit Daniel Jones and the receivers. Ben Roethlisberger is back, and he has a fantastic matchup against the Giants. The only concern is the elbow, but this matchup is likely too hard to pass up and Big Ben is a QB1 heading into Week 1. James Conner is healthy and expected to have a bell-cow role, which means you start him. If Big Ben is having a good day, then so are his receivers, and I would trust both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson this week.

Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos

Must Play: WR A.J. Brown, RB Derrick Henry

Start: RB Melvin Gordon III, TE Noah Fant

Upside Flex: RB Phillip Lindsay

Stream: TE Jonnu Smith

Sit: QB Drew Lock

Beware: QB Ryan Tannehill, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy

Stats to know: TEN allowed 36.76 fantasy PPG to WR in Wks 9-17 (9th-most in NFL)

TEN allowed 4th-most rec/gm to RB in 2019 (6.3)

DEN QB Drew Lock: 4 giveaways in 5 games in 2019

DEN averaged 17.6 PPG in 2019 (5th-fewest in NFL)

Fantasy Thoughts: If you have Courtland Sutton you need to either sit him or have another backup plan ready. He is in the late Monday night game meaning that we may not know if he is playing until after the Steelers-Giants game starts. Derrick Henry was held in check last year by Denver, but I still can’t sit him, especially with no Von Miller. Noah Fant is the Broncos player I like most in the passing game if Sutton is not active. Last year the Titans allowed the sixth-most fantasy PPG to TEs (13.85), and if Sutton sits it means more volume. I would like to avoid having to use Drew Lock or Jerry Jeudy in this one if I can. Denver was in the top 10 in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs last season, so I would go with another option over Ryan Tannehill this week. A.J. Brown should be in all your lineups.

Hope you guys enjoyed the fantasy breakdown of every Week 1 game! Special shout out to fantasy researchers Matt Frederick and Matt Okada for helping with the stats.

You can follow Michael F. Florio on Twitter at @MichaelFFlorio.

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