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Send ’em or Bench ’em: Week One

We look at some not so obvious starts and sits for week one.

Editor’s Note: This article is by a new DLF writer, Hutchinson Brown. He’s and up and comer in the industry and we’re excited to give him a platform to share his thoughts.

Week one is upon us as drafts are finally wrapped up and lineups are getting all set. Today, we will be discussing players you either need to send into your starting lineups or move to your bench. I discussed some of these names and more on my most recent episode of The Young Fantasy Mind Football Podcast. That episode drops this Friday, so be sure to check it out wherever you stream or download your podcasts. With that said, I wanted to share some of that episode in a subtly different format and I am so pumped to release my first ever DLF article.

Let’s get into some send ‘em and bench ‘ems for week one!

QUARTERBACK

Send: Tom Brady, QB TB

Brady finds himself with a favorable matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, who were 20th in fantasy points allowed per game to the quarterback position last year. This Buccaneers receiving corps is fully healthy and ready to dominate with the Cowboys having allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the 2020 season as well. Since Dallas has made no significant improvements to their defense, the Buccaneers’ offense will be looking to take advantage and put some serious points on the board. As a result, the Cowboys will likely need to depend on the passing game to catch up to the loaded Bucs offense. With Dak Prescott at the helm, they should feel extremely comfortable doing so, resulting in scores galore. With both teams throwing the ball, we should see a very high-scoring game with a ton of fantasy points – it’s generally a safe bet to target players in these types of shootouts.

Bench: Matthew Stafford, QB LAR

Stafford is looking like he may have a sub-par week against the Chicago Bears. With a near top ten defense in 2020 and most of their core intact, the Bears will limit most quarterbacks who face them this season. However, another problem is the Bears’ offense under Andy Dalton. Undoubtedly, the Rams defense is going to tear Dalton to shreds and Chicago’s offensive performance will likely suffer as a result. Interestingly, this also affects the Rams as they will likely not need a high scoring game to win, resulting in more plays on the ground as they manage the clock. With less passing volume and ultimately lower scoring, this could hurt Stafford this week. He could still be a QB1, but the upside is lacking. If you have a better option with more upside, I am suggesting Stafford sit this week out in your fantasy lineup.

RUNNING BACK

Send: James Robinson, RB JAX

It’s an exciting week one for Robinson as he faces a Houston defense that was 31st in points per game allowed to the running back position last season. We should also expect a lead for the Jags as they are currently 2.5 point favorites in the contest. With how bad the Houston defense looks to be on paper, we could see a great game from Trevor Lawrence, extending that lead by even more than the point spread prognosticators expect. For Robinson, that lead could equal more touches as they look to use their running game. Additionally, Lawrence is playing in his first NFL game and as one might expect, he looked a bit uncomfortable in his preseason performances. A running back open for a screen pass is a great safety blanket for a rookie quarterback and Robinson clearly proved his worth in that respect with 49 receptions in 2020. With the unfortunate injury news of Travis Etienne and his Lisfranc injury, Robinson is set for the type of workload he was seeing in his rookie year and possibly even more so against an awful Houston defense. He’s a player you can expect low RB1 numbers from this week.

Bench: David Montgomery, RB CHI

Montgomery has a tough matchup with the Rams, who only allowed 19.3 points per game to the running back position last year, good for fifth best in the NFL. The Bears’ offensive line is also very questionable and as a result, there could be many stuffed runs for little or no gain for Montgomery. With Andy Dalton starting against a Rams defense that only allowed 193 passing yards per game in 2020, this offense is going to struggle to move the ball. Even having lost John Johnson during the off season, this Rams defense is simply elite. I anticipate limited scoring and limited ball movement down the field this week, which will really hurt Montgomery for fantasy purposes. You can still expect very low RB2 high-end RB3 numbers from him this week, but Montgomery should sit this week out if you have comparable options.

WIDE RECEIVER

Send: Tee Higgins, CIN

Higgins is set up for a great start moving into week one. He faces the Vikings defense, who allowed the tenth most points per game to the wide receiver position in 2020. With that in mind, this Bengals offense will depend heavily on the pass. Ja’Marr Chase is certainly talented, but it will likely take a few weeks before the rookie begins to get heavily involved in the offense – this simply means more volume for Higgins in these early weeks. Similarly, with the Vikings offense going up against a less-than-stellar Cincinnati defense, they will likely be looking to pass the ball as well – this will result in a ton of volume and high-scoring in this game (the over/under line is 48 total points). And yes, that is one of the highest game totals for this week. For this matchup, Higgins is a player you should expect high-end WR2 numbers from and thus he needs to be in your starting lineup.

Bench: Ja’Marr Chase, CIN

I hinted at this above when discussing Higgins, but Ja’Marr Chase should be benched this week. Rookie receivers historically do not have great starts to their inaugural seasons. Consider Higgins and Justin Jefferson just this past year – they averaged 3.5 and 1.8 points per game, respectively, in their first two NFL starts. In 2019, there was not one rookie receiver who finished in the top 36 in PPG in the first three weeks of the season – that class included a whole host of future producers like AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, and Diontae Johnson. Even the great Julio Jones had just one game above ten fantasy points in his first three games as an NFL player. Simply put, even some of the great wide receivers struggle early in their rookie years. With Chase’s struggles in preseason and his some inevitable speed bumps ahead during his rookie year, he needs to be on your bench for this week.

TIGHT END

Send: Blake Jarwin, TE DAL

Jarwin is a sneaky bet this week to score a touchdown and/or get some decent volume in his matchup against the Bucs. He is currently available off most waiver wires as well, as he is owned in under 20% of Yahoo leagues at the moment. As mentioned earlier in this article, this Cowboys/Bucs game could be very fantasy friendly as it promises high passing volume and a number of touchdowns being scored. If you are lacking an elite tight end going into week one, Jarwin has great opportunity in this Dallas offense – pick him up and make sure he is in your lineup.

Bench: Kyle Pitts, TE ATL

As anyone who has been here at DLF this off-season, you know there is a ton of hype surrounding Pitts as he has amazing potential. However, in week one, he will be graciously warming my bench. As a rookie tight end, his fantasy value is historically limited. He also has a matchup this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. With their off season additions at linebacker and defensive back, The Eagles have improved their defense significantly from last year. To be fair, this could be a high scoring game which would equal opportunity for Pitts. However, I am not willing to bet on a rookie tight end. He is still getting acclimated in the offense and the matchup is tough. Again, he is a tremendous talent and I think we are all excited to see what his season holds. With some more time and seasoning, I doubt he will be a recommended sit for long.

Good luck this week!

Send ’em or Bench ’em: Week One
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Scott Whiddon
11 months ago

Soooo start Higgins over Montgomery in a flex position?

Todd Michaels
Reply to  Scott Whiddon
11 months ago

I am starting Higgins over Miles Sanders in my flex

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