It’s finally time to get underway! NFL week one is here and now it’s time to figure out who to start and who to sit in your fantasy leagues. It is generally hard to predict how week one will go for a lot of teams, but here are the guys I think have stock rising through the roof and guys who should probably pop a squat on the bench, at least until Week 2:
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Easily one of my favorite players in the 2021 NFL season, Calvin Ridley starts off with a cakewalk of an opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, Ridley started the season with 37 and 32 points in the first two weeks of the season and I fully expect him to have similar production to start the year. Matt Ryan will feel pressured to pepper Ridley with a myriad of targets early as Kyle Pitts gets acclimated in the offense.
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
After Travis Ettienne was ruled out for the season, James Robinson immediately became an impact fantasy player once again. His first opponent of the season is the Houston Texans who are projected to have the worst rush defense in football. There will be a common thread throughout the fantasy season; start good players against the Houston Texans.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
We watched as the Seahawks allowed Russell Wilson to “cook” last year until Pete Carroll decided they were turning the ball over too frequently. Expect the Seahawks to come out doing something very similar this year. You could go with Lockett or Metcalf, but Lockett has proven to be an exceptional early-season option in fantasy as Wilson seems to use him as a security blanket. Xavier Rhodes of the Colts is banged up and I fully expect Lockett to get Kenny Moore on Sunday if Rhodes is unable to go and Lockett should feed off a mediocre cornerback.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
Week 1 is a tough go for Allen Robinson as he draws Jalen Ramsey of the Rams. Top that with Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback who averaged less than 200 yards per game last season in a stacked Cowboys offense, I am staying as far away from Robinson this week as I can.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Many of you may have taken Saquon in the first round of your fantasy drafts this year and I feel bad for you. Right of the rip, the Giants draw the Denver Broncos with a defense that could end up in the top five of the NFL by the end of the season. Honestly, opponent aside, I’m unsure if Saquon is even one hundred percent yet. The Giants claim he is, but nothing indicates to me that he’s prepared to fully start the NFL season. Saquon is a major stay away for me until he proves he is back and ready to be elite.
Jamar Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Jamar Chase made comments this week about how it is more difficult to see the football in the NFL without the white stripes like there is in the NCAA. I don’t put a ton of stock into these comments, but he is clearly making excuses for poor performance in the limited time we’ve seen him so far. With that in mind, Chase for me is a stash and wait player that I expect to pop later in the season. I’m not totally out on him, but it will definitely take some time to build confidence in the kind of professional he is going to become.