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Fantasy Football: Who to Start and Sit in Week One

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The regular season is finally here! Time to pick who you want starting for your first matchup!

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It's the most wonderful time of the year! No more preseason! No more drafting! Time to actually pick you you want to start and then watch REAL football!

That being said, BTSC asked the Twitterverse for any matchup start/sit questions people might have for their fantasy teams and we collected quite a few, so before this week kicks off tomorrow night, let's get into which players you should bring up to the top of your lineup, and which should fall back.

Quarterbacks:

Player Matchup Chris' Pick
1 Tom Brady (vs. PIT) vs. Peyton Manning (vs. BAL) Brady
2 Ryan Tannehill (@WAS) vs. Sam Bradford (@ATL) Tannehill
3 Eli Manning (@DAL) vs. Matt Stafford (@SD) Stafford
4 Cam Newton (@JAX) vs. Matt Ryan (vs. PHI) Ryan
5 Russel Wilson (@STL) vs. Jay Cutler (vs. GB) Cutler

Notes:

  1. Brady and Manning used to be two players you had to reach high to get in fantasy drafts, but with their age and the rise of Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck, they have backed off into being drafted more towards the middle rounds. Still, Brady is up against a young Steelers defense that is still trying to find what it's strengths are, while Manning faces Baltimore whose defense is at least slightly better with their pass rush.
  2. Tannehill should be a big start against Washington this week unless you have another major quarterback on your roster.
  3. While Eli Manning should traditionally get a start against the Cowboys and with Odell Beckham Jr., Matt Stafford has both Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate against the Chargers' defense, which is enough to get the nod there.
  4. Cam Newton is a solid fantasy quarterback if you have developed a strong roster in all other positions, but it is difficult to place confidence in him early this season with the team missing it's top receiving option in Kelvin Benjamin and going up against a not-so-leaky defense in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan gets to play host to the Eagles in what could end up being a shootout.
  5. Though Russell Wilson is projected to be a major fantasy quarterback this season, you may want to consider benching him in week one. The Seahawks have to go to St. Louis and work against a stingy Rams' defense that has given the entire NFC West fits for the past few years. Though Jay Cutler is normally a turnover machine, he will need to put up a lot of points to keep pace with the Packers' offense on Sunday and should get a few touchdowns.

Running Backs

Player Matchup Chris' Pick
1 DeAngelo Williams (@NE) vs. Chris Ivory (vs. CLE) Williams
2 Alfred Morris (vs. MIA) vs. Carlos Hyde (vs. MIN) Hyde
3 Frank Gore (@BUF) vs. Jonathan Stewart (@JAX) Stewart
4 Alfred Blue (vs. KC) vs. Latavius Murray (vs. CIN) Murray
5 Giovani Bernard (@OAK) vs. Doug Martin (vs. TEN) Bernard

Notes:

  1. Chris Ivory is a decent RB2/Flex option normally, but if you were able to pick up DeAngelo Williams in the later rounds, you should start him this week. Pittsburgh will likely be calling on him to make several plays against a New England defense that has lost several primary starters from the Super Bowl roster. Williams has had all offseason to work with the Steelers' offense and should get plenty of carries as the Steelers try to control the clock to keep their defense rested and limit the opportunities of the Patriots' offense.
  2. Alfred Morris is normally an easy start, but the person who requested this probably has two very high picks in running backs ahead of him and Carlos Hyde. Still, if the question is who to start for week one, the answer has to be with the 49ers' Hyde. Morris will face a Miami defense that was already tough last year, but with the addition of Ndamukong Suh could be very tough to break through. Hyde is young and ready to carry the load for the 49ers.
  3. Frank Gore may be old, but he's still a solid RB2 option for any team. However he will run into problems in week one against one of the better defensive fronts of the NFL when he faces Buffalo. Jonathan Stewart is the pick here because Carolina will be looking for answers on offense and he's one of the few remaining veterans that Newton can trust to make plays consistently.
  4. Alfred Blue is in the same situation as DeAngelo Williams, replacing a player who is usually a fantasy starting lock in Arian Foster. But when looking at Latavius Murray, I would rather have him against the Cincinnati defense than Blue against the Kansas City defense.
  5. Giovani Bernard will get solid opportunities on opening week and is still a viable option for carries even with Jeremy Hill being the starter for the Bengals. Doug Martin is still a question mark after injuries have plagued his career since his rookie season.
Wide Receivers

Player Matchup Chris' Pick
1 Davante Adams (@CHI) vs. Julian Edelman (vs. PIT) Adams
2 Markus Wheaton (@NE) vs. Nelson Algohor (@ATL) Wheaton
3 Brandin Cooks (@ARI) vs. Jordan Matthews (@ATL) Matthews
4 Steve Smith (@DEN) vs. Anquan Boldin (vs. MIN) Boldin
5 Golden Tate (@SD) vs. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. NO) Tate

Notes:

  1. Davante Adams is going to be one of the top rising stars in the NFL this season. Start him almost every week you can.
  2. Markus Wheaton gets the benefit of being Ben Roethlisberger's second best option at wide receiver while the Patriots try to contain Antonio Brown. Wheaton is in his third year and should see a solid season of stats and has a great potentital to light up the scoreboard this week. The Patriots' depth at cornerback was depleted with the loss of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, giving Wheaton some chances in one-on-one coverage against unproven defensive backs. Algohor could be a nice flex, but Wheaton is the safer pick here.
  3. Cooks will probably see a lot of attention from Patrick Peterson this week, something fantasy owners are rarely happy about. Matthews on the other hand has no elite-cornerback to line up opposite of him in what could be a shootout of a game.
  4. The Steve Smith Farewell Tour starts in Denver, which is not a good thing if you have him on your roster. The Broncos' cornerbacks were a nightmare for fantasy owners most of last season and should be the same problem this year. Meanwhile Boldin will probably still see a solid amount of targets as Minnesota tries to protect from the deep ball to Torrey Smith.
  5. Years ago Larry Fitzgerald was a monster in fantasy football, but these days he struggles with having inconsistent quarterback play and younger competition for targets on the roster. Golden Tate however has the benefit of Calvin Johnson being his teammate and attracting lots of attention from the defense. He should have a touchdown and decent yards when the Lions play the Chargers.

Want to get your Start/Sit questions in? Follow us @btsteelcurtain on Twitter and tweet at us with questions for next week!