Start 'Em or Sit 'Em - Week 1 (2022)

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To Start Them or Sit Them for NFL Week 1?

Week One is always a difficult one for Start and Sit advice since so many things have changed on NFL rosters since last season.  Teams that used to have bad defenses may suddenly be decent.  Some players we just don’t know how they will be utilized yet.  Some players we aren’t sure will even start!

But as the first game of the week approaches, you will probably be messing with your lineups numerous times, and it could leave you wondering if you made the right decision.  In this article, we will attempt to help some of you with your start/sit advice.  Either way, football is back!

I’m going to skip over the “must starts” here and try to pick some of the more “flex-worthy” players.  Always start your studs.


  1. Trey Lance, QB (San Francisco 49ers)

The Trey Lance era has officially begun, and he gets a nice matchup against a bad Chicago defense.  Fantasy football players are not new to the Lance hype, and this game will be a decent one to see how the young Quarterback will perform this season.

Lance is a running Quarterback who should have a good floor, and the talented receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk both have the potential to make big plays out of nothing.  Plus, Tight End George Kittle is always dangerous.  Lance should be able to put together a solid performance both on the ground and through the air this week.

  1. Melvin Gordon, RB (Denver Broncos)

People have been all aboard the Javonte Williams hype train, but Melvin Gordon has every opportunity early this season to steal plenty of work.  Monday night the Broncos travel to Seattle to take on an iffy Seahawk team.

Russell Wilson should have a field day and figuring Seattle’s Quarterbacks won’t be able to keep up, the Broncos will probably turn to the run game early.  Gordon has a good chance to get 10-15 touches and has a good shot at scoring.  If you drafted Gordon late, he is a good Flex play this week.

  1. Adam Thielen, WR (Minnesota Vikings)

Adam Thielen is another veteran fantasy football player down on this year, but he gets an interesting matchup against the Packers on Sunday.

Thielen has always been known to torch the Green Bay defense, and he won’t see the hardest coverage thanks to Justin Jefferson being the new star of the offense.  Thielen is a touchdown machine in the RedZone and figuring the new pass-happy offense the Vikings adopted, he should see plenty of targets to be worthy of a Flex start.

  1. Zach Ertz, TE (Arizona Cardinals)

First off I will say Zach Ertz is currently dealing with an injury, but figuring he does play, he is in line for a ton of work against the Chiefs.  This game should be one of the higher-scoring ones of the week, so there will be points to go around.

With DeAndre Hopkins suspended, Quarterback Kyler Murray will have to turn to newly added Wide Receiver Hollywood Brown first.  From there, Ertz is a trusted, comfortable target for Murray and they get home-field advantage.  Ertz should be a popular Tight End streamer until Hopkins returns.

  1. Harrison Butker, K (Kansas City Chiefs)

I’m sticking with the Chiefs/Cardinals game for this one since it should be one of the higher-scoring affairs.  I’m also not sure how Patrick Mahomes and the Chief offense will look without Tyreek Hill, so I’m going out on a limb here to say they may get stopped a few times and need to kick a field goal.

Harrison Butker has been a solid kicker his entire career, so either you’ll get a ton of extra points or at least a few field goals out of him this week.  Sloppy Week One play could also factor into more field goal opportunities.

  1. Baltimore Ravens, DST

The Ravens have one of the easiest opponents in Week One, taking on the Jets.  The Ravens have a solid defensive line that should hold rookie Breece Hall in check, forcing whoever starts at Quarterback to throw the ball.

This game also should go very quick, since the Ravens will probably run the ball a ton and put this one out of reach early.  The game has one of the lowest implied scoring totals, so they are a safe bet this week.


  1. Matt Stafford, QB (Los Angeles Rams)

This one is not easy, but there are other Quarterbacks out there I’d rather start this week than Matt Stafford.  Stafford not only gets the usually boring, slow Thursday night game, but he faces arguably the toughest defense in the NFL.

The Bills have been good at pass defense, and this game probably turns into a slugfest with not a ton of scoring.  Stafford is also dealing with some elbow pain/inflammation, so that is something to watch as the games/weeks go on.  If you have a backup Quarterback to start this week, pivot to them.

  1. Josh Jacobs, RB (Las Vegas Raiders)

Josh Jacobs has seemed to have fallen out of favor with the new Las Vegas offensive staff, and they seem keen on getting rookie Zamir White and veteran pass-catcher Ameer Abdullah more involved.

That said, it’s tough to really predict how the Raiders will use their three Running Backs, so it may be safer to sit Jacobs this week to see how it goes.  They also face a Chargers team that added Khalil Mack, so their run defense is already miles better than last season.   If you have other options at Running Back, skip Jacobs and see how the backfield plays out.

  1. Rashod Bateman, WR (Baltimore Ravens)

I really do like Rashod Bateman this year as the number one Receiver for Baltimore, but this week is one you may want to sit him if you can.  As I mentioned above, Baltimore faces a weak Jets defense that will probably be run all over.

The Jets did add Cornerback Sauce Gardner in the draft, who is capable of keeping Bateman (really the only receiver worth covering on the Ravens) in check.  Lamar Jackson and the Running Backs will probably carry the ball a ton, with some throws going to Tight End Mark Andrews (especially in the red zone).  Bateman probably gets some targets and a few catches, but nothing worth starting this week.

  1. Cole Kmet, TE (Chicago Bears)

Cole Kmet has been a sleeper for me all offseason, but he draws a tough first game against the 49ers’ defense.  The 49ers were very good defending the Tight End last season and should have no issues stopping Justin Fields and the Bears on Sunday.

Kmet will still see his targets and catches, but I doubt he scores in this one.  This game also has a very low implied point total, with probably most of the points coming from the 49ers.  Kmet will have his day, just not this week.

  1. Robbie Gould, K (San Francisco 49ers)

Mainly going off what I just said, this 49ers/Bears game is one of the lowest implied point totals of the week.  San Francisco will run the ball a ton, drain the clock, and probably won’t have too much issue scoring a few times.

Gould is a pass this week.

  1. Green Bay Packers, DST

I love the Packers’ defense this year, but they get a tough draw in Week One against the revamped Minnesota offensive game plan.  The Vikings plan to throw the ball a ton, apparently and have one of the best offenses in the NFL (Jefferson, Thielen, Cook, and promising youngsters K.J. Osborn and Irv Smith Jr.).

The Packers’ offense is a bit questionable now that Davante Adams is gone and Allen Lazard may miss, so the offense might stall early and often, giving Minnesota more opportunities to score.

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