6 Must Starts For Week 1
Are you ready for Week 1? Make sure you see our latest Week 1 Projections!
The start of the fantasy season is always a magical time. Even if you botched your draft - like everyone who took Chris Ivory, for example - you're still probably supremely confident heading into the season. After all, why even play if you've even got the slightest of doubts that you're going to crush everyone?
With that in mind, our fancy schmancy algorithm has come up with six players that you might be waffling on that you simply need to start. And don't just take our word for it - take math's word for it. Math knows all.
We've been touting Reggie Bush as a great RB2 play all pre-season long, but now is the time to turn nuts to soup and we love his match up against the Vikings. His top three statistical comparables are Warrick Dunn, Ray Rice, and Matt Forte, and going up against the #21 ranked (using advanced metrics) Vikings at home in Detroit? Check and mate.
He's a top-10 option in any PPR but format but even with standard settings, we have him at #13 and a sure bet for great RB2 numbers.
Despite all of the drama around the QB position in Oakland - and for what it's worth, we actually like Terrelle Pryor quite a bit - it's very clear that Darren McFadden is really the only clear playmaker the Raiders have on their roster. They're going to get blown out, but his comparables (Dunn, Forte, Chris Johnson) look solid - particularly for PPR formats - and they're going to have to feed him the rock often to keep Andrew Luck and company off of the field.
Don't expect miracles, but he's likely a late decision between your bench and your starting lineup and again, while we think the Raiders are going to get blown out, McFadden will get his, enough to warrant a spot on your bench.
A trendy sleeper pick across the board, Antonio Brown looks to be the beneficiary of Mike Wallace packing up for climates warmer and Todd Haley's insistence on harnessing Ben Roethlisberger into short passes.
He's got WR1 upside if he can find the end zone based on how many targets he's likely to get - only Emmanuel Sanders is going to stop him for double-digits every week - but he's a great WR2 and a fantastic start at home against a less-than-stellar Titans secondary. We've got him at #16 WR, so definitely start with confidence.
Stop your bellyaching: Robert Griffin III is going to be fine. Alfred Morris can get twenty carries and Griffin himself might take ten, but they're going to have to throw the ball sometime to keep up with the Eagles and the forty points they're going to put on the board. With no other options in Washington to speak of, Pierre Garcon is set to clean up big time.
Garcon was incredibly efficient least year - ranking #15 in our NEP efficiency metrics - and is all systems go for another great year. The game is going to be a shootout, but Garcon is really the only reliable receiving option Griffin has, and their rapport will easily extend from last season into this season. Expecting a line of 7-100 isn't unreasonable by any stretch. We've got him at #24 WR, but his upside is much higher than similar options given the opponent.
For those of you in RB/WR/TE flex leagues, consider a second TE such as Brandon Myers over some of the hot-and-cold high risk options at the sexier skill positions.
With both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks less than 100% healthy and with the game likely to be a shootout on the turf, Brandon Myers is a solid choice for stable receptions and enough yards to counterbalance a riskier start at other positions. He won't win the game for you, but he certainly won't goose egg either; sometimes that is exactly what you need. We've got him as #6 TE option, with loads of upside if the game becomes a track meet.
Tampa Bay Bucs D/ST
I would start you and ten of your friends if you were playing the Jets right now. That's just about all that needs to be said here. Start the Bucs a hundred times out of ten.