• The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 1 Start/Sit List: Offense

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    Find success in Week 1 with these start/sit decisions for the Offensive side of the ball!

    NFL Week 1 is finally here! It is now time to bear the fruit of all your research and draft day preparations. Instead of being guided by a players’ season-long projections, we must now turn to the weekly matchups that are laid before us. The real fun (and stress) begins as we make the critical lineup decisions for optimal output.

    In this article, I will reveal the roadmap to fantasy success for every matchup on the NFL Week 1 slate. I will use a system of “Trust, If You Must, and Bust” to express strong, weak, and avoidable starting lineup decisions.


    The “Trust, If You Must, and Bust” System:

    Trust” = Strong start, a player who should be started in all formats!

    If You Must” = Weak start, a player who is good enough to be a starter, but faces a tough matchup or holds an unclear opportunity in a good offense. Some caution should be used while the risk is recognized, as this is often league format dependent.

    If you play in a shallow league, I would lean towards benching this player if you have a decent replacement option. In a deep league, I would lean towards starting, since the options may be more scarce. Either way, expectations should be managed.

    Bust” = Keep on your bench, at least for now. These players should be avoided since stronger options at the relative position should be considered first. These are players who fit into one of the following categories:

    1. A player in a tough matchup or currently holds ambiguous weekly opportunities in the offense.
    2. A strong bench stash for season-long purposes but currently in a “wait and see” period. Wait and see if their role expands for starter caliber consideration. For example, this type of player may be a strong backup RB behind a stud in an elite offense or could be in line for a big workload if the starter misses time.
    3. Currently lacking a clear offensive opportunity in either a projected good or bad offense
    4. Is too volatile on a week-to-week basis. There is no need to play boom or bust type players if you can help it.

    Weekly Start/Sit Decision Reminders

    Be sure to always be mindful of weekly injury reports and gameday inactive announcements as this could pivot a weak starter into a strong starter!

    For example, RB Saquon Barkley. Backup RB Devontae Booker gets starter consideration if Barkley is ruled out late Sunday morning before kick-off. If Barkley is ruled out, Booker would fit into the “If You Must” category due to the enhanced opportunity, but may be lacking in quality relative to other roster options.

    Be sure to always leave the FLEX spot(s) free of Thursday night players!


    The Week 1 Slate

    Week 1 start/sit decisions typically aren’t too difficult since we can justify our draft day results as the basis for setting the lineup. Although, what may seem like an automatic decision based on your draft sometimes requires some deeper consideration…


    Thursday Night Football Season Opener

    Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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    Trust – QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper, WR CeeDee Lamb

    If You Must – RB Ezekiel Elliott

    Bust – WR Michael Gallup, TE Blake Jarwin


    Trust – QB Tom Brady, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin

    If You Must – WR Antonio Brown

    Bust – RB Ronald Jones, RB Leonard Fournette, TE Rob Gronkowski

    Sunday Early Afternoon slate

    Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
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    Trust – QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, WR DeVonta Smith

    If You Must – TE Dallas Goedert,

    Bust – WR Jalen Reagor, TE Zach Ertz


    Trust – QB Matt Ryan, WR Calvin Ridley, TE Kyle Pitts

    If You Must – RB Mike Davis, WR Russell Gage

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

    Trust  - RB Najee Harris, WR Diontae Johnson, WR Chase Claypool

    If You Must – WR Juju Smith-Schuster

    Bust – TE Eric Ebron

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    Trust - QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

    Bust – RB Zack Moss, RB Devin Singletary, WR Gabriel Davis, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Cole Beasley

    Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals
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    Trust – RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Adam Thielen

    If You Must – QB Kirk Cousins

    Bust – TE Tyler Conklin, TE Chris Herndon


    Trust – QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, WR Tyler Boyd

    If You Must – RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase

    San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
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    Trust – TE George Kittle, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Deebo Samuel

    If You Must – RB Raheem Mostert

    Bust – RB Trey Sermon


    Trust – TE TJ Hockenson, RB D’Andre Swift

    Bust – QB Jared Goff, RB Jamaal Williams, WR Tyrell Williams


    Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
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    Trust – QB Kyler Murray, WR DeAndre Hopkins, RB Chase Edmonds

    Bust – RB James Conner, WR Rondale Moore, WR Christian Kirk


    Trust – QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry, WR AJ Brown, WR Julio Jones

    Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
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    Trust – QB Russell Wilson, WR DK Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett, RB Chris Carson

    Bust – TE Gerald Everett


    Trust – RB Jonathon Taylor

    If You Must – QB Carson Wentz, WR Michael Pittman

    Bust – RB Nyheim Hines, WR Parris Campbell

    Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team

    Trust – RB Austin Ekeler, WR Keenan Allen

    If You Must – QB Justin Herbert, WR Mike Williams

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    Football Team

    Trust – RB Antonio Gibson, WR Terry McLaurin, TE Logan Thomas

    If You Must – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Bust – WR Curtis Samuel, RB J.D. McKissic

    New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

    Trust – WR Corey Davis

    If You Must – QB Zach Wilson, TE Tyler Kroft

    Bust – RB Michael Carter, RB Tevin Coleman, RB Ty Johnson, WR Elijah Moore

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    Trust – RB Christian McCaffrey, WR DJ Moore, WR Robby Anderson

    If You Must – QB Sam Darnold

    Bust – WR Terrace Marshall

    Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
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    Trust – RB James Robinson

    If You Must – QB Trevor Lawrence, WR Lavishka Shenault, WR DJ Chark, WR Marvin Jones


    Trust – WR Brandin Cooks

    If You Must – QB Tyrod Taylor

    Bust – RB David Johnson, RB Phillip Lindsay, RB Mark Ingram

    Sunday Mid Afternoon Slate

    Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

    Trust – RB Nick Chubb, RB Kareem Hunt, WR Odell Beckham Jr.

    If You Must – WR Jarvis Landry, QB Baker Mayfield

    Bust – TE Austin Hooper

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    Trust – QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

    Bust – WR Mecole Hardman

    Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

    Trust – RB Myles Gaskin, TE Mike Gesicki

    If You Must – QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Jaylen Waddle, WR DeVante Parker

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    Trust – RB Damien Harris, TE Jonnu Smith

    If You Must – WR Jakobi Meyers, TE Hunter Henry

    Bust – WR Nelson Agholor

    Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (in Jacksonville)
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    Trust – QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Davante Adams, RB Aaron Jones,

    If You Must – TE Robert Tonyan

    Bust – RB AJ Dillon, WR Randall Cobb


    Trust – RB Alvin Kamara

    If You Must – QB Jameis Winston, WR Marquez Callaway

    Bust – TE Adam Trautman

    Denver Broncos at New York Giants
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    Trust – WR Jerry Jeudy, TE Noah Fant

    If You Must – WR Courtland Sutton, RB Melvin Gordon, QB Teddy Bridgewater

    Bust – RB Javonte Williams


    Trust - RB Saquon Barkley

    If You Must – WR Kenny Golladay, WR Sterling Shepard, QB Daniel Jones

    Bust – TE Evan Engram, WR Kadarius Toney


    Sunday Night Football

    Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
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    Trust – RB David Montgomery, WR Allen Robinson

    If You Must – WR Darnell Mooney

    Bust – QB Andy Dalton


    Trust – QB Matthew Stafford, WR Robert Woods, WR Cooper Kupp

    If You Must – RB Darrell Henderson, TE Tyler Higbee

    Bust – RB Sony Michel

    Monday Night Football

    Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders

    Trust – QB Lamar Jackson, TE Mark Andrews

    Bust – WR Marquise Brown, Any current RB

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    Trust – TE Darren Waller

    If You Must – RB Josh Jacobs, QB Derek Carr

    Bust – RB Kenyan Drake, WR Bryan Edwards, WR Henry Ruggs

    Good luck and enjoy the games!
    Thank you for reading! You can find more of my work on my IDP Guys Author Page. Feel free to reach out anytime on Twitter at @FantasyLadder for any fantasy football-related advice, questions, or discussion so you can climb the ladder of fantasy football success with me.
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