Week 1 Monday night fantasy matchups preview

Struggling to set the perfect fantasy lineup? Let us be your guide. Each week the NFL Fantasy staff will provide you with game-by-game, player-by-player matchup breakdowns in this column to help you set a winning lineup. Think of this as the one-stop shop to crushing your opponent in fantasy football.

Now, onto the best and worst remaining Week 1 fantasy matchups.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins: 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday)


Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- START: Despite the fact that Roethlisberger doesn't have Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant to help move the offense, he's still a startable fantasy quarterback in 10-team leagues. Washington's secondary shouldn't be much to worry about, save for Josh Norman.

Antonio Brown, WR -- START: See, Josh Norman. In all seriousness, there's absolutely no reason to bench Antonio Brown no matter who is covering him. You used a high draft pick on him for a reason so set it and forget it on a weekly basis with AB.

DeAngelo Williams, RB -- FLEX: For the three games that Le'Veon Bell is serving his suspension, Williams will be Pittsburgh's featured back. He's in line for a 20-plus touch workload and all the valuable goal line carries should be his.

Markus Wheaton, WR -- SIT: By default, Wheaton is the Steelers' No. 2 wide receiver opposite Brown. He could get a few chances if Josh Norman is blanketing Brown, but it might be a good idea to wait and see how Wheaton is used before rolling him out as a fantasy starter.

Sammie Coates, WR -- SIT: Coates had a disappointing offseason and won't see enough volume to be worthy of a fantasy start, at least not in Week 1.


Kirk Cousins, QB -- START: Cousins is a fringe QB1 as the season gets underway with a bevy of weapons to distribute the ball to. In a game that should be a shootout, he's a solid start for Week 1 even in 10-team leagues.

Redskins RBs -- SIT: Honestly you're better off avoiding this backfield in general, but if you drafted any of Washington's running backs, it's best to take a wait-and-see approach before rolling any member of this committee out as a fantasy starter.

DeSean Jackson, WR -- START: Jackson does have some boom-or-bust potential but since he's fully healthy, he'll be the No. 1 wideout for Washington to start the year. He can produce big numbers with a low-volume of targets, and in a game that could be a shootout, expect him to make some hay in primetime.

Jordan Reed, TE -- START: With the sorry situation at running back, Washington will likely lean on Reed in the red zone as they did last year. He's a must-start at tight end and a top-three option at the position heading into the season.

Pierre Garcon, WR -- FLEX: Garcon saw more targets than any other receiver in Washington last year and hauled in 72 passes in 16 games. As a big red zone presence and intermediate target for Kirk Cousins, you can confidently flex him against a soft Steelers' secondary.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers: 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday)


Case Keenum, QB -- SIT: You didn't really need us to tell you that, right?

Todd Gurley, RB -- START: Gurley was probably an early first-round draft pick. You're not sitting him against the woeful Niners.

Tavon Austin, WR -- FLEX: Jeff Fisher says Austin will have a bigger role in the offense this year. Time to find out if he was telling the truth.

Kenny Britt, WR, -- SIT: Don't do this to yourself. You don't want these problems.

Lance Kendricks, TE -- SIT: The next Rams tight end to be a productive fantasy option will be the first. This ain't the week to test it.


Blaine Gabbert, QB -- SIT: Yes, he's a starting quarterback. No, he doesn't belong in your lineup unless you're in a 16-team, 2-QB league.

Carlos Hyde, RB -- START: Hyde will be the most consistent starting option for the Niners this year. Look for him to shoulder a big workload.

Torrey Smith, WR -- FLEX: Smith was picking up steam as a deep sleeper as the summer progressed. He should see a lot of targets to start.

Vance McDonald, TE -- FLEX: McDonald is a sneaky play as a lower-tier tight end as someone who sees more targets than you'd think. If you're in a pinch, he's worth a shot.

Completed Week 1 Games

Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos: 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC (Thursday)


Cam Newton, QB -- START: While the matchup and nightmarish ending of last year's Super Bowl might have some owners hesitant on rolling out Cam Newton, his weekly upside is just too high to consider moving away from.

Jonathan Stewart, RB -- SIT: The Broncos gave up 3.07 yards per carry last season to running backs. Stewart's volume should give him a floor but that's about it.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR -- FLEX: Another situation where the matchup is bound to scare some owners off. Benjamin still projects to have plenty of volume in a game where Carolina will need to take advantage of any scoring chances they get.

Devin Funchess, WR -- SIT: We need to monitor Funchess in this game to see how his usage compares to the other receivers. We should wait until he's in more of a projected shootout before starting him in fantasy.

Greg Olsen, TE -- START: If there is one slight weakness in the vaunted Denver defense, it is in the middle of the field. The Broncos gave up the 11th-most yards to tight ends last season.

Panthers D/ST -- SIT: It might seem like a good idea against a new starting quarterback for Denver but a defense with a questionable secondary on the road against a slow-paced offense is not optimal for fantasy.


*Trevor Siemian, QB -- SIT:* With two stars at the wide receiver position, there may someday be a time to use the Broncos new starter as a streamer. However, his first career start is not that day.

C.J. Anderson, RB -- START: The Panthers have a tough front-seven but given that this is Siemian's inaugural game as a starter, Anderson is a strong bet to finish with at least 20 carries.

Demaryius Thomas, WR -- START: It's hard to expect massive numbers from Thomas in what will be a slow-paced, defensive game. However, the Panthers are breaking in a pair of rookie cornerbacks on the outside and Siemian should feed his top-two threats.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR -- FLEX: Similar to the situation with Thomas, Sanders should be able to get over on the inexperienced Panthers secondary a few times on Thursday. Yet, both are more floor plays.

Virgil Green, TE -- SIT: A perennial breakout hopeful, Green finally looks like he'll be a big part of the offense after a strong preseason. However, we'll only use this game to monitor his usage in an effort to see if he's a sleeper moving forward.

Broncos D/ST -- START: It's not reasonable to expect them to feast on Carolina like they did in the Super Bowl but you can't bench a defense with their upside at home.

Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Robert Griffin III, QB -- SIT: Rolling out Griffin is aggressive and only advisable if you're in a desperate or streaming situation. However, the Eagles and Browns could rather quietly turn this into a points trading affair and the Cleveland offense looked explosive in preseason.

Duke Johnson, RB -- FLEX: If the Browns and Eagles do turn this into a shootout, Johnson will be on the field more for passing downs. There will be more targets available with Josh Gordon out of the picture.

Isaiah Crowell, RB -- SIT: As the early-down banger, we're probably looking for home games where the Browns are heavier favorites to play Crowell with confidence.

Corey Coleman, WR -- FLEX:The Eagles have questions all throughout the secondary and with Josh Gordon out Coleman should lead the team in wide receiver targets by a mile and a half.

Gary Barnidge, TE -- START:Few tight ends have the locked-in volume of Barnidge. The weeks during Gordon's suspension will be the prime weeks to roll him out.

Browns D/ST -- SIT:Don't play a weak defense on the road even if the matchup looks nice.


Carson Wentz, QB -- SIT: There is not a scenario where you should consider playing Wentz in his first NFL game unless you play in a 2QB league. Even then, there's not much reason to believe this goes well.

Ryan Mathews, RB -- START:The Browns gave up 4.6 yards per carry to running backs last season and made no drastic upgrades to their defensive front. The Eagles are at home and Mathews should be featured.

Jordan Matthews, WR -- START: Matthews makes for a sneaky play as a slot receiver who should avoid Joe Haden on most of his routes. He's the only established wide receiver and his new young quarterback could lean on him.

Zach Ertz, TE -- SIT: You should have a better option than an inconsistent tight end in the red zone with a rookie under center.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Jameis Winston, QB -- START: Many are ready for a second-year jump this season. That should get off to a roaring start in what figures be a shootout in Atlanta.

Doug Martin, RB -- START: There should be plenty of points to go around in this game and the Falcons have one of the shallowest front sevens in the NFL. This is an ideal spot for a starting running back.

Charles Sims, RB -- FLEX:The Falcons allowed 118 catches to running backs last season, the most in the NFL. Sims is the primary pass-catching back on a team that lacks for depth in the wide receiver corps.

Mike Evans, WR -- START:Atlanta's star corner, Desmond Trufant tends to stick to one side of the field so Evans should get his chances against their inferior defensive backs. He's looked like an elite talent in the preseason.

Vincent Jackson, WR -- FLEX: Because this game could turn into a shootout, we like Jackson as a sneaky flex play.

Cameron Brate, TE -- SIT: We want to see how the tight end work splits up in Tampa Bay before using Brate, the presumed starter.


Matt Ryan, QB -- START: The veteran quarterback is coming off his worst season but this game features a nice chance to start off strong. The Bucs' secondary is weak and Ryan is at home in a potentially high-scoring game.

Devonta Freeman, RB -- START: He's a strong bet for four or five catches in any given week, but Freeman's pass-catching ability should be on full display in this contest.

Julio Jones, WR -- START:The Pro Bowler has a shot to be the top-scoring receiver on the board this weekend. The Bucs have a talent-deficient secondary and Jones could easily top 150 yards.

Mohamed Sanu, WR -- FLEX: As mentioned, this game should be high-scoring. This is precisely the type of week you want to consider flexing the new Falcons wideout.

Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Aaron Rodgers, QB -- START: The Jaguars improved their leaky secondary this offseason, but this is Aaron Rodgers we're talking about. A healthy Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will be more than enough for him to post QB1 numbers.

Eddie Lacy, RB -- START: Trimmed down after an offseason spent with P90X creator Tony Horton, Lacy looks primed for a bounce-back season. Lacy should see 15-plus touches against the Jaguars and is a solid RB1 play.

Jordy Nelson, WR -- START: Since 2011, Nelson averages five receptions, .75 touchdowns, and 82 receiving yards per game when playing with Rodgers. Lock him in as a WR1.

Randall Cobb, WR -- START: Cobb might be the biggest beneficiary in Nelson's return to the lineup. Since 2012, he averages 25 more receiving yards per game with Nelson on the field, while seeing fewer targets. He could terrorize Jacksonville from the slot all game.

Jared Cook, TE -- START: Playing with a capable quarterback in a good offense for the first time in his career, can Cook finally breakout? He has a good chance to start in Week 1 facing a Jaguars defense that allowed the sixth-most yards and touchdowns to the position in 2015.


Blake Bortles, QB -- SIT: Bortles had a breakout year in 2015, but a date with the Packers young, talented secondary isn't an ideal matchup. Bortles scored many of his fantasy points playing from behind last year, which could be the case in Week 1, but our analysts have him as their QB15 this week. There are safer options with higher upside.

Chris Ivory, RB -- SIT (INJURY): Ivory was a surprise inactive for Week 1 after being admitted to the hospital for a general medical issue. He is doing well though per the team.

T.J. Yeldon, RB -- START: With Ivory inactive, Yeldon becomes a top-20 fantasy back. He'll get early-down work and could catch a ton of passes in what figures to be a high-scoring game against the Packers.

Allen Robinson, WR -- START: Robinson broke out in 2015 in a big way, but spent the whole offseason improving his craft. He's a no-brainer WR1 start.

Allen Hurns, WR -- FLEX: Hurns will be hard-pressed to finish with double-digit touchdowns once again, but in deeper leagues his big-play upside warrants consideration as a WR3.

Julius Thomas, TE -- START: Thomas disappointed last year, but has lost weight and received strong reviews this offseason. The Packers were middle-of-the-road against tight ends in 2015 and are starting at least one rookie starting linebacker (Blake Martinez). Thomas is worth a start as a low-end TE1.

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Andy Dalton, QB -- SIT: The panic button doesn't need to be pressed for Dalton without Hue Jackson this year, but a Week 1 matchup against the stout Jets defense makes Dalton a dicey start. The Jets were one of 12 teams to allow fewer than 4,000 passing yards in 2015.

Jeremy Hill, RB -- FLEX: The Jets allowed the fewest rushing yards and touchdowns last season, which might scare some off of Hill. However, he's been running like a reinvigorated player in 2016, and the Jets will be without Sheldon Richardson (suspension) in Week 1. Hill is a low-end RB2.

Giovani Bernard, RB -- FLEX: Bernard seemed likely to inherit many of the vacated targets from the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, but the preseason didn't instill much confidence for us. Still, a matchup against the tough Jets defense could favor Bernard to see more work in hurry-up situations. He's a solid floor play in deeper leagues.

A.J. Green, WR -- START: The lack of Tyler Eifert in Week 1 combined with the losses of Jones and Sanu means Green should see all of the targets. He's a must-start, even if he lands on Revis Island.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB -- SIT: Fitzpatrick joined the team late this offseason after a contract dispute and looked a bit rough in the preseason. An early matchup against a tough Bengals defense should send the Amish Rifle to the fantasy bench.

Matt Forte, RB -- FLEX: Forte's first pro season outside of the Windy City figures to be a bountiful one for fantasy owners, but the Bengals defensive line could pose some troubles in Week 1. He's better as a flex play.

Brandon Marshall, WR -- START: Marshall saw nearly 29 percent of the passing game targets in 2015, and not much figures to change in that regard. His volume alone makes him worthy of a start.

Eric Decker, WR -- START: There are a few things we can count on in life: Death, taxes, and Eric Decker red-zone touchdowns. Decker was far and away the second most-targeted Jet behind Marshall in 2015, and his ability in the red zone gives him a safe weekly floor as a WR2.

Chicago Bears at Houston Texans: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Jay Cutler, QB -- SIT: Cutler is breaking in a new No. 2 wide receiver against one of the league's best defenses that just welcomed back the league's best defensive player (J.J. Watt). Keep Smokin' Jay on the bench.

Jeremy Langford, RB -- FLEX: Langford averaged 20.87 fppg in Weeks 9-11 last year, finishing as the RB1, RB4, and RB17 with Matt Forte sidelined. If he earns all of the touches he could produce, but the Texans were a top-10 fantasy defense against running backs last year.

Alshon Jeffery, WR -- START: Jeffery was plagued by injuries in 2015, but saw 12 targets per game in contests where he played at least 75 percent of the snaps. He's Cutler's favorite target and a must-start regardless of the matchup.

Kevin White, WR -- SIT: White is still acclimating to the NFL and facing an elite NFL defense. With Jeffery siphoning loads of targets, White is better left on the bench until his role in this offense becomes clear.

Zach Miller, TE -- START: Sitting Miller isn't out of the question, as the Texans defense was pretty stout against tight ends in 2015 (7.06 ppg allowed). We have Miller as our TE12 for Week 1.


Brock Osweiler, QB -- SIT: The Bears could be without their top three starting cornerbacks, making Osweiler an intriguing DFS or 2QB league play. He should be benched in standard 10- and 12-team leagues, though.

Lamar Miller, RB -- START: Bill O'Brien fed his leading back 15-plus touches in 26 of 32 games as the Texans' head coach. They paid Miller to be a featured back in free agency, and that's what he'll be starting in Week 1.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR -- START: You were starting Nuk anyway, but the weakened Chicago secondary only makes him that much more of a no-brainer.

Will Fuller, WR -- FLEX: Fuller came into the league with question marks, but he looks like a good fit in the Texans' offense so far. He's not a locked-in start, but in deeper leagues he can be a great boom-or-bust play against the banged up Bears secondary.

Texans D/ST -- START: The return of J.J. Watt, even if he's not 100 percent, cements this unit as a weekly fantasy start. Facing a turnover-prone quarterback in Houston also helps the Texans' cause.

Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill, QBs -- SIT: Unless you play in a 32-team, 2QB league, you're not even thinking about starting either one of these guys. Bradford may become a streamer down the road, but you know, after he learns the playbook and stuff.

Adrian Peterson, RB -- START: You're going to start the (arguably) best running back in the NFL no matter the matchup. The Vikes may tend to lean on Peterson early this season considering the shaky quarterback situation in Minnesota.

Stefon Diggs, WR -- FLEX: Diggs is the No. 1 option in Minnesota's passing attack, but we're not yet sure who his starting quarterback will be. Sam Bradford is an upgrade over Shaun Hill, but Diggs is flex-worthy at worst in either situation.

Kyle Rudolph, TE -- SIT: There are at least 14 other tight ends you can start before settling for Rudolph. Until he shows us something, leave him on the bench (or the waiver wire).

Jerick McKinnon, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: Even when Peterson is healthy, McKinnon could have some value as a third-down pass-catching option, especially if Minnesota finds themselves trailing. He's a flex play in deeper leagues.


Marcus Mariota, QB -- SIT: Mariota will be a streaming option this season, but until we see how the Titans' offense looks in the new "exotic smashmouth" system, this should be a wait-and-see situation. A matchup against the Vikings defense isn't helping matters either.

DeMarco Murray, RB -- START: Murray is the Titans starting running back and it sounds like he'll get every chance to produce. He's worth firing up as an RB2 in Week 1 against the Vikings and could see some valuable red-zone opportunities.

Derrick Henry, RB -- FLEX: For now, Henry is the No. 2 back in Tennessee. Despite a great preseason, Henry will have to wait for his opportunity behind Murray, but his size advantage could lead to some goal-line chances. Throw him in your flex and hope for the best.

Tajae Sharpe, WR -- FLEX: The fifth-round rookie had a strong camp and preseason and earned himself a spot as the Titans' No. 2 wideout. From what we saw in preseason action, Mariota trusts Sharpe and will look his way often.

Rishard Matthews, WR -- FLEX: Matthews is the No. 1 receiver in Tennessee and is in line for decent volume out of the gate. He can be safely flexed in the majority of formats.

Delanie Walker, TE -- START: Walker led the Titans in targets and receptions a season ago and has top-five upside at the tight end position. If you own him, he should be your starting tight end in Week 1.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Tyrod Taylor, QB -- START: With Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy healthy, Taylor has the weapons around him that he needs to be productive. Toss in his ability to gain yards on the ground and a favorable matchup against the Ravens and you've got a top-10 option in Taylor.

LeSean McCoy, RB -- START: McCoy should be fed the ball early and often in this one as the Bills will look to make a statement early on, and establish the run. He's also a great pass-catching back who should play all three downs and see red-zone touches.

Sammy Watkins, WR -- START: When Watkins is healthy, he can be a week-winner for fantasy squads. Well, he's healthy and can safely be started as your WR1 against a soft Ravens pass defense.

Charles Clay, TE -- SIT: Clay probably wasn't drafted in your 10-team or even 12-team league. That means he's bench material. There are a number of other higher-upside tight ends to roll with in Week 1.

Reggie Bush, RB -- SIT: Bush probably won't have much of a role unless McCoy is sidelined. Leave him on your bench, or the waiver wire for now.


Joe Flacco, QB -- SIT: Flacco is coming off an ACL tear that ended his 2015 campaign and likely will have some rust to knock off. There are better options at quarterback for Week 1, especially when you consider the lackluster receiving corps he has at his disposal.

Ravens RBs -- SIT: Is it going to be Justin Forsett to start? Will Terrance West steal carries? At least the team did us a favor by announcing Javorius Allen as inactive. Regardless, there are simply too many question marks in the backfield to feel confident starting any of these runners.

Kamar Aiken, WR -- FLEX:Aiken should be targeted frequently in Week 1 and all season long. He can safely be flexed in standard formats and has upside in PPR leagues due to his volume opportunities in a Ravens offense that should be pass-heavy.

Mike Wallace, WR -- FLEX: With Steve Smith Sr. still making his way back and Breshad Perriman seeing limited work in the preseason, Wallace is Baltimore's de facto No. 1 wideout. He can be flexed but be aware of the high-ceiling, basement-level-floor range of outcomes.

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Derek Carr, QB -- START: Carr can take a big fantasy step forward in the season opener against a bad Saints defense. This could be a high-scoring game, which means plenty of throws.

Amari Cooper, WR -- START: The AC/DC connection could get off to a rousing start with this game. Cooper could plant his flag as one of the top young fantasy wideouts.

Michael Crabtree, WR -- START: Don't forget about Crabtree in this potential track meet. He should at least get flex consideration.

Latavius Murray, RB -- START: If he really is Oakland's workhorse back, there's no time like the present to slide him into your starting lineup.


Drew Brees, QB -- START: It's Drew Brees. What else do you need?

Mark Ingram, RB -- START: The Raiders front didn't look great against the run in the preseason. The Saints should go with a heavy dose of Ingram as a runner and receiver, especially with C.J. Spiller inactive.

Brandin Cooks, WR -- START: It's usually hard to predict Saints receivers, but Cooks looks like the guy who will see the bulk of Brees' targets.

Michael Thomas, WR -- FLEX: Thomas is all set to take over Marques Colston's role. As a hybrid WR/TE, he should vex the Raiders in Week 1.

Coby Fleener, TE -- SIT: The Raiders have had a tough time with tight ends. Fleener's had a tough time with the playbook. Let's wait a week on this one.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Philip Rivers, QB -- START: With a healthy offense around him, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Rivers throw the ball 40 times in the season opener.

Melvin Gordon, RB -- FLEX: Gordon should have a respectable workload, but it'll be tough sledding against the Chiefs defense.

Danny Woodhead, RB -- FLEX: This is more for PPR leagues as Woodhead might be a more effective backfield weapon than Gordon. Standard leagues should probably avoid.

Keenan Allen, WR -- START: At the beginning of what should be a big season, look for Allen to be pummeled with targets all throughout the ball game.

Travis Benjamin, WR -- SIT: The Chiefs secondary isn't an easy one to deal with, which makes a boom-or-bust player like Benjamin a bit of a risky Week 1 play.

Antonio Gates, TE -- START: After Allen, expect Gates to see the next most targets on the roster this year. Plus, we're keeping an eye on how vigorously he chases the tight end touchdown record.


Alex Smith, QB -- SIT: Smith isn't normally a big point producer anyway, but last year he scored a combined 27 fantasy points in two games against the Chargers.

Spencer Ware, RB -- START: Ware proved last year that he's a capable runner in Jamaal Charles' stead. Look for him to prove it again versus a bad Chargers run defense.

Jeremy Maclin, WR -- FLEX: As a No. 1 receiver in an offense lacking targets, he should see plenty of throws. But beware a Chargers defense that was tough on receivers in 2015.

Travis Kelce, TE -- START: San Diego was fairly average against tight ends in 2015 and Kelce should be a big enough part of the passing game to warrant a Week 1 start.

Chiefs D/ST -- START: Dealing with the Chiefs pass rush will be an early test for an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries in recent years. Sacks could be had this week.

Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks: 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS


Ryan Tannehill, QB -- SIT: Tannehill is a mid-range QB2 heading into the 2016 season despite the talented pass-catchers surrounding him. There are better options to slot in as your starting signal-caller in fantasy against a stingy Seahawks' defense.

Arian Foster, RB -- FLEX: Foster is listed as the Dolphins' No. 1 running back, but he should split snaps with Jay Ajayi. Foster is in line for valuable red zone and goal-line work, but his opportunities may be limited in a game that Miami could find themselves trailing in early on.

Jay Ajayi, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: Listed as the Dolphins No. 2 running back, Ajayi should see some work early on as Miami tries to set the tone. But once this game script gets out of hand, it will probably mean more looks for the team's wideouts. Flex Ajayi in 12-team or deeper leagues but you're better off with higher upside options in shallower formats.

Jarvis Landry, WR -- START: Landry is set up for a sneaky game here as the Dolphins' top short-yardage slot man. He's one of the best at producing yards after the catch and should be in line for double-digit targets here at the least.

Kenny Stills, WR -- LOW-END FLEX: With DeVante Parker ailing, Stills slots in as the Dolphins' No. 2 wideout and down-field threat. He's a boom-or-bust option against a tough Seattle secondary but there's always the chance he can turn one reception into a week-winning fantasy play.

DeVante Parker, WR -- SIT: Parker is still dealing with a hamstring injury that dogged him during the preseason and has not been able to practice. Look elsewhere for wideout production and leave Parker on the bench until he gets healthy.


Russell Wilson, QB -- START: If you own Wilson, you drafted him early on for a reason -- he's really good at football. He's a top-five option at quarterback week in and week out, especially because of the added points he provides with his legs.

Thomas Rawls, RB -- SIT: If we saw more of Rawls in the preseason, we might be more confident about his Week 1 status. He might see a few snaps, but the coaching staff is going to ease him back in. He's a very risky option.

Christine Michael, RB -- START:The Truth has been awakened in Seattle, and it's time for him to prove his worth. He'll have to play well in order to keep Rawls at bay, and is listed as the team's starting back for Week 1. He's a high-volume play and should be started against Miami.

Doug Baldwin, WR -- START:You probably drafted Baldwin as a WR2-3 and there's no reason to shy away from using him in that slot this week against a suspect Miami defense. He's Wilson's No. 1 target in what's becoming a more pass-heavy offense in Seattle so you can feel confident rolling Baldwin out in Week 1.

Tyler Lockett, WR -- FLEX:Lockett's upside is astronomical, but there are some concerns about his ability to produce on a weekly basis. In a favorable matchup against Miami, you can safely start Lockett as an upside flex play.

Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts: 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX


Matthew Stafford, QB -- START: Stafford finished 2015 on fire under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (19 touchdowns, two interceptions over final eight games). Look for him to pick up where he left off against a Colts defense with a secondary in shambles.

Ameer Abdullah, RB -- FLEX: Starting any Lions running back carries some risk, as we don't know yet how the touches will be split up. Pending this game turning into an absolute shootout, Abdullah should be able to put up respectable numbers.

Theo Riddick, RB -- FLEX (PPR): Riddick tied for the league lead in receptions among running backs last year (80), thanks to racking up catches while the Lions were in pass-heavy game scripts. This could be one of those games, which makes him a potential flex in PPR formats.

Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, WRs -- START: The true No. 1 wide receiver role is still up for grabs in Detroit in what figures to be a high-scoring game. Tate and Jones are great starts this week as the Colts will be without top cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Clayton Geathers.

Anquan Boldin, WR -- SIT: Boldin could have a big role in this offense (and Cooter wants him to), but fantasy owners would be wise to take a "wait-and-see" approach with Boldin

Eric Ebron, TE -- START: Ebron is practicing in full despite his ankle injury, which is a good sign he'll play on Sunday. If he does suit up, he'll be a low-end TE1 in what figures to be a high-scoring game.


Andrew Luck, QB -- START: Throw out the 2015 game tape. Luck is a better quarterback than that. With healthy weapons alongside him against an average Detroit defense, Luck should be able to start his Comeback Player of the Year campaign with a bang.

Frank Gore, RB -- START: With no legitimate threat behind him on the depth chart, even if this game turns into a pass-happy affair Gore should still see enough touches to merit starting consideration in fantasy. He averaged over three targets per game with Luck under center in 2015.

T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, WRs -- START: Much like with Tate and Jones for the Lions, if you have Hilton or Moncrief you're playing them in Week 1. The Colts defense has holes all over the place from suspensions and injuries, which could put their offense into many passing situations to catch up. Hilton and Moncrief could both go off.

Dwayne Allen, TE -- START: With Coby Fleener out of the picture, Allen will be the primary tight end for the Colts. He re-signed with the team because new offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski wants to feature him in a more prominent role. Again, in a high-scoring game you want as many parts of the passing offense as possible in your lineup, so Allen is definitely worth a start.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

Eli Manning, QB -- START: You probably can't afford to risk sitting Manning in a game against a defense without a pass rush to speak of, but don't be surprised if Dallas' slow-paced offense takes opportunities away from him.

Rashad Jennings, RB -- START: If ever there was a time to ride Jennings it will be early in the season. With more volume locked in as the clear feature back, he should start off the year hot.

Odell Beckham, WR -- START:No further analysis needed. Dallas' lack of a pass rush should give Beckham plenty of chances to feast.

Sterling Shepard, WR -- FLEX: He's a precise route runner and the clear No. 2 on the Giants. If this game turns into an offensive shootout, Shepard could sneak into the top-20.

Will Tye, TE -- SIT: We need to see more of this tight end rotation before using any of them as a desperation play.

Giants D/ST -- SIT: You don't want to stream defenses against slow-paced offenses.


Dak Prescott, QB -- START:The hottest player from the preseason, Dak won't keep up that torrid pace but can be a fantasy streamer. His rushing ability gives him a weekly floor but the Giants defense is leaky enough where he can reach a nice ceiling in Week 1.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB -- START:You're starting Zeke every week but his opening game should be a big boom playing at home against the Giants suspect front.

Dez Bryant, WR -- START:Even without Romo, you're playing Dez Bryant every week. Prescott looked more than capable of getting him the ball.

Jason Witten, TE -- START: No team gave up more yards to the tight end position last year than the Giants. Their insistence on never investing in their linebacking corps allows tight ends to tear through them annually.

New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals: 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC


Jimmy Garoppolo, QB -- SIT: There will be decent matchups coming for young Mr. Garoppolo. This isn't one of them.

LeGarrette Blount, RB -- FLEX: It's not a great matchup, but the Pats best bet to keep the Cardinals offense off the field is a power running game. If they get near the goal line, Blount is your guy.

Julian Edelman, WR -- FLEX: Edelman should offer a security blanket underneath for Garoppolo but he might run into Deone Bucannon. Beware of this one.

Martellus Bennett, TE -- START: Bennett moves to a TE1 with Gronkowski on the shelf. Garoppolo targeted him regularly in the preseason. However, the matchup is less than ideal, so temper expectations and don't be afraid to start someone else over Bennett for this week.

Rob Gronkowski, TE -- SIT (INJURY): The team announced early that Gronk will sit in Week 1. If you need to scramble for an option to replace him off the waiver wire, target Jesse James (PIT) or Vance McDonald (SF), as both play on Monday night and are in good spots.

Malcolm Mitchell, WR -- SIT: There is reason to be excited about the rookie this season, but it would be wise not to test him against Arizona's secondary.


Carson Palmer, QB -- START: The Patriots could give him trouble, but Palmer's bevy of weapons will make it hard to sit him most weeks of the season.

David Johnson, RB -- START: A workhorse back in a potentially prolific offense. Right now, it's not about the matchups, it's about Johnson's talent.

John Brown, WR -- START: Despite Johnson's presence, it's still a high-volume passing attack. Brown and Michael Floyd will battle all season to be the team's top target.

Michael Floyd, WR -- START: See: Brown, John.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR -- FLEX: Fitzgerald might not be the receiver he once was, but he's still pretty good and worthy of lineup consideration this week.

Cardinals D/ST -- START: This unit is loaded with playmakers facing an inexperienced quarterback. Plus ... Chandler Jones revenge game!

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