Week 1 is finally here and some of us may feel wrong sitting one of those players we drafted with high expectations. You can argue that choosing to sit'em isn't the right thing to do in Week 1 because we/you aren't sure who's an every week starter regardless of match-up. This is okay to do and the “don’t sit your studs” argument is one I always follow. However, there are ten players I would sit in Week 1. Regardless of how early you picked them, their match-up or situation has me scared. I would temper expectations for any of these guys if you have to start them.
For week 1 we're not doing a "start'em" section.
Week 1 Sit'em
- Matt Ryan, ATL (Vs. New Orleans): For the record, I am a big fan of Ryan this year. I think he will wind up as a top 10 fantasy quarterback but am scared of him this week. When we think of Falcons-Saints match-ups in the past few years, we think of high-scoring shootouts. However, New Orleans allowed the 2nd fewest passing yards per game last season. Safety Kenny Vaccaro was the steal of the 2013 draft and they also pried pro bowl safety Jarius Byrd from the Bills in the off-season. This defense is going to be even better this year. If you have another option at QB this week, I am sitting Ryan.
- Robert Griffin III, WAS (at Houston): The Texans were a train wreck offensively last year, however, their defense was sneaky good. They allowed the 3rd fewest passing yards per game and drafted a guy named Jadeveon Clowney 1st overall. I watched Griffin in the pre-season, and he was inconsistent and looked like he was having a hard time picking up Jay Gruden’s offense. Joe Theisman wrote that he thought the redskins should start Kirk Cousins over Griffin to start the season based on both of their pre-season performances. I would not feel comfortable starting a guy in a tough matchup who has played so poorly.
- Doug Martin, TB (vs. Carolina): I am always scared of players coming off ACL surgery, especially if I haven’t seen them play a full game since. The muscle hamster looked incredible in 2012, but was averaging a mere 3.6 yards a carry through six games last year and I am scared the year before was a bit of a fluke. Carolina still has Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis leading the charge at linebacker, which is bad news for the rest of the league. This defense was 1st in rushing TD’s allowed per game (with just 0.3!) and only allowed 89.2 rushing yards per game. I am waiting to start Martin until I see a good game from him.
- Rashad Jennings, NYG: I was not the only one who saw Andre Williams play this pre-season. He looked like someone who is going to carve out a role in this offense. Jennings had a respectable pre-season and should be solid this year, but along with Williams stealing carries, his team also scares me. Eli Manning claims he isn’t concerned with the new offense, but it looked like he should be when watching their passing game this pre-season. I also think Detroit is going to be a playoff team this year. They allowed the 6th fewest rushing yards per game last year (99.8) and I could see this game getting ugly. Bench Jennings this week.
- Torrey Smith, BAL (vs. CIN): With how deep WR is this year, Smith is just another guy. I think his ceiling is in the range of 1100 yards and 7 TD’s, but I don’t think he gets there. The man only had 4 TD’s last year and now has Steve Smith and a healthy Dennis Pitta to share targets with. Torrey is a deep play guy who doesn’t score, which means he is pretty frustrating to own. He plays the Bengals in Week 1, who gave up the 4th fewest passing yards last year (203.9) and only allowed 1.4 passing TD’s last year. Smith will not score in Week 1 and you should have a better option on your bench.
- Randall Cobb, GB (at SEA): Seattle led the league last year with an incredible 14.9 points allowed per game. It is crazy to think they will keep that up again, but the team is confident and hungry to prove they belong back in the Super Bowl. I think the Packers still score a couple TD’s, but none go to Cobb. He will have a hard time getting past Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. The Seahawks let up only 12.8 fantasy points per game to WR’s last year (1st in the league). I like Cobb a lot this year, but he will not produce much this week.
- Sammy Watkins, BUF (at CHI): I think Watkins has an incredible skill set and will be a stud before too long. However, that will not be this year. As long as you are counting on EJ Manuel to deliver you the ball, you can’t be trusted in Fantasy Football. Not only does he have an inept quarterback throwing to him, Watkins is also banged up and will get all of the attention from opposing defenses. The Bears defense was awful last year. They gave up the 2nd most points per game, but I see an improvement coming. Marc Trestman got a lot of heat for the defense and is spending a lot of time making sure he won’t have that problem again. Sit Watkins until further notice.
- Bishop Sankey, TEN (at KC): I do believe that Sankey will be the starter in Tennessee by the end of the year. The Titans made him the 1st running back picked in the draft for a reason and that reason is not to sit on the bench. However, Sankey has not been able to pass up Shonn Greene this pre-season and will be backing him up to start the season. We all know Sankey is more talented, but I am not starting a rookie RB in Week 1 who won’t get the bulk of the carries. The Chiefs also allowed the 7th fewest rushing TD’s per game last year (0.6) and I see them running away with this game.
- Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at St. Louis): The St. Louis Rams gave up the least fantasy points to TE’s last year (5.0 a game). They also shored up their secondary by drafting Lamarcus Joyner in the 2nd round and will have 1st round freak Aaron Donald running after Matt Cassel all day long. Personally, I don’t trust Cassel. I think Teddy Bridgewater looked impressive in the pre-season and believe he’ll start before too long. Bridgewater will be a boost to Rudolph’s value. Norv Turner is around and is well known for getting his TE’s involved in the passing game. I just see this being a low-scoring affair and think there are much better options than Rudolph this week.
- Julius Thomas, DEN (Vs. Indianapolis): I think Julius Thomas is definitely the #3 ranked fantasy TE. If you have him, you are likely starting him, but I think he will have a rough week. He had 1 TD in his last six games (including the playoffs) dating back to last season. With Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, and Montee Ball, there are not a lot of balls to go around and Thomas will have to get TD’s to be valuable. My fear is that defenses picked up on him towards the end of 2013 and we are going to see a decline in his stats. The Colts aren’t known for their defense but gave up the 5th fewest fantasy points to TE’s last year, at an average of 6.1 per game. Even though you likely spent a high pick on Thomas, if you have a better option I am sitting him until I see more.
Editors note: It's hard to "sit'em" J. Thomas however, if you grabbed someone like Pitta or Olsen to back up J. Thomas Evan likes their match-ups a little bit better in week 1. I personally agree with the first 9 sit'ems but #10 J. Thomas is tough. Let's see how it pans out. For personalized Start Sit advice based on your entire team and league settings you should join our forum as an In-Season Member.