2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 Start-Sit

by Dennis Sosic
2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 Start-Sit

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes as I kick off the weekly Start-Sit advice column.

I will tackle the not so obvious players and advise if Fantasy managers should insert them in their lineups. I start the drive to the Fantasy playoffs with the 2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 Start-Sit.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 Start-Sit

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Tyrod Taylor, QB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Tyrod Taylor takes over for Philip Rivers behind center for the Los Angeles Chargers this season. Taylor could not have asked for a better opponent to start his Chargers career than the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals allowed the most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks last season. The Bengals defense allows yards and points to every position on the field.

His rushing ability provides a high floor, but you can't count out the offensive weapons surrounding Taylor in the huddle. Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry should deliver plenty in this juicy matchup.

Currently ranked as the QB19 in the Fantasy Six Pack rankings, don't be surprised if Taylor finishes as a top 12 quarterback in Week 1. The Bengals won't present much of an obstacle in showcasing Taylor's ability while Taylor is out to hold off any buzz about inserting 2020 first-round selection, Justin Herbert.

Stream Away: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants; Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jonathan Taylor is one of the prized rookie running backs entering the league in 2020. The former Wisconsin Badger set all types of rushing records in Wisconsin but arrives in Indianapolis in a backfield time-share initially with Marlon Mack. Mack rushed for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns last season behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Mack was named the starter entering the season but will split touches with Taylor. The Colts backfield could not have asked for a better opponent to start the season. The Jacksonville Jaguars held a fire sale, unloading players like they are already playing for next year. The Jaguars allowed 29.9 fantasy points per game to running backs last season. They also permitted six 100-yard rushers in 2019. The biggest benefactors of the Jags lack of run defense last season were the Colts running game. The Colts running backs carried 52 times for 347 yards (6.7 YPC) and four touchdowns last season.

Look for the Colts to run all over the Jaguars in Week 1 with plenty of opportunities for both Mack and Taylor. I believe this will be the breakout performance that catapults Taylor above Mack and a sure-fire start in Week 1 with over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Don't Sleep on the Following: Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles; James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts.

Desean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

Desean Jackson, who averages 17.4 yards per pass in his career, exploded for eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns during Week 1 last season against the Washington Football Team, who happens to be their Week 1 opponent this season.

Fantasy managers know the rest with Jackson, who seems to be hurt more than he is on the field. He got hurt in Week 2, and we didn't see much of Jackson the rest of the season.

He still has the speed to stretch the field, and he is an elite weapon with the ball in his hands. However, his week-to-week volatility is maddening. Luckily, we are here only to discuss this week's matchup against Washington. With rookie Jalen Reagor currently questionable to suit up Week 1, Jackson should see plenty of looks. Jackson only needs a play or two to be Fantasy-worthy, and for at least this week, you should plug Jackson into your lineups in Week 1.

Don't Sleep on the Following: Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions;  Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars.

Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

Dallas Cowboys' new starting tight end Blake Jarwin gets overshadowed by the immense amount of playmakers on the Cowboys offense. However, the departure of longtime tight end Jason Witten and his 83 targets last season are now available for Jarwin to capitalize.

In their Week 1 matchup, the Cowboys are projected to be in a shootout against the Los Angeles Rams. Jarwin possesses a downfield dynamic and is a very appealing tight end option. Jarwin is a favorable play with touchdown potential in a high-scoring affair.

Don't Sleep on the Following: Chris Herndon, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills; Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants.


Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

Kyler Murray is ranked as the QB10 going into the Week 1 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. It will be quite challenging to bench Murray, but I would temper my expectations.

The Cardinals' offensive line is brutal, and the Niners pass rush will make it a long Sunday for Murray. The 49ers defense allowed the 10th-fewest points to quarterbacks last season.

Murray does have a shiny new toy to play with in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but did they get enough practice time to develop chemistry? Plus, Hopkins will be covered by Richard Sherman most of the game, so that will limit his ceiling.

I could see Murray running for his life throughout the game. While he might produce some mind-boggling plays, his overall stat line will underperform his QB10 ranking. If I had one of the elite QB matchups, sitting Murray would be a succinct possibility.

Other QB to Sit: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens; Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans

Melvin Gordon produced a disappointing 2019 season with only 3.8 yards per carry and now heads over to Denver to share backfield duties with Phillip Lindsay. I'm not sold that Gordon is better than Lindsay, but because of his contract, I can see a scenario where Gordon is almost guaranteed touches.

Gordon is experiencing issues with the elevation in Denver, which does not bode well for the 2020 season. In Week 1, the Broncos take on a solid Tennessee Titans defense who just added defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney.

Behind a below-average offensive line, I envision Lindsay outproducing Gordon this week and beyond.

Other RB to Sit: Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers; Leonard Fournette/Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints.

Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

The good news is that Amari Cooper expects to play his full complement of snaps this Sunday. Unfortunately, Cooper will have to line up against Jalen Ramsey, who dominated their last matchup. Cooper was held to just one catch for 19 yards.

With the numerous offensive weapons that Dak Prescott has as his disposal, Prescott can focus his throws on the other weapons leaving Cooper, who will not see many open looks, if any.

There will be weeks to start Cooper with confidence. This is not one of those weeks.

Other WR to Sit: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints; Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team vs. Philadelphia Eagles.

Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Hooper cashed in on his massive 2019 season with the richest contract for a tight end in league history.

Hooper joins a Browns offense that features two stud running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, along with two elite wideouts in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Each of those players demands a high number of touches, which will cap what Hooper will produce in this Browns offense.

Hooper starts his Cleveland Browns career with a Week 1 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, who only gave up three receiving touchdowns to tight ends last season. Additionally, they allowed by far the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

This is a matchup that Fantasy managers should stay clear of. Hooper will have a quiet Sunday afternoon, and is an easy decision to sit in a terrible matchup.

Other TE to Sit: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots; Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints.

Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Football content from our team of excellent writers.

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