2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview

by Richard Savill
2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview

One of the things Fantasy Football never does is stay the same. Not just because the players, coaches, and teams in the NFL change, but Fantasy itself. Even just 10 years ago, there were few variants beyond IDP, Keeper, and Dynasty type set-ups. Kickers were once standard for most every league, but in recent years that standard evolved to make them somewhat obsolete. That's just one example.

Finding a path to winning your league never changed. Another thing that really remained was how much Fantasy enhanced the experience of NFL football. When NFL RedZone launched, that also contributed to the popularity of Fantasy Football. Now you could watch everything at once and see your guy score that winning touchdown in real-time - adding to your weekly total.

For those of you who have enjoyed this piece at F6P over the years, nothing has changed. The Blurbview is still here, but only as an ancillary title. It will remain as your weekend guide to the NFL action from a fantasy perspective.

My opener for this piece will always provide my insights and interesting observations for what evolves over the season. I think you will enjoy it and come to make it a regular part of your fantasy stops every week.

Good luck in Week 1. Let's get off to a good start.

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Let me know what you think on twitter @RRSSavill.

The 2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview is next.

Updated: Sep 10 1130am ET (final)
Trending: Christian Watson OUT | Cooper Kupp IR | Mark Andrews NEP | Marquise Brown EP | De'Von Achane NEP

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Early Sunday | Late Sunday | Feature Games | In the Booth

2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview

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The Games this Week2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.

Early Sunday: Bengals (0-0) at Browns (0-0) +2.5 47.5

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The AFC North will once again be a tough division this season.

For the Bengals, nothing too dramatic has changed offensively with personnel this year. Joe Burrow, dealing with some preseason aches, is expected to open the season. Zac Taylor in his 5th season as head coach will need to add some adaptations to his playbook to keep the Bengals from being too predictable.

There are still a couple of new faces to note. Chase Brown, a running back taken in the 5th round, and tight end Irv Smith who came over from the Vikings. Both are worth tagging to your watch list.

The Browns Snag a Diamond

Dorian Thompson-Robinson easily secured the backup QB job in Cleveland, allowing the team to happily trade Joshua Dobbs. DTR was one of the stars of the preseason, and it was evident early on that the Browns can manage their future at quarterback beyond Deshaun Watson.

All eyes will be on Watson, as he spent most of 2022 suspended. His dynamic style at quarterback was missed in the league, but fantasy critics remain divided as to whether he can return to elite status.

The Browns, like the Bengals, had no drastic personnel shuffling in the offseason. Besides Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the only notable change is second-year RB Jerome Ford moving up the depth chart after the departure of Kareem Hunt. Ford is a sneaky stash and a definite addition to your watch list, at the very least.

Opening Fireworks?

If these teams settle in quickly to the grind, we could see the game open up big time. Everyone in your roster for both sides starts and Irv Smith is a good sleeper.

Fun Fact: The Browns are 3-16-1 in home openers since 1990 and 7-13 ATS.
Dart: Irv Smith, TE, Bengals
Observe: Chase Brown, RB, Bengals
Pick Poll: Bengals 88%
Update: None

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...

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Jaguars (0-0) at Colts (0-0) +5.0 45.0

Indy are starting from scratch this season and new HC Shane Steichen already has a bucket of issues to deal with. Key concern: Jonathan Taylor. Fantasy pouncers will also pay close attention to see if a hot hand emerges in his absence. Rookie Anthony Richardson will get an immediate close fantasy eye exam too. Expectations for Calvin Ridley are high in fantasy circles. An early strong connection with Trevor Lawrence will create a buzz.
Dart: Alec Pierce, WR, Colts
Observe: Tank Bigsby, RB, Jaguars
Pick Poll: Jaguars 93%
Update: Zack Moss Qnep |

Cardinals (0-0) at Commanders (0-0) -7.0 38.0

The Cardinals cleaned house in the off-season. New GM, HC, OC and DC. Joshua Dobbs will start for the Cardinals. Sam Howell had some fantasy hype this preseason, but most onlookers just want him to move the offense; keeping the more fantasy-relevant players on the field. This game has the lowest O/U of all the Wk1 games, but examining what the new Cardinals are moving toward deserves our attention.
Dart: Logan Thomas, TE, Commanders
Observe: Keaontay Ingram, RB, Cardinals
Pick Poll: Commanders 87%
Update: Marquise Brown Qep |
2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

Panthers (0-0) at Falcons (0-0) -3.5 39.5

The Falcons are in better shape than everyone else in the lowly NFC South, but much will hinge on the development of Desmond Ridder. The talent surrounding him reaches the brim. Rookie Bryce Young doesn't have anywhere near the dynamic weapons — Adam Thielen is the Panthers top receiver. Expect experimentation in this game by both sides, like an 'extra preseason game.' Bijan Robinson hype gets answered.
Dart: Hayden Hurst, TE, Panthers
Observe: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Panthers
Pick Poll: Panthers 51%
Update: Adam Thielen Qep | DJ Chark Jr. O | Terrace Marshall Jr. Q | Cordarrelle Patterson O

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Texans (0-0) at Ravens (0-0) -10.0 43.5

Will Zay Flowers become a star receiver on a team that prefers a ground-based/RPO attack? We're about to find out. For the Texans, their goal is to not be playing out the string too early. C.J. Stroud hasn't much weaponry to connect with in his rookie season, but if Nico Collins and Robert Woods step up early, it'll be a fantasy wake up call. The Ravens should control this game early and a blowout is on the cards.
Dart: Dalton Schultz, TE, Texans
Observe: Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens
Pick Poll: Ravens 97%
Update: Mark Andrews Qnep | Odell Beckham Jr. Q | John Metchie III O |

Forty-Niners (0-0) at Steelers (0-0) +2.5 41.0

No major line-up changes for either team to open this season. Brock Purdy outlasted his competition by providing sound principles to the position with a modern flair. More importantly, by staying the healthiest. Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett's career as a regular starter on the Steelers will either be short or long depending on what happens in 2023. But this game is about the Pittsburgh defense. A big test to start the new season.
Dart: None
Observe: Allen Robinson, WR, Steelers
Pick Poll: Forty-Niners 81%
Update:  Juwan Johnson Q | Adam Trautman Q |

Buccaneers (0-0) at Vikings (0-0) -6.0 45.5

The Vikings spent their first round pick on Jordan Addison out of USC. Addison has a real chance of being the perfect compliment to Justin Jefferson following the departure of Adam Thielen. The Bucs, meanwhile, remain with a gaping hole at QB and Baker Mayfield will have his last chance at a starting job. With tire-worn receivers, the task isn't exactly a fresh start.
Dart: K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings
Observe: Trey Palmer, WR, Buccaneers
Pick Poll: Vikings 95%
Update: George Kittle Q | Jordan Mason Q |
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Titans (0-0) at Saints (0-0) -3.0 41.0

Somehow you always felt Derek Carr was unhappy in Vegas. Fresh start and fresh weapons and with Alvin Kamara waiting out a short suspension. It's also fantasy tester game for DeAndre Hopkins who we know has plenty of power left in his fuel rods. The question remains whether a receiver on this offense can break the awkward passing-game methodology the Titans possess while Derrick Henry remains the focal point.
Dart: Rashid Shaheed, WR, Saints
Observe: Tyjae Spears, RB, Titans
Pick Poll: Saints 61%
Update: Kendre Miller Qnep |

Late Sunday: Packers (0-0) at Bears (0-0) -1.0 43.0

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At long last, the Bears' fans are finally rid of Aaron Rodgers. The rivalry continues with two young quarterbacks battling it out to see who owns who.

Justin Fields emerged in the latter half of 2022 as a running quarterback. Some fantasy onlookers remain unconvinced of his general quarterbacking prowess, but with a new effective weapon in D.J. Moore, the team looks to progress to the next level of contender status.

For the Packers, Jordan Love's growth remains a question mark. The royal quarterback succession on the Packers following Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers is a heavy crown. Yet, fantasy expectations have put Love in the favorable category of sleeper in 2023. Sometimes being in the shadow as "heir presumptive" to "heir apparent" releases the pressure. Love has good weapons led by youthful receivers in Christian Watson and others.

Backfield Questions

Both the Packers and Bears have fantasy puzzling backfields. We're fairly certain that the Packers will remain consistent with their 1a-1b setup with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The Bears, led by Khalil Herbert might enter a similar timeshare with the fantasy renewal of D'Onta Foreman. However, the wild card in the mix is Roschon Johnson. Johnson might turn the Bears' backfield into full-time committee. We shall observe closely.

What About Receivers?

Acquiring D.J. Moore was a smart move by the Bears. His veteran presence adds a needed compliment to the Chicago offense. Darnell Mooney will certainly benefit, as he was draped consistently in 2022 without a higher level receiver on his opposite side.

Christian Watson became a fan favorite after overcoming injury issues in 2022. Romeo Doubs remains relevant and the fresh addition of Jayden Reed is someone who should be on everyone's fantasy watch-list.

Update: The Jayden Reed lottery ticket is up for sale with Christian Watson declared OUT.

Fun Fact: This is the 7th meeting in the opening week between these teams since 1997. The Packers are 5-1 against the Bears, including 2-0 at Soldier Field.
Dart: Jayden Reed, WR, Packers
Observe: Roschon Johnson, RB, Bears
Pick Poll: Bears 71%
Update: Christian Watson O | Romeo Doubs Q | Breece Hall Q |

Other Late Games in Brief...

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2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview Blurbview

Raiders (0-0) at Broncos (0-0) -4.0 44.0

Some predict a bounce-back season for Russell Wilson, but he didn't show much difference in preseason than what we saw in 2022. Nonetheless, Sean Payton is poised to clean up the mess and should do as the season wears on. The Raiders are sticking to their "just win baby" formula with Jimmy Garoppolo and Davante Adams. Don't expect any fireworks in this one. A battle of two messed up teams.
Dart: Samaje Perine, RB, Broncos
Observe: Jacobi Meyers, WR, Raiders
Pick Poll: Broncos 51%
Update: Jerry Jeudy Q |

Dolphins (0-0) at Chargers (0-0) -3.0 51.0

One of the penthouse games of Week 1. A fantasy bonanza seems impossible to avoid with offenses involved. One of the more focal points from a fantasy perspective is what form the backfield of Miami will take. The pecking order was always in flux last season. This season, most onlookers seem to agree this won't change. As for the Chargers, the 3rd wide usage of Quentin Johnson and Joshua Palmer appears competitive.
Dart: Joshua Palmer, WR, Chargers
Observe: De'Von Achane, RB, Dolphins
Pick Poll: Chargers 51%
Update: De'Von Achane Qnep |

Eagles (0-0) at Patriots (0-0) +4.0 45.0

The Eagles revised their committee backfield by acquiring D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny. The same formula remains and another strong playoff run is in the making. For the Patriots, a backup for Mac Jones wasn't decided as late as Tuesday. The Patriots are without an elite pass-catcher, with Juju Smith-Schuster at the front. The Patriots will play the control game with good defense, but your fantasy Eagles should overcome.
Dart: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
Observe: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Patriots
Pick Poll: Eagles 95%
Update: DeVante Parker Qnep | Rhamondre Stevenson Qep | Rashaad Penny IA
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Rams (0-0) at Seahawks (0-0) -5.5 46.0

One of the big stories of 2022 was the fantasy reset of Geno Smith. Smith kept the Seahawks as relevant contenders and won over the fans in Seattle. For this game, the status of Cooper Kupp is up in the air. We're looking at Van Jefferson and rookie Puka Nacua to get the targets with TE Tyler Higbee. The Rams will likely play the offense more from the backfield without Kupp.
Dart: Tutu Atwell, WR, Rams
Observe: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks
Pick Poll: Seahawks 85%
Update: Kenneth Walker III Q | Cooper Kupp IR |

Feature Games

Sunday Night: Cowboys (0-0) at Giants (0-0) +3.0 46.5

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The Cowboys have triumphed over the Giants in four consecutive games and in 11 out of their last 12. This season, the games could be tighter, with potential game-changing plays coming from anyone.

The Giants are finally improving, as a team, despite a weak receiving group. Isaiah Hodgins leads the pack with Darius Slayton following close behind. Slayton was nearly cut last year, so that sort of tells you the depth of the receiving room in New York.

Pollard v Barkley

Tony Pollard takes the backfield lead back role after the Cowboys finally realized that Ezekiel Elliott was a short candle. Pollard offers the same dynamics at running back to that of Austin Ekeler of the Chargers and will be critical target for the short passing game of Dak Prescott.

Saquon Barkley, with his talent bottled up with injury early in his career, exploded back into fantasy relevance. Barkley's value hinges on the whether there is enough of a supporting cast to keep him from overwork and busting with defensive box treatment by the safeties. Fantasy critics of Barkley like to make these and other points to highlight his somewhat delicate value.

Sunday Night Fireworks?

The O/U of 46.5 seems right. However, this game could have a defensive nature for several reasons. First, it's a division game and secondly, it's the opening game of the season. Nerves will settle and a wild second half is entirely possible. The target usage of Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup and Jake Ferguson deserves our close fantasy attention for the Cowboys. For the Giants, their receiving pecking order is definitely important as well.

Fun Fact: This is just the third time since 1995 that the Cowboys have began their season on the road versus the Giants winning both games. They are 7-1 overall against the Giants in Week 1.
Dart: Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
Observe: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Cowboys
Pick Poll: Cowboys 73%
Update: Wan'Dale Robinson Qnep | Darren Waller Q

Monday Night: Bills (0-0) at Jets (0-0) +2.5 46.5

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The Bills had minor off-season tweaks this year. They allowed Devin Singletary to walk, thus allowing James Cook the ascendancy to the front of the backfield depth chart.

The Jets, of course, made a number of changes. Most notably the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers likes a familiar face to work with and Allen Lazard also joined him from the Packers. The word is that Rodgers is very happy on the Jets and his beam on the sidelines during preseason was very evident.

Division Contenders

The Jets now have a team that can beat the Bills. They gave Zach Wilson every chance last season, but when the backup was doing a better job... yeah, not so good. The Jets still believe in Wilson, but they felt further mentoring was necessary. Enter Aaron Rodgers - perfect for the job.

Dalvin Cook's presence on the Jets might irk those with shares in Breece Hall, but the 1a-1b situation is something like Rodgers had in Green Bay. What Rodgers wants, Rodgers gets. The backfield split is something fantasy onlookers will monitor closely in the early going.

Fun Fact: The last time the Bills played a conference opponent on the road in Week 1 was against the Jets in 2019. The final score was 17-16 for the Bills.
Dart: Damien Harris, RB, Bills
Observe: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Bills
Pick Poll: Bills 76%
Update: Breece Hall Qep |

In the Booth on Sunday

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Kevin Burkhardt

Sunday Games

CBS Early

Bengals at Browns: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Buccaneers at Vikings: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Texans at Ravens: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Titans at Saints: Chris Lewis, Jason McCourty, Ross Tucker

FOX Early

49ers at Steelers: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Cardinals at Commanders: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Jaguars at Colts: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Panthers at Falcons: Chris Myers, Robert Smith

CBS Late

Eagles at Patriots: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Dolphins at Chargers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Raiders at Broncos: Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Jay Feely

FOX Late

Packers at Bears: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Rams at Seahawks: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

Check out the rest of our 2023 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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