The NFL regular season is finally here. After free agency, the NFL Draft, roster cuts, and preseason games, it is finally time to begin the season and everything that goes along with it. One of the most popular aspects of the NFL regular season is fantasy football. Your friends at Canal Street Chronicles will be here for you through the year, identifying players and their matchups for the entire regular season. Suggestions for starting and benching players each and every week will be detailed in this series.
Fantasy football lineup suggestions NFL regular season Week 1
Starters for fantasy football Week 1
There is likely going to be some offensive explosions this week. Identifying rising teams against poor teams could help. Enter Trevor Lawrence and Carson Wentz. Lawrence and Wentz play each other this week in what could be a sneaky offensive game. Lawrence has looked more comfortable in his first few games with Doug Pederson. In two limited appearances, Lawrence produced 20/33 for 228 yards and one touchdown. Also, and good for fantasy players, Lawrence also rushed for 24 yards. Likewise for Wentz, the Washington Commanders new quarterback has been efficient this preseason. Wentz threw 16/22 for 138 yards. With both defenses in this game being suspect at best, each could be sneaky streamers week 1.
In backfields, one player who could cement himself this week is Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson. Cam Akers is still trying to return from an Achilles injury he suffered last season. Even though he played some last season, Akers was not effective, averaging under 2.5 yards per carry. If Akers continues to struggle, Henderson has little other competition in the backfield after Sony Michel’s departure this off-season. The Rams play the high-powered Buffalo Bills this week as well. Expect a high scoring game which should help Henderson’s value. He is worthy of a RB2 or flex play this week.
While looking at high-powered offenses and games with high totals, the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals could easily be the game of the weekend. The Chiefs have a lot of volume to replace after the loss of Tyreek Hill and it is unknown who will step up for the team. Likewise, the Cardinals will have to replace Deandre Hopkins for the first six games this season as he serves a suspension. Neither defense in this game should scare fantasy managers either. AJ Green should be in starting lineups this week for the Cardinals. Green signed a one-year contract to return to the team and should see snaps immediately. For the Chiefs, it really is a dice roll. Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are both likely starters for this offense. With Patrick Mahomes under center, both are worth a consideration in this week’s WR2 or flex rosters.
Do you abide by the rule of "never bench your studs" in fantasy football?
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Bench the volatile
One of the biggest risks in fantasy football is injury. Players missing portions of games can extremely deprive your team of that valuable volume. Going into week 1, there are still many players recuperating injuries from last season. It is best to avoid these players, if possible. At running back, it is hard to get a grasp on what the Baltimore Ravens are going to do. J.K. Dobbins has yet to put in meaningful reps in practice, Gus Edwards is on the injured reserve list, and the team signed Kenyan Drake after the preseason week 3 roster cuts. Until more is known about this backfield, it is impossible to trust any of them. Bench all Ravens running backs in week 1.
Pete Carroll is still not saying much about the injury to rookie running back Kenneth Walker III, but that says enough to not trust Walker this week. The Seattle Seahawks have to play the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football in the Russell Wilson revenge game. The Broncos have a decent run defense but will likely score enough to force the Seahawks into passing mostly. The Broncos are 5.5-point favorites going into the game. Walker would likely split carries with incumbent Rashaad Penny if he did play, but there are too many questions around this backfield in what could be a blowout for Denver. Bench Kenneth Walker III.
For pass-catchers, there are a trio of options that cannot be trusted this week. For the Arizona Cardinals and Zach Ertz, the tight end has not practiced in almost a month. If he does play in Week 1, it will likely be in limited fashion. Moving on to Chris Godwin and Michael Thomas, both are still recovering from injuries suffered last season. Both are beginning to practice but how much will either be needed this week? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Dallas Cowboys, who are likely in store for a difficult season. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints will face the Atlanta Falcons, who might be considered one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Even if both players could play in this week’s games, a large lead for the favorites could lead to both seeing limited action. Bench Zach Ertz, Michael Thomas, and Chris Godwin.