Who to start and sit this fantasy football season

Who+to+start+and+sit+this+fantasy+football+season

Graphic by Anna Arnsberger

Evan Vieth

Football is finally back! After a long wait and an offseason filled with controversy and unknowns relating to COVID-19, many fans are finally able to play Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football is one of the most popular online games in the country. Every week, players have to debate whether they should start or sit players based on team matchups, injuries, and many other circumstances. After a week of the NFL season down, I believe I have a good grasp on who you should take a chance on this week. Many people struggle with this selection process; here is the Beacon’s guide for fantasy players. 

 

Start

 

Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

This year’s first overall pick was one of the most hyped-up quarterback prospects since Andrew Luck, and in week one he showed us why. Against a powerful Los Angeles Chargers pass rush and secondary, Burrow was able to put up almost 200 yards and a touchdown in his first-ever game. With a full game against a solid defense under his belt, it’s almost a given he’ll improve next week, especially against a struggling Cleveland Browns defense riddled with injury. Burrow may not be a high fantasy scorer like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, but if you’re in a pickle this week and need a high upside QB, Burrow is your guy.

 

Runningback: Jonathon Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Taylor was one of the highest-graded rookie running backs coming out of college this past year, and when the Colts spent a second-round pick on him, fans knew he was going to have a big impact this season. After Marlon Mack, the Colts starting running back, went down with an injury last week, Taylor didn’t see as many touches as Nyheim Hines. This may change however, as head coach Frank Reich has officially named Taylor the starter for week two. Taylor will face the Vikings in week two, which though they have a good pass defense, have historically struggled against the run. Look for Taylor to have a breakout week this Sunday.

 

Wide Reciever: Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

Gallup started the year slow last week when the Cowboys faced the Rams on Sunday Night Football, but the Beacon believes a bounce-back game is in the cards for the Cowboys wideout. Gallup was a breakout receiver last year who was known to be very boom or bust week by week, which leads me to believe his matchup against the Atlanta Falcons will be a big one. Atlanta struggles greatly in pass defense, and with Amari Cooper getting most of the double teams from the Falcons, Gallup could be looking at a 20+ point game.

 

Tight End: Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ebron was one of the Steelers’ biggest free agency signings this year. He signed with hopes of being a high volume pass catcher for the aging Ben Roethlisberger. Ebron struggled in week one, similar to Gallup, which may mean he is available to be picked up from the waivers in some leagues. Unless you have one of the top tight ends like Kelce, Kittle, or Ertz, Ebron may be the play at tight end. Ebron and the Steelers face off against the Broncos in week two, a team that gave up double-digit fantasy points to Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, a player who’s struggled in his young career. Ebron’s week one may have been a red flag for some, but this wildcard could be the difference between an emphatic victory or a pathetic loss.

 

Sits

 

Quarterback: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Minshew Mania was in full swing last week after his surprise 20 point performance and win over the Indianapolis Colts. Many owners have started picking him up and planning to start him, but I don’t think he’ll live up to the hype, at least not in week two. Minshew and the Jags will face off against the Tennessee Titans and their fantastic secondary. Safety Kevin Byard and Cornerback Adoree Jackson are lockdown defenders, and Minshew’s lack of high-level targets will truly show when facing off against the Titans. 

 

Runningback: David Johnson, Houston Texans

David Johnson fantasy owners have been disappointed in the former star ever since his decline beginning in 2017. With a change of scenery, many expected Johnson to have a resurgence on the Texans, and it looked that way against Kansas City last Thursday. Johnson put up an impressive 77 yards and a touchdown in week one, but it’s always important to look past the box score. Johnson did this against a historically bad Chiefs run defense that seems to get worse every year. Though you can’t fully diminish his success because of that, he is unlikely to replicate this performance against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens front seven is built to stop the run, and with the chance of Johnson getting injured at a moments notice, I suggest you stay away from him.

 

Wide Receiver: Terry Mclaurin, Washington Football Team

Scary Terry has been a fan favorite in Washington ever since he arrived in Landover at the start of last year, so this take might be hard for fans to listen to. I love Mclaurin as much as anybody, but this week would not be the time to rely on him. Mclaurin put up under 10 points against the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the worst secondaries in the league. In week two Mclaurin will have to match up against pro-bowler Patrick Peterson all game, giving him even less of a chance to have a strong game. Though it may hurt some fans, Mclaurin is not the player to go with in week two.

 

Tight End: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

After Ebron’s departure from the Colts, many assumed Doyle would step up to have a bigger role in the offense this year. After all, Philip Rivers has been known to rely on his tight end Antonio Gates for over a decade and brings a slower, more methodical approach to the Colts. Doyle, however, has failed to live up to high expectations so far this season. Doyle had an underwhelming 49 yards against the Jags, and his matchup against Minnesota won’t be much better. Though their run defense may not be great, their linebackers are fantastic at covering tight ends, limiting the Packer’s tight end group to just a single catch last Sunday. Doyle is our most confident sit, and taking a chance on a waiver tight end would be a better move.