Ready that pointer finger that is going to incessantly refresh the page every time your player puts up a big play. It’s fantasy football season, and the first Sunday is upon us.
While most of you might have your lineups set and ready to go, some might be having some last-minute troubles deciding on which player to start and which one to sit.
Here are some of the top offensive players to start and some to leave out for the remaining Week 1 games in order to give your team the best possible points output.
Start ’em: Tony Romo vs. New York Giants
While a lot of focus has been put on Odell Beckham Jr. (and rightly so), the Dallas Cowboys also have a number of playmakers Romo is going to be able to exploit against the Giants on Sunday night. From Dez Bryant to Jason Witten, Romo should be able to pick apart the Giants.
It helps Romo that the Giants are a hobbled group coming into the season. New York has lost Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, Justin Currie and Bennett Jackson for the season. Now, a patchwork group will try to handle the Cowboys.
Behind an offensive line that is going to protect Romo all day, he is going to have a lot of time to find the open man. Expect him to put up some big numbers.
Sit ’em: Jay Cutler vs. Green Bay Packers
The Chicago Bears quarterback does not fare well against the Packers. In 11 career meetings, he has thrown 14 touchdowns and 23 interceptions and often does not throw for a lot of yards. In fact, he’s thrown for less than 170 yards in three of those games.
He’s also going to be limited in his targets. He will be without wide receiver Kevin White, while Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable.
Start ’em: Latavius Murray vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Latavius Murray gets his first crack as the main running back in Oakland against a Bengals team that is without leading linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
With a team that has unproven receiving targets in Michael Crabtree, who has underwhelmed throughout his career, and rookie Amari Cooper, I’d expect the Raiders to run the ball plenty of times.
Match Murray up with a team that allowed over 116 rushing yards per games last year and that’s a pretty favorable combination. If you don’t feel comfortable putting him at the RB2 slot, he’s the perfect player for the flex.
Sit ’em: Isaiah Crowell vs. New York Jets
It took a while, but after Terrance West was traded to the Titans, Crowell is going to have a notable presence in a Cleveland offense that will be heavily reliant on its rushing game all season, especially with its quarterback situation.
With Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel not exactly instilling confidence in the passing game, the Browns will have to go to the ground to open things up through the air.
I see Crowell as a great fit for the flex this season, but it might be best to sit him against the Jets. They are one of the league’s best teams against the run and will be looking for it all day.
Start ’em: Davante Adams vs. Chicago Bears
It seems like Adams is going to benefit from Jordy Nelson‘s injury. He’ll be getting plenty of looks from Aaron Rodgers all season and should be a serious contender for being in your starting lineup every week.
This week is no exception as he will be up against a Bears secondary that has struggled as of late and will come into the season with four new starters.
Put him as your WR2 and keep him there. I’m sure you have other positions to worry about if he’s on your roster.
Sit ’em: Sammy Watkins vs. Indianapolis Colts
I’m always wary about starting players who are recently coming off an injury. This goes for Watkins, who just recovered from a glute injury.
Of course, that’s not the only reason why you should sit him. A dynamic playmaker with speed and great hands, a minor glute issue would not be enough for many to bench him. But you have to take a look at his surroundings.
It’s one thing to impress in the preseason, but quarterback Tyrod Taylor is going to be under center having never started a regular-season game before. Add that to Watkins lining up against a Colts defense that allowed the fifth-least points in fantasy football to wide receivers and I’ll take a pass on him this week.
Start ’em: Jason Witten vs. New York Giants
Giants fans can back me up here when I give you this scenario:
Tony Romo will drop back to pass on Sunday night, all of his options will be covered, but he will have plenty of time in the pocket due to a weakened Giants pass rush. After seven, eight seconds, the pocket might begin collapsing around him, and at the last possible minute, he’ll find his safety blanket in Jason Witten.
It’s happened before, and it will surely happen again against this Giants defense. In his last five meetings with New York, Witten has recorded four receptions or more in four games with touchdowns in three of them. This also includes an 18 reception, 167 yard game back in 2012.
With the prospect of those kind of numbers coming from your tight end, it would be quite difficult to leave him on the bench this week.
Sit ’em: Vernon Davis vs. Minnesota Vikings
After last season, there’s a pretty good chance Davis wasn’t even drafted by some fantasy owners. In a new offensive system after major overhauls, though, Davis is a returning face still capable of reigniting his career.
If you did take a chance on him, it might be better to leave him out of the lineup this week.
He’ll be up against a Vikings team that allowed just four touchdowns to tight ends all of last season. A decent pass rush is also going to have a scrambling quarterback like Colin Kaepernick presented with the option of running the ball, too. I can’t see Davis getting a ton of looks come Monday night.
This is your opportunity to lay down your league’s gauntlet and let your peers know that you are in it to win it this season. Making some tough decisions like these might just do enough to transform your team into a serious contender.
Stats and fantasy information courtesy of ESPN.com.
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