Fantasy Football: Nine Players to Watch in Week 1

by LaQuan Jones "RealDealFantasy"
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Week 1 of the NFL season has finally arrived. The road to the super bowl starts for a few teams this week. However, more importantly, the road to fantasy football championships for managers starts this tonight! Here are some players to keep a close eye on for week 1. Some players we have questions able when it comes to volume, production, and overall talent in full speed hard-hitting football.

Wide receivers

WR Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers

My eyes are glued for the three wide receiver sets that the Chargers run on offense and how often we see Palmer touches the ball. Palmer likely won’t see starting lineup production, but we’ll keep an eye for anything that points to hope for future weeks.  

WR Brandon Cooks, Houston Texans

There has been a lot of drama with the Texans this summer. With DeShaun Watson not playing, Cooks has Tyrod Taylor to depend on for any type of production. Pay close attention to the volume and if the Texans can move the ball any kind of way. Cooks shouldn’t be in starting lineups this week till further notice. Cooks has been a productive fantasy wide receiver throughout his career, but the questions at quarterback will be something to monitor early.

WR Elijah Moore, New York Jets

Elijah Moore has had a good camp. Expect Moore to show up and show out vs the Panthers this weekend. Moore was electric in the limited preseason action we saw. He might even be worth a flex play this week as he could put solid points on the board. 

Running Backs

RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

We need to see more out of Stevenson to know exactly what his role will look like. However, his 91-yard run in the preseason should have caught your attention. Because of that, he’s someone to watch this week and early in the season to see his usage.

He may not be in starting lineups, but he should have a place on your roster. If he’s on the waiver wire, he’s someone to pick up immediately. His thumb injury shouldn’t be too worrisome and he should be on the field this Sunday. 

RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Ekeler shouldn’t see the bench on fantasy football lineups because of his heavy price tag. A hamstring injury has flared up, but Ekeler should be ready to go on Sunday. His snap percentage will be something to keep an eye on to see just how bad the injury is and if it could be something that persists throughout the year. 

RB DeAndre Swift, Detroit Lions

Starting the season with a groin injury isn’t something fantasy football players want to hear. However, the Lions believe Swift is past the injury. This is the same injury we saw Curtis Samuel tweak once again this week, causing him to be sidelined. Swift could be on an unspoken snap count, leaving a lot of fantasy football players in the wind. He could be someone that gives hope for big points, but gives mid-level return.  

Quarterback

QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

The rookie has one of the best matchups this weekend against the broken and drama-filled Texans defense. Lawrence could come out of his first NFL game with a lot of confidence if he performs at a high level. this game with high confidence if he performs at a high level.

If you were someone who waited on Lawrence as your QB1 in one quarterback leagues, then you are probably not that worried about starting him this week. The best outcome this weekend is coming out with the win and 25+ fantasy football points on the board. 

QB Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

In Darnold’s revenge game against the Jets, it will be curious to see if the “Adam Gase curse” is real. If Darnold can play a solid game and show that he is serviceable, then the Gase curse is broken. If he bombs the season opener against the Jets, then Darnold has a hill to climb this season.

As a fantasy football player with some shares of Darnold, you can bet he has a spot on my bench or will be on the waiver wire come Monday depending on how he performs. 

QB Mathew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

We are all waiting to see how good this Rams offense will be under new quarterback Mathew Stafford this season. Stafford found his way on a lot of fantasy rosters this season. With a better offense and better weapons, Stafford shouldn’t disappoint.

Stafford has expectations and projections of a 5,000 yard season, 35 touchdowns, etc.  He has extremely high expectations for a late-round quarterback in fantasy football drafts. He starts his season against a strong Bears defense on Sunday Night Football and will be able to prove what he can do in the Rams offense. 

End Game

These players should be on your radar, in your starting lineup, or sitting on your bench. A lot of questions will be partly answered this week but don’t overreact if things go south for some players or even if a player explodes in the season opener. Overall remain cool, calm, and collected. It’s Week 1 BABY! Let’s enjoy some football! 

Good luck in your first matchup! Fingers crossed for 1-0 start!

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