The AEE Fantasy Start/Sit List Week One – Defense Edition

Football is back, baby!

The excitement for the regular season is brimming among fantasy football owners. We are finally approaching real, actual, legitimate football games. As we enter the regular season, let’s take a look at the best starts and sits heading into Week 1 of the NFL regular season.

Start of the Week: Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins appear to be officially “Tanking for Tua” after trading away arguably their best offensive lineman and one of the few weapons this offense had. I believe we’re going to see an early view of Ryan Fitz-tragic, as the Ravens are one of the most consistent defenses year in and year out. Even with all the new faces in Baltimore, this is easily my favorite defensive matchup of the week.

Start – Seattle Seahawks vs Cincinnati Bengals: Similarly to the Ravens, the Seattle Seahawks have a lot of new faces on the defense. However, the linebackers unit is still led by Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright, and the team plays better at home. I expect a solid performance against an undermanned Bengals team.

Start – Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Redskins: The Redskins might have the worst offense on paper heading into the regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles should be able to take advantage of this in a home opener, as they boast one of the deepest defensive rosters in the league.

Start – Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants: The Dallas Cowboys defense is better than it has been in over a decade. Meanwhile, the Giants insist on rolling out Eli Manning instead of preseason darling Daniel “Dimes” Jones. When Danny Dimes does take over, the offense will likely be better, but until then, I’m streaming defenses against Eli Manning.

Start – Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders: Vic Fangio is about to turn the Denver Broncos defense back into a top five unit in the NFL. That starts with the Oakland Raiders, who’s offseason has been filled with drama, primarily revolving around prima donna Antonio Brown. The Raiders could very well get smacked around at home by a defensive unit led by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

Start – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs San Francisco 49ers: I’m not sold on the San Francisco 49ers offense, especially given Jimmy Garoppolo’s preseason performance. Outside of George Kittle, the receiving corps is questionable, and I think the Buccaneers can do some damage in a home opener under fiery new head coach Bruce Arians. Todd Bowles is an underrated defensive coach, and I think he’ll have this team ready to not let George Kittle beat them.

Sit of the Week: Los Angeles Chargers vs Indianapolis Colts

If you’re thinking the Los Angeles Chargers are a good play because of Andrew Luck’s retirement, think again. Jacoby Brissett is one of the better NFL backup quarterbacks, and the difference between 2017 and now is a massively upgraded offensive line. All of the pieces are still in place for Indianapolis to be a good offense, and the Chargers defense is banged up to boot. I’m looking for a streamer if I drafted the Chargers defense this year.

Sit – New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen’s accuracy is still shaky, and so it seems like an obvious play to take the Jets in a home opener against a rival team. However, we’ve seen Josh Allen get it done with his legs, and I don’t think the Jets defense is all that great. I’m fading them in what seems like a plus matchup to see if they’re worth consideration as a streaming option later in the season.

Sit – New Orleans Saints vs Houston Texans: The New Orleans Saints have one of the best defenses in the NFC. However, the Houston Texans have just added three key offensive pieces in Duke Johnson, Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil. It’s fair to wonder how quickly these players can catch up with Bill O’Brien’s playbook, but I expect this to be a high scoring matchup in which I’m avoiding both defenses.

Sit – Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs: This is obvious. The Jacksonville Jaguars defense will look to rebound to when they were the most dominant defense in the league. This will not happen against the best offense in the modern day NFL, an offense that just added LeSean McCoy. If McCoy has anything left in the tank for Andy Reid to take advantage of, it’s going to be a long year for opposing defenses.

Sit – New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers (BOTH): Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots have viable fantasy football defenses. The fact that they’ll be playing each other has me not wanting to play either defense in week 1. The Patriots usually take about a month to get into real shape, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have historically not done well against the Patriots on the road. I’m fading both defenses to my bench this week.

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