The AEE Fantasy Start/Sit List Week One – RB 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: Kerryon Johnson @ Arizona Cardinals

Kerryon on my wayward son, for there’ll be points when you are done, lay your helmet in their chest, don’t you cry no more! Kerryon Johnson has been hyped all offseason, particularly in PPR leagues with Theo Riddick leaving town. There may not be a better matchup for Kerryon all year than against the Arizona Cardinals, so fire him up in all of your fantasy football leagues.

Start – David Montgomery @ Green Bay Packers: David Montgomery has shown out in preseason action, and I expect this to translate to the Thursday night matchup against Green Bay. Montgomery is one of my most drafted running backs, and I think it pays off in week 1 with at least 15-20 touches.

Start – Austin Ekeler vs Indianapolis Colts: If you were fortunate enough to grab Austin Ekeler, now is the time to start him. Melvin Gordon’s holdout is still pending, and the Colts defense is good enough to incite more short passes to Ekeler than straight runs by Justin Jackson.

Start – Jordan Howard vs Washington Redskins: Miles Sanders has been the most exciting running back on the Eagles roster but Jordan Howard still has a lot of value. I think Howard will see more of the red zone work, and I can see him falling in the endzone for a touchdown or two against the Redskins.

Start – Duke Johnson @ New Orleans Saints: Duke Johnson will likely get his chance to start for an NFL team due to Lamar Miller’s season-ending injury. Furthermore, the Texans failed to add another running back, so for now, Duke Johnson is an RB2 with RB1 upside, especially in PPR leagues.

Start – Royce Freeman @ Oakland Raiders: Patrick Lindsay should still see work, but I like the hard nosed running style of Royce Freeman against a rebuilding Oakland Raiders defense. I think Freeman will see the bulk of the red zone work, and so I’m comfortable starting him as my RB2 or as a flex.

Sit of the Week: Derrius Guice @ Philadelphia Eagles

The excitement for Derrius Guice’s return to action after going down with a season-ending injury in the first preseason game of 2018 has reached its apex. Jay Gruden has come out and confirmed that Guice should see more work than Adrian Peterson. Regardless, I’m not excited about a running back in a road game against a deep Philadelphia Eagles defense, especially given the concerns the Redskins have on the offensive line. 

Sit – Peyton Barber vs San Francisco 49ers: Volume is king, but Peyton Barber is out to prove otherwise. Barber is the definition of three yards and a cloud of dust, and I don’t expect much more against the 49ers. The 49ers defense is mostly average, except for the defensive line which could be a stalwart unit. As such, I’m fading Barber to my bench.

Sit – Derrick Henry @ Cleveland Browns: Derrick Henry has been dealing with a minor issue that has kept him out of some preseason action. If Henry is able to suit up week 1, I have no interest in starting him, as I expect the Cleveland defense to be much improved. With even a minor health issue, Henry is a dangerous proposition as he does not catch passes very often.

Sit – Josh Jacobs vs Denver Broncos: This might be rough sledding for the highest ranked rookie running back in fantasy football. I have the Broncos as one of the league’s top 5 defenses now that they’re being coached by the highly respected Vic Fangio. I do not think Jacobs produces much week 1, even at home.

Sit – Joe Mixon @ Seattle Seahawks: You cannot sit Joe Mixon, let me be very clear about that. However, I’ve included him in this list because you do need to temper expectations. The Bengals will be on the road, Seattle is still one of the toughest places to play and the Seahawks defense is underrated. Again, don’t sit him, but don’t expect him to bust loose either.

Sit – Leonard Fournette vs Kansas City Chiefs: This is a situation where I think game script will override talent. I expect the Jaguars to have to utilize their passing attack in order to keep up with the vaunted Chiefs offense, and this means getting away from the run. Fournette is not a pass-catcher, and therefore, has reduced value in this particular game.