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Week 1 WR Starts
START OF THE WEEK: Mike Evans (@DAL) – Chris Godwin was widely expected to start the season on the PUP, but could return as early as Week 1. Tampa Bay bolstered their WR room by adding Julio Jones and Russell Gage this offseason, leaving Evans as the most familiar face in the Bucs offense early on. Evans is primed for a massive target share on Sunday Night Football in a game that should produce a ton of points.
Courtland Sutton (@SEA) – Whoever emerges as the go-to-guy for Russell Wilson will have significant fantasy value, and I’m banking on Sutton being that guy. Sutton is a bigger target than Jerry Jeudy and height-wise is most similar to Wilson’s favorite Seahawks target DK Metcalf. I’m expecting Wilson to be aggressive downfield in his return to Seattle, which bodes well for Sutton in Week 1.
Darnell Mooney (vs SF) – Featured on the “2022 My Guys” list, I’ve fully taken over as the conductor of the Mooney Hype-Train at this point. On a Bears offense that is devoid of talent, Mooney should be a target hog on a similar trajectory to what Diontae Johnson has done recently, with 144 and 169 targets the past 2 seasons. His developing connection with Justin Fields is likely to blossom in 2022, and you’ll certainly be able to rely on a ton of garbage time points.
More Starts: Brandon Aiyuk (@CHI), George Pickens (@CIN)
Week 1 TE Starts
START OF THE WEEK: Dalton Schultz (vs TB) – Schultz finished as the TE 3 with 209 PPR points in 2021, yet was often taken as the TE5 or later in fantasy drafts this summer. Schultz is sure to absorb a bulk of Amari Cooper’s vacated targets and should be a PPR monster this season. His Sunday night matchup with the Bucs is a ripe one, and Schultz should pick them apart when they elect to play zone coverage.
David Njoku (@CAR) – I’m bullish on Njoku to the point that it’s almost impossible for him to meet my expectations. While Jacoby Brissett at the helm is likely a detriment to Amari Cooper, I think it may be more beneficial to Njoku than even Deshaun Watson would be. With Austin Hooper now in Tennessee, Njoku takes the reigns as the top dog in the TE room, and should be a major piece of the Browns offense.
More Starts: Dallas Goedert (@DET), Hunter Henry (@MIA)
Week 1 WR Sits
SIT OF THE WEEK: Elijah Moore (vs BAL) – Joe Flacco under center for the Jets should bring a calming presence to New York’s offense that has yet to fully click with Zach Wilson running the show. Moore may benefit from Flacco at QB early on, but I’m not projecting much success for him against the Ravens in Week 1. Unless you’re in a pinch, I’d fade the entire Jets offense early on, until someone emerges as a worthy fantasy commodity.
Chase Claypool (vs CIN) – Former Georgia standout George Pickens has done his best to relegate Claypool to fantasy irrelevance this offseason, continuously making jaw dropping plays in Training Camp and Preseason action. With Mitch Trubisky under center in Week 1, you can’t trust a Steelers player that isn’t guaranteed to get a heavy target share. I’m in full wait-and-see mode on Claypool until he steps up and seizes a prominent role, if that happens at all.
Tyler Lockett (vs DEN) – The Seahawks are rolling with veteran game manager Geno Smith to start the season, which likely a downgrade for all Seattle’s downfield options, given that backup Drew Lock possesses a stronger arm. I’m expecting the Broncos defense to limit the Geno-lead Seahawks, and DK Metcalf and Rashaad Penny are the only viable fantasy options on Seattle in Week 1.
More Sits: JuJu Smith-Schuster (@ARI), Treylon Burks (vs NYG)
Week 1 TE Sits
SIT OF THE WEEK: Zach Ertz (vs KC) – Ertz would be in a prime spot for what projects to be an offensive slugfest between the Cardinals and Chiefs, but he’s been out this week with a calf injury. Despite the Cardinals being without DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, I’m reluctant to rely on Ertz after he missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He was back at practice Friday, but I’d start prepping backup options in case he’s held out in Week 1.
Austin Hooper (vs NYG) – Hooper projects as the starting TE for the Titans after signing a 1-year deal this offseason, but rookie 4th-rounder Chig Okonkwo has impressed and will challenge him for playing time. Regardless, the Titans should be extremely run-heavy against the Giants in Week 1, and it’ll be hard to rely on any Titans pass catchers out of the gate.
More Sits: Evan Engram (@WAS), Irv Smith Jr (vs GB)