clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Football 2013, Week 1 Advice: Start Matt Ryan, Sit Cam Newton

All you keen fantasy owner will be chopping and changing your fantasy rosters all week long to find that perfect line up of players at your disposal, so I am here to offer a little help towards your decisions, week in, week out. Here are my top starts and sits for Week One of the NFL season at each position.

Matt Ryan is a must start against the New Orleans Saints
Matt Ryan is a must start against the New Orleans Saints
Jeff Gross

Obvious player will not make this list, because you're always going to start Adrian Peterson or Drew Brees or Jimmy Graham no matter what this season, they are your studs on your team, we'll be looking at those guys who are not necessarily number one players on your roster who are expected to have a big game.

Start: QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

The 'Mattural' has recently signed a new long-term contract extension worth over $100 million, so expectations are high for the Falcons to make the Super Bowl this year, and I believe they will get off to a great start and beat the Saints this week. The Saints had the worst defense against the pass last season, and they haven't really done much to improve upon their secondary, drafting safety Kenny Vaccaro was a step in the right direction, but they will not be able to keep up with Julio Jones (who is a fantastic start this week also), Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez this week. It'll be a shoot-out no doubt about it, but I expect Matt Ryan to go well beyond the 20-point barrier this week, with ease.

Sit: QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton was likely drafted as a Top 5 quarterback in your fantasy league this year, and he will be a stud play week in, week out on a regular basis, but not this week. They travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks this weekend, and will not come out on top. The brute physicality of Seattle's defensive front, along with a lock-down secondary, it will be hard for Newton to excel both as a passer and as a runner. I wouldn't recommend sitting Newton if you do not have a viable backup, say for example you have Andy Dalton as your backup (who I don't like this week either), play Newton, but if you have a Tony Romo, a Matthew Stafford or Andrew Luck as your backup, then play them, especially Luck, who has a great match-up against that dire Raiders defense.

Start: RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

Bill Belichick and the gang in New England take on the Buffalo Bills this week, who have struggled to successfully stop the run, especially against the Patriots in recent seasons. The Bills gave up the third most fantasy points at home to opposing running backs last season, which bodes well for Ridley (and also Shane Vereen as a flex option) as the Patriots look to lean on the run a little more. Having lost three of their top four options in the passing attack indefinitely, along with the injured Gronk, Brady will have to put his faith in his young-guns out wide, with the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Sudfeld and Aaron Dobson to see more-than-expected targets.

Sit: RB Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

I wouldn't advise anyone to draft Ryan Mathews, he is as unreliable as they come. Facing the Houston Texans this week, who incidentally gave up the least fantasy points to running backs on the road last season; it looks bleak for Ryan Mathews. He is undoubtedly pickup some sort of injury along the way this season, maybe even this weekend, that's what he does, and I expect Danny Woodhead to take some carries and targets away from Mathews, who will likely be subbed out on third downs and goal-line work. You're unlikely thinking about playing Mathews as any more than a flex this week, I would rather go with someone like Daryl Richardson or Lamar Miller if you're thinking a running back for a flex this week.

Start: WR DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles take on the Washington Redskins this week, who have an awful secondary and let up the third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers last season. Michael Vick appears to have found a new love for the game, and new Head Coach Chip Kelly has brought his up-tempo offense from Oregon and implemented it in Philly. The likes of Vick, Jackson, McCoy are all primed for huge seasons using their top-end speed and acceleration against opposing defenses who may not be able to keep up for the most part. I think D-Jax will top 1000 yards this season, and it all starts with a huge night against the Redskins.

Sit: WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers take on the New York Jets this week, and I know what you're thinking, the Jets suck, and they do, but their defense is surprisingly strong. The Jets were very strong against the pass last season, and didn't relieve many fantasy points to wide-outs last year, even without Revis. Jackson was probably drafted as a WR2 in most leagues, WR3 if you're lucky, so I wouldn't recommend benching him unless you're stacked at the position. Jets corner Antonio Cromartie will be all over Jackson this week, potentially limiting his production.

Start: TE Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots

I think we should concede the fact that the Patriots are going to have a field day on the Bills. They will run riot. Brady will put up huge numbers over a suspect Bills defense which struggles to defend against tight ends. With Gronkowski out, Sudfeld, an undrafted free-agent, will be starting for the team following the release of Jake Ballard, his only real competitor. Sudfeld was impressive in preseason, showing an understanding of the offense and reliable hands for Brady, as well as being a redzone threat. Sudfeld will post TE1 production this week, and will be a good play most weeks until Gronkowski returns.

Sit: TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers

The Packers face off against the best defensive unit in the NFL over in San Francisco, and I don't expect any stand-out player on the Packers' offense this week. Despite a great preseason, this is the wrong match-up to be starting a Jermichael Finley, who you probably drafted in the later rounds as either a backup or a low-end TE1. There are a few viable players available on the waiver wire to spot start (assuming you didn't pickup and play Julius Thomas on Thursday night), such as Jordan Cameron and Zach Sudfeld are likely to be available in the majority of leagues, I'd recommend playing them with better match-ups over Finley this week.

Start: Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST

The Buccaneers defense are probably available in most leagues right now, and are worth picking up and playing them in your line up for this week only. They're playing the Jets, who suck on offense, and will not get an rhythm going with rookie Geno Smith under centre. The Buccs have improved defensively, especially in that secondary by signing Dashon Goldson through free-agency, trading for Darelle Revis, and drafting Jonathan Banks makes that unit look solid. The Jets have no legitimate receivers to through to, and their running game will be questionable, I expect a big day for the Buccs.

Sit: Dallas Cowboys D/ST

The new-look Dallas defense faces off against Eli Manning and the explosive New York Giants offense this weekend, and if there is one thing you can rely on with Eli Manning, it's that he always torches the Cowboys. I expect a bounce-back year from Hakeem Nicks who is now injury-free. Victor Cruz is slightly banged-up but should be a factor, and David Wilson & the improving offensive line for the Giants should give the run-game a boost, as well as protecting Manning for long enough to make plays. A defense in transition doesn't bode well this weekend at least, sit the Cowboys.