It’s fantasy season again and two similarly matched teams will be at it again. Which players should you start and which should you sit?
Let’s find out:
Start of the Week: David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have been one of the top defenses against the run the last few years in the NFL, rarely letting running backs go off for 100 yards or more.
The Redskins...aren’t. In fact they were the 4th worst in the NFL last year and are facing a healthy and retooled offensive line in Arizona, a run-heavy game under Steve Wilks and Mike McCoy that Bruce Arians never stuck to and a healthy, rejuvenated and recently paid David Johnson.
That’s a lot to handle, even with a good defensive line. Expect Johnson to make a mark on the ground and passing game and even though you’ll already be starting him every week, he’s got a chance to eat in this game.
Washington Start: Paul Richardson, WR
Why Richardson? Well despite the fact that AZ has Patrick Peterson playing more zone, it’s almost a rule that you start the #2 wide receiver against Arizona’s #2 corner.
It won’t be the case where Peterson is trailing the top receiver like Josh Doctson now, sure, but with Crowder seeing a lot of Budda Baker and a rangy safety in Tre Boston, I’d guess that Richardson could beat Jamar Taylor on a deep ball given that Alex Smith improved so much in that aspect.
Arizona Start: Ricky Seals-Jones, TE
The Skins gave up a ton of points to tight ends in fantasy last year, and Bradford will be looking his way often if the preseason is any indication. Even with Jermaine Gresham a game-time decision he’s still coming off of an injury. Start Seals-Jones and hope for 4-5 catches and potentially a touchdown.
Washington Sit: Chris Thompson, RB
I’d expect that Adrian Peterson will get a lot of carries but even coming off of injury Thompson might not get a lot on 3rd down in the passing game against Arizona’s deep safeties and athletic linebackers in Bucannon and Reddick.
Wait a week to play him at this point.
Arizona Sit: Chad Williams, WR
While Williams is listed as the #2 wide receiver, he’ll rotate in and out with J.J. Nelson and Christian Kirk.
Kirk will be returning punts behind Arizona’s newly upgraded special teams unit and with Larry Fitzgerald manning the slot, that means that Williams might see Josh Norman line up on him. Which isn’t good considering that the Redskins in 2017 didn’t allow a ton of points to WR’s.
Sit Williams this week until he can prove himself in the offense on a regular basis.
Sleeper Pick: Both Defenses
The Cardinals looked outstanding on defense in taking the ball away and getting pressure with Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche in the preseason. The ‘Skins also looked to have a dominant defensive line.
Both teams are a bit unstable in protection on the offensive line, meaning there’s potential for a field day for one or either team. I’d lean Washington over Arizona given the mobility of Alex Smith vs. Sam Bradford for right now but if the Arizona defense can keep up the turnover pace they showed in the preseason it’s going to have potential to get a ton of points there as well.
Tweet your fantasy questions to @blakemurphy7 on Twitter.