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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 1: Kickers and Team Defenses - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Broncos defense should feast on the Seahawks.

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Josh Allen, Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp. Instead, I'll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the NFL season.

Fabs Top 10
1. 49ers D/ST at Bears
2. Broncos D/ST at Seahawks (MNF)
3. Saints D/ST at Falcons
4. Colts D/ST at Texans
5. Ravens D/ST at Jets
6. Bengals D/ST vs. Steelers
7. Titans D/ST vs. Giants
8. Eagles D/ST at Lions
9. Patriots D/ST at Dolphins
10. Chiefs D/ST at Cardinals

Complete Week 1 rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | FLEX | K | DST

Week 1 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Start of the Week

Broncos defense at Seahawks (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): The Russell Wilson revenge game won’t only be good for the Broncos offense, but the defense should also do well in the stat sheets. Geno Smith doesn’t inspire much fear around the NFL, and the Broncos should get to him often and force multiple turnovers as well.


Start ‘Em

Ravens defense at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): I guess you could call this the Joe Flacco revenge game (?), but he’s little more than a backup at this stage of his career. The Jets did make some improvements on offense, but can Breece Hall or Garrett Wilson make an immediate impact? I tend to think not. Start the Ravens.

More Starts

  • Saints defense at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Titans defense vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Eagles defense at Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Bargains

  • Eagles defense at Lions ($3,100)
  • Commanders defense vs. Jaguars ($2,500)

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Week 1 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Sit of the Week

Cowboys defense vs. Buccaneers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): The Cowboys had one of the elite defenses in fantasy football last season, but an opening-week matchup against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers doesn’t bode well. I wouldn’t drop this unit altogether, but managers who have the Dallas defense should explore alternatives.

Sit ‘Em

Packers defense at Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Green Bay’s defense should be a nice option for fantasy fans when the matchup is right, but that’s not the case this week. Their defense has allowed 28 or more points to Minnesota in two of their last three meetings, including two games with 34 points. Expect a barnburner.

More Sits

  • Bears defense vs. 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Vikings defense vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Steelers defense at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Chargers defense vs. Raiders ($3,300)
  • Cardinals defense vs. Chiefs ($2,900)

Week 1 Start ‘Em: Kickers

Fabs Top 10
1. Justin Tucker at Jets
2. Tyler Bass at Rams (TNF)
3. Harrison Butker at Cardinals
4. Evan McPherson vs. Steelers
5. Daniel Carlson at Chargers
6. Rodrigo Blankenship at Texans
7. Matt Gay vs. Bills (TNF) 
8. Dustin Hopkins vs. Raiders
9. Ryan Succop at Cowboys
10. Brandon McManus at Seahawks (MNF)

Complete Week 1 rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | FLEX | K | DST

Start of the Week

Rodrigo Blankenship at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Blankenship missed most of last season due to injuries, but he’s back at 100% and should be productive against the Texans. Their defense allowed the sixth-most points (26.6 PPG) last season, so look for Matt Ryan and crew to give Blankenship plenty of chances to produce.

More Starts

  • Dustin Hopkins vs. Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Jake Elliott at Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Ryan Succop at Cowboys (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

Week 1 Sit ‘Em: Kickers

Sit of the Week

Greg Zuerlein vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Greg the Leg has lost much of his fantasy luster after an offseason move to the Jets, whose offense might very well be less than stellar with Joe Flacco under center. Kickers of the Men in Green were among the worst in terms of fantasy production last season, so keep Zuerlein out.

More Sits

  • Jason Sanders vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Greg Joseph vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Chris Boswell at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)


More fantasy & NFL coverage:

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!


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