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Booms and Busts - Starts and Sits for Week 1 Lineups

David Montgomery - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

The time has come to rejoice as the 2022 NFL season is finally upon us and, along with it, fantasy football. Every year it feels as though the offseason becomes longer and longer. We make baby steps from one event to the other. Once the Super Bowl is over, excitement for the NFL Draft grows. Once we get through the draft. making it to free agency is the next step. Then we hit a lull before training camps open. Every year we go through this cycle, and it feels like it drags by worse than the year before. But through it all, the NFL's popularity continues to grow due to fantasy football and sports betting. This has become a year-round process for those that eat, sleep, and breath the sport.

With the state of social media and the ability to grab stats at a moment's notice, decision making for fantasy managers has become more simplified over recent years. For the most part, many managers have a solid foundation set in place each week when it comes to their starting lineups. The less headaches the better when setting lineups. Sometimes you can have an embarrassment of riches. But for the most part alleviating the pressures helps managers the most. It's to be expected that there will be those fringe decisions needed to be made each week that cause the most stress.

Relieving the stress of those decisions is what I aim to do each week with this piece. I look for the diamonds in the rough in an attempt to give you the advantage on your competition. Simultaneously, bracing you for what could be disappointing weeks of production from your typical starters. I dive into the numbers to point these players that I will be wooing and those that will be getting booed.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Week 1 Woos - Fantasy Football Booms

Jameis Winston - QB, New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Making his return to the lineup after his 2021 season ended due to injury, Winston will be looking to get off to a fast start. The excuses will be minimal as he will be surrounded by a better group of talent than was at his disposal last season.

A healthy Michael Thomas and the addition of athletic rookie Chris Olave should allow for improvement to a passing attack that ranked 31st a season ago in pass plays per game (28.2). Look for Winston and the Saints' offense to be humming in their season opener against a Falcons defense that ranked among the league's worst in points allowed to the position last year (18.8 FPPG).

He will be a fringe QB1 this week in season-long leagues, but an excellent option to build around in DFS.

Mike Davis - RB, Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

What may be one of the more obvious calls during the opening week of the season, Mike Davis could be primed for a solid game. With J.K. Dobbins likely out for this game, Davis should see the bulk of the rushing work in a positive matchup against a Jets.

This defense was the worst in the NFL a season ago in points allowed to opposing running backs with 25.7 FPPG. With the Ravens favored by seven points going into the game, the assumption is that the run game for the team will be heavily featured.

Opportunities could mean production for Davis as he will likely be heavily rostered in DFS contests due to his price. As for seasonal leagues, Davis should be viewed as a Flex option with the potential upside.

Noah Brown - WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You can call this my gut feeling longshot of the week. In limited opportunities in 2021, Brown slowly started to gain the confidence of Dak Prescott and the coaching staff. With the crowded wide receiver room Brown found the going tough to get onto the field. Garnering praise throughout the preseason, he finds himself in a good position heading into Week 1.

Michael Gallup is expected to miss the game and rookie Jalen Tolbert may not be ready for the spotlight. Leaving Brown with a chance to shine with increased usage. With a point total on the game of 50.5, this could turn into a shootout between the teams.

This means additional targets for Brown and the potential to find the end-zone. It may be a far-fetched idea to plug him in as a WR3 in seasonal leagues, but in the single DFS contest he could be a free square to play.

Brevin Jordan - TE, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts

One of my favorite sleepers heading into the 2022 season, Jordan could be primed for a major step forward. If evident by his usage in the preseason in route participation, he could become a favorite target for Davis Mills.

If his three touchdowns in limited snaps in 2021 are any indication, Jordan could push to become a low-end TE. Looking at this game the assumption would be that the Texans may struggle against the Colts defense. But this is a defense that was soft at times in 2021 against opposing tight ends (9.2 FPPG).

If you are in the market of streaming at the position each week, Jordan is worth a look in Week 1. While in DFS, he is a very solid play for a cheap price to help you build your roster elsewhere.


Week 1 Boos - Fantasy Football Busts

Aaron Rodgers - QB, Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

The perennial fantasy stud and MVP went through quite the tumultuous offseason. With rumors of trades and retirement following him around and the trade of his top receiver in Davante Adams, Rodgers will be facing adversity in 2022.

This was the thought of the fantasy community as well, as he was largely drafted as a QB2 this year. His struggles could start in Week 1 as he goes on the road to face the division rival Vikings and could also be without current WR1 Allen Lazard.

With the uncertainty at the receiver position in this game, I expect to see the Packers to lean on the running game to keep the Vikings offense off the field. The potential of lower production should put Rodgers in the conversation as a bench player this week in favor of options with better matchups.

David Montgomery - RB, Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers

Montgomery is a player in fantasy that you either love or hate. The analytics crowd hate him for the inefficiency he shows on the field. While the traditional crowd loves him for the usage he sees while healthy. Thats no more evident than his numbers from 2021. His snap share of 74.8% ranked him second at the position, while his FPPG of 15.1 was good for only RB12.

The offense is what clearly holds him back, an area that did not see much improvement in the offseason. Couple this with the rumblings of the new coaching staff questioning his fit in the system and you have all the variables of a player to fade.

This should be the case to open the season as he faces a 49ers defense that was among the league's best a season ago allowing just 14.6 FPPG to the position. Montgomery is a Flex option at best this week and if I was in a position to play someone with a better matchup, I would.

Amari Cooper - WR, Cleveland Browns @ Carolina Panthers

The confusing trade from Dallas to Cleveland aside, Cooper has all the makings of a player set for disappointment in 2022. All the negatives surrounding the quarterback position and Deshaun Watson, while playing a very run heavy offense, I just don't see the consistent opportunities coming Cooper's way.

His efficiency numbers took a hit in 2021 on the high-powered Cowboys offense (13.5 FPPG), now he will be getting targets from Jacoby Brissett for a majority of the season. Cooper feels like he could be facing a season similar to Allen Robinson in 2021 with the Bears, where you are forced to bench a player due to inadequacies.

That will certainly be the case in Week 1 as he plays against a Panthers defense that allowed just 20.0 FPPG to opposing receivers last year. Take this into account before plugging Cooper into your starting lineups for Week 1.

Noah Fant - TE, Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

With the offseason trade to Seattle, Fant finds himself in a new home. With new surroundings come growing pains. That is what I expect to see from Fant as the 2022 season gets under way. A player that has been a low-end TE1 in PPG the last two seasons could now find it hard to produce similar numbers.

With Geno Smith as the current starting QB, consistency of target share will be key for Fant. But look for him to come out of the gates slow as he faces his former team, the Broncos. A defense that was among the league's best in defending the position a season ago allowing just 5.0 FPPG to the position.

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