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It's officially in the air. For the beginners, you've logged your first draft, you've probably looked at your lineup a few dozen times, and you're just waiting to see what happens next. For the veterans, it's just the beginning. There are enough good or great drafts in everyone's books, but the truth is well known; Alvin Kamara was picked up in more leagues than he was drafted in last year. If you're still focusing on the draft, and only the draft, you probably missed out on a week of grabbing players like Alfred Morris and James Conner off of waivers. In fact, I'd argue that the people who were so hell-bent on drafting every single guy with the word "sleeper" or "rookie" penciled next to his name is gonna have a very strong overlap with the guys who miss out or get sloppy halfway through the season.

In fact, heading into the last day of no meaningful football, I caught one last draft. A friend of mine who I got to know when I started doing stand-up comedy way back when had started a league, and I jumped in just for shits and giggles. If you've never had a "who gives a crap?" league, the kind where you sorta care about what happens but that's the depth of your emotional attachment, it's a fun league to try different things out. Give Zero RB a try! Or Zero WR! Or no kickers at all, because you're bold like that. But this was a league that reinforced everything I had felt about the fantasy season; that players are overly hyped on sleepers, ignoring some very interesting talent, and often missing guys that are right in front of them because they are lacking some "wow" factor that the scuttlebutt of preseason hasn't rewarded them.

Generally, the guys who pick a DJ Moore or Anthony Miller have dropped them by the time Week 4 waivers roll around, especially in re-draft leagues. Sexy picks become very un-sexy when they aren't scoring consistently for you, and year in and year out a number of "hot picks" become freely available guys. For now, though, keep an eye on opportunity and production. Everything else tends to work itself out.

Editor's Note: One of our favorite fantasy football apps this season is SquadQL, where you can sync your ESPN, CBS and Yahoo teams and and optimize your lineups each week. The SquadQL app will give you customized lineup recommendations, and also player news, waiver wire and trade suggestions! Download SquadQL Now!

 

Week 1 Pop Quiz

For everyone new to this column, I'm highlighting running backs and wide receivers for the 2 and 3 slot, and a tight end slightly outside of the normal top-eight. You won't see anyone named Gurley or Beckham Jr. here, but more of guys who are likely on your bench or in some cases on waivers, and why they might be a good fit this week specifically.

 

Running Back Questions

Against all odds, should you take a look at ___________ as an RB1 now?

A: Jordan Howard
B: Royce Freeman
C: LeSean McCoy
D: Joe Mixon

He's been a quiet selection in drafts in 2018, usually a third or fourth round pick, and after a quiet rookie season he didn't jump out as an obvious breakout pick. But expect Joe Mixon to put up RB1 numbers this week against an Indianapolis Colts defense that's solidly at the bottom of stopping the run, as the Bengals hope to get out to a steady-yet-early lead against the Colts and use their defense to maintain it. There's also a decent chance that, from his work in preseason, Mixon may also be used more in the passing game. In PPR, that's all you need to put him in the RB2 slot.

______ is a bit of an upside opportunity for Week 1 

A: Dion Lewis
B: Jamaal Williams
C: Chris Carson
D: Rex Burkhead

It's entirely too cute to play a bench back in an upside role in Week 1, but if you're a Jerick McKinnon/Le'Veon Bell owner you may not have a choice. And after giving away Ndamukong Suh (no dramatics necessary, that's literally what happened) at the end of the 2017 season, anyone facing the Miami Dolphins may find it's easy to simply jaunt into the end zone via the ground game. So while I also like Derrick Henry to lead the offense here, Dion Lewis is still expected to get some goal-line work, and he may get enough in Week 1 that people begin wondering how big the timeshare is. Chipped-Neon Dion isn't going to get this defense every single week, but for now, he's great for a team in need of opportunity or a DFS play.

 

Wide Receiver Questions

______ is a great WR1 in a very weird week. 

A: Chris Hogan
B: Demaryius Thomas
C: Allen Robinson
D: Stefon Diggs

While all eyes have turned to Chicago-Green Bay matchup in Week 1 in line with the Khalil Mack signing, keep an eye on Allen Robinson against a porous Green Bay Packers secondary. Especially with such an accomplished run stopping unit up front, Green Bay will be forced to go through the air. Which is great if you enjoy more fun matchups and shootouts. But for Chicago, they will likely not stay competitive if they can't survive in the air, so make sure to slide Allen Robinson at least into your FLEX and hope that Trubisky can get it to them.

 

Tight End Question

In Week 1, I have already given up on ASJ and my new best friend is _________

A: Jimmy Graham
B: Trey Burton
C: Delanie Walker
D: Ricky Seals-Jones

If it's a good enough reason to start Allen Robinson, it's a good enough reason to start Trey Burton. Everyone who loves fantasy has waited eagerly to see when Trey Burton would arrive and how he would announce himself, and this first matchup looks like a very good time to do it. While a very good defensive line will try to keep Burton in check, if he gets sent out with some frequency, he's likely to find the end zone and early fantasy success.

 

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