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Week 1 Woos and Boos - Contrarian Lineup Decisions


With the Week 1 slate finally upon us, the fantasy football season is underway. Even though you have already completed your drafts, that is only part of the process. Putting together the best possible lineup is key to getting your season off on the right foot.

But never fall into the "always start your studs" mentality. If you have a bench player with a prime matchup, don't be afraid to pull the trigger and start them. It could be the difference between a win and a loss. For that reason, I'll pick out some under-the-radar players to consider starting and some big names to consider benching as contrarian lineup decisions each week. I call them my Woos and Boos.

Now, on to the Woos and Boos for Week 1, good luck and many happy victories!

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Woo! Quarterback

Matthew Stafford @ Arizona Cardinals

Stafford is likely a quarterback that was drafted late as a QB2 or could have even gone undrafted in many cases. But if you ran into the unfortunate retirement of Andrew Luck or perhaps have your starter with a tough matchup in Week 1 (Aaron Rodgers anyone?), Stafford could be your saving grace. We all saw how bad this Cardinals Defense looked in the preseason and they will be without both of their starting CBs, including Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. With this game likely to be a back-and-forth affair, Stafford could be in line for a highly productive day. I can see him throwing for over 300 yards while tossing a couple of scores, especially now that he has Marvin Jones back.

 

Woo! Running Back

Matt Breida @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Breida opens the season as the de-facto starter for the 49ers after leapfrogging Tevin Coleman on the depth chart. While you have him healthy, it's a great opportunity to plug him into your lineup. Playing against a Buccaneers Defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in points allowed to opposing RBs (22.6 FPPG), Breida makes an intriguing case to start as a Flex option in Week 1. He could easily go for over 100 total yards in this game while finding the end zone once.

 

Woo! Wide Receiver

John Brown @ New York Jets

The former Raven and Cardinal is a player that was grossly underrated during drafting season and could be in a position to show just why in Week 1. The Bills hit the road to play against a Jets Defense that was next to last in points allowed to receivers in 2018 (28.2 FPPG). With his propensity to get open down the field, Brown should be good for a long score here. He will have upside as a WR3 in this game and should see a healthy amount of targets. Look for a five-catch, 85-yard type of day from Brown to go along with the potential score.

 

Woo! Tight End

Will Dissly vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Dissly surprised many to begin the 2018 season, getting into the end zone in each of the first two games before eventually being lost for the year due to injury. Now heading into Week 1, he could see a similar type of start to his 2019 season. Facing a Bengals Defense that was one of the league's worst in points allowed to the position (10.1 FPPG), Dissly could see himself as being a big part of the gameplan. He may not fill up the stat sheet with a high volume of catches, but he could easily find paydirt in the matchup. If you waited for your starting TE in the draft, Dissly could be worth the look due to the matchup.

 

Boo! Quarterback

Matt Ryan @ Minnesota Vikings

Finishing the 2018 season as the second-best QB in fantasy scoring, Ryan begins the new season with a rather tough draw on the road against the Vikings. The weapons on this high-powered offense are all intact, but with several new offensive linemen looking to gel, Ryan could be hurried quite a bit in this game. Ryan could be considered a player to bench if you have a backup with a plus matchup, but many fantasy owners will be locked into starting Ryan. In this case, you must temper your expectations on his production totals to begin the 2019 campaign.

 

Boo! Running Back

Damien Williams @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Williams has been a hotly discussed player over the last week due to the acquisition of LeSean McCoy. But even without that signing, the road matchup against the Jaguars is not looking to be so hot. The Jaguars were one of the league's best defenses in 2018 against the run (16.0 FPPG). Now with an expected decrease in workload, Willaims may find himself as a player you may want to bench in Week 1.

 

Boo! Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen vs. Indianapolis Colts

Allen remains one of the league's most elite receivers. But he battled injuries throughout training camp and saw little to no work in preseason action. Even with the matchup at home, he could see himself lined up opposite Pierre Desir (one of the league's top CBs) for much of the game. Allen with still see his share of targets in this game, but his production may be a tad bit limited. You will obviously be starting him, but temper your expectations so that you will not be let down.

 

Boo! Tight End

David Njoku vs. Tennessee Titans

Much excitement surrounds this Browns offense as the regular season opens. But Njoku may be on the short end of the stick in this game. The Titans were one of the league's best in defending the TE in 2018 (3.8 FPPG) and could phase him out of this passing attack. With a plethora of weapons at his disposal, I expect for Baker Mayfield to find more success with his receivers on Sunday. Njoku was drafted to be a starter in fantasy, but there could be other options to go with in Week 1.

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