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Fantasy Football Insights (2021): Week 1



It is finally here. The NFL season is upon. With week 1 only a few days away, I will touch on some of the key players/matchups that I like in fantasy football this week.

Each week, I will put out players I think are good plays, or matchups that should be exposed. I will also touch on the key waiver wire pick ups as well as review the previous week.

Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens

Ravens Game Against Steelers Is Moved Again, to Tuesday Night - The New  York Times

He is one of the better fantasy plays this week at QB, as he will be asked to do a lot. Baltimore is still thin at RB, and their entire WR core is banged up. They are a run oriented team as it is, and Jackson will pull the ball down and take off early and often. The Raiders defense should not scare anyone, so start Jackson with confidence.

Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals

Murray gets himself a nice matchup in week 1. The Titans secondary is just awful. They gave up the second-most passing TDs (36), fourth-most passing yards (4,439), and teams threw on them a total of 630 times last year. Murray should have no problem passing on this secondary for multiple scores. He is also a threat on the ground, lending his owners another avenue to accumulate points.

Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans

The Titans-Cardinals games has one of the highest over/under values of the week, leading me to believe this will be a high scoring affair. Yes, the Titans do remain a run-first team, but I think Tannehill will enjoy having Julio Jones in the red zone, adding a new wrinkle to their offense. With the Titans defense being bad, they will be forced to throw the ball more to stay in most games.

James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars RB James Robinson named biggest offseason loser

I just love this matchup for Robinson for so many reason. With it being the debut of Trevor Lawrence, I envision the Jaguars relying heavily on the run game and the dump down game, feeding Robinson all he can handle. Their opponent, Houston, is awful this season. The Jaguars could have a good lead late, allowing Robinson to rack up the yards while running out the clock. Carlos Hyde just does not do it for me. So, as far as I’m concerned, the backfield is all Robinson this season.

Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings

There is not a running back that has a better fantasy matchup this week then Cook. The Cincinnati run defense is awful. They allowed the fourth-most rushing yards last season (2,368) and the second-highest yards per attempt average (5.5). Cook should be able to find space to run early and often on Sunday. On top of that, with Irv Smith Jr. out for the season, I think Cook will eat up some of those available targets in week 1 while Chris Herndon gets familiar with the system in Minnesota.

Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints

Once again this season, Alvin Kamara will find himself as the focal point of the Saints offense. The Saints picking Jameis Winston as their starting QB benefits Kamara a ton in fantasy. He is less likely to pull the ball down and run, and more likely to dump the ball off to Kamara when in distress. With Mike Thomas on the PUP list and Adam Trautman banged up, Kamara should see double-digit targets or close to it in week 1. This projects to be a high-scoring affair as well, leading to a lot of red zone attempts for Kamara

DJ Moore – Carolina Panthers

DJ Moore, Week 12 Fantasy Preview | NBC Sports

Moore may be one of the more underrated WRs in the league. He is coming off back to back 1,000-yard season, and arguably has a better QB in Sam Darnold then he did last season. The Panthers open with the Jets, whose secondary is a mess. I think Darnold is going to want to make the Jets regret giving up on him (REVENGE GAME), and pass the ball a ton. Look for Moore to go over 100 yards and a touchdown this game.

Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers

Stud WR, red zone target, a favorite of a HOF QB, playing in a game that should be high scoring? Sign me up for all of that. Adams is usually in the top 5 of fantasy WRs year in and year out and this season is no different.

Stefon Diggs – Buffalo Bills

I had to sneak a Bills player in here somewhere. With this being Diggs’ first home opener in front of the Mafia, I think Josh Allen with feed him early and often. That whole entire team is going to be hyped up and want to make a statement early. Last season, Diggs caught 10 balls for 130 yards and a TD against Pittsburgh. He knows how to exploit their secondary.

Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons

My Guys: Kyle Pitts, Darnell Mooney and 30 more of Jake Ciely's favorite  fantasy football players – The Athletic

Rookie tight ends usually take some time to develop and very rarely perform well their rookie year. Pitts is not the normal rookie TE however. This kid is a freak athlete with great hands. They are playing an Eagles defense that is vulnerable to the TE. Look for Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts to grow a connection early, especially in the red zone.

Jonnu Smith – New England Patriots

With Mac Jones starting and Hunter Henry still banged up, Smith should emerge this week as the go to target for Jones. Smith can be a mismatch for the Dolphins LBs, allowing Mac Jones to make the easy passes to him. It actually would not surprise me if Smith ends up leading the Patriots in receptions this season.

As always hit me up on twitter (@JPW2542) with any questions. We are here to help.