College Football Pick’em
Week One Recap
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The Fantasy Football Today team is back with our Sunday morning lineup help. Adam Aizer and Heath Cummings updated you on the latest news and answered some start/sit questions on this morning’s FFT podcast, and Heath is on CBS Sports HQ with Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard until kickoff to answer your questions and get you ready for the week on the FFT live show.
Make sure you check both out, but if you want more direct answers to your questions, I’ve got two more ways for you to win: Go to Twitter and use the hashtag “#AskFFT”, where our whole team will be answering questions all morning; and go to the FFT YouTube channel to chat with Adam and I starting at 11:30. We’ll be there right up until kickoff answering as many questions as we can, so make sure you’re in the chat early to get your questions in.
For more Week 1 help, here’s the rest of our preview content to get you ready:
For the rest of this morning’s newsletter, I’ve got updates on the latest injury news as well as answers to your questions in an #AskFFT mailbag — email me at [email protected] throughout the week to get your emails included.
Send your questions to [email protected] to be included next week
This is really three different questions, one with a very easy answer: Go ahead and cut Van Jefferson. Maybe he’ll have a bigger role this season – Allen Robinson didn’t exactly look like he’s going to demand a massive target share in the opener – but I just haven’t seen enough from Jefferson to think he’ll ever be more than a boom-or-bust WR4, and he’s coming off knee surgery.
Akers and Stafford deserve more patience. Stafford especially so – he didn’t play well Thursday, but there aren’t many teams with a pass rush like Buffalo’s, so he’ll look a lot better against lighter competition.
Akers is, obviously, the tougher question, given his limited role – he played just 18% of the snaps and had three carries in Week 1. Sean McVay didn’t exactly sound complimentary in talking about Akers, saying “There were some instances where there were some positive things and some things that he can do better, but we want to see just an increased level of urgency and accountability snap in and snap out from him,” and I’m heading into Week 2 expecting Akers to be the backup for the Rams.
But that means he’s a backup to a guy in Darrell Henderson Jr. who has basically never proven he can stay healthy at the NFL level, so I would think Akers will get a chance before long. Don’t cut him just yet, but clearly you can’t start him.
Allen is the easiest call, by far, as he enters the season as a top-10 WR in PPR formats. After that, it comes down to Sutton or Etienne. Both enter with the potential to be must-start Fantasy options, but also with questions about how exactly they stack up in their respective team’s hierarchies. For what it’s worth, my FFT colleagues have Sutton as a top-20 WR for Week 1, whereas he’s outside of my top-24 (once you account for the Bills and Rams players I removed). I’m just not sure I buy that Sutton is definitely the top target in his offense. That being said, I have enough questions about James Robinson‘s involvement for Jacksonville that I would start Sutton ahead of Etienne.
In league one, I have the choice of Breece Hall, J.K. Dobbins, Rhamandre Stevenson, or Michael Carter. Mostly struggling between choosing a Jets player or Stevenson here.
In league two, I have to choose between Breece Hall and Dameon Pierce. They both play for bad teams and while I think Pierce might get the ball more than Hall, Hall actually had a significant role in college and is probably the better player.
I’m fairly confident that Hall is a better player than Pierce, and I think it won’t be too long before that is true in Fantasy. But Pierce seems to have a much clearer role, so I’ll defer to that for now. It sounds like Michael Carter really is the starter for the Jets, and while Hall should have a role, it’s not clear if that will include pass-catching or short-yardage opportunities, so I’ll give Pierce the benefit of the doubt in the near term there.
As for the first question, that’s a bunch of bad options, in my eyes. Even if Dobbins plays, I’m avoiding him for at least his first week, but that only eliminates one guy. It comes down to Carter or Stevenson, and I’ll give Stevenson a slight edge in PPR because I do think there’s a chance he gets a decent amount of third-down work for the Patriots. But, really, nothing seems settled in the Patriots or Jets backfields. We’ll learn a lot this week.
Now here, we’ve got some actually-good options to sort through – which presents its own challenges! I think I might be on something of an island with Montgomery, because I’m ranking him as a top-15 back for this week, while none of my colleagues have him as a top-20 option in PPR. I just don’t buy the idea that he’s going to cede much playing time to Khalil Herbert, at least not early on – he played 20 of 22 snaps with the first-team offense in his lone preseason action. I expect the Bears offense to take better advantage of Justin Fields‘ mobility than last season, which means I expect the offense to be a bit more functional.
The 49ers are a tough matchup, but I’ll take what I view as a pretty locked in 15-18 touches from Montgomery over the question marks elsewhere. That being said, I wouldn’t be opposed to starting Moore over him if you’re looking for some upside. Flacco targeted Moore on 31% of his passes last season, and while it was a small sample size, Moore had 181 yards and two touchdowns on his 13 targets. I get the feeling this might be the last week of the season where there is any question of whether you should start Elijah Moore.
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