NFL football is back, which means fantasy football is back too. The Eagles open the season on the road against the Falcons as 3.5-point underdogs, which means it should be a close game. In this NFC Week 1 clash, there will be plenty of players to monitor for both teams. We cover the Falcons here, but this fantasy advice is for the game as a whole, so these recommendations will include both teams!
Obviously, there are those players that you should start every week — Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Still, there are a few diamonds in the roughs on this Falcons squad that could give your team the edge to pull out a win the first week of the season. One of those names is starting running back Mike Davis, who will surely take a majority of the workload, given the depth behind him. He’s a seventh-year pro with his first opportunity to be the lead guy from the get-go after averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 373 yards as a receiver. His ability to make plays in multiple facets of this offense should bode well for owners as the Eagles defense gave up 125.8 rush yards per game in 2020 — start em’.
I have Matt Ryan in my league, but he won’t be starting because I have Justin Herbert. He’s a high-end QB2 in most leagues but can be elevated to QB1 if the matchup is there. In standard leagues, Ryan averaged 18.34 fantasy points per game in 2020. Arthur Smith’s offense will surely see Ryan’s numbers take a dip, but he will become more efficient — sit em’. The last long shot I have for the Falcons is their… defense? Yes, their defense could be a play for some in desperate need of a favorable matchup. I would also stay away from starting Russell Gage outside of any 14- and 16-man leagues because the Falcons are going to attack the middle of the field given the Eagles’ lack of linebackers and safeties — big days for Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst fantasy owners.
Week 1 Fantasy Defenses pic.twitter.com/G789s4JhNx
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) September 11, 2021
Unless you are in a 16-man or larger league, don’t start Jalen Hurts. I think he has value because of his dual-threat capabilities, but the deficiency at skill positions will make it hard to start him. Obviously, start Zach Ertz, but what about Dallas Goedert? Last season, the Falcons gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends and allowed 10 touchdowns to the position, so it seems like an easy decision, right? Wrong; the Falcons’ new-look defense will make it difficult for a young quarterback to succeed — sit em’. There is also the case of Miles Sanders, the team’s defacto RB1. He averaged 16 total touches last season, which isn’t bad, but keep in mind, Hurts will likely take away some of those carries — sit em’.