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16 Players to Like/Dislike in Week 1

Spencer Ware is going to get every opportunity Sunday to show he's a starting caliber running back

Spencer Ware should have plenty of opportunities Sunday to show he’s a starting caliber running back

There are plenty of articles out there with opinions of experts, but we’re pretty sure this is the only one you’re going to find that combines the thoughts of over 10 industry professionals in one place.

We realize that there are going to be start/sit questions abound, but there’s no way you’re sitting your studs so we won’t go there. Instead, what you’re going to find below are opinions on players that our featured experts are higher or lower on compared to the consensus. In other words, if you need reassurance on whether you should start or sit any of the names below, you’ve come to the right place.

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Spencer Ware (RB – KC vs. SD)
Rich’s Rank: RB5 | Consensus Rank: RB14
“Everything is in place here for Ware to have an enormous start to the season as the Chiefs have spelled out to us that it’s his show this week regardless of whether Jamaal Charles dresses or not. Ware averaged over a full rushing point per carry last season, which was tops at the position. No team allowed more rushing points per attempt last season than the Chargers at .71. Ware averaged 5.4 yards per carry last season on runs guard-to-guard, the highest yards per attempt of any back with 50 or more such carries, while San Diego allowed 4.3 yards per carry on those runs, the 8th highest in the league.
Rich Hribar (The Fake Football)

Christine Michael (RB – SEA vs. MIA)
Derek’s Rank: RB12 | Consensus Rank: RB27
“The Dolphins defense is a classic example of perception not matching reality. Because they signed DT Ndamukong Suh to a monster contract last year and they boast a strong defensive line, people assume they are tough to run the ball against. The reality is that the Dolphins were the 32nd ranked fantasy running back defense with 24.0 points per game allowed to fantasy backs. Look for Michael, who was red hot in the preseason, to see 15-20 touches in the opener and for him to compete for top-12 RB production this week.”
Derek Lofland (FFManiax)

DeMarco Murray (RB – TEN vs. MIN)
Smitty’s Rank: RB8 | Consensus Rank: RB18
“While handcuffing him with Derrick Henry is a must in all formats, Murray, and especially the duo, has RB1 upside this year. Given how much the Titans will run the football, Murray will get more than enough touches to thrive and produce low-end RB1-type numbers. Staying healthy is a concern, but that’s why you handcuffed him and reached early for Henry. Right?”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Isaiah Crowell (RB – CLE at PHI)
Zach’s Rank: RB25 | Consensus Rank: RB35
“As decent as the Eagles’ defensive line looks on paper, they gave up a league-high 1,930 rushing yards to running backs last year — an average of 121 yards per game on the ground. While the Browns don’t have as good of an offensive line as they have had in previous seasons, Crowell should still be able to find enough holes to produce numbers in fringe RB2 territory. Plus, it would bode well for Hugh Jackson and Cleveland to take some of the pressure off of Robert Griffin, especially without Josh Gordon, by establishing the run game through Crowell. Duke Johnson will take away some of Crowell’s playing time, as will be the case throughout the season, but look for Crowell to still draw 15 to 20 touches on Sunday.”
Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Donte Moncrief (WR – IND vs. DET)
Walter’s Rank: WR19 | Consensus Rank: WR32
“I’m generally not very high on the Colts this week, or rather, this season until they get their offensive line issues figured out. They couldn’t pass protect whatsoever in the preseason, and their weak offensive line will hinder their offense until this problem is resolved. Making matters worse, they’re battling the Lions, who have a strong pass rush. With that in mind, I wouldn’t expect Andrew Luck’s second receiver to produce much, though I won’t discount the possibility of Moncrief doing something positive in garbage time.”
Walter Cherepinsky (Walter Football)

Jarvis Landry (WR – MIA at SEA)
Smitty’s Rank: WR10 | Consensus Rank: WR26
“Capable of catching over 100 balls and 10+ TDs in 2016, Landry is one of the most undervalued WR1s in fantasy. He absolutely has that kind of upside, yet he is valued as a WR2, sometimes lower. Landry could very well be a top 5-10WR in 2016 – He is a fantastic buy-low as we inch toward Sunday games. Make offers.”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Terrelle Pryor (WR – CLE at PHI)
Tehol’s Rank: WR23 | Consensus Rank: WR61
“The ONE incredibly intelligent thing the Cleveland Browns organization has done in the past decade is giving this 6’4″ thoroughbred a shot at making the switch from QB to WR. As we witnessed this preseason when Pryor went Fantastic Four’s Human Torch on superstar defensive back Desmond Trufant for a 50-yard bomb from the reborn RG3, the Ohio State product has the talent and the hands to be a STAR receiver in this league. That is correct, I said STAR! It has been written.”
– Tehol Beddict (Razzball)

Matthew Stafford (QB – DET at IND)
Kevin’s Rank: QB2 | Consensus Rank: QB7
“Stafford’s matchup pops the lid off his upside. Colts’ CBs Vontae Davis and Darius Butler won’t play. Saftey Clayton Geathers is out, too. With Antonio Cromartie likely to log heavy snaps, Stafford and a deep group of pass catchers shouldn’t face much resistance. A potential shootout also works in his favor — Vegas pegs the over/under here at 51.5.”
Kevin English (Draft Sharks)

Tyrod Taylor (QB – BUF at BAL)
Mike’s Rank: QB7 | Consensus Rank: QB13
“Not only is there some narrative street in this matchup with Taylor going back to Baltimore, but the matchup fits him extremely well. The Ravens allowed 30 passing touchdowns last year, and 26 of them (87 percent) went to wide receivers. If there is anything that we know about the Ravens, it’s that their secondary, and corner Jimmy Smith specifically, can be burned quite often. Once Sammy Watkins and Taylor got into a groove, it was lights out for opponents, as Taylor scored 18 or more fantasy points in five of his last six games, including three of them with 26 or more points. Regardless of his passing ability, his rushing floor is 30-40 yards, which is essentially another passing touchdown in standard leagues.”
Mike Tagliere (Pro Football Focus)

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Melvin Gordon (RB – SD at KC)
KJ’s Rank: RB36 | Consensus Rank: RB23
“In 2015, Melvin Gordon saw the Kansas City Chiefs twice, totaling 72 yards on 29 carries, good for just 2.5 YPC. Combine that with Danny Woodhead continuing to operate as the go-to red zone back, a healthy Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen, and it all adds up to Gordon being a guy I don’t want on my week 1 rosters. I think he’d have to break a long run in order to find the end zone this Sunday.”
– KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

Jeremy Langford (RB – CHI at HOU)
R.C.’s Rank: RB50 | Consensus Rank: RB20
“I’m not a believer in Langford, period. Scouting him back at Michigan State, I thought he was a terrible inside runner with poor hands for the passing game. Last season, in his debut, he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry and was one of the worst pass-catching running backs in the league – he only caught 52.4% of his targets (dreadful for an RB) and had several drops. You put that against a solid+ defensive front on Houston (a top 10 defense against the run last season), and I want no part of Langford in this game… or this season.”
R.C. Fischer (FFMetrics)

Rashad Jennings (RB – NYG at DAL)
Derek’s Rank: RB33 | Consensus Rank: RB21
“Jennings played the Cowboys twice last year and he had 13 carries for 52 yards and one touchdown, which was followed by five rushing attempts for just 19 yards. Even though the release of RB Andre Williams will help him see more goal line work, the Giants often pass the ball a ton and have RB Shane Vereen on the field. Add in the fact that Jennings turned 31 this year and I just do not see the Giants relying on him for 15-20 carries per game. I think it’s more realistic that he sees just 10-12 carries on Sunday while splitting time with other running backs. I view him more as an RB4 than an RB2 or flex play.”
Derek Lofland (FFManiax)

Tavon Austin (WR – LA)
Jake’s Rank: WR50 | Consensus Rank: WR36
“Austin had 12 games with less than nine fantasy points and nine games with six points or less. The Rams aren’t going to use Austin as much running the ball with Todd Gurley 100 percent and in the backfield for 16 games. So why would anyone want to bank on a player with four good games last year, who topped 43 receiving yards just twice and never hit 100? Because of his rushing ability? I just said he’s not going to see much with a full season of Gurley. Stop the madness.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Michael Floyd (WR – ARI vs. NE)
KJ’s Rank: WR34 | Consensus Rank: WR25
“New England loves to shut down the top receiving option on opposing defenses, coming in as the 7th hardest matchup for opposing WR1s in 2015. The Cardinals also have a plethora of other receiving options in Fitz, John Brown, and David Johnson. Six of Floyd’s 15 games played, saw him finish with 1 or 0 receptions, meaning he is not a guy I could start with confidence given the matchup and situation.”
– KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

Jeremy Maclin (WR – KC vs. SD)
Mike’s Rank: WR37 | Consensus Rank: WR22
“I didn’t realize that Maclin was so high in the consensus because I thought everyone knew about shutdown corner Jason Verrett by this point. If there is one part of the Chargers defense that you should avoid, it’s throwing at that guy, who will be shadowing Maclin all over the field. He allowed less than a 60 percent catch rate while shadowing opposing No. 1’s all over the field. He allowed just three touchdowns in his coverage all year, and while one big play can change the week for any receiver, Maclin relies on a lot of little plays to make or break his weeks. He’s a fade in a matchup that bodes extremely well for Spencer Ware and the KC run game.”
Mike Tagliere (Pro Football Focus)

Kirk Cousins (QB – WAS vs. PIT)
R.C.’s Rank: QB22 | Consensus Rank: QB12
“I’m not sold on Cousins, at least not against higher-level opposition. He only faced three teams with a better-than-.500 record last regular season, and produced 3 TD passes against 4 INTs in those contests. He lost all three of those games with a high game of just 217 yards. Cousins did most of his damage against the worst pass defensive teams in the NFL: 15 TD/0 INT against Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Philly, and Buffalo (no Gillmore) last season. On the other hand, I do believe in a rising Steelers defense. After getting popped early, they held 6 of their final 7 opponents (including playoffs) under 300 yards passing (233.3 avg. pass yards per game allowed in that span). I don’t see huge upside potential for Cousins this week.”
R.C. Fischer (FFMetrics)

Thanks to all the experts that have given their dissenting opinions. For more great advice, listen to our latest podcast below.

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