Start Em Sit Em

2021 NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: Wide receivers

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Adam Thielen
Minnesota Vikings · WR
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals

In case you just skipped to the wide receivers, which is kind of rude and hurtful, I’m loving the Vikings this week. CB Trae Waynes has been ruled out, which means it’s Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple at corner for the Bengals. I know a lot of you were fading Adam this season because of touchdown regression from last season. And I completely understand that. He might reach last year’s total (14) in this game alone. I know, I’m joking. But this is going to be huge. This game could also be a thrilling, high-scoring situation. So I’m jumping in on this.

Tyler Boyd
Cincinnati Bengals · WR
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings

And if we’re playing the Vikings' side, don’t be afraid to take a look at the Bengals receivers, too. The Vikings allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last season. But the team did improve the position with Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland. So that’s a huge improvement. But we’re looking for volume play in this one. And I look for Boyd, the Bengals' primary slot receiver to get the most targets in this one. He lined up in the slot for 85% of his snaps last season. I’m not sure if Peterson would shadow him in the slot, or if he ends up on Higgins. So I’d favor Boyd here.

Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers · WR
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions

I’m really excited for the 49ers to get rolling this season. I mean, it seems like a lot of people have forgotten how good this team was in 2019. But one player who was great for them last year was rookie Aiyuk. He led the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards. And for whatever reason, people seem to be overlooking him as one of those second-year breakouts. And even with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle makes him more dangerous if anything. I can’t wait to start him against the Lions, who gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers last year. And Jeff Okudah isn’t to the level where I’m fading receivers. I mean, dude got turned around in this preseason game.

Cooper Kupp
Los Angeles Rams · WR
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears

I’m really curious to see how Matthew Stafford performs for the Los Angeles Rams this season. I see him as a dark-horse MVP candidate in Sean McVay’s offense. And it’s also a sad fact that we’re going to be able to target receivers going against the Bears this year. The Bears had a few salary-cap miscalculations that forced them to let go of the excellent Kyle Fuller and rely on Jaylen Johnson as the CB1. And I love Jaylen. But having him and Kyle would have been one of the best tandems in the league. Instead the Bears will have one corner exposed this season. I mean, they are talking about bringing back Bryce Callahan (who is excellent). But when you’re making a move this late in the season, that’s never ideal.

Robby Anderson
Carolina Panthers · WR
New York Jets
New York Jets

Sam Darnold loved Anderson when they played in New York. And I expect the bromance to continue in Carolina. And both are playing in a revenge game against their former team. But beyond that stuff, Anderson was the most-targeted player in Joe Brady’s offense and I expect that to continue this season. We can say D.J. Moore is a better player (is he?). We can wait for Terrace Marshall Jr. to break out. But it’s going to be Anderson, at least early in the season. Might as well get on board with it.

Sleepers: Jakobi Meyers vs. Miami Dolphins; Michael Pittman vs. Seattle Seahawks; Rondale Moore vs. Tennessee Titans; Jalen Reagor at Atlanta Falcons; Russell Gage vs. Philadelphia Eagles.

Sit 'em

Courtland Sutton
Denver Broncos · WR
New York Giants
New York Giants

I’m not 100 percent sure who is getting the James Bradberry treatment. It might even be Jerry Jeudy, although he did take 28% of his snaps from the slot this preseason. But we do know that while Vic Fangio is “very happy” with the status of Sutton, there is a very real possibility he ends up on some sort of pitch count. That would make the James Bradberry situation almost moot if the Broncos end up limiting him on their own, but I do want you to be aware of that. Maybe punt on one of their wide receivers this week.

Mike Williams
Los Angeles Chargers · WR
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team

Feels like everyone is saying this is going to be the year for Williams to finally put it all together. And I’m here for it. If he wants to go out and be this year’s version of Corey Davis, let’s go! I have no shares of Williams, so I don’t know how much of that I’m buying into it. But you do you. It’s like water skiing. Looks like a lot of fun for a lot of people. I’ll find some other way to spend my time. Not knocking it, it’s just not for me. But even if I was a huge Mike Williams truther (looking at you Michael F. Florio), I wouldn’t start him against the FT, which allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Man, imagine if they had signed Bradberry.

Odell Beckham
Cleveland Browns · WR
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs

I’m not going to get into this mode where I slam OBJ, because I happen to be a huge fan of his. I even like Baker Mayfield as a start this week against the Chiefs in a shootout. I’m just not sure if OBJ is going to have a huge game for the Browns this week. I’d look at Kareem Hunt and Jarvis Landry as two pass catchers I’d really want to target from the Browns this week. The Chiefs are also vulnerable to tight ends (although those stats are a bit skewed because Darren Waller was so good against them last year). But I’m not sure OBJ scores a lot against the Chiefs. Which means he’s going for 134 and 2 TDs.

Chase Claypool
Pittsburgh Steelers · WR
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills

I really like Chase. I do. And if we’re being completely honest, any one of these Steelers receivers has the ability to break out at any point. The Bills contained him pretty well last season, limiting him to just three catches for 15 yards in the Bills victory. I can’t imagine you drafted him to be one of your top two receivers. Unless you’re a Dave Kluge Zero WR guy. But I’m likely leaving him on my bench in most spots.

Kenny Golladay
New York Giants · WR
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos

Welp, Golladay was already telling reporters that chemistry takes time. And I don’t know if this is some clever sandbagging and trolling. Like when MJF came out to Jericho’s countdown on All Out, or if he’s just being real with us. What is real is the Giants offensive line has struggled. Daniel Jones didn’t throw a lot of touchdowns last year. And the Broncos defense was already tough on receivers last year and now the defense is healthy. 

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