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Fantasy Football: Five Things to Look for in Week 1

If you're looking for help deciding which players to start and sit this week, look at my Week 1 Fantasy Football rankings here. In this offering I'm taking a look at five things to watch out for as the NFL season kicks off.


1. See the start of a strong fantasy season for Trey Lance.


Fantasy scoring for quarterbacks is a little unbalanced in most leagues, but I like that QB rushing yardage is treated like all other rushing yardage, namely one point per ten yards. Lance definitely has that in his corner and look for Week 1 to be the start of consistent QB1 play for the second-year signal caller. If he's merely decent as a passer, he'll make a lot of teams successful. For the most part he was selected in the eighth round of 12-team drafts.


2. Watch what Texans RB Dameon Pierce does against the Colts.


The rookie has been hot in the preseason and I'm highly interested to see if he can give the Texans something to believe in after a rough year marred by Deshaun Watson. I'm taking caution with Pierce this week, as are other experts who have him hovering ranked around 30th at the position. If he outperforms that spot this week against the Colts, get ready to pull out the stops.


3. Keep a close eye on how the Dallas passing game shakes out this week.


Conventional wisdom says CeeDee Lamb will be the top target for Dak Prescott. While that may be true, I'm concerned that Lamb will have to be productive with seemingly no other threat on the outside. The Bucs, who the Cowboys opened against last season as well, allowed Lamb to gain over 100 yards and score. A big difference is that Amari Cooper had double-digit catches and even more yardage in that same game. How will Lamb be as productive without a partner out there to take the pressure off? I think Dalton Schultz has a chance to have a better game than you'd expect, but it will be interesting to see how the yardage gets distributed. A lesser O-line for Dallas is also a factor.


4. Find out if the Bengals have two WR1-level players on the field.


It's no secret that Ja'Marr Chase is in the upper echelon of wideouts these days. Following a questionable camp last year he thrilled fantasy players with his immediate production. But I think Cincy has another wideout capable of logging WR1 performances alongside Chase. Tee Higgins is in his third year and has been targeted at least 100 times in each of his first two seasons. He's gained at least 900 yards in each season, including his first 1,000-yard campaign last year. Higgins has caught six TD passes in each of his first two years and I think he's poised for an even bigger year.


5. Watch out for overreacting to Week 1 production.


Every year someone goes off in the first week of the season and is one of the first players added from the waiver wire. While it's hard to avoid chasing points, especially if you struggled in the first week, make sure you're being prudent in your assessment. Typically, if it's a player that's been in the league for multiple years on a middling contract, don't be too eager to add him. It's very likely the production was just an anomaly. However, if it's a rookie or obviously a replacement for a big-name player that went down to injury, you can feel a little safer about adding him.




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