Fantasy Football Wide Receiver & Tight End Start/Sit Week 1: Should You Start Courtland Sutton, Dalton Kincaid?

Lou Landers Sep 6th 1:19 PM EDT.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 01: Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) drops the ball while signaling first down in the third quarter of an NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs on January 1, 2023 at GEHA Field at.Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 01: Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) drops the ball while signaling first down in the third quarter of an NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs on January 1, 2023 at GEHA Field at.Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

The importance of knowing who to start and who to sit can make or break a fantasy week and your matchup. People like to say “Start your studs,” and typically speaking, that is the way to go, especially early in the season, but sometimes a players matchup gives them more value in a certain week. On the flip side, a player can also have a poor matchup that could give you a reason to bench them. 

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Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Week 1 Starts

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Sutton has impressed his new coaching staff in training camp and in the pre-season. With Jerry Jeudy out with a hamstring injury, Suttons’s role in the offense will be even larger than usual. The next best WR in Denver after Sutton is Marvin Mims, who has upside, but he is still a rookie. This week especially, expect Sutton to be the focal point for the Broncos in the passing game against a Raiders defense that ranked 29th against the pass and 27th in points allowed last season. 

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Godwin is fully healthy heading into the season and has looked excellent in the preseason. He is running at full speed after dealing with injuries over the past two seasons and he has developed a nice rapport with QB Baker Mayfield. He has an excellent matchup this week as well, taking on a Vikings defense that ranked 31st vs. the pass and 30th in points allowed last season. Godwin and his teammate Mike Evans came at a discount in drafts this season because of the unknown at QB for the Bucs, but now that Mayfield has been named the starter, there aren’t too many question marks surrounding them. 

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Week 1 Sits

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans

Bateman is a talented player who had the role of number-one WR in this offense a year ago. Now he is the number-three WR with the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers, creating a situation where his volume in the passing game won’t be high. Of course, the Ravens' top pass catcher is TE Mark Andrews, and they tend to be a more run-heavy offense. Furthermore, the Ravens play the Texans this weekend in a game that they should dominate in, leading me to believe that there will be even more plays run on the ground which takes the ball of out Lamar Jackson’s hands and therefore out of Bateman’s hands. 

Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Commanders

The Cardinals' offense is a complete mess. Other than James Conner and possibly Brown, there is no real stand-out player on this roster (while Kyler Murray is out). Brown has dealt with minor injuries throughout the preseason and will be playing with a QB that he has little to no reps with at all. Although Brown is incredibly fast and is always a threat to break a big play, he should be benched in your 10 and 12-team leagues where you almost assuredly have someone more reliable. In your 14 or 16-team leagues, you may not have a better option, so I would be okay with using him in the flex. 

Fantasy Football Tight End Week 1 Starts

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

Higbee is the one pass catcher in the Rams' offense right now that QB Matthew Stafford can trust and rely on. He is going to see plenty of volume in this game and is doing it against a Seahawks defense that ranked 31st in the league vs. the TE a year ago. Although Seattle should be better in that department this season, Higbee’s experience and past success with Stafford make him one of my favorite TE plays of the week. 

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals

All the reports I have read about the Browns during training camp and the preseason suggest that Njoku and QB Deshaun Watson are “on the same page”. This of course was their first real training camp together due to Watson being suspended last year, and Njoku has always been one of the more talented pass-catching TE in the league. He had his best season a year ago and should take another step forward this season, beginning with his Week 1 matchup vs. the Bengals, who ranked in the bottom third of the league last year against the TE position. In the one game Njoku played against the Bengals last season, he saw nine targets, catching seven of them for a total of 59 yards and a TD. 

Fantasy Football Tight End Week 1 Sits

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

I think he is incredibly talented and is likely to take over the TE1 role from Dawson Knox at some point this season. What I don’t believe is that it will happen this week. Not only do rookie TEs typically develop slowly, but the Jets have an elite pass defense that ranked third in the NFL last season and they were also top five in total yards and points allowed. In this matchup and with him being a rookie, I just don’t trust Kincaid in Week 1.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

In general, Kmet is going to be inconsistent. He will have some big weeks and he will have some weeks where he is non-existent in the offense. Justin Fields will run a lot, the Bears will hand the ball off a lot, and D.J. Moore and Darnell Mooney will get most of the targets in the passing game. That leaves Kmet as the odd man out most weeks. There is always a chance for a red zone TD, but I prefer not to start a player that I’m relying on for a TD and nothing else. His matchup is a tough one too, against a Packers defense that ranked fifth against the position last season. 

To answer the rest of your Start/Sit questions, check out our fantasy football Start/Sit Tool, which tells you what REAL fantasy football players are doing with your toughest decisions! 

#fantasy-football #week-1 #startsit

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Lou Landers

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