It’s been a long 214 days since we last watched meaningful NFL football, the wait is finally over. If you’ve been desperate for football like I have, scratching like an addict in withdrawal, then yesterday was akin to a holiday, marked on the calendar for months, counting the days away. Let’s get this season started!
STARTS OF THE WEEK
Carl Lawson, DE, CIN (@ IND)
Starting off the list this week with Carl Lawson, who just got a MAJOR bump in value if your website changed his position designation from LB to DE, which happened on MFL and other popular hosts as well. Lawson goes from a rotational start at the LB position to a DL3 with high DL2 upside after recording eight sacks as a rookie last season.
Fred Warner, LB, SF (@ MIN)
One of my favorite rookie linebackers from this year’s draft, Warner finds himself in a starting role amidst teammate Reuben Foster’s two-game suspension to start the season. In a perfect world, Warner balls these two weeks as a MIKE against the Vikings and Lions and transitions to the WILL position when Foster returns. Even if he is supplanted by Malcolm Smith after two weeks, Warner is a great high-upside play to start the season.
Matt Milano, LB, BUF (@ BAL)
A player I’ve been hammering all season long, both Milano and Tremaine Edmunds look to see a lot of work for the Bills defense this season. The Bills start the season on the road in Baltimore against a team who was top-ten in the league in rushing attempts in 2017 and ran the ball the most times per game in this year’s preseason. I expect both Milano and Edmunds to be close to double-digit total tackles in their season opener.
Tony Jefferson, S, BAL (vs. BUF)
On the other side of the football in the same game, we have the Ravens defense matched up against Bills starting quarterback Nathan Peterman. The last time that Peterman started a game on the road? Well, let’s just say things didn’t go so well. If there’s a game on the schedule to pencil in a turnover for Jefferson, this is the best bet.
Quandre Diggs, S, DET (vs. NYJ)
Fresh ink on the contract extension for the Lions former 6th-round draft pick in 2015, Diggs is expected to play all over the field for Detroit this season. It’ll be tough to know his true IDP value in the Lions’ new-look defense under Matt Patricia until after seeing the team in action, but I expect him to be a steal at his current value.
SITS OF THE WEEK
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, TB (@ NO)
There aren’t many teams in the league that I’m currently lower on that the Buccaneers. While fans may be excited by a new-look defensive line featuring first-round pick Vita Vea as well as former-Eagles Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, I’m tempering expectations. The Saints will likely control time of possession all game on Sunday, and I don’t see JPP getting past either of their offensive tackles.
Jarrad Davis, LB, DET (vs. NYJ)
While I may be high on a few Lions defensive players this weekend, Jarrad Davis is not one of them. Once again, Davis looked lost at times this preseason, whether he’s struggling to pick up the new scheme brought in by Patricia, or maybe he wasn’t worthy of the 21st overall pick in last year’s draft.
Roquan Smith, LB, CHI (@ GB)
While Roquan Smith was one of my highest graded players in this entire draft class, I’d be hesitant to start him on your fantasy team in week 1. Smith hasn’t seen the field yet for the Bears, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him brought in rotationally to start the year before taking over in full capacity after a couple of weeks. If you have the depth at linebacker to hold off on Smith for a couple of weeks, it’s probably the right move to make.
Demario Davis, LB, NO (vs. TB)
A change of scenery for Demario Davis has taken a large hit to his fantasy value in just one offseason. After leading the league, offensively or defensively, in snaps last year with the Jets, Davis will see far less action in 2018 playing in New Orleans. His matchup in week 1 against the Buccaneers is not conducive to a high fantasy output, I’d be wary of starting him this Sunday.
Kenny Vaccaro, S, TEN (@ MIA)
In August, a season-ending injury to Johnathan Cyprien seemed to haunt the fortunes of the Titans defense for the 2018 season, but the team acted fast and signed Kenny Vaccaro to replace the fallen Cyprien. While I am optimistic for Vaccaro’s production this season, he is a sit for me in a poor matchup against Miami on Sunday.
Thanks for reading! We hope you follow along throughout the season for content from myself, as well as all the other writers here on DFF. Share, comment and reach out to me on Twitter if you have any questions about IDP or anything else football related!