NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -
Week 1 is already a bit of a mess with some significant injuries to keep an eye on. So before games kick off, here’s who I like and don’t like in this week’s slate of games.
RB James White, Patriots
Despite the quarterback change, James White should still have his role as the pass-catcher out the backfield, and I like the match-up against Miami. In PPR leagues, that means he has a high floor. Running back depth is tough to come by this year, so if you’re in need at your flex or RB2, White is worth considering.
RB Tarik Cohen, Bears
The same can be said for Cohen. It would have helped his case if David Montgomery were out this week, but even with Montgomery reportedly prepared to take his full workload, Cohen has a role. He caught 72 passes a year ago. So like James White, his PPR floor makes him a decent flex option against the Lions.
RB Boston Scott, Eagles
The trend with pass-catching running backs continues, but Scott is the one I like more than anyone this week. Miles Sanders is out and reportedly didn’t even make the trip to Washington. That means Scott is all but a lock to receive the most touches out of the Eagles' backfield. Last time he was featured like this, in Week 16 of the 2019 season, Scott rushed for three touchdowns and caught four passes for 84 yards.
WR Henry Ruggs III, Raiders
This is probably my boldest prediction of the week, but I stand by it. With his elite speed, Ruggs is a big play waiting to happen when he’s on the field, and Carolina’s secondary is mighty suspect. I think it’s the perfect opponent for the Raiders to give their rookie some confidence, and with several injuries to starting receivers across the league, Ruggs could fill that void.
RB Antonio Gibson, Washington
He went from an average draft position north of 120 to top 70 in a matter of days after the team released Adrian Peterson, simply based off the hype that he’s now “the guy” in their backfield. But I have a few reasons to pump the brakes. First of all, he’s a rookie that’s playing in his first NFL action. There could be some nerves. There’s also no telling what exactly the plan is for him in Washington’s offense. Sure, he could eventually be their every down back, but for now, he’s not a lock to produce just yet. If you have a better flex option, wait and see how he’s used before relying on him for an opening week win.
WR Sterling Shepard, Giants
I’m big on Shepard this year. I think I have him in all of my leagues. But this week, I’m going with other options against a Steelers defense that’s the best in the league. From pass rush to top-level corners, it doesn’t bode well for a Giants team that doesn’t feature a strong offensive line and playing their first game under a new head coach. There will be better days.
WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers
Even if he plays, there’s no telling how long he’ll play or if he can finish the game. I know the Bucs want all of their weapons against the Saints, but I would imagine they’ll also be cautious with one of their highest-paid receivers. A hamstring issue can bring him out of the game at any moment, which could crush your fantasy production for the day.
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