The first week of the NFL regular season is at hand – the season begins with the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills on Thursday. With many starters taking little or no action in the preseason, fantasy football managers won’t have much supporting evidence to back up their Week 1 start/sit decisions.
But that’s where we can help.
Here are some key players who could bounce or stir in Week 1 of the NFL season:
First, the sizzler
QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Murray started the season at home against a much tougher Kansas City team that would be able to score points. The Chiefs left the second most fantasy points for the quarterback in 2021, so expect Murray to match Patrick Mahomes’ strike to strike in a thrilling opener.
RB D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t adept at stopping runs in 2021, providing the eighth-most fantasy points for the backing. Swift’s explosive talent will shine through the opening gates in Week 1.
RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Kamara could be suspended at some point in this season, but not before Week 1. An intra-division matchup against a punchy Atlanta Falcons defense would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
Criminally under-drafted in 2022, McLaurin slipped into Carson Wentz because of an alleged downgrade to quarterback. At home against Jacksonville’s struggling secondary, McLaurin will remind us just how talented he is, even if he’s on center.
WR Tyrek Hill, Miami Dolphins
Miami paid a substantial sum for Hill, and his darting speed would be a challenge for New England to defend. Once Hill is out in the open, he is in danger of driving home. While New England have worked hard to add momentum defensively this season, Hill will create the problem of a challenging match.
And next, the fizzlers…
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants
With the Tennessee Titans dropping the fourth-lowest fantasy points for the quarterback last season and with Jones already in the hot seat in Week 1, the G-Men will struggle to move the ball in their opener.
RB Damon Pierce, Houston Texans
Pierce was a late fantasy bloomer as the rookie shot down the draft board after the Texans ran back in name. It’s a rough start against an Indianapolis team that would dominate possession time, forcing Houston to throw the ball.
RB Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
Singletary will have its days but against the defending Super Bowl champion LA Rams, there won’t be a lot of lanes to walk. For Buffalo to do the magic, QB Josh Allen has to put the ball in his hands.
WR Sammy Watkins, Green Bay Packers
It’s possible that Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback Watkins has been looking forward to his entire career. However, he does not play to the game plan as does the Green Bay running game against Minnesota.
WR Devonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
It will be tough to predict week-on-week for Smith as the Eagles prefer a run-focused attack. On the other hand the presence of AJ Brown will not be a plus for Smith as QB Jalen Harts looks like Brown in most of the passing plays.
Tony Holm, FantasySharks.com
This article was originally featured on USA Today: Fantasy Football Stock Watch: D’Andre Swift to Start Fast