Week 1 Fantasy Football Love/Hate

By Matt Papiernik, @Matt_Papiernik on Twitter

Each week, I will be going through all the matchups and making a Fantasy Football “Love/Hate” list. Below are the players I really like, or dislike, based on their matchup this week. Feel free to shoot me or the Steeler Nation staff any Fantasy Football questions on Twitter leading up to kick-off each week!




Jameis Winston – Winston is someone who may be featured on this list a lot early this season. A new offense which will help his stats, as well as an opponent that doesn’t have a great secondary, leads to him being a great play this week.

Lamar Jackson – The Miami Dolphins do not have a good team, and the Baltimore Ravens will likely have a lead for most of the game. That means Jackson will be running a lot and milking the clock. He has a very high floor this week.


Matt Ryan – The Minnesota Vikings have a very good defense, and the Atlanta Falcons would be smart to establish a running game early instead of leaning on Matty Ice.

Jared Goff – Goff is going to have a lot of good weeks, but this one likely isn’t one of them. The Los Angeles Rams have a fully healthy backfield, as well as going up against a good pass rushing defense in the Carolina Panthers. They would be smart to lean on Todd Gurley and the gang.


Running Backs


Chris Carson – The Seattle Seahawks are the most run happy team in the league, so it is hard not to like their starting running back. But this week, they are also going against a bad team in the Cincinnati Bengals, so they should have a lead the majority of the game and try to keep the clock running.

Jordan Howard – Howard isn’t on many people’s must draft lists like his teammate Miles Sanders is. However, Howard is going to be getting his fair share of carries on early downs, and with them likely to have the lead most of the game and turn to a run heavy offense, I suspect he’ll lead Eagle’s running backs in carries in this one.

Dalvin Cook – The Falcons have a bad run defense, and the Vikings will be without Stefon Diggs. This is a perfect storm for them to lean on their running game and for Cook to have a big start to the season.


Derrick Henry – Henry is getting a lot of hype this season after his great stretch at the end of last season. However, he starts the season in a bad spot going against a Cleveland Browns team with a very good front seven, and in a game that the Tennessee Titans may have to pass more often then they’d like while playing from behind.

Joe Mixon – The Seahawks have an improved front seven this season which normally wouldn’t be enough to put a lead back like Mixon on the hate list. However, with Giovani Bernard signing a new deal that’ll pay him around five million a year, I don’t think Mixon will have the luxury of such a large snap share anymore.


Wide Receivers


Dede Westbrook – Playing against the Kansas City Chiefs will almost always lead to a high scoring game. Now that the Jacksonville Jaguars have a capable QB in Nick Foles, I think Westbrook should be able to put together a few big weeks when the game flow requires them to be pass heavy.

Curtis Samuel – With the Rams having a good defensive line and a good pass rush, the Panthers are likely going to be getting the ball out of Cam Newton’s hand quickly. Samuel, being their slot receiver, should benefit greatly from this game plan.

Dante Pettis – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to put up a decent amount of points this game due to their new high powered offense. As long as that happens, the San Francisco 49ers are going to need to throw the ball to keep themselves in the game, so their number one receiver is a good bet for a good fantasy day.


Corey Davis – Davis has been a breakout candidate for the last couple of seasons, but it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t see it happening in week one this season either, as the Browns have good perimeter corners. I think the Titans will have to try and work the middle of the field more to have the success they will need to win this game.

Roby Anderson – The Buffalo Bills have a good pass defense, including a very good young corner in Tre’Davious White. He will likely be tasked with keeping Anderson in check, which means the New York Jets would be smart to look elsewhere in the passing game.


Tight Ends


Darren Walker – The Oakland Raiders will be passing the ball a lot in this game regardless of their game plan going in, as the New Orleans Saints are going to put up points. Walker is far and away the best fantasy option in their passing game right now, and honestly is a breakout candidate for the whole season.

OJ Howard – One of the 49ers weaknesses on defense is their linebacking core, which means Howard should have his way when working over the middle in this one.


Eric Ebron – It was unlikely that Ebron would repeat his touchdown magic this season, but now with Jacoby Brissett at the helm, and them going against a team with a good group of linebackers and safeties, it would be smart to look elsewhere this week.

Evan Engram – Normally I would like Engram, as he is the only viable threat in their passing game early in the year. However, the Dallas Cowboys are good against tight ends and will likely be able to focus on eliminating him in this one.


Comment below and let me know what you think about the Love/Hate list, or if you have any fantasy football questions for week one!


Follow me on Twitter! @Matt_Papiernik

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