Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Chiefs vs Cardinals
Two high-powered offenses meet in Week 1 as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the Arizona Cardinals. Each team is dealing with significant absences or departures from this past offseason, so a ton of new faces are expected to play prominent roles from the jump.
If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's our start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 1 showdown.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Fantasy
Start JuJu Smith-Schuster, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: The opportunity in front of JuJu Smith-Schuster is obvious. He's the frontrunner to the WR1 in a pass-heavy Chiefs offense, setting him up for a major comeback. This is a wideout who's already finished as WR16 (2020) and WR8 (2018) in PPR scoring during his career. Those explosions occurred when Smith-Schuster was healthy, and that's never a sure thing for him, but by all accounts he's 100% heading into the 2022 season. Smith-Schuster and Patrick Mahomes have already displayed chemistry together, which is great news heading into a mouth-watering matchup. The Cardinals gave up the fourth-most PPR points to WRs per game last season, and with no major changes this offseason, the former Pro Bowler could stake his claim as the top wideout with a strong showing.
Marquise Brown Fantasy
Start Marquise Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Marquise Brown could end up being the top overall wideout in Week 1 given Arizona's depth issues. DeAndre Hopkins is out due to suspension, Zach Ertz is questionable with a calf injury, and Rondale Moore just suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday. Brown is about as clear-cut as a WR1 can get. He's coming off of a breakout 2021 campaign where he finished as WR22 in PPR scoring, and now he's reunited with college teammate Kyler Murray. Brown should be peppered with targets against a Chiefs secondary that struggled against the pass (No. 23 in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA metric) last year and is working in new players in their secondary.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Fantasy
Sit Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains an enigma. He's never quite been able to cement himself as the Chiefs' RB1, and injury troubles didn't help his case in 2021. He averaged an okay 14.2 opportunities (11.9 attempts plus 2.3 targets) per game during just 10 contests, and his 11.8 PPR points per game were underwhelming for anyone drafting him as starter. Now he heads into 2022 with plenty of competition behind him on the depth chart in Jerick McKinnon, rising rookie Isiah Pacheco and former starter Ronald Jones. It's best to see how CEH fairs in what should be a run-friendly game script before trusting him in your lineups.
Zach Ertz Fantasy
Sit Zach Ertz, TE, Arizona Cardinals: It doesn't look great for managers hoping to start Zach Ertz on Sunday. He figured to be a potential TE1 contender in Week 1 given the absence of Hopkins and the obvious rapport he showcased with Murray last season, but his lingering calf injury remains a serious issue. After sitting out the entire preseason, Ertz missed the first two days of practice this week before logging a limited session on Wednesday. Then he was absent entirely on Thursday. Friday's update will give a much clearer view of his status against the Chiefs, but it's hard to imagine him being ultra-effective even if he does suit up given how bothersome this problem has been. Ertz drafters should be eyeing the likes of Austin Hooper and David Njoku as backup waiver-wire plans.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.