Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Browns vs Panthers

Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Browns vs Panthers


In one of the best storylines of Week 1 of the season, the Cleveland Browns visit former quarterback Baker Mayfield and his Carolina Panthers. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds have the Browns listed as slim 1.5-point road favorites in a game that is full of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's our start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 1 showdown.

Nick Chubb Fantasy

Start Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns: The Panthers' front seven allowed the fifth-fewest PPR points to opposing running backs a year ago, but those numbers were slightly deceptive. By comparison, Carolina also ranked just 15th in rush-defense DVOA and allowed the 15th-most rushing yards. The Panthers' run defense is merely average, which bodes well for Nick Chubb as the highlight of Cleveland's offense with Jacoby Brissett under center. Don't overthink this one. Chubb was a monster last year, putting up RB13 numbers despite playing in only 14 games. He's perhaps the Browns' only reliable fantasy option until Deshaun Watson returns.

DJ Moore Fantasy

Start DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers: The Panthers' offense paints a similar picture, as there's really only two players that evoke confidence: Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore. Considering McCaffrey was the No. 2 overall pick according to ADP, he's a must-start. Enter Moore, who ranks as WR12 on The Duel's Week 1 rankings for PPR leagues. Cleveland's defense was strong against the pass last season, ranking seventh in pass-defense DVOA and allowing the seventh-fewest PPR points to opposing wideouts, so this is more of a volume play. Moore received a whopping 163 targets last year (nearly 10 per game) and gets to play with the most-talented quarterback he's ever had. Even against a strong secondary, I like those factors above all else.

Amari Cooper Fantasy

Sit Amari Cooper, WR, Cleveland Browns: On the other side is a proven wide receiver playing with one of the least-talented quarterbacks of his NFL career. This is no personal offense to Brissett, but he's a backup and a big downgrade from Amari Cooper's previous gunslingers in Dak Prescott and Derek Carr. Cleveland already ran the ball at the sixth-highest clip last year, a number that only stands to stay still or increase with a backup taking snaps. The lack of a consistent passing attack left Browns wide receivers putting up dismal fantasy years, as nobody on the team reached 90 targets last season. Even with Cooper's abilities, Cleveland won't be marching the ball down the field (through the air, at least) on Sunday.

Robby Anderson Fantasy

Sit Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers: Robby Anderson is the king of boom-or-bust fantasy options. Much like a tight end, his only respectable fantasy performances come when he catches a touchdown pass. He managed to do that on five separate occasions last year, with each game resulting in at least 10 fantasy points. The only issue? He averaged only 4.8 PPR points in the other 12 games he played. Moore outpaced Anderson by five red zone targets in a year where McCaffrey played only seven games. With McCaffrey healthy again (for now), Anderson is unlikely to get much attention in the red zone for this matchup.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. 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.