Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Eagles vs Lions
A pair of NFC teams meet head-to-head in Week 1 as the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds have the Eagles listed as 3.5-point road favorites in a game that is full of playmakers on both sides of the football.
If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's our start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 1 showdown.
AJ Brown Fantasy
Start AJ Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: A year after posting the league's 29th overall defense by DVOA, this Lions unit is still very much a long way from success. That makes a lot of Philadelphia's playmakers good targets to start in Week 1, perhaps none bigger than AJ Brown. Jalen Hurts will have himself a starting-worthy week as well, simply because of his dual-threat abilities, but expect good things from his new wideout as well. Despite the strong showing from DeVonta Smith last year, Brown steps into the No. 1 spot on Philly's wide receiver depth chart. This is a player that saw back-to-back 100+ target seasons in an offense dominated by Derrick Henry. Detroit's starting corners, Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye, both received sub-60.0 ratings from PFF while the overall secondary rated 27th in pass-defense DVOA. Brown checks in at WR11 in The Duel's Week 1 rankings for PPR leagues.
D'Andre Swift Fantasy
Start D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions: Personally, I'm not a fan of Detroit's passing attack against Philadelphia's new-look secondary. Enter D'Andre Swift, the safest fantasy option on Detroit's roster. Swift finished as RB15 in PPR leagues last year despite playing only 13 games. He's a dynamic option and one of Jared Goff's favorite receiving weapons. The Eagles gave up the 12th-most PPR points to opposing RBs a year ago and with their improved secondary, it's hard to trust anyone else on the Lions' roster.
DeVonta Smith Fantasy
Sit DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith enjoyed a very respectable rookie campaign, racking up WR30 numbers while playing in 17 games. He led the team with 104 targets and 916 receiving yards last year, but suddenly turned into a true No. 2 option with the addition of AJ Brown. From a fantasy perspective, Smith disappeared several times down the stretch by posting fewer than 10 PPR points in three of the last four games. He received the bulk of his targets during the first half last year, and I think this game sets up for a heavy dose of Brown. Add in Hurts' legs, the need to get the running game going, and a potential late lead, and this isn't the week for Smith to pop off. Not to mention, he rarely blew up during his rookie campaign, eclipsing 20 PPR points in just two of his 17 games.
Amon-Ra St. Brown Fantasy
Sit Amon-Ra St. Brown WR, Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown was dynamic in the final weeks of his rookie campaign, notching at least 23 PPR points in his final four games, including a 35-point outing in Week 17. That said, it must be noted that Swift was only healthy for two of those performances. The new-and-improved Eagles' secondary will be zeroed in on slowing St. Brown down, as the likes of Darius Slay and C.J. Gardner-Johnson will only improve a unit that gave up the second-fewest PPR points to opposing wideouts last year. Expect St. Brown to regress closer back to his mean here, which was still good enough for WR30 last year, but not the WR1 numbers he put up from Week 15 on. Don't be afraid of slotting St. Brown into your FLEX, but that's his ceiling in 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.