NFL - Fantasy

Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Broncos vs Giants

Adam Taylor McKillop
Week 1 fantasy football picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Denver Broncos vs New York Giants.
Week 1 fantasy football picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Denver Broncos vs New York Giants. / Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

Two teams looking to take a step forward during the 2021 season face off in Week 1 as the Denver Broncos take on the New York Giants. FanDuel Sportsbook has Denver slated as a 3-point road favorite in a game that is sure to have fantasy football implications.

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

Javonte Williams Fantasy

Start Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos: While the quarterbacks (Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater) took up most of the offseason headlines for Denver, running back Javonte Williams flew relatively under the radar. He's valued as a fringe running back starter on fantasy rosters with his RB22 preseason ranking. But, Week 1 presents the rookie a great opportunity to get started off strong. He lines up against a defense that surrendered the ninth-most PPR fantasy points (24.64) to opposing running backs in 2020. Considering Denver ranked top-13 with their 44.3% rush percentage, Williams may be getting a bunch of work here.

Sterling Shepard Fantasy

Start Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants: Playing in just 12 games last year, Sterling Shepard still ranked third on the team in total targets (90). Denver's secondary did rank 11th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric, but the Giants are going to have to find offense of some sort, and the Giants injury report includes a long list of playmakers this week. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay was limited in practice through Thursday. Evan Engram, who led the team in targets last year, hasn't suited up for a full practice all week and the Giants are being very cautious with Saquon Barkley. It's not an easy matchup by any means, but consider throwing Shepard a FLEX start if you don't like any of your other matchups.

Jerry Jeudy Fantasy

Sit Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos: New York's defense was the highlight of their 6-10 finish last season. The Giants gave up only 22.3 points per game last season, a top-10 mark in the league. With a new quarterback under center and a dynamic rookie running back to feature, the Broncos should rely heavily on the run in this one. After all, they ranked top-13 with their 44.3% rush percentage last year. Give Teddy Bridgewater and the pass-catchers some time to develop chemistry before rushing to start any of them on your fantasy roster.

Saquon Barkley Fantasy

Sit Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants: We're not suggesting literally that fantasy managers bench Saquon Barkley in Week 1. Rather, this is a word of caution. Giants head coach Joe Judge said this week that Barkley's status is still unclear. The Giants clearly understand the value of their franchise running back, and they're in no rush to see him injured again. The Broncos defense returns Von Miller, a pass-rusher who also excels at stopping the run. In 2019, the last year Miller played fully healthy, Denver ranked ninth in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing running backs. Barkley is poised for a great bounce-back year, but Week 1 may be one of his slower starts of the season, if he's out there at all.

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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.