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Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Chargers vs Washington

Larry Rupp
Week 1 fantasy football picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team.
Week 1 fantasy football picks: start 'em, sit 'em for Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team. / Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team is looking to repeat as NFC East champions and kick off the season against the Los Angeles Chargers at 1 p.m. EST. Justin Herbert & company are currently 1-point favorites in a matchup too close to call, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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

Austin Ekeler Fantasy

Start Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Facing one of the best defenses in the NFL makes Austin Ekeler the best starting option on the Chargers offense simply due to his workload. The fifth-year pro paced the offense in 2020 by averaging 17.0 touches per game. His ability to make an impact in both the rushing and passing attack will certainly come in handy Week 1. Washington did allow 114.5 rushing yards per game last season, which ranked as the 15th-highest mark in the NFL. The Chargers may have to game plan around that fact given the same defense was lights out defending the pass. Ekeler is a safe start this week, even against this elite defense.

Logan Thomas Fantasy

Start Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team: Logan Thomas came out of nowhere last season and became a reliable starting tight end in fantasy football. In fact, he finished the year as the No. 3 TE in PPR scoring leagues. Thomas was able to thrive despite playing with a number of different quarterbacks. In 2021, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is the solidified starter for Washington and should look Thomas' way often. The Chargers gave up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs in 2020 (8.65 average) as well as 10 touchdowns (T-No. 27 in NFL). Expect the 30-year-old pass-catcher to have a TE1 type of performance.

Mike Williams Fantasy

Sit Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers are going to have a tough time getting the passing attack going on Sunday. Washington gave up just 201.9 yards through the air last season (No. 3 in NFL) and ranked second in the NFL in pass defense DVOA. The one player this hurts the most is Mike Williams. No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen is going to get his targets no matter what. On the other hand, Williams relies on deep plays down the field to rack up fantasy points. Those are going to be hard to come by against a Washington defense that can get to the QB in a hurry.

Curtis Samuel Fantasy

Sit Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Football Team: Curtis Samuel finds himself in a similar position to Williams. The Chargers defended wide receivers well last season giving up the second-fewest amount of receptions to the position all season in the NFL (177). On top of that, Samuel has been banged up all offseason with a groin injury. Neither of those facts scream starter in fantasy football this week. The Chargers gave up the eighth-least amount of fantasy points to opposing WRs in 2020 and return a majority of their defensive starters. This is not the week to slide Samuel into a WR/FLEX spot.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.