The Duel
NFL - Fantasy

Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Packers vs Vikings

Isaiah De Los Santos
Fantasy football picks for the Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings Week 1 matchup, including Kirk Cousins.
Fantasy football picks for the Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings Week 1 matchup, including Kirk Cousins. / (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
facebooktwitterreddit

Two NFC North rivals meet in Week 1 as the Green Bay Packers travel to face the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams underwent big changes this offseason, so each squad would love nothing more than to start the year off strong with a win.

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

AJ Dillon Fantasy

Start AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers: The Green Bay Packers' questionable wide receiver situation opens the door for AJ Dillon to have a sizable role in Week 1. Dillon cemented himself as one of the league's best backup runnung backs in 2021 by combining for 1,116 yards from scrimmage and 7 total touchdowns. His role took off in the second half of the year, managing to see 16.0 opportunities (13.5 attempts plus 2.5 targets) per game from Weeks 8-18 behind Aaron Jones. The coaching staff has already talked about Jones and Dillon as a 1A/1B situation, which is great news for the latter's fantasy managers. Minnesota gave up the 11th-most PPR points to RBs last season, and Dillon's second-highest outing of the 2021 campaign was against the Vikings in Week 17 (22.3 PPR points). He's an attractive FLEX play this week.

Kirk Cousins Fantasy

Start Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins is coming off of two career seasons, but he could potentially be in even better in 2021. New head coach Kevin O'Connell has made it clear he wants air it out more in Minnesota, setting Cousins up to explode given the weapons around him. The veteran QB impressed in 2021, placing just outside the top 10 scorers at his position after recording 4,221 yards, 33 TDs and just 7 INTs. While Green Bay boasts one of the league's strongest defenses, Cousins lit this same unit up for 25.24 fantasy points (his third-highest mark of the season) last year. The healthy 47.5 total for this matchup indicates plenty of scoring, and given O'Connell's offensive philosophy, it should be a very busy day for Cousins.

Robert Tonyan Fantasy

Sit Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers: Those streaming the tight end position this week may be considering Robert Tonyan, but that decision features too much risk. After surprising in 2020 with a touchdown-driven TE4 finish, Tonyan was off to a much slower start in 2021. He posted a meager 3.6 targets and 2.1 receptions per game over his first seven contests before going down with an ACL tear. The two games he scored a TD were great, posting 14.2 and 16.3 PPR points in those outings, but aisde from those were five instances of a staggering 3 or fewer fantasy points. Now he's still recovering from that major injury and logged limited practices in the lead up to Sunday. There are much safer targets out there considering Tonyan's bust potential in his first start since October 2021.

Irv Smith Jr. Fantasy

Sit Irv Smith Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings: Irv Smith Jr. is another TE streaming option to pass on in Week 1. He's coming off of his own significant knee injury, as a torn meniscus caused him to miss the entire 2021 season. Though he's recovered from that, now the former second-round pick is rehabbing from thumb surgery he had in August. It's still unclear what Smith's talents are given his injury problems. When he last played in 2020, Smith averaged an underwhelming 3.3 targets, 2.3 receptions and 28.1 yards per game while missing three contests. He's another poster child for TD-dependency, as all five of his touchdowns came in just three games, so there's major boom-or-bust potential. Facing a strong Packers linebacker corps in his first game back is a recipe for disappointment from Big Irv.


New users earn an instant FREE entry when you sign up for FanDuel DFS! Sign Up Now!


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.

facebooktwitterreddit