Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Saints vs Falcons
By Larry Rupp
A couple of NFC South rivals meet head-to-head to kick off the 2022 season as the Atlanta Falcons host the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Saints listed as 5.5-point road favorites in a game that features no shortage of new faces on either sideline.
If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 1 showdown.
Jameis Winston Fantasy
Start Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints: This start recommendation doesn't come without a little bit of risk. Quarterback Jameis Winston is making his way back from a torn ACL, but he couldn't have asked for a better opening matchup. The Falcons finished with the fourth-worst pass defense DVOA rating in the NFL last season and gave up the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Winston also tossed 14 touchdowns across seven starts last year and has a trio of new WRs to target in Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry. That sounds like a recipe for success. Winston has a shot to ball out on the road.
Kyle Pitts Fantasy
Start Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons: There may be only one trustworthy fantasy option on the Atlanta Falcons right now and that would be Kyle Pitts. Pitts became only the second rookie tight end to record over 1,000 receiving yards in 2021 and used that dominance to finish as the No. 6 TE in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues. The 21-year-old's 80% route participation ranked third at his position and goes to show how much head coach Arthur Smith trust him in the passing attack. Quarterback Marcus Mariota is not known for his arm strength, either, which makes the possibility of Pitts being peppered with short and intermediate targets even more likely on Sunday.
Jarvis Landry Fantasy
Sit Jarvis Landry, WR, New Orleans Saints: As mentioned above, Landry is a fresh face on the Saints offense after inking a deal with the team in free agency this past offseason. That doesn't mean he should be considered for your FLEX spot, though. Landry is the No. 3 WR on this team at best and is likely ranked behind a solid receiving back in Alvin Kamara, too. Landry scored only two touchdowns across 12 games played in 2021 and crossed the 60-yard mark in a game only three times. The Falcons give up a ton of yards to opposing WRs, bu this game lines up to be much more about Thomas and Olave than it does Landry.
Cordarrelle Patterson Fantasy
Sit Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons: This is brutal matchup for Atlanta's backfield. The Saints posted the best rush defense DVOA rating in 2021 and allowed only 93.5 yards on the ground per game (No. 4 in NFL). Not only that, but New Orleans held Cordarrelle Patterson to a combined 148 yards from scrimmage and zero touchdowns across two matchups. With Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier expected to have early season roles at RB, Patterson's upside comes solely from his ability to line up as a receiver. It's going to take some time for him to develop a connection with Mariota, so it's best to keep him out of your starting lineup.
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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.