Huddle up, Nerds! You’ve looked to your favorite dynasty site to guide you through the spring and summer months, but a strong offseason alone will not win you a championship. No matter how talented your roster, you’ll need to make the right lineup decisions to wrestle glory from your league mates.
But, have no fear! Your Dynasty Nerds writers are here to shepherd you through the minefield of starts and sits. Each week, our staff will make recommendations to aid in your lineup decision making. Look for the position-specific columns below to guide you to dynasty grandeur.
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- Changing the Call (QB): Jayson Snyder (@Spydes78)
- The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks)
- Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook)
- 12 Formation (TE): Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt)
- Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown (@FFEvanlution)
- IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser (@Glosser13)
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
About Last Season…
Previous Week Record: N/A
Season Long Record: 40-28
For the sake of accountability, each week this column will feature a brief recap of the previous week’s recommendations. As this is the first installment of the season, I thought I’d provide a quick recap of my 2021 suggestions.
As you can see I finished my first year of quarterback prognostication with a record of 40-28 (a 58.8% win rate). Anyone who has ever dabbled in fantasy football knows full well how maddeningly unpredictable the game can be. And while I will continue to strive for improvement, I am excited to bring a perspective to the 2022 season that has historically been more often accurate than not.
WEEK 1 STARTS
Kyler Murray, ARZ
It has been a tumultuous few months for Murray and his relationship with the Cardinals. His quest for a new contract began with the all-too-familiar bleaching of team identifiers from his social media accounts. And, even after later signing off on the desired extension, controversy persisted due to a much-ballyhooed contract clause that mandated weekly film study. This condition was ultimately rescinded, but the contention it ignited was emblematic of the young signal caller’s off-season.
And yet, despite the media storm, Murray once again sits poised as a top fantasy option for 2022. In Week 1, he will square off against Patrick Mahomes and his enigmatic Chiefs. Most recognize Kansas City for the explosive firepower that they have regularly put on display in recent years. And while they have undeniably put points on the board in bunches, they have also surrendered them just as quickly. In 2021, the Chiefs were gouged for 19.4 fantasy points per game by quarterbacks, ranking 30th. Indeed, with an over/under of 53.5 points, this late afternoon matchup has all the makings of a true shoutout in the desert.
Murray is more than equipped to handle this type of affair. In 2021, with Murray at the helm for all but three games, the Cardinals ranked tenth in the league with 251.5 passing yards per game. His season-long performance earned him an offensive grade of 82.9 from PFF, the ninth best among active quarterbacks. The guy can sling it.
Explosive talent combined with a choice home matchup has Murray firmly on the Week 1 radar. The expert consensus has him ranked as the sixth-best quarterback option for the week according to FantasyPros. Roll out Murray against the Chiefs with confidence.
Aaron Rodgers, GBP
Whether hosting Jeopardy, appearing in the latest meme, or sparking debate over his vaccination status, Rodgers never seems to stray far from the pages of NFL news. Say what you will about the man, he doesn’t deviate far from the stat sheet either.
In Week 1, ARod will lead his Packers into U.S. Bank Stadium for a divisional clash against the Vikings. A familiar foe, Rodgers has squared off against Minnesota 27 times in his storied career. And in those matchups, he has enjoyed remarkably consistent success. Averaging 252.0 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per Vikings matchup, there’s little reason to expect a reversal of this trend. Minnesota surrendered 18.2 fantasy points per game against opposing quarterbacks in 2021. Only five teams in the league were more generous to their pigskin-slinging adversary.
At age 38, Rodgers showed little sign of slowing down in 2021. With 336 fantasy points, he ranked sixth overall amongst the field last season. His PFF grade of 89.4 was the fifth best mark of those graded. And, with Rodgers leading the way, Green Bay averaged 253.8 passing yards per game, eighth most in the league.
Against a familiar and oft-bested opponent, and with a Hall of Fame pedigree on his side, Rodgers makes an excellent start in Week 1. Throw him in your lineup, and prosper.
WEEK 1 SITS
Tua Tagovailoa, MIA
A lot has changed in Miami since the Dolphins last took the field. With a focus on supporting Tua, moves like the addition of head coach Mike McDaniel and stud wideout Tyreek Hill have dominated the news.
And while the jury is out as to whether Tua can ultimately thrive in a new look offensive, I am concerned about starting him in the immediate term. Surely, the aforementioned changes are a reason for optimism. However, the fact remains that the Dolphins managed a lowly 214.8 passing yards per game last season, 17th in the league. Perhaps even more damning, Tua received a grade of 68.3 from PFF for his sophomore performance, a mark that left him looking up at 24 other quarterbacks.
In Week 1, Tua and the Dolphins will welcome the division rival Patriots to Hard Rock Stadium. It’s hard to imagine a more challenging matchup for a green head coach than to square off against future Hall of Famer, Bill Belichick. Since 2002, the Dolphins own a most uninspiring 15-25 head-to-head record against New England. Additionally, the Patriots have been particularly strong when given time to prepare, boasting an impressive 7-3 Opening Day record over the past decade.
Though the Dolphins are a slight home favorite, a middling 46.5-point over/under tells you that bookkeepers don’t anticipate a great deal of scoring in this contest. And with FantasyPros experts ranking Tua as the 20th most attractive quarterback of the weekend, it’s easy to connect the dots on this fade.
Miami may indeed develop into an explosive offense before the season is out, but don’t count on immediate returns for Tua and the Dolphins in a tough Week 1 matchup.
Marcus Mariota, ATL
As a team in transition, the Falcons look to Mariota in 2022 as a bridge to a more promising future. The second overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft, Mariota’s NFL role has morphed from high upside prospect to calming veteran mentor.
In terms of weapons, the Atlanta cupboard is certainly not bare. Many are rightfully anticipating a breakout season from second-year phenom, Kyle Pitts. And, the Falcons doubled down on talented pass catchers by securing rookie wideout Drake London in the first round. However, protection is a major concern. In their annual offensive line rankings, PFF recently named the Falcons as the 28th most reliable group in the league. Leaky line play gave longtime Atlanta signal-caller Matt Ryan fits in 2021, and it is poised to have the same effect on Mariota, particularly against strong defenses.
Enter Atlanta’s Week 1 opponent, the Saints. In 2021, New Orleans boasted a stout defense that was brutal on quarterbacks. Surrendering a measly 15.4 fantasy points per game to passers, the Saints’ defense was a top-five unit. I think you see where this is headed.
As a team in flux, with inferior protection and facing off against a merciless in-division defense, I want no part of the Falcons offense in Week 1. Sit Mariota, and find another option this week. Your lineups will thank you.
I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this piece and would love to continue the conversation on quarterback start/sits. Please feel free to comment below or contact me @Spydes78 on Twitter. And also, stay tuned to @DynastyNerds for a steady pipeline of content from our eminently qualified staff to carry you through your season. If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to any of the elite tools that Dynasty Nerds has to offer. Make sure to use the promo code “SPYDES” to receive a 15% discount. Thanks for reading and enjoy the grind!
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