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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 1

FOOTBALL IS BACK!! We made it to Week 1! @THEtristancook is here with Slant Pattern - Week 1 to help with your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad, and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us, we look forward to hearing from you! 

QB: Mike Hicks (@DroptheMikeFF) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Let’s Talk About Flex

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it. 

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.


The recap is where I will review my previous week’s picks to keep full accountability and transparency. Success and failure will be determined by where each player finishes the week relative to their individual weekly ranking. See you next week!


Courtland Sutton vs. LV – WR 32

2022 Stats | WR 43 | FPts: 159.4 | Tgts: 109 | Rec: 64 | Yds: 829 | TDs: 2

To kick off the 2023 season, my first ‘start’ is Sutton. He is coming off a disappointing season last year in which he finished as a low-end WR4 for fantasy. After a hot start to the year, he dramatically slowed down as the Broncos continued to struggle. Fortunately for Sutton, that season is behind him, and he’s now facing as good of a chance as any to succeed. My cause for optimism is primarily due to two reasons.

First, Denver has been riddled with injuries at the wide receiver position with the losses of Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. There’s an outside shot that Jeudy suits up this week, but the Broncos’ best option in Week 1 is Courtland Sutton. He averaged over nine targets a game during his hot start to the 2022 season, and I expect that to repeat itself. Additionally, the Raiders had one of the worst pass defenses last year. They allowed the fourth most yards passing in the NFL. I expect to see Russell Wilson, and the Broncos have success moving the ball through the air in Week 1!

Diontae Johnson vs. SF – WR 24

2022 Stats | WR 28 | FPts: 180.7 | Tgts: 147 | Rec: 86 | Yds: 882 | TDs: 0

My next ‘start’ for Week 1 is Diontae Johnson. Last season was undoubtedly the most frustrating year of his career for those who have him rostered. He finished as the WR28 on the year but had the sixth-most targets in the NFL. It could have been expected that there would be some growing pains with a rookie quarterback, but I think last year was close to the worst-case outcome. To provide some perspective, in the top-100 WRs in fantasy, there were only three who didn’t score a touchdown, WR86 Ben Skowronek, WR63 Kalif Raymond, and the aforementioned WR28. 

The Steelers start against the San Francisco 49ers, which is a tough matchup, but Diontae Johnson shouldn’t suffer. If anything, he should see an uptick in targets as Kenny Pickett will look to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. I am not worried about Johnson this week or any week; start him with confidence!

DJ Moore vs. GB – WR 25

2022 Stats | WR 24 | FPts: 199.1 | Tgts: 118 | Rec: 63 | Yds: 888 | TDs: 7

Moore is my final ‘start’ for the opening week. The big change for him was obviously the trade from Carolina to Chicago prior to the NFL Draft. He is now the focal point of an ascending offense that will look to get Moore the ball in creative ways to utilize him to the best of his abilities. 

Moore and the Bears are facing off against the Packers this week. Green Bay actually had one of the better pass defenses last year, but without Aaron Rodgers, I expect this team to struggle both offensively and defensively. We aren’t sure how well the Bears will be able to run the ball, so I anticipate some quick looks to Moore as an extension of the run game. I think WR24 is far too low for DJ Moore in his home debut for Chicago.


Gabe Davis @ NYJ – WR 36

2022 Stats | WR 35 | FPts: 171.6 | Tgts: 93 | Rec: 48 | Yds: 836 | TDs: 7

My first ‘sit’ of the week and of the year is Davis. He was a mainstay on my ‘sit’ list last year (and in 2021 as well) and will likely continue to be as long as he’s ranked this high. My reasoning has been consistent and has proven to be accurate more often than not. Davis is far too inconsistent to be a reliable fantasy option.

In 2022 he finished as WR35 but had nine weeks in which he didn’t score double-digit fantasy points. He had two more in which he didn’t eclipse 12 fantasy points. You can argue that those are arbitrary cutoff points, but the point is that if you put Davis into your lineup last year, you were hoping for a “boom” week. Unfortunately, he only had four weeks where it paid off to start him. Davis ranked 52nd in receptions with only 48 on the season. I’m not trusting Davis this week or any until he becomes a more consistent and reliable option.

Christian Watson @ CHI – WR 22

2022 Stats | WR 40 | FPts: 164.1 | Tgts: 66 | Rec: 41 | Yds: 611 | TDs: 7

My next ‘sit’ is Watson. This is pretty simple, I am not going to trust Jordan Love on the road with a second-year wideout in Watson. Similarly to Davis, Watson was inconsistent last year. He actually had five games in which he was a viable option, but that was with Aaron Rodgers. 

We really don’t know what to expect from Green Bay this season. It’s possible that Watson will be a focal point of a team in transition. However, in Week 1, you almost certainly have better and safer options to start. For example, any of the three WRs in my ‘start’ list. I’m going to make the Packers prove to me that they can do it before I trust any of their pass-catchers. 

DeAndre Hopkins @ NO – WR 23

2022 Stats | WR 47 | FPts: 151.7 | Tgts: 96 | Rec: 64 | Yds: 717 | TDs: 3

Hopkins is my final ‘sit’ for the opening week. Unlike the previous two, we know what Hopkins can do on the football field. We know that he has been one of the best receivers in the league for several years. What we don’t know is what he will look like in Tennessee. It was a bit of a surprise to me when Hopkins signed with Tennessee. The Titans are and have been a run-first team, and I expect that to be true once again in 2023. 

My biggest area for concern is the target share that Hopkins will get. He’s going to have to split the already limited targets with Treylon Burks, as Tennessee had the third-fewest pass attempts last year. We also have seen a couple of veteran wideouts go to Tennessee and struggle with Julio Jones and Robert Woods. Furthermore, the Saints allowed the second-fewest yards passing in 2022. I know that Hopkins has been a no-brainer starter for years, but I think those days are gone, and I  would look elsewhere for Week 1.  

That’s it for Week 1, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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