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Fantasy Football Insider: Week 1 Mailbag

Scott Engel is in his eighth season of providing Fantasy Football coverage for Seahawks.com. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and weekly rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night and Sunday morning on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

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Week One of the 2019 Fantasy Football season is here, and we’ll be getting you ready for every matchup here at Seahawks.com. Our new mailbag feature allows you to ask us Fantasy questions every week and we’ll tackle them in this space. The answers we provide will be designed to help all Fantasy players with their roster decisions. Beginning on Monday, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to waivers, take an advance look at the upcoming week, and provide answers to your questions. Simply fill out the form here for priority consideration. Since Week One is usually a light waiver week, we’ll focus on your mailbag questions and offer some tips for the first set of games for the season. We’ll also take your questions on social media, just shoot me a message @scottetheking.

Alan Chapman of Washington D.C. asks: Are Tony Pollard, Devin Singletary and Darwin Thompson losing value? Are any droppable or have strong trade value?

Engel: Ezekiel Elliott has signed, bumping Pollard from a speculative pick to a handcuff. If you have Elliott on your roster, you must keep him. Anyone who does not can cut him. There was some perception that Singletary would lose value after it was reported he would operate in a committee. I would consider him as a flex option for Week One against the Jets. Thompson’s role is now unclear after the Chiefs signed LeSean McCoy and he can be dropped. The lesson that can be learned is that preseason stars should not be automatically bumped too far up the draft board. They may not always have a high spot on an NFL depth chart when exhibition play is done.

Andrew Thaxton of Fayetteville, AR asks: What are your thoughts on Christian Kirk and his role in Arizona? He and Larry Fitzgerald were both exclusively in the slot and were only on the field together for just one snap during preseason action. Any reason for concern?

Engel: Kirk is the likely preferred slot receiver for the Cardinals and has upside, as evidenced by his 13.7 yards per catch last year. He is also going to return punts if your league has any bonus points for that category. He initially projects to be a Fantasy WR4 but has the promise to quickly emerge as a Fantasy starter. Fitzgerald is admirably still soldiering on at age 36 but is now more of a Fantasy depth guy whose impact may be felt more in the real NFL world as a strong locker room and mentoring presence in a passing game with young players at key positions. Kirk should perform adequately in the opener against the Lions with at least respectable PPR totals.

Sean Hutton of Trenton, N.J. asks: With the multitude of injuries, do you think Tyler Lockett can approach 120 targets this year?

Engel: There has been better news on the injury front, as DK Metcalf has made a swift recovery from knee surgery and David Moore is expected to return at some point during the season. Regardless, Lockett is one of my favorite Fantasy WRs to break out across the board this season. Yes, he had 10 TDs in 2018, but now with a more prominent role in the offense, he should see his yardage and reception totals climb to career-high levels. A total of 120 targets may seem like a reach for a high number, but expect not too much less than that. I will be looking for Lockett’s first season in which he reaches the 75 catch and 1,000 yard marks and I view him as a high-end Fantasy WR2 for 2019. He should open with a big Fantasy week against the Bengals.

George on Twitter asks: I have Corey Davis as my third receiver and wanted to know if you would drop him for Michael Gallup. Also, who should I start in Week One between Matt Ryan and Mitchell Trubisky.

Engel: The first question is not an easy call. The 2019 season will be a pivotal one for Davis as the Titans want to validate their passing game behind him and Marcus Mariota. Davis has the talents and abilities to break out, but the Titans do have a potentially productive running game to lean on and other targets Mariota or Ryan Tannehill can turn to. Davis has the potential to have a high ceiling but still may not be reliable for Fantasy purposes. Gallup played well late in the regular season and in last season’s playoffs and flashed more promise in the preseason. If I could not cut someone else for Gallup, I would waive Davis. Gallup is a prime Fantasy WR breakout candidate for 2019.

The second question is much easier to answer. You never bench your standout starter for his Fantasy backup based on a matchup. Ryan faces the Vikings, and Trubisky goes against Green Bay, which seems like a better matchup. But matchups only should be used to make decisions between two similarly valued players. Ryan was the No. 2 QB in Fantasy last year, you start him regardless of opponent.

Diddypop25 on Twitter asks: Start Lamar Jackson over Aaron Rodgers?

Engel: Jackson does have a friendlier matchup against Miami, and Rodgers takes on the Bears defense, which is certainly fearsome. But until proven otherwise, Rodgers is simply the better Fantasy option even in a tough matchup. He also may start fast as he looks to put last season behind him, and may overcome any expectations.

Jeff Gordon on Twitter asks: Kyler Murray or Josh Allen as a super flex start? Kind of leaning towards Allen.

Engel: Murray has yet to prove himself and Allen was up and down as a Fantasy player last year. His supporting cast has improved. Playing a rookie in his first NFL game seems more risky than counting on Allen, who may be able to get some deep strikes completed against the New York secondary. Plus, we know Allen is a big threat as a runner, although both of these young QBs are running types. I give the slight nod to Allen to gun the ball aggressively.

Nicholas Megara on Twitter asks: Who do you like at flex between Rashaad Penny, Devin Singletary, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen?:

Engel: Penny may get the call at some point for you later in the year, and Howard is more of a depth piece. In a PPR format Cohen gets strong consideration, but Singletary should be the lead RB for the Bills and top TD option near the goal line, so he is the ultimate choice.

For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Package, which includes his lineup rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code “Seahawks” at checkout for a discount.

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