Scott Engel is in his 10th season as the official Fantasy writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. Scott is a 25-year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA award winner and 10-time nominee, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award. You can also find more of his Fantasy analysis on RotoBaller.com, SportsLine.com, the Athletic and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott won two Fantasy Football dynasty league titles in 2020, including one in the prestigious Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and he previously pulled off a three-peat in a highly competitive New York City league.
The official start of the 2021 Fantasy Football season is here! As the Seahawks ready to take on the Colts, we prepare you to set the best possible lineups for an opening week victory. We also offer a few tips that will help you work through the first matchup of the season easier, and the bulk of them apply to a solid approach throughout the season. After Week 1, we will be featuring Seahawks Fantasy Insider articles early in the week to help you with waiver adds and early lineup decisions.
Opening Week Tips
-Do not get too high or too low after Thursday night results roll in. Fantasy matchups are not decided by one NFL game.
-In close lineup decisions in the first Fantasy matchup of the season, lean to proven performers when possible.
-Do not bench proven star players based on a matchup. Defenses do not always win out against players who have performed at very high levels.
-Focus on your own team. You cannot control the results of the team you are facing, so concentrate on fielding the best possible lineups for maximum potential results.
Week 1 Starters to Consider
We highlight 12 of our favorite starting options for Week 1 here. Most of them are players you may be considering in tight lineup calls.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt: The Browns will engage in what should be a high-scoring affair with the Chiefs. Chubb is an obvious must-start, as Cleveland will want to win the battle of time of possession. But when the pace of play starts to pick up, Hunt will be frequently involved as a pass-catcher. He is a very good flex option for Week 1. Both Browns RBs are threats to get into the end zone.
Raheem Mostert: The 49ers have one of the best Fantasy matchups of the week against the Lions. Mostert is capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, and the Niners are well-known for trying to establish the running game. San Francisco can attack Detroit in multiple ways, and Mostert will be able to score from both inside and outside the 10-yard line.
Miles Sanders: The Eagles also have a very good Week 1 matchup against the Falcons. They should be able to open up the offense, and with the threat of Jalen Hurts as a runner, the Falcons defense will be seriously challenged by dual threats in the Philadelphia backfield. When Sanders is playing at his best, he is a big-play threat as both a runner and receiver.
Ty'son Williams: The No. 1 rushing team in the NFL from last year gets a good draw in a matchup against the Las Vegas front wall. Williams is being pressed into heavier service quickly because of an injury to Gus Edwards. He did impress the Ravens in the preseason and should at least post respectable numbers on Monday night. You can consider Williams as a flex option. If you made the insurance move of backing up Edwards with Williams in your draft, you can now move Williams into your starting lineup. He is playing in an offense conductive to running success.
Tyler Lockett: Seahawks fans are looking forward to seeing the passing game in action for the first time under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Russell Wilson will certainly want to get off to a fast start in 2021, and that means Lockett will be a featured target as always. Expect him to be a busy performer for Fantasy purposes. Lockett came out of the gates fast in 2020, catching 39 passes in his first four games and scoring four times in the first two weeks. DK Metcalf will obviously command a lot of defensive attention from the Colts and Gerald Everett also will get respect in coverage, opening up playmaking opportunities for Lockett in the Seahawks' season opener.
Robby Anderson: Both Sam Darnold and Anderson face their former team in a compelling season opener vs. the Jets. Darnold looked sharp in the preseason, and he has familiarity with Anderson from their Jets days together. While Christian McCaffrey will catch passes out of the backfield and D.J. Moore will make high percentage grabs, Anderson can be both a yardage after the catch and downfield playmaker. Darnold will not hesitate to test the Jets secondary, so Anderson has some upside as a Week 1 Fantasy Football play.
Tyler Boyd: There has been much buzz about Tee Higgins in his second season and Ja'Marr Chase's promise as a rookie. Boyd, however, is Cincinnati's most proven and dependable pass-catcher. Joe Burrow will be looking to deliver a steady performance in his first game back from a major knee injury. He will likely lean on Boyd to make several key grabs for him in Week 1. Many Fantasy players underrated Boyd in drafts this season, taking him as a WR4. Higgins and Chase are upside types for sure, yet we cannot overlook the reliable veteran.
Marvin Jones Jr: The Trevor Lawrence era begins with a very friendly matchup against the Texans. All three of the Jaguars' top 3 WRs, Jones, D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault are viable starting options for this week. Jones did seem to have a good rapport with Lawrence in the preseason and gives him a blend of veteran experience and proven playmaking abilities to rely on. Jones is the most established of the Jacksonville WRs and could be the safest play of the three. For similar reasons, Corey Davis of the Jets is a good Week 1 starter working with Zach Wilson.
Jalen Hurts: The Eagles QB played very well down the stretch last season and should be able to take advantage of the Week 1 matchup against the Falcons. Two keys to success will be getting the ball to Dallas Goedert frequently and establishing an early connection with rookie DeVonta Smith. Hurts will be a major threat with his legs against the Falcons, though, and his rushing abilities elevate his promise for Week 1.
Jimmy Garoppolo: As we mentioned, the 49ers should be able to challenge the Detroit defense in a variety of ways. The Lions pass defense is going to have a lot of difficulty handling the plethora of weapons Garoppolo will be able to distribute to. George Kittle is the obvious prime playmaker, but Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel will help Garoppolo make consistent plays to move the chains and have the upside to help Garoppolo roll up impressive yardage numbers in Week 1. He should also throw two-plus TD passes.
Robert Tonyan: He caught 11 TD passes last season and was still drafted as a value TE in many leagues. Aaron Rodgers has a lot of confidence in Tonyan as a scoring target and will continue to look for him in such situations. The Packers should come out looking sharp on offense against the Saints.
Gerald Everett: We have been featuring Everett throughout the preseason in the Seahawks Fantasy Insider series. He will prove to be an integral part of the passing game right away. A visit to the end zone in his Seahawks debut is very possible. He will also be an essential target for Wilson outside of the scoring area.
Check out more of Scott Engel's 2021 Fantasy Football analysis and his full Week 1 lineup rankings at RotoBaller.com. Enter promo code "seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount on the RotoBaller Fantasy Football season pass.
Seahawks Fantasy Insider Scott Engel list 12 players to keep an eye on during the 2021 season.