XTB Start or Bench Week 1

Start or Bench: Week 1

Hello All, welcome to Week 1 of Start/Bench at Expand The Boxscore.

Who’s a STUD? A stud is any player that should be played every week regardless of the matchup. It could be a player that has performed well in the past or is expected to perform well in 2021. While the STUD list will be updated throughout the year, I will not be making knee-jerk changes based on one good or bad performance. Only 2 rookies warranted Stud status prior to Week 1 and they are RB Najee Harris and TE Kyle Pitts.

Best of luck in Week 1!!!


Patrick Mahomes, KCC vs. Cleveland
Josh Allen, BUF vs. Pittsburgh
Kyler Murray, ARI at Tennessee
Aaron Rodgers, GBP at New Orleans
Russell Wilson, SEA at Indianapolis
Lamar Jackson, BAL at Las Vegas (Monday, Sept 13th)
Justin Herbert, LAC at Washington
Tom Brady, TBB vs. Dallas (Thursday, Sept 9th)
Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. Arizona
Dak Prescott, DAL at Tampa Bay (Thursday, Sept 9th)


Matt Ryan, ATL vs Philadelphia
With an over/under of 48 points, both Falcons and Eagles quarterbacks provide plenty of upside. Last season, the Eagles gave up 27-or-more points in 9 games. While the Falcons no longer have Julio Jones, they still have potential overall WR1 Calvin Ridley. The Falcons passed on a future starter at QB in the April draft in order to draft Jones’ replacement Kyle Pitts. Pitts is a beast at 6’5″, 245 pounds with the ability to run a 4.44 forty. The addition of Mike Davis also adds a solid receiver out of the backfield.

Jalen Hurts, PHI at Atlanta
With an over/under of 48 points, both Falcons and Eagles quarterbacks provide plenty of upside. Last season, the Eagles gave up 27-or-more points in 9 games (stop me if you’ve already heard this). Which means that the Eagles are going to have to score a lot to win games this season. Last season between Weeks 13-16, Hurts was the 8th ranked QB in fantasy. Yet, the Philly brass is not sold on him being the QB of the future, and Hurts must prove that performance was not a fluke. The addition of Devonta Smith and the preseason emergence of Quez Watkins provide additional weapons on the outside. Look for RB Kenneth Gainwell to play a role behind Miles Sanders.

Kirk Cousins, MIN at Cincinnati
Last season, Cousins had 2 top-10 WRs in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and was able to produce the No. 4 ranked offense. Granted, the defense was terrible in 2020, forcing the offense into having to score, but is expected to bounce back to an elite level this season. But until I see it, this offense provides too much firepower with Jefferson, Thielen and Dalvin Cook.


Daniel Jones, NYG vs. Denver
The Denver defense will be celebrating the return of Von Miller along with the addition of Kyle Fuller and Patrick Surtain. And while the Giants will be celebrating the return of Saquon Barkley and the addition of Kenny Golladay. I’d like to see both Barkley and Golladay get a game under their belts before believing that they can handle a full workload, especially against what is looking like a much improved defense.

Andy Dalton, CHI at Los Angeles Rams
Does anyone really believe that Dalton should be starting over rookie Justin Fields? I gotta believe that HC Matt Nagy is starting Dalton in order to save Fields a potential beat down by the Rams top-ranked defense. I fully expect to see Fields take over within the next month…hopefully.

Jared Goff, DET vs. San Francisco
Goff was very hit-or-miss when he had Sean McVay as his head coach. Now playing in Detroit for Dan Campbell, the former Saints assistant, I expect Goff to take some time getting acclimated to a new offense. The 49ers defense was a top-10 unit versus both the run and pass last season, and the Lions have one of the worst WR corps in the NFL. Look for the 49ers to get a lead and then tee off against an over-matched Detroit offense.