- WR Sammy Watkins has had his best game in Week 1 in each of the last two seasons.
- RB James Robinson will be facing the worst rush defense in football from last year.
- WR Cooper Cupp should be able to excel in the slot against the Chicago Bears.
- WR DeVante Parker may be able to take advantage of the depleted New England Patriots’ secondary.
LAS VEGAS – There are very few players in the NFL who can get through the entire season without having a single bad game. This is usually due to matchups on the schedule. Styles make fights but some players have a style that’s a better fit for Week 1 than others for fantasy football.
Sammy Watkins: A Week 1 Machine
Sammy Watkins hasn’t been too relevant in fantasy football for a couple of years now. However, he has made a habit of putting himself on the radar early in the season. Regulated sports betting sites and fantasy football sites do not see Watkins getting much attention this season, but his track record in Week 1 games shows his breakout potential.
In 2020, Watkins had his best game of the season in Week 1. He had seven catches on nine targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. It was the only week in which he found the endzone and the only week he had nine targets and one of only two weeks during the year where he had seven receptions.
In 2019, Watkins had arguably the best performance of the season with his 198 yards and three touchdowns. Again, it was the only week he scored a touchdown and never had more than 65 yards in any other week of the season.
Watkins is now on a new team, the Baltimore Ravens, and while he’s unlikely to match his 2019 output, how many years in a row does he need to put up a big game in Week 1 to rule it as a trend?
James Robinson: Houston’s Defense Is Awful
It’s no secret that the Houston Texans are expected to be among the league’s worst teams. However, where the team is exceptionally bad is in their rush defense. Last season the Texans allowed the most yards per carry of any team in the NFL with 5.2 yards per touch.
James Robinson would’ve been a good starting option before Travis Etienne’s injury, but with Carlos Hyde as his only threat for stealing snaps, Robinson looks to be in an even better position. Prop bets are not yet available for this game, but those betting on the NFL should keep an eye out for Robinson’s totals as he’s set to have a monster Week 1.
Cooper Cupp: A Slot Mismatch
Cooper Cupp should benefit from having Matthew Stafford as his quarterback throughout the season, but his Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears might bring him a better game than expected. As the team’s slot receiver, he’ll likely be matched against Duke Shelley, a sixth-round draft pick who has just seven games of experience in the NFL.
With guys like Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, and Akiem Hicks rushing the passer, Stafford may look for quick routes which Cupp would surely be a focus for.
DeVante Parker: Facing Depleted Patriots Secondary
DeVante Parker has the advantage of Will Fuller V being suspended for the first game of the season which should bring him more targets than usual. Also, Stephon Gilmore will miss the opening game of the season, which leaves the Patriots without one of the best corners in the league.
Attempting to predict the Patriots game plan is one of the tougher things to do, but it’s very possible that the team will decide to leave J.C. Jackson in his usual position and put Jalen Mills on Parker instead. Although Fuller V is out, Mike Gesicki, Jaylen Waddle, and Preston Williams should draw enough attention to give Parker his chances to make plays.
Nick is a sports writer and die-hard sports fan. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast/Journalism. In his free time, he enjoys kicking back and relaxing with a good video game.