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Week one of the 2021 NFL season is finally upon us, and fans everywhere are frantically setting their fantasy football lineups before today’s early games are set to kick off. But If you’re like me, you probably have at least one or two players from both teams (I’m in 15 fantasy leagues) in today’s games.
Start | New England Patriots RB Damien Harris
If it were up to me, every player on this list would be part of the Miami Dolphins organization. After all, suggesting a particular player will succeed against my favorite team isn’t something I like to do. Nevertheless, the Miami Dolphins run defense has been bad in recent years. And with Cam Newton no longer on the Patriots (He led the team in rushing back in Week 1 of 2020), the team will have to find a more traditional approach to running the football.
His name is Damien Harris.
Harris is likely to break out after rushing for 691 yards and two touchdowns a season ago. But, of course, that was with Sony Michel and James White in the picture. And although Rhamondre Stevenson is sure to get some touches, the Pats appear to be all-in on Damien Harris.
Start | Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki
The homer in me believes the Miami Dolphins offense will have a pretty good day on Sunday versus New England’s depleted secondary. However, while I could sit here and try to figure out whether or not DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, or Jaylen Waddle will have the most targets (and yards), there’s one player on the roster that I believe to be a bit of a safer option.
Gesicki was held to only 30 yards in Miami’s week one loss to the Pats a season ago. And he was inactive for their Week 15 matchup. However, when he is active, he has quickly become one of Tua Tagovailoa’s safest targets. And against a New England secondary that’s already depleted, Miami’s playmaking TE should be in for a big day this afternoon.
Sit | New England Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers has been the talk of the town in New England. All of my friends and family are convinced he’s going to have a very good season. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to match up vs. Xavien Howard or Byron Jones every week.
Meyers caught 59 balls for 729 yards and 0 touchdowns a season ago, so it’s not too crazy to think he’s going to have his best season in 2021. Nevertheless, against a Dolphins defense that is among the best in the NFL—I’m fading every New England wide receiver I can get my hands on.
The only way Meyers or Agholor should be in your starting lineup is if you really don’t have any other options. And I know Albert Wilson is available. (I kid, I kid)
Start | Miami Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin
Last season, when the Dolphins defeated the Patriots 22-12, the team rushed for 250 yards on the ground—and controlled the time of possession with over 15 minutes more than the opposition. Unfortunately, Gaskin did not play that game, which saw Salvon Ahmed lead the rushing attack with 122 yards on the ground. Miami’s offensive line might be a massive question mark, and the team has repeated time and time they will use a committee approach, but if I had to pick one player to be confident in this week, Myles Gaskin would be that guy.
Gaskin has shown flashes of being a true RB1 this offseason, and the coaching staff loves him. There’s also a very good chance that when you drafted Gaskin, the intent was for him to be your RB2 in fantasy. So why not feel confident
I’m extremely confident in Myles Gaskin today—which likely means Malcolm Brown will start.
Sit | New England Patriots QB Mac Jones
When Mac Jones landed in New England, I really believed it was the perfect spot for the Alabama quarterback. Then, of course, I was worried and still am, but that’s more of a long-term fear. What I can’t fathom, however, is why so many ‘ExPerTs aNd AnALysTs’ believe Jones is going to fare better than Justin Herbert—who played half a season before he was thrown into the fire against Brian Flores’s vaunted defense.
Now I know, I know, Bill Belichick runs a similar defense. And if anyone can have his rookie quarterback prepared for Josh Boyer’s defense, it’s BB. But in his first-ever start, with a bunch of unknowns at wide receiver. I wouldn’t be too confident in rolling with Mac Jones.
Lucky for you, the only way you’re considering starting Jones is if you’re playing DFS or Superflex.
Sit | Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
If I recommend that you sit Mac Jones, I really can’t sit here and tell you to start Tua Tagovailoa. Yes, he played well in his first career matchup vs. the Patriots. But Belichick remembers, and he’s going to try everything in his power to make Tagovailoa’s day a living hell.
If you want a cheap, homer option in DFS, Tagovailoa is your guy. The same can be said if you’re in a 2-QB Superflex league. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend starting the Samoan Southpaw in today’s matchup, even if he will throw for 300+ yards and 4 touchdowns.
(I’m still confident in Miami’s defense and would be uber-confident in starting them vs. a rookie QB.)