The 2023 NFL Season is here, and with it comes some lineup questions. Which moves should you make to maximize your points? Let this weekly post be your guide as I offer one start and one sit suggestion at QB, RB, WR, and TE. These suggestions are based on my rankings against consensus each week. And because we want to measure our success, check back each week for a recap on how I did.
For the purposes of this project, a start is a player I think will finish Top 12 at QB or TE and Top 24 at RB or WR. A sit is a player I suspect will finish outside those metrics. In the weeks to come, I’ll use that standard to review my suggestions from the previous week in the recap. Now, on to this week’s picks.
Start: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
About: Dak is back, he’s healthy, and he has a great set of weapons. The Cowboys added Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup is now more than a year removed from his injury. Plus, the Cowboys have stars in receiver CeeDee Lamb and running back Tony Pollard. I suspect with Mike McCarthy at the helm, I think this will be a more pass-friendly offense. That’s good news for those that roster Dak and bad news for the Giants, his Week 1 opponent. Dak is 10-2 in his career against the Giants with 3,147 yards, 23 TDs and seven INTs. He hasn’t always lit it up of late, but I like him under the lights on Sunday night.
Sit: Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
About: This isn’t about me being a hater. All right, it isn’t totally about me being a hater. Rodgers is going to be fine this season, and I even still like Garrett Wilson in this game. But there will be a period of adjustment, and a Monday night game against a good defense in the Bills isn’t the ideal way for the Jets to start. This figures to be a game with strong defense on both sides. I think it will be close and competitive, but I don’t think we see flashy numbers from Rodgers, so I have him in the QB2 range this week.
Start: J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
About: Dobbins is healthy to start the season, and that’s a good thing for the Ravens. It’s a good thing for those who roster him, too. That’s especially the case when you consider a Week 1 matchup against the Texans. The 2022 Texans were last in the league in carries and yards against and 31st in rushing touchdowns against. DeMeco Ryans has his work cut out for him, but it’s doubtful that the defense can completely turn it around overnight. The Texans allowed opposing backs a 5.1 yards per carry average in 2022. Dobbins averaged 5.7 yards per carry in his eight games in 2022. It’s taken a while to get here, but I think we’re poised to see Dobbins explode this season, starting in Week 1.
Sit: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
About: Jacobs is a talented back, no doubt. That’s why the Raiders used the Franchise Tag on him this off-season. He also torched the Denver Broncos—his Week 1 opponent—twice last season. So, why is he here? Call it partly a gut feeling. Jacobs held out this off-season, finally agreeing to return after the pre-season and after Training Camp. That puts him a bit behind, which could lead to a slow start and a controlled workload. In addition, there’s some bad energy around the Raiders. Finally, the Broncos have a good defense and are well aware of what Jacobs did in 2022. All the talk has been about stopping him. He will be the focus. I think he’ll contribute, but I’m not expecting a big day.
Start: D.J. Moore, Chicago Bears
About: The Bears essentially traded the No. 1 overall pick to land a No. 1 wide receiver for Justin Fields. Moore is a talented pass-catcher who wasted little time making a connection. He caught two passes for 102 yards and a touchdown on three targets in his lone pre-season game. The Bears open the season at home against the rival Green Bay Packers. I expect Moore and the Bears to make a splash to open the season.
Sit: Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts
About: Pittman is clearly the top receiver for the Colts. The question is the offense. The Colts open at home against the Jaguars. It’s going to be a tough game against a team that’s a favorite to win the AFC South. The Colts are also lacking pop in the running game. Jonathan Taylor is out, leaving Deon Jackson and rookie Evan Hull to carry the load. That puts even more defensive focus on rookie passer Anthony Richardson, who struggled with accuracy in the pre-season. Richardson and Pittman will be fine for the season, but I’m not betting on a Top 24 finish in Week 1.
Start: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
About: Pitts is a talented player and part of a strong core on offense for the Falcons. There are certainly some questions about the passing game in Atlanta and if they are up to the challenge, but I like Desmond Ridder’s potential. I think in year three, we’re going to see Pitts step up, joining Drake London as the key focus of the passing game. This opening game at home against a young Carolina team is a great way for the Falcons to kickstart the season. I like Pitts a lot this week.
Sit: Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
About: The Bills drafted Kincaid in the First Round, and he figures to be a part of the passing attack this season. But what will the split be with Knox? How will Kincaid be deployed? How will this passing game come together in general? There are plenty of questions, and a Week 1 Prime Time game against a stout Jets’ defense isn’t a great way to find out what the ceiling of that potential is. I’m staying away from Knox and Kincaid this week.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.