With the first game of the NFL season on Thursday, fantasy football season is in full swing, starting with Week 1. As such, millions of people all over the world will be setting their lineups for the first time this season. Of course, there are players such as Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey who should be in your lineup no matter what. For that reason, I will be focusing on some more under-the-radar players. If you need some help deciding who to play, this piece is for you.
JAX WR Laviska Shenault Jr. @ Houston Texans
After the season-ending injury suffered by RB Travis Etienne, the Jaguars have lost an explosive part of their offense. One thing we do know about Urban Meyer, however, is that he has always found playmakers. Next up? Laviska Shenault Jr. In his time at Colorado, Shenault was known for his “do-everything” abilities as he operated as a WR, RB, kick returner, and a wildcat QB.
In Jacksonville, he looks poised to dominate touches in the short-yardage and screen game as well as being a valuable wideout in the traditional sense. He draws a favorable match up week one where he faces the Houston Texans. The defense in Houston will likely be poor along with the rest of the team. Shenault is a great flex play for Week 1 in fantasy football.
SF WR Deebo Samuel @ Detroit Lions
One thing we know about Kyle Shanahan’s offense is that he prioritizes players who can play in space. There are not many people who do that better than Deebo Samuel. As the 49ers likely WR1, Samuel may get even more targets if WR Brandon Aiyuk does not get cleared from his hamstring injury. Although his stock will rise when #3 overall pick QB Trey Lance gets inserted in the lineup, Garoppolo should be able to provide Samuel with ample targets against Detroit’s shoddy pass defense.
CAR WR Robby Anderson vs New York Jets
Revenge game! For Robby Anderson and now-Panthers QB Sam Darnold, this is a game they have been waiting for all offseason. Aside from the personal feelings in the game, the two have historically performed well together. To make things more appealing, the New York Jets might have the worst cornerback room in the league. Robby Anderson has WR1 fantasy football potential in 2021, and Week 1 could very well be one of his best games.
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