Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
The jury is out on Bears receiver Allen Robinson as the former Jaguars receiver has been recovering from an ACL tear but I love him as a starter Sunday night against the Packers for two reasons. First, he’s going up against the Packers who allowed 21 touchdowns against wide receivers last season and second, Robinson will likely have a favorable game script with the Bears presumably playing from behind given the fact that Aaron Rodgers will be leading the Packers’ offense.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Season long projections are a mixed bag for Bengals running back Joe Mixon. As Cincinnati’s premier back, he’ll get a lot of volume and could be a top-tier running back in fantasy. Equally possible is that Mixon could struggle to be effective from a yards per carry standpoint as he did last season. Despite an improved offensive line, Mixon rushed three times for nine yards in the first game of the team’s preseason, four times for eight yards in the second game and six times for seven yards in preseason Week 3. Why is he a start this week? Because of the putrid Colts defense who allowed 12 rushing scores to running backs last season and an average of 120 rushing yards per contest. If he has a good game, Mixon makes for an interesting sell high option for those not wanting to wait and see what the entire 2018 season holds.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
NESN’s Doug Kyed reports that he expects a heavy workload for Patriots running back Rex Burkhead against the Texans in Week 1. While Jeremy Hill, James White and Sony Michel, who is questionable, figure to play roles Sunday, Burkhead could possibly reprise his goal-line role from last season, if so, that gives him value in a New England Patriots’ offense. Houston allowed 11 rushing touchdowns to running backs last season and a nice 4 yards per attempt. Look for Burkhead to shine in the Pats’ opener.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
I love what I’m seeing from the San Francisco 49ers this year in terms of potential, I’m just not too keen on playing their skill players against the Vikings. Garoppolo will have his hands full with a defense that allowed just 11 passing touchdowns to quarterbacks last season, had 14 interceptions and gave up just 192 passing yards per game. “Jimmy G” will start the season with a fantasy clunker.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin begins what could be a frustrating year in an unfavorable position. The eight-year veteran faces Broncos’ star slot corner Chris Harris Jr. who has locked down some of the league’s best receivers for years. Baldwin is also dealing with a knee injury that he expects to linger for the remainder of the season. “Angry Doug” gets off to a slow start.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is a tough guy to bench but I’m calling for fantasy owners to do just that Sunday against Pittsburgh. The forecast for the game calls for 2 inches of continuous rain as well as an east wind blowing 15-18 miles an hour with gusts up to 30 mph, Cleveland.com reports. Those conditions usually lead to teams opting to throw the football less in favor of a more secure way of moving the chains through the run game. Another reason I don’t like the matchup is that Gordon just returned to the Browns following an extended absence that caused him to miss the preseason. Also, it’s worth noting that Browns coach Hue Jackson said Gordon will be on a pitch count Sunday, meaning the action he sees will be limited.