Welcome to Week 1 of The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview, by Rich Hribar.
Months and months of fantasy preparation were poured in over the summer and all that work is about to be put to the test as Week 1 of the NFL football season is finally upon us.
The NFL is inherently a fluid game, with things in constant motion. What was yesterday is not always tomorrow and then will be different in the middle of the season. There is always a lot of ambiguity in the first week of a new NFL season.
So with a fresh start to a new season, taking an evidence-based approach is easier said than done — especially following up the unique year that was the NFL in 2020.
Last season, we had a lot of things in motion. We had preseason or true offseason conditioning. That led to one of the most injury-filled seasons we have had in recent seasons. We had no true home-field advantage, which played a role in last season being the highest-scoring season in league history. We also had a shift in how games were called last season, with league officials consciously being more lenient on offensive holding calls than in any season in the modern era. We did have a more normal offseason this summer, but Week 1 is still as ambiguous as ever and it will take a few weeks to really begin to shape our top-down view of teams as always.
While the crux of this article thrives on diagnosing the Trusts from the Busts, these opening few weeks will be about establishing the groundwork in being able to accurately do that. You will see some peppered in for players I feel strongly about early, but they will be far lighter early on as we are learning what we can apply to this season accurately.
This article will be updated throughout the week to reflect major news or injury implications. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the player rankings that will be available every week this season each Wednesday and enjoy the games.
Click the matchups below for the individual game previews.
Week 1 Matchups
DAL at TB: Thursday, Sep 9 – 8:20pm ET (unlocked)
PHI at ATL: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
PIT at BUF: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
NYJ at CAR: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
MIN at CIN: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
SEA at IND: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
SF at DET: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
JAX at HOU: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
ARI at TEN: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
LAC at WFT: Sunday, Sep 12 – 1pm ET
CLE at KC: Sunday, Sep 12 – 4:25pm ET
GB at NO: Sunday, Sep 12 – 4:25pm ET
MIA at NE: Sunday, Sep 12 – 4:25pm ET
DEN at NYG: Sunday, Sep 12 – 4:25pm ET
CHI at LAR: Sunday, Sep 12 – 8:20pm ET (unlocked)
BAL at LVR: Monday, Sep 13, 8:15pm ET