By Joe Sparacio
One game into Week 1 of the NFL season and we've already seen Tom Brady post a statistical dud of a game and Kareem Hunt post a gem. Basically, we know nothing.
We also still will forge ahead and project what's going to happen in fantasy on football's first Sunday. Here are five players to start and five to sit. We'll make the tough calls so you don't have to.
5 players to start
Lamar Miller, RB, TEXANS (JAX @ HOU)
Miller -- who was likely drafted as a second or third back, depending on how deep your league is -- essentially has no legit backup right now, and that means that he'll get the majority of the carries for Houston. The Texans are at home following an emotional return after Hurricaine Harvey and will surely be motivated to take home a victory. The Jaguars are better than they've been in the past, but aren't exactly a juggernaut. They're probably best in coverage, which means Texans coach Bill O'Brien will probably try to pound the rock as much as possible. Miller is far from efficient, but on volume alone, count me.
Carson Palmer, QB, BENGALS (ARI @ DET)
The Falcons-Lions game is projected to be one of the highest scoring totals of the week; Detroit plays fast and has a bad secondary. Larry Fitzgerald should feast up the middle against the Lions' soft defensive underbelly, and let's not forget that Bruce Arians adjusted Palmer's workload as the 2016 season came to a close. As a result, the veteran threw at least two touchdowns in six of his final seven games to end the year. If you don't have one of the top tier guys as your QB1 (Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees), you could do worse than starting this vet.
Tevin Coleman, RB, FALCONS (ATL @ CHI)
Forget the fact that the Super Bowl heartbreak and look at the game script here -- this will likely be a shootout. Chicago plays well against the run and has allowed only 14 total touchdowns to running backs in 2016, so it might be tough sledding for Devonta Freeman. Coleman, on the other hand, thrives on dink and dunk screens and dump passes, and the versatile back has scored nine of his 12 career touchdowns in road games. Fire him up as Ryan returns with a vengance and piles on the points against a dubious Bears secondary.
Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ERS (CAR @ SF)
You don't have to be on a good team to accumulate stats, and Garcon will get more catches than people realize. Carolina's pass defense isn't what it once was with Josh Norman, and Brian Hoyer will pepper his No. 1 wide receiver with targets. Oh, and you better expect Garcon to be heavily involved in the Week 1 offense as he was Kyle Shanahan's biggest target in free agency. For those with a lack of depth at receiver, he wouldn't be bad matchup play here.
Brandon Marshall, WR, GIANTS (NYG @ DAL)
Odell Beckham Jr. isn't very healthy (all signs point to him having a high ankle sprain), so even if he does play his effectiveness may leave a lot to be desired. This is good news for Marshall owners. The Cowboys can stop a good ground game, but have an inexperienced secondary, and Eli Manning should take to the skies. Marshall is a huge endzone target, which Manning loves, and the wide reciever will feast like a lead receiver in Week 1. If you need a flex play, slot him in.
5 players to sit
Philip Rivers, QB, CHARGERS (LAC @ DEN)
It's worth a reminder that the Denver defense is going to be almost as good as it was last year, when it was No. 1 against the pass. Rivers gets Keenan Allen back, but the talented wide receiver will undoubtedly be followed all over the field by Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. Although Rivers isn't a bad bet down the line for those looking for a solid backup, he's not worth the risk here.
Andy Dalton, QB, BENGALS (BAL @ CIN)
The Red Rifle has some new weapons, but the Ravens will likely keep this a low-scoring game. Against Baltimore, Dalton has surpassed two total touchdowns (combined on the ground and through the air) only twice in his career. More recently, he only has five TDs in his last six games vs. the Ravens. Stay away, no matter how dire your QB situation is.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, EAGLES (PHI @ WAS)
Jeffrey Is going to be shadowed by Redskins corner Norman all game, something that has proven disasterous for many fantasy wide recievers (Jeffrey didn't do much the last time they faced each other). Also, remember that the veteran needed to learn a new playbook and build chemistry with a new quarterback in the offseason, so he may get off to a slow start in general. Jeffrey should be a solid WR2 on your team in other weeks -- just not this one.
Mark Ingram, RB, SAINTS (NO @ MIN)
The Vikings have a solid rushing defense and the Saints' backfield is a pure timeshare. You should avoid the headache of who gets carries for New Orleans on a weekly basis, but with Adrian Peterson seeking revenge against his old team, it wouldn't be a surprise if AP got the majority of carries this week on the road. Since both backs would be a questionable start no matter what, I want nothing to do with either of them in a tough matchup against a solid defense.
Ty Montgomery, RB, PACKERS (SEA @ GB)
Green Bay's gadget running back had a breakout 2016 season, but he might be a little overrated right now, and certainly shouldn't be an automatic start against any defense. The Seattle D simply shuts guys down up front and they just added Sheldon Richardson to the mix, who is arguably the best defender against the run in the league. The Packers also have Jamaal Williams who may eat into Montgomery's carries at least a little bit. It'll be tough sledding at home, even if Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy is ready to mix things up.
Joe Sparacio is an associate producer for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @joetsparacio.