Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 1: Who to Start in 2023

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Week 1 of the NFL season is more than just the beginning—it’s a statement. While a strong start doesn’t guarantee a championship, it sets the tone for the rest of your fantasy season. To help you kick off your season with a win, we’re spotlighting three key start-or-sit choices for those critical flex positions in Week 1.

Start: Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears (vs. Green Bay Packers)

Who to start in Fantasy Football Week 1 2023

Seize the Opportunity: Why Herbert Is Your Man

The Chicago Bears face a Green Bay Packers defense that has been consistently weak against the run. Expect the Bears to capitalize on this vulnerability, with Khalil Herbert leading the charge. While QB Justin Fields is also a running threat, the Bears are likely to protect him from unnecessary hits.

Herbert has a golden chance to claim the Bears’ backfield as his own, especially after David Montgomery’s departure to the Detroit Lions. Last year, Herbert averaged an eye-popping 5.7 yards per carry. With an increased workload expected this season, Herbert is poised to break out as a fantasy darling. You’ll want to have him in your lineup before he becomes an auto-start for everyone else.

Sit: James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals (at Washington Commanders)

Why Conner Is a No-Go: The Arizona Quandary

The Arizona Cardinals are in a precarious position with Kyler Murray sidelined due to knee injuries. Whether it’s Josh Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune under center, neither offers much hope for jump-starting this offense.

This places James Conner in a difficult spot against a Washington Commanders defense likely to focus heavily on stopping the run. Conner lacks the breakaway speed to make him a less touchdown-reliant option, and the scoring opportunities will be scarce. Until Arizona proves it can threaten through the air, starting Conner could be a fantasy pitfall you’ll want to avoid.

Start: Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

The Return of the Sutton Express

The hype surrounding Courtland Sutton may have faded, but he’s set for a resurgence. With Russell Wilson entering his second year as the Broncos’ quarterback and Sean Payton now coordinating the offense, things are looking up for Denver—and for Sutton.

Jerry Jeudy’s potential absence due to a hamstring issue could give Sutton an increased share of the targets. Against a Raiders secondary that has shown vulnerabilities, this is a matchup you’ll want to exploit. Sutton is in a prime position for a monster in Week 1, making him a must-start on your fantasy team.

Week 1 in fantasy football is about setting the tone for the rest of your season. Khalil Herbert and Courtland Sutton are strong starts based on matchups and opportunities, while it would be wise to bench James Conner given the uncertainties plaguing Arizona’s offense. Make the right moves now, and you’ll be well on your way to fantasy glory.

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Kuljit Sandhu
Kuljit Sandhu
Kuljit Singh is a seasoned content writer with over 8 years of experience in the industry. Specializing in sports journalism, he has carved out a niche for himself with in-depth analysis on the NBA and NFL. Kuljit combines his passion for sports with meticulous research and storytelling skills to deliver content that engages and informs.

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