Fantasy Football Today: Week 1 waiver targets plus the toughest players to rank –

The sprint to the end of the Fantasy Football season begins in two days when the Lions and Chiefs kick off the 2023 season, and today’s edition of the newsletter is here to continue to help you get ready for Week 1. If you still have a draft coming up in the final few days before the season kicks off, make sure to head to our Draft Day Cheat Sheet, where you can find all of the rankings, position previews, sleepers/breakouts/busts, and more from the Fantasy Football Today squad, including my top-200 rankings. 

Here’s what today’s newsletter has in store for you: 

Tomorrow, we’ll have Heath Cummings’ position previews for you in the morning and then Jamey Eisenberg’s Week 1 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em calls in the evening. Yep, it’s really time to start setting our lineups. I can’t wait. 

Week 1’s toughest players to rank

These are the 10 players I’m having the most trouble pinning down heading into Week 1: 

Injuries, news and notes

Kupp, who had a setback with the hamstring recently after initially injuring it during training camp, is visiting with a specialist in Minnesota this week to try and figure out the nature of the injury. We haven’t received many specific details, but coach Sean McVay did explicitly say he “wouldn’t rule Kupp out for the opener.” However, ti sounds like the setback has the team’s doctors concerned, so I’m personally not expecting to see Kupp out there for Week 1. And, the way McVay talked about the injury Monday didn’t exactly lower my level of concern. “We’re hopeful that this will give some clarity once he goes and talks to these doctors,” McVay said. “Because it doesn’t fall in alignment with some of the things that have ended up occurring relative to the standard strains of the hamstring, just based on what’s occurred over the last month and a half.”

The Rams will officially begin preparations for Week 1 against the Seahawks on Wednesday, and McVay said he hopes to have more details by then. We could get a timeline, but I’m expecting Kupp to be held out of practice. Van Jefferson is a decent roll-of-the-dice play for Week 1, though I also wouldn’t be surprised if Puka Nacua was the guy everyone was rushing to add on waivers next week – the rookie’s after-the-catch abilities could help replace Kupp in the offense if he gets the opportunity. 

Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) still isn’t practicing

Jeudy has been spotted at practice a few times since suffering a hamstring injury, but he hasn’t been able to do more than just stretch to the side. We won’t get our first official report on his activities until Wednesday, but I’m not expecting Jeudy to play this week. That pushes Courtland Sutton up in the WR ranks – he’s averaging 15.4 points per game in nine games without Jeudy over the past three seasons, compared to just 7.7 in 24 games with Jeudy. I also have Marvin Mims as a viable Flex option if Jeudy is out. 

George Kittle (groin) didn’t practice Monday

Kittle could actually miss Week 1 against the Steelers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which comes as something of a surprise. He suffered the injury three weeks ago, and while it was initially downplayed, it looks like it might actually keep him out this week. That would be a boost for Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, but it would force those of us who drafted Kittle to find an alternative. Tyler Higbee (62% rostered in CBS Fantasy leagues ) would be my top option if available, while Jake Ferguson (30%) might be the more realistic alternative in most leagues. 

Kadarius Toney (knee) was limited at practice 

Toney was declared “good to go” by coach Andy Reid on Sunday, so this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The lingering question is what kind of role Toney will have for Week 1 – and beyond, obviously. He’s a talented playmaker who has shown no ability to stay healthy since getting to the NFL, and I’m betting the Chiefs will be pretty cautious with him, especially early on. Toney should be rostered in all leagues, but I’m not planning on starting him in Fantasy in Week 1. 

Jaylen Waddle (abdomen) was back at practice

Waddle has been dealing with an injury to his midsection over the past few weeks, but he looks in line to play in Week 1. De’Von Achane is also “on track” to make his NFL debut this week, though I wouldn’t want to trust him for Fantasy – he’s likely to be the No. 2 back behind Raheem Mostert, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Salvon Ahmed also opened up the season ahead of him on the offensive depth chart, at least at first. The one big concern for the Dolphins is that Terron Armstead still isn’t practicing and looks legitimately questionable for Week 1 at this point. That would be a blow for the offense as a whole, though not enough to cause a significant, across-the-board downgrade yet. 

Zack Moss (arm) is ‘progressing well’

The Colts had a walkthrough session Monday, with coach Shane Steichen saying Moss is “progressing well,” which feels like exactly the kind of vague answer coaches give when they don’t have a real update. Moss is recovering from a broken arm, and while Week 1 was within the range of his reported timeline for returning, it still doesn’t look like a slam dunk. I’m expecting Deon Jackson and Evan Hull to be the lead backs for the Colts in Week 1, with Jackson the better bet of the two in Fantasy as a low-end RB3 in PPR. If Moss plays, he’d slot into that low-end RB3 range instead. 

This content was originally published here.

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