Kyle Yates’ Last-Minute Week 1 Cheatsheet (2022 Fantasy Football)

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was up at 3:00am, 4:00am, and then when my alarm went off this morning I practically levitated out of bed.

We’re here.

We are just hours away – as I’m writing this – from hearing Scott Hanson say, “Seven hours of commercial free football starts now!” It’s been a long 7 months of seeing takes fly around on Twitter, Youtube, etc. and we’re finally going to start to get some clarity on these ambiguous situations. And – on top of all of that – we actually get to set fantasy football lineups for real!

This article is all about the last-minute information you need to dominate your league in Week 1! You’ll find plenty of useful information in here, but it’s not the full puzzle! If you have tough lineup choices to make and you want help, make sure you’re tuning in on Youtube on Sunday mornings at 11:00am and 12:00pm for Start/Sit livestreams with myself and Alfredo Brown.

Additionally, The Fantasy Playbook Discord community is hopping! You can get into the rapidly growing community of almost 1,000 members to bounce start/sit ideas off of each other and I’ll be active in there on Sunday morning as well! I hope to see you in there soon.

In the meantime, grab that cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s get the information we need to dominate our matchups here in Week 1!

The Injury Hub

Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet providing the latest injury updates to key players.

Michael Thomas (WR) – Expected to Play

Russell Gage (WR) – Expected to Play

Chris Godwin (WR) – Expected to Play

Godwin’s expected to play on Sunday Night Football, but I doubt he plays his full compliment of snaps. If you have another option, I would prefer to wait a week before playing Godwin in my starting lineup.

Zach Ertz (TE) – Expected to Play

Drake London (WR) – Expected to Play

JK Dobbins (RB) – OUT

Jakobi Meyers (WR) – Expected to Play

Rondale Moore (WR) – OUT

Michael Gallup (WR) – OUT

Zach Wilson (QB) – OUT

Allen Lazard (WR) – Not Expected to Play

George Kittle (TE) – Not Expected to Play

Ken Walker (RB) – Not Expected to Play

The Starts of the Week

Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet providing Kyle Yates’ Starts of the Week.

QB: Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints)

We’re going to see a much different offensive game plan in this one from the Saints than what we saw last year. Winston’s going to be allowed to open things up just a bit more and the receiving weapons he has should make life easy on him. In 2021, the Falcons were 28th in Football Outsiders’ Pass DVOA ranks and they allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. We can’t just completely copy and paste from one season to the next, but I don’t see any drastic improvements on paper from this unit. Winston’s QB16 in my rankings this week and you can absolutely look his way if you’re – somehow – already in a pinch.

RB: AJ Dillon (Green Bay Packers)

I’ve obviously been significantly higher on Dillon this off-season and think that he’s going to have an increased role in this offense in 2022. The Packers have a ton of ambiguity at WR right now and we don’t know who Aaron Rodgers is going to lean on here in Week 1. We do know that Aaron Jones and Dillon are going to be on the field and they’re going to be on the field a lot. The Packers have talked a lot this off-season already about getting their best players on the field, even if that means having two RBs at the same time. I think we’ll see a pretty even rotation here between the two backs and Dillon’s going to see enough volume to enter into the RB2 conversation.

WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Kansas City Chiefs)

This game is going to be a blast to watch. A 53.5 over/under at the time of recording and the Chiefs have a team implied point total of just under 30 points. We’re going to see points go up on the board and there’s still a lot of ambiguity right now in this WR corps. Juju might be the most consistent target underneath, but when Patrick Mahomes needs a big play he’s going to turn to MVS deep downfield. Last year, the Arizona secondary was bleeding fantasy points to opposing WRs and that could very well be the case yet again this season. All it takes is one big play to push your lineup over the top and there’s a very strong potential for that happening here in this one. I’m starting him over players like Amari Cooper, Tyler Lockett, Robert Woods, and Devonta Smith just to name a few. If you’ve got MVS, plug him into your FLEX.

TE: David Njoku (Cleveland Browns)

I talked a lot about Njoku throughout draft season and I think he has the potential to finally soak up targets in this offense. I’m not crazy about Jacoby Brissett starting, but he’s going to keep things close to the line of scrimmage and pepper Njoku with looks in that area of the field. Carolina didn’t allow a ton to opposing TEs last season, so it’s not the greatest matchup but the volume should be there. He’s at TE13 in my rankings and I’d start him right now over Albert Okwuegbunam, Hunter Henry, and Irv Smith Jr. If you’re dealing with the George Kittle situation already, Njoku’s still out there on a ton of waiver wires.

Players To Avoid

Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet here with players that Kyle Yates has concern over their matchups, etc. and you should look to avoid if you can.

QB: Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)

I understand that you’re not going to sit Burrow unless you’re in a 6-team league or whatever, but I just have some concerns this week. This is a low over/under at just 44.5 points and the Bengals are currently favored by almost a touchdown. That already limits the potential upside and ceiling for Burrow. Additionally, the last two times that the Bengals have played Pittsburgh, Joe Mixon has rushed for 255 yards and averaged 5.5 YPC. We could absolutely see Cincinnati get out to a big lead right away and just sit on it. Just something to consider.

RB: Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders)

Right off the bat, Jacobs is at RB27 for me right now so that’s a big difference versus his ECR of RB20. There’s always the potential that Jacobs finds the end zone and works his way into the top-20, but there’s too much uncertainty right now with this whole situation to confidently be playing him. We don’t know what the split will look like between him and Zamir White, not to mention how Ameer Abdullah is projected to be out there for 3rd downs. If Jacobs is the goal-line back, he can save his fantasy outing with a touchdown…but that’s not where I want to be right now with my RB2 spot.

On top of that, the matchup is trash. The Chargers were not messing around this off-season and they went out and significantly upgraded their defense. Sebastian Joseph-Day from the Rams at Nose Tackle, Khalil Mack at EDGE, JC Jackson at Corner – although he’s probably not going to play in this one – and you look at the rest of their defense and it’s stacked! Where’s the running room for Jacobs? We’ll have to wait and see how they all come together and what the stats look like a few weeks down the line, but on paper this is a terrible matchup. If you combine the uncertainty with the volume and the matchup, I have no idea why Jacobs is being ranked ahead of AJ Dillon right now. Sit Jacobs if you can.

WR: Diontae Johnson (Cincinnati Bengals)

This is not just about his shoulder injury and the fact that he’s banged up. This has a lot to do with the overall situation and uncertainty surrounding what we’re going to get out of this unit with Mitchell Trubisky starting. We don’t know who Trubisky is going to feature in this offense. I love the talent level of Johnson and I think he’s going to be routinely open, but we’ve seen QBs come onto the field and favor another WR that they’ve been practicing with more regularly. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if George Pickens is actually the target share leader here in this offense after Week 1. I’m not projecting that, but it wouldn’t surprise me. On top of that, the matchup against Cincinnati isn’t exactly a cake walk either. They only allowed 21.7 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs last year and that’s enough to make me at least a little bit hesitant when considering playing Johnson. Based on where you drafted him, you’re most likely playing him but when you add on the injury to all of what I mentioned above, I have my concerns.

TE: Kyle Pitts (Atlanta Falcons)

I’m still obviously starting Pitts based on where I drafted him, but this isn’t an easy matchup. The Saints defense is insane as they were 2nd overall in Pass DVOA in 2021 and 5th in Rush DVOA. They have playmakers all over their defense and Pitts isn’t going to have as much room to operate as he’d probably like. Keep in mind that last season, Pitts faced the Saints twice and had just 3 receptions for 62 yards on a 42% catch rate in one game and then just two receptions for 8 yards on a 40% catch rate the next. And that was with Matt Ryan. Now we’re looking at Marcus Mariota. You’re still starting him, of course. But we have to be a little concerned.

Do you want Kyle Yates’ full Week 1 rankings? Make sure to sign up and access all Premium Content here >>>

Down The Stream

Each week, you’ll find a section of the cheatsheet with streaming options for the QB, TE, and DST positions in fantasy football that are under 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues.

QB: Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints)

Jameis is under the threshold of 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues, so he’s certainly still out there for you to turn to if you’re already in a pinch. As I mentioned above, it’s a fantastic matchup on paper and Winston should have all of his receiving weapons out there in Week 1.

TE: Mo Alie-Cox (Indianapolis Colts)

David Njoku and Irv Smith are over the 50% threshold, but Alie-Cox is just chilling down at 10% rostered in Yahoo leagues. If you’re dealing with the George Kittle injury saga, Alie-Cox is an excellent pivot option for you due to the matchup and the team implied point total for the Colts. The game script could easily favor Jonathan Taylor, but Alie-Cox should be Matt Ryan’s main target when they get down into the red zone. Robert Tonyan and Hayden Hurst are also great options, but I’ll turn to the gigantic red zone presence as the main streaming option in Week 1.

DST: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles get to take on the Detroit Lions here and there’s never really a guarantee of what you’re going to get when you face this Dan Campbell-led team. They could mount one of their incredible comeback efforts and rack up the score late in the game, but the Eagles defense should do enough to make life tough on them. This is a much improved defense on paper this off-season, adding in Jordan Davis, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, James Bradberry, and Nakobe Dean. This unit is not only a solid streaming option in Week 1 – I’m rolling them out there in a league myself – but they could actually be a team that you keep for the majority of the season.