Preemptive Strike: Week1

Welcome back to another fantasy football season. Like Anakin Skywalker said in the Revenge of the Sith "This is where the fun begins." For those of you who are reading this article for the first time, the "Preemptive Strike" player list focuses on giving fantasy managers some players to add or stash depending on your roster size prior to this week's games being played. It is a way to give you an edge against your league mates so you can be ahead of next week's waiver wire run.

Here are Week 1's Preemptive Strike players to add:


Check to see if these quarterbacks are available to add first: Brock Purdy 55% Rostered and Russell Wilson 54% Rostered.

Derek Carr, QB Saints 35% Rostered

I know after Derek Carr’s horrendous last season with the Raiders many fantasy managers do not want anything to do with the veteran quarterback. We’re all like we need some proof that he has returned to form. Well, you may want to add him now because when you have Chris Olave, Michaels Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, Juwan Johnson, and the eventual return of Alvin Kamara you are looking at a gold mine of weapons at Carr’s disposal. With the Panthers on deck for Week 2 Carr will be a hot commodity for fantasy managers come Tuesday’s waiver wire claim day. Carr should be added in all league formats.

Sam Howell, QB Commanders 22% Rostered

Speaking of quarterbacks with weapons, Sam Howell has a plethora of options of his own. Howell will probably be the most sought-after quarterback after Week 1, as he is sure to smash the Cardinals into oblivion. Not only can Howell make plays with his arm he can also get his share of first-downs with his legs. The reason why I have Howell at two is because he does face a tough Broncos defense in Week 2, so temper the expectations but he is still a quarterback to add in 12-team leagues.

Kenny Pickett, QB Steelers 39% Rostered

During the preseason, Kenny Pickett has shown so much improvement that he was getting a lot of hype from the fantasy community. Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and a couple of dynamo running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will help his progress this Fall. Although he has a very tough contest versus the 49ers in Week 1, he does get a little better match-up against division rival Browns this next week. Pickett should be considered as an option to add in 12-team leagues for sure.

Jordan Love, QB Packers 30% Rostered

Jordan Love would have probably been a little higher on this list but his top two wide receivers are both nursing hamstring injuries. Christain Watson has already been ruled out for Week 1 and Romeo Doubs is questionable. What makes Love really appealing to add is his opponent next week the Falcons. This could be a possible high-scoring affair and hopefully, he will have all his weapons back for that game. Love is an option for deeper 12-team leagues.

Kyler Murray, QB Cardinals 26% Rostered

Kyler Murray is currently on the PUP list and is out for at least the first four games of the season. Add him now and stash him on your IR spot until he returns and thank me later.

Quarterbacks to add and stash in deeper league formats: Matthew Stafford 29% Rostered, Jimmy Garoppolo 16% Rostered, C.J. Stroud 10% Rostered, Ryan Tannehill 7% Rostered, and Desmond Ridder 5% Rostered.

Running Backs

Check to see if these running backs are available to add first: Elijah Mitchell 57% Rostered, De’Von Achane 50% Rostered, Tyler Allgeier 55% Rostered, and Damien Harris 55% Rostered.

Jaylen Warren, RB Steelers 48% Rostered

If Jaylen Warren is still lingering around your waiver wire, please stop reading now and pick him up ASAP! Okay now welcome back, Warren is going to be heavily used in the Steelers’ offense. Najee Harris is the starter but Warren has been turning heads since last season and this preseason was no exception. He continuously makes plays when given the chance and is a big play waiting to happen. Warren must rostered in all league formats, so beat your league mates to the punch if he is still there.


Tank Bigsby, RB Jaguars 47% Rostered

Travis Etienne isn’t going anywhere and is a top option at running back without a doubt, but you still will want to add Tank Bigsby now while you can. The rookie running back has already been working with the first unit during the preseason and will be the running back at the goal line. Next week they face a Chris Jones-less Chiefs team who just got carved up by running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. Bigsby should be rostered in all league formats.


Deon Jackson, RB Colts 45% Rostered, Zach Moss 8% Rostered, and Evan Hull 7% Rostered

Oh, Jonathan Taylor how we miss you. With Taylor on the PUP list the Colts will be implementing a running back by committee until he hopefully returns. The first man up is Deon Jackson. Last season when Taylor missed time, Jackson was very useful, especially in PPR leagues. The last time he played his Week 1 opponent Jaguars, Jackson had 121 yards from scrimmage, including 10 receptions and a touchdown. Next week Zach Moss returns from his injury. Evan Hull will also be implemented into the offense as well, so this may be a mess soon.  


Roschon Johnson, RB Bears 15% Rostered

Khalil Herbert is primed for a breakout year but Roschon Johnson is no slouch in his own right. Johnson has lived in Bijan Robinson’s shadow over the last few years at the University of Texas. Johnson is excellent at pass-pro and will get his share of touches. He should be considered more of an insurance policy for now but is an add for 12-team leagues.

Tyjae Spears, RB Titans 15% Rostered

The running back who has no meniscus in his knee was turning heads in the preseason like nobody's business. Tyjae Spears led the preseason with 4.73 yards after contact while averaging 5.73 yards per carry. King Derrick Henry is the obvious bell-cow for this offense but Spears will be integrated as a receiving back out of the backfield. If Henry goes down with an injury, Spears could catapult to an RB2 for fantasy managers. Spears should be added to 12-team leagues.


Ty Chandler, RB Vikings 8% Rostered

With Dalvin Cook now in the Big Apple, this is Alexander Mattison's show. Mattison has been productive when called upon but time will tell if he can handle the majority of the work on a consistence basis. The running back that intrigues me the most is Ty Chandler. Chandler has 4.3 speed and is a weapon in the receiving game. Consider adding him in 12-team leagues.


Running Backs to add and stash in deeper league formats: Chubba Hubbard 16% Rostred, Duece Vaughn 16% Rostered, Kyrien Williams 3% Rostered, Jerome Ford 9% Rostered, Sean Tucker 4% Rostered, Jaleel McLaughlin 1% Rostered Kareem Hunt 12% Rostered, Joshua Kelley 3% Rostered, and Rico Dowdle 1% Rostered. 

Wide Receiver

Check to see if these wide receivers are available to add first: Rashad Bateman 69% Rostered, Quentin Johnston 56% Rostered, Nico Collins 55% Rostered, and Jakobi Meyers 50% Rostered. 

Marvin Mims Jr., WR Broncos 37% Rostered

Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are the top two options for the Broncos but Marvin Mims Jr. was hand-picked by head coach Sean Payton. With Jeudy still recovering from a hamstring injury Mims has a chance to make the most of the opportunity he will be given in Week 1 and heading 

Van Jefferson, WR Rams 34% Rostered, Puka Nacua 3% Rostered

Van Jefferson should be rostered in all league formats. Now that Cooper Kupp has been placed on IR, Jefferson is now the WR1 for the foreseeable future for the Rams. Jefferson has battled his own injuries in the past but has the red carpet to be the man for the Rams. Add Jefferson now while you can. Puka Nacua is a rookie who has steadily had his drum beat get louder during training camp and preseason. If you have space in a 12-team league consider adding Nacua as well because he will be a hot commodity for the Week 2 waiver wire. 

Romeo Doubs, WR Packers 30% Rostered

Christian Watson is the WR1 heading into the season, but in my opinion, Romeo Doubs will be a WR1-B for the Packers this year. With Watson already ruled out for the week, Doubs will be the WR1 for the Packers if he can suit up since he has been dealing with a hamstring injury of his own. Monitor Doubs' status heading into the contest and add because his roster percentage will be on the rise next week.   

Michael Gallup, WR Cowboys 30% Rostered

Dak Prescott’s WR2 is now about two years removed from his torn ACL injury. Many are opposed to the Cowboys offense since offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is now In Los Angeles with the Chargers. CeeDee Lamb and newly acquired Brandin Cooks will clear out most of the defensive secondary so Michael Gallup can take advantage of single coverage. Gallup is a player to add in deeper 12-team leagues.

Wide Receivers to add and stash in deeper league formats: Jayden Reed 10% Rostered, Rashid Shaheed 14% Rostered, Isaiah Hodgins 9% Rostered, Alec Pierce 65% Rostered, and Tank Dell 5% Rostered.

Tight End

Check to see if these tight ends are available to add first: Cole Kmet 72% Rostered, Dalton Schultz 69% Rostered, and Juwan Johnson 53% Rostered.

Jake Ferguson, TE Packers 35% Rostered

With the departure of Dalton Schultz in free agency, one of the biggest questions on the Cowboys' offense is who will step up to be the TE1.  Even though the Cowboys drafted Luke Schoonmaker, the leading candidate for TE1 duties is Jake Ferguson. Dak Prescott has already gone on record saying that Ferguson could breakout in 2023. Ferguson should be added in deeper leagues and must add in tight end premium leagues.  

Gerald Everett, TE Chargers 44% Rostered

Gerald Everett is an athletic freak and has always been a boom or bust tight end for fantasy managers through out his career.The only thing that should hesitate fantasy managers from adding Everett is all the weapons that he has fight targets for. If you lost Travis Kelce, Everett is a perfect add to help you weather the storm until he returns. 

Luke Musgrave, TE Packers 17% Rostered

As mentioned above Watson is out for Week 1 and Jordan Love will be looking for player-makers to move the chains. Queue in rookie Luke Musgrave who is already the TE1 for the Packers. For now, Musgrave is the number tight end on the depth chart and should be added in deep tight end premium leagues only at this time.

Defense/Special Teams

New York Giants face the Arizona Cardinals; It’s the Giants' turn to take the Cardinals to the woodshed next week.

Miami Dolphins tangle with the New England Patriots: Dolphins defense head to Foxboro bring some heat to the North East.


What players are you looking to add prior to this week's game? If you would like to discuss this further or have any fantasy football questions feel free to reach out to me on X at @smooth1074.

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