‘The Queen’s Journal’ vs ‘Western Gazette’ Fantasy Football 2021: week one

As another NFL season kicks off, here are The Journal’s start ‘em sit ‘em picks


As the NFL season gets underway this Thursday, The Journal is reviving its “start ‘em, sit ‘em” fantasy football competition with the Western Gazette’s sports section.

Each week, both sections will release five picks for players to start and five to keep on the bench. At the end of the week, each side will subtract their bench’s points from their starters’ points to calculate the overall net points.

Per Fantasy Pro's valuation calculator, the five players must include a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver, a tight end, and a team defense whose combined value cannot exceed $100. Adding to the challenge, the bench’s combined value cannot fall far below $90. The Journal’s first picks of the season are shown below.

Starters: $97

Tom Brady, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady will be leading a Tampa Bay offensive core fresh off from winning the Lombardi Trophy while posting his highest total quarterback rating in four years. Facing off against a Dallas Cowboys defense ranked 28th overall in 2020, Brady should be able to capitalize early on during the opening night.

Alvin Kamara, Running Back, New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara will be looking to continue his dominance after he finished with nearly 1000 yards while only starting ten games in the 2020 season. Facing off against a Green Bay Packers rushing defense ranked 14th overall in 2020, and a passing defense ranked 7th overall, the Saints will rely heavily on the run game to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.

Mike Evans, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans and the Buccaneers will face off against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night as the Cowboys look to turn the page on a disastrous 2020 campaign. A key contributor to the Buccaneers’ game plan last year—posting up over 1000 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns—Evans should be able to match his title-winning performance.

Logan Thomas, Tight End, Washington Football Team

After drifting around the league, Logan Thomas has found stability in Washington, signing a three-year extension to become their starting tight end. Thomas had 110 targets for nearly 700 receiving yards and six touchdowns, which easily surpassing his previous totals. Going up against a Chargers defense ranked 23rd overall and starting at home, Thomas should be able to build upon his emergence as an essential piece of Washington’s offense.

Indianapolis Colts Defence

The Indianapolis Colts face off against the Seattle Seahawks this week as the defensively-minded team begins the 2021 campaign focusing on the offensive duo of D.K. Metcalf and Russell Wilson. The Colts should also hold up well on the defense, as they recorded 40 sacks in 2020 and recently added Kwity Payne —a defensive end out of Michigan and the 21st overall pick in this year’s draft — to the team.

Bench: $89

Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert is a star in the making, as his Rookie of the Year trophy will attest to. However, last year, the Los Angeles Chargers were a losing team, with an offensive line that allowed Herbert to be sacked 32 times for a total loss of 218 yards. Squaring off against a Washington defense ranked fourth overall last season and playing on the road, Herbert faces a daunting challenge during the season opener.

Miles Sanders, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles

Miles Sanders and the Philadelphia Eagles face off against the Atlanta Falcons as the Eagles look to capitalize on a historically poor NFC East. After a season in which he only played 12 games, Sanders may struggle to assert himself as a key member of the Eagles’ offense. He had been forced to adapt to the new quarterback Jalen Hurts as they match up against the Falcons, who boasted a rushing defense ranked 6th overall last season.

D.K. Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Though scoring touchdowns hasn’t been easy for him, Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf is another star in the making. He recorded only ten last season, grossly underperforming compared to his other metrics. Playing against the Indianapolis Colts—a team with a top-ten defense—Metcalf should struggle to hit high gear while on the road.

T.J. Hockenson, Tight End, Detroit Lions

Even after starting all 16 games last season, Hockenson’s yards-per-reception fell significantly, and his production sank too. Hockenson will have trouble asserting himself against the visiting Detroit Lions after facing a pass defence ranked fourth in last seasons’ league.

Philadelphia Eagles Defence

The Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the Atlanta Falcons this week as both teams look to bounce back from the disappointing 2020 campaigns. Matt Ryan remains a strong quarterback, and with Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts on the roster, the Falcons could pull off a strong season. But the Eagles’ defense, ranked 20th last season, are bound to have trouble keeping the Falcons contained.

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