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What to do with Joe Burrow in Week 1 fantasy football

The Bengals are sending out rookie quarterback Joe Burrow right out of the gate. We break down the fantasy football start/sit considerations for Week 1.

Many years ago, the Cincinnati Bengals spent the No. 1 overall pick on quarterback Carson Palmer, and then sat him his rookie season. They won’t be doing the same thing this year with Joe Burrow. The team invested the No. 1 overall pick on him this past April, and he’s getting thrown right into the fire. Burrow will start Week 1 when the Bengals host the Los Angeles Chargers.

Burrow had a monster final season of college, throwing for 5,671 yards, with 60 touchdowns and 6 interceptions and adding another five touchdowns on the ground. Two years after transferring to LSU from Ohio State, Burrow won every major college award, to go along with winning a national championship. He was the clear-cut choice at No. 1.

Fantasy Football analysis: Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Burrow joins a Bengals team that was awful last season, but has solid offensive potential around him. He’ll have Joe Mixon in the backfield, while A.J. Green returns from a lost 2019 season. Green joins Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and John Ross in a wide receiver corps that offers some upside, even if we’re not quite sure what Green has left in the tank.

That being said, while Burrow has a ton of potential, you generally don’t start a rookie quarterback in fantasy leagues. He was a must-draft in dynasty leagues and bigger keeper leagues, but his 2020 value is primarily in best ball leagues. He could put up some big yardage games as a rookie, but it’s going to be entirely unpredictable.

Burrow gets a bad Jaguars team at home in Week 4 and some shaky defenses against the Giants and Dolphins in Week 12 and Week 13. And yet, nobody can say with confidence that he’ll definitely perform well against bad defenses this year. Rookie quarterbacks are often more bad than good that first year, and any good performances can feel like they come out of nowhere.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit in virtually all leagues. Even in 2-QB leagues, you’ve likely got a better option for this first week.