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Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Recommended fantasy starters for Week 1

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Go with Julio Jones, Jameis Winston, and Devonta Freeman, among others.

Washington Redskins v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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You’re looking at the Falcons-Buccaneers game on Sunday and seeing two relatively high-powered offenses pitted against two solid but not spectacular defenses, and you’re probably salivating at the potential point totals if you have Atlanta and Tampa Bay players. Here’s a brief list of recommended starters.

Falcons

WR Julio Jones

You would do well to start Julio Jones every single week until the sun finally exhausts its ample supply of fuel and grows larger and colder, eventually swallowing our planet and burning away all life except for Julio Jones. Or, you know, until he retires.

Expecting 100 yards, a touchdown, and 7-9 receptions seems very reasonable.

RB Devonta Freeman

He had up and down weeks against the Buccaneers the last time around, but he’s on fresh legs and will be the goal line option against Tampa Bay. Pencil him in for 70-plus yards on the ground and, god willing, a touchdown or two.

WR Mohamed Sanu

We know that Kyle Shanahan has big plans for Mohamed Sanu, or the team wouldn’t have paid him all that money. We also know that Shanny’s plans work best when teams haven’t had a chance to adjust to them, and the combination of Sanu being in an Atlanta uniform for the first time and Shanahan seeking a unique edge likely means the veteran is going to get a ton of work in this one.

Don’t expect a huge line, but I think 70-plus yards and 5-7 receptions is a reasonable expectation, making a potential WR3 in deeper leagues.

Buccaneers

QB Jameis Winston

Jameis had two pretty solid weeks against the Falcons a year ago, and while Atlanta’s defense should be better, Winston should also be improved in his second season. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the Falcons’ stout front to slow Doug Martin, and if the Falcons get a lead as I expect, Winston should have the volume to have a nice day.

RB Doug Martin

I wouldn’t start him as more than an RB2, because I don’t think his per carry average is going to be very impressive, but Martin has a good chance of scoring once and getting the volume early on to at least put up 50-plus yards. There’s always the chance, given his talent, that he has a better day than expected, too.

WR Mike Evans

Evans is an up-and-down kind of player, period, with outstanding weeks mixed in with extremely underwhelming ones. While he’s going to draw plenty of Desmond Trufant, Evans should get more favorable matchups on occasion, and should put up a respectable line, at the very least. He’ll be a solid play.

Who are you starting this weekend?