5 breakout fantasy football stars to pick up for Week 1

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 27: Ty Johnson #25 of the New York Jets celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter of a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 27, 2021, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

These five fantasy football pickups could set the stage for victory in Week 1 and beyond.

Trying to decipher value from preseason games is always a tricky proposition. Teams don’t always play their starters much, if at all, while the mix of vanilla defenses makes it hard to get hyped about breakout stat lines.

The key factor to watch in the preseason is opportunity, especially when it comes to situational players who can fill out the back end of your roster now and grow into more important players as the season progresses. Now that the preseason is in the books, let’s take a look at five key pickups who could make the difference four your fantasy football team in Week 1.

5. Week 1 Fantasy Football pickups – Jets RB Ty Johnson

The Jets will be rolling with a rookie quarterback in Zack Wilson but the value here could be with New York’s running game. There have been concerns over the offensive line’s ability to pass block but reports have indicated that the group is extremely strong as a run-blocking unit, which can create a fantasy starter from a favorable offensive system that new coordinator Mike LaFleur is importing from San Francisco.

The early headline maker has been rookie Michael Carter, who drew rave reviews in camp, but Ty Johnson got the majority of the early work in the preseason and demonstrated some impressive burst. Johnson also did strong work for the Jets at the end of last season, rushing for 4.7 yards per carry and picking up 16 catches in 11 games.

There is no doubt that there will be a strong rotation in New York with Johnson, Carter and veteran Tevin Coleman sharing carries. Johnson is a good bet to do well early but be prepared to snag either Coleman or Carter if one of them establishes the hot hand for the Jets against Carolina.