There’s a lot of unknowns heading into any given NFL season and you never know who will break out in Week 1 and who will underwhelm.
Here, we’ve identified a few under-the-radar wide receiver targets to keep tabs on and a few to possibly steer clear of heading into Sunday.
Wide Receiver Starts in Week 1
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
In a post-Julio Jones world for the Falcons’ offense, there’s opportunity for Russell Gage to rise. The fourth-year receiver upped his production in 2020, catching 72 passes for 786 yards, and four touchdowns.
He’s solidly behind Calvin Ridley as the No. 2 option, but he stands to immediately produce. It’s tempting to think Kyle Pitts will cut into his targets as a de-facto No. 2 right out the gate, but Gage should get plenty of looks here against Philly
Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks
With T.Y. Hilton on IR to start the season, there’s tremendous upside for Pascal to emerge as the Colts’ go-to guy in the early weeks of the regular season. He’s been consistent for the past two seasons, grabbing 40+ catches for over 600 yards, and five touchdowns in each.
What makes him an intriguing choice is the fact that the Seahawks has the second-worst pass defense in the league last year. Seattle yielded 285 passing yards per game on 10.1 yards per completion. There’s definitely room for Pascal to get loose.
Wide Receiver Sits in Week 1
Kenny Golladay , New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos
New York’s top offseason free agent signing has been dealing with a hamstring injury this week and was limited in practice on Thursday. I’d steer clear of the of the Giants’ wideout as they have other options to go to for Week 1.
Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams
Robinson will have a tough challenge going head-to-head with Jalen Ramsey and a Rams unit that ranked No. 1 in pass defense a season ago. With Andy Dalton bound to have problems moving the offense against the Rams, fade Robinson for Week 1.