Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley is the consensus RB1 going into 2016, and is in line to once again carry an entire offense on his shoulders. That begins in Week 1 against a defense that could see plenty of time on the field, with Chip Kelly being known for not having his offense milking the clock. Gurley is a must-start at running back.
Tavon Austin is the only receiver worth considering in this group, as he logged 907 total yards and nine touchdowns in 2015, and has the big-play ability to score from anywhere on the field. He remains a boom-or-bust fantasy option for Week 1 due to a run-heavy scheme and fringe-backup Case Keenum at quarterback
Every remaining skill position deserves to be benched, until further notice.
San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Hyde projects to be the cornerstone of the offense, but draws a tough matchup out of the gate. With the 49ers devoid of talent on offense, Hyde is in line to monopolize carries, although the degree of success he can achieve is anyone’s guess. Hyde is a high-volume RB2 with upside, but owners should temper their expectations.
Torrey Smith is still a force when the ball is in his hands, but getting it there is easier said than done with Blaine Gabbert at the helm. Smith also draws Trumaine Johnson in coverage, who could capably shadow him all of Monday night. Smith is a good candidate to lead the 49ers in targets this season, but the script isn’t in his favor out of the gate. Smith is a low-end flex option who still presents the possibility of ripping off a long touchdown catch.
Blaine Gabbert, Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley are non-options. Vance McDonald is a cheap alternative for Rob Gronkowski owners who are desperate, but nothing else.