Should You Start Breece Hall or Dalvin Cook in Fantasy Football Week 1?

With only days until the first NFL Sunday of the season, who should fantasy managers look to start between New York Jets RBs Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook?

With the NFL kicking off this week, we finally have decisions to make as fantasy football managers. What running backs and wide receivers should I start? Who should I put in my Flex position? Should I pick up a player on the waiver wire before they break out on Sunday?

Sometimes, these decisions between players happen within the same team. Many franchises in the NFL have more than one talented player in a single position group that we want to start on our teams. With the same opposing team matched up against these players, who has the leg up?

With this in mind, let’s look at one of these position groups: the New York Jets’ running backs. And let’s try to answer the question of who you should start between Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook in Week 1.

Breece Hall Fantasy Outlook This Week

Hall was having a fantastic rookie season in New York last season before he went down with injury. But an ACL tear in the Jets’ Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos ended this stellar debut earlier than anyone wished.

Now, Hall is active and set to play in Week 1 of the 2023 season. But what can we expect in his first game action since late October of last year? This is the all-important question.

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Players (especially at skill positions) who return from ACL injuries usually take time to get back to full strength. Burst and explosiveness usually come back weeks after a player has returned to action. And very commonly, the player is on a lower snap count.

Before Week 1, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh stated that Hall would be active and not on a snap count, but that they would be careful with their running backs.

I would expect Hall to be used on Monday against the Buffalo Bills, but not to have anywhere near the snap percentage he was seeing in 2022. He still has the potential for points, but his share versus Cook’s share will be essential to his success.

Dalvin Cook Fantasy Outlook This Week

Cook signed with the New York Jets in mid-August after weeks of speculation on where he’d end up. Spending his first six years in Minnesota with the Vikings, Cook has amassed 7,787 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns in his career. Not a bad pickup in the Big Apple at all.

For the first time in his career, Cook may not be the top guy in the running back room. Joining the Jets with the incumbent Hall, Cook will likely be splitting carries or working as more of a support back as the season rolls on.

Cook also enters 2022 a bit hobbled, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. While fully expected to be suited up and playing Monday night, Saleh mentioned that they would be careful with both running backs.

It is hard to know how healthy either player is, but the injury Cook is recovering from does not involve his legs. This gives him (no pun intended) a leg up on Hall, as Breece may take longer to return to form with a knee injury.

Whoever gets the majority of the split of carries is likely to be more successful in this matchup. But who can we expect that to be?

Which of the Jets’ RBs Should You Start?

This choice is difficult. Both of these backs have been very successful when on the field in their careers. Hall is younger and with less overall wear, but Cook is seasoned and experienced.

When push comes to shove, my gut says Dalvin Cook should get the start between the two this week. The fact that Cook was signed in New York speaks to me. The Jets likely want to bring along Hall at a slow and steady pace but know they are competing for wins now. Signing a veteran and accomplished back allows them to bring Hall back slowly.

If you have both these backs on your team, I would go with Dalvin if choosing between them. But I would be cautious about either this week. The Bills have a strong defense, and if these two playmakers are going to split the carries evenly, it will be hard for either to have a big game for our fantasy teams.

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