Week 1 is in the books. It was an exciting week for sure with a lot of high scoring action. We had a short glimpse into the future here, as we embark on a Peyton Manning and Tom Brady-less NFL, but Drew Brees certainly reminded us what elite quarterback play looked like, as did Andrew Luck in his long awaited return to the field.
Keenan Allen was the first to upset fantasy footballers as he once again saw his season come to an early end. Jamaal Charles and Gronk were on the sidelines, and right now don’t look too good for this week. So, who do our experts see as some smart plays?
EXPERT OF THE WEEK: Teddy Ballgame earns the honors as the top expert from Week 1, as he looked sharp in his picks.
QB Jameis Winston: 281 yards passing, four touchdowns, one interception
WR Michael Crabtree: 7 receptions, 87 yards
WR Eric Decker: 2 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD
RB Jonathan Stewart: 64 yards rushing
WR Jarvis Landry: 7 receptions, 59 yards
So I blew it on CJ Anderson last week…sorry about that one. Didn’t see that performance coming against that Carolina defense. To be honest I chose CJ in the first round in 2015 and I’m still a little bitter about the CJ I saw last year so I expected a similar situation. I’ll own that one. My bad.
QB-Derek Carr-Did you see what Jameis Winston did to Falcons in Atlanta? Did you see Carr against the Saints? Okay so now you have Carr at home in the Black Hole. Expect Carr to have 300 yards and 3 TD’s in this game.
RB-Demarco Murray-Murray seems to be the RB1 in Tennessee right now over rookie Derrick Henry. This week the Titans are up against a formidable Lions D but Murray made his mark last week out of the backfield as a receiver. He was targeted 7 times and had 5 catches. This week he may be targeted 10 times as a receiver.
WR-Mike Wallace – Yeah I’m going deep down the WR list but trust me Wallace will be going deep against the Browns. A rookie QB put up 29 points on the Browns last week. This week the Browns welcome Flacco, Wallace, and the rest of the Ravens to town. Wallace has always had break away speed and now that Flacco is throwing him the ball Wallace may be apt to catch some more of those deep balls. This week 100 yards and at least 1 TD is not out of the realm of possibility.
QB-I’m going to be roasted on an open spit for this one but Jameis Winston cannot repeat his performance of last week. Before you go crazy and blast us in the comments section let me explain. Winston is coming off of a performance that named him NFC Offensive Player of the week, he threw for 281 yards and four TDs and led the Bucs (my favorite team) to an impressive division victory on the road. The problem here is that it happened against the Falcons. This week Tampa Bay travels to Phoenix to play a really angry Cardinals team who lost to the Brady-less Patriots on Sunday night. Jimmy G looked decent in the victory but he only had 264 yards and one TD. Be cautious with Winston. If he comes out this week and looks even close to how he looked last week he is in your lineup every week but I want to see him be consistent. Of course we won’t have 4 TD’s every week but I expect numbers closer to Jimmy’s numbers from this past week, and if you can do better than that you need to play that QB.
RB-Todd Gurley – he may have gone Number 1 in your league, if not he went in the first round. We saw what happened against the 49ers on MNF. This week Seattle comes to town. They are going to dare Keenum to beat them which means more stacked boxes against Gurley. Last week Gurley had a whopping 47 yards rushing. I expect much of the same this week against a Seattle defense who is going to ruin the LA homecoming.
WR-Is it too early to say Dez Bryant is going to have a sub par year? I am going to hold off on that for now, I want to see what the Cowboys do this week. I can tell you that I am down on Demariyus Thomas. That hip scares me and if you saw him at practice today you would highly doubt he is playing on Sunday. If you have another WR get him in your lineup and see what happens with DT.
QB – Marcus Mariota in Detroit. I like this game to be a lot like the last game the Lions played, high-scoring. There will be lots of points for both quarterbacks. I’m guessing he’ll throw for a couple of TDs and probably run for one as well.
WR- DeSean Jackson will probably see a lot of targets on Sunday against the Cowboys at home. This is always an exciting game, I could see him getting a touchdown.
WR – Travis Benjamin will get a lot of action at home on Sunday against Jacksonville with the absence of Keenan Allen.
RB – this week I like Thomas Rawls on the road against the Rams. I like them to run the ball a lot with Russell Wilson hobbled, and Rawls officially named the starter.
WR – TY Hilton. The entire Colts offense is going to have a real hard time this week in Denver. Andrew Luck will probably be running for his life.
RB – I don’t like the matchup for Carlos Hyde this week. He is going to have a real hard time getting going against a tough Carolina defense.
QB : Jameis Winston – Even before I watched Winston pick apart my Falcons, I thought that he had all the tools to be great. His football IQ is off the charts, and I think last week was the beginning of his breakout campaign. I think Jameis finishes top 5 at the QB position this year, and is matchup proof. Don’t fear the Cardinals D this week. Start Jameis with confidence.
RB : Devonta Freeman – This one is more of a gut feeling. Competition tends to bring out the best in athletes, and Freeman’s best is pretty good. Tevin Coleman set the bar last week against Tampa, and I expect Devonta to go out this week and remind the coaching staff what he’s capable of.
WR : Will Fuller – Will Fuller is fast. The Texans knew that when they drafted him. Will Fuller might drop some passes. They knew that too, and he dropped what could have been a long TD from Brock Osweiler. What impresses me most about Fuller’s 5/107/1 debut? He had ELEVEN targets. That’s three more than last year’s breakout DeAndre Hopkins. I don’t expect Fuller to see more targets than Hopkins all season, but with Fuller’s blazing speed and raw talent, if he gets 7-8 targets a game, expect big things. We might just be looking at the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
QB: Russell Wilson – The 12th Man held its collective breath on Sunday when Wilson rolled up his ankle and looked to be hurt, but even before the injury Wilson didn’t look very “dangeruss”. The Rams always play the Seahawks tough and were just embarrassed by the 49ers. Aaron Donald and company are going to come out angry for their home opener in LA. A hobbled Russ Wilson, even if he plays, should stay on your bench this week.
RB: Adrian Peterson – Age catches up with us all eventually. Maybe that isn’t the case with AP, but at least for one week it sure looked like it. AP might bounce back this year and prove to be ageless, but I don’t think it starts this week. Last week the Vikings barely got by the Titans with two defensive touchdowns. This week they play a high octane Packers team, and game flow may force the Vikings to abandon the run early. You may not have strong enough options to warrant benching AP, but if you can I would let him ride the pine this week.
WR: Demaryius Thomas – You might think this sit is injury based, and the injury doesn’t help, but even if Thomas was 100% I would advise sitting him. Trevor Siemian looked adequate last week, but adequate isn’t what you want in fantasy. Gary Kubiak knows his path to victory is a strong run game and a stout defense. It could be a long year for Demaryius, and even against a porous Colts defense, Demaryius should probably not be in your lineup.
Start of the Week: Philip Rivers is constantly putting up great numbers and he’s playing against the Jaguars at home.
Sit of the Week: Tyler Lockett. Lockett was my sixth round pick who I had (and still do) high hopes for. Right now, he may be a boom or bust type player and against the Rams thus far in his short career, he has been a bust. A hobbled Russell Wilson won’t help at all.
QB: Derek Carr. Right now, you are starting any quarterback against the Falcons, especially when they have to travel across the country.
RB: Rashad Jennings turned in a halfway decent game last week after starting out slow. Last time the Saints and Giants squared off, it was 13 touchdowns through the air. I feel like the the Giants will try to play keep away instead of last man to score wins, and slow things down. The Saints defense also allowed three rushing TDs last week.
WR: Jordan Matthews is the trendy pick this week, but I would look at Nelson Agholor as well. It wasn’t Nuk that scorched the Bears, it was the rookie Will Fuller, the No. 2 receiver. Zach Ertz is rumored to be out, and Wentz seemed to trust Agholor in his debut.
TE: Gary Barnidge. Nobody is happier that the RGIII experiment is over — or at least on hold — than Barn-kowski. He and McCown clicked last year, and you can bet he will rely heavily on his go-to guy.
DEF: Panthers. Come on. You don’t think the Niners are that good, do you?
QB: Alex Smith. Smith blew up last week in the second half for almost 400 total yards and three TDs. The Texans were humiliated TWICE by the Chiefs last year, but this is a different team. You can bet they will be all over Smith on Sunday.
RB: Go ahead, say it. Wayniac you said to never start Melvin Gordon. Don’t be fooled. His points were seriously inflated by the two touchdowns — THE FIRST TWO OF HIS CAREER. He then disappeared in the second half, and was actually out touched in the backfield by Danny Woodhead. Same for Jeremy Hill. Sure he got his touchdown, but he still totaled 31 yards on less than four yards a carry. I stick to my guns. Sit both again.
WR: DeSean Jackson. EVERYONE seems to think he is a good start this week, and by all accounts and numbers, he looks like he is. That is the EXACT game that he tweaks a hamstring three minutes into the game and gets you two points. Matchup looks good, but what’s that old cliche? History repeats itself? Use caution.
TE: Zach Miller. I think I missed something. I’m not even sure how this guy is a starter on some fantasy teams. The Bears are a mess. Jeremy Langford is the only starter there to trust.
DEF: Bengals. I don’t think there is a defense in the league right now I would start against the Steelers. Maybe the Broncos or Seahawks, but in all honesty, I’d probably look for a one week replacement there as well.