Week One of the NFL is here and with that comes Fantasy Football (YESSS!!!). I’m sure most –if not all– of you are in at least one fantasy league and are starting to get excited about your week 1 matchup, praying for a win so you get to talk an endless amount of trash for a whole week about your glorious victory. There’s also a good chance you’ve spent a few hours this week staring at your computer screen and agonizing over which player you want to start at your flex spot, or which of your two QB’s is a better start. Well for those people, I’m here to help. I’m not going to waste our time by telling you to start Aaron Rodgers or Calvin Johnson, because if you need that, you should go find the nearest toilet and flush your league entrance fee straight down it.
Oh, and if you’re in a league playing against me and looking for some advice, I suggest you all go read Evan Silva’s rankings. I could use a few easy wins. Thanks! Alright, let’s get on with the show.
Things are Looking Up For You If You’ve Got…
QB: Matt Ryan @ KC – I’ve seen Ryan consistently ranked in the top 7 or 8 for week 1, so you should be starting him no matter what. But I think there’s a good chance he finishes this week in the top 4 or 5 as Atlanta unveils their new pass-happy, up-tempo offense against a KC defense that is pretty stout against the run.
QB: Robert Griffin III @ NO – I’d rather start RG3 over guys like Matt Schaub, Big Ben, or Jay Cutler this week. It’s not because I fawn over him as a player like everyone else or think he’ll beat the Saints, though. It’s strictly because the Saints are going to score a ton and there’s a great chance RG3 will rack up some late meaningless stats, which are the best kind!
QB: Jake Locker vs. NE – Locker is one of my sleepers for this season and I expect big things from him as a #2 fantasy QB and bye week fill-in. I’m not placing him here to toot my own horn or anything like that, but strictly because of the Patriots high school calibre defense. If you’re in a deep league, you can do much worse than Jake.
RB: Doug Martin vs. Car – Martin is the clear centerpiece of new coach Greg Schiano’s offense. Look for him to get the ball early and often against a pretty awful Panthers run D.
RB: Stevan Ridley @ Tenn - Another one of my favorites heading into this season is Stevan Ridley. To me, he’s just a far more talented version of Green-Ellis and I think 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s is a good possibility. This week, Shane Vereen is out and if the Pats get ahead, look for Belichick to test out his new bellcow.
WR: Brandon Marshall vs Ind - To be clear, you should never bench Brandon Marshall. But look for him to perform as a top 5 WR this week against an Indy defense that is still a work in progress.
WR: Percy Harvin vs. Jax – Am I listing Marshall and Harvin because I have them both in my main money league? Yes. But Harvin was a monster the last 8 weeks of last season and with Adrian Peterson still hurt, Harvin is the main man for Minnesota.
WR: Antonio Brown @ Denv – I love Antonio Brown this year. Mike Wallace is very boom or bust and likely to be squaring off with Champ Bailey, while Brown is going to be the one consistently racking up catches.
WR: Justin Blackmon @ Minn – I think Justin Blackmon is going to be really great. Look for him to announce his arrival against a porous Vikings secondary, even though Blaine Gabbert will be throwing to him.
TE: Aaron Hernandez @ Tenn – I think there’s a good chance Hernandez will lead the Pats in receiving yards this season. Look for him to routinely make big plays down the middle of the field this week as the Titans key on Welker, Gronk, and Lloyd.
TE: Dustin Keller vs. Buff – Dustin Keller kills the Bills. Plain and simple. I refuse to believe the Bills D is all of a sudden this great unit. It’s not.
DEF: NY Jets vs. Buff – Rex Ryan vs. Chan Gailey. Yep.
DEF: Houston Texans vs. Miami – Anybody against the Dolphins is a solid start this year.
Be Prepared For Trash Talk If You’re Starting…
QB: Joe Flacco vs. Cin – I just don’t buy all the new “high-powered Ravens offense” talk, and I don’t believe in Joe Flacco. And I certainly don’t this week against a very solid Bengals defense.
QB: Matt Schaub vs. Miami – Miami has an awful team from top to bottom, and the Texans will smack them around, but look for Houston to keep it close to the vest, run the ball a ton, and not rack up a lot of passing numbers.
RB: Marshawn Lynch @ Arz – I’m down on Lynch overall this year, but especially this week. He’s already got minor injuries nagging him and the Cards surprisingly have a pretty solid defense. Don’t be surprised if Robert Turbin ends up with more carries this week.
RB: Michael Turner @ KC – Oh yeah, that whole pass-happy Atlanta offense thing? Michael Turner doesn’t fit in so well. And KC has a pretty tough defense.
RB: Maurice Jones Drew @ Minn & RB: Adrian Peterson vs. Jax – I’m lumping these two together since they’re playing on the same field and are pretty much in the same situation. MJD can’t be trusted because he held out of camp for 6 weeks to… well, he really didn’t get anything out of it, actually. And Peterson still hasn’t been allowed to take hits below the waist in Vikings practices. I’m no expert like Evan Silva or anything, but that doesn’t seem to me like he’s ready to really contribute in a meaningful way this weekend. I’d bench both of these guys.
WR: Stevie Johnson @ NYJ – Two words: Darrelle. Revis. Make that a very pissed off Darrelle Revis, actually, after he’s had to hear all offseason how Johnson owns him.
WR: Roddy White @ KC – Yes, you should absolutely start Roddy White if you have him on your team. But no, you should not expect top 5 or even top 10 level production from him this week. Julio Jones is now “the man” in Atlanta.
WR: Mike Wallace @ Den - I touched on this before, but he’s likely to get a whole lot of Champ Bailey this week, and after this prolonged holdout, I don’t think it’s going to be a very good night for Wallace.
TE: Jermaine Gresham @ Balt – Gresham has a really good chance to have a nice season for Cincinnati, but that’s much more likely to begin in week 2 after he heals up and doesn’t have to face the Ravens defense.
TE: Vernon Davis @ GB - All of the 49ers are going to have a rough go of it this week in Green Bay. The Packers and Dom Capers are smart enough to know that even with all the WR additions in San Fran, Davis is still the man to key on.
DEF: SF 49ers @ GB – The 49ers will still have an excellent defense this year and will rack up a ton of fantasy points. It just won’t be this week.