Time to shine or Ride the pine: Week 1 Start or Sit

Week 1 Start or Sit

Running backs who will shine

Dion Lewis (Ten@Mia, 1pm est): “Don’t I know you?”. Although he has changed teams, his role should stay close to the same while playing for old friend Mike Vrabel. Derrick Henry is the lead back but, Dion will not be forgotten about in an offense predicated on RPO’s and under the control of Marcus Mariota. The diminutive Lewis will be the no.1 option in the screen game because his ability to run routes out of the backfield and make people miss. Although an even split is not something I see here, close to a 60/40 could happen and 12-15 touches for the explosive back could be huge! Let us not for forget that his week 1 opponent the Miami Dolphins also let Ndamukong Suh walk leaving a gaping hole in the middle for rushers to exploit.      Prediction: 11 carries 55 yards 1 TD, 5 rec 45 yards

Alex Collins ([email protected]Bal, 1pm est) 11th, yep that’s right, Alex Collins was the NFL’s 11th leading rusher in 2017. He averaged more yards per carry then the likes of Zeke, Le’Veon, and Shady with a very healthy 4.6 yds/att. He even added some ppr value with 23 receptions. He gets 2017’s 4th worst rush defense week 1 and should get plenty of run during the game. Buffalo is starting Nathan Peterman (remember that time he threw 5 picks in the 1st half?!) at QB and even minus Jimmy Smith at corner, the Ravens should handle buffalo in their home opener and look to milk the game early on with Collins.
Prediction: 22 carries 93 yards 1TD, 4 rec 31 yards

Jordan Howard (Chi@GB SNF 8:30 est): “Pig” will feed from the trough during his matchup vs Aaron Rodgers and the Pack. Second year QB Mitch Trubisky is throwing to an almost all new set of receivers. New Head coach Matt Nagy, having helped orchestrate Kareem Hunt’s league leading rushing performance during the 2017 season, will be looking to get more out of Howard in 2018, and is even on record as saying Howard “Will play 3rd downs.” Chicago will want to keep Rodgers off the field so expect the Pig to gorge himself on the Packers D-Line all day.        Prediction: 21 carries 107 yds w/1 td and 4 rec 33 yds

Put a splinter in their backsides

Dalvin Cook ([email protected]Min, 1pm est): First, I want to say I hope I eat crow on this one. He burst onto the scene as a legit RB1 last year in just 4 games before his injury. Now coming off a torn ACL and with Minnesota having its sights set on a deep playoff run, the Vikes will probably want to be cautious with their young stud while easing him back into a 3 down role. Latavius Murray proved his worth last season is more than capable of carrying the load. I expect Mike Zimmer to utilize both almost evenly week 1, and no matter the game flow, Dalvin will be the sous chef in the opener.
Prediction: 12 carries 47 yards & 3 rec 26 yards

Adrian Peterson (Wash@Ari, 4:25 est): All Day is Back! Again! For his 4th team. This time he’ll be facing his most current former team down in the desert. And much like his tenure there, He’s going to find it very difficult to find any running room against the leagues 6th best rush D last season. The Cards also boasted the 3rd best y/a avg of 3.4 which matched Peterson and his ’17 yards per carry. This tied for 3rd worst in the NFL with Chris Ivory, Semaje Perine, Jonathan Stewart, and just behind Ameer Abdullah, and Doug Martin. Not exactly great company to keep in the fantasy world. AP’s lack of elusiveness, the Cards ability to stop the run, and Adrian’s pass catching INABILITY, will make for some tough sledding for the former 2K rusher.                      Prediction: 15 carries 54 yards & 2 rec 11 yards

Marshawn Lynch ([email protected]Oak, MNF 10:20pm est): Marshawn will not be in Beast Mode against the Rams. St. Lou… I mean Los Angeles has beefed up its D-line by adding Ndamukong Suh and, added two elite corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters to an already very talented and tough defense. The Raiders under new, (or is it old), head coach Jon Gruden, will want to run the ball and run lots. However, with the recent and still very unbelievable trade of Khalil Mack on the defensive side of the ball, I expect the Raiders D to be very generous early and often. Thus, limiting opportunities to get Marshawn rolling and keeping his contribution small.
Prediction: 14 carries 64 yards, 3 rec 14 yards

Redskins Jamison Crowder

Al Bello – Getty Images

Wide Receivers in the spotlight Week 1

Jamison Crowder (Wash@Ari, 4:25est): Assuming he is healthy, Crowder may find himself as the favorite target of Alex Smith. His ability to create space and get open is something Smith will be exploiting a lot. With no clear cut down field threat, and a lack of familiarity with his 2 outside receivers, I expect Smith to look towards Crowder as his security blanket on shorter routes. Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson may find it hard to get open against Patrick Peterson and company leaving Crowder open for business. The “Ultimate Game Manager” Smith will do wonders for Jamison week 1 and beyond.
Prediction: 7 rec 74 yards 1 td

Emmanuel Sanders ([email protected]Den, 4:25pm est): I know, I know, but he’s facing the Legion of Boom. The once daunting task of facing the Seahawks was made easier this offseason with the departure of Richard Sherman and injury forced retirement of Kam Chancellor. Emmanuel Sanders may find himself the favorite target of Case Keenum much like Adam Thielan did last season running out of the slot. Sanders will be targeted often by Keenum and should put up good wide receiver 2 numbers because of it.
Prediction: 7 rec 82 yards 1 td

Brandin Cooks (LAR@Oak, MNF 10:20pm est): Now in the role Sammy Watkins occupied last season, the burner from Oregon State is ready to take over and get back in our good graces. Cooks, coming off an under the radar season where he finished as the 13th fantasy wideout yet was deemed a disappointment, replaces Watkins who compiled a ridiculous 593 yards, and 8 tds on only 39 receptions. Oh yeah, his opponent the Raiders for week 1 return a lackluster defense who was routinely gashed through the air and is now minus their best pass rusher. Look for Jared Goff to have plenty of time for a few bombs towards Cooks and an early bullseye in this Monday Nights battle.
Prediction: 5 rec 96 yards 1 td

Splinter Time

Nelson Agholor ([email protected]Phi, TNF 8:20pm est): The de-facto no.1 wide out for Philly will be challenged to produce in week 1. He’ll be trying to catch passes from struggling Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who didn’t exactly get in sync with Agholor down the stretch. The Eagles will also be without their top wide out Alshon Jeffrey for at least this game making Agholor enemy number one and Atlanta’s top priority. This Falcons team will be hungry for some revenge after last seasons heart wrenching loss in the playoffs, so with uncertain quarterback play and nobody else to attract the defense, expect the former Trojan to be wrapped up tight.
Prediction: 5 rec 53 yards

Josh Gordon ([email protected]Cle 1pm est): Flash Gordon should be harnessed to your benches week 1. Gordon just recently reported back to the Browns and hasn’t had much practice time with his new QB, nor in the new Todd Haley system. Hue Jackson has already said Josh will play but not start. The possible play limitations and unfamiliarity with a new qb as well as system, makes Gordon a very risky play in week 1.
Prediction: 4 rec 45 yards

Sammy Watkins (KC@LAC, 4pm est): New QB, new team, same Sammy. The once highly touted receiver has become more of a deep threat than all around receiver and has not exactly been on the same page with Mahomes during the preseason. Having to compete with the versatile Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and “Baby Gronk” Travis Kelce for targets, Watkins will find consistent numbers hard to come by. He is also opening vs the no.3 pass defense from 2017 who added impressive rookie Derwin James to patrol the deep middle. Even without Jason Verrett which has unfortunately been the norm for the Chargers, Pat Mahomes will find it difficult to connect with Watkins.
Prediction: 4 rec 61 yards

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