Week #1: NFL Game Match-Up Analysis with Mastermind Moments
Michael Nazarek & John Cooney - 9/7/2019

Day

AWAY

 

HOME

TIME

Thu

Green Bay Packers

@

Chicago Bears

8:20 PM

Sun

Los Angeles Rams

@

Carolina Panthers

1:00 PM

Sun

Tennessee Titans

@

Cleveland Browns

1:00 PM

Sun

Kansas City Chiefs

@

Jacksonville Jaguars

1:00 PM

Sun

Baltimore Ravens

@

Miami Dolphins

1:00 PM

Sun

Atlanta Falcons

@

Minnesota Vikings

1:00 PM

Sun

Buffalo Bills

@

New York Jets

1:00 PM

Sun

Washington Redskins

@

Philadelphia Eagles

1:00 PM

Sun

Indianapolis Colts

@

Los Angeles Chargers

4:05 PM

Sun

Cincinnati Bengals

@

Seattle Seahawks

4:05 PM

Sun

Detroit Lions

@

Arizona Cardinals

4:25 PM

Sun

New York Giants

@

Dallas Cowboys

4:25 PM

Sun

San Francisco 49ers

@

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4:25 PM

Sun

Pittsburgh Steelers

@

New England Patriots

8:20 PM

Mon

Houston Texans

@

New Orleans Saints

7:10 PM

Mon

Denver Broncos

@

Oakland Raiders

10:20 PM

NOTE: THESE DEFENSIVE STATS VERSUS EACH SKILL POSITION DISPLAY THE 2018 FINAL RESULTS. AFTER WEEK 1 THESE WILL BE ON A SEASON-TO-DATE (STD) BASIS.

 

2018 DEFENSES VERSUS QBs PASSING

(BEST TO WORST- STD)

Team

G

Pts/G

Pct

Att/G

YPA

Yds/G

TD

Int

20+

40+

Sck

BAL

16

17.9

58.4

36.1

6.3

210.0

21

12

44

7

43

CHI

16

17.7

61.3

38.4

6.3

219.7

22

27

39

9

50

BUF

16

23.4

63.6

30.8

6.3

179.2

22

16

36

2

36

JAX

16

19.8

62.5

31.2

6.7

194.6

17

11

37

6

37

NE

16

20.3

61.2

37.8

6.9

246.4

29

18

57

9

30

MIN

16

21.3

62.6

31.4

7.0

196.2

15

12

43

10

50

CLV

16

24.5

62.8

39.1

7.0

257.8

21

17

51

8

37

TEN

16

18.9

63.2

33.3

7.0

216.9

21

11

48

7

39

ARZ

16

26.6

67.6

31.6

7.1

203.9

21

7

37

5

49

LAC

16

20.6

64.1

34.2

7.1

227.9

23

13

52

9

38

PIT

16

22.5

64.0

35.4

7.1

231.1

27

8

53

7

52

SAF

16

27.2

63.5

33.9

7.3

233.2

35

2

49

9

37

IND

16

21.5

70.8

33.9

7.4

237.8

21

15

41

4

38

PHL

16

21.8

66.6

39.1

7.4

269.2

22

10

60

6

44

DAL

16

20.2

67.7

33.9

7.4

234.7

22

9

43

7

39

SEA

16

21.7

65.0

34.1

7.5

240.1

26

12

58

8

43

HOU

16

19.8

64.8

37.1

7.5

260.4

28

15

55

13

43

NYJ

16

27.6

63.1

36.4

7.5

254.1

29

13

58

11

39

KC

16

26.3

64.2

39.5

7.5

273.4

30

15

65

8

52

ATL

16

26.4

68.0

36.6

7.5

259.6

33

15

46

7

37

NYG

16

25.8

64.6

35.0

7.6

252.8

24

16

61

8

30

WSH

16

22.4

67.4

33.6

7.6

237.1

27

15

52

9

46

DEN

16

21.8

64.3

34.3

7.7

245.6

26

17

56

9

44

GB

16

25.0

63.8

32.9

7.7

234.5

30

7

54

7

44

LAR

16

24.0

65.1

33.3

7.7

236.2

31

18

59

14

41

CAR

16

23.9

66.7

33.1

7.7

240.4

32

13

51

12

35

DET

16

22.5

65.1

31.0

7.9

224.9

29

7

50

10

43

CIN

16

28.4

66.6

36.5

7.9

275.9

32

12

60

13

34

NO

16

22.1

67.0

35.8

8.1

268.9

30

12

57

14

49

MIA

16

27.1

65.9

31.8

8.2

245.8

31

21

59

11

31

TB

16

29.0

72.5

33.4

8.2

259.4

34

9

56

6

38

OAK

16

29.2

62.3

30.0

8.2

240.8

36

14

59

15

13

 

2018 DEFENSES VERSUS WRs RECEIVING

(BEST OT WORST- STD)

Team

G

Tgt

Rec

Yds

YPR

TD

JAX

16

288

174

2136

12.3

7

MIN

16

290

176

2072

11.8

9

BAL

16

325

176

2239

12.7

12

DAL

16

291

180

2362

13.1

12

BUF

16

264

170

1834

10.8

13

IND

16

254

166

1953

11.8

13

KC

16

377

225

2752

12.2

13

CLV

16

361

214

2646

12.4

13

HOU

16

326

205

2716

13.2

13

NYG

16

304

196

2626

13.4

13

CHI

16

372

230

2643

11.5

14

LAC

16

274

170

2169

12.8

14

SEA

16

308

197

2500

12.7

15

CIN

16

322

203

2648

13.0

15

ARZ

16

308

205

2399

11.7

16

PIT

16

340

215

2649

12.3

16

PHL

16

375

239

3082

12.9

16

NE

16

351

208

2545

12.2

17

DEN

16

323

202

2544

12.6

17

DET

16

281

179

2544

14.2

18

NYJ

16

389

247

3219

13.0

19

TEN

16

309

198

2616

13.2

19

MIA

16

286

185

2554

13.8

19

CAR

16

317

208

2751

13.2

20

LAR

16

275

184

2519

13.7

20

NO

16

362

243

3345

13.8

20

WSH

16

289

193

2642

13.7

21

TB

16

299

220

2632

12.0

22

GB

16

337

207

2781

13.4

23

ATL

16

329

211

2720

12.9

24

OAK

16

290

167

2313

13.9

24

SAF

16

295

185

2523

13.6

27

 

2018 DEFENSES VERSUS TEs RECEIVING

(BEST TO WORST- STD)

Team

G

Tgt

Rec

Yds

YPR

TD

NYJ

16

75

47

547

11.6

5

BUF

16

87

49

512

10.4

4

NO

16

94

55

626

11.4

5

SAF

16

90

59

640

10.8

5

SEA

16

93

59

697

11.8

5

ARZ

16

84

60

599

10.0

3

MIN

16

92

64

726

11.3

3

DET

16

93

64

746

11.7

7

JAX

16

98

64

668

10.4

8

GB

16

91

65

706

10.9

4

PHL

16

97

67

697

10.4

2

ATL

16

104

69

739

10.7

5

CHI

16

108

69

641

9.3

5

MIA

16

94

70

804

11.5

9

TEN

16

111

71

693

9.8

2

NE

16

115

71

832

11.7

8

WSH

16

108

72

716

9.9

4

DEN

16

113

72

1035

14.4

6

LAC

16

121

74

744

10.1

5

OAK

16

103

75

1060

14.1

9

CAR

16

109

78

868

11.1

8

PIT

16

115

79

887

11.2

7

LAR

16

131

80

1075

13.4

5

NYG

16

119

81

959

11.8

6

BAL

16

117

83

965

11.6

6

TB

16

115

84

1061

12.6

5

DAL

16

117

86

875

10.2

7

KC

16

123

87

1067

12.3

10

CIN

16

119

88

1048

11.9

11

HOU

16

120

90

1013

11.3

8

CLV

16

144

100

1008

10.1

7

IND

16

133

106

1234

11.6

5

 

2018 DEFENSES VERSUS RBs RECEIVING

(BEST TO WORST- STD)

Team

G

Tgt

Rec

Yds

YPR

TD

OAK

16

79

57

560

9.8

3

GB

16

82

62

586

9.5

3

TEN

16

100

67

404

6.0

0

CAR

16

91

67

443

6.6

4

PIT

16

95

67

515

7.7

4

NYJ

16

99

72

585

8.1

4

JAX

16

98

73

546

7.5

2

MIN

16

103

74

694

9.4

3

ARZ

16

94

76

598

7.9

2

DEN

16

98

77

664

8.6

2

BAL

16

114

78

447

5.7

3

CHI

16

106

78

570

7.3

3

MIA

16

108

78

770

9.9

3

CLV

16

105

79

716

9.1

1

LAR

16

107

79

477

6.0

4

DET

16

105

79

599

7.6

4

TB

16

105

82

690

8.4

6

NYG

16

114

83

638

7.7

5

NO

16

107

86

652

7.6

5

HOU

16

122

89

682

7.7

6

BUF

16

124

90

687

7.6

4

NE

16

121

90

783

8.7

4

KC

16

115

92

894

9.7

6

WSH

16

127

96

732

7.6

2

CIN

16

121

96

901

9.4

6

SAF

16

132

99

798

8.1

3

SEA

16

125

99

906

9.2

6

DAL

16

123

101

747

7.4

3

LAC

16

133

107

973

9.1

4

IND

16

140

110

833

7.6

3

PHL

16

137

110

844

7.7

4

ATL

16

139

117

934

8.0

4

 

2018 DEFENSES VERSUS RBs RUSHING

(BEST TO WORST- STD)

Team

G

Att

Yds

YPC

TD

HOU

16

320

1000

3.1

8

NO

16

278

895

3.2

7

BAL

16

296

1041

3.5

8

CHI

16

289

1045

3.6

3

DAL

16

317

1214

3.8

10

IND

16

352

1353

3.8

8

PIT

16

320

1290

4.0

12

MIN

16

362

1471

4.1

8

SAF

16

363

1480

4.1

13

JAX

16

320

1306

4.1

9

BUF

16

363

1487

4.1

17

NYG

16

364

1552

4.3

15

TEN

16

364

1558

4.3

7

LAC

16

319

1375

4.3

11

NYJ

16

351

1514

4.3

12

GB

16

358

1549

4.3

13

MIA

16

412

1843

4.5

15

SEA

16

300

1364

4.5

8

TB

16

340

1551

4.6

16

PHL

16

259

1183

4.6

9

WSH

16

340

1557

4.6

9

CAR

16

310

1438

4.6

9

ATL

16

328

1527

4.7

12

OAK

16

391

1851

4.7

13

CLV

16

363

1721

4.7

14

DET

16

331

1575

4.8

8

NE

16

316

1509

4.8

6

DEN

16

371

1775

4.8

10

LAR

16

336

1635

4.9

12

ARZ

16

444

2183

4.9

20

CIN

16

370

1827

4.9

14

KC

16

364

1815

5.0

14

 

O-LINE INDEX: 2018 RANKING

(BEST TO WORST)

RANK

TEAM

PASS

RUN

IDX

1

DAL

A

C+

A-

2

LAR

A

B

A-

3

PHL

A

C+

B+

4

KC

A

C

B

5

ATL

A

C

B

6

PIT

A

C

B

7

GB

A

C-

B-

8

IND

B

C

B-

9

NO

B

C

B-

10

BAL

B

C+

B-

11

NE

B

C

B-

12

TEN

B

C

B-

13

SAF

B-

C+

B-

14

NYG

B

C-

B-

15

OAK

B

C-

B-

16

SEA

B-

C-

C+

17

CAR

B-

C-

C+

18

MIN

C

C+

C+

19

DET

B

C-

C+

20

JAX

C+

C

C+

21

CHI

B

C-

C

22

DEN

C

C

C

23

WSH

C

C

C

24

CLV

B

C-

C

25

NYJ

B

C-

C

26

HOU

B

D

C

27

LAC

C+

D+

C-

28

BUF

B-

D

C-

29

CIN

C

D

D+

30

MIA

C

D-

D+

31

TB

C+

D+

D

32

ARZ

D+

D

D

 

KEY STATS KEY:

For RB, WR and TE Positions:

CpG- Carries per Game average

YPC- Yards Per Carry

TDR- Touchdowns Rushing

REC- Receptions

YPR- Yards Per Reception

TDC- Touchdown Catches

 

For QB:

GP- Games Played (displayed in QB section but relates to all skill positions)

YD/GM- Yards per game

YPA- Yards Per Pass Attempt

C%- Completion Percentage

TD- Touchdown Passes

INT- Interceptions

 

RED = DEFENSE STATS ALLOWED

BLACK = OFFENSIVE STATS PRODUCED

 

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!

* KEY STATS SHOW RESULTS FROM LAST SEASON, BUT WILL DISPLAY 3-WEEKS AFTER WEEK 3, REFLECTING HOT AND COLD STREAKS IN A TIMELY AND MORE ACCURATE FASHION.

 

** POINTS PER GAME FOR AND AGAINST HAS BEEN REPLACED BY YARDS PER GAME (YD/GM) AS POINTS SCORED AND POINTS AGAINST CAN GIVE FANTASY COACHES FALSE OUTLOOKS. POINTS SCORED BY DEFENSES AND SPECIAL TEAMS ARE ALWAYS INCLUDED IN SCORE TOTALS AND THOSE ADDITIONAL POINTS CREATE BLOATED POSITIONAL STATS FOR PROJECTION PURPOSES.

 

***CpG, Carries per Game average, HAS BEEN ADDED TO RBS STATS TO GIVE FANTASY COACHES A PICTURE OF HOW OFTEN A TEAM IS DEPLOYING THE RBS AS RUSHERS AS WELL AS WHAT DEFENSES ARE FACING EACH WEEK VERSUS RUSHING ATTACKS.

 

Thu

Green Bay Packers

@

Chicago Bears

8:20 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

GB

D

16

254.6

7.7

63.8

29

7

CHI

QB

16

234.2

7.3

67.2

27

14

CHI

D

16

240.9

6.3

61.3

21

27

GB

QB

16

289.3

7.2

61.3

25

4

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

GB

D

207

2781

13.4

23

CHI

WR

177

2,106

11.9

14

CHI

D

230

2643

11.5

14

GB

WR

239

3,106

13.0

20

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

GB

D

65

706

10.9

4

CHI

TE

64

668

10.1

7

CHI

D

69

641

9.3

5

GB

TE

81

922

11.4

4

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

GB

D

22.6

4.3

13

67

9.2

4

CHI

RB

23.1

3.8

12

101

9.5

6

CHI

D

18.9

3.6

3

86

6.6

4

GB

RB

17.6

4.6

12

72

8.3

1

 

PACKERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

J. Williams 522

Jones 376

Montgomery 150

Adams 953

Valdes-Scantling 691

Cobb 466

St. Brown 358

Allison 241

Graham 795

Kendricks 314

Lewis 190

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Adams

169

TE

Graham

69

WR

Valdes-Scantling

73

WR

Cobb

61

RB

J. Williams

41

 

Very 1st game vs CHI was November 27, 1921… GB lost 20-0… 1st GB TD ever scored was a 4-yard run, credited to no player; Curly Lambeau kicked the XP… GB under new HC to start a season for 1st time in 14 years (2006)… HC for 1st time ever is Matt LaFleur, OC for TEN and LAR prior 2 seasons… LaFluer is a QB coach by trade… QB Rodgers threw just 25 TDs last season while playing a full 16 games; lowest of his career in 16 played… his 4442 yds passing was most for Rogers since 2011 and 2nd best mark of his career… Rodgers beat CHI in the opener last season in GB; lost the one in CHI… last gm vs CHI Rodgers completed just 59%, threw 0 TDs and had a pick… last 5 gms vs CHI Rodgers fired 10 TDs- 1 INT… hit over 300-yds passing once in those last 5 gms vs CHI… CHI gave up 21 TD passes last season and picked off 27… QBs connected for 11 TDs and got picked 14 times in 8 gms @ CHI in 2018… CHI D tied for 4th lowest TD catches by WRs against (13)… WR Adams has at least 10 TDs in 3 straight seasons and broke 1000-yds (1386) for 1st time in his career last season… GBs starting WRs for 2019 are fresh and own size… Adams (6’1-212), Valdes-Scantling (6’5-205), Allison (6’3-202)… Allison has huge PPR potential out of the slot under LaFluer (think Cooper Kupp)… wk1 vs CHI last year, Allison rolled up 5-69-1 TD on 8 tgts… had at least 5 catches 3 of first 4 games before going down for the season… Valdes-Scantling is big and fast, with a sharp 15.3 YPR last season… his catch rate need work and he held just 52% of his 73 tgts… wk15 @ CHI Valdes-Scantling caught 1 of 2 tgts for 12 yds… he is the deep router in GB and sees a lot of single cover due to the attention Adams receives and now the big tgt presented by Allison in the slot… Adams has 5 TDs in last 6 games vs CHI and 88 or more yds 4 of the 6… last game vs CHI Adams racked up 8-119 on 13 tgts (wk15)… Adams faces LCB Amukamara, a big +++ for Adams… Allison should have a breakout opener slotting and burning SCB Skrine… Valdes-Scantling has a tougher go vs CB Fuller… Allison and Valdes-Scantling should face single cover most game… GB TE Graham is now a sage vet with a hot rookie gunning for snaps… Graham’s 1st season with GB resulted in his lowest 16-game catch total (55) and tied his career low in TDs (2)… he is now 32 (33 in NOV)… Packers used a 3rd rounder to select Sternberger this year… Sternberger is a fine router and receiver but not much as a blocker yet… in 2 gms vs CHI last season Graham converted 8 tgts into a feeble 5-42-0 TDs… CHI held TEs to just 5 TDs ;ast year and the 6th lowest yds against (641)… RB Jones, the clear RB1 for GB this year, faces the stoutest of run defenses in wk1… CHI shut RBs out of the endzone in 2018, beat just 4 times for rushing scores all season… RBs gained a paltry 3.6 YPC vs CHI in 2018… Jones has avg’d 5.5 YPC in each of his first 2 seasons as a pro… in 3 appearances vs CHI Jones totaled 20-69-0 TDs rushing, 3.5 YPC… Jones is an explosive receiver but inconsistent… he’s backed up by tough running J. Williams and rookie D. Williams out of Notre Dame… Jones is the most talented of the backs… CHI is a huge test for the Packer ground attack and passing will be a challenge as well in Soldier Field… the historic rivalry kicks off NFL’s 100-year celebration.

 

BEARS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Howard 624

Cohen 495

Mizzell 70

Cunningham 37

Gabriel 830

Robinson 765

Miller 576

Bellamy 321

Burton 860

Sims 195

Shaheen 160

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Robinson

94

WR

Gabriel

93

RB

Cohen

91

TE

Burton

76

WR

Miller

54

 

This is the true make-or-break season for QB Trubisky… Trubisky has developed quite rapidly under HC Nagy’s watch but he has far too many unproductive periods most weeks… play-calling does still keep a lid on Trubisky’s improvisational tendencies… GB pass D was quite soft last season, giving up 29 TD tosses (6th most) while picking off just 7 (2nd least)… in 2 games last season vs GB Trubisky accounted for just 406 combined passing yds, 2 TDs and 0 INTs… Trubisky has faced GB 3 times in his career, throwing just 3 TDs total; he is 1-2… as much as Trubisky has advanced his TD production is modest and the passing yds downright disappointing… 230.2 yds passing a game average by the CHI QB last year, adding up to 3223 air yds at 7.4 YPA… reminiscent of another Coach Nagy QB in the past, Alex Smith (KC)… come to think of it, there are more similarities between Trubisky and Smith than we might realize with Coach Nagy being the common factor… GB’s secondary gave up the 2nd most (tied) TDs to WRs in 2018… WR A. Robinson is expected to take a big leap forward in this offense this season… A-Rob saw an avg of 7.2 tgts a game last season… over his last 30 games Robinson has scored a very mediocre 10 TDs; 4 last season… Robinson has failed to log a TD vs GB in his last 3 games… if his playoff performance vs PHL last year is any indication of things to come, fanballers should be fired up… Robinson aced the Eagles for 10 of 13 tgts, 143 yds and a TD in the Wild Card loss… playing through a badly injured shoulder, rookie WR Miller led the Bears in TD catches with 7… he is vital to the aerial success of this offense as a dangerous slotter… Speedy and under-appreciated WR Gabriel finished a tgt short of tying Robinson for the team lead in tgts last season… Gabriel’s glow for 2019 is tarnished by the shadow of a bigger version of himself, Patterson… in 2018 Gabriel set career bests in tgts (93), receptions (67) and yds (688)… his 2019 prospects of repeating those stats are muddied by Patterson, a healthier Miller and the addition of more pass-catching options out of the backfield… Patterson played with NE last year and squared off with the Packers in wk9; 1-7 receiving but 11-61 (5.5 YPC) and a TD rushing… Robinson is the key to the air attack this week as he matches up well vs CB King… Miller has a challenge vs SDB T. Williams… Gabriel should open as a 3rd WR with Patterson working more special teams and the odd gadget call… he’s a wk1 sneaky good look vs CB Alexander in single coverage… TE Burton is battling a slight groin injury and needs to be monitored for wk1 action… CHI coaches are excited about rookie RB Montgomery… Montgomery is the main reason for the trading of ground-pounder Howard to Philly… Montgomery shows excellent vision, quicks through the holes and is a fine route runner and receiver… he most definitely cuts into RB Cohen’s pass-game action for 2019… don’t forget superb reserve RB M. Davis… Davis does much of what Montgomery can do, but with more experience… Davis is the cuff for Montgomery if interested… FYI, Davis had 50 YFS on just 6 touches vs GB last year (w/SEA)… for his part RB Cohen rolled out 55 YFS on 10 touches his last game vs GB (wk15) and scored a receiving TD… opposing offenses rushed the RB an avg of 22.6 times a game vs GB past season… GB allowed 4.3 YPC to RBs… behind a solid O-line and with energized, fresh legs, RB Montgomery should see 15-17 rushes and 80+ YFS… Cohen’s receiving numbers might fall flat in the opener with Montgomery and even Davis getting more pass-game play than ex-CHI RB Howard did last season… fanballers better hope that Trubisky is asked to put the ball up more than he did over his final 7 regular season games where he avg’d just 27.7 passes a game.

Mastermind Moment: This is an interesting first game of the season. We get to se how the new Packers offense with QB Aaron Rodgers will fair on the road against the top defense in the league. Rodgers owners might be hesitant to start him, and I can understand that, but when healthy, he simply is too talented to bench. That said, I'd think twice about starting RB Aaron Jones is this situation, on the road against the Bears. As for the wideouts, WR Davante Adams is a must play no matter the opponent. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a tempting #3 or flex play to begin the season, since the Packers will likely be forced to throw early and often to win this game. WR Geromino Allison is the slot guy, but is a riskier option. I'd probably sit him to see how he's used against such a tough opponent. TE Jimmy Graham is far from a good play in this one against the tough Bears and his finger injury may impede him from catching passes. As for the Bears, QB Mitchell Trubisky is a middle of the road starter here, so if you have a better option take it. It will be intersting to see how the Bears use rookie RB David Montgomery and TE Tarik Cohen against the Packers. If you drafted Monty as a starter, then stick with him this week. Cohen is always an interesting play in PPR leagues. WR Allen Robinson was not used to his full capabilities in 2018, but that might change in 2019. I'd start him as my #3 WR or flex if I needed him this week. As for the others, WR Anthony Miller (ankle) is a bit gimpy, and the rest of the corps is hodge-podge at best. It's probably best to take a pass. TE Trey Burton (groin) may not play, so I'd sit him. Backup TE Adam Shaheen could get the start, but that would be one heck of a fantasy reach to start him in the season's first game.

 

 

Sun

Los Angeles Rams

@

Carolina Panthers

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

LAR

D

16

236.2

7.7

65.1

31

18

CAR

QB

16

239.8

7.2

67.1

28

16

CAR

D

16

240.4

7.7

66.7

32

13

LAR

QB

16

281.7

8.3

64.8

32

12

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

LAR

D

184

2519

13.87

20

CAR

WR

199

2476

12.4

14

CAR

D

208

2751

13.2

20

LAR

WR

239

3425

14.3

22

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

LAR

D

80

1075

13.4

5

CAR

TE

65

676

10.4

7

CAR

D

78

868

11.1

8

LAR

TE

58

617

10.6

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

LAR

D

21.0

4.9

12

79

6.0

4

CAR

RB

17.6

4.6

10

114

8.1

7

CAR

D

19.4

4.6

9

67

6.6

4

LAR

RB

23.2

5.0

19

70

9.7

5

 

RAMS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Gurley 825

Brown 123

Anderson 98

Woods 1041

Cooks 989

Reynolds 611

Kupp 439

Higbee 788

Everett 380

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Woods

130

WR

Cooks

117

RB

Gurley

81

WR

Kupp

55

WR

Reynolds

53

TE

Everett

50

 

Truth or dare time for RB Gurley… are his knees ready to rock in wk1?... CAR was a porous run defense in 2018 getting blown up by RBs at a 4.6 YPC clip… Rams’ backs gained a hefty 5.0 YPC last season and logged 19 TDs… the 19 ground scores were 2nd best in NFL for a RB room in 2018… L.A.’s o-line took a couple of hits and losses over the off-season but is a well-coached unit and should still perform at a high level… Gurley closed out last season rushing under 3.6 YPC 3 of his last 5 games… depth charting the L.A. backfield shows Gurley’s direct cuff a Brown, not hyped rookie Henderson… Brown rushed for 4.9 YPC on 43 tries last season… cast by fanballers as a WR2, Woods actually is viewed as the Rams’ WR1 by his coaches… given Gurley’s cranky knees we should expect QB Goff to come out firing the football more than ever throughout the season… CAR secondary surrendered 20 TDs to wideouts in 2018, 5th most… Rams’ WRs snared 22 scores last season… Woods, Cooks and returning slotter Kupp are all wk1 green lights in FFB lineups… L.A. infrequently calls on the TEs as receivers but when the call is made Everett is the first option… TE Higbee gets a majority of snaps as he is a superior run/pass blocker to Everett… CAR has been soft covering TEs and the Panthers’ defense has not made clear improvements in that area over the off-season… CAR OLBs are better suited for rushing the passer than covering TEs and RBs, or defending the run… ILB Kuechly handles those chores and does them well, but can’t be everywhere… Everett may sneak in a TE TD in wk1, redzone style… while Gurley has been bouncing through drills freely and without limitations it is safe to anticipate Coach McVay will not load his star RB with a full bucket of touches to kick off the season… Gurley should be a beast however inside the 10… slotWR Kupp may start the season slowly as he comes back from his 2018 injury/surgery… Cooks and Woods rock the house wk1.

 

PANTHERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

McCaffrey 966

Anderson 54

Moore 733

Funchess 622

Wright 529

Samuel 467

Thomas 526

Olsen 429

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

RB

McCaffrey

124

WR

Moore

82

WR

Funchess

79

WR

Samuel

65

 

RB McCaffrey is now Mr. Panther, a touch machine… Coach Rivera has stated he will cut back on McCaffrey’s workload this season via snaps but that doesn’t mean the RB’s touches will experience a precipitous drop… less blocking and a few less short-yardage carries can be expected with McCaffrey… CAR carries just 3 RBs on the opening day roster; McCaffrey, undrafted 2018 signee Bonnafon and 2019 pick (5th round) Scarlett… Bonnafon is the cuff to McCaffrey… in 4 seasons at Louisville Bonnafon positioned as a QB, then WR and closed out his college career at RB… he gave up the QB spot to a guy named Lamar Jackson… Bonnafon is a gifted athlete with many of the multi-tasking skills of McCaffrey… Scarlett has potential but did not show very much as a rusher in pre-season play… got McCaffrey, get Bonnafon… Rams sport a glitzy "name" defense but gave up RB rush yds in chunks last season… QB Newton is back after his 2018 shoulder woes and looked sharp… Newton suffered a foot injury in pre-season but is good to go… despite a fierce pass-rush L.A. got burned for 31 TD passes in 2018, 6th most… Newton had a fine 2018 even with a bum shoulder… his 67.9% completion rate was his best by far… 24 TD passes tied for his 2nd best in his career and though his scored the lowest number of rushing TDs since turning pro, it was still 4 TDs… Newton’s go-to at WR this year is fleet Moore, a 2nd season go-getter… Moore is fast, sharp in routes and sure-handed… he can YAC it up of go downtown… versatile WR Samuel runs at WR2 and had a terrific camp… Samuel is also a fast YAC-attacker… Wright, ex-Patriot Hogan figure in as WR3s but Moore and Samuel are in for impressive 2019 numbers… Rams were beaten for 20 WR scores in 2018… TE Olsen is back and he supplies steady play now rather than play-making… Olsen can still provide PPR points for fanballers… L.A. gave up over 1000-yds to TEs last season… CAR will need to keep pace with the potent Rams offense so expect plenty of footballs in the air from Newton in wk1.

 

Mastermind Moment: All eyes will be on Rams RB Todd Gurley in this one. Can he carry a full load? Will he be limited? We will find out on Sunday, but his fantasy owners simply must start him since he was drafted very highly this summer. I expect QB Jared Goff to do a lot of throwing in this game, making him a fairly good fantasy start despite his current ranking for the week. Start your Rams WRs as you normally would, but the TEs don't get enough love, so sit them if you can. As for the Panthers, this is a tough defense for QB Cam Newton to go against, so start him with care. As for his receivers, I'd tend to take a cautious approach if possible and take a wait and see atitude to see who gets the targets, WR D.J. Moore or WR Curtis Samuel. RB Christian McCaffrey is an auto-start. You likely drafted TE Greg Olsen as a backup, so sit him and let's see what he's got left in the tank.

 

Sun

Tennessee Titans

@

Cleveland Browns

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

TEN

D

16

216.9

7.0

63.2

21

11

CLV

QB

16

250.4

7.4

61.5

29

17

CLV

D

16

257.8

7.0

62.8

21

17

TEN

QB

16

185.9

7.4

67.0

16

12

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

TEN

D

198

2616

13.2

19

CLV

WR

196

2696

13.8

16

CLV

D

214

2646

12.4

13

TEN

WR

150

1867

12.4

7

 

TIGHT END:

TEAMPOS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

TEN

D

71

693

9.8

2

CLV

TE

75

853

11.4

8

CLV

D

100

1008

10.1

7

TEN

TE

67

802

12.0

7

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

TEN

D

22.8

4.3

7

67

6.0

0

CLV

RB

21.6

4.6

13

82

8.7

5

CLV

D

22.7

4.7

14

80

9.1

1

TEN

RB

23.4

4.3

13

74

6.7

1

 

TITANS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Lewis 600

Henry 401

Davis 872

Sharpe 591

Taylor 446

Smith 611

Stocker 480

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Davis

112

RB

Lewis

67

WR

Taylor

56

WR

Sharpe

47

 

QB Mariota is clearly in his make-or-break season in TEN… he has quality pressure behind him in ex-Dolphin QB Tannehill this season… 8 road games for Mariota produced 5 TDs and 5 INTs, with 5 of the 8 games under 130 yds passing… Mariota failed to break 165 air yds 8 of the 14 games he played in last season… Tannehill held to 185 yds and less 7 of his 11 games in 2018… TEN wants to run the rock featuring a heavy dose of big back Henry and a sprinkling of scatback Lewis… over final 5 games of 2018 CLV defense limited enemy QBs to an avg of 218.2 yds passing a game… TEN fields a crop of new WRs this season in rookie Brown and ex-Bucs slotter Humphries… TEN traded WR Taylor oddly to CLV, opening opportunities for Brown… the addition of Humphries also made Taylor expendable… young vet WR Davis returns as the go-to for the TEN QBs… Davis was checked under 50 yds receiving 6 of his last 7 games in 2018… Davis battles excellent CB Ward, a matchup that favors the CB, not the TEN WR… Humphries figures to be busy handling Mariota’s short checks as TEN play-calls look to limit the QBs miscues and injury… CLV as a defense allowed just 13 WR TDs last season, a top-shelf effort… however stopping TEs was not a strength for the Browns… TEs ripped the Browns for 100 receptions and over 1000 yds in 2018… TE Walker is good-to-go wk1 and should be darn busy… on the ground 8 RBs rushed for 89 yds or more last season vs CLV… Henry, 6’3-245, romped for 4.9 YPC and 12 rushing TDs last season… all 12 scores came after wk6… over the 2nd half of 2018 Henry hauled in just 7 passes… to be sure Henry is a ground-pounding beast but will rarely add receiving points for FFB purposes… RB Lewis handles that department, snagging 59 passes last season, a career best… Lewis quietly amassed 917 YFS on 214 touches last yr, both personal bests… his 3.3 YPC however was a career low… TEN is not a haven for fanballers and FFB production… shoddy QB play and the offensive scheme itself limits options for fantasy folks… RB Henry has a prime matchup in wk1, as does TE Walker… don’t expect much from WR Davis vs CB Ward… Humphries should chip in some 5-6 catch PPR work.

 

BROWNS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Johnson 459

Chubb 395

Landry 957

Callaway 765

Higgins 483

Njoku 871

Fells 420

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Landry

149

TE

Njoku

88

WR

Callaway

79

RB

Johnson

62

 

A new era was ushered in last season when the Browns made QB Mayfield the face of the franchise… a great move… 2019 brings yet another new era in CLV, at WR… former Giants’ star WR Beckham takes over as the go-to for Mayfield and a legit table-setter for the offense… Beckham lines up across from CB Jackson in a feature bout… Jackson is swift and athletic but has a tendency to lose his cover vs sharp angling route runners, which Beckham is… TEN allowed WRs 19 TDs last season… slot WR Landry squares off vs longtime foe CB Logan, dating back to their Dolphins-Patriots days… neat Landry note; he’s a 5-year pro who has played in 16-games every season and has topped 975 yds receiving 4-straight seasons despite his famously short routing and iffy QB play… Landry saw a career "low" 81 catches in 2018 and that could dip more this season with the addition of Beckham… Beckham’s pre-season hip woes are now gone and he’s a go… WR Higgins assumes the WR3 role this wk but may get a challenge as the season goes from ex-Titan Taylor… TE Njoku is a gifted receiver that runs routes much like a wideout… he’ll have his hands full vs S Vaccaro… again, the addition of Beckham coupled with Landry’s tgt-eating ways doesn’t leave much for Njoku… TEN, thanks to Vaccaro’s work inside, was stout vs TEs last season, letting in just 2 TDs by the big men… RBs picked up ground yds but were held in check fairly well by the Titans in 2018… just 7 rushing TDs by RBs vs TEN and 0 receiving… RB Chubb keys the CLV ground game… Chubb rumbled for 5.2 YPC last season, kicking 5.0 or better 3 of his last 4 games… he’s not a great receiver out of the backfield but can chip in 2-3 catches… with RB Hunt suspended the first half of the season, reserve back Hilliard gets the cuff honors… CLV’s o-line is fair but not especially strong blocking the run… Chubb has 70-80 yd potential in wk1, but the TD might not be a given… watch Beckham come out on fire… he is a perfect fit for the power-armed passing of Mayfield.

 

Mastermind Moment: I'm sure QB Baker Mayfield owners are chomping at the bit to start their fairly new toy. Go for it in this one! RB Nick Chubb is an auto-start despite the fairly tough run defense this week. WR Odell Beckham will not doubt be trying his best to show the world that the Giants were idiots for trading him. I agree. WR Jarvis Landry is a decent flex play in this one, since we're unsure how many targets he gets. The rest of the corps should be sat for fantasy. TE David Njoku is a decent fantasy play, but is not in my top 15 initially. Again, let's see where his role fits on this team this year. As for the Titans, you aren't starting QB Marcus Mariota this week against an improved Browns defense. You will likely start RB Derrick Henry, but his will be a tough one for him to get going. Start and hope for the best. WR Corey Davis has all the talent in the world, but he can't throw to himself. I'd start him only if you need him. Sit the other Titans WRs if possible. I love TE Delanie Walker, but if Mariota is replaced with QB Ryan Tannehill, all bets are off.

 

Sun

Kansas City Chiefs

@

Jacksonville Jaguars

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

KC

D

16

273.4

7.5

64.2

30

15

JAX

QB

16

194.3

6.4

61.4

15

13

JAX

D

16

194.6

6.7

62.5

17

11

KC

QB

16

309.7

8.8

66.0

50

12

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

KC

D

225

2752

12.2

13

JAX

WR

172

2110

12.3

9

JAX

D

174

2136

12.3

7

KC

WR

188

2704

14.4

25

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

KC

D

87

1067

12.3

10

JAX

TE

59

530

9.0

1

JAX

D

64

668

10.4

8

KC

TE

115

1500

13.0

13

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

KC

D

22.8

5.0

14

91

9.7

6

JAX

RB

20.6

3.5

6

98

8.1

5

JAX

D

20.0

4.1

9

74

7.4

2

KC

RB

18.6

4.6

13

82

11.2

12

 

CHIEFS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Hunt 502

Ware 247

DmWilliams 206

Hill 905

Conley 802

Watkins 459

Robinson 419

Kelce 993

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

TE

Kelce

150

WR

Hill

137

WR

Watkins

55

WR

Conley

52

RB

Hunt

33

 

As dynamic as the Chiefs offense was last season, those around KC quietly anticipate 2019 to be even better… QB Mahomes will be a better passer this year than last, but it likely won’t translate into increases in any statistical category… opening on the road vs a tough, motivated JAX defense won’t make it easier… JAX held QBs right around 200 yds passing p/game last season and let up just 17 TD tosses… last season Mahomes beat the Jags, 30-14 and hit for 313 yds passing, but failed to connect in the endzone (0 TD passes) and suffered the first 2 INTs of his pro career… it was the only game Mahomes did not throw a TD pass in 2018… that was home; in JAX this season… the feature bout in this one pits WR Hill against elite CB Ramsey… bet the house Ramsey is assigned exclusively to Hill in this one… Hill has the attitude and burners to beat any CB, anywhere on the field, but he did fight hard for his 87 scoreless YFS last season vs Ramsey (4-61 receiving on 7 tgts)… WR Watkins runs single-covered vs CB Bouye, another tough matchup for the KC WRs… Watkins beat JAX DBs for 6-78 on 8 tgts last season… this is a matchup fanballers might lean on in WR3 lineup spots, or flex options… rookie Hardman won’t see much action but he has a shot at a TD as Coach Reid moves the freshman around while Hill, Watkins and TE Kelce draw the hard looks form the Jags’ defense… TE is where a spot the Jags’ D struggles to cover… Kelce tore up JAX for 5-100 on 8 tgts last year.. 8 of Kelce’s 10 TDs last season came on the road… in JAX this wk… the KC RB room got "shady" with the late addition of ex-BUF/PHL tailback McCoy… McCoy is quite familiar with Coach Reid’s offense but must get up to speed… he’s also not as effective… his arrival clearly cuts in on "starter" DamWilliams’ touch potential… JAX can be run on but neither McCoy nor the Williams boys are set up to handle more than 10-12 carries here… tough call but a KC RB may not be the best option for wk1 lineups… Kelce looks primed for a hot opener… Mahomes has the look of a normal QB to start the season, however.

 

JAGUARS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Yeldon 507

Fournette 280

Moncrief 815

Westbrook 805

Cole 687Chark 291

O’Shaughessy 533

Bell 221

Seferian-Jenkins 221

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Westbrook

101

WR

Moncrief

89

RB

Yeldon

78

WR

Cole

70

 

New QB and a new sense of excitement finally for the Jags offense… Foles last regular season start (wk17 for PHL @ WSH) produced 471 yds passing, 4 TDs, 1 INT and 71% complete… Foles is 12-2 in his last 14 starts… he’s a smart but aggressive passer who takes his progressions short-to-deep, opting for the long read if possible… last 14 starts Foles hit for 24 TDs and 10 INTs… JAX QBs last year combined for 15 TDs and 13 picks in 16 games… KC defense will bring pressure on the QB but also get beat in the secondary if the QB survives the rush… KC let up 30 TD passes last season and avg’d over 270 yds passing against… WR Westbrook is the lead tgt for Foles in 2019… Jags’ WRs as a group scored just 9 TDs all season; Westbrook had 5 of those… wk5 vs KC Westbrook caught 3 of 5 tgts for 55 yds… he squares off with CB Fuller, much of it from the slot… ex-KC wideout Conley has shined in camp and gets the start on the outside… Conley has all to tools to be a star wideout but has not been able to make it work for him so far… Conley could eb busier than expected vs CB Breeland… Breeland is talented but makes mistakes… WRs Lee and Chark are working back from injuries and may not be ready of full-speed if they do suit up… WR Cole, a forgotten man, should get a few looks but is mostly a linear router that needs a big play or 2 to be a FFB factor… JAX has little to no TE involvement in the passing game… Swaim may find some success here as KC let up 10 TDs to TEs in 2018… keep in mind the Chiefs changed DC this off-season, now employing Coach Spagnuolo and his 4-3 scheme… as fierce a pass rush as the Chiefs delivered in 2018, the ground defenses were chocked full of holes… RBs gashed KC for 5.0 YPC and 14 rushing TDs to go with 6 more receiving… RB Fournette has made personal changes in his life that he feels will be the difference on the field… healthy, happy and set in a potentially rewarding opening contest, Fournette is all-systems-go for wk1… he’s backed-up by rookie RB Armstead… recently signed scatback Ervin may serve and serve well here as the pass-catching option, but wait-n-see… JAX has the defense to keep KC’s potent passing under control and the scoreboard close, keeping Fournette’s rushing chops relevant a full game… eyes on Foles (one-time KC backup QB) and WR Westbrook.

 

Mastermind Moment: You know to start Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes evey week, so nothing needs more to be said. We will find out how the Chiefs plan to use RB LeSEan McCoy, RB Damien Williams, and rookie RB Darwin Thompson in this game. As for who to start this week, I consider Damien Williams a decent flex option. I sit McCoy unless I have little choice. Thompson seems locked into the #3-RB role, so sit him. TE Travis Kelce is an auto-start. Jaguars QB Nick Foles won't be started by many this first week, and I'm fine with that. RB Leonard Fournette is an auto-start. I'm also starting WR Dede Westbrook in this one, since clearly he's the #1 WR for the team. I'll be watching, but not starting, WR Marqise Lee to sse if he's fully healthy. Sit the rest of the WR corps. TE Geoff Swaim will be watched, but not started too.

 

Sun

Baltimore Ravens

@

Miami Dolphins

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

BAL

D

16

210.0

6.3

58.4

21

12

MIA

QB

16

181.2

7.3

64.2

26

13

MIA

D

16

245.8

8.2

65.9

31

21

BAL

QB

16

222.4

6.7

60.1

18

9

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

BAL

D

176

2239

12.7

12

MIA

WR

175

2250

12.9

16

MIA

D

185

2554

13.8

19

BAL

WR

178

2183

12.3

10

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

BAL

D

83

965

11.6

6

MIA

TE

39

386

9.9

2

MIA

D

70

804

11.5

9

BAL

TE

86

1071

12.5

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

BAL

D

18.5

3.5

8

78

5.7

3

MIA

RB

20.0

4.8

7

77

8.7

7

MIA

D

25.8

4.5

15

78

9.9

3

BAL

RB

23.0

4.5

14

70

6.5

3

 

RAVENS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Collins 311

Allen 310

Edwards 286

Snead 821

Crabtree 805

Brown 757

Moore 467

Boyle 651

Andrews 414

Williams 374

Hurst 275

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Crabtree

100

WR

Brown

97

WR

Snead

95

TE

Andrews

50

 

Take one look at the Dolphins defensive numbers vs RBs and that’s all you need to fire up Ingram for a wk1 FFB points bonanza… RBs beat the Fish for 4.5 YPC, 15 rushing TDs last year… the MIA run D was M.I.A. so much opposing clubs avg’d over 25 RB carries a game… RUNNING BACK CARRIES!!... the very real threat of RPO beast QB Jackson opens gaping holes for the Ravens backs… last season rookie plugger Edwards crashed defenses for 5.2 YPC… Edwards is NOT that kind of RB, but QB Jackson’s stress on enemy defenses creates prime running real estate for Ravens rushers… Last 4 times Ingram saw 20+ carries in a game he topped 100-yds in each and tallied 7 TDs rushing… Ingram is also a better receiver than credited, snaring at least 46 passes 3 of his last 4 seasons… Edwards and swift rookie Hill fill the reserve roles, with Edwards likely to get starter duties sans Ingram in the lineup… QB Jackson will once again be a force as a rusher… his passing is just not up to NFL par and though he’s shown better results in pre-season, he just isn’t there yet… Jackson should be a weapon in wk1 even with Ingram on board and his shaky passing ability… MIA gave up the 3rd most rushing yds to QBs in 2018… BUF athlete/QB Allen ran over the Dolphins for 230 yds rushing and 2 TDs in 2 games last season… in 7 starts (including post season) Jackson personally accounted for 11 TDs (7 passing and 4 rushing); that’s 25 total TDs over a 16-game slate… fanballers need to weigh the true FFB value of Jackson, even with his rushing abilities… Jackson’s most likely go-to tgt may be 2nd-year TE Andrews… Andrews aced over 15 YPR last season and has been the best "receiver" throughout the off-season, camp and pre-season… he is a star on the come… MIA gave up over 800 yds and 9 TDs to TEs in 2018… flashy rookie WR Brown battled foot injuries in pre-season and is iffy here… WRs Snead, Moore, Roberts and rookie Boykin share a limited number of Jackson tosses; maybe 24-26 a week… BAL wants to run and run again in 2019… Ingram has the chance to make his 2019 special as the true RB1 on a run-first offense… fret not the rushing ways of QB Jackson as that only opens ranges to roam for Ingram.

 

DOLPHINS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Drake 545

Gore 330

Ballage 92

Stills 744

Amendola 683

Parker 411

Gesicki 400

O’Leary 372

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Amendola

79

RB

Drake

73

WR

Stills

64

WR

Parker

47

 

Ex-Cards "franchise" QB Rosen was brought in to be that for the Dolphins… however, cagy and bearded gunslinger Fitzpatrick is the starting QB for MIA in 2019… Rosen looks the part of a franchise QB until the ball leaves his hand… poor reads, forced throws and impatient play have been the 2nd season passer’s bugaboo… last time Fitzpatrick faced the Ravens (w/NYJ) he beat them, 24-16, but was just 9-14 for 120 yds and 1 TD… MIA’s offense is in shambles starting with the o-line… MIA traded the best lineman, LT Tunsil, to HOU for flopped OT Davenport and 2-first rounders… deep threat WR Stills was also part of the deal… Fitzpatrick and eventually Rosen go into the season with WRs Parker, Wilson, worn-down Hurns and gadget-guy Grant… BAL let up just 12 WR TDs in 16 games last season… Fitzpatrick’s best tgt option other than the RBs may be TE O’Leary… TEs hit up BAL in 2018 for 83 catches, 965 yds and 6 TDs… O’Leary clearly outplayed over-hyped Gesicki and won the starting gig… he can catch, has a highly-revved motor and just makes the play… RBs Drake and Ballage share the touches in 2019… Drake is slated at the top of the RB depth but Ballage shined in pre-season and drills… running behind a depleted o-line may negate any skill advantages of these 2 fine backs… wk1 poses the stiffest test vs a Ravens D that cut RBs down at 3.5 YPC in 2018… with the moves made by the MIA brass and the general unhappiness emanating from the Dolphins players about the handling of personnel, fanballers best beware… Drake and Ballage each carry flex value… TE O’Leary has some PPR chops in the opener… better stop there.

 

Mastermind Moment: I'm sitting Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this week to see if there's any more FitzMagic left in the tank first. RB Kenyan Drake looks like the top back after all, so look for him to jump in my rankings update on Saturday, while RB Kalen Ballage will fall and should be benched against the Ravens. Who's the top WR for the Dolphins? Best guess is WR Albert Wilson, but WR DeVante Parker and WR Akeem Grant will join the fight. Sit them all this week to see who wins. TE Mike Gesicki is so far down the fantasy list he is buried, where he belongs right now. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is a wildcard, so I'm sure many fantasy owners who waited late to draft him might actually start him. I don't blame you if you do, but he's fairly low on my list. RB Mark Ingram is a decent #2-RB for fantasy this week. It will be interesting to see how they use rookie RB Justice Hill. Who is the top dog for the Ravens at wideout? I sit them all this week and take a wait and see approach. TE Mark Andrews is a sneaky good fantasy start this week if you want to use him as a flex. I like what I've seen thus far from him.

 

Sun

Atlanta Falcons

@

Minnesota Vikings

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

ATL

D

16

259.6

7.5

68.0

33

15

MIN

QB

16

252.2

7.1

70.1

30

10

MIN

D

16

196.2

7.0

62.6

15

12

ATL

QB

16

290.8

8.0

69.4

36

7

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

ATL

D

211

2720

12.9

24

MIN

WR

272

2989

11.0

24

MIN

D

176

2072

11.8

9

ATL

WR

273

3681

13.5

25

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

ATL

D

69

739

10.7

5

MIN

TE

74

747

10.1

4

MIN

D

64

726

11.3

3

ATL

TE

85

799

9.4

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

ATL

D

20.5

4.7

12

118

8.1

4

MIN

RB

18.6

4.3

8

78

7.2

2

MIN

D

22.6

4.1

8

81

9.0

3

ATL

RB

18.8

4.6

8

68

6.9

5

 

FALCONS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Coleman 580

Smith 311

Sanu 830

Jones 818

Ridley 644

Hooper 809

Paulsen 362

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Jones

170

WR

Sanu

94

WR

Ridley

92

TE

Hooper

88

 

ATL brings a fantasy fun offense to the field but has a tough defense to navigate wk1 in MIN… Qb Ryan had a boffo 2018, lighting it up for 35 TDs and over 4900 yds… Ryan broke 4900 yds 2 of the last 3 seasons and 93 TD passes in that span… last game vs MIN (2017, wk13, home) Ryan was shut down, 173 yds passing and 0 TDs… ATL scored just 9 points in that one… MIN held QBs to just 15 TD passes in 2018 and just under 200 yds passing per… QBs mustered just 4 TD tosses playing in MIN… in 2018 MIN let up just 9 TDs to WRs and just 1 playing in MIN… ATL WRs Jones, Ridley and Sanu face a daunting wk1 purple mountain to climb… the top billed matchup here is Jones vs CB Rhodes… Rhodes will likely shadow Jones most of the game… Sanu has a tight covering DB on him as well in Alexander… Ridley may have the best chance at an efficient wk1 going up against MIN CB Waynes, though Waynes can hold his own here… expect ATL to create yds with Jones hitching and trying to power past Rhodes for YAC… TE Hooper should have a fine season but he’ll earn every catch and yd he gets this wk vs S Harrison… RB Freeman is looking for a bounce-back season and a healthy one… Freeman rushed for 74 yds on 12 carries vs MIN in 2017… Freeman runs with reckless abandon and attacks defenders which leads to his plethora of injuries over the years… no longer sharing a backfield with Coleman (now in SF), Freeman should handle 20-24 touches to kick off his 2019 run… he’s backed by RB Smith, and deeper by Hill… ATL sports a quality o-line and that helps even out some of the Vikings advantages at home… for starters, might be best to keep expectations modest for Falcons fantasy options.

 

VIKINGS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Cook 491

Murray 461

 

Thielen 1011

Diggs 874

Treadwell 543

Robinson 252

Rudolph 925

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Thielen

153

WR

Diggs

149

TE

Rudolph

82

WR

Treadwell

53

 

The QB that gets no respect from many fanballers and football pundits, Cousins sets his 2019 path on the right track vs ATL at home… ATL’s defense dealt with numerous key injuries last season and it showed… QBs blazed the Falcons D for 33 TD strikes and 68% completion rate… the MIN QB hit career highs last season, his first in this offense, in TDs thrown (30) and completion % (70.1)… 2nd season in this playbook should produce similar numbers and even more consistent play from Cousins… ATL is a great opening SOS matchup for Cousins… his WRs are aces as both Thielen and Diggs broke 100-receptions each… over the last 2 campaigns Thielen has seen 296 tgts, caught 204 for 2650 yds… last yr Thielen scored 9 times, a career high… fellow WR Diggs grabbed 102 passes in 2018, for 1021 yds (his first 1000-yd season) and 9 TDs as well… ATL’s secondary got wrecked by WRs for 24 TDs in 2018… Thielen produces WR1 numbers at WR2 fantasy costs… Diggs gives solid WR2 results on WR2-3 values… MIN is writing in 2-TE sets more for 2019… back for more is big TE Rudolph and he’s joined by a young, talented rookie with NFL bloodline, Irv Smith Jr… Smith father of the same name went to Notre Dame, as did Rudolph… neat little connection but Smith Jr hails from ‘Bama… TEs have a tough time vs ATL, but Rudolph notch a TD last time these 2 clubs met… Rudolph has redzone appeal for wk1; Smith is wait-n-see… RB Cook is back and looks as explosive as ever… his last pre-season touch was an 85-yd TD race; done for the day… Cook, when healthy, is as good as any RB in the NFL, rushing or receiving… receiving is a key there as ATL could not cover RBs a lick in 2018, burned for 118 catches and 4 TDs… Falcons were not much better vs the run as RBs rolled the blackbirds for 4.7 YPC… Cook runs behind an upgraded o-line and is a locked-in YFS star for wk1… MIN finally parted with draft flop WR Treadwell but brought in WSH’s draft flop Doctson… maybe the change of venue helps Doctson and he should be monitored or stashed for future use… Doctson does have ties to QB Cousins from their Redskins days.

 

Mastermind Moment: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins should have some success in this contest, even if WR Stefon Diggs (hamstring) sits. Start him if you need him. RB Dalvin Cook is an auto-start. WR Adam Thielen is an auto-start too. If Diggs plays, then I'm likely starting him against a beatable Falcons team at home. TE Kyle Rudolph is a top 12 fantasy TE play. He's more valuable if Diggs sits. Falcons QB Matt Ryan won't have it easy, but there is too much talent around him to rank him too low despite a tough matchup. The Vikings can give up the big plays. RB Devonta Freeman is a solid #2-RB for fantasy this week. Sit the other backs. WR Julio Jones is an auto-start, but can come up short against tougher opponents. I'm probably sitting the other Falcons wideouts this week, but WR Calvin Ridley is intriguing. TE Austin Hooper could be very busy over the middle in this one, keeping him a top 10 fantasy TE.

 

Sun

Buffalo Bills

@

New York Jets

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

BUF

D

16

179.2

6.3

63.6

22

16

NYJ

QB

16

197.8

6.5

57.1

18

19

NYJ

D

16

254.1

7.5

63.1

29

13

BUF

QB

16

174.6

6.2

54.3

13

23

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

BUF

D

170

1834

10.8

13

NYJ

WR

164

2070

12.6

11

NYJ

D

242

3219

13.0

19

BUF

WR

148

1970

13.3

11

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

BUF

D

49

512

10.4

4

NYJ

TE

67

735

11.0

5

NYJ

D

47

547

11.6

5

BUF

TE

56

525

9.4

1

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

BUF

D

22.7

4.1

17

92

7.6

4

NYJ

RB

22.2

4.0

10

68

8.8

2

NYJ

D

21.9

4.3

12

72

8.1

4

BUF

RB

21.9

3.5

4

64

8.6

0

 

BILLS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

McCoy 490

Ivory 300

 

Jones 941

Benjamin 511

Foster 450

Holmes 278

Clay 504

Croom 387

 

QB Allen is as exciting to watch as any in the NFL due to his athletic abilities… he can run like a RB and throw the ball out of the stadium… problem is sometimes his throws look like they are headed out of the stadium… Allen showed signs of ability to zero-in some but he tends to sail throws, leading to incompletions, missed fantasy points opportunities or INTs… last season, wk14, Allen faced the Jets and threw for a season-high 36 times, completing just half… 0 TDs and 2 INTs… in games where Allen throws 30+ times (5 games) the BUF QB hit for just 4 TDs and 10 picks… lost all 5… Allen has a fresh WR crew to tgt in 2019… maturing WR Z. Jones is still on board… he’s improved greatly and could take this season to even higher levels… wk10 vs NYJ Jones saw 11 tgts, snaring 8-93-1 TD… his 7 TDs led all Bills’ receivers… new to the offense are WR Smokey Brown and slotter from Dallas, Beasley… Brown is perfectly fit for the rocket-launching arm of Allen… Beasley brings savvy routing underneath… Allen is not quite there with his short game yet… late season WR star Foster has battled camp injuries and is behind schedule for the early going… Foster broke 100-yds in both his games last season vs NYJ… what can Brown do for you subbing for Foster in wk1?... BUF sent veteran RB McCoy packing (now in KC)… he’s replaced by warhorse RB Gore, rookie Singletary and ex-Jaguar runner/receiver Yeldon… Singletary is getting the early hype for touches but he will share with Gore early part of the season… pass-pro may be an issue for Singletary which caps his snaps potential, especially in passing situations… NYJ’s defense allowed 4.3 YPC to RBs last yr… Gore, playing w/MIA in 2018, was held under 3.0 YPC in both games vs NYJ… Yeldon had 18 carries vs NYJ (w/JAX) last season but also held under 3.0 YPC… Yeldon did roll up 100 YFS and 2 TDs in that contest vs NYJ (1 TD rushing and 1 receiving)… WRs logged 19 TDs over the Jets defense in 2018… BUF did some good things with WR Foster vs NYJ last year; time for Brown to pick up that 100-yd run started by Foster vs Gang Green.

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Jones

102

WR

Benjamin

62

RB

McCoy

46

WR

Foster

44

 

JETS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Crowell 332

McGuire 318

Powell 208

Anderson 682

Kearse 626

Enunwa 526

Herndon 625

Tomlinson 353

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Anderson

94

WR

Kearse

76

WR

Enunwa

68

TE

Herndon

56

 

QB Darnold looks poised and confident now in the Jets offense… Coach Gase has the QB ready for a breakout 2019 season… problem for wk1 is the Bills D is among the stingiest vs QBs, capping passers under 180 yds a game last season… Darnold beat BUF in wk14 but threw for just 170 yds and 1 TD, 1 INT… BUF shut down QBs under 200 yds passing 9 of the final 11 games last season… Darnold may be ready for a breakout 2nd-season but BUF won’t allow it to start with them in wk1… WR Anderson, the team’s ace deep threat, is playing through an ankle issue; check his progress… Jets added a sure-handed and savvy slot WR in Crowder… Crowder has been a hot camp and pre-season performer for NYJ and the QB seeks out his new slot-machine… physical WR Enunwa is still a tad unpolished as a route runner and hands catcher, but he is tough after the catch… of course the offense will run through YFS beast and touch-magnet RB Bell, the ex-Steeler star… Bell will handle 20-25 touches weekly, book it… RB Montgomery spells Bell but will not "share’ the early load as has been reported… this is Bell’s backfield… RBs shook loose for 92 catches and 4 TDs through the air last season vs BUF… Bell should grab 6-8 Darnold passes and break 100 YFS… passing to the WRs will be tough for Darnold here, especially if Anderson isn’t at full speed.

 

Mastermind Moment: Jets QB Sam Darnold struggles a bit against the Bills secondary, making him a risky fantasy option this week. RB LeVeon Bell will see a massive amount of touches in this game, making him a sure auto-start. WR Robby Anderson (calf) is good to go, but will be facing tough top corner coverage, making him far from a lock to produce. WR Jamison Crowder will play the slot, and could make up for it with lots of catches. That makes him an intersting fantasy reach. I'd sit the rest of the corps to see what happens. TE Chris Herndon is suspended until week #6, so you know to sit him this week. Bills QB Josh Allen finished up in a huge way last year, but 2019 is a new season. That said, he's an interesting fantasy start this week, but I'm betting he's your backup, so sit him and learn. The kid to watch in this one is rookie RB Devin Singletary. Even if he doesn't start, he could be the one to emerge as the lead back with RB LeSean McCoy gone and RB Frank Gore about 75 years old. Do I start him? Well, if you drafted him as your #3-RB, then he's an interesting flex option. If he's cleary your #4-RB, then sit him and watch. Sit Gore unless absolutely needed. RB T.J. Yeldon may become the handcuff to Singletary late this season, but now is the pass-catching option. That said, you likely won't start him this week. WR John Brown has always been a personal favorite, and I like his chances to produce as a #3-WR or flex this week. Sit the rest of the corps to watch how targets are spread around. TE Tyler Kroft (foot) may not play, so sit him this week.

 

 

Sun

Washington Redskins

@

Philadelphia Eagles

1:00 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

WSH

D

16

237.1

7.3

67.4

27

15

PHL

QB

16

267.2

7.6

70.5

29

11

PHL

D

16

269.2

7.4

66.6

22

10

WSH

QB

16

188.8

6.5

61.1

16

15

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

WSH

D

193

2642

13.7

21

PHL

WR

188

2279

12.1

13

PHL

D

239

3082

12.9

16

WSH

WR

145

1694

11.7

8

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

WSH

D

72

716

9.9

4

PHL

TE

155

1571

10.1

12

PHL

D

67

697

10.4

2

WSH

TE

85

980

11.5

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

WSH

D

21.3

4.6

9

95

7.7

2

PHL

RB

21.8

4.1

12

77

8.6

4

PHL

D

16.2

4.6

9

110

7.7

4

WSH

RB

20.6

4.2

10

81

7.6

3

 

EAGLES WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Smallwood 324

Adams 252

Clement 238

Agholor 982

Jeffery 770

Matthews 346

Ertz 1000

Goedert 523

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

TE

Ertz

156

WR

Agholor

97

WR

Jeffery

92

WR

Tate

44

TE

Goedert

44

 

Philly is set to get back to the post-season and the Super Bowl… it all starts with the QB, Wentz… Wentz is trimmed down and focused… he has the best set of WRs since turning pro… staying on the field has been the issue for this excellent passer… Wentz has played 16, 13, 11 games in his 3 pro seasons… wk13 vs WSH, Wentz hit for 306 yds and 2 TD while connecting on 69% of his throws… Wentz topped 300 yds passing 3 of his 5 games vs WSH… he plays behind a top pass-blocking unit and faces a secondary that let up 27 TD passes in 2018… WR Jeffery is still the WR1 for a darn good Eagles’ passing attack… problem for fanballers employing Jeffery’s services is TE Ertz… Ertz is essentially the WR1 in PHL… Ertz surpassed 80 yds 3 of his last 4 games vs WSH… PHL will use a lot of 2-TE sets and TE2 Goedert has some flex value on his own… WSH has held TEs in check the past few seasons but not Ertz… in his 2 seasons with PHL Jeffery has done little damage to the Redskins, held under 40 yds 3 of the 4 games… Jeffery will run routes vs CB Dunbar and at times vs ace CB Norman… Norman may be locking up with still swift and now happy D-Jackson… Jackson returns to PHL, where he wanted to be… D-Jax is a great fit for the strong arm stylings of QB Wentz and the duo have been making deep ball connections regularly in camp and practices… Jackson showed he still has burner wheels last season in TB, avg’g over 18 YPR… he played 3 seasons with WSH after leaving PHL… uneven performer out of the slot, Agholor still gets the start and is a viable play in the right matchups… Agholor likes playing the Redskins, scoring 4 TDs over his last 4 games vs WSH… last games vs WSH Agholor tallied 2 TDs on 4 catches… WSH got burned often by WRs in 2018, 21 times for scores… PHL presents the odd couple out of the backfield this year… ground-chugger Howard was traded for and just seems ill-fitted for Coach Pederson’s RPO lateral offense… rookie Sanders is the versatile, multi-tasking RB that fits perfectly… Sanders has been the buzz throughout camp and if he isn’t getting 15-18 touches wk1, he will soon… on a hunch, Sanders is a great flex start here.

 

REDSKINS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Peterson 479

Thompson 310

Doctson 846

Harris 462

Crowder 428

Richardson 368

Reed 512

Davis 447

Sprinkle 363

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

TE

Reed

84

WR

Doctson

78

RB

Thompson

55

WR

Crowder

49

WR

Harris

47

 

Rookie QB Haskins just is not ready so steady vet Keenum starts the year at QB for WSH… Keenum last faced PHL in the 2017 post season with MIN; 28-48 passing, 271 yds, 1 TD and 2 INTs… he was practically invisible as a FFB QB starting all 16 games in DEN last season… Keenum is the ultimate game manager at QB and will rarely win a fantasy contest on his own… he’ll be throwing into an aggressive Eagles defense to a very young and mostly unproven WR corps… slotter Quinn is in his 2nd season but missed almost all of his 2018 rookie season injured… McLaurin and Harmon are rookies… Richardson is a playmaking type that cannot avoid injuries… this could turn sour in a hurry for the QB if this green group of wideouts don’t mature rapidly… facing the PHL defense wk1 isn’t about to help… TE Reed is injured already… Coach Gruden stated the offense will run through 2018 second round RB Guice… Guice is making it back from a rather difficult recovery of knee surgery… back, though it seems Coach Gruden was not thrilled with the decision, is warrior RB Peterson… Peterson showed he still has enough legs to handle 15-18 totes weekly… Gruden doesn’t want that, but Guice may not be able to handle a heavy touch load for a while… fanballers might want to look away from the Redskins players in the early going… the starting QB is OK at best… the rookie QB is not ready… the best O-lineman on the team is a no-show… the starting RB may not be fully able to handle a full workload… the Coach doesn’t want the healthy but aged RB on the team… the WR group is stocked with mostly inexperienced performers… the TE is hurt (again)… the Eagles are in town.

Mastermind Moment: Eagles QB Carson Wentz was drafted as a starter, so you start him against a beatable Redkins defense. The feeling here is that RB Jordan Howard will get the start, but that rookie RB Miles Sanders will see plenty of action. Howard will likely be the goal line back. That keeps both interesting flex options this week. WR Alshon Jeffery is a top 20 fantasy WR this week at home against the Redkins. Take a wait and see approach with regard to the rest of the WR corps this week. TE Zach Ertz is an auto-start, especially against the Redskins. Redskins QB Case Keenum gets the start this week. Good luck with that weak WR corps and a gimpy TE Jordan Reed (concussion), whom may not play. Sit him. RB Derrius Guice will get the start, but I'm hesitant to start him in fantasy until he shows what he can do. RB Adrian Peterson could just end being the backup, or he could start if Guice struggles. Sit him this week and let's see what happens. WR Paul Richardson looks healthy enough to play this week, but can you start him with Keenum at QB? Talk about a reach! WR Trey Quinn plays the slot, but how many passes will he catch? Sit him and watch. I already mentioned that Reed may or may not play. Sit him and make sure he's healthy and productive before thinking about a fantasy start for him.

 

Sun

Indianapolis Colts

@

Los Angeles Chargers

4:05 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

IND

D

16

237.8

7.4

70.8

21

15

LAC

QB

16

255.6

8.4

68.0

32

12

LAC

D

16

227.9

7.1

64.1

23

13

IND

QB

16

278.8

7.1

67.1

39

15

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

IND

D

166

1953

11.8

13

LAC

WR

193

2699

14.0

22

LAC

D

170

2169

12.8

14

IND

WR

225

2763

12.3

15

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

IND

D

106

1234

11.6

5

LAC

TE

48

567

11.8

3

LAC

D

74

744

10.1

5

IND

TE

108

1216

11.3

21

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

IND

D

22.0

3.8

8

110

7.6

3

LAC

RB

21.6

4.9

15

107

9.8

7

LAC

D

19.9

4.3

11

106

9.1

4

IND

RB

21.8

4.5

12

97

6.4

3

 

COLTS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Hines 499

Mack 444

Hilton 763

Rogers 593

Grant 560

Pascal 527

Ebron 634

Doyle 331

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Hilton

120

TE

Ebron

110

RB

Hines

81

WR

Rogers

72

 

Many are downgrading Indy skill players as a result of the retiring of QB Luck… don’t dismiss QB Brissett… Brissett is an athletic leader who already has a full season of starts under his belt (2017)… the Colt offense Brissett performed in back in 2017 is a far cry from the quality of the unit today… IND o-line has leaped to the top-3 or 5 blocking groups in the NFL… Brissett, for all his struggles in 2017, was careful with the football, only had 7 INTs and played with poise… there is a great deal of Dak Prescott in Brissett’s game… now this is a daunting opener for sure, on the road in L.A. vs a darn good Chargers’ defense… WR Hilton had a fantastic camp and is running faster than ever, according to those on the scene… Hilton has dedicated his season to his best friend, the QB that just retired… LA sports a couple of sticky CBs to make things difficult for Hilton and WR Funchess… Hilton and elite CB Hayward lock up on the outside… Funchess draws CB Davis… due to his size and ability to get physical at times, Funchess could well chip in with 5-6 catches and help out in PPR venues… he is also a redzone look for Brissett at 6’4-230… rookie WR/slotter Campbell has a nasty debut against super slotDB King… with LA playing sans star RB Gordon it is likely the ball will be in the air early and often, compliments of QB Rivers… IND will need to toss it to keep pace… TE Ebron should pick up where he left off in 2018, scoring TDs… Ebron racked up a career best 13 TDs in the regular season and added another in the playoffs… lost in his TD glow is the fact Ebron also set personal marks for tgts, receptions and yds in 2018… Brissett will be looking to Ebron as well as TE Doyle… under-the-radar matchup here is pass-catching demon out of the backfield, Hines… as a rookie Hines hauled in 63 passes on 81 tgts… the Chargers defense is pretty tough, but last season that unit was just plain awful covering RBs, surrendering 106 catches and 4 TDs… Hines drew at least 5 tgts in each of the final 5 games in 2018… starting RB Mack also has some pass-catch chops and will snag a couple himself… Mack avg’d a robust 4.7 YPC last season, playing 12 games… he does get nicked up some but when he is out there, Mack is a dangerous playmaker type… he is also nifty around the goal line, scoring in 5 of the last 6 games last season (including playoffs)… LA gave up 4.3 YPC to RBs in 2018… Indy skill players will be fine in 2019 with Brissett at the helm… don’t overlook the fantasy value of Coach Reich and his QB whispering magic… check on WR Funchess as he has been working through a back issue… the Indy RBs Mack and Hines are YFS heroes in wk1 thanks to the Chargers leaky RB coverages.

 

CHARGERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Gordon 524

Ekeler 348

Jackson 149

Allen 794

T. Williams 761

M. Williams 622

Benjamin 278

Green 674

Gates 364

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Allen

136

RB

Gordon

66

WR

M. Williams

66

WR

T. Williams

65

RB

Ekeler

53

 

L.A. opens 2019 without the star rusher, Gordon… Gordon is in full holdout mode and won’t be suiting up anytime soon… sharing the wk1 backfield chores for the Chargers are RBs Ekeler and Jackson… Ekeler does nothing but make sporty plays any time he has the opportunity… LA RBs combined for 107 catches in 2018, 6th most… Ekeler finished just 11 behind Gordon in receptions (50-39) despite being a part-time performer… Jackson chipped in 15 in his limited windows of action last season… the pass-catching notes are key here as the Colts defense failed to lock down RBs in pass routes last season, burned for 110 catches by backs… not only is Ekeler a fine receiver, he is a YAC-getter to boot… Ekeler avg’s a slotWR-like 10.3 for his career and caught 3 TDs in each of his 2 pro seasons… as a rusher Ekeler ripped it for 5.5 and 5.2 YPC in those 2 campaigns… the guy is explosive and versatile… he won’t let this opportunity waste… Jackson brings versatility as well but not in the explosive manner of Ekeler… depth note for handcuff purposes, if possible stash RB Pope for insurance… IND held RBs to 3.8 YPC in 2018 and allowed just 8 rushing TDs… WR Allen is sure to get a couple extra tgts from the slot with Gordon sitting out… Allen is a PPR beast and rubber-stamp starter vs any defense… M. Williams should lift his reception numbers into the 60s this season while closing in on another 8-10 TDs… Williams draws CB Wilson most snaps while Allen has a good matchup on SDB Moore… WR3 Benjamin is a FFB crap-shoot but could get 3-4 tgts now that deep routing T. Williams is in OAK… TE Henry is a must play and a hot read for wk1… IND surrendered 106 TE catches in 2018 and Henry is one of the more gifted receiving ends in the game, in an offense that historically seeks out the TE… RB Ekeler should come near 100 YFS, based on his receiving contributions… Jackson handles about 40 YFS… Rivers is Rivers and without Gordon leading the charge out of the backfield, the ball is probably flying out of Rivers’ hand a bunch here.

 

Mastermind Moment: Chargers QB Philip Rivers is a solid fantasy start in this one without RB Melvin Gordon against a weak Colts defense. RB Austin Ekeler should find some running room this week, making him a top 25 RB play, but RB Justin Jackson likely needs to score to be fantasy worthy. Sit him if possible. WR Keenan Allen is always an auto-start when healthy. I like WR Mike Williams to score in this one, making him a top 25 WR play. Sit the other WRs. TE Hunter Henry could easily score too, keeping him a solid fantasy start. As for the Colts, QB Jacoby Brissett is barely being drafted, so you sit him on the road against a quality Chargers defense. RB Marlon Mack is a decent flex play simply due to the number of touches he will see. WR T.Y. Hilton is still a top 30 fantasy WR play at Los Angeles. Sit the other wideouts. TE Jack Doyle is likely to see more targets than TE Eric Ebron, but neither are top 10 fantasy TE plays. Start them accordingly.

 

 

Sun

Cincinnati Bengals

@

Seattle Seahawks

4:05 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

CIN

D

16

275.9

7.9

66.6

32

12

SEA

QB

16

193.3

8.1

65.6

35

7

SEA

D

16

240.1

7.5

65.0

26

12

CIN

QB

16

205.6

6.6

61.1

27

13

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

CIN

D

203

2648

13.0

15

SEA

WR

160

2350

14.7

26

SEA

D

197

2500

12.7

15

CIN

WR

181

2306

12.7

21

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

CIN

D

88

1048

11.9

11

SEA

TE

50

591

11.8

8

SEA

D

59

697

11.8

5

CIN

TE

67

708

10.6

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

CIN

D

23.1

4.9

14

96

9.4

6

SEA

RB

28.2

4.6

15

68

7.5

1

SEA

D

18.8

4.5

8

99

9.2

6

CIN

RB

19.2

4.6

11

83

6.7

1

 

BENGALS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Mixon 595

Bernard 329

Boyd 773

Ross 602

Green 458

Erickson 364

Uzomah 839

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Boyd

108

WR

Green

77

TE

Uzomah

64

WR

Ross

58

RB

Mixon

55

 

Let’s get to it!... CIN has had a horrible pre-season littered with injuries and untimely retirements… the line carnage includes two injury losses, the retirement of LG Boling, a shoulder injury No. 1 pick LT J. Williams and LT Glenn’s concussion… adding salt to the offensive wounds is the injury to top WR Green… some good news is oft-injured WR Ross is good-to-go for wk1… he helps fill voids for now… CIN is dependent on RB Mixon to generate offense in a variety of ways… Mixon is a fast rusher with some power, good vision and he is a terrific router-receiver out of the backfield… SEA struggled to handle RBs last season, letting up 4.5 YPC and 99 receptions… Mixon should be busy getting out in space for quick tosses or flares from QB Dalton… he is especially dangerous running wheels downfield… WR Boyd is the go-to in the passing game once again… Boyd delivers PPR points most wks and can have a day vs slotDB Amadi if Dalton gets the ball out… Ross is situational but has been effective inside the 20 using his elite speed… Cincy HC Taylor installed more RPO concepts so there will be more short tosses… the shallow depth at WR likely translates to more 2-TE sets with Eifert and Uzomah… Eifert is healthy right now… Uzomah was a priority re-signing this off-season and should be involved as a receiver more extensively while Green is out… SEA LBs are good cover defenders however, so Uzomah and Eifert are limited in wk1… SEA is determined to run more than any team in the NFL this season, which kills clock and limits plays for the opposition… Cincy’s run D was about as bad as can be last year and there doesn’t seem to be much optimism that things are better this season… less Bengal offensive plays means less points… RB Mixon and WR Boyd are about the best FFB options here.

 

SEAHAWKS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Carson 454

Davis 391

Penny 181

Lockett 908

Baldwin 711

Moore 620

Brown 352

Vannett 528

Dickson 364

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Baldwin

73

WR

Lockett

70

WR

Moore

53

TE

Vannett

43

RB

Davis

42

 

Run, Seattle, run… the Seahawks M.O. for 2019 is run and run some more… in 2018 SEA RBs rushed the rock 452 times… RBs Carson and Penny will share the workload with Coach Carroll stating Penny should handle 1/3 of that work… fanballers can estimate about 150 totes and 30 catches for Penny; 250 and another 30 snares for Carson.. it all gets off to a big bang start vs the swiss cheese run defense of the Bengals… RBs rocked the Bengals for 4.6 YPC in 2018… SEA keeps it simple for FFB coaches; Carson is a fantasy RB1 and Penny is a flex… WR Lockett is going to see a majority of the tgts and is a legit WR2 with WR1 potential for fanballers to utilize… rookie WR Metcalf will get his deep ball shots but not enough for FFB lineup considerations except in matchup-friendly contests… Lockett is a mismatch running slot… no slotCB can stick with his speed… Lockett and QB Wilson developed a good connection in 2018 and the duo should take off to higher levels this season… Lockett locks up with slotDB Webb in wk1; a win for Lockett owners… Metcalf sounds ready to go and he lines up across from CB Kirkpatrick… vet WR Brown was resigned and splits snaps with WR Turner… QB Wilson is not a volume passer but he is as efficient as he is lethal… QBs lit up Cincy for 32 TD passes last season, 67% completion rate and almost 8 yds per attempt… with the Bengals defense leaning over their collective toes anticipating run-after-run by Carson and Penny, Wilson goes over the top with big strikes to Lockett and Metcalf… remember, Metcalf won’t see more than 4-5 tgts, but it is what he does with those tgts that matter here… if TE Dissly is running well and free, he is a sneaky good wk1 start… CIN let in the most TE TDs last year (11) and over 1000 yds.

 

Mastermind Moment: This is a good week to start Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. He should have his way against the Bengals at home. RB Chris Carson is a top 10 fantasy RB play against a weak Bengals run defense, but RB Rashaad Penny should remains on your bench due to lack of touches. WR Tyler Lockett should score in this one, making him a top 20 fantasy WR. Rookie WR D.K. Metcalf (knee) says he's healthy, and he could produce due to the matchup, but remains a fantasy reach. TE Will Dissly should be benched and watched to see if they use him like they did early last year before he got hurt. Bengals QB Andy Dalton won't be started by many in 14-team leagues or smaller this week. RB Joe Mixon faces a tough test this week, but you will likely start him. Cross your fingers and hopes he scores. Without WR A.J. Green (ankle), WR Tyler Boyd is the #1-WR, but will draw top corner coverage. Still, he's good enough to make an impact, as a top 25 fantasy WR. WR John Ross (hamstring) is likely to play, but you should sit him if possible to see what he can do after disappointing for most of 2018. Sit the other wideouts. TE Tyler Eifert is a fantasy reach at best in this one.

 

 

Sun

Detroit Lions

@

Arizona Cardinals

4:25 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

DET

D

16

224.9

7.9

65.1

29

7

ARZ

QB

16

157.7

5.8

57.2

15

18

ARZ

D

16

203.9

7.1

67.6

21

7

DET

QB

16

223.5

6.7

65.3

22

12

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

DET

D

179

2544

14.2

18

ARZ

WR

158

1806

11.4

11

ARZ

D

205

2399

11.7

16

DET

WR

213

2619

12.3

16

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

DET

D

64

746

11.7

7

ARZ

TE

46

475

10.6

1

ARZ

D

60

599

10.0

3

DET

TE

45

461

10.2

4

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

DET

D

20.7

4.8

8

85

7.4

4

ARZ

RB

20.0

3.6

9

72

7.9

3

ARZ

D

27.8

4.9

20

76

7.9

2

DET

RB

23.1

4.1

11

116

6.5

1

 

LIONS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Riddick 415

K. Johnson 346

Blount 281

Golladay 904

Mv. Jones 538

Tate 366

Toilolo 527

Willson 424

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Golladay

119

RB

Riddick

74

WR

Tate

69

WR

Mv. Jones

62

RB

K. Johnson

39

 

DET has undergone a transformation on offense over the last 2 seasons… once a high-flying aerial act, this new version of the Lions is a ball-control, RB-centric scheme… 2nd year RB K. Johnson is the centerpiece for new OC Bevell… Bevell is a run-oriented OC… ARZ was the worst run-defending defense in football last season… RBs wrecked the Cards for 20 rushing TDs while popping gains at 4.9 YPC… Zona isn’t much better this season… Johnson was well on his way to a big YFS campaign as a rookie before injury in wk11, avg’g 85 YFS… strung out over a 16-game slate, Johnson was on pace for 1360 YFS, 51 receptions and 6 total TDs… he was just working the TDs into his game when he went down, tallying 3 TDs in his final 2 games… vs the pitiful ARZ ground defenses, Johnson looks primed for 100+ YFS and 1-2 TDs… Johnson is backed by 2018 playoff hero and Gurley link, Anderson… eyes on rookie rusher T. Johnson, a fleet-footed playmaker who is a better receiver than credited… a former Coach Bevell guy landed in DET’s backfield, from SEA… McKissic is almost a clone of one-dimensional receiving RB Riddick, recently cut… make no mistake, this is K. Johnson’s show unless DET goes up on ARZ big too soon… WR Golladay doesn’t need to worry about super CB Peterson as the Zona CB is suspended… Golladay had a breakout performance in 2018, topping 1000 yds and snaring 70 passes… he could improve on the 5 TDs this season and may well start in wk1 vs ARZ… vet WR Jones is reliant of a couple of big plays to pay off for FFB coaches… DET has a new slot receiver and one HC Patricia knows well… Amendola has PPR chops but not much YAC add-on value… rookie TE Hockenson shares early season snaps with ex-PIT veteran James… ARZ plays TE rather well due to the solid coverage by SS Baker… ARZ let in just 3 TE scores last season… QB Stafford, as par with the new offense, is more game manager now than gunslinger… Stafford tossed just 21 TDs in 2018 despite playing all 16; his 2nd lowest over a 16-game season… Stafford also failed to reach 4000 yds for the first time in his career as a fulltime starter… given the playbook and the makeup of the skill position talents, Stafford is now a 20-22 TD, 3700-3800 passer… RB K. Johnson and WR Golladay are the FFB marks for wk1.

 

CARDINALS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Johnson 749

Edmonds 198

Fitzgerald 872

Kirk 542

C. Williams 430

Sherfield 343

Seals-Jones 536

Gresham 417

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Fitzgerald

112

RB

Johnson

76

TE

Seals-Jones

69

WR

Kirk

68

WR

C. Williams

46

 

The K. Murray era is about to begin in the desert… Murray is an athlete at QB, but he throws the football in much the same manner and velocity as CLV’s Mayfield… Murray’s rookie success is dependent on the meshing and gelling of all the players on offense in Coach Kingsbury’s system… timing, execution, movement in unison and correct read adjustments are vital to making this offense the work of art intended… breakdowns in any of these areas turn the masterpiece into a mess pieces… DET’s pass defense is spotty and inconsistent… QBs beat the Lions for 29 TDs and 7.9 YPA in 2018… Murray will seek out the open receiver rather than feature any 1 wideout in particular… future HOFer Fitzgerald could do well as he most likely faces single coverage most snaps, creating a size and know-how mismatch out of the slot… for as fast and active as this scheme is slated to be, it is odd the Coach Kingsbury will start 2 slower, aged wideouts (Fitzgerald, Crabtree)… Crabtree has a history in this program but isn’t anywhere near a threat to do more than PPR production… Fitzgerald falls into the category as well… 2nd year WR Kirk has the wheels but isn’t a polished pass-catcher… Kirk lines up most snaps this wk vs excellent CB Slay… Slay won’t give up many big plays or allow Kirk to present open "looks" to QB Murray very often… Crabtree and Fitzgerald should be tgt busy… RB Johnson is potentially dynamic set in this scheme if it is running right… with defenses spread wide and thin Johnson can burst through juicy rushing lanes and create extra yds in the 2nd level… RBs are the Lions up last season for 4.8 YPC… between the Cardinals working the bugs out of the new offense and the Lions working on controlling the clock, this contest has low-scoring written all over it.

 

Mastermind Moment: Lions QB Matthew Stafford got no repsect in fantasy drafts this summer, but could surprise with a good game this week against a soft Cardinals secondary. RB Kerryon Johnson is an auto-start against the Cardinals. Sit the other RBs due to lack of touches. WR Kenny Golladay and WR Marvin Jones are a solid duo. Start Golladay as a good #2 WR, while Jones deserves flex consideration. Rookie TE T.J. Hockenson is likely to play behind TE Jesse James, so sit him to watch and learn. Cardinals rookie QB Kyler Murray must prove himself to me before I recommend you start him. RB David Johnson remains an auto-start. WR Larry Fitzgerald is a solid #3 WR or flex option this week. WR Christian Kirk is a big fantasy reach, while the others should be benched to see how their roles flesh out. Who is the Cardinals starting TE? It doesn't matter, since they will not throw to him enough for fantasy consderation.

 

Sun

New York Giants

@

Dallas Cowboys

4:25 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

NYG

D

16

252.8

7.6

64.6

24

16

DAL

QB

16

221.1

7.4

67.6

22

8

DAL

D

16

234.7

7.4

67.7

22

9

NYG

QB

16

252.9

7.6

65.5

23

12

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

NYG

D

196

2626

13.4

13

DAL

WR

200

2535

12.7

15

DAL

D

180

2362

13.1

12

NYG

WR

189

2612

13.8

14

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

NYG

D

81

959

11.8

6

DAL

TE

68

710

10.4

4

DAL

D

86

875

10.2

7

NYG

TE

79

935

11.8

5

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

NYG

D

22.8

4.3

15

83

7.7

5

DAL

RB

22.1

4.5

7

88

7.3

3

DAL

D

19.8

3.8

10

101

7.4

3

NYG

RB

20.3

4.7

12

113

7.6

4

 

GIANTS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Barkley 852

Gallman 155

Shepard 934

Beckham 716

Fowler 369

Ellison 557

Engram 475

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Beckham

124

RB

Barkley

121

WR

Shepard

107

TE

Engram

64

 

No rookie QB jones yet as sage Eli has earned another season of starts… Manning has actually looked sharp and showing improved velocity on his passes… go figure… wk17 Manning got into a shootout with the Cowboys, slinging the football 41 times for 301 yds and 2 TDs, 1 INT… in his last 2 games of last season Manning topped 300 yds but managed just 3 TDs and 2 INTs… Manning no longer has Beckham as WR1… that role now belongs to WR S. Shepard… S. Shepard broke his thumb in camp but says he healed rapidly and is ready… S. Shepard closed out 2018 catching 10 of 16 tgts for 180 yds in his last 2 games… 6-113 on 7 tgts wk16, 4-67 on 9 tgts wk17 vs DAL… in 6 career games vs DAL S. Shepard has failed to log a single TD… tough CB Awuzie gets the cover assignment on S. Shepard in wk1… WR Latimer starts opposite S. Shepard and runs patterns vs CB B. Jones… subbing for suspended slotter Tate is R. Shepard, bringing little for FFB coaches to use… DAL D was quite stingy vs WRs last year, giving up just 12 TDs… TE Engram is prepped for a major role as a receiver this season… Engram scored in both games vs DAL last season, counting for 2 of the 7 TE TDs vs DAL in 2018… DAL LBs are fast and aggressive to the football which could limit Engram in game #1… obviously the Big Blue offense begins and ends with RB Barkley… Barkley played at an all-world level most of his rookie season, netting 2028 YFS and 15 total TDs… he caught an incredible 91 passes as a freshman… wk2 DAL held Barkley to 29 yds rushing on 11 carries but Barkley routed for 14-80 receiving on 16 tgts… wk17 Barkley tore up DAL for 142 YFS and a TD rushing… Barkley’s blend of speed, power and artfulness with the ball in his hands makes him matchup-proof… he has quickly become the top FFB RB in the game right now.

 

COWBOYS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Elliott 890

Smith 150

Gallup 739

Beasley 712

Cooper 511

Hurns 451

Swaim 512

Jarwin 386

Schultz 300

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

RB

Elliott

95

WR

Beasley

87

WR

Cooper

76

WR

Gallup

68

 

DAL’s transformation at WR looks complete now with Cooper at WR1, Gallup maturing into a potential WR2 with good PPR potential and ex-Packer Cobb manning the slot… Cooper was out much of camp with a foot ailment but says he’s good-to-go… the foot may have been just a ploy to skip camp… RB Elliott is back in the fold after his holdout… another missed camp that now smells contrived… QB Prescott is working for a new deal as well… Elliott is reported to see 20-25 snaps or reps in the opener, not carries… Elliott has topped 100-yds rushing 2 of his 4 games vs NYG, with a TD in 2 of the 4 as well… Giants got pounded for 15 rushing TDs by RBs last season and 4.3 YPC… rookie RB Pollard has won the backup role and is a fine dual-threat RB… WR Cooper looked like a star WR1 once arriving in DAL last season… line-out his 9 games of production in DAL across 16 games we get 135 tgts, 94-1288-11 TDs, all career bests if… Cooper will see plenty of rookie CB Baker; Baker is talented but Cooper takes him to school… crafty vet slotter Cobb has another rookie DB to teach, undrafted slotCB Haley… Gallup draws the attention of slick CB Jenkins… QB Prescott was falt wk2 vs NYG, throwing just 160 yds and a TD… wk17 he flipped the script and fired 387 yds and 4 TDs vs Big Blue… safe behind one of the NFL’s best o-lines, Prescott deals a gem in wk1, hitting Cooper for 90+ yds and a TD… Prescott is said to be thrilled with slot WR Cobb; just a heads up there… TE Witten is a chain mover at this point… DAL presents plenty of FFB options even vs a pretty good NYG defense.

 

Mastermind Moment: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is a decent play in this one against the Giants despite my fairly low ranking. RB Ezekiel Elliott won't play the entire game, but he will play enough that you must start him. Forget the other RBs. WR Amari Cooper is a top 10 fantasy WR play against a beatable Giants secondary. WR Michael Gallup is an interesting flex option this week, as a long score is a good possibility. TE Jason Witten always plays well against the Giants, so start him if you want to go with a fantasy reach. Giants QB Eli Manning will find the going tough in this one, so you sit him. RB Saquon Barkley may be the entire offense, so you start him. With WR Golden Tate suspended, WR Sterling Shepard will draw top corner coverage, making him a risky fantasy flex option. Sit the other Giants wideouts. TE Evan Engram is supposed to be the focus of the passing game, so start him and hope for the best.

 

Sun

San Francisco 49ers

@

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4:25 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

SAF

D

16

233.2

7.3

63.5

35

2

TB

QB

16

320.3

8.6

65.3

36

26

TB

D

16

259.4

8.2

72.5

34

9

SAF

QB

16

241.7

8.0

62.2

26

20

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

SAF

D

185

2523

13.6

27

TB

WR

267

4013

15.0

24

TB

D

220

2632

12.0

22

SAF

WR

152

1990

13.1

16

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

SAF

D

59

640

10.8

5

TB

TE

73

911

12.5

11

TB

D

84

1061

12.6

5

SAF

TE

95

1481

15.6

7

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

SAF

D

22.7

4.1

13

99

8.1

3

TB

RB

18.5

3.5

7

68

6.4

1

TB

D

21.3

4.6

16

82

8.4

6

SAF

RB

23.3

4.8

6

83

9.4

3

 

49ERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Breida 364

Morris 250

Bourne 605

Pettis 452

Goodwin 437

Garcon 380

Kittle 929

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

TE

Kittle

136

WR

Bourne

66

WR

Garcon

46

WR

Pettis

45

WR

Goodwin

43

 

This has the potential to be a barnburner and a points bonanza for fanballers… both defenses are lacking… QB Garoppolo is back and looking sharp after a very shaky start to the pre-season… Garoppolo is 8-2 in 10 starts with a sharp 8.2 YPA… the 49ers QB has a tendency to get off to rocky starts and fanballers should practice patience if that happens early this season… SF has a bevy of young wideouts that are skilled but likely prone to mistakes… WR Pettis has been in the coach’s doghouse through pre-season but has remained with the #1 groupings all during camp and in games… Pettis has the attention of his QB… he is a long-strider who appears to be gliding or not moving rapidly, but Pettis is surely game-fast… WR Matthews was cut after what seemed to be an energetic pre-season… that opens the door for rookie slotter Samuel… Samuel is a tough, shorter patter YAC-getter… fast-twitch vet WR Goodwin is planned as more situational deep baller for 2019… sharp routing WR Bourne made the cut over Matthews… all 49ers’ WRs have advantageous matchups vs TB DBs… Pettis vs young CB C. Davis is a plus for Garoppolo… Samuel vs slotDB Stewart is a wash but Samuel could make plays powering through Stewart for YAC… not sure if Goodwin sees enough tgts for FFB play in wk1… TE Kittle is sure to eat up tgts, however… Kittle dealt with a tight calf but is ready to roll… TB backers are athletic and fast but will give up catches and yds to TEs… bend-don’t-break… Kittle, at the very least, piles up PPR digits here… RB Coleman is the lead out of the backfield despite the depth charts listings… in pre-season play Garoppolo saw 50 snaps with the starters… Coleman was in on 31 of those while RB Breida got 19… Coleman is such a perfect fit in the 49er offense under Coach Shanahan… Breida will see 7-9 touches as he is not as durable as Coleman… RBs bludgeoned the Bucs defense for 4.6 YPC last year and 22 total TDs; 16 rushing, 6 receiving… Breida is a dynamic YFS back in limited play… more is not better for Breida’s production… points should be flying in this contest… Coleman is in play as RB2… Garoppolo is a solid stream start here… Pettis plays through a groin and that may mean rookie WR Samuel sees more tgts.

 

BUCCANEERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Barber 616

Rodgers 367

Evans 939

Humphries 781

Godwin 717

D. Jackson 452

Brate 534

Howard 435

Auclair 338

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Evans

138

WR

Humphries

105

WR

Godwin

95

WR

Jackson

74

 

The B.A. era begins in T.B… HC Arians takes over and works his QB magic with Winston wk1 vs SF… last season Winston completed 76.3% of his 38 passes vs SF for 312 yds and 2 TDs… QBs torched the 49ers for 35 TD passes… Winston will be asked to take shots downfield… his deep ball accuracy is still lacking as he displayed in pre-season… but the attempts will be there and he is good for at least 1 big fly for 6 this wk… WR Evans may be the recipient of that deep 6… Evans led NFL WRs in yds in 2018… wk12 vs SF Evans hauled in 6-116 on 8 tgts, no TDs… WR Godwin was quite active and it is clear he is set to be a very big cog in this offense of Coach Arians… the talk of Godwin teasing 100-catches as Fitzgerald did in ARZ under Arians looks very real… SF was burned for 27 WR scores in 2018… Godwin gets to abuse DB K. Williams in wk1… CB Witherspoon tries to handle Evans without much luck… former shutdown CB Sherman will square off with vertical router Perriman… recall Sherman stating he has trouble with speed wideouts and would rather face big, physical types… Perriman has suspect hands but could latch onto a Winston chuck for the deep 6… SF did well covering TEs in 2018, giving up just 5 scores and 59 receptions… TE Howard is capable of beating even good cover LBs however… TB RBs have been mostly unproductive for fanballers last couple of seasons… ground-pounder Barber gets the starting nod and 2018 rookie flop Jones owns 2nd calls… waiting to take over for either and possibly the best all-around RB in Tampa is Ogunbowale… Ogunbowale has avg speed, about 4.6x40, but runs with vision, sneaky elusiveness and is a terrific pass-catcher out of the backfield… it may not be long before Ogunbowale is seeing 12-15 touches a game… if we have a shootout here, and it looks like one brewing, Ogunbowale’s pass skills will be needed.

 

Mastermind Moment: Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston has impressed me recently, so you start him against a soft 49ers secondary. RB Peyton Barber will lead an ugly 3-man RBBC along with RB Ronald Jones and RB Dare Ogunbowale. That makes none of them top 35 RB plays. WR Mike Evans is an auto-start, while WR Chris Godwin is a top 15 WR play against a soft 49ers secondary. Sit the other wideouts. TE O.J. Howard is an auto-start at this time. TE Cameron Brate should be benched likely due to lack of targets. 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo was down, then up in the preseason, but I want to see him play in a real game in 2019 before recommending him for a start. RB Tevin Coleman and RB Matt Breida will share RB duties, meening both are decent flex options at best until roles are fleshed out. Sit the other RBs. WR Dante Pettis and WR Marquise Goodwin were both quiet this summer, so I'd sit them, watch and learn their roles, and make them produce before considering them for a fantasy start. Sit the other wideouts. TE George Kittle has surpassed TE Zach Ertz in late summer fantasy drafts this week, so that certainly mean you start him against the Bucs.

 

Sun

Pittsburgh Steelers

@

New England Patriots

8:20 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

PIT

D

16

231.1

7.1

64.0

27

8

NE

QB

16

266.1

7.7

65.9

29

11

NE

D

16

246.4

6.9

61.2

29

18

PIT

QB

16

313.0

7.5

66.6

35

17

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

PIT

D

215

2649

12.3

16

NE

WR

202

2639

13.1

18

NE

D

208

2545

12.2

17

PIT

WR

283

3302

11.7

24

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

PIT

D

79

887

11.2

7

NE

TE

54

761

14.1

3

NE

D

71

832

11.7

8

PIT

TE

86

1119

13.0

6

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

PIT

D

20.0

4.0

12

67

7.7

4

NE

RB

24.3

4.2

15

121

8.3

8

NE

D

19.8

4.8

6

90

8.7

4

PIT

RB

18.8

4.4

13

88

8.5

4

 

STEELERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Conner 718

Samuel 228

Brown 998

Smith-Schuster 960

Washington 526

Switzer 302

McDonald 564

James 562

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Brown

168

WR

Smith-Schuster

166

TE

McDonald

72

RB

Conner

71

 

Roethlisberger vs Brady… longtime rivals meet up once again… at age 36 Roethlisberger set a remarkable career best in passing yds with 5129 and fired 34 TDs, also his best ever… he did so without the services of RB Bell who sat out the season… Bell is gone and so is Roethlisberger’s top WR for years, A. Brown… taking over at WR1, if he hadn’t done so already by end of 2018, is Smith-Schuster… Smith-Schuster racked up 111-1426 and 7 TDs in 2018… expect the TDs to rise this season and the receptions to dip around 90-100… there are plenty of orphaned tgts in PIT with the departure of Brown… WR Moncrief is nest man up if he can stay on the field… NE will give up yds and catches but stiffen at the endzone… Moncrief has a tough assignment vs elite CB Gilmore… Smith-Schuster takes on CB McCourty out of the slot… 2nd year WR Washington is still a work in progress as a WR… he is not a smooth hands-catcher and a bit sloppy in his routes… Moncrief scored a TD his last 2 games vs NE (w/Jax and IND)… Smith-Schuster has yet to net a TD vs NE… TE McDonald faced NE twice in his career and scored in both… NE is soft vs TEs inside the 20… RB Conner missed the wk15 battle vs NE last season, injured… Conner is healthy and ready to rock… Conner does LeVeon-ish work on the field, a half-notch below, but still darn effective as a YFS maker… Conner broke 75 YFS 8 of his last 9 games played last season and totaled 10 combined TDs… in 13 games Conner amassed 1470 YFS and 11 TDs… 2nd year RB Samuel subbed for injured Conner wk15 vs NE… Samuel romped through the Pats for 172 YFS on 21 touches… Samuel is a multi-edge weapon able to create YFS… PIT sends out a fine o-line that keeps the QB upright and the RBs running for positive gainers… NE plays bend-don’t-break run D so the yds may be coming but the TDs are tough to come by here.

 

 

PATRIOTS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

White 600

Michel 320

Burkhead 151

Hogan 803

Edelman 747

Gordon 564

Dorsett 399

Gronkowski 838

Allen 365

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

RB

White

123

WR

Edelman

108

TE

Gronkowski

72

WR

Gordon

68

 

6-time Super Bowl winning QB Brady is playing out his contract and has nothing signed for nest season… in his last 2 games vs PIT Brady tossed 2 TDs combined and 2 INTs… now 42, Brady still plays with energy, fire and uncanny nuance… his ball lost a bit of velocity but Brady makes up with timing and anticipation… playmaker WR Gordon was reinstated and he will play wk1… lost for half the season is first round WR Harry, injured… Gordon has seen plenty of PIT while playing for CLV… in his last 2 games vs PIT, Gordon caught just 2-36 but 1 TD… Gordon is joined by slotter Edelman and Dorsett as starting WRs… still trying to figure out the Dorsett value in NE… last 4 games vs PIT Edelman amassed 35 catches, 277 yds and 1 TD… pre-season star rookie WR Meyers made the team, partly due to Harry’s leg injuries… also making the team is rookie WR Olszewski; just a nice note for an undrafted player… TE is on hold until someone steps up or Watson returns from suspension… as always, RB is a FFB quagmire… it is said that RB Michel is the go-to for carries and chip in as a receiver… PIT is tough to run on and Michel is likely looking at 55-65 yds here… RB White should catch 5-7 balls and close in on 75 YFS… in a showcase event on Sunday night football, both squads will be amped up and making plays… WR Smith-Schuster is inspired to show the team made the right decision investing in his now and future over All-Pro Brown… Conner is a YFS beast but eye on Samuel in his unique "Slash" style play.

 

Mastermind Moment: Patriots QB Tom Brady always rises to the occasion in big games, and this game won't be different, making him a top 10 fantasy QB. RB Sony Michel will start and get most of the carries, and a bit more targets in the passing game, making him a solid #2 RB this week for fantasy. RB James White remains the primary third down and pass-catching back, keeping him a top 20 fantasy RB too. Sit the other RBs. WR Julian Edelman and WR Josh Gordon are a nice duo. Edelman is pretty much an auto-start, while Gordon is a good #3 WR or flex option. Sit the other wideouts for now. TE Matt Lacosse is gimpy, but seems likely to start with TE Ben Watson suspended and Gronk retired. He is not one to start until he plays and produces. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is a decent play this week in what could be a fairly high scoring game. RB James Conner is an auto-start. Sit the other RBs. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is the new #1 WR and an auto-start. WR Donte Moncrief will get first crack at the #2 WR position, making him a fantasy reach as a flex play this week. WR James Washington should be benched until he start, if that ever happens. Sit the other wideouts. TE Vance McDonald will likely see more targets this season, as he's a top 10 fantasy TE play this week.

 

Mon7:10 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

HOU

D

16

260.4

7.5

64.8

28

15

NO

QB

16

252.6

8.0

73.4

33

7

NO

D

16

268.9

8.1

67.0

30

12

HOU

QB

16

236.3

8.2

68.2

26

9

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

HOU

D

205

2716

13.2

13

NO

WR

204

2521

12.4

22

NO

D

243

3345

13.8

20

HOU

WR

232

3027

13.0

20

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

HOU

D

90

1013

11.3

8

NO

TE

63

735

11.7

4

NO

D

55

626

11.4

5

HOU

TE

61

745

12.2

4

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

HOU

D

20.0

3.1

8

89

7.7

6

NO

RB

24.2

4.6

20

109

8.3

7

NO

D

17.4

3.2

7

86

7.6

5

HOU

RB

22.9

4.0

7

50

7.6

2

 

TEXANS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Miller 619

Blue 461

Hopkins 1084

Fuller 375

Thomas 359

Griffin 743

Thomas 470

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Hopkins

163

WR

Fuller

45

TE

Griffin

43

WR

Coutee

41

 

Well, the Texans have sure undergone a dramatic transformation in the past 2 weeks… RB Miller is out for the season and may have played his final game with HOU… the backfield now sports the stylings of ex-CLV pass-catching demon Johnson and the now well-traveled Hyde… not satisfied, Texans brass went out and traded unhappy DE Clowney to Miami for a true blindside protector for QB Watson, LT Tunsil… included in that deal is social activist/WR Stills… Stills may rub some the wrong way with his off-field views but he has not let those views invade his play on the field yet… the WR trio of Hopkins, Fuller and Stills is potentially lethal… add in slotter Coutee when healthy and HOU, we have no problem at WR… it all adds up to a rockin’ good FFB time in New Orleans on Monday night football… points will fly in this one… NO has improved on defense and it showed in 2018, but the secondary still gives up WR plays in bunches… wideouts secured over 240 passes vs the Saints last season, converting 20 into TDs… QB struck the Saints for 30 TD passes and an outstanding 8.1 YPA… Hopkins played most of 2018 with a bum shoulder but he is full-go for wk1… Fuller has made yet another successful return from injury and is ready to fly in the opener… Stills returns where it all began for him in the NFL, NO… Saints will stick CB Lattimore on Hopkins wherever NUK lines up but the Texan WR owns this one… Fuller should get mistake-prone CB Apple and peel off a few big plays… look for Fuller to work a little redzone magic once again… Stills and Coutee will likely flip in and out… HOU is forced to start 2nd year TE Akins due to a couple of injuries… Akins is a 3rd rounder out of UCF; not fast but finds open zones… NO is tight vs TEs so Akins isn’t in play wk1 for FFB coaches… though it seems a typo, the Saints held RBs to a stout 3.2 YPC last season… RBs managed just 7 TDs rushing vs NO… RB Johnson is the better play and should accumulate 70-80 YFS on the strength of his pass-catching chops… Hyde runs into that 3.2 YPC buzz saw… QB Watson is not on a pitch count or playing with the restrictor plates he had on him for most of 2018… the o-line got better almost instantly with the trade for Tunsil, and it is scary to think what the very gifted dual-threat QB could do with time to do it… he should find time to do a lot in wk1… facing that stout Saints run D, Watson will be airing it out and fanballers will be basking in the blaze of Watson brilliance.

SAINTS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Kamara 658

Ingram 350

Thomas 929

Smith 567

Carr 274

Kirkwood 225

Hill 653

Watson 507

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Thomas

147

RB

Kamara

105

TE

Watson

46

WR

Smith

44

 

Another season, another start for QB Brees… Brees has been mostly drafted as a backup QB this year in FFB leagues… go figure… sure, he closed out 2018 under 4000 yds passing, first time that happened since 2005… Brees still fired home 32 TD passes and completed an unreal 74% of his passes… the man is a machine… just as a reminder though Brees slowed down late in the season he got off to a white-hot start; 439 yds passing and 3 TDs in the 2018 opener at home… Brees throws to the best WR in the NFL, Thomas… Thomas owns the surest set of hands in the league… HOU will try to cover Thomas with CB Roby and help… good luck… if there is any disappointing aspect of Thomas over 3 seasons it might be his TD production… yes he’s logged 9 TDs 2 of his 3 pro years but in total he’s scored 22 times on 321 catches… not quite a prolific TD maker in perspective… someday NO will trot out a legit threat at WR2 opposite Thomas… Ginn, Smith, Kirkwood and Carr all lay some sort of claim to being that but none have locked up that job… Smith teased fanballers last season but had far too many weeks of invisibility… the functioning "WR2" for the Saints may well be new TE Cook… HOU was shredded by TEs in 2018 for 90-1013-8 TDs… Cook set personal bests across the board last season in OAK… he’s been a favorite topic of conversation for QB Brees, who notes Cook’s attention to details and consistently being in the right place… that IS refreshing… this is a prime matchup for Cook… if Cook is the pseudo WR2, then RB Kamara is the da facto slot WR in NO… new RB Murray, taking over for the departed Ingram, assumes the same role and presents a solid FLEX option for fanballers… we have a points scoring smorgasbord being served up between these 2 potent offense… Fanballers, chow down.

Mastermind Moment: Saints QB Drew Brees is a top 5 fantasy QB play at home, and this week is no different. RB Alvin Kamara is an auto-start. RB Latavius Murray is an interesting flex option for owners in larger leagues. WR Michael Thomas is an auto-start. The other wideouts should be benched until their roles arte fleshed out. TE Jared Cook is a big time playmaker, but will he be used correctly? Until we find out, he's not a top 5 fantasy TE, but is still a top 10 guy, so you will likely start him and hope for the best. Texans QB DeShaun Watson is a STUD, so you start him. RB Duke Johnson is a top 25 fantasy RB in this game despite the quality defense he's facing. Why? He will catch plenty of passes in this one. Fantasy owners should take a wait and see approach with regard to RB Carlos Hyde. WR DeAndre Hopkins is an auto-start, while WR Will Fuller makes a solid #3-WR or flex option. Ignore the TEs on this team for now.

Mon

Denver Broncos

@

Oakland Raiders

10:20 PM

 

KEY STATS: Position Defense vs Position Offense

QUARTERBACK:

TEAM

POS

GP

YD/GM

YPA

C%

TD

INT

DEN

D

16

245.6

7.7

64.3

26

17

OAK

QB

16

234.4

7.3

68.7

19

10

OAK

D

16

240.8

8.2

62.3

36

14

DEN

QB

16

230.9

6.7

62.4

19

15

 

WIDE RECEIVER:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

DEN

D

202

2544

12.6

17

OAK

WR

183

2116

11.6

9

OAK

D

167

2313

13.9

24

DEN

WR

204

2581

12.7

14

 

TIGHT END:

TEAM

POS

REC

YDS

YPR

TD

DEN

D

72

1035

14.4

6

OAK

TE

91

1111

12.2

10

OAK

D

75

1060

14.1

9

DEN

TE

68

649

9.5

3

 

RUNNING BACK:

TEAM

POS

CpG

YPC

TDR

REC

YPR

TDC

DEN

D

23.2

4.8

10

77

8.6

2

OAK

RB

21.8

4.2

8

107

7.8

0

OAK

D

24.4

4.7

13

60

9.6

3

DEN

RB

22.4

4.9

15

95

7.4

2

 

BRONCOS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Lindsay 453

Booker 316

Freeman 308

Sutton 819

Sanders 658

Hamilton 471

Thomas 405

Heuerman 555

LaCosse 418

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

WR

Sanders

98

WR

Sutton

84

WR

Thomas

56

RB

Booker

51

 

This old-time AFL/AFC-West rivalry opens the season with a few new wrinkles… DEN’s newest wrinkle is ex-Ravens’ QB Flacco… Flacco is clearly on the downside of his career arc and the one-time power-armed thrower has eroded into a check-down dinker… Flacco rarely offers solid FFB production; he’s topped 4000 yds passing once in his career… however, a new environment with a young cast around him may re-energize his depleted performance batteries… OAK was among the absolute worst pass defending defenses in the NFL last season, raided for 36 TD passes and 8.2 YPA… Flacco will be tgt’g 2nd yr big WR Sutton and returning from injury/surgery veteran Sanders… last time Flacco faced OAK (2017) he delivered a very Flacco-like performance; 222 yds, 0 TDs… wk16 saw Sutton grab 6 of 10 tgts for 65 yds and a TD vs OAK… Sutton held onto exactly half of his 84 tgts last season; gotta do better than that this year… wk2 Sanders caught 4-96 but 0 TDs on OAK… Sanders has failed to score a TD in his last 4 games vs the Raiders… 2nd-seaosn slotter Hamilton did score on OAK in wk16, snatching 6 of 9 passes for 40 yds… Hamilton’s routes are painfully short, avg’g a very pedestrian 8.1 YPR in 2018… the Raiders were lit up for 24 WR TDs in 2018… TEs had their fun vs OAK as well, snagging over 1000 yds and scoring 9 times… rookie TE Fant is as athletic as they come at TE, but he is raw and will be limited to pass-catching… that likely cuts down on his snaps and some opportunities… but being a playmaker type, Fant has potential to burn OAK on a hot seamer for 6… RB Lindsay is back at full strength from his wrist injury… wk2 Lindsay bolted through the Raiders defense for 107 rushing yds on just 14 carries, a crisp 7.6 YPC… fellow RB Freeman should handle the tough carries and short yardage duties, including the goal liners… OAK is not a stout run-stopping unit… the Raiders defense had a way of making even average players look good last season… Flacco is a scary proposition though.

 

RAIDERS WEEK 1 OUTLOOK:

2018 SNAPS:

RB

WR

TE

Richard 413

Martin 359

Lynch 209

Nelson 841

Roberts 569

Ateman 370

Cook 767

Smith 283

 

2018 TARGETS:

POSITION

PLAYER

TARGETS

TE

Cook

101

WR

Nelson

88

RB

Richard

81

WR

Roberts

64

 

Drama town USA… WR A. Brown took his self-inflicting drama ways to OAK and he is making things difficult in the early going before a single regular season snap by the Raiders occurred… after much in-fighting that spilled over to social media (of course!), all seemed to quiet down Friday afternoon and word is Brown will play in wk1… Brown obviously has many, many distractions that are taking away his focus on actually playing and it may be the wrong time to count of the highly-productive WR in wk1… last season, wk12, Brown lined up for PIT vs DEN, in DEN, and saw 13 tgts, caught 9-67 yds, a 7.4 YPR… Brown scored in all games last season but 3; vs KC, @ OAK, @ DEN… Brown is @ DEN this week… another newcomer in OAK, WR T. Williams, has struggled mightily vs the Broncos… over his last 6 games against DEN T-Will avg’s 2.3 catches for 23.7 yds and 0 TDs… the sneaky good play for OAK WRs may very well be rookie slotWR Renfrow… Renfrow has caught everything sent his way in camp, practices and pre-season games… he isn’t flash-fast, stands 5’10 (maybe)-185 and owns small, SMALL hands (under 8")… but he is a slick route runner and holds onto the football like a big-handed wideout… DEN still sends a tight secondary out to the field each week… as good as Renfrow has been in camp he has a tough challenge vs new DEN slotDB Callahan, who shined with the elite CHI defense last season… Brown, if he does suit up, will get a combination of super CB/DB Harris and CB Yiadom… TE Waller has been the talk of the raiders camp, mostly from Coach Gruden but Raiders beat writers also remarked at Waller’s outstanding pre-season… Waller, a former deep-ball WR in college, can be a weapon of choice for QB Carr as DEN not only gave up over 1000 yds to TEs last season, but did so in chunk… TEs ripped the Broncos for over 14 YPR… if Waller plays up to the verbal hype he’s created by his work so far, he is a wk1 TE hero for fantasy coaches… rookie RB Jacobs should be fresh and rarin’ to go… the first RB off the draft board this year gets a DEN ground defense that surrendered 4.8 YPC to RBs in 2018… Jacobs is also a fine receiver out of the backfield… he should debut with 80-90 YFS and a TD… pass-catching RB Richard will do some of that, but Jacobs will cut into Richards tgt potential here… it is all about Brown for OAK in wk1; will he or won’t he?

Mastermind Moment: Broncos QB Joe Flacco is not a normal fantasy starter, so sitting him is the right thing to do. RB Phillip Lindsay is a top 20 fantasy RB play against a soft Raiders run defense. RB Royce Freeman deserves slight consideration as a fantasy flex. WR Emmanuel Sanders is a top 30 fantasy WR play, while WR Courtland Sutton is barely a top 40 fantasy play. Start them accordingly. I'd wait and see how rookie TE Noah Fant does before starting him. Without WR Antonio Brown, QB Derek Carr is a bottom 10 fantasy QB play. Rookie RB Josh Jacobs is a top 20 fantasy RB play and the best fantasy option for the Raiders to produce in this game, but it won't be easy. WR Tyrell Williams is the new #1 WR and worthy of strong fantasy consideration as a fantasy flex Rookie WR Hunter Renfrow is the slot guy, but take a wait and see attitude here. TE Darren Waller should see plenty of targets, but still ranks outside the top 15 fantasy TEs.

End.

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Sunday, September 8th, 2019

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