Fantasy Breakdown: Week 1
This is the first installment of what will be a weekly event where we’ll be breaking down good match ups and awful match ups in fantasy land. All to help you rub your superiority all over your friends faces…there was probably a better way to say that.
Now that Peyton Manning has taken a regal dump on the Super Bowl Champs, you’re all freaking out. (Was I the lone guy in the world to start Orange Julius Thomas?). Now you need to make up some points with a properly set lineup. It’s ok. Here’s what you need to know.
***This week, our good friend Derrick Alvarez of 3DPhillySports.com contributed with the Start ‘Em section this week–respect.
Tony Romo, DAL. Romo is coming off a career-best 4,900 passing yard season in 2012 and is opening the season at home against the NY Giants not-so-hot secondary. He passed for 300+ yards twice last season against them, has a healthy Dez Bryant and Miles Austin to throw to (don’t forget about Jason Witten), and usually doesn’t kill anyone’s fantasy season until the playoffs, where he always tends to kill the Cowboys in the final games of the regular season.
Michael Vick, PHI. Vick is no longer a surefire starter in fantasy football leagues of 10 to 12 teams. In deeper 14 or 16 team leagues he more than likely is though, and I could make the argument that you should start him regardless this week. Vick will never be as healthy as he is going into Week 1, and that’s more than half of the concern with him. Chip Kelly has a brand-new toy that he never had at Oregon (Dennis Dixon isn’t quite the same), so I wouldn’t be shocked to see Vick go for 225 in the air, 65 on the ground, and 3 combined TDs down in Washington as the new Eagles era opens with a bang (whether that’s a win or loss remains to be seen).
Reggie Bush, DET. As I wrote about last weekend, I’m expecting big things from Reggie Bush this season and am excited to own him in one of my PPR leagues. Leshoure and Bell caught a combined 86 passes last season at the RB position for Detroit. Can Bush make a play for 95+ catches this season? It remains to be seen but I’m certainly looking for things to get started in a big way for Reggie and the Lions this Sunday at home against the Vikings.
Jamaal Charles, KC. We all know Andy Reid loves setting up screen passes for his RBs (Brian Westbrook/Lesean McCoy). We all also know that the Jacksonville Jaguars are a very bad NFL franchise who will more than likely end up in L.A. before the end of this decade. Start Charles with confidence.
Dwayne Bowe, KC. Once again, the Jaguars are awful. Alex Smith could have a big day on Sunday and he’ll be looking for Bowe at least 10-12 times, if not more.
Antonio Brown, PIT. There’s a new WR1 in Pittsburgh for Big Ben to throw to and the Titans ranked 26th in passing defense last season. I think Antonio Brown could easily be a top 10 start at WR this week as his Steelers open the season at Heinz Field.
Greg Olsen, CAR. Olsen is coming off a quietly impressive 2012 season where he went for nearly 70 catches and 800+ yards receiving. He was second on the team in targets as Cam Newton has shown time and time again that he won’t hesitate to call Olsen’s number.
Zach Sudfeld, NE. With Gronk sidelined for at least the first game of the season, Sudfeld could be in store for a big afternoon against the Buffalo Bills. After looking for Ammendola, I’m thinking Tom Brady will look towards his 6 foot 7 Tight End.
Carson Palmer, ARI. I’m all aboard the Carson Palmer train with Bruce Arians in town. However, Palmer is a bad #1 QB until he proves anything and he has a tough matchup against the Saint Louis Rams this week. If Palmer is you’re best QB, I assume you have a similarly ranked backup. Start that guy instead.
Andy Dalton, CIN. The Bears have a Super Bowl caliber defense, which doesn’t bode well for Dalton. They allowed 213.9 yards per game last season through the air (9th in the league) and 24 interceptions (1st in the league) which means he’s a real crutch to your success this week. A little more later as well on this CIN vs. CHI matchup…
Eddie Lacy, GB. This is a pretty simple equation here. Anyone + San Fran Defense = No Bueno. They allowed an average of 94.2 yards a game in 2012 and gave up only seven rushing touchdowns. Throw in the fact that since 2010 Packers running backs have gone over 75 yards only ten times (playoffs included), there’s no reason to start Lacy as one of your top two backs.
Chris Ivory, NYJ. Chris Ivory was a preseason favorite to win the Jets starting job, but Bilal Powell has taken that role. Therefore, there’s no idea how many carries he’ll get. The Jets also have a tough matchup against the Buccaneers, who had the best run defense in the league last year (82.5 yards a game), which means Ivory should be on the bench.
Mike Wallace, MIA. Wallace is playing a tough defense in Cleveland that added a fantastic coordinator in Ray Horton. He’ll also be lining up against Joe Haden regularly, who is a top flight corner. Considering Wallace is no better than a WR3 anyway, it shouldn’t do any harm to have him sit out.
Stevie Johnson, BUF. This week an injured rookie in EJ Manuel will be playing the first game of his career against New England’s defense. That should be good enough reason. But since I really want to crush your dreams, New England allowed only 20.7 points a game—9th in the NFL—last season. Sit, Stevie. Good boy!
Jermaine Gresham, CIN. The Bears are one of the top four defenses in the league (2012’s top fantasy defense) and haven’t really changed despite the firing of Lovie Smith. Add in the fact that the Bengals added Tyler Eifert in the first round and Gresham understandably finds a spot on the bench.
Brent Celek, PHI. Given the offensive scheme, I just don’t see Celek making enough of an impact to be a starter. The Eagles might have seven or eight guys with a number of grabs every week. Keep Celek on your bench every week until he proves he can put up starter’s numbers.