Fantasy Football Week 1: Trusts, Busts and Sleepers
Week 1 in the NFL is the most mysterious week in all of fantasy football. I try to help clear up some of the uncertainty. Here are fantasy players from every game you can trust in your lineup this week. In addition, I give you my picks for players who could bust in week 1, ultimately disappointing fantasy owners. Finally, if you are looking for guys to keep an eye on to get a jump on the waiver wire, check out my sleepers.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
Trust: Mike Gillislee
Bust: Brandin Cooks
Sleeper: Chris Conley
I can see Gillislee having multiple goal line attempts in this game giving him a chance to put a few touchdown in the stat column for owners. Brandin Cooks will probably see a lot of Marcus Peters in this game and Brady may not target him a lot. I love Chris Conley as a sleeper in this game since the Chiefs will probably be playing from behind and will need to throw.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Trust: Tyrod Taylor
Bust: Bilal Powell
Sleeper: Robby Anderson
This entire game could be a bust, but I think Tyrod is a viable starter if your in a 2 quarterback league or if you had Jameis Winston as your starter. Bilal Powell will be in split carry mode in week 1. Its too early to assume Forte will get hurt and Bilal will be the man. Robby Anderson is the Jets #1 receiver and since they will have to throw the ball to someone, hey why not?
Atlanta Falcons @ Chicago Bears
Trust: Austin Hooper
Bust: Matt Ryan
Sleeper: Kendall Wright
People forget the Bears actually have a good defense. I almost went really bold and made Julio my bust, but I want you to take me serious and come back next week to read again. Austin Hooper should have a nice game and maybe even find the end zone. I think Matt Ryan throws as many if not more interceptions than touchdowns in this game. Kendall Wright is in the same situation as Robby Anderson.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Trust: Jeremy Maclin
Bust: Joe Mixon
Sleeper: Tyler Boyd
Flacco is back and Maclin should be the beneficiary of that. I put Maclin around 7 catches for about 80 yards. If he finds the end zone I would be surprised, but you never know. Joe Mixon is my bust because he is being started in 79% of leagues, according to ESPN and he isn’t a 3 down back yet. Jeremy Hill is going to frustrate Mixon owners this week. Tyler Boyd is the sleeper here as he will see the second most targets on the team.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Trust: Duke Johnson
Bust: Isiah Crowell
Sleeper: Eli Rogers
This should be a good game for fantasy scoring. That is if you have any Pittsburgh players on your team. I expect the Steelers to be leading in this game which makes Crowell a liability in the fourth quarter. The Browns game script should put Duke in a better position to score. Everyone knows the Four Bs are going to get their numbers; Ben, Brown, Bell and Bryant. Don’t sleep on Eli Rogers in the slot picking up some early targets and possibly a TD.
Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions
Trust: Larry Fitzgerald
Bust: Matthews Stafford
Sleeper: Theo Riddick
So as you can see I expect Arizona’s secondary to get the best of Matt Stafford. If you listened to this week’s podcast I explain why. Larry is the only consistent wide receiver right now in Arizona and David Johnson can’t touch the ball 70 times. Look for Riddick to get some garbage time touches ultimately making his fantasy stat line look better than Abdullah’s.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Trust: DeAndre Hopkins
Bust: Lamar Miller
Sleeper: Dede Westbrook
In a game Vegas projects to have less scoring than the Bills/Jets its hard to expect a lot from fantasy players. I know Savage will force feed Hopkins, probably to the tune of 14+ targets in this game. Lamar Miller is going to have a hard time finding holes against this improved Jags defense and don’t be surprised if Blue and Foreman eat into his production. Dede Westbrook is the best kept secret in Jacksonville, but he may be the hottest waiver wire acquisition after Week 1.
Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans
Trust: Michael Crabtree
Bust: Delanie Walker
Sleeper: Rishard Matthews
Saying to trust Crabtree is about as obvious as saying to start Aaron Rodgers, but I expect him to out produce Cooper yet again. With all of the new weapons for Mariota, I full expect him to shy away from Walker this season. From Week 11-17 last season Walker dropped to a tight end 19 in fantasy averaging 3 catches and 33 yards a game. On the flip side, Rishard Matthews had 100+ yards receiving in 3 of his last 6 games in 2016. Too many people high on Corey Davis and Eric Decker this early in the season.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Trust: Legarrette Blount
Bust: Alshon Jeffery
Sleeper: Brian Quick
Don’t let Doug Peterson fool you. He knows exactly what Blount’s capabilities are. He will be used inside the red zone extensively and against the Redskins porous defense that could be a lot. Alshon will be shadowed by Josh Norman all game and that worries me with Wentz. Look out for Brian Quick to man the slot position for Washington if Doctson can’t go. He is fast and the Redskins like to throw the ball there often. Right Garcon?
Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams
Trust: Sammy Watkins
Bust: Tavon Austin
Sleeper: Jack Doyle
Everyone needs to get over the fact Watkins has had injury problems, correction, recovery problems in the NFL. They also have to get over the fact he plays for the Rams now. It could be worse, he could play for Buffalo. I mean really. How did his value plummet so badly going from one bad team to another? The guy who suffers is Tavon Austin. He may be on the side of milk cartons by the end of this game. When you have a bad quarterback always target the tight end. Jack Doyle will get fed.
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers
Trust: Eddie Lacy
Bust: Jordy Nelson
Sleeper: Chris Carson
In a game that is showcasing two of the best QBs in the game, I expect a lower scoring game. Makes no sense right? Seattle is not stupid. They will not try to throw with Rodgers and outscore the Packers. They will grind it out on the ground. Rawls is trending to not play leaving Lacy a nice opportunity. Chris Carson will also get some touches to spell fat Eddie when he needs a breather showing he is the best back in Seattle.
Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers
Trust: Pierre Garcon
Bust: Christian McCaffery
Sleeper: Devin Funchess
Did anyone watch the preseason? Hoyer couldn’t stop throwing the ball to Pierre Garcon. They were seen in the parking lot still playing catch after their week 3 preseason game against the Vikings. McCaffery is going to have the same problem as Mixon. Devin Funchess will catch a touchdown in this game. Mark it down now.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Trust: Jason Witten
Bust: Paul Perkins
Sleeper: Cole Beasley
Zeke gets to play and Perkins will wish he didn’t. The Giants offensive line couldn’t block an intersection they are so bad. Perkins will never get started this weekend. Jason Witten should see a lot of targets from Dak as the Giants don’t like to cover tight ends. Cole Beasley should see at least 6 targets in this game and if he can squirrel his way into the end zone may end up with a playable stat line in Week 1.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings
Trust: Dalvin Cook
Bust: Adrian Peterson
Sleeper: Coby Fleener
Although I believe New Orleans defense has improved this year, it won’t be enough to stop Dalvin Cook from getting 20+ touches. Adrian Peterson is looking for a revenge game and his owners are banking on it. Sorry about your damn luck. Coby Fleener should be the recipient of most of the Snead targets. He just has to do something with them. I think he does, finally!
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos
Trust: CJ Anderson
Bust: Phillip Rivers
Sleeper: Virgil Green
In a game no one on the east coast will get to see the end of, Phillip Rivers will struggle against Denver’s secondary. He is another candidate for more interceptions than TDs to start the season. CJ Anderson will prove his doubters wrong once again. After all it’s only week 1. We have to give him at least until Week 7 to get hurt right? Look for Siemian to target Virgil Green a bunch in this game. Thomas is nursing a groin injury and apparently Sanders doesn’t exist when Trevor plays. That leaves Green.
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