Predicting fantasy football is a bit of a crapshoot, but if you are going to take advice from somebody, how about somebody who consistently dominates!!! Well, in most of my leagues, anyway… So, in this column, we’re going to talk about guys you should start if you have them, as well as guys you should sit, avoiding temptation. No, there won’t be any no-brainer stuff like starting Adrian Peterson, sitting Blaine Gabbert, etc. etc. We’ll be talking about guys who may be one of two or three you are considering for your flex, or RB3/WR3 spots.
Without further ado:
Quarterbacks: Start ’em!
Michael Vick: Judging by his ADP, nobody went really high to get this guy. Chances are, if he is on your squad, he’s either the backup or a guy you took a “wait and see how he does” flyer on. Well, he won’t get a better matchup all season than week 1 against the Skins. Chip Kelly will have him running a bunch, the game will likely be a shootout, and the Redskins D leaves a lot to be desired in my eyes. Fearless forecast, 23+ points in standard scoring.
Terrelle Pryor: This guy is barely owned except in 12 team or bigger leagues. His team sucks, and he’s inexperienced. However, odds are, if you have him you are probably desperate. Maybe you missed on a QB run in your draft, or maybe you have a guy you’re sort of confident in but snagged TP as a flyer. Well, if he’s ever going to get you points, it’s this week against Indy. Indy will win, probably handily, and jump out to a lead early. Pryor will probably throw a couple of picks, but he might rush for a 100 yards. What do inexperienced but mobile qbs do? Exactly. Again, you aren’t sitting Colin Kaepernick if you have him, but if you need 16+ points from your qb spot, you’ll get them here.
Quarterbacks: Sit em!
Philip Rivers: Hey, I think he might have a decent year. But it won’t start this week, not against a stout Texas defense. I think Texas will play ball control, limiting the time Rivers is on the field, and while he might exceed 15 points, I don’t find it likely. If you have Rivers, you probably have another guy on your team like Bradford or Cutler, start either of them instead.
Running Backs: Start em!
Knowshon Moreno: I will bet you any amount of money (I’m looking at you, Pete Rose) that if you asked Peyton Manning who he wanted starting at running back (Hillman, Ball, or Moreno), he’d pick Moreno. Excellent in blitz pickup and as a receiver, he has Manning’s confidence. He won’t get 20 touches against Baltimore on Thursday, but he may get 12 or 13, and there could very well be a touchdown in there. In standard scoring formats, I’m thinking 13+ points.
DeAngelo Williams: Remember, this isn’t a no brainer column. If you are even considering Williams, it’s probably because you have two really top end running backs, and are just unsure of your flex…and maybe a bit disconcerteda about the Seattle D. Well, you should be. Still, no Jonathan Stewart means full time duty for Williams. He’s always been underrated as a receiver anyway. I don’t know that he’ll score, but he’s probably good for 12+ points. Not awful for your flex.
Running Backs: Sit ’em!
Daryl Richardson: The Rams should theoretically walk all over Arizona at home, but I don’t think D Rich will factor much. The bigger Zac Stacy or Benny Cunningham will likely get the goalline work, and Arizona has a decent front seven. Plus, Sam Bradford will want to give plenty of action to all his new offensive toys. Richardson may get 6 or 7 points, but not much beyond that.
Receivers: Start ’em!:
Cecil Shorts: Underrated, probably because of his crappy team. But there’s no Justin Blackmon for the first four weeks, and Gabbert/Henne will have to throw to someone with teams stacking the line. He’s target number one on that team through the air, and he’ll get lots of them. 18+ points in standard scoring formats is my guess. Yes, that’s and 18 and not merely an 8. Go big or go home.
T.Y. Hilton: Against a crappy secondary whose best guys will be focusing on Reggie Wayne, Hilton could have a field day. Heck, I’d not be one bit surprised if he also returned a punt to the house. You can bank on 13+ from Hilton with an upside of in the low 20s. Nope, not joking.
Receivers: Sit ’em!:
Anquan Boldin: He may have some value in PPR formats, but in standard, stay away from him until he proves that he can be a number one guy at his advanced age. Look for Green Bay to double him, taking away Kaepernick’s security blanket. He may catch 7 or 8 balls, but no scores and I doubt he breaks 80 yards. In standard scoring, look for 7 points or less.
Tight Ends: Start ’em!
Jared Cook: He’s huge and has big time speed, and Bradford likes him. There will be weeks where he disappears, because that’s what he does, but week one against AZ, look for several catches, including a big gainer and possibly a score. 10+ in standard scoring. (Hey, what do you want? If you have anyone outside of Graham or healthy Gronk, you’ll take 10+ from your TE and like it!)
Ed Dickson: If you got him, you probably were really desperate… but without Dennis Pitta, he’ll be the guy Flacco is looking for when he looks for his tight end. Dickson is patently mediocre, but he’s also the guy in Baltimore at the TE position right now, and could get a score. If 7 points is enough for you from the TE spot, you may get it here.
Tight Ends: Sit ’em!
Zach Sudfeld: Hey, it’s easy to buy into Patriots hype. After all, they have Brady! Now, Sudfeld may turn out to be a steal in your draft, but I doubt it will be week one. Brady likes to throw to his tight ends, but I’m not convinced that Gronk will not suit up week 1, at the very last minute. If he doesn’t, you may get some value out of Sudfeld. If Gronk does suit up, like I believe he might, you’re looking at 2 or 3 points.
I’m not going to waste much time on kickers and defenses. If you’re streaming defenses, look at snagging Indy for week 1 against the Raiders. Cincy is always under-owned in my opinion, with their awesome pass rush, and they are going against Chicago. Cutler seems to get drilled a lot. If you’re really desperate, look at KC against Jacksonville. They will probably give up a few points, but also create a few turnovers. Avoid using Green Bay. The good teams always get their defenses drafted ahead of mediocre teams who actually defend better. The Pack couldn’t stop Kaepernick last time, what makes you think anything has changed?
Not sure who your kicker is yet? Greg Zeurlein has his coach’s confidence from anywhere inside 65 yards. One of those, a chip shot, and a couple extra points get you a nice game from your kicker. Garrett Hartley will be in a shootout too. Keep and eye on Randy Bullock. He’s pretty fat at 5 foot 9 and 370 (slight exaggeration) but he has a strong, accurate leg. Nobody to really avoid. They’re kickers after all. The Jets may lose 42-9, but that still would mean Nick Folk kicked three through the uprights.
Anyhoo, that does it for this column. Thanks for reading and good luck in week 1.