Fantasy players worried about the four-game suspension of Tom Brady may want to put their trust in Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. (Photo courtesy/PanicButton)
by Tyler O’Keefe
It’s the best time of the year again. Football, and more importantly fantasy season, is upon us. You can have bragging rights over friends, family, coworkers, or whoever is in your league for the whole week! Winning in week one of your league does not necessarily mean you will go on to win your championship, but it does set the tone for your team moving forward.
Owners with Tom Brady know he is serving a four game suspension, so finding a replacement for week one is vital. There is no doubt that Matt Ryan’s best football was not played last year, but he will deliver you good numbers at a cheap price against the Buccaneers this week. He is available in majority of leagues and will over-perform against a subpar secondary. Be confident plugging Ryan in as your starting quarterback.
Before injuring his thumb last season, Andy Dalton was putting up solid numbers. This shouldn’t be your reasoning for having him start this week, though. Keep Dalton riding the pin as the Bengals take on the Jets’ stingy secondary on the road. Thomas Rawls is still recovering from his season ending injury last year, so this gives backup Christine Michael a prime opportunity. Seattle takes on Miami, who struggled heavily to stop the run last year. Get Michael in your lineup and you will not be disappointed with the results.
Expect Melvin Gordon to bounce back from a disappointing rookie season, but keep him on your bench with his difficult matchup on the road against Kansas City. Find another back to replace him this week and be patient with Gordon. If Spencer Ware is somehow on the free agency in the league you are in, scoop him up and start him. Jamaal Charles doesn’t look to be back on rack to play against the Chargers. The Raiders have created a nice buzz to them with all of the young talent they possess on the offensive side of the ball. Derek Carr is a young gunslinger who looks like he could be the guy they have searching for.
Michael Crabtree should be started in most formats, unless you have multiple top receivers on your team. Crabtree was targeted a ton last season and this won’t change, especially in week one as the Raiders play the Saints and their putrid defense. Jordan Matthews is the number one receiver on the Eagles, so regardless he is draft-worthy in all leagues. This week against the Browns and Joe Haden, you should find a better option. It doesn’t help that he has a rookie quarterback making his first start of his career in Carson Wentz. Willie Snead, Allen Hurns, and Markus Wheaton are all players who outshine Matthews in week one. Dwayne Allen is not the biggest name in fantasy or when it comes to tight ends in general, but expect a nice week from him against the Lions. They gave up double digit touchdowns to tight ends last season, and look for Allen to find the end zone at least once. He is available in many leagues and will put up nice numbers for you this week.
Jared Cook has fantasy owners excited with his new landing spot in Green Bay. Don’t hop on this bandwagon quite yet. With other tight end Richard Rodgers and a full supporting cast around Aaron Rodgers, don’t expect Cook to be very productive. Take a flier on Clive Walford or Vance McDonald as opposed to Cook.
Good luck this week and get yourself that first win of the season!