I think it’s more than Todd Gurley and myself that are jumping for joy that meaningful football is back. Another season of fantasy football is ready to start and I am here to help you with your week one sit or start concerns. If you have questions regarding other players feel free to hit me up in my Facebook group Dynasty League Problems or on twitter @MikeKelleyDLP Good Luck and Happy Opening Weekend!
The LootCrate START of the Week:
RB Todd Gurley (LA)
I have been high on the Rams all off season and for a few reasons. First I think they are young and on the rise. The second is the new coaching staff. The third reason is I think they made some really good off season moves and finally they are in a new city. It’s like a fresh start for everyone on the team and teams always seem to have a little extra bounce in their step when things are new. With all that information I believe that Gurley is primed for a great season and it will get started with a great game against the Andrew Luck-less Colts at home, and with Scott Tolzien running the show the Rams should be able to get good field position all day. Resulting in plenty of scoring opportunities for Gurley. Finally, it sounds like Gurley has improved his receiving skills and might be out there even in obvious passing downs which should increase his point production. Look for Gurley to have around 90 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Throw in four receptions for 30 yards and you are looking at a good possibility of a 20 point week.
The LootCrate SIT of the Week:
WR Dez Bryant (DAL)
2/8/0 on 14 targets, and a lost fumble. That is Dez’s slash line against the Giants last year. That means he was averaging .9 per game against the Giants. Those are not good numbers. Will Dez be that bad this year? I doubt it. Will he be really good? I doubt it. At least for this week. As long as Ezekiel Elliott is out there I think it hurts Dez, mostly because they just don’t need him when Elliott is on the field. I am also not convinced Dak Prescott can get him the ball when the window is small the pressure is turned up. All of which will happen Sunday night against the Giants. I am staying away from Dez everywhere I can. I think we are looking at four receptions for 50 yards and a small chance of a touchdown. Don’t worry though because when Elliott is out I think they will be focusing on getting Dez more involved so there could be some good games to come for him.
START Jared Goff (LA)
I have already established I am high on the Rams this year, not heading to the Super Bowl high, but they should be a much better team than last year. At least in the stat book, we are talking about fantasy football here. Again for all the reasons I mentioned above in Gurley’s summary they also apply to Goff. With all the new weapons, new system, weak defensive opponent, and no Andrew Luck this is a prime opportunity for the Rams to get off to a great start and get the ball rolling in their favor. Look for Goff to have around 280 passing yards with a decent shot at two touchdowns. Throw in a few rushing yards and you have a pretty solid opening day as a possible low QB1 but a solid starting in super flex and 2QB leagues.
SIT Drew Brees (NO)
I really do think we are seeing a change to the Saints offensive scheme. I think we are past the days of Brees throwing for over 4,800 yards. Is he still a top ten quarterback? He should be, but I don’t think he is top five anymore. I think the writing is on the wall too. First the trade away Brandin Cooks who is one of the leagues best deep ball guy. The bring in Adrian Peterson, who despite his age, is still a great running back and they drafted Alvin Kamara an explosive running back. Looks to me like they are building a ball control running team. Or at least a short passing ball control attack. Either way, I am expecting less big plays from Brees this year. Now add that to the fact they are to start the season against a very tough Vikings defense and I see no reason to lean on Brees if you don’t have too. While he still might throw for 250 yards I don’t think the touchdowns will be there, maybe one at best. Still, a must start in 2QB leagues, but in 1QB leagues with 12 or fewer teams, there might be better options.
- Philip Rivers (LAR)
- Dak Prescott (DAL)
START Melvin Gordon (LAC)
Last year benching players against the Broncos was a recurring theme. One guy that had a lot of success against the Broncos though was Gordon. In his two match ups with them, he ran for 50/205/0 and caught 4/44/0. While he did not find the end zone he still managed over 4 yards a carry and a couple of extra points in the passing game. While a touchdown would have been appreciated I would gladly take 125 yards and a couple of receptions in a week against a top defensive opponent. He should be able to repeat last years numbers this week, and if he finds a way to get a touchdown he becomes a very solid RB1 start this week. Even without the touchdown, he should produce solid RB2 numbers.
- Jordan Howard (CHI)
- Robert Kelley (WAS)
SIT Kareem Hunt (KC)
Bill Belichick has a special ability to frustrate opposing rookies, and as luck would have it Hunt to start his career against said coach. While I think Hunt has a decent future ahead of him, it won’t get off to a good start this week. I think they blitz him and make him prove he can protect his quarterback in passing downs and they will create illusions of opening only to stuff him as soon as he hits the hole. Hopefully, Hunt is not your RB1 or RB2 and you have better options this week because less than 50 yards rushing with two reception for nine yards is looking like what you can expect from him this week. Your best hope is if his coach gets creative with his usage, but that is asking a lot of a rookie in their first game in the NFL.
START Paul Richardson (SEA)
If Richardson can stay healthy he could be in for a good year. Back in June I tagged Richardson as my number one WR sleeper. I did so based on his performance at the end of last year. Fast forward to this year and right after the preseason ends the Seahawks ship out Jermaine Kearse and then when the first depth chart comes out Richardson is listed as the WR2 behind Doug Baldwin but ahead of Tyler Lockett. Things are looking very promising for Richardson, let’s just hope he can stay on the field. If he does manage to stay healthy I think he can have a very solid year as a WR3/4 and this week I think we can expect a line of 5/60/1. Not a great game, but excellent productions from a WR2 or flex spot in PPR leagues.
SIT T.Y. Hilton (IND)
To be fair Hilton is not in this spot because of himself or even because he is playing a particularly tough defense. It is because his quarterback is pretty bad. Scott Tolzien was so bad the Colts went out and traded for Jacoby Brissett, who was the Patriots third string guy, and in all honestly is not that great either. So until Andrew Luck comes back Hilton might find himself on this list. It is a shame too because here you have a wide receiver who has finished in the top ten the last two years all under the radar and is now going to struggle to find decent value. So until Luck is back we are looking at a pretty consistent value of four receptions for 60 yards with a rare trip to the end zone. So do yourself a favor get a back plan in place until the Colts are healthy again.
- Michael Thomas (NO)
- Brandin Cooks (NE)
START Charles Clay (BUF)
Seven times last year Clay managed to catch five or more passes. He is clearly one of his quarterback’s favorite targets. Plus it helps that he is going up against the Jets this weekend, who appear to be tanking the season for an upcoming rebuild. Any way you look at it I think Clay is in line for a solid weekend. Five receptions for 55 yards and a strong shot at a touchdown should be enough to make him a solid option as a low TE1 this week. Even without the touchdown, he will hold some decent value.
SIT Martellus Bennett (GB)
I think Bennett is a good tight end, but this weekend against the Seahawks has me nervous to use him. The front seven for the Seahawks are going to apply pressure and the Packers might need to keep Bennett in to help protect Rodgers. He should still manage to put up TE2 numbers, but in most leagues, TE2 numbers will cost you a win. I would not be expecting more than four receptions for 35 yards and a slim chance of a touchdown. Tight ends are deep this year and this will be a week you look else where to fill that spot.
START Pittsburgh Steelers
Do I need to say more than rookie quarterback? Don’t get me wrong I truly believe that the Browns are heading in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go. The Browns running game and improve offensive line should help keep things close for a while, but eventually, the Steelers should take control of the game and force some turn overs as the game progresses. Even if they can not generate turnovers, they should keep the score low and the yards down which in some leagues is just as good as turnovers.
- Los Angles Rams
SIT Chicago Bears
The best chance the Bears have at beating the Falcons is if the Falcons are suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. I am not betting on that. In fact, I would not be surprised the Falcons come out and make a statement week one. Unfortunately for the Bears that could make for an ugly game. Because of that, I am looking else to stream my defense this week.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Kelley is a member of the Going For 2 team. You can check out his website Dynasty League Problems for more writings or find him on Twitter @mikekelleydlp spreading fantasy knowledge for the masses.
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