Carr To Start, Manziel, Bridgewater And Even Bortles Not Far Behind

  • George Kurtz, RotoExperts Staff Writer
johnny manziel

It's only a matter of time before Johnny Manziel takes over as the Browns starting QB. Photo Credit: Erik Drost

The 2014 NFL season is upon us. Now, I love football but it’s always a little sad to me when it begins, as it means that summer is just about over. Soon, those of us living in the northeast will have to deal with falling leaves and then falling snow. I can assure you that neither are all that much fun to clean up. Week 1 is here, however, so yard work will have to wait.

I’ve been asked a few times if I would bench Aaron Rodgers this week for a Robert Griffin III type since the Packers are playing the Seahawks. My short answer is no, I would almost never bench my studs, especially Rodgers.

All of those Fantasy owners that have been so quick to add RB Christine Michael to their squad, well, he may not even be the backup to Marshawn Lynch right now. Michael has failed to impress this summer and is still running third on the depth chart behind Lynch and Robert Turbin. Michael is not taking carries away from Lynch anytime soon.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks has gone from a popular sleeper pick in Fantasy leagues to possibly being overvalued as August draft season went by. Cooks is now being drafted as a WR3. While I like Cooks and finally was able to select him in my last draft, we would all do well to remember that Drew Brees will spread the ball around and look for the best matchup. Cooks will more than likely require a safety to play over the top on a majority of pass plays which will force Brees to look in other directions.

Steven Jackson is going so late in drafts now that he is almost becoming a value play. Is he the SJax of old? Of course not, but as long as he is the starting back he will be RB2 worthy and there should be little doubt that he will be the goal line guy. This is not to say I wouldn’t want Devonta Freeman on my team.  I would; I’m just not forgetting about Jackson and assuming he has nothing left to offer.

The Vikings may have named Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback, but we all know it’s just a matter of time until Teddy Bridgewater gets the job. When that time will be is anyone’s guess. It could be once Bridgewater shows in practice that he is ready to take that next step, or maybe it’s once Cassel’s play falls off, or if the team doesn’t get off to a good start and needs an energy boost. No matter who starts, we all know Adrian Peterson is going to be used early and often.

The Rams were dealt a brutal blow when they lost QB Sam Bradford for the season due to another torn ACL. Shaun Hill will take over for him but may not even be a consideration in two-QB leagues. I mean, let’s face it; this team doesn’t boast the best of pass offenses even with a healthy Bradford. When you’re relying on Kenny Britt to be your game breaking receiver, you have some issues.

The Browns seem to be setting the QB position back a few decades with the way they have handled Johnny Manziel. They were caught off guard during the summer multiple times by the attention Manziel received. Shouldn’t this have been a known item about him? Then they tried a two quarterback system during a preseason game; yeah, that’s not going to work. Finally, they decided that Brian Hoyer will start Week 1. Hoyer starting the season is probably the right move but it shouldn’t be long before Manziel takes over (perhaps after the team’s Week 4 bye).

How many Fantasy owners that drafted early started to panic after the arrest of Le’Veon Bell due to smoking marijuana and driving? Well, the good news is that Bell more than likely won’t be suspended by the league until after the season, and the Steelers have come out and stated they won’t impose any team related discipline. I wonder if the Steelers would’ve released LeGarrette Blount (appropriately named) if they had better backfield depth, as he is the one being blamed for this incident.

I know the Jaguars came out and said that this would be a red shirt year for QB Blake Bortles, but there is no way they can hold themselves to that statement. Bortles has, by far, looked like the best of all the rookie quarterbacks and it should be just a matter of time (once the team starts 1-4 or something like that) until Bortles is handed the keys to the car.

Well, that Matt Schaub signing doesn’t look too good now does it? As of this writing, we still don’t know who will start for Oakland on Sunday. I’d probably go with Schaub for now (assuming his elbow is healed), as I don’t think playing the Jets and their defense is a good place for a rookie to start. I wouldn’t be afraid, however, of putting Derek Carr behind center soon after that, though. Fantasy owners, however, should be looking in a different direction unless they play in a dynasty, keeper, or two-QB league.

Tight end Zach Ertz has been flying up draft boards the past couple of weeks, as everyone is getting on board his bandwagon and expecting a season that could vault him into the Top 5 Fantasy tight ends. I’m on board as well, but since I still like to wait on grabbing a tight end, I currently don’t own any shares of Mr. Ertz. Boo hoo.

Apparently, Kyle Orton doesn’t want to retire after all, as he has signed on to become E.J. Manuel’s “backup.” I put that in quotes because if Manuel doesn’t turn things around, and turn things around quickly, Orton may end up starting for Buffalo as soon as he learns the offense. Yes, Manuel has looked that bad this preseason. The good news for Buffalo is that WR Sammy Watkins stated Monday that his ribs feel good and he will be ready to play Sunday.

All of the Bishop Sankey love from earlier this summer seems to have dissipated a bit, as the Titans seem to be leaning towards some kind of time share with Shonn Greene. This isn’t the best news for Fantasy owners because if they do split the carries, Sankey could be on the wrong end of that split, as we already know that Greene will be the goal line back.

Michael Floyd is going quite high in Fantasy drafts. I like Floyd and wouldn’t mind having him on my Fantasy team, but not as a WR1. Larry Fitzgerald is still a very good receiver and will be a big part of the game play, plus I have to worry about Carson Palmer and his ability to stay healthy this season. If he were to go down, it won’t matter how good their receiving corps is.

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.