Grading The 4 Most Confusing ESPN Fantasy Football Projections For Week 1: Wilson, Stafford, Bradshaw, Colston

  • Jake O'Donnell

david wilson

They’re out. ESPN has released their fantasy football speculation-wisdom on us, and, in doing so, dramatically affected every single aspect our lives for the next seven days. Thought you were going to play your back up over Cam Newton because he’s going up against the #1 ranked Seahawks defense? Think again: ESPN has him popping off for the most points of ANYONE IN THE SPORT. We’ve compiled a list of the most notable/interesting projections for the single most exciting week of your life: Week 1.

NYG RB, David Wilson: After backup-goal-line-TD-machine Andre Brown went down in the final preseason game with yet another broken leg, Wilson’s stock skyrocketed. How much so? Going into the season, Wilson was ranked as the 17th best RB in the league. Now ESPN’s got him scoring twice as many points as Matt Forte. His week one projected total is 16 points, which is 6th best among RBs. I guess when “Coach Tom Coughlin stated Wilson would serve as the team’s goal-line back,” you’ve got to expect an increase in production, but the Giants have never had a back crushing fantasy football like this. Definitely a bold prediction for a guy who didn’t even look that great last season.

Grade: B-

Lions QB, Mathew Stafford: This one’s a bit of a mystery. ESPN has the field general of the pass heavy Detroit Lions going for 18 points against last year’s 24th ranked pass defense in the Minnesota Vikings. With Cam Newton expected to dominate the best defense in the league, it’s unclear why Stafford wouldn’t be given more love. He’s got a revamped offense featuring an explosive-after-the-catch,-under-route-option in Reggie Bush, and the best receiver in fantasy football, Calvin Johnson — who’s hungry to rebuild his team’s image after finishing 4-12 last year. And he’s playing indoors. Seems like ESPN didn’t want to go out on a limb too much here, but c’mon, this could be a huge week for the guy. Give him 20.

Grade: C+

Colts RB, Ahmad Bradshaw: Ok, so Bradshaw sits out all preseason due to a nagging foot injury (which he’s struggled with his whole career) and now, because he’s playing against the Raiders, they have him scoring a TD and running for 60+ yards (12 points total.) Something’s a little fishy here, considering his backup, Vick Ballard, is projected to have a pretty good game as well with 8 points. Sure, with new O-coordinator Pep Hamilton expected to run these guys into the ground, a bump in production is obviously expected. But expecting that Bradshaw — who’s lost more than a few steps — will be tied for the 5th best performance of any RB Week 1? Bold. But a bit silly.

Grade: D-

NO WR, Marques Colston: The Atlanta Falcons defense will not be featured on the cover of fantasy football magazines any time soon. The reunited Sean Payton/Drew Brees tandem, however, will be, because together they’ve built a historically prolific fantasy football machine over the last nine years. For that reason, everyone knows the Saints will be better this year. And everyone knows the Falcons will score points. And everyone also knows that the Saints defense sucks (worst ever last year.) Conclusion: This game is going to be a shootout — and Marques Colston will reap the fantasy benefits. So why the measly 7 point outing? Last year Colston’s production against the league’s bottom half defensive talent was superb. A 21 point game against the Packers, followed by a 31 pointer against the Chargers the following week. No reason this guy shouldn’t crack 12 points this week. ESPN has got him scoring less than their backup RB, Mark Ingram. Tisk tisk.

Grade: C