The King’s Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Previews
Here are the King’s Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Previews, with key start and sit recommendations for every game. This article is a free preview of the RotoExperts Xclusive Edge in-Season Fantasy Football package, which launches this week.
Packers at Bears: Chicago is banged up at running back, and Jay Cutler always seems to have his worst games against the Packers. Look for the Green Bay LBs to key on Matt Forte often, somewhat limiting his statistical upside this week. Martellus Bennett should be quite busy and is a top TE play this week, especially in DFS. If you are assuming a blowout here, remember that this is a divisional game. But if the Chicago offense sputters and the defense spends too much time on the field, Eddie Lacy will roll up some big numbers. Richard Rodgers should start to make his presence felt in the passing game this week, and Randall Cobb is still not quite 100 percent recovered from a shoulder injury. You can’t bench him, but don’t expect a major Fantasy explosion from him, either.
Start and Smile: Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers, Martellus Bennett, Packers DST
Watch and Worry: Jay Cutler
Seahawks at Rams: The absence of Kam Chancellor puts a hole in the Seattle defense for any opponent to poke at. St. Louis may use Brian Quick and Jared Cook to test the Seahawks down the middle and with short passes, because they also want to see how effective Earl Thomas is in his recovery from shoulder surgery. Cook is a sneaky play at TE this week if you are digging deep for help. This should be a low-scoring affair in which the defensive lines will have their way often. Russell Wilson will look to Jimmy Graham frequently when he is in trouble, and Marshawn Lynch may not have a high yardage ceiling even if he scores.
Start and Smile: Jared Cook
Watch and Worry: Wilson has limited upside this week, but it’s hard to bench him unless you have another Top 10 QB.
More on Seahawks –Rams: RotoExperts Fantasy preview on Seahawks.com.
Panthers at Jaguars: Carolina’s defense will be without DT Star Lotulelei, but T.J.Yeldon still has Luke Kuechly to contend with in his NFL debut, and that caps his statistical promise. Blake Bortles will be forced into adverse passing situations, and may not get much done at all. The Panthers defense features a promising young secondary that also may limit Allen Robinson. Cam Newton obviously lacks weaponry but the Panthers offense should curb their mistakes in a low-scoring game and Greg Olsen will certainly be peppered with a lot of targets.
Start and Smile: Other than Olsen, this game does not seem to offer much Fantasy-wise.
Watch And Worry: T.J. Yeldon, Allen Robinson
Dolphins at Redskins: On paper, this seems like the mismatch of the week, as Miami is apparently superior on both sides of the ball. Alfred Morris may get stymied often by the formidable Dolphins defensive line, and Washington may try to get Matt Jones in space instead, so watch his progress in the opener. The erratic Kirk Cousins seems like an easy target to get harassed and intercepted, but he can always come up with one big play or two. Even if he does throw for a long score, Washington will be held under 20 points. Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry are widely hailed top starts in the Fantasy analyst world this week, and it will be interesting to see who else steps forward quickly in the passing game to become more hyped entering Week 2. Lamar Miller seems like a sure bet to score, and may do so more than once.
Start and Smile: Dolphins DST
Watch and Worry: Alfred Morris
Colts at Bills: The Buffalo defensive line is going to get to Andrew Luck quickly and often, and this game could be tighter than some think. Frank Gore may struggle to get yardage, and Luck will see the pocket collapse frequently. Luck will have to get rid of the ball quickly and that could mean good PPR totals for Andre Johnson. LeSean McCoy is listed as probable and can get in the end zone even if his yardage totals are limited. The Indianapolis defensive front certainly looks vulnerable without Arthur Jones. Tyrod Taylor still has to show he can fare well when games start for real, he does not look like a QB who can diagnose well under any pressure, so he is risky even in a two-QB format.
Start and Smile: Andre Johnson for his catch totals.
Watch and Worry: Frank Gore
Browns at Jets: It’s pretty obvious not to start any Browns unless you are absolutely desperate. Isaiah Crowell should get some quality work and is the only Brown worth remote consideration if your team is very thin at RB or flex in a deeper league. Duke Johnson should be monitored, but not used yet. Brandon Marshall may see a lot of Joe Haden, which does help Eric Decker's outlook somewhat. Chris Ivory should score at least once as the Browns defense spends a lot of time on the field.
Start and Smile: Chris Ivory
Watch and Worry: Brandon Marshall
Chiefs at Texans: Kansas City gets Dontari Poe back this week, which does not bode well for a Houston offense that does not have a good outlook anyhow. Alfred Blue is a complete stopgap start this week and Brian Hoyer will be very conservative. DeAndre Hopkins may see double teams but should still post decent PPR totals. Kansas City comes in with more offensive balance this season, but will face an aggressive defensive front. Travis Kelce should catch some passes over the middle and Jeremy Maclin may as well, but this game should be low-scoring and has no Fantasy upside.
Start and Smile: Chiefs defense
Watch and Worry: Alfred Blue
Saints at Cardinals: The New Orleans secondary is without Keenan Lewis and Jarius Byrd, making this a very attractive matchup for Carson Palmer. John Brown is a widely favored play among Fantasy analysts and both he and Larry Fitzgerald deserve strong DFS consideration. Some wide running lanes will open for Andre Ellington and David Johnson may also conceivably poach a goal-line opportunity or two. Mark Ingram should be busy as the Saints will want to use the running game to stave off an aggressive Cardinals front. Drew Brees will operate a high percentage passing game and will work frequently to Marques Colston.
More on Saints-Cardinals: RotoExperts Fantasy podcast on the Saints official site.
Start and Smile: Carson Palmer, Mark Ingram, Marques Colston
Watch and Worry: Cardinals DST for points allowed.
Lions at Chargers: The Detroit front is without DeAndre Levy this week, so the Chargers may try to test the Lions with a varied crew of RBs. If you play in a PPR format, Danny Woodhead is likely the best bet. Philip Rivers will work often to Stevie Johnson and he is a quality PPR play in deeper leagues. The Chargers defense is looking improved this season, but still will not be able to handle a healthy Calvin Johnson. Look for Ameer Abdullah to immediately become a factor as a flex option this week.
Start and Smile: Calvin Johnson, Ameer Abdullah
Watch and Worry: Joique Bell could start immediately yielding reps to Abdullah.
Ravens at Broncos: The Baltimore secondary is certainly more vulnerable than their front seven, so the Broncos may come out throwing to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders with quick hits also designed to stave off a pass rush. Peyton Manning still has a quick release and while he looked shaky in the preseason, fast strikes to receivers who can work after the catch should ensure a decent performance. The Broncos front seven will be aggressive and impressive in their opener under Wade Phillips. Joe Flacco will have to take what the defense gives him, and Steve Smith will see double teams, making his upside quite limited this week.
Start and Smile: Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos DST
Watch and Worry: Steve Smith
Bengals at Raiders: The Cincinnati defense presents lots of matchup issues for an improving Raiders offense. Geno Atkins is looking like himself again, and that means Latavius Murray may have to work hard for his yardage. Amari Cooper also faces a pretty good secondary in his pro debut. It’s hard to bench either of those Raiders, but don’t expect their best outings, either. Jeremy Hill will get a lot of work and should score at least once, and this could be the week when Tyler Eifert busts onto the Fantasy scene in a big way.
Start and Smile: Tyler Eifert
Watch and Worry: Amari Cooper
Titans at Buccaneers: Tennessee is going to stack the box against Doug Martin and try to make Jameis Winston beat them. Winston will not hesitate to get the ball to Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins with some success, and some running lanes should eventually open up for Martin. Marcus Mariota should be efficient enough to make Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker decent options, but you should wait and see how the Titans offense operates with a totally new QB and an offensive line that looked somewhat improved during the preseason.
Start and Smile: Vincent Jackson
Watch and Worry: The inactives list if you have Mike Evans. Start an alternative option in the early game if you can to play it safe.
Giants at Cowboys: The Giants defense is without LB Jonathan Beason, and that makes them vulnerable in the middle. So this seems to be a prime opportunity for a Dallas RB to step forward, and Joseph Randle will get the first crack. The Jints are also shaky in the secondary, and this could be a big week for Tony Romo and the entire Dallas passing game. The Giants will try ro play some ball and clock control with Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams is worth a DFS punt play for a short TD run. But the lure of attacking a Dallas secondary that is missing Orlando Scandrick will simply be much too tempting.
Start and Smile: QBs and WRs from both teams.
Watch amd Worry: This may be Randle’s final chance to take advantage of an opportunity before Christine Michael starts to get more consideration soon.
Eagles at Falcons: There seem to be widespread major assumptions that Sam Bradford will light up the Atlanta pass defense, but look for DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews to help the Eagles exhibit some fine offensive balance, and Mathews could be a sneaky tournament option in DFS games. The Eagles secondary is looking improved, but CB Byron Maxwell may be more exposed this week against Julio Jones. Tevin Coleman does face a stout defensive front in his pro debut.
Start and Smile: DeMarco Murray, Nelson Agholor
Watch and Worry: Tevin Coleman
Vikings at 49ers: The Vikes are dealing with some injuries on the offensive line, but Adrian Peterson will still prove to be unstoppable in his NFL return against a defensive unit in transition. Teddy Bridgewater will work efficiently to Charles Johnson and Kyle Rudolph. Johnson is underrated and a quality PPR start. Carlos Hyde will run with determination for good numbers, and Colin Kaepernick may start to rediscover Vernon Davis this week.
Start and Smile: Charles Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, Carlos Hyde
Watch and Worry: The Vikings DST, as the Niners may show up to play competitively here.
More on Vikings-49ers: RotoExperts preview on the Vikings’ official site.
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