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Fantasy Football Stud: Gettin’ It In, Week 1

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Let’s Get It On.

Let’s not kid ourselves, Week 1 of the NFL, the “league where they play for pay” is a big deal. Bragging rights, wins and daily cash prizes. So, FTS analyzes which players fantasy prognosticators expect to score big. Tim Heaney of USA Today supplies this week’s picks. At the end of the weekend’s games, we look back and see how right these experts are.

Quarterback

Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Eagles.

Ryan has receivers galore and multiple RBs at his disposal. ‘Matty Ice’ may need to have a big day, especially to keep pace with the potent Eagles offense. USA Today also points out, “The Iggles allowed the third most fantasy points per game against quarterbacks (23.9) in 2014.”

jonathanstewartpanthers
Jonathan Stewart | Carolina Panthers | Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Running Back

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Jaguars.

The Panthers will be without injured WR Kelvin Benjamin. We expect the Jaguars to try to negate TE Greg Olsen in the middle of the field, plus the Panthers no longer have a two-runner backfield. RB De’Angelo Williams is now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jacksonville is still Jacksonville, so Stewart will have a big Sunday.

Wide Receivers

Julian Edelman, Steelers vs. Patriots.

The NFL has a few truisms. The team that wins the turnover battle typically wins the game. The Cowboys will find a way to blow high-pressure games and not reach the Super Bowl. Third, whoever is the slot receiver for the Patriots will be a productive fantasy pick. It’s safe to bet Edelman will be a primary part of the offense. Our best guess and research suggests he will catch approximately 90 receptions for 1,000 yards this upcoming season. If Edelman were on our fantasy team, we would make him our weekly WR2.

Mike Wallace WR, Vikings vs. Niners.

Wallace being productive is USA Today’s boldest prediction. Since signing as a free agent with the Dolphins and now as a Viking, fantasy owners have been burned by the former Pittsburgh Steeler on a weekly basis. Starting Wallace would be more of an indictment of the 49ers defense than confidence in Teddy Bridgewater’s abilities.

Defense/Special Teams

New York Jets D/ST, Jets vs. Browns.

The Browns will be without suspended WR Josh Gordon and perennial backup quarterback Josh McCown under center. The Jets will debut their new secondary that welcomes back Revis Island and Antonio Cromartie. This is a solid pick.

Update:

Week 1 is now officially over and here are the results of USA Today’s projections. First, the good, Matt Ryan scored 15 points, Julian Edelman had 11 catches for 97 yards and the New York Jets D/ST scored 16 fantasy points. The bad news was that Jonathan Stewart only scored seven points and Mike Wallace scored six points.

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