Archive for the Fantasy Category


In Preparation for the Fantasy Playoff Push, Target Handcuffs Now

A popular draft strategy employed by many fantasy owners is to handcuff stud running backs with their heir-apparents.

Not one of those owners?

Join the club.

While some owners made a point to pair the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles or Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy during fantasy drafts this summer, others decided it best to utilize a different drafting technique altogether. There are pros and cons to each approach, but it really comes down to the personal preferences of fantasy owners.

This story is not going to go in-depth on which draft strategy is better or worse. That is a discussion for the offseason.

But for those in the not-reaching-for-a-stud’s-backup camp, the avoidance of such players during drafts is not a season-long commitment. In fact, a savvy Tomlinson, Westbrook or other stud-owner would try and target the appropriate handcuffs at some point during the regular season.

Especially if said owner is in the midst of a playoff push.

With midseason in fantasy football leagues right around the corner, now is a good time for owners without a stud’s backup to start targeting some of these players. If you own the stud starter for any of these handcuffs, start toying with the idea of acquiring the appropriate handcuff for the fantasy football playoff push.

If for no other reason, the security of owning these players could continue a strong playoff push by a fantasy owner. Injuries suffered to fantasy starters after midseason could be critical blows to owners without the depth to cope with such a loss.

 

Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings
For all of the Adrian Peterson owners out there.

Adrian Peterson is human. The sooner fantasy owners realize this, the better prepared they will be if something were to happen to him. Sure, the ankle injury he sustained last weekend does not appear to be serious. But at some point, with all the touches this guy gets on a weekly basis, something could happen to him. And it could be serious.

 

Leon Washington, RB, Jets
For all of the Thomas Jones owners out there.

Although Thomas Jones fails to relinquish his starting job to Washington, sooner or later it is going to happen. The Jets are going to get Washington more and more involved in the offense and see if he is capable of carrying the load. It has to happen sometime and it could be by the end of this season if things keep going south for the Jets.

 

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
For all of the Brandon Jacobs owners out there.

Bradshaw may be the better running back in the Giants backfield right now. At some point, Jacobs has to bounce back this season he is just too talented not to get better. But the more Bradshaw steals away from Jacobs now, the more balls the Giants will give him down the line. Besides, Jacobs has not always been a beacon of health.

 

Mike Bell, RB, Saints
For all of the Pierre Thomas owners out there.

Pierre Thomas is not technically a stud yet, especially on an offense that loves to spread the wealth. However, the starting running back in New Orleans has proven to be a very lucrative position. Thomas owners need to own Bell, who has proven to be a capable player in this offense and a preferred option near the goal line.

 

Glen Coffee, RB, 49ers
For all of the Frank Gore owners out there.

OK, the numbers Coffee put up filling in for Gore the last few weeks were not great. But San Francisco kept giving him the ball, almost regardless of the end result. So if Gore goes down again, who do you think is going to get the call?

 

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers
For all of the LaDainian Tomlinson owners out there.

The Chargers took Tomlinson out of the game on third-and-goal against Denver in a crucial situation on Monday night. Darren Sproles replaced him and proceeded to get stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Why Norv Turner thinks Sproles is better suited to punch in a tough touchdown in crunch time may never be known, but the fact that the coaching staff has apparently lost some confidence in LT should say it all to Tomlinson’s owners.

 

Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins
For all of the Ronnie Brown owners out there.

Brown is playing too well to be replaced by Williams straight up. The only way Williams has significant value to a Brown owner is if something injury-related were to befall Brown. Better to get that insurance now rather than later, when the cost would be much higher.

 

LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
For all of the Brian Westbrook owners out there.

In Westbrook’s absence earlier this season, McCoy showed that he is capable of handling the lead role in the Eagles’ offense. One thing fantasy owners fear about Westy every year is the potential for missed action. This time of year, it is more important than ever to have the proper insurance in case of an ill-timed injury.

 

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
For all of the DeAngelo Williams owners out there.

Trading for Stewart may be fairly unlikely for Williams’ owners because Stewart carries so much of his own value with or without the presence of Williams. So if a Williams owners really wants to get his/her hands on JStew, prepare to pony up a pretty penny.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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What We Learned From Ravens’ Loss to the Vikings

 

Maybe it is not so much what we learned, but more what we’ve confirmed about the Baltimore Ravens and their chance to be an elite team this season.

Here are a few of my personal confirmations:

Joe Flacco is a Pro Bowl quarterback —In three straight weeks, the Ravens have lost three straight games that have come down to the wire. And the only reason the Ravens were even close enough to the wire to come up short in a photo finish is because of Joe Flacco.

Greg Mattison is certainly not Rex Ryan I alluded to this in a post last week about how the Ravens’ “exotic” blitzes of the past were more out of necessity than flair. Chris Carr is terrible. Frank Walker is terrible. Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washington are serviceable. It seems that when the Ravens are able to blitz, things go better for them than when they don’t. But trust me, nothing will get better for this team throughout the season if opponents can continue to air it out down field confidently.

Ray Rice is what Reggie Bush Should Be —I’m sure a lot of people were wondering why Ray Rice has maintained his starting position, while Willis McGahee has received more of the meaningful carries with scoring opportunities. Yesterday showed us why. Rice is the new Marshall Faulk, able to make plays out of the back field and on passing patterns. Show me a linebacker that can matchup with him, and I’ll show you somebody Rice practices against everyday in training camp.

As I said last week, it’s certainly not panic mode in Charm City. The Ravens have lost three straight games to three playoff caliber teams—and two of the three have the potential to reach the Super Bowl. Still, there’s a lot that the Ravens have to get right over the course of the season, or the projected 11-12 wins we thought they could take this year could easily turn into eight or nine.

Technorati Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Joe Flacco , Ray Rice

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Just Sayin’ — Favre Finger Discount

Why So Serious, Brett?

Favre plays The Joker.

Let me start this week’s column by saying, my views do not necessarily reflect the views of  Top Fantasy Football.

There are three things I’m sick of hearing, seeing, and reading about lately; President Obama’s healthcare scare, Michael Vick’s redemption, and Brett Favre’s un-retirement.

One is too inexperienced to do the job, the other is too unrepentant to deserve the job, and the other is a cheesehead in Barney’s clothing who shouldn’t have been looking for a job to begin with. Before this season is all over I suspect Favre will beat the purple machine black and blue.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have no quarrel with Favre’s retirement dance.

If he wants to tarnish his career and go out with a thud and whimper rather than the grace, poise and bang he could have, well, he’s earned that right.

My issue is with how Favre has deserted his faithful Packer fans. I don’t think any true fan begrudges his desire to play on. But consorting with the enemy? Taking up arms with the Vikings? This is the ultimate insult to Green Bay and their misplaced loyalty in Brett.

He’s given them the Favre finger discount. He’s discounted their support, he’s discounted his allegiance to the green and cheddar, and ultimately, he’s discounted his legend and all he stood for in Wisconsin and to the NFL.

Playing for the Jets was one thing, but there is no worse team Favre could have suited up for that could have hurt Packers fans more. And that’s just not the Favre America has admired all these years.

Brett you wept openly at your retirement from your beloved Packers, were those merely crocodile tears? You’re nearly 40, you have a torn rotator cuff, just what are you trying to prove? Is the call of the spotlight that compelling?

You have the heart of a giant, but nowhere is it present in this recent un-retirement folly. And Packers fans are not alone in this feeling that you do not belong in Viking purple.

Now the Favre story has taken on a new twist.

Apparently not all of the Vikings want the Packers’ Judas in their clubhouse, leading their team. This is exactly the kind of distraction, as if the Favre circus wasn’t already a monumental drain on the team’s focus, the team doesn’t need.

Who knows how much validity these rumors have, and I’m not here to fan those flames. In my opinion Favre doesn’t belong  in Minnesota regardless.

He’s not the same talent he was even three years ago, and the Vikings should be focusing on the future, not a one season dog and pony show. If Favre doesn’t take the Vikes to the promised land this season, Brad Childress may join the ranks of the unemployed.

Favre is turning his Hall of Fame career into a shameful shadow of his once great image and body of work.

Favre will take the field this coming Monday for a full two quarters (according to the team) in the Vikings third preseason game at Houston, and it will be a hard sight for me and many other football fans around the nation. Favre is a Packer.

We can forgive his Jets dalliance as a mid-life crisis. He clearly did not play in New York with a full heart.

But if he takes the field in the regular season as a Viking, I for one cannot forgive such betrayal.

Stop this silliness now Brett, for the sake of your fans, if not your legacy. Your faithful supporters deserve better. Green Bay deserves better. Hell, even Tarvaris Jackson deserves better. Just sayin’.

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The Power of Purple: Brett Favre’s Fantasy Impact on the Minnesota Vikings

It’s easy to hate Brett Favre right now. In fact, it’s encouraged.

Just as we were about to lock in Sage Rosenfels as the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, Favre decides to show up after the toils of training camp and sign a contract for, you know, whatever the Vikings could find in the couch.

Most NFL franchises might have moved on after they were “turned down” the first time. But no, not the Vikings and Brad Childress. Childress would have stood outside Favre’s house in the rain in a trench coat holding a contract over his head until the greatest player Childress has ever wished to have on his team finally accepted him.

After all, what’s the use of team chemistry at this point in the season? We got a month to put it all back together and forgive, right guys?

I would say that this move to obtain Favre looks even more “look-at-me-doing-everything-I-can-to-win-the-Super-Bowl” than the New York Jets’ reach for him last season, but I actually think Favre fits better in Minnesota than he did in New York, since he already knows the offense.

That said, it’s hard to like the guy.

Favre still has skills and opportunity, but I don’t think I would want to have him on my fantasy team. Call me indecisive. Harrumph.

 

Sage Rosenfels vs. Brett Favre

As I’ve previously argued, Brett Favre doesn’t impact the rest of the Vikings’ squad significantly by coming in for Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson. Besides ego, age, and legend status, the physical attributes that Sage and Favre bring to the table are similar, and Tarvaris would have been a long shot to start Week One.

Favre’s got a great arm, many years of experience, and loves to throw the ball downfield, even when it’s going to be intercepted. That’s what a gunslinger does. As long as he stays healthy, he adds that vertical dimension to the Vikings offense that they’ve lacked with Jackson under center.

Take a little bit away from the experience column, and Rosenfels offers the same arm strength and irresponsibility, but he does also enjoy helicopters.


Fantasy Impact on the Minnesota Vikings

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor

If that’s the way you’re leaning already, Favre’s signing in Minnesota should cement Adrian Peterson as the consensus No. 1 pick. Just look at Thomas Jones’ performance last season. With Favre’s arm, defenses have to give Peterson room to run, and the Vikings have a strong run-blocking line just like the Jets built last offseason for Jones.

Opposing defenses might have felt the same way about Rosenfels once he beat a few teams who didn’t respect his abilities, but we’ll never know for sure.

Rosenfels aside, Favre also adds a concern for Peterson.

A.P. often needs close to 20 carries each game to be effective and score his touchdowns. If Chester Taylor continues to take carries away from A.P. and Favre allows the Vikings to do more in the passing game, Peterson could have limited opportunities this season.

If the game plan calls for shutting down Peterson and letting Favre do what he will, Peterson’s owners lose in a big way.

 

Receiving Options: Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Visanthe Shiancoe

Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Visanthe Shiancoe all have a better outlook this season, but the upgrade isn’t significant enough for me to recommend drafting them any higher than their current average draft positions, or ADP.

Other than Berrian and Shiancoe, all the receiving threats for the Vikings are a little risky and inconsistent. Berrian will get a slight upgrade now that we know who’s throwing to him, but his history suggests his numbers will stay the same.

Shiancoe was a low-end tight end at best despite his big fantasy point total at the end of last season, and he stands to benefit if Favre’s love of the tight end comes with him to Minnesota. As of now, Shiancoe could still go undrafted in many fantasy leagues, but he might be worth grabbing if he gels with Favre.

 

Minnesota Vikings Team Defense

Here is where things get interesting. The Vikings defense could suffer from the addition of Favre because with Favre come turnovers. Getting stuck on their own side of the field could prevent the Vikings from keeping the score low, and if any games become blowouts as a result of Favre’s arm, the defense will probably give the opponent a little slack.

The Vikings are usually a stout defense, but facing Jay Cutler’s Bears and Aaron Rodgers’ Packers this season with Favre handing the ball over a time or two every game could wear on them in a hurry. I’d drop them a few spots in your rankings after Favre’s signing.

 

Where to Draft Brett Favre?

Now that he’s back, Favre is a middle-of-the-pack backup fantasy quarterback in most leagues. He’s got weapons and a great running back, but he’s still a threat to fall apart near the end of the season. He’s not a bad option to bet on near the late rounds of your draft, but I’d rather have a guy with more upside like Trent Edwards, who probably carries about the same draft stock right now.

 

So there you have it—the Favre effect. He makes the Vikings slightly better than they were without him. Do I think the Vikings are Super Bowl bound? Not likely. The Vikings have to prove that they’re better than the Green Bay Packers Favre left with Aaron Rodgers and the Chicago Bears with new quarterback Jay Cutler.

 

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Daily Haze: More on the Brett Favre Impact

Daily Haze, fantasy football, NFL, sports news

I briefly touched on the return of Brett Favre yesterday, but wanted to expand on the fantasy implications a little bit this morning.

Some are not even going to take a look at the guy. Others will with earnest. In my first redraft of the summer last night, Favre was taken in the eighth round (*gasp*). That was premature considering he is not even currently being taken in mock drafts over at Fantasy Football Calculator (as of last night) and not until the 200s over at Mock Draft Central (well behind Jason Campbell, Marc Bulger and Chad Pennington).

The return of Favre had mixed results for the Vikings’ wide receivers in last night’s draft. Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice each went one round higher than their average draft positions, but Percy Harvin fell a round off his ADP and Visanthe Shiancoe was not even drafted in the 15 round, 12 team league draft.

So what does this tell you? Nothing really, yet. It was Favre’s first day in purple and gold. Fantasy owners seem ready to jump on board his bandwagon, but not quite sure what to make of the receiving situation yet.

I expect Berrian to become a hotter commodity going forward. Harvin and Shiancoe will rebound as well. Rice will be an enigma depending on what he can provide during the rest of the preseason.

The good news in all of this is that Adrian Peterson’s stock will not be touched by Favre’s presence, only—potentially—solidified.

Here are today’s great reads:

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Dissecting the Minnesota Vikings (Fantasy Football)

(Reprinted from www.SCFantasyFootball.com)

So apparently Brett Favre is re-re-un-retiring and is going to be a Viking this season. What does this mean? Well, now you’ll find out in SC Fantasy Football’s first-ever Dissection article, where we pick apart the individual player-by-player fantasy fallout. And what better way to start than here with ESPN’s Golden Boy? So here we go…

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Breaking News: Favre To Sign Two-Year Deal with Minnesota

Brett Favre Upgrades the Entire Viking Offense

ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reports Brett Favre boarded a plane for St. Paul, MN early this morning to sign a two-year contract worth between $10-12 million a year.

Here’s a message to anyone in a deep fantasy football league who already drafted Sage Rosenfels. Run, don’t walk, to the waiver wire and make the appropriate changes.

Say what you want about Favre’s disastrous finish last season with the New York Jets, but he will be a huge upgrade for a Vikings team on the brink of contending for a Super Bowl berth. Fantasy-wise, Favre may not be a top 10 QB anymore, but he will be relevant as a fantasy backup. More significant, however, will be his effect on his teammates.

Bernard Berrian has been a speedy, talented receiver without a capable quarterback throughout his career. This year he will finally have an experienced, strong-armed field general to help him maximize his extreme potential. Move Berrian way up on your draft boards as a top 20 fantasy wide receiver

Also taking a huge jump in status will be TE Visanthe Shiancoe because of Favre’s history of looking for his tight end near the goal line. Like Dustin Keller with the Jets last year, Favre’s presence immediately makes Shiancoe a borderline top 10 fantasy tight end.

The biggest factors in Favre and the Jets’ collapse last season were his torn biceps muscle and a series of bad weather games that would make any old man’s arthritis act up.

Protected by the Metrodome, the Vikings will only have to play potential bad weather games Nov. 1 at Green Bay (before the frozen tundra is really frozen) and Dec. 28 at Chicago.

Yes, Favre will throw interceptions, he won’t relate to teammates half his age and he will be held to a different standard than other Vikings players. But don’t forget how much he elevated the Jets last season, from 4-12 in 2007 to 9-7 and battling for the division in 2008. If his arm truly is healthy, the Vikings will only improve on their 10-6 2008 season.

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Pro Football 101 Fantasy Rankings: Top 10 Running Backs in 2009

1. Adrian Peterson

Can you say 2,000? Because it could happen in 2009. Entering his third year season, with a solid offensive line to play behind, a new dynamic weapon (Harvin) in town to divert attention from the him, Peterson is poised to blow up.

Now as long as Rosenfels or Jackson can keep defenses honest…


2. Maurice Jones-Drew

Jones-Drew finally becomes the man in Jacksonville and is ready to become a superstar. While he’s always been a stellar runner, especially near the goal line, he’ll now see his carries increase to between 20 and 25 per game.

And after Jacksonville went out and upgraded its line in the off-season, everything is in order for a huge season.


3. DeAngelo Williams

2008 was not an aberration. Williams was always highly touted as a former first round draft pick, and he blossomed in his first full season as the starter. The second half of last season was ridiculous: 15 TDs and six 100 yard games.

Even with the carries set to go Jonathan Stewart’s way, Williams is still a top fantasy running back.


4. Michael Turner

Turner proved Atlanta’s GM Dimitroff a very smart man after rattling off 1,699 yards and 17 TDs in his first year in Atlanta. The one negative facing Turner in 2009 is the opposing schedule gets much tougher. But Turner is a horse and Atlanta’s offense is stacked.


5. Chris Johnson

The selection is based on speed, speed, and more speed. Johnson quickly asserted himself as the featured back in the Titans’ system and should take a huge step forward in his sophomore season. He’s a big threat as both a running back and receiver out of the backfield.

 

6. LaDainian Tomlinson

For those of you who feel that Tomlinson is done, don’t let this opinion deter you from taking him in the latter half of the first round. In an off season by his standards, LaDainian still ran for over 1,100 yards and scored 12 total TDs.

If Norv’s Turner’s run schemes can open up holes in 2009, don’t be surprised to see a 1,300 yard, 15 TD season.


7. Matt Forte

The trade for Jay Cutler immediately raises Forte’s stock, as defenses will now have a passer to contend with. Playing for a team devoid of dangerous outside threats, and behind a big offensive line, Forte will have an opportunity to shine in Chi-town.


8. Steven Jackson

Jackson has the skill and talent to be the number two running back in fantasy football; he just can’t seem to stay healthy, and is also stuck on a poor team. The Rams did draft a future star at LT (Jason Smith) with the second overall pick.

Look for Spagnuolo to rely on the talented back in his first season, and look for Jackson to deliver.

 

9. Brian Westbrook

Westbrook was slowed by injury in 2008, but still managed a quality overall season with 14 total TDs. This year, the Eagles line is re-tooled and the offense looks stronger than ever. While second round pick Lesean McCoy will ease Westbrook’s workload, No. 36 is the guy who makes the offense go.


10. Clinton Portis

Jim Zorn’s 2008 game plan consisted of Portis, Portis and more Portis. And the eight year vet delivered. With question marks along the offensive line, look for yards to be harder to come by; but Portis’ talent, drive, and his receiving ability out of the backfield will net him a solid season.

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Fantasy Football Playbook: Seeing the Field for What Could Be

 

The drafts are alive and well. The Fantasy articles for football are coming at us in a torrent pace, and in just under four weeks the regular season will open up, ushering in a new season filled with hopes and promises—both of which are on the plate of coaches and Fantasy managers.

As we get set, week one will introduce some interesting matchups that will surely have the advantage of yielding a great start out of the gate. Conversely, there are some other matchups that may be worthwhile staying clear of.

The first week of football is always the hardest. It is a time that is shrouded in more guess work than actual stats since it is…well, the first game of the year.

Let’s take a look at some games that could, or could not, be advantageous.

 

Minnesota @ Cleveland: Advantageous

The high powered rushing attack of the Vikings will start the year against Cleveland’s 26th ranked defense of last year. The Browns made some adjustments in the offseason but to think they are at the caliber of play to handle Minnesota’s myriad of weapons would be giving the Browns way too much credit.

Peterson should have a field day against a rather mediocre Cleveland D-line, and considering whomever is the starting QB for the Vikes you can bet Peterson will be utilized both on the ground and out of the backfield to help ease in either Sage or Tavaris in week one.

 

Detroit @ New Orleans: Advantageous

I think it is important to mention that Detroit’s defense was ranked 12th overall and they really weren’t all that bad. It is also worth mentioning that Drew freaking Brees is passing the ball—nuff said.

One of the other points to this matchup could be the points garnered from the Saints’ defense. Their defense will be significantly better, and considering last year’s collapse down the stretch this team is going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder and Detroit will be the first unlucky victim.

 

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh: Disadvantageous

This has all the markings of a low scoring non-productive contest for Fantasy owners straight across the board. The Steelers were the No. 1 ranked defense; the Titans No. 7.

Last year the Titans held the Steelers to just 73 yards on the ground and stole two picks from Big Ben. The Steelers held Johnson to a measly 69 yards rushing while grabbing a pick of their own in route to a  31-14 victory.

The offensive side of this lopsided score were primarily due to goal line scoring; something that won’t be as easy this time around against Pittsburgh.

 

San Diego @ Oakland: Advantageous

Rivers is healthy, Gates is healthy and the word out of camp is that L.T. has his mojo back. If you add in Jackson, Sproles, and the Charger defense that is sure to be far better than a year ago, fantasy managers who own anyone with a Charger jersey are sure to reap some benefits in this matchup.

The Raiders, on the other hand, were at the bottom of the ranking barrel last year and the Chargers beat up on them pretty good in both contests—par for the course this year.

 

Chicago @ Green Bay: Chance

The last time these two teams opened the season the Packers were blanked 26-0 by the Bears; that was 2006.

Last year, the Packers gained 487 yards in the air and 265 on the ground in two combined meetings.

The Bears gained 444 yards in the air and 287 on the ground in two meetings.

Green Bay has a new defensive system that they think will pay dividends, and the Bears have a new quarterback, Cutler, who they think will give the team a better edge.

Cutler is 0-1 vs. Green Bay and the season series at Lambeau is tied 37-37-4.

I don’t see the ground game doing anything special for either team and if anything at all Rodgers may have a good game. This one is a pick, take your chances if you’re feeling lucky.

 

Other Points of Interest for September:

Kyle Orton has the best opportunity in September to post big numbers in the air as his Broncos will face the Bengals, Browns, and Raiders in the month.

Adrian Peterson has the best opportunity in September to post big numbers on the ground as the Vikings will face the Browns, Lions, and 49ers in the month.

Kevin Boss should see plenty of endzone TDs against Washington, Dallas, and Tampa considering the receivers will still be adjusting.

The Vikings, Chargers, and Steelers all have favorable games in September for managers looking to generate points for the defensive side of the ball.

The Dolphins, Panthers, and Rams will have their hands full in September so start any players you have from those teams cautiously.

 

 

 

 

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Fantasy Football Playbook: Seeing the Field for What Could Be

 

The drafts are alive and well. The Fantasy articles for football are coming at us in a torrent pace, and in just under four weeks the regular season will open up, ushering in a new season filled with hopes and promises—both of which are on the plate of coaches and Fantasy managers.

As we get set, week one will introduce some interesting matchups that will surely have the advantage of yielding a great start out of the gate. Conversely, there are some other matchups that may be worthwhile staying clear of.

The first week of football is always the hardest. It is a time that is shrouded in more guess work than actual stats since it is…well, the first game of the year.

Let’s take a look at some games that could, or could not, be advantageous.

 

Minnesota @ Cleveland: Advantageous

The high powered rushing attack of the Vikings will start the year against Cleveland’s 26th ranked defense of last year. The Browns made some adjustments in the offseason but to think they are at the caliber of play to handle Minnesota’s myriad of weapons would be giving the Browns way too much credit.

Peterson should have a field day against a rather mediocre Cleveland D-line, and considering whomever is the starting QB for the Vikes you can bet Peterson will be utilized both on the ground and out of the backfield to help ease in either Sage or Tavaris in week one.

 

Detroit @ New Orleans: Advantageous

I think it is important to mention that Detroit’s defense was ranked 12th overall and they really weren’t all that bad. It is also worth mentioning that Drew freaking Brees is passing the ball—nuff said.

One of the other points to this matchup could be the points garnered from the Saints’ defense. Their defense will be significantly better, and considering last year’s collapse down the stretch this team is going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder and Detroit will be the first unlucky victim.

 

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh: Disadvantageous

This has all the markings of a low scoring non-productive contest for Fantasy owners straight across the board. The Steelers were the No. 1 ranked defense; the Titans No. 7.

Last year the Titans held the Steelers to just 73 yards on the ground and stole two picks from Big Ben. The Steelers held Johnson to a measly 69 yards rushing while grabbing a pick of their own in route to a  31-14 victory.

The offensive side of this lopsided score were primarily due to goal line scoring; something that won’t be as easy this time around against Pittsburgh.

 

San Diego @ Oakland: Advantageous

Rivers is healthy, Gates is healthy and the word out of camp is that L.T. has his mojo back. If you add in Jackson, Sproles, and the Charger defense that is sure to be far better than a year ago, fantasy managers who own anyone with a Charger jersey are sure to reap some benefits in this matchup.

The Raiders, on the other hand, were at the bottom of the ranking barrel last year and the Chargers beat up on them pretty good in both contests—par for the course this year.

 

Chicago @ Green Bay: Chance

The last time these two teams opened the season the Packers were blanked 26-0 by the Bears; that was 2006.

Last year, the Packers gained 487 yards in the air and 265 on the ground in two combined meetings.

The Bears gained 444 yards in the air and 287 on the ground in two meetings.

Green Bay has a new defensive system that they think will pay dividends, and the Bears have a new quarterback, Cutler, who they think will give the team a better edge.

Cutler is 0-1 vs. Green Bay and the season series at Lambeau is tied 37-37-4.

I don’t see the ground game doing anything special for either team and if anything at all Rodgers may have a good game. This one is a pick, take your chances if you’re feeling lucky.

 

Other Points of Interest for September:

Kyle Orton has the best opportunity in September to post big numbers in the air as his Broncos will face the Bengals, Browns, and Raiders in the month.

Adrian Peterson has the best opportunity in September to post big numbers on the ground as the Vikings will face the Browns, Lions, and 49ers in the month.

Kevin Boss should see plenty of endzone TDs against Washington, Dallas, and Tampa considering the receivers will still be adjusting.

The Vikings, Chargers, and Steelers all have favorable games in September for managers looking to generate points for the defensive side of the ball.

The Dolphins, Panthers, and Rams will have their hands full in September so start any players you have from those teams cautiously.

 

 

 

 

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