- Aaron Rodgers | ADP: 17.8
Supporting Cast (+++): Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Martellus Bennett. He also has an up and coming running game that can also catch out of the backfield.
Offensive Line (++): A talented unit, especially at the tackle position but was hit with the injury bug in 2016.
Division (++): Chicago and Detroit are not good at defending the pass.
Strength of Schedule for QBs: 11/32
- Tom Brady | ADP: 19.6
Supporting Cast (+++): Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski are all dangerous threats. All of his running backs are excellent pass catchers and heavily involved there.
Offensive Line (++): The unit as a whole is underrated and isn’t much of a factor when Brady gets the ball off so quickly.
Division (+++): Arguably the worst division in football. Brady owns the division and each defense against the pass are very poor.
Strength of Schedule for QBs: 19/32
- Matt Ryan | ADP: 38.1
Supporting Cast (++): Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper. Ryan also loves to throw it to his running backs, who are both great pass catchers and very involved.
Offensive Line (++): Not an excellent unit, but they performed well enough in 2016.
Division (+++): Tampa Bay, Carolina and New Orleans all have trouble defending the pass.
Strength of Schedule for QBs: 7/32
- Drew Brees | ADP: 36.3
Supporting Cast (++): Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Willie Snead and Coby Fleener. Peterson and Ingram aren’t pass catchers but rookie Alvin Kamara is.
Offensive Line (+): Not a very good unit, but young. Brees gets the ball out quick and will adjust.
Division (+++) The falcons were 28th against the pass in 2016 but were without their number one cornerback for a while. Jalen Collins is suspended. Until further notice, they can be passed on.
Strength of Schedule for QBs: 1/32
- Andrew Luck + | ADP: 68.7 ** May not play week one
Supporting Cast (+++): TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Kamar Aiken and Jack Doyle. Adding Aiken was huge for Indy. Frank Gore is actually a good pass catcher and Luck will have some really good options.
Offensive Line (+++): The right side is a bit shaky, but I actually really like this offensive line this year.
Division (+): Usually the soft division, but the Jaguars and Titans have really improved defensively. JJ Watt is back in action and the Texans always have a good defense.
Strength of Schedule for QBs: 24/32
6. Kirk Cousins | ADP: 88.4 | SoS: 31/32
7. Russell Wilson | ADP: 61.4 | SoS: 9/32
8. Marcus Mariota | ADP: 106.8 | SoS: 16/32
9. Derek Carr | ADP: 73.0 | SoS: 32/32
10. Jameis Winston | ADP: 91.3 | 5/32
(+++) 3/3 – Very strong, excellent, strong confidence
(++) 2/3 – Good, not great. Satisfactory, not to be concerned with
(+) 1/3 – Worrisome, may cause issue for the player, caution
ADP: Average Drafted Position
Strength of Schedule (SoS): 1 – Least Difficult, 32nd – Most Difficult
What is fantasy Strength of Schedule? (From FantasyPros.com)
Each team’s Strength of Schedule (SOS) displays the relative ease or difficulty of their matchups for the season. SOS is measured by calculating the fantasy points allowed by each team’s opponents to determine who has the easiest and most difficult fantasy schedules. Teams with the easiest schedules face opponents with the highest fantasy points allowed.
If you would like a detailed explanation on any other quarterbacks, tweet me @Cnic__ .
Photo Credit: NGSC
SCB Fantasy Report
It is almost fantasy football draft season and for many readers and football fanatics, they love the game of football but have never submerged themselves in a standard fantasy football league. In this article, I’ll share some of my strategies on how to draft the best team possible to beat your friends and collect some cash. Just a little about me, I have been involved in fantasy football for about eight years now and I have been writing about it for three years.
Conjure up your own draft strategy! It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyhow: don’t go into a draft without a plan. Everyone’s plan is different and fit’s their style. If you’re brand new to fantasy football then you have no clue what I am referring to. Here are some reasons to draft a player and deterrents not to.
Some fantasy football players use these two strategies:
BPA: Best player available. You draft the player that will score you the most points on the board regardless of position. If you’re going to do this for the entirety of the draft, might as well not even draft and let the application auto-draft for you. This strategy neglects a lot of factors that I will lay out for you when you scroll down.
Position Oriented: You draft according to positions that you may value the most and need to fill. While I do this, I don’t do this without caution. It is important to fill all your positions and at least one backup for each position.
I certainly do not use either of these strategies fully. They can be very dangerous and will certainly leave you in a hole down the road. If you execute either or both of these strategies alone, you disregard the following:
Yes, drafting according to BYE weeks is critical. If both of your running backs have a week 8 BYE week, you will be left too thin at the position and will be throwing in a backup and saying a Hail Mary. Heck, if both quarterbacks both have the same BYE week, you can say hello to Joe Flacco. Good luck with that.
If a situation like this occurs, and it may, you will need to add a player from the free agency list. If you need to dip into this pool of players and add one, you will be forced to cut someone from your team to make room for the newcomer. Cutting a player for someone who you will only use for one week isn’t smart. Other owners can scoop up the cut player and use them, maybe even against you. Beware.
I definitely look at the player I am considering drafting’s schedule toughness. If I am going to draft LeSean McCoy and he is facing some great run defenses, it might sway my decision away from him – or vice versa. Drafting a Patriots player is smart because they face bad defenses six times a season.
Opposing Positional Toughness.
Best way to explain this is with an example. If you’re looking to draft a WR – let’s say Amari Cooper, and he is going to be facing some seriously good #1 cornerbacks, it may sway your decision to go with another WR or a totally different position. This may work the other way as well; Cooper’s opponents with weak cornerbacks may sway you into drafting him.
Someone’s Got a Boo-Boo.
It is important to know if the player you are drafting has an extensive injury history. If he tends to miss a lot of valuable time, you may want to avoid that player. If he’s not on the field then he’s not helping your team score points. Although injuries can’t be predicted, you might want to be cautious. Always draft a handcuff. What’s a handcuff? Keep on readin’.
It is important to analyze who you exactly are drafting. If you’re drafting Ezekiel Elliot, who are you really drafting? Not just Zeke. Look at who’s helping him. He has a great offensive line, his team ran the ball 48.7% of the time, up from 43.5% in 2015. The Dallas Cowboys were also number one in the NFL with 30.8 rushing attempts per game, tying with the Buffalo Bills. Also remember your RB gets points for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns!
If you’re drafting Tyreek Hill this year, look how many times did Kansas City pass the ball last year? How many times was he was targeted, even targeted in the red zone? Who’s throwing him the ball? It may be Alex Smith, or maybe even Pat Mahomes overtakes the vet. Do you trust either quarterback? If not, you may want to go with another receiver.
Tendencies and Depth Chart Evaluation:
Like I said in the paragraph above, it is important to know how often your QB/WR/TE will be throwing the ball, or how many carries your RB should expect. Many times, there will be reports out there on how many carries a certain RB will expect to get.
The depth chart is critical for a few reasons. If a team like the Ravens don’t have a clear cut #1 running back, it may be wise to draft their backup as well (also works for injury prone players, too). This is called a handcuff. Last year, if you drafted Mike Gillislee as LeSean McCoy’s handcuff, you cherished it.
I throw a little bit of each of these strategies into a cauldron and hope the end product tastes good. Many of you may say “okay, it’s really not that serious.” But I am a competitor and I really love money, so I will do what I can to gain a fair, competitive advantage. I want a dependable player who doesn’t have a horrible injury history, has a good supporting cast and I am convinced will produce for me.
Some Important Notes:
Look up how your league is scored. You will see that you will get the most total points out of your QB that does not mean draft one in the first round; actually, my advice would be not to. The most valuable position is the running back position, in my opinion.
You’ll most likely be in a SNAKE draft. If you do not know what that is, I’ll demonstrate. If you are in a 10 team, the drafting order will look like this:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3…
So if you have the 8th pick, you pick again shortly with the 13th overall pick.
When should your league draft? Don’t be like me in 2015 and be too eager to draft. I had my league draft before preseason ended, resulting in many ACL tears for some teams. Not cool, cnic. Make sure your league drafts after the third preseason game!
If you have any questions about strategy, how I draft, how to set up a league, or anything at all, please use the comment section or reach out to me on Twitter! @cnic__
Be on the lookout for my top rankings for each position, coming soon!
It’s time for the Week 7 fantasy football catalog. Here I break each game down and give my opinion on who to play in each game. Yes, some players are missing. If you have a question about a player not in the catalog, or any questions at all, please tweet me: @Cnic__ (2 underscores).
Early – 9:30AM
New York Giants vs Los Angeles Rams (@London)
Must play: Odell Beckham, Eli Manning, Todd Gurley
Start: Kenny Britt, Sterling Shepard, Giants D/ST, Rashad Jennings
Sit: Case Keenum, Tavon Austin
New Orleans Saints @ Kansas City Chiefs
Must play: Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Brandin Cooks, Spencer Ware
Start: Willie Snead, Michael Thomas, Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce
Sit: Coby Fleener, Jamaal Charles, KC D/ST
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Must play: Andrew Luck, TY Hilton, Adam Vinatieri, DeMarco Murray
Start: Frank Gore, Jack Doyle, Marcus Mariota, Delanie Walker
Sit: Tajae Sharp, Phillip Dorsett, Dwayne Allen
Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles
Must play: Vikings D/ST
Start: Stephon Diggs, Jerick McKinnon, Jordan Mathews, Caleb Sturgis
Sit: Sam Bradford, Kyle Rudolph
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
Must play: Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Bengals D/ST
Start: Isaiah Crowell, Terrelle Pryor (monitor injury status), Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard
Sit: Cody Kellser, Tyler Eifert
Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions
Must play: Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones
Start: Matt Jones, DeSean Jackson (monitor injury status), Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Vernon Davis, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin
Sit: Chris Thompson, Niles Paul, Lions RBs
Oakland Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Must play: Amari Cooper, Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson
Start: Michael Crabtree, Derek Carr, TJ Yeldon, Chris Ivory, Jason Myers
Sit: Latavius Murray, Jaguars D/ST, Julius Thomas
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Must play: Tyrod Taylor, Mike Gillislee, Bills D/ST, Jarvis Landry
Start: Charles Clay, Jay Ajayi
Sit: LeSean McCoy, Robert Woods, Ryan Tannehill
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets
Must play: Ravens D/ST, Brandon Marshall
Start: Terrance Wallace, Mike Wallace, Justin Tucker, Dennis Pitta, Joe Flacco (if healthy), Matt Forte
Sit: Geno Smith, Quincy Enunwa
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers
Must play: Mike Evans, Jacquizz Rodgers
Start: Jameis Winston, Cameron Brate, Colin Kaepernick, Mike Davis, Jeremy Kerley, Torrey Smith
Sit: Shaun Draughn,
San Diego Chargers @ Atlanta Falcons
Must play: Phillip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones
Start: Hunter Henry, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin (monitor injury status), Tevin Coleman, Mohamed Sanu
Sit: Jacob Tamme, Antonio Gates, Dontrelle Inman
New England @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Must play: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski, Le’Veon Bell
Start: LeGarrette Blount, James White, Patriots D/ST, Antonio Brown, Chris Boswell
Sit: Julian Edelman, Steelers D/ST, Landry Jones, Sammie Coates, Jesse James
Sunday Night Football 8:30
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
Must play: Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, Cardinals D/ST
Start: Carson Palmer, Christine Michael, Seahawks D/ST, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Steven Hauschka
Sit: John Brown, Michael Floyd, Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett
Monday Night Football 8:30
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
Must play: Lamar Miller, CJ Anderson,
Start: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans D/ST, Broncos D/ST, Emmanuel Sanders
Sit: Brock Osweiler, Will Fuller V, Trevor Siemian, Demaryius Thomas
It’s time for the Week 4 fantasy football catalog. Here I break each game down and give my opinion on who to play in each game. Yes, some players are missing. If you have a question about a player not in the catalog, or any questions at all, please tweet me: @Cnic__ (2 underscores).
Early – 9:30AM
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Must play: Andrew Luck, TY Hilton, Adam Vinatieri, Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson
Start: Frank Gore, Phillip Dorsett, Allen Hurns
Sit: Jags RBs, Julius Thomas
Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans
Must play: DeMarco Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller
Start: Will Fuller, Nick Novak, Texans D/ST
Sit:Tajae Sharp, Marcus Mariota
*Delanie Walker is a game-time decision. Make sure to have a back-up plan.
Cleveland Browns vs Washington Redskins
Must play: Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed
Start: Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, Matt Jones, Isaiah Crowell, Dustin Hopkins
Sit: Cody Kessler
Seattle Seahawks vs New York Jets
Must play: Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall
Start: Christine Michael, Seahawks D/ST, Quincy Enunwa
Sit: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eric Decker
Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots
Must play: LeSean McCoy, LeGarrette Blount, Stephen Gostkowski
Start: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots D/ST
Sit: Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins
Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons
Must play: Cam Newton, Greg Olson, Kelvin Benjamin, Julio Jones
Start: Panthers D/ST, Cameron Artis-Payne, Graham Gano, Jacob Tamme
Sit: Fozzy Whittaker
*Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been splitting carries. If you have just of the two, hope for the best. If you have both, play both or make a gut call.
Oakland Raiders vs Baltimore Ravens
Must play: Justin Tucker, Amari Cooper
Start: Michael Crabtree, Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Dennis Pitta
Sit: Derek Carr, Latavius Murray
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears
Must play: Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones, Alshon Jeffrey
Start: Kevin White, Jordan Howard, Zach Miller, Theo Riddick (PPR), Dwayne Washington, Golden Tate
Sit: Jay Cutler, Eric Ebron
Denver Broncos vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Must play: CJ Anderson, Broncos D/ST, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius
Start: Trevor Siemian, Charles Sims, Mike Evans
Sit: Jameis Winston, Vincent Jackson
Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals
Must play: Todd Gurley, David Johnson
Start: Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals D/ST, Chandler Catanzaro
Sit: Rams D/ST, John Brown
New Orleans Saints vs San Diego Chargers
Must play: Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram, Phillip Rivers
Start: Melvin Gordon, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry
Sit: Willie Snead, Coby Fleener
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
Must play: Ezekiel Elliot, Dan Bailey, Carlos Hyde
Start: Cole Beasley, Jason Whitten, Dak Prescott
Sit: Torrey Smith
Sunday Night Football 8:30
Kansas City Chiefs vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Must play: Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell, Travis Kelce
Start: Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Boswell, Alex Smith, Spencer Ware, Jeremy Maclin
Sit: Chiefs D/ST, Jamaal Charles
Monday Night Football 8:30
New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings
Must play: Odell Beckham, Vikings D/ST
Start: Sterling Shepard, Stephon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph
Sit: Eli Manning, NYG RBs, Vikings RBs, Sam Bradford
I’m baaaaaaaack! After taking last week off due to personal reasons, I am back to putting out my weekly article for your fantasy football needs. I’m putting a different spin on fantasy football this week. I think this better covers the entire spectrum instead of just a few players per position. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions: (@Cnic__) . I can assist with standard leagues, PPR, DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports: Fan Duel, Draft Kings).
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Buffalo Bills
Must play: David Johnson, Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy
Start: Arizona D/ST
Sit: Bills D/ST, Tyrod Taylor, John Brown, Sammy Watkins
Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
Must play: David Carr, Amari Cooper, DeMarco Murray
Start: Marcus Mariota, Michael Crabtree, Raiders D/ST, Tajae Sharpe
Sit: Latavius Murray, Delanie Walker
Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins
Must play: Miami D/ST, Jarvis Landry
Start: Isaiah Crowell, Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, DeVante Parker
Sit: Terrelle Pryor, Gary Barnidge
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Must play: Justin Tucker, Allen Robinson
Start: Mike Wallace, Blake Bortles
Sit: TJ Yeldon, Chris Ivory, Justin Forsett
Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Must play: Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson
Start: Marvin Jones, Randall Cobb
Sit: Matthew Stafford
Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Must play: CJ Anderson, AJ Green
Start: Denver D/ST
Sit: Jeremy Hill, Andy Dalton
Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers
Must play: Stephon Diggs, Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin
Start: Greg Olsen, Panthers D/ST
Sit: Vikings RBs, Panthers RBs
Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
Must play: Jordan Reed, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham
Start: Sterling Shepard, DeSean Jackson, Shane Vereen
Sit: Matt Jones, Kirk Cousins, Rashard Jennings
Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Must play: Todd Gurley,
Start: Charles Sims, Mike Evans
Sit: Jameis Winston
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Must play: Russell Wilson, Seahawks D/ST
Start: Christine Michael, Doug Baldwin
Sit: Thomas Rawls, Carlos Hyde
New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Must play: Matt Forte, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker
Start: Nick Folk, Quincy Enunwa, Spencer Ware
Sit: Jamaal Charles
*Brandon Marshall will play, but will be on a snap count
San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Must play: Melvin Gordon, Andrew Luck, Phillip Rivers
Start: Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry, Frank Gore
Sit: Antonio Gates, Donte Moncrief, T.Y Hilton
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Must play: Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown
Start: Steelers D/ST, Jordan Matthews
Sit: Eagles D/ST, Ryan Mathews
Sunday Night Football 8:30pm
Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys
Must play: Alshon Jeffery, Ezekiel Elliot, Dez Bryant
Start: Jeremy Langford, Kevin White, Dan Bailey
Sit: Jay Cutler
Monday Night Football 8:30pm
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Must play: Julio Jones, Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Mohamed Sanu
Start: Mark Ingram, Willie Snead, Matt Ryan, Jacob Tamme
Sit: Coby Fleener
**Falcons RBs (Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman) have been sharing carries. Beware.
Injuries to note:
Sammy Watkins, Rashad Jennings, Jamaal Charles, Antonio Gates are out.
Thomas Rawls is doubtful.
Watch out for: Tyler Lockett, Delanie Walker.
I wrote up a Week 1 Fantasy Guide for everyone yesterday. Today, fantasy football will shift to just the Steelers players. How will each player fare against the Washington Redskins? Big Ben will lead his usual high powered offense to the nation’s capitol on September 12th for Monday Night Football.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger – Facing a Redskins defense who last year ranked 22nd in the league against quarterbacks. His second, third and fourth favorite targets will not be present (Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell, Heath Miller), but Big Ben should be able to have a good game with his younger weapons stepping up.
Stat Prediction: 345 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 INT.
RB: DeAngelo Williams – Going up against a defense who ranked 18th against running backs. Williams was great last season and should replicate that in the first three games as the starter.
Stat Prediction: 97 yards, 1 touchdown. 4 Rec. for 18 yards.
WR: Antonio Brown – We all saw how badly DeSean Jackson abused Josh Norman in camp, imagine the NFL’s best wideout in action. There is no stopping Brown, you can only hope to contain him. The chemistry between him and Roethlisberger is off the charts. Expect a monster game.
Stat Prediction: 12 rec. 156 yards. 1 touchdown.
Start?: Yes, unless you’re insane.
Markus Wheaton – Wheaton has yet to show what he can do after the catch, but he is a savvy receiver. He is a good route runner with reliable hands.
Stat Prediction: 7 Rec. 71 yards. 1 touchdown.
Start?: Only in deep leagues, otherwise, no.
Sammie Coates – After the hyped up offseason, Coates had a sub-par preseason. I think he is involved in the offense but not as much as people may think.
Stat Prediction: 4 Rec. 46 yards.
Eli Rogers – Rogers very well may start in the slot for the Steelers on Monday Night Football. He is a slippery athlete who can create something out of nothing, given the space. I don’t think he hauls a huge fantasy crowd just yet.
Stat Prediction: 6 Rec. 36 yards.
TE: Jesse James – James isn’t Heath Miller no matter how hard the fan base tries to make him to be. I don’t expect a huge game from James, but he could end up grabbing a touchdown.
Stat Prediction: 5 Rec. 48 yards. 1 touchdown.
D/ST: The defense is up against a passing offense who can stretch the field. The Redskins offense ranked 8th against opposing defenses last season. The Steelers don’t force many turnovers, either. Don’t expect any points from special teams.
K: Chris Boswell – The Wizard of Boz has been extremely accurate and reliable. I never count on a miss from him. His only downfall is if the Steelers elect to go for two instead of the PAT, which they are prone to.
Stat Prediction: 2 FG’s, 4 PAT
Markus Wheaton is dealing with a shoulder, reportedly good to go for Monday.
Le’Veon Bell is suspended.
SteelCityBlitz is not responsible for the downfall of your fantasy team, but we do accept credit for the flourishing ones.
image by hghn
Today, finally, we shall watch football. You know what that means? It is time to set your fantasy football lineup! Not knowing who to play at a given position is very frustrating because one wrong decision can turn a win into a loss.
What goes into determining who to start or sit:
Pedigree: Simply, who the better player is. Who has proved to be a good start in the past.
– Match up: Is your QB going up against the Broncos D who ranked 1st in pass defense in 2015 or the Bears defense who ranked 26th in pass defense in 2015? This is usually a huge determinant for me. When in doubt, go with the better match up.
Opportunity: This has to do with how much opportunity are these players going to get? Here are a few examples:
QB: Does this QB start? Does he throw a lot?
RB: Is this RB part of a ‘running back by committee’ (RBBC)? Is he involved in the passing game at all? How many rushes does he get?
**RBBC: A team’s decision to start multiple RBs instead of concentrating on one or two solid choices.
WR/TE: Is this WR/TE a receiving threat? How many targets does this player demand per game? Is this player just a red-zone touchdown guy? Can he get me yards?
Kicker: Does this kicker miss often? Does he usually kick from 50+? Does the team he kicks for go for it on 4th down a lot? Does that team go for 2 a lot?
Supporting Cast: Does this player have a good team surrounding him? Will his teammates help or hurt him? Here are a few examples:
QB: Does this QB have reliable weapons to throw to? Does he have a decent offensive line that won’t get him killed?
RB: Will his offensive line help this player or hurt this player? Is his QB good? If not, the opposing defense will stack the box against the RB. (Ex: Minnesota, Los Angeles)
WR/TE: Is his QB good? If not, they may run the ball more, hindering his opportunity.
Match up: Does the opposing team of the player you are starting rank well/badly against your player’s position?
Russell Wilson VS Miami Dolphins – His offensive line isn’t good, but Wilson has the intelligence and legs to maneuver around this obstacle. The Dolphins were 18th against quarterbacks last year. They have a great defensive line, but a lackluster secondary, highlighted by rookie 2nd round pick Xavien Howard, whom I expect Wilson to attack.
Kirk Cousins VS Pittsburgh Steelers – Cousins has a great matchup this week. Pains me to say that because it is against our Steelers. Nevertheless, we all know the Steelers secondary isn’t good, but their pass rush has been inconsistent as well. With Matt Jones banged up and with the weapons that Cousins has in his arsenal, he should be a starter.
Spencer Ware VS San Diego Chargers – Ware isn’t going to be on this list frequently. He has a great match up against the 28th ranked defense against the run. Jamaal Charles is likely out this week, so Ware should have a good game.
Latavius Murray VS New Orleans Saints – I’m not high on Murray this year, but he has a match up you just can’t ignore. The Saints gave up an average of 20.7 fantasy points per game against running backs last year, and they haven’t improved. If Murray can hold onto the ball, he should have an excellent game.
**Christine Michael is ahead of Thomas Rawls on the depth chart.
Golden Tate VS Indianapolis Colts – Tate is the #1 receiver in Detroit now with Calvin Johnson’s retirement. The Colts defense is going to be very bad this year and Vontae Davis is out with injury. Tate should have a very good game.
Sterling Shepard VS Dallas Cowboys – Shepard is going to be overshadowed by O’Dell Beckham Jr. all season, but he offers a skill set that Eli Manning hasn’t had. He is a very good route runner, has reliable hands and can give you yards after the catch. With Dallas’ poor defense most likely double covering Beckham Jr, Shepard should have a lot of opportunities to make plays.
Coby Fleener VS Oakland Raiders – This is a risky pick, but I’m going for it. Fleener has reportedly been struggling with the Saints’ playbook. I am confident that the 30th ranked defense against tight ends last season will struggle to handle Fleener’s skill set. Brees will be throwing the ball a lot, so the opportunity will be there for the taking.
Vance McDonald VS Los Angeles Rams – Another risky pick, but this is what fantasy football is all about! McDonald has had a great preseason and has very good chemistry with Blaine Gabbert. San Francisco’s lack of weapons makes McDonald even more intriguing. The Rams were also ranked 22nd against tight ends in 2015. I expect a touchdown and 60+ yards for McDonald.
Texans D/ST VS Chicago Bears – The Texans defense is actually very good. I don’t have much faith in the Bears’ offense right now and you can usually expect 4-5 dumb mistakes per game by Jay Cutler.
Bills D/ST VS Baltimore Ravens – Rex Ryan usually puts out a good defense. The Ravens have a non-elite quarterback in Joe Flacco, a running back situation that is filled with questions, and a wide receiving corps of two. The Bills should have a relatively easy time holding the Ravens to minimal points.
Cam Newton VS Denver Broncos– Yes, the MVP needs to sit Week 1. The Broncos’ defense is very good and it will handle the Panthers’ offense again just like Super Bowl 50. If your backup quarterback is decent, play them over Cam.
Ryan Tannehill VS Seattle Seahawks– Seattle’s defense is just too good. I don’t have much faith in Tannehill as it is, but this matchup is not pretty.
Matt Jones VS Pittsburgh Steelers– Jones is hampered with a shoulder injury but should be playing in Week 1. Pittsburgh ranked 2nd against running backs in 2015 and Washington will look to pass often.
Jeremy Langford VS Houston Texans – Not a very good match up for Langford. I have yet to see enough that he can be depended on and he is on a ‘prove it’ deal with me right now. If you have other options, weigh them with the methods I laid out at the beginning.
**Avoid the Ravens and Jaguars backfield if possible, they are running more than one starting running back (RBBC).
Vincent Jackson VS Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons have an underrated pass defense and Jackson isn’t exactly young. Mike Evans will demand more targets and I think the Bucs will run the ball quite a bit.
Jeremy Maclin VS San Diego Chargers – I’m not a fan of Maclin to begin with, but he does not have a favorable match up. Although he may have a lot of opportunity with the Chiefs’ run game hampered by Jamaal Charles’ absence, he has Jason Verrett covering him and Alex Smith at quarterback, who doesn’t throw touchdowns to his wide receivers often.
Jimmy Graham VS Miami Dolphins – This is a combined match up and availability issue with Graham. He might or might not be ready for Week 1 action, so that right there is a red flag. The Dolphins were also ranked 8th against tight ends last year.
Martellus Bennett VS Arizona Cardinals – Arizona has a good defense and will give Jimmy Garoppolo fits all day. Bennett has Rob Gronkowski in front of him, so it is safe to assume Gronk will demand a ton of targets over Bennett.
Raiders D/ST VS New Orleans Saints – I am a fan of the Raiders defense this year. I am not a fan of any defense against the Saints. Drew Brees always deploys a high powered offense and he is stacked with weapons across the board, as well as a run game. If you can, go with another defense this week.
Jaguars D/ST VS Green Bay Packers – Again, I am a fan of the Jag’s defense this year. Just not a good match up against a team who is set offensively across the board. The Jag’s defense is also on a ‘prove it’ deal with me.
Jamaal Charles most likely won’t start against San Diego. If he logs snaps, they will be minimal. Spencer Ware is set to start with Charcandrick West spelling him.
Rob Gronkowski is reportedly not 100%
Matt Jones (shoulder) intends to play Monday against the Steelers, but Head Coach Jay Gruden is still undecided.
Carlos Hyde (concussion) was in attendance for Wednesday’s practice in a non-contact jersey.
Golden Tate is dealing with an ankle injury.
Kendall Wright will not play in Sunday’s game against the Vikings (hamstring)
If you have any questions on who to start/sit for your team, you can tweet the site at @SCBlitz and hashtag AskCnic (#AskCnic) and I will answer your questions for you!
Image by: Sports On Earth
Jared Goff – Not the most promising in terms of projecting production, but when you look at the other rookie options, he stands out because of one factor: he’s undoubtedly going to start. His offensive line and weapons around him should be questioned. Good news? Todd Gurley is his running back and teams will stack the box to account for TG3, opening up the play action and deep passing game for Goff.
Ezekiel Elliot – The unquestioned best running back option of the rookies. Barring injury, he will be in line to have the most touches, yards and production. Darren McFadden managed to surpass 1,000 yards last season and only started 10 games. With arguably the most talented offensive line in the NFL and excellent college tape, Zeke has a ton of positives and minimal flaws. He is going in the top two rounds of standard leagues.
Other RB that I like: Paul Perkins (NYG), Josh Ferguson (IND)
Monitor: DeAndre Washington (OAK), CJ Procise (SEA)
Sterling Shepard – There were four wide receivers selected ahead of Shepard in the 2016 NFL Draft, you mean to tell me you’re highlighting Shepard over them? Yes. I will tell you why. To start off, Corey Coleman plays for the Cleveland Browns, who have a lackluster offensive line and no quarterback. Will Fuller is not expected to start over Jaelen Strong for the #2 position. I’m a HUGE Josh Doctson fan, especially in the red zone, but until either DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon departs, he will be third on that depth chart. There isn’t much bad to say about LaQuon Treadwell, but teams have no other receiver to account for and they’re a run heavy team.
I’ve read reports that are only absolutely raving about Shepard. He has excellent hands and route running ability. He knows how to get open and with teams strategizing against neutralizing Odell Beckham, Shepard should be open and ready to get tons of receptions.
Other WR that I like: Michael Thomas (NO), Tyler Boyd (CIN)
Hunter Henry – Was my #1 tight end of the 2016 NFL Draft. Of course, Antonio Gates is ahead of Henry on the depth chart, but we saw how much Ladarius Green had an impact on that offense last year. Gates has some injury issues, especially at his age. With a non-existent run game, the Chargers will look to pass a ton and I am expecting Henry to be involved.
Monitor: Austin Hooper (ATL)