Last week was the start of college football and it didn’t disappoint. We had crazy comebacks, upsets and ridiculous catches! Now that week 1 of the college football season is in the books – you know what that means? It’s time for some NFL! Week 1 is finally here and I’ll be breaking down my top guys for each position! Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!
Derek Carr- $17,050
We’ve been hearing a lot of, “this is finally the year for the Raiders” around the football world and what better way to prove those people right than in week 1? Derek Carr and company will be going up against the Saints, and I expect them to start the year off with a BANG!
Derek Carr is one of my top cash game quarterbacks this week. He’ll be going up against a Saints’ defense that allowed a total of 4,755 yards on the air (2nd highest in NFL) last season. Not only did they give up a ton of yards, but they also gave up a whole lot of touchdowns. They gave up a total of 45 passing touchdowns (highest in the NFL) in 2015! That is insane! Next closest was the Philadelphia Eagles with 36. Carr has plenty of weapons and will be going up against a very vulnerable Saints’ defense. What more could you ask for?
Robert Griffin III - $11,100
I just mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles in my Derek Carr tout, and that’s the squad I’m picking on next. If you want to save money or don’t want to go against your favorite team, then RG3 is your guy.
Just like Carr, he also has a very favorable matchup. Not only did the Eagles give up the 2nd-most passing touchdown in 2015, but they also gave up an average of 20.23 fantasy points per game (2nd-most in NFL) to opposing quarterbacks last season.
Don’t worry so much about the way RG3 played (or didn’t play) the past couple of seasons with the Redskins. He’s now with the Browns and is being coached by quarterback guru, Hue Jackson. Not only is Jackson on his side, but he also doesn’t have to look over his shoulder, because he knows that this is his team. I’m expecting to see the RG3 we saw in his rookie season.
Ezekiel Elliot - $11,800
It’s never easy plugging in a rookie into your lineups, but I feel comfortable with rostering Elliot, and here’s why:
For starters, the Cowboys graded out as the best offensive line in 2015 (via PFF), so this definitely helps him out. Not only does he have an elite offensive line, but he also draws an appealing matchup against the Giants. Last season, New York gave up an average of 21.06 fantasy points per game (6th-most in NFL) against opposing running backs. I know they made some moves to improve their front 7, but I still see Ezikiel and the stellar offensive line having a solid night.
Like I said before, it could be scary going with a rookie week 1, but there’s no rookie I trust more this week than Elliot. He’s “the guy” in Dallas and will be working with a rookie quarterback. In other words – he will get a ton touches! Do your thing, Elliot!
Spencer Ware- $6,000
There are reports that Jamal Charles might be out for week 1. So what exactly does this mean you may be asking? Well, if Charles is out, Ware becomes the Chiefs lead-back. This means he’ll get the bulk of the carries and is an absolute steal for his price tag. Even if Charles does play, I still like Ware. Charles is clearly not 100% and the Chiefs will limit his workload (if he does end up playing). You could still see Ware getting a ton of opportunities, (especially in the red zone), which is why I’m on the Ware-train regardless. Not only is his price is way too good to pass up, but he also draws a beautiful matchup against a Chargers’ squad that allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, in 2015.
Julio Jones - $20,100
Julio is going to cost you a pretty penny, but he’s definitely worth the investment. He led the league last season in targets per game (12.7 per game) and it should be a similar story this season.
This week, the Falcons will be going up against the Tampa bay Buccaneers. Yes, they added pro-bowler Brent Grimes to their secondary, but he isn’t the same player he once was. He’s now 33 years old and I don’t see him keeping up with Julio. This game has the 5th-highest total of week 1, so expect this Falcons’ offense to do some damage on their home turf. There is plenty of value this week to help you fit him into your squads.
Marvin Jones Jr. - $9,750
Mega-Tron has left the building and someone has to step up! Golden Tate was expected to be that guy, but it hasn’t panned out that way. He’s had a rough preseason and has had a case of the drops. Instead of taking over as the featured receiver, we are now looking at receiver 1A (Tate) and receiver 1B (Jones). While Tate’s preseason has been one to forget, Jones’ preseason was marvelous. He had 8 receptions for 106 yards, and a lot of people say that he’s built a great rapport with Stafford.
Not only has Jones shined this preseason, but he also draws an appealing matchup going up against the Colts. The Colts will be without star cornerback Vonte Davis, so look for this Lions’ offense to take advantage. Marvin Jones is cheap and has a great matchup, so look for his ownership % to be high, which is why he is a cash game play for me this week.
Rob Gronkowski- $13,450
I don’t love anyone at the tight end position this week, so in these situations I tend to go with a guy who’s dirt-cheap or the best available player. So I present to you the best tight end in the game today – Rob Gronkowski!
Yes, Tom Brady is not under center – and yes this is a tough matchup, but this is Gronk were talking about! He’s not your typical tight end. He’s got great speed and hands, so I’ll go ahead and play him in some cash games. It will be interesting to see how this offense does without Brady, but I do know that Gronk will get his targets. Like I said before – I don’t love any tight ends on this slate, so I’ll just go with the guy with the most talent.
Gary Barnidge- $8,950
I just mentioned the tight end with the most talent, so now I’ll go ahead and mention one who’s an excellent value play. And that man is Gary Barnidge. You save $4,500 by going Branidge instead of Gronk and we all know what we can do with $4,500 in our pocket! Well – I guess fantasy wise. I wish I had that much money in my pocket… Anyways – the other reason why I like Barnidge is because of his talent. He has great hands and is an excellent red zone target for RG3. He finished 2015 with 10 receiving touchdowns and I expect for RG3 to look for his big target this year. He’s my favorite value play at the tight end position this week.
Seattle Seahawks- $8,850
The Miami Dolphins are projected to score 16.5 points on Sunday (lowest on the slate), which is why I’m all over Seattle. They have one of the most dominant defenses in the game today and will be playing in front of their home crowd. We all know how that stadium can get and I expect Seattle to feed off their energy. The Seahawks will be the popular cash game play of the week and rightfully so. If you can afford their hefty price tag; get ’em.
Kansas City Chiefs- $6,850
Can’t afford the Seahawks or are a Dolphins’ fan like myself, then the Chiefs are right for you. Not only do you get to save $2,000, but they also get a beautiful matchup. The Chiefs will be going up against the Chargers, who are projected to score 18.8 points (3rd lowest on the slate). Vegas loves the Chiefs this week and so do I. They will be playing at home and last year averaged a total of 10.9 fantasy points per contest! You got to love that! Their price is very hard to ignore with the matchup they have, which is why I will use them in all formats this weekend.
Thanks for reading guys! You can follow me on twitter @NRodriguez and feel free to ask me any question! Good luck this week!