By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Week One is in the books. Are you panicking yet? Many top end studs left the milk out and it left a sour taste in our mouths. Bad fantasy players! Bad!
If you read this column last week, you received some good advice (Carr, Stafford, Cooper and Crabtree didn’t disappoint), but I let you down on a few (Elliott, Taylor, Woodhead and Benjamin to name a few). Goes to show you we’re not all perfect.
Hopefully those disappointments didn’t outweigh the good advice I gave and you returned for more. And don’t worry, what failed for you failed for me too. I feel your pain brothers and sisters!
To refresh what this column is, these are my confidence plays in a Start/Play/Bench format. “Start” represents your studs and numbers twos that will overachieve. Get them in your lineup stat! “Play” represents some bench or FLEX plays that should outperform their draft position based on matchup. “Bench” presents your studs that you should temper expectations on or FLEX plays you should swap out with a bench player. And really, it’s based off my rankings. Check them out and use them as a guide!
QB Eli Manning & WR Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) – You saw what Carr did to the Saints defense, yes? And you remember when the Giants hung 52 on this defense last year, yes? You see where I’m going with this by now, yes? #1 QB and #1 WR this week.
QB Blake Bortles & WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns (JAX) – They’re kind of a package deal, these three. Robinson had a whopping 15 targets last week. Bortles will be upset they couldn’t overcome the Packers defense, and Alex Smith put up 350+ on the Chargers defense last week. Bortles could push for 400 yds with Robinson and Hurns the beneficiaries.
RB C.J. Anderson (DEN) – In case you were living under a rock on opening weekend, Anderson torched the very awesome Panthers defensive line. This week he gets the Colts who are challenging the Saints for worst defense in the league. Obvious much?
RB Matt Forte & WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker (NYJ) – So the Bills defense is ravaged by injury. The Jets lost a close one last week and Forte asserted himself as the man after many people wrote him off. Marshall will want to rebound and Decker should catch a TD like he always does.
WR Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) – If he can go for 91 and TD on the Broncos, I think he can torch a better-than-expected-but-still-not-great 49ers defense with 10 days to prepare versus 6 days for the 49ers. He’s pushing must-start status.
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) – Sure, he’s no Drew Brees, but the Raiders just got torched, and Matt Ryan is surprisingly good in September. It’s just from October on when the wheels fall off. Get the good starts while you can!
RB Danny Woodhead (SD) – With Keenan Allen out after Week 8 last year, Danny Woodhead morphed into a fantasy star, finishing as the #3 RB. Allen got hurt last week and will miss the rest of the season. He’s must-start from here on out.
RBs Ameer Abdullah & Theo Riddick (DET) – They’re giving touches to both. I like Abdullah more, but there’s value to be had in Riddick. The Titans handled Adrian Peterson, but Shaun Hill is no Matthew Stafford. Easy money this week.
WR Marvin Jones (DET) – He’s seeing the targets and slotted as the #1 guy in Detroit. The Titans defense is still learning. And the things they’ll learn after this week.
WR Demaryius Thomas (DEN) – His value takes a hit with Trevor Siemian under center, but they play the Colts. And the Colts secondary is banged up. He’s likely to be lined up on someone who was on the practice squad a week ago. No, seriously. Give me that all day.
TE Delanie Walker (TEN) – Teams found out that Tajae Sharpe can play football. That means they can’t afford to double Walker anymore. The Lions just let the Colts TEs catch 3 TDs against them. And Walker is more talented than either of them.
TE Gary Barnidge (CLE) – It’s a shame RGIII went down with an injury. But I’m certain every single Barnidge owner cheers-ed their neighbor after as new QB Josh McCown loves him some Barnidge. After only 2 targets and ZERO catches last week, Barnidge bounces back against the Ravens.
QB Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – I’m not expecting WR Sammy Watkins to play this week. And even if he does, Revis will be determined to tear down the mansion A.J. Green built on his island. Without Watkins, Taylor has few weapons.
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) – So you saw his awful showing last week against the Giants, right? As good as Prescott was in the preseason, and the poise he showed last week, he still looks to the check down first. Give me Jason Witten and Cole Beasley over Bryant until Romo comes back.
WR Donte Moncrief (IND) – This is a gut call really. I think Hilton will get his, but I think the Broncos secondary is going to be a little upset that Benjamin abused them last week so they’re gonna buckle down and take it out on Moncrief.
RB Devonta Freeman (ATL) – Did anyone else see his 40 total yard performance last week? If you did, then you saw Tevin Coleman outperform him on the same number of carries. This is a time-share people. And not the kind on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. The bad kind, where your 1st round pick doesn’t look like a 1st round pick anymore.
RB Adrian Peterson (MIN) – Temper expectations. He might get a TD, but I wouldn’t expect more than 50 yards. This is his de facto 2nd preseason game. And it’s against Green Bay. They’ll be hungry to stuff Peterson after the Vikings won the division last season.