Living in a Fantasy – Week 1


The first week of the NFL is always unpredictable. But the first week of the NFL when it comes to Fantasy Football can be a complete nightmare. The match-ups are either too good and you don’t know who to start or your match-ups are terrible and there is no way around it. But the plane truth is I don’t know any more than you do. Of course, there is an amount of skill that is involved. But the rest in the beginning of the season is luck.  Think back for a moment to those weeks in the beginning of the season for fantasy football. The guys you drafted early are not playing up to their potential. Free Agents come out of nowhere and perform to superstar level standards and the race is on to claim them. By the time the season is over most of you have only half the roster you originally drafted.

The best advice early is not to panic. Go with the sure match-ups, go with your gut, and trust your first instincts. Don’t second guess yourself and change your line-up, it always comes back to haunts you.

Good Match-Ups

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez – The Tennessee Titans have always struggled in recent years in covering the Tight Ends. The Titans are spread thin when they go into the Nickel Defense and they lack height in the secondary. Look for both tight ends to have big days.

Danny Amendola & Pierre Garcon – Both the St. Louis Rams and the Washington Redskins probably won’t win their games and will trail for the majority of their games. That means both teams will be in passing mode and that means padded garbage fantasy stats for both of these first string wide receivers.

Philadelphia Eagles Defense/Special Teams – The Cleveland Browns are starting a rookie quarterback and possibly a banged up rookie running back. There wide receivers and tight ends do not scare anyone and will be one of the worst teams in the league. The potential for defensive touchdowns, low total yards allowed, turnovers and maybe even a shutout looks strong for the Eagles.

Free-Agent Pick-Ups

Jonathan Dwyer – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers – With Rashard Mendenhall still a long way from coming back and Isaac Redman dealing with an ankle injury of his own, as well as groin issues during the preseason, Dwyer makes sense for one of the best free-agent pick up this early in the season. The Steelers have always been a consistent running team with the ability to plug almost any running back and be successful and there is a good chance if Jonathan Dwyer does a good to great job that he will keep his job for the season. Do not trust the hype on any reports you hear on Rashard Mendenhall or even Isaac Redman until you actually see them starting and playing on the field. Then adjust accordingly.

Ronnie Brown – RB – San Diego Chargers – Ryan Matthews isn’t due back until at least week 3, but once he comes back doesn’t guarantee he will stay healthy for the remainder of the season. He hasn’t stayed healthy in his first two seasons so far and got injured on his first carry of the preseason. So Ronnie Brown makes the most sense to pick up and keep on your roster. I personally do not view him as a “handcuff”, but in PPR Leagues he can become a very productive player.

Steve Smith – WR – St. Louis Rams – This is nothing more than just a hunch here. I had him when he had a breakout year with the New York Giants until his knee injury derailed his career, getting cut by the Giants and having a ghostly year with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. He is listed as the 1st string wide receiver slated to start opposite of Danny Amendola. If he can regain his form he had with the Giants he can be a steal. Would I pick him up right now before the season starts? No, not yet, but monitor him closely, watch the Rams-Lions game, follow the stats and if he looks good and has 4-5 catches with 7-8 targets, if you can find room for him on your roster pick him up.

Random Thoughts

-          My thoughts on the “Start em’/Sit em’” features you see on TV and websites is this: always play your key players, no matter what the match-up or stats says. I can’t think of any good reasons why players like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, Calvin Johnson or Wes Welker would ever need to go to the bench. You drafted them early, they are the cornerstones of your roster. Ride them all the way to the end.

-          Ever wonder why the New York Giants are called the New York Football Giants? That’s because the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball used to play at the Polo Grounds in New York as the New York Giants from 1885-1957 when they moved west with the Brooklyn Dodgers to California. Before the baseball Giants were known as the Giants they were known as the New York Gothams from 1883-1885. In the early 20th Century it was not uncommon for football and baseball teams in the same city to also share the same name. Yet today, 55 years after the move we still refer to the NFL team as the New York Football Giants.

-          Can the Tennessee Titans please go back to wearing their home white pants and ditch the navy blue pants. That combo looks so much better when I use it on Madden 13’ that they should adopt it as soon as possible.

-          Almost everyone is expecting either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffen III to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, but I wouldn’t rule out Russell Wilson just yet. In fact I’m going to predict that Wilson will make the Pro Bowl this year, after Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning opt out due to a made up injury or something.

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