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2017 Fantasy Football Week 1 Game Previews: Let’s GO!

2017 Fantasy Football Game 1 Previews: Let's Go!
Keith Allison

Let’s GO!  Finally, football games that count!!!

After weeks of preparation, analysis, and countless mock drafts, we will finally get to see if we were right on our projections and predictions. The wait is over, Football is back !

I will be providing weekly games previews and predictions focused primarily from a fantasy perspective. I grade each player/team on a A-F scale with A=fantasy stud, B=starter, C=borderline start, D=below average, need to find a better option, F=why did you start him?

Alright enough with the introduction, let’s get to the games. Welcome to the Week 1 Games Preview and Predictions.

Week 1 Game Previews and Predictions

Week 1 Games

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills (-9.5)

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New York Jets Offense vs. Buffalo Bills Defense

The Jets are projected to be one of the worst offensive teams in the league this season. They attempted to upgrade their offense by acquiring Wide Receiver Jermaine Kearse, but he is not a difference-maker. Look for QB Josh McCown to connect with tons of dump passes to RB Bilal Powell as his receiving core will find it difficult to create space, not just against the Bills but all season long. Besides Bilal Powell, I am not sure from where their yards will come.

The Bills defense should have a huge day. McCown is known for holding the ball too long and waiting for the big play. The Bills front four should wreak havoc on the Jets’ offensive line and make it a long day for McCown. The Bills are favored by 9.5 points and playing at home, both factors that typically work in favor of a fantasy defense.

Buffalo Bills Offense vs. New York Jets Defense

Tyrod Taylor looks like he is going to play but I would stay away from him as he is returning from a concussion. This will be the LeSean McCoy show. The Bills are going to run McCoy into the ground. Even though the Jets have one of the toughest run defenses in the NFL, the Bills boasted the top running attack last season. This could open up things for Taylor and his unproven receivers, led by newcomer Jordan Matthews and rookie Zay Jones. Tight End Charles Clay is a sneaky-good play as he was targeted 13 times by Taylor in the two matchups last season.

Game Prediction

The Jets are horrible BUT the Bills are not much better after the Bills reshaped their roster this preseason. The Bills ride McCoy to a win but don’t cover the spread. This will not be a fun game to watch unless you have LeSean McCoy or possibly Bills Defense/ST in your lineup.

Player Fantasy Grades

New York Jets

QB-Josh McCown:  D

RB-Matt Forte: C-

RB-Bilal Powell:  B-

WR-Richie Anderson:  C

WR-Jermaine Kearse:  C-

Defense/Special Teams: D

Buffalo Bills

QB-Tyrod Taylor:  C

RB-LeSean McCoy:  A+

RB- Mike Tolbert:  D+

WR: Jordan Matthews:  C-

WR:  Zay Jones:  D

TE:  Charles Clay:  B  (sneaky play)

Defense/Special Teams:  B-

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (-5.5)

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Jaguars Offense vs. Texans Defense

Who will score more touchdowns this game? Jaguars offense or the Texans Defense? Blake Bortles is a turnover machine and the Texans are one of the best defensive units in football, especially versus the pass. Texans Defense allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game (201.6) and fifth-fewest touchdown passes (20) last season. Those numbers will improve with the return of the best defensive player in football JJ Watt. The Jaguars do not have much of a passing attack due to Bortles’ continued ineffectiveness. This will lead the Jaguars to try and force the ball to rookie running back Leonard Fournette and hope he can provide offense stability.

Texans Offense vs. Jaguars Defense

With Tom Savage leading the Texans offense, they will focus on running the ball with Lamar Miller. The Texans approach last season was volume based rather than results based, as they ranked sixth in attempts last season with 456. However, the Jaguars’ run defense was in the middle of the pack and allowed the ninth-most rushing touchdowns on the ground. The passing game of the Texans will have problems with the Jaguars defense. the Jaguars had one of the better pass defenses in the NFL last season. Jacksonville allowed the fifth-fewest yards per game through the air (215.2) and touchdowns allowed (20). Savage is relatively unproven NFL QB who will need to rely on DeAndre Hopkins and dump passes to Lamar Miller to gain confidence against this underrated defense.

Game Prediction

The Texans will ride their defense at home to a victory. They will force Bortles to make mistakes that will lead to short drives and points. I would definitely play the Texans Defense and Lamar Miller, he should get a load of carries in this game. On the Jaguars, I think you have to play Fournette. I don’t see an efficient game but the volume will provide points.

Player Fantasy Grades

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB-Blake Bortles:  C-

RB-Leonard Fournette: C

WR-Allen Robinson:  C-

Defense/Special Teams:  C

Houston Texans

QB-Tom Savage:  C-

RB-Lamar Miller: C

WR-DeAndre Hopkins:  C

Defense/Special Teams:  B+

Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) vs. Cleveland Browns

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Steelers Offense vs. Browns Defense

Play all of your Steelers. Big Ben has a ton of weapons to choose from with Martavius Bryant coming back this season. The only issue might be is that the Steelers get up big quick and the stars ride the bench in the second half, especially Leveon Bell who might not be completely in game-shape to start the season.

Browns Offense vs. Steelers Defense

Rookie DeShone Kizer gets his first career start, so the Steelers will throw all kinds of looks the rookie’s way. Steelers’ Defense makes a great fantasy play. Look for Duke Johnson to make an impact on dump passes and in the end of the game as the Browns try to rally. In addition, watch Wide Receiver Corey Coleman, he has been making huge strides this preseason and looks to break out with his new QB. The Browns will be tempted to test former Brown Joe Haden to confirm their beliefs that he was not worth his contract.

Game Prediction

I believe the Steelers win in a lopsided game. Bell gets 100+ yards and a score and sits early. Brown and Bryant also score as the Steelers open the season showcasing all of their offensive weapons. Browns try to rally back but fall short. Only worthy Browns’ players will be Duke Johnson in PPR formats, and Coleman who will burn Haden more than once and confirm that he is ready to move up to the next level.

Player Fantasy Grades

Pittsburgh Steelers

QB-Big Ben:  B+

RB-Leveon Bell:  B+

WR-Antonio Brown: A

WR-Martavius Bryant:  A

Defense/Special Teams:  B+

Cleveland Browns

QB-DeShone Kizer: C-

RB-Isaiah Crowell:  C

RB: Duke Johnson Jr.:  B-

WR:  Kenny Britt:  C

WR:  Corey Coleman:  B-

Defense/Special Teams:  F

Arizona Cardinals (-2) vs. Detroit Lions

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Cardinals Offense vs. Lions Defense

David Johnson is a monster and will ALWAYS get his. Carson Palmer is still hanging on and will have a full arsenal of weapons to try to keep up with Stafford and the Lions. John Brown should break one or two long ones as he looks to be healthy, for now. Fitz will get his as the Cardinals’ offense will be firing on all cylinders.

Lions Offense vs. Cardinals Defense

Arizona’s defense will cause problems for the Lions’ offense. Stafford will have a hard time keeping upright with his offensive line having issues protecting him. In addition, they will have difficulty creating holes for Ameer Abdullah as well. Stafford will try to stay with Palmer by spreading the ball around to a good receiving core along with Abdullah and Riddick out of the backfield.

Game Prediction

The Lions will not be able to stop David Johnson and that will be the difference in the game. The Cardinals Defense will slow down the Lions’ offense just enough to get the W. Palmer will throw for three-plus touchdowns.

Player Fantasy Grades

Arizona Cardinals

QB-Carson Palmer:  A+

RB-David Johnson: A+

WR: Larry Fitzgerald: B+

WR:  John Brown:  A-

Defense/Special Teams:  C+

Detroit Lions

QB-Matthew Stafford: C+

RB-Ameer Abdullah:  C

RB-Theo Riddick:  C

WR-Marvin Jones: C

WR-Golden Tate:  B

TE-Eric Ebron:  C

Defense/Special Teams:  F

Atlanta Falcons (-7) vs. Chicago Bears

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Falcons Offense vs. Bears Defense

Fantasy owners are concerned about a letdown for the Falcons due to the Super Bowl hangover and the loss of OC Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons are still loaded with a lot of offensive firepower through the air and via the ground. The two-headed running attack of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman should be very productive and Julio Jones should score against the weak Bears secondary. As long as the Falcons don’t turn the ball over, the Falcons should blow out the Bears.

Bears Offense vs. Falcons Defense

The Falcons will need to focus on Jordan Howard, but the Bears will rely on him because Atlanta ranked among the 10 worst teams against opposing fantasy rushers last year. Howard should be fairly productive early in the game and will produce until the Falcons pull way ahead and the Bears have to turn to newly appointed QB Mike Glennon. Falcons’ secondary is not overwhelming but should be able to contain Glennon and his injury-ravaged receiving core.

Game Prediction

Player Fantasy Grades

Atlanta Falcons

QB-Matt Ryan: B+

RB-Devonta Freeman:  A

RB-Tevin Coleman:  B

WR-Julio Jones:  A

TE-Austin Hooper:  C

Defense/Special Teams:  B

Chicago Bears

QB-Mike Glennon:  D

RB-Jordan Howard:  B

WR-Kevin White/Kendall Wright:  C

TE-Zach Miller:  C

Defense/Special Teams:  F

Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans (-2)

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Raiders Offense vs. Titans Defense

The game is slated to be a shootout as evidenced by the point total being the highest projected total (51) of this week’s games. Fantasy owners should start and expect all fantasy relevant players to generate desirable results. Derek Carr was an MVP candidate last season and should find little resistance in getting the ball downfield to his stud receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Skittles man Marshawn Lynch came off his couch to play for his hometown team. Look for the Raiders to try to establish him early but the Raiders’ defense can not stop anyone, therefore the Raiders will be forced to pass and pass often.

Titans Offense vs. Raiders Defense

Marcus Mariota broke out last season only to get his season cut short by a leg injury. He comes back this season with new weapons on the outside with veteran Eric Decker and promising rookie Corey Davis joining the wide receiver group The Titans should be able to run all over the Raiders just like teams did last season. The Raiders ranked 23rd in rushing yards allowed and 25th in rushing touchdowns allowed last season. Running the ball successfully will allow the Titans to control the flow of the game, and also sets up play action to take advantage of Oakland’s notoriously struggling secondary. Mariota gets acquainted with his new weapons, as Decker and Davis with touchdowns to each receiver. The player that will benefit the most from Mariota’s great game will be TE Delanie Walker. The Raiders can not figure out how to cover the tight end position.

Game Prediction

I think the Titans win a close game by virtue of their ability to score in pace with the Raiders and their superior running attack keeping the ball away from the Raiders’ offense enough to pull off the win. Both quarterbacks should have great games and the Titans’ running back tandem of Murray and Henry should pound the Raiders into submission.

Player Fantasy Grades

Oakland Raiders

QB-Derek Carr:  A

RB:  Marshawn Lynch:  C

WR-Amari Cooper:  B+

WR-Michael Crabtree:  B+

TE-Jared Cook:  C

Defense/Special Teams:  D

Tennessee Titans

QB-Marcus Mariotta:  A

RB-DeMarco Murray:  A

RB-Derrick Henry:  B

WR-Eric Decker:  C

WR-Rishard Matthews:  B

WR-Corey Davis:  C

TE-Delanie Walker:  B

Defense/Special Teams:  D

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

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Ravens Offense vs. Bengals Defense

This game has all of the makings of a defensive showdown,. The Ravens have not won at Paul Brown Stadium since 2012. Additionally, Joe Flacco will have to shake off the rust after missing all of preseason with a back injury. Flacco does not have a good track record against the Bengals with just 16 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions in 17 career games against Cincinnati. On the positive side of the fantasy ledger, the Bengals will be without three key defensive players in linebacker Vontaze Burfict, stud cornerback Adam Jones and starting safety Shawn Williams. Flacco should benefit with offseason additions of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back Danny Woodhead.  The Ravens will find it hard to run behind a middling offensive line and a capable but limited running back Terrance West. Can the offense work cohesively without rapport and reps with each other?

Bengals Offense vs. Ravens Defense

The Bengals’ ground game will have an uphill battle trying to run against the Ravens defense that is built to stop the run. That will lead to QB Andy Dalton looking for his stud WR AJ Green early and often. Green has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last five contests against the Ravens, averaging 120.8 receiving yards per game in the process. His presence opens up the entire offense. However, the Bengals’ offensive line is worse than their terrible one last season, so Dalton will be hit and sacked frequently. The Bengals’ offense is explosive but will Dalton have time?

Game Prediction

If the Bengals can avoid turnovers, I think they can pull out a win at home. With Flacoo and Woodhead coming back from injuries and the offense still learning each other’s names, I see the Bengals prevailing in a close game.

Player Fantasy Grades

Baltimore Ravens

QB-Joe Flacco: C

RB-Terrance West: C

RB-Danny Woodhead: C+

WR-Mike Wallace: B  (catches a long bomb against the decimated secondary)

WR-Jeremy Maclin: C

WR-Breshard Perriman: D

Defense/Special Teams: B

Cincinnati Bengals

QB-Andy Dalton: C

RB-Joe Mixon: C

RB-Jeremy Hill: D

RB-Giovanni Bernard: D

WR-AJ Green: B+

WR-Brandon LaFell: D

TE:  Tyler Eifert: C

Defense/Special Teams: C

Philadelphia Eagles (-1) vs. Washington Redskins

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Eagles Offense vs. Redskins Defense

The Eagles focused their offseason on providing support for the second-year QB Carson Wentz. The success of this season is tied to whether the additions of wide receivers Ashlon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith along with running back LeGarrette Blount lead Wentz to a leap forward into being a successful quarterback. The biggest issue for the Eagles is their offensive line. Hopefully, with a full season of LT Lance Johnston, their line will allow Wentz not to be sacked five times as he was in their last matchup. Their running game is a mix/match of specialists of contrasting styles but no three-down backs. I think the Eagles will look to showcase all of their new weapons and let Wentz become comfortable right away. He will have success throwing on the Redskins including throwing to the running backs out of the backfield and to TE Zach Ertz.

Redskins Offense vs. Eagles Defense

Kirk Cousins has dominated the Eagles in his career. He is 4-1 with 12 TD and only three interceptions in his five career games against the Eagles. I see no reason why that success will not continue starting on Sunday. Cousins will have two new starting receivers to throw to this season in newcomer Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder. The Redskins’ passing game will face a revamped Eagles’ secondary with three new starters at the corner. Their receivers will have a drastic size difference with no corners taller than 6’0″. With Pryor at 6’4″ and Doctson at 6’2″, pushing the ball vertically against a secondary giving up too much height must be a feature of Washington’s game plan in Week 1. Their running game should find success behind Rob Kelley who totaled 88 yards and a score in their last matchup.

Game Prediction

Cousins and the passing game should dominate this game and lead the Redskins to a 1-0 start in the 2017 season.

Player Fantasy Grades

Philadelphia Eagles

QB-Carson Wentz:  C

RB-LeGarrette Blount:  C

RB-Darren Sproles:  C

RB-Wendell Smallwood:  D

WR-Ashlon Jeffrey:  C

WR-Torrey Smith:  B (breaks loose for a long TD-only catch of game)

WR-Nelson Agholor: (only thing he can catch is a cold)

TE: Zach Ertz:  B

Defense/Special Teams: C

Washington Redskins

QB-Kirk Cousins:  A

RB-Rob Kelley: B

WR-Jamison Crowder:  B

WR-Terrelle Pryor: B

TE-Jordan Reed: B

Defense/Special Teams: C

Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)

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Colts Offense vs. Rams Defense

Uh oh! The Colts have to rely on Scott Tolzien!  This game will be ugly without Andrew Luck (shoulder), who is out this week (and more). The Colts will need to simplify the game plan for Tolzien and pick their spots going downfield. I wouldn’t trust anyone on the Colts to have a good fantasy day against a Rams defense, who will be out their best defensive player Aaron Donald.

Rams Offense vs Colts Defense

Welcome to the new-look offense of the Rams. They brought in offensive whiz kid Sean McVay to be their head coach. In addition, they added veteran receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and preseason favorite Cooper Kupp will open up the offense and hopefully provide weapons for QB Jared Goff and lead to his continued development.  It would make sense for the Rams to attack the Colts secondary especially since they will be without Pro Bowl CB Vontae Davis. Goff should try to strike early and often to Watkins and get on top of the Andrew Luck-less Colts and then pound RB Todd Gurley in the second half.

Game Prediction

The Rams should have their way with the Colts, who will have a difficult time producing offense.  This will be the coming out party for Todd Gurley. He should have a huge day!

Player Fantasy Grades

Indianapolis Colts

QB-Scott Tolzien:  D

RB-Frank Gore:  C

WR-T.Y. Hilton:  C-

WR-Donte Moncrief:  D

TE-Jack Doyle:  C

Defense/Special Teams: D

Los Angeles Rams

QB-Jared Goff: C+

RB-Todd Gurley:  A

WR-Sammy Watkins: B

WR-Robert Woods:  C

WR-Copper Kupp:  C

TE-Tyler Higbee:  D

Defense/Special Team:  B+.

Carolina Panthers  (-5.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers

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Panthers Offense vs. 49ers Defense

Of course, everyone wants to see what Cam Newton will be able to do after having shoulder surgery this off season. All reports indicate that he is recovering well and has had no limitations in practice. Newton had his best game of the year against the Niners in 2016, posting season highs with 353 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Niners defense did not improve significantly, so Newton should be able to test his shoulder without any resistance. Rookie sensation Christian McCaffrey and veteran Jonathan Stewart should run all over this defense. Last season they gave up far more fantasy points to opposing RBs than any other team in the league. Kelvin Benjamin got himself into shape and he should be in all of your lineups. TE Greg Olsen is a no-brainer starter every week.

49ers Offense vs. Panthers Defense

It will be interesting to see if Brian Hoyer can rekindle the magic now that he is with Kyle Shanahan. He will be facing a daunting Panthers defense. Look for Hoyer to be running for his life in this game. The Niners will try to establish the run with Carlos Hyde early in this contest, but he will running into a wall aka the Panthers front seven. Once the 49ers fall behind, Hyde will be a non-factor. Pierre Garcon will be a PPR monster this game as he will be peppered with short throws. No one else from the Niners’ offense seems like someone that you should look to start.

Game Prediction

I see a Panthers blowout win. Panthers will get up early and unleash their defense on Hoyer.  Look for Stewart to grind out the yards and the clock late in this one.

Player Fantasy Grades

Carolina Panthers

QB-Cam Newton:  A

RB-Jonathan Stewart:  A

RB-Christian McCaffrey: B+

WR-Kelvin Benjamin:  A

WR-Devin Funchess: C

TE-Greg Olsen: A

Defense/Special Teams:  A

San Francisco 49ers

QB-Brian Hoyer:  C

RB-Carlos Hyde: C

WR-Pierre Garcon: B

WR-Jeremy Kerley: D

TE-Garrett Celek: F

Defense/Special Teams: F

Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers (-3)

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Seahawks Offense vs. Packers Defense

Wilson has not had great success in Green Bay. He is typically a home field quarterback, and he has never played particularly well at Lambeau Field. However, this should be a shootout. The Seahawks will try to establish the run to keep the ball away from Rodgers. Their running back position is a mess. No one is the clear top running back and they will all be sharing carries until someone takes over. Look for Lacy to get the first shot. Doug Baldwin is a very reliable receiver and should produce big in this game as the Seahawks need to try to keep up with the Packers. Look for Jimmy Graham to show that he is back and he should have a great game as he creates mismatches all over the field.

Packers Offense vs. Seahawks Defense

Aaron Rodgers will have a full arsenal to use against the Seahawks defense and you don’t beat the Packers at home. Rodgers will get his but don’t look for him to put up amazing numbers. Packers say that they want to run more this season. Converted receiver Ty Montgomery is the clear starter at this point, but keep an eye on it. He is the better pass catcher and will cause more match up issues. He will do most of his damage catching passes out of the backfield in this game. Rodgers go to guy is Jordy Nelson. Jordy is a clear WR1 even with the tough match up. Seattle plays a physical zone and Jordy is smart enough to beat it. He really is not a match up concern. Adams had a 104-yard day last time these teams met. Cobb might be a worthwhile Flex play in PPR formats.

Game Prediction

Rodgers presents problems for all defenses and will need to try to resist to do much on his own and utilize all of his weapons. I dont think the Packers will be able to run the ball in this one so the game will depend on which QB creates big plays.  Russell Wilson is healthy and should prove that last season’s inconsistent play was due to the injury.  Best game of Week 1 and it might come down to who has the ball last will win.

Player Fantasy Grades

Seattle Seahawks

QB-Russell Wilson: B+

RB-Eddie Lacy: C

RB-Thomas Rawls: D

RB-C.J. Prosise: C

RB-Chris Carson: D

WR-Doug Baldwin: A

WR-Paul Richardson: B

TE-Jimmy Graham: A

Defense/Special Teams: C

Green Bay Packers

QB-Aaron Rodgers: A

RB-Ty Montgomery: B+

RB-Jamaal Williams: D

WR-Jordy Nelson: A

WR-DaVante Adams: B+

WR-Randall Cobb: C

TE-Martellus Bryant: C

Defense/Special Teams: F

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (-4)

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Giants Offense vs. Cowboys Defense

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Giants offense this season. Most importantly, the health of Odell Beckham. Even if he plays, he will not be at full strength. The Giants did add new pieces in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to help Eli Manning to fulfill the potential on this offense. Manning had a great game against the Cowboys in last season’s opener by throwing three touchdowns.  Facing a possibly worse Cowboys secondary than last season, Manning finds himself in a solid situation. Marshall should see a lot of one-on-one situations this game and must take advantage for the Giants to have a chance. Engram should thrive in his first NFL game against a defense that was ranked 30th against tight ends last season. The Giants have no running game to speak of as they send out Paul Perkins, who is the starter by default.

Cowboys Offense vs. Giants Defense

The Giants’ second-ranked run defense held Ezekiel Elliott to 158 yards on 44 carries (3.6 YPC) in the two meetings last year, well below his season average. Cowboys will need to turn Dak Prescott and the passing game to secure this win. Prescott will need his vaunted offensive line to keep the Giants defense away from him, something that they did not do in their last matchup when he was sacked three times. Dez Bryant has always had issues with Janoris Jenkins, so Prescott will need to look to Cole Beasley and Jason Witten to move the chains.

Game Prediction

With Beckham not at full strength, the Giants will not have any big plays to rely on and with the lack of rapport with Marshall and Engram, and virtually no running game, I think Manning will struggle. The Cowboys will be riding high with the news that Elliot probably will be available all season and ride that to victory.

Player Fantasy Grades

New York Giants

QB-Eli Manning: C

RB-Paul Perkins: D

RB-Shane Vereen: D

WR-Odell Beckham Jr.: C

WR-Brandon Marshall: C

WR-Sterling Shepard: C

TE-Evan Engram: B

Defense/Special Teams:  C

Dallas Cowboys

QB-Dak Prescott: B

RB-Ezekiel Elliott: C

WR-Dez Bryant: B

WR-Cole Beasley: C

TE-Jason Witten: B

Defense/Special Teams: C

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

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Saints Offense vs. Vikings Defense

The Adrian Peterson narrative of him facing his old team is getting old. Peterson will not get many touches and can’t catch the ball so his opportunities are limited.  I think he does score a TD with minimal yardage.  RB Mark Ingram will have a rough go against this tough run defense.  As it normally does, the game will be decided on the right arm of QB Drew Brees. The Vikings have five Pro Bowlers on defense and will try to neutralize Brees and all of his offensive weapons. Michael Thomas will try to avoid Xavier Rhodes, so look for the Saints to move him around to free him up and make some noise. With Willie Snead suspended, Ted Ginn should take on more of a role and he will be targeted deep a few times to open up the middle for Thomas and TE Coby Fleener.

Vikings Offense vs. Saints Defense

Rookie running back Dalvin Cook was named the Week 1 starter and look for him to get plenty of work and will be a three-down back. The Vikings’ offensive line has new starters at each position, so Cook may not have it easy as we think  in this game. Sam Bradford is your typical game-manager but he does have some nice weapons in PPR monster Stephon Diggs, and boom-or-bust receiver Adam Thielen, along with TE Kyle Rudolph. Playing against the Saints normally creates shootouts, so it should position Bradford and his targets for a nice day.

Game Prediction

Peterson celebrates after his obligatory TD and after the game. Brees and Coach Sean Payton will devise schemes to get the best of the Vikings defense. The Vikings offense is not built to come from behind and will fall short.  Watch for Kyle Rudolph to be the go-to guy in this game.

Player Fantasy Grades

New Orleans Saints

QB-Drew Brees: B+

RB-Mark Ingram: C

RB-Adrain Peterson: C

RB-Alvin Kamara: D

WR-Michael Thomas: A

WR-Ted Ginn, Jr.: B+

TE-Coby Fleener: C

Defense/Special Teams: D

Minnesota Vikings

QB-Sam Bradford: C

RB-Dalvin Cook: A

RB-Latavius Murray: C

WR-Stefon Diggs: B

WR-Adam Thielen: C

TE-Kyle Rudolph: A

Defense/Special Teams: C

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos (-3.5)

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Chargers Offense vs.Broncos Defense

The key for the Chargers will be their ability to run the ball against the Broncos’ front seven and wear them down. Phillip Rivers will not have much success passing the ball to his wideouts so look for Rivers to dump passes to Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry and utilize those passes as extended running plays. Rivers has struggled with interceptions over his career especially against the Broncos, so he will have to limit the amount of chances he takes for the Chargers to have a chance in this game.

Broncos Offense vs. Chargers Defense

The Chargers will focus on stopping CJ Anderson and force QB Trevor Siemian to beat them. Siemian won the job mostly by default, Paxton Lynch was downright horrible. Siemian must limit his turnovers and the Broncos need to  be able to run the ball to give their defense the ability to win games for them. The Chargers’ pass rush will lead to turnovers which will lead to Chargers’ points.

Game Prediction

These two division rivals have been playing some close football games as of late and the Chargers will pull the upset and beat the Broncos on a last-second FG by Younghoe Koo (I had to sneak his name in somehow).

Player Fantasy Grades

San Diego Chargers

QB-Philip Rivers: C

RB-Melvin Gordon: B+

WR-Keenan Allen: C

WR-Travis Benjamin: C

WR-Tyrell Williams: C

TE-Hunter Henry: B+

TE-Antonio Gates: C

Defense/Special Teams: B

Denver Broncos

QB-Trevor Simien:  C

RB-C.J. Anderson: B

RB-Jamal Charles: D

WR-Demaryius Thomas: C (check injury report)

WR-Emmanuel Sanders: B

TE-Virgil Green:  D

Defense/Special Teams: B

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