Man Up/Step Aside Week 1
No matter what your favorite soap operas are, or your favorite television series happen to be, the NFL will always be one of if not, the best soap opera that there is out there. Don’t believe me? Look at the whole Antonio Brown saga with Mike Mayock and the Oakland Raiders.
One day there are reports all over the internet and social media reporting that Brown would not suit up to take on the Denver Broncos on Monday night, and that there was a very high chance that he would be suspended and possibly have his contract voided.
If you keep up with what’s going around in the NFL on a regular basis, then you were probably just as shocked as other fans when they read the news today and say that Brown and Mayock, have squashed their heated business (at least for now) and now all those suspension talks are swept under the rug, and just like that Brown will now be playing in Week 1 for the silver and black.
Antonio Brown told me there was never a scuffle at practice. He said he did not use the word “cracker” and would never use that word…Everything has been blown out of proportion”
“I spoke with Mike Mayock 1-on-1, man-to-man.”
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) September 6, 2019
Ahh… what show of yours has better writing than that? Not very many out there. Fast forward past the other drama such as Andrew Luck retiring during a preseason game, we now have another developing story that hints at Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver and the possibility of him now playing against the Minnesota Vikings if he doesn’t get a new contract.
What!? Are you serious right now? Fantasy managers everywhere, are losing their minds right now. This news was almost as shocking as Luck retiring out of nowhere. But at the end of the day, the NFL is a tough, tough business and players should not be criticized for wanting to get the most that they can get, knowing that each week on the field could be their very last with one bad play.
From @gmfb: #Falcons WR Julio Jones has leverage, and hinting that he may not play if a contract doesn't get done is a way to use it. A deal that has been close for a while (per owner Arthur Blank) would make Jones the highest-paid WR in the NFL… if it gets done. pic.twitter.com/oZSAna3AfD
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2019
On Thursday night the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers kicked off the regular season, in what many fans were hoping for a sharper game, but instead we got a defensive battle and sloppy offensive play from both sides until the end. Aaron Jones and Davante Adams combined for right around 11 fantasy points, and there wasn’t anybody else that was effective aside from Allen Robinson.
With several fantasy managers hoping to bounce back up after not getting much from their players on Thursday night, here are some players that will help you bounce back and still take that week 1 victory over your opponent. Here’s to another year of Man Up, Step Aside and the greatest drama on TV, the NFL.
In his second year in the league, Jackson goes into 2019 as one of the most interesting players to see what he can do fantasy-wise. It’ll be a work in progress when it comes to his accuracy, but his speed and legs are the biggest contributions to what makes Jackson so appealing in fantasy. Especially when the Ravens get ready to take on the Miami Dolphins. This shouldn’t feel like a road game for Jackson, because he was born in Florida, went to high school there, and now gets to face probably one of the worst defense in the NFL.
Oh man, it’s been a long time coming since fantasy managers haven’t had to stress too much over whether to start Fournette or not. The Kansas City Chiefs are a scary team offensively for just about any defense in the NFL, but their run defense… not so much. We’re not sure either if Fournette will be able to stay healthy for a full season, but he is in for a huge workload against the Chiefs.
Yeahhhhh booiiiii. Last preseason game then we get this train rolling 🎸🎸 pic.twitter.com/Cahg0AAOpj
— Austin Ekeler (@AustinEkeler) August 29, 2019
Following similar footsteps as Le’veon Bell, Melvin Gordon has been a no show all offseason for the Chargers, and don’t expect him anytime soon either, at least not until week 10 if the Chargers and Gordon can’t find a trade partner. The best part about Ekeler is that you got him super cheap in drafts, and possibly a high-end RB 2. Justin Jackson will be sprinkled in the run game as well, but that shouldn’t shy you away from starting Ekeler.
I mean, somebody’s got to catch the ball in New York.
This is more for a deeper league, or if you’re going to be streaming at the TE position. I like Waller as a sneaky DFS play as well. Not many know who Waller is because there’s not many stats on him, but with Jared Cook gone, Derek Carr should give Waller a fair share of the target in the Raiders offense. He’s big, he’s fast and in 2018 the Denver Broncos defense was TE friendly allowing the seventh-most yards to tight ends last season.
More a flex option, Penny is going to be an interesting player this season. I’m not sold that the Seattle Seahawks have their running back of the future on their roster just yet, but Penny should eat into Chris Carson’s workload. Penny could also be the back that Seattle turns to at some point in the season, but if you play in a league with an added flex spot, Penny does have a favorable matchup at home.
Matt Ryan is one of those guys who doesn’t get a lot of respect that he deserves, and when we’re looking back at the 2019 season there’s no reason to suspend the thought of Matt Ryan finishing as a top 10 quarterback. However, in week 1 there’s plenty of evidence in plain sight to avoid starting Ryan if possible. He’s on the road going up against a tough defense. Minnesota did lose some key players in the offseason, but they’re still ranked as a top 5 defense. In 2018 the Vikings also allowed a league-low 15 passing touchdowns in 2018. And then there’s Julio. If Jones does sit out, don’t expect Ridley to have a huge game either.
Even with fantasy managers knowing the news of Andrew Luck, Hilton should still be a good play in season-long leagues. It’s hard to bench a guy like Hilton, so I’m going to say just be wary of what to expect when you do plugin Hilton in your line ups. Hilton will also be shadowed by Casey Hayward, which doesn’t make this a favorable matchup.
I like Fuller more as a DFS play this week. Traditionally, just looking back at receivers who come back after tearing their ACL have a slower process. Fuller has also dealt with soft tissue injuries, and while the highly anticipated matchup between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints should be a high scoring game, Fuller is just a bit of a risk to play. He didn’t play in the preseason, so until we see Fuller as his old self, just be cautious when setting your lineups.
When looking at what the Penn State product was able to do in college after Barkley left, it’s easy to see why many people get excited having Sanders on their rosters. It’s fair to say that the Philadelphia Eagles got themselves a future star on their team, but right now isn’t the time. Jordan Howard should be the RB that Philly leans on more early in the season, and while many football fans do expect Howard to slowly fade out this season, that time isn’t now.
It’d be nice if he could stay healthy all season long, but it’s just difficult figuring out what to do if you’re going to roster Reed this season. We all know that he could very well put up a huge performance at any time this year, especially in week 1, but look at other options at the tight end position if possible.
Derrick Henry got injured in the first drill on the first day of Titans practice. Here's what to expect from Henry in the opener (and tomorrow night). https://t.co/eW7vLq2gAG
— Tennessean (@Tennessean) August 28, 2019
Let’s hope that Henry can bring the same intensity to your fantasy teams from what we saw from him late in 2018. This time around you weren’t getting Henry as low as you used to, but fantasy managers should remain optimistic about Henry going forward. A calf injury kept the bruiser out of camp, so the Titans will ease him into heavier workloads as the season goes. But looking at how different the Browns look this season, if they’re connecting all the dots early on and piling up points, then the Titans may abandon the run game to try and keep up with Cleveland.