By the time this column is out the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots will have already played. As I write this column, some 14 hours before game time itself, I can’t help but think big points will be scored. As you know I’ve been high on Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown all preseason. I think they’ll live up to the hype. I’m also guessing that Tom Brady will have a big night, and then make some sort of post game joke about air pressure. I do laugh, however, and the pundits and prognosticators that say that “Brady is going to play like he’s possessed this year”. Are you kidding me? That’s an insult to Tom Brady in every year prior. The guy is a professional, and like him or not, he’s up for every game regardless of the situation. I think it’s absurd to think that someone will play with a little more competitive juices that is a consummate pro. I’m not a Pats fan, nor a huge Brady fan, but no one will ever win an argument with me that Brady and Belichick aren’t two of the best ever.
Alright on to my week 1 starters and I don’t knows. Drum roll please.
QB-At quarterback week 1 is always one of the easiest to pick because usually offenses are ahead of defenses. Defenses simply haven’t had time to adjust to new wrinkles put in during the off season. That said, look for the Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan(same game), Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Teddy Bridgewater(San Fran will roll up on AP and Wallace and Johnson will dazzle), Aaron Rodgers, and….wait for it…..Carson Palmer to go off. That is only 8 QBS, so if you’re in a 10, 12, 14, or 16 team league pray for a little help. You might get some from the likes of a Phillip Rivers, Ryan Tannehill, or even Peyton Manning(though I think Baltimore will play Denver tough), but after that expect average play. I’d be worried about Andrew Luck, seems crazy to think because he’s always steady but, because he’s going against Buffalo’s defense that worries me. Rex Ryan is a buffoon but the man can coach some defense. And they’ll run the ball to take time off the clock. Meantime if you have a Russell Wilson, I just don’t know if he will do a lot against the St. Louis defense. I think the Rams D may be one of the best in the business after it all shakes out.
RB-AP, AP, AP, AP. If you can start Adrian Peterson four times(special exemption please league commissioner), do it. This guy is going to blow up San Franscisco. Heck there might even be new ocean front property on the bay our there after Monday night. Others that will go crazy will be Eddie Lacy, Lamar Smith, Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Hill, CJ Anderson, and Demarco Murray. I’m not buying in that Demarco isn’t going to get a ton of carries regardless of what everyone says. Chip Kelly wants to look good in that acquisition, and come hell or high water, he’s going to try to do just that and give the man the ball. And coming back in week 1 is Lesean McCoy. I wonder if the Colts have fixed their run defense. Remember that time when a New England Patriot named LaGarrette Blount slashed and gashed their defense using a small lemon or slightly under inflated football as it were? Not sure the Colts have figured it out. I’m nervous for every other running back because I feel like run defenses are always better early in the NFL than late. Everyone is fresh at the point of attack, and hungry. So my I don’t knows would be-Marshawn Lynch(believe it or not), Alfred Morris, Alfred Blue, Frank Gore, and Matt Forte. It seems like running backs used to come off the board in drafts quicker than the NFL rushes to judgement, but, they seem to be a lot more suspect in results. I mean, if you drafted Justin Forsett, you have to start him, but, Denver isn’t going to open the Red Sea for the man. I don’t know about him.
WR-The aforementioned Antonio Brown will be relaxing by this time, back in his Pittsburgh home with about a century or more of yardage and a couple of TD’s on his 2015 resume. But who is a must start? Easy. T.Y. Hilton(wait Eric you said, I know, I know….but, the Colts will score and it’s more than likely he gets behind the defense after a crossing route so…). I like Odell Beckham AND Reuban Randle. I like Dez Bryant A LOT(Forrest Gump voice), you have to start Jarvis Landry, Demaryius Thomas, John Brown, Amari Cooper, Sammy Watkins(but he still shouldn’t have been picked in the 2nd round), Allen Robinson(look it up), and…wait for it….Brandon Marshall. Trust me on Marshall. Ryan Fitzpatrick might throw 64 interceptions this year while force feeding his #1 WR. It will be like Joey Chestnut feeding his kids hot dogs. Book it. As for I don’t knows-Julian Edelman(coming off of an injury but I’m still starting him in my league, ugh), Emmanuel Sanders(I know he’s been money in the bank but don’t you think Harbaugh will have someone or two someones all over him?), Calvin Johnson-yep, CJ makes me nervous. San Diego’s defense is pretty solid and they have a good coach, and, Matthew Stafford could screw up putting chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream. Further, guys like DeAndre Hopkins(Chiefs D), Jeremy Maclin(JJ Watts and Houston’s D), and Alshon Jeffrey(Green Bay will smother him) make me think, “I don’t know!”. I failed to mention above, and yes it’s out of order but it’s my column, that Jordan Mathews and Julio Jones should have big days. They might have to resurface the field in Atlanta after this weekend’s matchup with the Eagles.
I’m going to leave it at that. QB’s, RB’s, and WR’s-the meat of your team. Plus trying to predict which Tight End is going to be good is like trying to predict who will win the 2016 presidency(and on both accounts I’m not sure I want to). As for kickers, look for someone kicking inside or in nice weather, as always! Good luck this weekend, unless of course, you are going against my team. If so, and I mean this will all sincerity, bad luck to you!
Week 1 is always a crap shoot. You’ll have 16 more weeks to figure out how to fix your team and 16 more weeks to sit on the couch and tick your wife off. And if you’re a chick doing fantasy football, I dig that. I dig that a lot!