Week 1 of the 2016 season is officially here!
By now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve had your fantasy drafts, and subsequently filed multiple waiver claims in an effort to maximize your Week 1 point total. No one wants to lose the first week.
To help you avoid losing at all, I’ll be assembling the most pertinent fantasy football takes from the major outlets. I’ll include Ravens articles as much as possible (for obvious reasons), while also pointing you toward news that could impact your weekly matchup.
Best of luck to you in your leagues this year (unless you’re representing the Purple Reign Show).
I don’t really understand why Justin Forsett was released to begin with, the end result of the roster maneuvering is that he’s still here. Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun thinks Forsett will have a “significant” role in Baltimore’s game against Buffalo.
The Bills gave up 108.1 rushing yards per game in 2015 (16th). To make matters worse, they will be without 2014 All-Pro DT Marcell Dareus indefinitely, as he recently checked himself into rehab to combat his problem with substance abuse.
Without Dareus in the middle of Buffalo’s defense, Ravens running backs could gain 200 total yards. If Forsett is the starter, he should score double-digit points even if he doesn’t find pay dirt.
As of now, Kenneth Dixon is still nursing the knee injury he sustained against the Panthers two weeks ago. However, MMQB’s Peter King thinks Dixon could be Baltimore’s starter “by the middle of October.”
Dixon has certainly shown elusiveness and power in a shortened preseason. But beware of the starter designation in this case, as Baltimore seems intent on using a running-back-by-committee approach.
If you play in a keeper league, I’d say go for Dixon right away, and even propose a (reasonable) trade if he’s taken. But until we see a two or three game sample of what he can do in the regular season, I suggest you temper your expectations.
According to Brandon Gdula at numberFire, Charles is one of the very best all-around fantasy football players ever. Whether it’s ppr, standard scoring, or some kind of hybrid, Charles gets points in bunches, whether he’s fully healthy or fighting through an injury.
Speaking of the latter, ESPN Chiefs beat writer Adam Teicher is suggesting that Charles’ Week 1 touches will be limited at best. However, head coach Andy Reid and Charles himself are hinting that No. 25’s preseason absence isn’t cause for concern. Per Gdula, “Charles feels like he is “‘full go,’ too.”
If you have Charles on your team and don’t have much running back depth, I say start him. If the injury were really bad, I imagine we’d know by now if he wasn’t playing. Therefore, if he does play, even in a limited capacity, you’re likely to receive a decent output.
Again, he’s a very durable player that’s been through this kind of thing before. He’s tough, and while he may not actually be “full go” yet, 80 percent of him is like 100 percent of most backs.
As NFL.com’s Matt Harmon points out, there’s a lot to consider when reviewing the preseason in preparation for the regular season.
Young running backs like Derrick Henry (rookie), Melvin Gordon (2nd year), and Jeremy Langford (2nd year) are poised for big years. Henry (DeMarco Murray) and Gordon (Danny Woodhead) have another player to compete with for touches. By the sound of it, Langford is “the guy” in Chicago. Either way, these three backs have the ability to make noise in the 2016 fantasy landscape.
Another point Harmon makes is to be weary of wide receiver hype surrounding Sammie Coates, Jaelen Strong, DeVante Parker, and Tyler Lockett. All of those players have big potential, but at least for right now, they don’t look to be getting the looks their talent might merit.
That’s not to say these players aren’t worth keeping on your roster, but consider whom each of these players is playing behind (Coates: Antonio Brown, Strong: DeAndre Hopkins, Parker: Jarvis Landry, Lockett: Doug Baldwin). Last year, combined, those four starters made 435 receptions for 5,581 yards and 39 touchdowns.
To pry targets away from receivers like that is a tall task. Maybe defenses will roll coverage away from these younger players to stifle the vets. Maybe not. But in the pass-happy NFL, no matter how good any one receiver is, every team needs at least two more than can do the job.
Quarterback: Jimmy Garappolo (1,240; 4th overall)
Wide Receiver: Terrelle Pryor (1,033; 7th overall)
Running Back: Buck Allen (1,784; 2nd overall)
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph (596; 12th overall)
Kicker: Mason Crosby (2,160; 1st overall)
Defense/Special Team: Tampa Bay (505; 18th overall)