Studs and Duds: Fantasy Football Week 1
With regular season action in full swing in the National Football League, fans find themselves in the thrive of fantasy football season as well. Fantasy football is a great way to learn more about the game and to become a bigger fan of the league as a whole while you compete with friends or total strangers. We all know it isn’t easy to bring home the elusive fantasy championship at the end of the season, and that’s where this comes in. My job is to bring you some of the fantasy “studs and duds” of each week to try to help maximize your roster and win potential and embarrass the losers as you watch your way to victory.
Stud: Colin Kaepernick– Quarterback (49ers)
Kaepernick and the 49er offense struggled throughout much of the preseason but this week they should be able to get the ball rolling against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas’ defense lost a number of key contributors in the off-season as well as Sean Lee to a major injury which makes them very susceptible to San Francisco’s combo offense and dual threat quarterback. The secondary in Dallas was shaky at best last season and without any decent form of a pass rush it is going to be difficult for them to make Kaepernick uncomfortable behind center. Expect Kaep to get in a grove early and often again Dallas with a solid mix of the run and pass action that makes him so deadly. Don’t be surprised to see Kaep go for 16-20 points this weekend against a terrible Dallas defense.
Dud: Matt Ryan – Quarterback (Falcons)
Matt Ryan and the Falcon offense struggled mightily last season to do anything worthwhile especially against divisional foes. The weakest part of the Falcon offense is their offensive line which took a huge blow when they lost Sam Baker for the season, sliding rookie Jake Matthews into the left tackle spot. Matt Ryan will again be asked to perform behind a shoddy young offensive line which doesn’t bode well for him in the opener against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints boast an impressive pass rush as well as an improve secondary featuring Jarius Byrd that will harass Ryan and the Falcons all day. If you have an alternate starter he may be worth looking at over Matt Ryan this week who may be lucky to score 12-14 points.
Stud: Jeremy Maclin – Wide Receiver (Eagles)
The Eagles high-octane offense is looking to start the season off fast against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags boast a solid defense under coach Gus Bradley but their weakest area of the defense is the secondary, where the Eagles will be focusing their aerial attack. The birds also boast one of the best lines in football which should give quarterback Nick Foles plenty of time to dissect the defense. Maclin has been an injury risk his entire career but has looked pretty solid this preseason and is the likely number one receiver for the Eagles as long as he remains healthy. With a plethora of weapons around him as well, Maclin should be freed up to make some big plays against the Jags. Expect Maclin to lead the team in catches and yards and to go off for somewhere between 14-18 points this weekend.
Dud: Kelvin Benjamin – Wide Reciever (Panthers)
Many folks are high on the Florida State product but his true arrival may be put on hold this week. The Panthers possibly may be without quarterback Cam Newton this Sunday which would greatly affect the fantasy status of any Panther player but especially Benjamin. Cam and Kelvin had a good synergy in the preseason, one that Derek Anderson cant likely duplicate. Most veterans and backup quarterbacks tend to rely on the other veterans of the offense to get by. If Cam cannot go for the Panthers, look to replace any and all Carolina offensive starters this week. Look for Kelvin to score 8 points or less this weekend.
Cam Newton (QB Panthers) – A lingering rib injury has Cam as questionable for Sunday’s game. He will be a game time decision so watch the news wire closely.
Andre Ellington (RB Cardinals) – Ellington has some type of foot injury that could take him out of Monday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. Foot injuries are tricky and can be lingering and season ending. The team believes its not that serious but they may hold him out this week as a precaution. Keep a close eye on this one.
Cecil Shorts III (WR Jaguars) – Shorts has a lingering hamstring issue that has him listed as questionable, but it is believed that he will not play this Sunday against Philadelphia.
There you have it folks a few studs, duds, and injury concerns for your fantasy week to come. Stay active on phinphanatic.com to see my latest fantasy studs and duds each week as you continue your battles for fantasy supremacy!
Joe Kleine is also co-host of the finsradio.com show The Direct Snap, alongside fellow host Tyler McMullen. Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages! Our free to listen show about the NFL is on Saturday September 6th at 8:30 PM Eastern time! Check out our show here, give us a call, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also be sure to check out OntheFinside, another great finsradio program!