By Mark Ackerman, CBS4 Fantasy Football Pro
DENVER (CBS4) – The draft is done and you are ready to let your stars run out of the tunnel for your Week 1 matchup. But slow down … a roster tweak or two could mean the difference between winning and losing your first fantasy game of the season.
What’s The Fantasy Report On The Super Bowl Rematch?
Set your lineups now, the season kicks off Thursday night with the long awaited Super Bowl 50 rematch when Carolina visits Denver.
Just like the Super Bowl, expect the defenses to dominate. If you drafted the Panthers Defense or Broncos Defense – go ahead and start them in Week 1. One thing that’s notably different about the Panthers this year is the cornerback position. With shutdown corner Josh Norman gone, expect opportunities for Demaryius Thomas (WR-DEN) and Emmanuel Sanders (WR-DEN), especially if the Panthers commit to stopping the Broncos running game.
Virgil Green (TE-DEN) may be a decent play, a pass catching tight end tends to be a young quarterback’s best friend. Cam Newton (QB-CAR) went in the second or third round in most drafts. If you invested a high pick on Newton, you have to start him even in this tough matchup.
And if you’re wondering, I have the Broncos 21-17 this week.
Which Good Players Have Bad Matchups?
Arian Foster (RB-MIA) is an intriguing pick who shined in training camp and could be a steal for fantasy owners. But he faces an excruciating matchup in week 1 against the Seahawks D. Sit him and the rest of your Dolphins if you have other options.
I never count out Bill Belichick to be competitive, but I don’t see it on the road at Arizona with Jimmy Garoppolo starting his first game in place of Tom Brady.
Julian Edelman (WR-NE) and the rest of the Pats are a tough start (except Gronk of course). Be wary of picking Bengals or Jets this week.
Don’t expect much from running back’s Matt Forte (RB-NYJ) or Jeremy Hill (RB-CIN) against tough defenses.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN) will be on Revis Island and may have some growing pains adjusting to a new offensive coordinator.
Handcuffs To Start In Week 1: Who’s Replacing Bell & Charles?
DeAngelo Williams (RB-PIT) will start the first three games in place of LeVeon Bell (RB-PIT). In Bell’s absence last year, Williams was a touchdown scoring machine, proving to be one of the most productive backs in the league. He’s a must start in Week 1.
Spencer Ware (RB-KC) is expected to start in Week 1 for the Chiefs and is surprisingly available in a number of leagues. If he has a strong Week 1, the Chiefs won’t be in a hurry to rush Jamal Charles (RB-KC) back from his knee injury.
Defense Wins Championships: But Which Defense Should I Start?
It’s my philosophy that defenses and kickers are weekly propositions. The Seahawks (vs. MIA), Panthers (at DEN), Broncos (vs CAR), Cardinals (vs NE) and Rams (at SF) are the top of the heap, and likely unavailable.
You might get lucky enough to pluck one of the next group off the waiver wire, Texans (at CHI), Chiefs (at SD) or Bengals (at NYJ). The Eagles (vs. CLE), Packers (at JAC) and Bills (at BAL) are also solid picks this week, due to their opponents’ propensity for turnovers, not because they are great Defenses.
Mark Ackerman’s credentials: CBS4 Producer. AFC North Expert. Childhood ruined by Drive & Fumble. Drafted Antonio Brown in the first round before it was fashionable.