The only possible reason you should be streaming in Week 1 is if you were starting players from the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup. Which, of course, was rescheduled to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma. If there is another circumstance, I would love to hear about it. Fortunately, I was prepared and have decent enough backups to survive without having to hit the wire. If you weren’t so lucky and find yourself needing someone, these guys might be good enough to get you by.
Quarterback: Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
This game has what I like to call “The Shootout Factor”. I define that as a game that has a chance to be high scoring. High scoring games have a lot of fantasy points. I think you get it. Even though Minnesota has a great defense, any time Drew Brees is playing at home, he is likely going to light it up. This doesn’t necessarily mean Bradford will as well, but I think he does. They will be able to run against the Saints defense, with highly touted rookie Dalvin Cook, and that will open up the passing game. The Saints ranked last against the pass last season, so look for speedster Stefon Diggs to catch some deep passes. Adam Thielen should get some love too.
Running Back: C.J. Prosise and Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
While I am not crazy about the Seahawks offensive line, I do think both of these guys will see the field in Green Bay. Prosise is a pass catching back and the Packers were 31st defending the pass last season. Chris Carson is said to have looked the best in camp of all the Seahawks backs and is available in every league outside of Washington. Thomas Rawls is a game-time decision, and I am not crazy about Eddie Lacy and feel he will drop down the depth chart quickly. Lacy’s lack of speed and the offensive line’s low ability level will make it hard for him. The Seahawks will look to use their running backs a good deal against the Packers, and more, in general, this season. Head coach Pete Carroll was quoted as saying he wants to get back to the 2012-2015 style, where two of those teams finished top four in rushing. Last year they finished 25th.
Wide Receiver: Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears
This game has slight “Shootout Factor” possibilities. The problem is it might be the visiting Atlanta Falcons doing all the shooting. The Bears aren’t going to be very good, and facing the defending NFC champs in Week 1 probably isn’t the best way to start the season, as the Falcons are probably going to have a huge chip on their shoulder after last years Super Bowl collapse. With that being said, the Bears are at home, their best receiver Cameron Meredith, is out for the season with a torn ACL, and MCL, so Wright should become Mike Glennon’s second favorite target, behind Kevin White. The Falcon’s defense is young and Glennon may be able to take advantage of that, and if they can run the ball effectively, this could become a high scoring game.
Tight End: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
As you may already know I am a Charles Clay truther. If you need a tight end this week this is the guy to get. Clay is available in 91% of Yahoo leagues and he is playing the New York Jets who allowed 14 fantasy points a game to opposing tight ends last season. Tyrod Taylor was cleared from concussion protocol and is playing Week 1, which is great news because Clay is going to be Taylor’s most familiar and favorite target early in the season. Sammy Watkins is gone, Anquan Boldin left, and then retired. I think two touchdowns and 95 yards is very realistic for Clay this week.
Defense: Tennessee Titans
If you are in a league with the Buffalo Bills available, by all means, do that. However, they are owned in a little more than half of Yahoo leagues. Otherwise, the Titans could get you by. Playing the defending AFC West champion Oakland Raiders might not be the ideal option, but you’re the one that needs a defense, not me. Tennessee is actually great against the run, allowing only 88 yards a game last season. They may be even better this year, with the addition of Jonathan Cyprien from Jacksonville. Cyprien was the highest rated safety against the run by Pro Football Focus. If Tennessee can stop the Raiders run game and force them to be one-dimensional they have a shot. I actually picked Tennessee to win this game, although it will not be easy, by any means.