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Well, Week 1 of the Fantasy Football season is in the books. It was not without its surprises. Week 1 is the hardest Week to get a read on. The first quarter of the season in general is the most difficult to predict.

I recommend not making any drastic roster moves until after the first four games. The waiver wire is very important early in the season. You should look to pick up good players on the wire, even if you don’t need them now. Once the heart of the season comes, the pickings on the wire will be slim.

Rather than using typical rankings to predict players, I like to use a A-F grading scale for each player. I do this because I think many players have equal value. In DFS, if two players have the same grade, go with the cheaper option.

“A” Players are expected to have big games, “B” players are must starts and “C” players are borderline starters. A “C+” means I would lean towards starting them, and a “C-” means I’d lean towards not starting them. “D” players are not recommended starters, and “F” players are not listed.

As it relates to DFS; These numbers are based on FanDuel’s player pricing. Grades are based on FanDuels’s 1/2 point PPR scoring system. A= $8,000 plus, B= $6,500-$7,900, C= $5,500-$6,400, D= $4,600-$5,500, and F= $4,500 and under. Keep in mind, QBs carry a heavier price tag than the other positions.

 

Week 2 Game Previews and Fantasy Predictions

New Orleans Saints at New York Giants

 

These two teams met last season in New Orleans. They combined for 102 points, 855 passing yards, and 13 passing TDs. I don’t think you can expect a repeat of that, but another shootout is likely. The Giants defense looks much improved, especially their run defense with the addition of 350 pound Nose Tackle Damon Harrison.

Mark Ingram could be held in check. The Saints defense might actually be worse this year. Common sense says start everyone in this game.

Player Grades

Saints
Drew Brees A
Brandin Cooks B+
Willie Snead B-
Mark Ingram B-
Mike Thomas C+
Coby Fleener C

Giants
Odell Beckham A+
Eli Manning A
Sterling Shepard C+
Rashad Jennings/Shane Vereen C+
Victor Cruz C

 

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

No Tom Brady, no Rob Gronkowski; playing in Arizona against one of the top teams in the league, no problem for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They should easily handle the Dolphins at home.

The Dolphins defense looked good against the pathetic offensive line of the Seahawks last week. Their offense, on the other hand, is a mess right now. The status of DeVante Parker and Jay Ajayi are still up in the air. Jarvis Landry is the only Dolphin worth starting this week.

Player Grades

Dolphins
Jarvis Landry B-
Arian Foster C-
Kenny Stills/DeVante Parker (Q) D+
Ryan Tannehill D

Patriots
Julian Edelman B
LeGarrette Blount/James White C
Chris Hogan C
Jimmy Garoppolo C-
Martellus Bennett C-

 

Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions

The Lions match-up well against the Titans. Tennessee can’t stop the pass, and the Lions love to throw it all over. The Titans want to become a power running team, but they were bad offensively last week against a tough Minnesota defense.

The Lion’s run defense is solid, but they can be beat through the air though. Marcus Mariota could have a nice game.

Player Grades

Titans
Delanie Walker B
DeMarco Murray B-
Marcus Mariota C+
Tajae Sharpe C
Rishard Matthews D+
Derrick Henry D

Lions
Matthew Stafford B+
Marvin Jones B
Golden Tate B-
Eric Ebron C+
Ameer Abdullah/Theo Riddick C+

 

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers

 

The 49ers 28-0 shutout of the Rams was the biggest surprise of last week’s games. Traveling across the country on a short week to play the defending NFC champions, I expect the 49ers to be on the losing end of a blowout this week. Start all your Panthers, and bench all your 49ers.

Player Grades

49ers
Carlos Hyde C-
Vance McDonald D+
Torrey Smith/Jeremy Kerley D+

Panthers
Cam Newton A+
Greg Olsen A
Kelvin Benjamin B
Jonathan Stewart B-
Devin Funcess/Ted Ginn D+

 

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

The Redskins run defense looked awful Monday night against the Steelers. Ezekiel Elliott should be better this week after a very average NFL debut. The Cowboys were able to move the ball last week with Dak Prescott. However, they struggled to finish off drives, and score TDs. Dez Bryant was limited to one catch for 8 yards last week. It’s not time to hit the panic button on Dez yet, but I wouldn’t call him a must start this game either (especially with Josh Norman now part of Washington’s secondary).

The Redskins offense should be good when they’re on the field, but I feel like Dallas will have a much higher time of possession.

Player Grades

Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott B+
Dez Bryant C+
Jason Witten C
Dak Prescott C-
Cole Beasley C-
Terrance Williams/Alfred Morris D+

Redskins
Jordan Reed A
DeSean Jackson B-
Kirk Cousins C+
Matt Jones/Chris Thompson C
Jamison Crowder C
Pierre Garcon C-

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals defense have played the Steelers offense tougher than any other team recently. The Steelers offense looked just fine last week without Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton. Wheaton will likely return this week, and Eli Rogers has emerged as a quality slot receiver. DeAngelo Williams is a Top 5 RB with Bell out.

A.J. Green torched the Pittsburgh secondary in three contests last season. The Steelers pass defense is their one weakness.

Player Grades

Bengals
A.J. Green A
Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill C
Brandon LaFell C
Andy Dalton C-
Tyler Kroft/Tyler Boyd D+

Steelers
Antonio Brown A
DeAngelo Williams B+
Ben Roethlisberger B
Eli Rogers C+
Markus Wheaton (Q) C

 

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

 

The Browns are the worst team I’ve seen since the 0-16 Lions. Over half of their roster is comprised of rookies and second year players. With Robert Griffin III getting hurt immediately, veteran Josh McCown will take over as QB. That could be a good thing for Gary Barnidge, Corey Coleman, and Terrelle Pryor. Barnidge is the only recommended Fantasy starter on the Cleveland roster.

Start all your Ravens against a terrible Browns defense.

Player Grades

Browns
Gary Barnidge B
Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson C-
Corey Coleman/Terrelle Pryor C-

Ravens
Joe Flacco B
Mike Wallace C+
Terrance West C+
Dennis Pitta C+
Steve Smith/Justin Forsett C
Kamar Aiken/Breshad Perriman (Q) C-

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

In a rematch of last year’s Wild Card game, the Texans and Chiefs square off in what should be a hard fought game. These two teams are very evenly matched. The Chiefs defense has had Houston’s number in the past, but the Texans have a lot of new weapons on offense. Jamaal Charles remains questionable. There are some high-end Fantasy players that all have tough match-ups in this game.

Player Grades

Chiefs
Travis Kelce B+
Jamaal Charles (Q)/or Spencer Ware B-
Jeremy Maclin C+
Alex Smith D+

Texans
Deandre Hopkins B
Lamar Miller B
Will Fuller C+
Brock Osweiler D+

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals

Tampa Bay’s offense was very impressive last week, with Jameis Winston throwing four TDs in Atlanta. They face a much more difficult task this week, traveling across the country to play the Cardinals. Arizona had a terrible home opener versus the Patriots, so they should come out ready to play. CB Patrick Peterson will make it a difficult day for Mike Evans.

The Bucs should be able to run the ball decently with Doug Martin. The Buc’s defense is decent against the run, but they have major concerns in their secondary. Should be a nice game for the Cardinals WRs.

Player Grades

Bucs
Doug Martin B-
Mike Evans B-
Jameis Winston C
Vincent Jackson C-
Charles Sims/Austin Seferian-Jenkins D

Cardinals
David Johnson A-
Carson Palmer B
Larry Fitzgerald B-
Michael Floyd B-
John Brown B-

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers

The Jaguars really need the help of RB Chris Ivory. Ivory missed last week with an emergency medical issue and he remains questionable. The Jags tried to run the ball with T.J. Yeldon, but he only mustered 31 yards on 19 carries. There are no concerns with the Jag’s passing attack.

The Chargers had a bad week. They blew a 24 point lead to the Chiefs, and they lost their best player, Keenan Allen, for the season. The loss of Allen will open up more opportunities for Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates, and Tyrell Williams. RBs Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon should see more carries, as San Diego may opt to run the ball more.

Player Grades

Jaguars
Allen Robinson A-
Blake Bortles B+
Allen Hurns B-
Julius Thomas B-
Chris Ivory (Q) /T.J. Yeldon C

Chargers
Philip Rivers B-
Antonio Gates B-
Travis Benjamin C+
Danny Woodhead/Melvin Gordon C+
Tyrell Williams C-

 

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

 

The two most disappointing offensive performances last week came from the Seahawks and Rams, and they’ll be playing each other this week. The Seahawks offensive line is a mess. they were the worst pass blocking team in the league last year, and they lost their best two O-lineman in free agency. I thought Russell Wilson would be able to overcome this, but he got beat up bad last week by the Dolphins. He also sustained a sprained ankle that will limit his mobility.

The Rams pathetic offense has zero chance against Seattle’s defense. You have to start Todd Gurley if you have him, but don’t expect much.

Player Grades

Seahawks
Doug Baldwin B
Thomas Rawls C+
Russell Wilson C+
Tyler Lockett C
Jimmy Graham/Christine Michael/Jermaine Kearse D

Rams
Todd Gurley C+
Tavon Austin D+

 

Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders

Both of these teams have better defenses then they showed in Week 1. Many are expecting this game to be a shootout, but I don’t think there will be quite as much scoring as anticipated. Both teams have pretty decent run defenses. The Raiders have no way of covering Julio Jones (who is playing on a bad ankle), and the Falcons will struggle covering the duo of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

Player Grades

Falcons
Julio Jones A
Matt Ryan C
Devonta Freeman C+
Mohamed Sanu/Tevin Coleman C-

Raiders
Amari Cooper B
Derek Carr B-
Michael Crabtree B-
Latavius Murray B-

 

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

The Colt’s passing offense versus the Bronco’s passing defense is a strength on strength match-up. T.Y. Hilton is dealing with an ankle injury. I don’t like the match-ups for Hilton and Donte Moncrief against the two great CBs of Denver. I think Phillip Dorsett and TE Dwayne Allen could be DFS sleepers in this game.

C.J. Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders should have good games against a bad Colt’s defense. Demaryius Thomas is highly questionable with a hip injury.

Player Grades

Colts
Andrew Luck B-
T.Y Hilton (Q) /Donte Moncrief C
Phillip Dorsett/Dwayne Allen C-
Frank Gore D

Broncos
C.J. Anderson A-
Emmanuel Sanders B
Demaryius Thomas (Q) C+
Trevor Siemian D+

 

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

 

Those expecting the Packers to light up the scoreboard this week may be disappointed. The Vikings defense is as stingy as they come, and their pass rushers should be able to put some heat on Rodgers.

Adrian Peterson should bounce back from a poor Week 1 performance in this very important prime time division game. The Vikings will not announce their starting QB until Sunday, but I don’t think there’s much of a difference between Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford.

Player Grades

Packers
Aaron Rodgers B
Jordy Nelson B
Randall Cobb B-
Eddie Lacy B-
Davante Adams D

Vikings
Adrian Peterson B+
Stefon Diggs C-
Kyle Rudolph D+

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

This is a match-up between two bad teams. The Eagles win over the hapless Browns means nothing to me. Don’t expect a repeat performance from Carson Wentz or Jordan Matthews.

Alshon Jeffery should have a nice game, as the Eagles have no one to cover him. RBs Jeremy Langford and Ryan Mathews should both be productive, playing against two average run defenses.

Player Grades

Eagles
Ryan Mathews B-
Jordan Matthews C
Zach Ertz (Q) C
Carson Wentz D

Bears
Alshon Jeffery A-
Jeremy Langford C+
Jay Cutler C-
Kevin White C-

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