With the fantasy football season quickly approaching, the stress of deciding which players to bench or start is back. Below, I have listed four players I believe will dominate week 1 and three players who may struggle week 1. Players such as Antonio Brown, Cam Newton, Todd Gurley, and Rob Gronkowski should always start, so players of their caliber will not appear.
- Jeremy Maclin (vs. Chargers): With the departure of Eric Weddle and pass rusher Joey Bosa unlikely to play, Maclin should have a field day against a weak Chargers secondary. Maclin is the #1 WR in the offense and should receive plenty of targets thrown his way. Expect Maclin to haul in a few deep passes.
- Ryan Mathews (vs. Browns): New Eagles coach Doug Pederson is familiar with a run-first offense, as he was the previous offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Therefore, Mathews should see opportunities to run in bulk. The Browns are not a great defensive team so Mathews should not struggle against them.
- Marvin Jones (at Colts): Marvin Jones was the big WR free agent addition for the Lions. While he may not fill newly retired Calvin Johnson’s shoes, Jones should thrive. The Colts will be without top cornerback Vontae Davis, making an already weak defense even weaker. It’s no secret the Lions want to throw the ball, and Jones expects to be a massive part of that.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Bengals): Fitzpatrick (or, depending on who you ask, Fitzmagic) is back with the Jets after resigning for one year. Fitzpatrick has weapons at his disposal-Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte-and will be throwing even more than last year. The Bengals lost key starters on defense-Reggie Nelson and Dre Kirkpatrick to name a few. Expect Fitzmagic to put on a show.
- Jonathan Stewart (at Broncos): The Broncos were the stiffest defense last year, which led to a Super Bowl win. Although they lost starters such as Malik Jackson, the defense still returns top players such as Von Miller. Stewart will struggle to find any openings against a formidable defense.
- Joe Flacco (vs Bills): Flacco is returning from a torn ACL against a Bills defense that is improving its pass defense. The Ravens may lean heavily on the run to ease Flacco’s load for his first game back. Flacco could become a regular starter for your team father down the year, but for the early parts of the season, expect Flacco to still show some rust.
- Chris Ivory/TJ Yeldon (vs Packers): The Packers were a strong defense last year and didn’t allow too many breakout performances from opposing running backs. The Jaguars also plan to use a running back by committee approach, so it is tough to trust either player. In addition, the Jaguars may get behind early in this game, which results in more passing plays and less running plays.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Comment below!