NFL Week 1Fantasy Football What to Watch For

Before we get rolling here, I want to remind everyone that you can get a hell of a lot more specific information – including free fantasy football and daily fantasy football computer projections, by emailing me at functionalsportsaholic@gmail.com.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Washington:

  •   With the recent waiving of Adrian Peterson, It’ll be interesting to see how Washington distributes its touches.  Most of the fantasy community (myself included) expect Antonio Gibson to be the lead back at this point.  Although Washington signed McKissic as a potential 3rd down running back, I see the two skillsets similar.  Therefor, I expect Payton Barber to be a bigger factor in short yardage situations.
  • In the receiving game, who is Washington going to throw to behind McLaurin?  It’s looking like Sims could be the guy. 
  • Logan Thomas also might have some red zone opportunities, but I don’t expect this to be an explosive offense in 2020. 
  • Outside of McLaurin and Gibson, I’m watching the Washington defensive line with the addition of reported all-decade talent, Chase Young.  Washington’s DL already had talent.  Could Young offer the unit the same uplift Bosa gave the 49ers last season?  Don’t underestimate what a strong pass rush can do for a defense.  QBs under pressure throw more INTs.  That keeps scores lower, while boosting a fantasy unit. 

Philadelphia:

  • This team won 9 games playing a 2 back, 2 TE system for most of the year.  Alshon is going to be out for a while, but DeSean Jackson is active – assuming he can avoid social media controversy.  I expect Goedert, Ertz and Jackson to be involved, but want to see if Arcega-Whiteside has progressed or are we going to see more from other young receivers.
  • This defense played in warp speed during their Super Bowl run a few years ago.  What will it look like having made a few cuts this offseason?  I suspect they’ll be fine, but while many will be keeping their eyes on the skill players, I will be paying more attention to the defensive lines on both teams. 

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Philadelphia 25, Washington 17

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Miami:

New England:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Miami 13, New England 24

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Green Bay:

Minnesota:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Green Bay 21, Minnesota 26

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Indianapolis:

Jacksonville:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 18

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears square off this week.  Matthew Stafford takes on Mitchell Trubisky in a battle that frankly, Stafford should win.  However, don’t count out the Bears defense, which will be much better this season than they were last year.  Also, the Lions have better wide receivers.

Who are the Chicago Detroit fantasy football standouts?  Who are the Bears Lions fantasy football starters?  Sean and David from the fantasy football almanac talk about all of the fantasy football storylines such as:

Chicago:

  • So much for Nick Foles creating more efficiency for this offense.  Mitchell Trubisky has won the right to start in week 1.  I don’t love that for anyone other than Allen Robsinson.  Trubisky was cold to start the season last year, but eventually found himself about midway through the year.  He will use his legs more this season because that’s when he’s at his best. 
  • I’ve been colder on David Montgomery than other fantasy football writers.  He’s fine for a 1st/2nd down back and better in standard leagues, but I still lean on Cohen on this team
  • The offense has been desperate for production at TE.  Burton came with hype, but couldn’t live up to expectations.  Can Jimmy Graham be that guy?  I’m thinking not at this point, but I am interested to see what happens if/when Cole Kmet works his way onto the field
  • Look for the 2nd most targeted receiver.  Miller has been on the verge of breakout for about 2 seasons.  I’d love to see him at 10+ targets.

Detroit:

  • Swift won the starting RB job.  What will be the split in carries?  I’m hoping it’s a two-horse split with K. Johnson, but Swift will have a chance to be a 3-down back if he executes the offense to Bevel’s liking.
  • T.J. Hockenson looked strong out of the gate in 2020, but an injury combined to Stafford’s own health issues limited production towards the end of the year.  I like him to bounce back
  • I was high on Marvin Jones and strongly suggested he be drafted – so let’s hope we get 10-12 targets!

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Chicago 21, Detroit 18

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Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Las Vegas:

Carolina:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Las Vegas 23, Carolina 26

NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

NY Jets:

  • I can’t remember a less likable coaching staff in the NFL between head coach and coordinators.  Gase has had friction with talented players in his tenure and so has Greg Williams, who runs the defense.  I don’t like that the Jets have let talent leave this defense … but this unit will sack the QB and generate turnovers thanks to its aggressive nature.
  • I don’t like that the Jets essentially replaced Robby Anderson with Brashad Perriman, but here we are.  It looks like Denzel Mims will be the third receiving option at this point, but could grow into more.  Crowder is a lock for targets, but where else will Darnold be throwing the ball?
  • And Darnold was very quietly 7-6 as a starting QB last year.  Of all games that seem like a slam dunk pick, this one gives me pause.  Divisional games are often closer than they should be and the Jets are just better than everyone thinks. 
  • Also – enough with the Le’Veon Bell haters.  As I mentioned in my 2019 book, he was never going to dominate in this scheme like he did in Pittsburgh.  But he will get snaps, receptions and goal line touches.
  • I generally don’t love TEs in this offense, but Darnold likes throwing to them and Herndon has talent.  The backup led TEs in points twice at the end of last season, so there will be red zone opportunities.  Can Herndon break out this year?  Keep an eye on target totals in week 1!!

Buffalo:

  • People have been all over Stefon Diggs this year, but I’m a believer in WR chemistry.  Diggs is a solid WR, and I like him, but I don’t feel like his addition means that Jon Brown fades into obscurity.  I think the two will be very close in terms of targets and TDs.  I want to see if that theory holds true on tape.
  • I felt like Cole Beasley was under-utilized in this offense for much of last year, but he started to show life in the last 4-6 weeks of the season.  Does that carry over into 2020?
  • 2019 Almanac readers know I’ve loved Devin Singletary since the moment I saw him in his first preseason game.  I think he’ll b the leader on this offense, but I expect Zack Moss to be involved in short yardage situations and on the goal line.  I’m curious to see what happens inside the 10 yard line.  Who is getting the snaps?
  • If Josh Allen can boost his completion percentage by about 5% – which isn’t a lot to ask honestly – this team can win 12 games.  I’m eager to see if he was able to progress as a passer in a limited offseason.

RoccoBot Score Prediction: NY Jets 14, Buffalo 22

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Cleveland:

Baltimore:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Cleveland 18, Baltimore 33

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Seattle:

Atlanta:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Seattle 27, Atlanta 25

LA Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

LA Chargers:

Cincinnati Bengals:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: LA Chargers 23, Cincinnati 16

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Arizona:

  • DeAndre Hopkins averaged close to 10 targets per game.  In an offense that likes to spread the ball around, will Murray rely so heavily on Hopkins the way Deshaun Watson used to? 
  • …and if so, what does that mean for Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald?
  • Kenyan Drake had been in a walking boot.  Will he dominate snaps or will Edmonds get a chance?  Edmonds has a lot of talent, so if he gets a game or two of heavy snap counts, he could turn this more into a committee than fantasy players would like

San Francisco:

  • Last I checked, Deebo was listed as questionable.  Does he play?  If so, how effective can he bo?
  • Who is the second receiving option?  I think Aiyuk might take a few games to settle in.  If Deebo is out, does that make Bourne the WR1?
  • What will the running back snap distribution look like?  I think Mostert is the alpha dog, but what does that mean?  Will Coleman/McKinnon have more snaps?
  • Can this defense actually be better than last year?
  • Garoppolo has a nice projection this week.  Coming off a tough Super Bowl loss, is he going to come out on fire?  49ers fans would love nothing more than to see him throw for 4 TDs in week 1 and prove, at least where he’s involved, there’s no Super Bowl hangover
  • Kittle gobbled up targets when he played Az last year, but Az has a rookie that could match up well with him.  Kittle has a strong projection, but I’ll be looking forward to watching that battle on game day

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Arizona 20, San Francisco 36

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

New Orleans:

Tampa Bay:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 29, New Orleans 31

Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Dallas:

LA Rams:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Dallas, 25, LA Rams 22

Pittsburgh Steelers @ NY Giants

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Pittsburgh:

NY Giants:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 22, NY Giants 18

Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos

What Fantasy Players Need To Look For:

Tennessee:

Denver:

RoccoBot Score Prediction: Tennessee 23, Denver 16

WAIVER WIRE PLAYS & DFS BARGAINS

It’s week 1, so I hope nobody out there is desperate to scour waivers for starters at this point, but here are my favorite under-the-radar guys to score nice points.  As a rule, these players are owned in less than 50% of fantasy leagues and are, of course, low budget daily fantasy guys:

Quarterback

1. Jimmy Garoppolo

2. Teddy Bridgewater

3. Gardner Minshew II

4. Drew Lock

5. Ryan Tannehill

Running Back

1. Ryquell Armstead

2. Justin Jackson

3. Damien Harris

4. Boston Scott

5. A.J. Dillon

Wide Receiver

1.  Cole Beasley, WR, Buf

2.  Van Jefferson, WR, LAR

3.  Bisi Johnson, WR, Min

4.  Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SF

5.  Allen Lazard, WR, GB

Tight End

1.  Chris Herndon

2.  Devin Asiasi

3.  Jack Doyle

4.  Dallas Goedert

5.  Greg Olsen

DST:

1. Tennessee

2. Seattle

3. LA Rams

4. Philadelphia

5. Kansas City

K:

1. Ryan Succop, TB

2. Jason Myers, Sea

3. Younghoe Koo, Ari

4. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Hou 5. Jake Elliott, Phi

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