Sep 3, 2013
It’s that time of year again! The preseason is finally over (thank god) and we are just days away from the first NFL game of the season. All of you know what that means… fantasy football is back! Now, with it being week one most owners are not in need of any sleepers, as they will just run out the team they drafted. But just in case you went real weak at one position, or have a tough match up you want to avoid, I’m here to help.
Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders
Now, you will never confuse Pryor for Cam Newton or RG III, but he does have the mobility to make him the best option with that terrible o-line in Oakland. He also has a favorable match up against the Colts in week one. The Colts will likely put a lot of points on the board, heck every team will put up a lot of points against the Raiders. That means that the Raiders will be playing from behind a lot and will be forced to let Pryor air it out. The Colts defense allowed 374.2 total yards per game last season, the seventh most in the league. Pryor will also be forced to scramble a lot and he proved to everyone last season that he can run. Expect around 250 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and 42 rushing yards.
Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts
Staying with the same game, expect Colts RB Vick Ballard to be the most active Colts back in the game. The Colts will likely blow this game open early and with the starter Ahmad Bradshaw just starting to get healthy don’t expect the Colts to just leave him in the game. That’s where Ballard comes in and racks up points in garbage time. Even though Ballard only rushed for two touchdown last season, he got a lot of goal line work in the off season. That combined with the fact that the Raiders allowed 18 rushing touchdowns in 2012, tied for third most in the league. Ballard could go for 55 yards on 13 carries, with a rushing touchdown and two receptions for 12 yards.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
It was no secret that the Titans had secondary issues last season. They allowed 31 touchdowns through the air, the 2nd most in the league. The Steelers will look to exploit that and air the ball out, especially with an unstable rushing attack. Antonio Brown is being viewed as the wide out to start from the Steelers, but he will be drawing the most attention from defenses. Sanders has the blazing speed to burn defenses for some big gains. However, he has never had a chance to shine as he has been behind Mike Wallace and Brown on the depth chart. With Wallace out of town, Sanders could be a break out candidate. Expect that to get started week one, as he will go for six receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if he does even more than that.
Zack Sudfeld, New England Patriots
Sudfeld is a guy I have been hyping up all off season. Week one will be his first chacne to prove me right and I fully expect him too. It is no surprise the Bills defense was terrible last season. Heading into week one top corner back Stephon Gilmore will be out and safety Jarius Byrd is questionable. That combined with the fact that Tom Brady always plays well against the Bills, makes Sudfeld look like a good start. If Gronk is out that is even better for Sudfeld who will be the starting tight end, but asked to be more of a reciever. This is cause he has the size, speed and hands to succeed at the NFL level, but blocking will be an issue. Expect Sudfeld to go for 4 catches, 41 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut.
Calling the Bucs a sleeper may be a bit of a stretch, but they are a great play week one. They go agianst the Jets and we all know Darrelle Revis will be going extra hard. That along with the fact that the Jets are starting Geno Smith, who did not look ready in preseason. The Bucs were great at stopping the run last season and if they can do that against the Jets, they will force Smith to throw. Also, the Jets o-line looked shaky in preseason which could allow the Bucs to get a couple of sacs. Expect the Bucs to hold the Jets under 20 points, with two sacs, an interception and perhaps even a touchdown.
Thank you all for reading! I am looking forward to doing this all season, so make sure you keep coming back! If you have any fantasy football questions tweet me @MichaelFFlorio! Good luck this week!