Henry John @HankTimeSports
BANK IT! NFL football is officially back! While Thursday night’s Packers-Bears opener didn’t offer much in the way of Fantasy Football fireworks, something tells me we will have some more offense come Sunday. Below you will find a vocabulary list of the banking terms we will be utilizing throughout the season, followed by Week 1-specific advice. From start/sits to trades and free agent acquisitions, we’ve got you covered. The bank is open folks, and it’s great to be back!
Cash: Worthwhile Start
Deposit: Bench for Future Weeks
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Really only two things are certain entering Week 1 when it comes to the 49ers’ backfield. We know Jerick McKinnon will not play this year and we also know that the run defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely be one of the worst in the NFL. Tevin Coleman remains my preferred Niners back to own for the season, but Matt Breida is also a great start for Week 1. Expect Kyle Shanahan to not ask too much of Jimmy Garoppolo in his first true game back from tearing his ACL. There will be plenty of carries to go around and plenty of holes in the Bucs D for both Breida and Coleman to run through.
This call falls in line with my season-long stance on Robby Anderson and the Jets passing game. He just isn’t going to live up to his 7th round ADP. A daunting matchup against one of the best corners in the NFL in Tre’Davious White is enough for me to bench him this week. Instead, roll with slot receiver Jamison Crowder whose speed should torch the Bills linebackers in the middle of the field. I expect this Week 1 matchup to be the first example of many for why I favored drafting Crowder before Anderson all preseason.
After an injury-ravaged and disappointing rookie season, Royce Freeman enters 2019 as an afterthought in the minds of many Fantasy owners. I expect Freeman, not Phillip Lindsay, to be the featured Broncos back this season. Lindsay performed well after being thrust into a high-volume role last season, but he regressed dramatically down the stretch, totaling just 100 rushing yards in the final three games. There is a reason Freeman was a third round NFL draft choice while Lindsay an undrafted free agent in that same class a season ago. Trade for Freeman now while his perceived value is low, and you’ll be laughing to the bank all season.
Ezekiel Elliott got his, but the Melvin Gordon contract saga continues. Fantasy owners everywhere who used an early-round draft pick on him need answers now. With none seeming likely to come anytime soon, my advice is to put him on the trading block and end your headache. Sure, he may come back next week and wind up playing out the season, but by moving him now, the value of your return will be much greater. If you wait until Week 6, 7, or 8 to explore trading him, not only will he command less value, but your Fantasy season could be down the drain. Some believe that Gordon will sit out 2019 entirely to stick it to the Chargers team that he feels has undervalued him, but why wait to find out? Pawn the uncertainty of the situation off on a competitor now before it’s too late.
The latest reports, Jon Gruden has said that Antonio Brown will be on the field Monday night against the Denver Broncos. How effective he will be amidst the continuing offseason-long circus act he has brought to the Raiders organization remains to be seen. Even with Brown in the mix, investing a roster spot in Darren Waller now could significantly raise team stock as the season progresses. Waller impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. QB Derek Carr likes to throw to his tight ends, evidenced in Jared Cook’s monster year a season ago. While Tyrell Williams, Ryan Grant and rookie Hunter Renfrow aren’t bad football players, can any be a true standalone second option to Brown? That seems unlikely, and it opens the door to a healthy target share for Waller on a weekly basis.
Less of an emphasis is placed on streaming quarterbacks and defenses in Week 1 when you are fresh out of the draft. But, if for whatever reason you are inclined to do so, Matthew Stafford is the stream of the week. A lot of hype is getting thrown at the debut of the Arizona Cardinals offense with Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. What isn’t getting any hype at all (and deservedly so) is the Arizona defense. They’ll even be without their best player in cornerback Patrick Peterson Sunday as he serves a suspension. Combine that with the Lions strong stable of pass-catchers and Stafford should be in line for one of the weekend’s top Fantasy performances.