It also marks the beginning of your 2015 Fantasy Football season. Whether you are fighting to defend your title or you are trying to reach the top of the mountain for the first time, these suggestions could help you reach your goal of being crowned Champion of your league.
Week 1 Likes:
(NE) Tom Brady (vs. Pittsburgh)/(PIT) Ben Roethlisberger (at New England) –I truly think both teams will score at least 30 points. Besides the fact that Brady has a huge chip on his shoulder, his career numbers at home against Pittsburgh look like this: 84-of-122 (68.9%) for 1,125 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. In Roethlisberger's last three games against New England, he's thrown for 1,152 yards with nine touchdowns. He will be without RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Martavis Bryant. But he still has WR Antonio Brown, and Ben knows this game rides on his shoulders.
(DEN) Peyton Manning (vs. Baltimore) –The last time Peyton faced off against the Ravens at home, he threw for 462 yards with seven touchdowns. I don't expect him to hit those numbers, but I do expect him to have a solid day against a Ravens' secondary that struggled last season and this preseason.
(GB) Aaron Rodgers (at Chicago) –In my opinion he is the best QB in the league right now. Rodgers is 11-3 all-time vs. Chicago in the regular season, and he has thrown for 31 touchdowns in those 14 games. In his last three games against the Bears, he has thrown for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns in each game.
(SEA) Marshawn Lynch (at St. Louis) –It's tough to dissect a team's rushing defense coming out of the preseason, but it's Marshawn Lynch. In his last seven games against the Rams he has recorded at least 97 rushing yards four times, and he has four touchdowns in those seven games. Those numbers aren't eye-popping, but it's "Beast Mode."
(CIN) Jeremy Hill (at Oakland) –I really like Jeremy Hill, even though he's a second-year player. The rookie burst onto the scene in 2014 with a 1,124-yard performance with nine scores. He currently has a three-game streak of rushing for at least 100 yards, and I think that will turn into a four-game streak. Oakland gave up nearly 120 rushing yards per game last season.
(SF) Carlos Hyde (vs. Minnesota) –Like Hill, Hyde is a second-year guy, but he didn't have the success that Hill did in 2014. But, the Frank Gore era is over in San Francisco, and Hyde gets the honor of being the 49ers go-to guy. The Vikings last season ranked in the bottom-10 in rush defense. It's a favorable matchup for Hyde on Monday Night Football.
(PIT) Antonio Brown (at New England) –Entering the 2015 season, Brown has two active streaks that are NFL records: consecutive regular-season games with at least five receptions and 50 receiving yards (32), and consecutive regular-season games with at least five receptions and 70 receiving yards (18). What's not to like about him this week and this whole season?
(DET) Calvin Johnson (at San Diego) –I had to look at his birthday three times to make myself believe he's only 28 years old. It seems like he's been around forever. Yet at 28, he's already recorded 10,405 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns. Johnson has three 100-yard games in his last five outings, and he has recorded at least 100 yards in both of his career games versus the Chargers. Oh yeah, he averages 22.7 yards per reception against San Diego.
(NYG) Odell Beckham, Jr. (at Dallas)/(DAL) Dez Bryant vs. (N.Y. Giants) – We all remember Beckham Jr.'s one-handed grab last season against the Cowboys in Week 12, arguably the best catch of 2014. But not many recall he had 10 receptions for 146 yards and two scores in that same game. Bryant has recorded three 100-yard games against the Giants in his career, and in that same Week 12 game last season versus the Giants, he had 86 receiving yards and two scores.
(NE) Rob Gronkowski (vs. Pittsburgh) –Preseason is preseason, but the Steelers always struggle to cover tight ends. It's a consistent matchup problem. Gronkowski feasts on the Steelers' defense. In three career meetings, Gronk has 21 receptions for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
(BUF) Charles Clay (vs. Indianapolis) –Like Gronk, Clay has the athleticism that creates mismatches for opposing defenses. This is his first season in Buffalo, but he brings a strong resume to Buffalo from Miami. In Clay's last outing versus the Colts, he racked up 109 receiving yards, including a 67-yard reception.
(SEA) Jimmy Graham (at St. Louis) –As if Seattle needed another offensive weapon, well, they got arguably the best tight end in the game. Graham hasn't recorded less than 85 receptions in a single season since 2010. Though his career numbers against the Rams aren't that good, I am confident QB Russell Wilson will get to know his new target very well this Sunday.
Buffalo Bills (vs. Indianapolis) –Buffalo went 9-7 last year and was on the verge of a playoff berth all because its defense was just plain nasty. That core group is back this season. The Bills recorded 54 sacks last season and they recorded multiple interceptions in seven games.
Denver Broncos (vs. Baltimore) –I think the Ravens are walking into a hornet's nest. QB Joe Flacco will struggle. The Ravens' run game will not get going. This could be QB Peyton Manning's final opener, and I expect his entire squad to be sound in all areas, especially on defense.
Tennessee Titans (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers) –I know, I know. Both teams will start a rookie QB. But I have more faith in the Titans' Marcus Mariota than I do Buccaneers' Jameis Winston. I expect Winston to try to do too much and fail, but that will be due to the Titans' defense.
(NE) Stephen Gostkowski (vs. Pittsburgh)/(PIT) Josh Scobee (at New England) –Two savvy veteran kickers on high-scoring teams bodes well for each of these guys in this game and for the 2015 season.
(MIN) Blair Walsh (at San Francisco) –Walsh has made 19 field goals of at least 40 yards and 17 from at least 50 yards in three seasons, and he has recorded at least 107 points all three years.
(BAL) Justin Tucker (at Denver) –Like I said above, I don't think the Ravens will get too many touchdown opportunities, but I think Tucker will get his chances to score three.