By Brett Malamud
Another NFL season is finally here! In seasons past, we have published our season predictions on the opening night of the season. Don’t worry! Those will be published on Sunday. However, over our first two years, we’ve received multiple requests for fantasy football advice. Well today, we’ll be introducing a new weekly section called “Take it to the Bank” where we’ll offer up a few bold predictions for the upcoming week. We hope that this section helps you in those last-minute lineup-tinkering situations. We’ll start off week one with a few bold predictions for the entire season. Enjoy tonight’s season kickoff and here is the first installment of Take it to the Bank:
Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood
We’ll begin with the question brought up recently in Wisconsin. Can quarterback Aaron Rodgers win a Super Bowl without top target wide receiver Jordy Nelson? The short answer is yes. The Green Bay Packers are extremely deep and Rodgers is still going to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Rodgers still has top wide receivers in Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, along with a fantasy sleeper pick in tight end Richard Rodgers. But wait, there’s more! Running back Eddie Lacy is the top fantasy pick out there in my opinion and will help Rodgers power this team deep into the playoffs.
The Newest Seahawk
Tight end Jimmy Graham was shipped out west this offseason and joins a hungry Seattle Seahawks offense, which fell one yard shy of a Super Bowl title last season. Will the offense succeed? Yes. But don’t expect Graham to put up the numbers that he did in his time with the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks will run the football A LOT. New Orleans ran a very pass heavy offense and that is where Graham found his success. I’m not saying to beware of Graham in fantasy because he’ll still be reliable, but I will say don’t overvalue him.
The Book of Eli
The last year has been a shaky one for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning but I think that we’ll see the Eli of years past this season. I’m not saying that they’re Super Bowl bound, because the Giants still have some work to do, but it’ll be a noticeable improvement. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle (a sleeper that you should take in the last round of your draft) and tight end Larry Donnell give Manning an arsenal of weapons to throw to. With no clear cut top running back, look for Eli to throw the ball more and return to his old self this season.
Turn Down for Watt
The Houston Texans D/ST is definitely a unit that you want on your team if you can’t grab the Seahawks defense in your draft. With defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney rushing from either side, this defense is scary. I’d also take a look at the New York Jets defense if you can’t get Houston or Seattle due to their stacked offensive line and upgraded secondary.
I am putting this in writing. Todd Gurley will be a great addition to any fantasy football team. He’s slipping in fantasy drafts due to the torn ACL he suffered last November, but as the saying goes, buy low and sell high. I managed to grab Gurley at pick number 86 and for good reason. The St. Louis Rams going to be back in action around week four, and should be a force for the rest of the season. Take him on your team, sit him on the end of your bench while he’s out, and then you’ll have the last laugh come playoff time in your league.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy