Written by Kyle Hall
Rolling the dice… flopping the nuts… hitting the jackpot… an all-in bluff. No matter how good we think we are at this game, we all need a little luck at times. After all a lil luck never hurt anyone.
I personally am just hoping for a little luck on the fantasy football field this weekend.
Before we get started I want to say always go with your gut. We are here to help and give reasoning for the decisions we list, but in the end it is YOUR team.
This article is meant to be somewhat laughable as this is mostly for entertainment purposes. Some of the predictions located below are slightly outrageous but I will back up my bold predictions with reasoning as to why they are possible! If correct, it could make you look like a genius and you’ll be cruising to a nice victory!
We all pay attention to the rankings that come out weekly from the big names in the business such as ESPN, Yahoo, NFL.com to name a few. We know the must starts. We always will play our studs, the AP’s and McCoy’s of the world, but it’s those sleepers or late round picks you made that cause us the most stress. Which one do I play? Which match up is better? Who has better chance for a breakout game? Is it worth the risk going against the grain and thinking outside the box?
Some times we don’t have much of a choice. So let me try and help you. The following is a list of games for this upcoming Sunday that has the potential for some players to have monster fantasy games that aren’t getting much attention currently and combined with your top guys can help you start the season off right!
Arizona @ St Louis:
Prediction 1: Rashard Mendenhall will run for over 125 yards and will score 2 Td’s
Prediction 2: Jared Cook will lead his team in receiving yards and catches
Why?: Mendy is often the forgotten piece in the Arizona Cardinals new offensive puzzle. We all know Fitz is great. We also know he now has Carson Palmer as his QB (who I am a fan of). And the kicker being Bruce Arians as the new head coach who loves to throw deep. Which just so happens to be Carson Palmers specialty !
So why Mendy then if you’re so high on Palmer and Fitzgerald? Well the key to a good offense is balance. In order to get those deep looks they crave and the 1 on 1 coverage’s, they need to be able to run. Rashard was horrendous last year as he battled injuries but he signed a 1 year deal this year for a reason and that was to prove to everyone he is a legit running back! He is only 2 years removed from back to back 1000+ yards rushing seasons.
Finally, the Rams D was 20th against the run in fantasy last year ( ESPN rankings). And in a quarterback that can actually pose a passing threat, and he should see a few more holes. Mendenhall is a sneaky play who is starting in less than 25% of leagues currently. If you’re willing to gamble I’m putting my money on the guy in red and black.
Jared Cook is a freakish athlete with big talent. Unfortunately over his career he has only shown glimpses. In most circles he is a forgotten player that has burned many a fantasy owner with a good week followed by dud after dud. Consider this a post-hype belief, but I think this year will be his best and land him near the Top 5 overall in tight ends.
The media has been covering Tavon Austin and his potential religiously this off season. Recently others started jumping on the Chris Givens bandwagon ( whom I also like). Yet all the talk out of camp was how well Cook and Bradford have been building chemistry. Bradford needs a security blanket and Cook is his guy!
The Arizona Defense is an extremely underrated group. They have extremely talented play-makers themselves in Patrick Peterson and Mathews. I am sure they will be ready for whatever plans the Rams have for Austin and be able to handle Givens going deep. Cook will provide a great mismatch and will move the chains for the Rams. Chances are you drafted Cook as your backup tight end, so this might not be the week to start him, but keep an eye on Cook. Jeff Fisher drafted him and has him back now. Cook is in for a great season!
New York @ Dallas
Prediction: Rueben Randle will lead the game in all purpose yards for both teams
Why?: Does anyone remember last year’s opening game between these teams? A third string WR lit up the game with 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kevin Ogletree ring a bell? It was by far his best game of the year and possibly his career. We could be seeing another third string WR lighting up the field this Sunday, but in this case, it won’t be the last time we hear from him.
Randle is the clear cut number three this season after a rookie year that he spent competing with a handful of others for that spot. He is in essence a handcuff for Nicks and Cruz as one of them is often hurt. He is not the fastest guy, but fast enough. With solid hands and a tackle-breaking frame. This LSU product will also be the main kick returner for the Giants on Sunday and if you are in a league that counts return yards you could be in for a treat.
Randle’s true value will show should/when either Nicks or Cruz goes down this season. That said, Manning has been known to spread the wealth and with the big names demanding more respect from the realigned Cowboy’s D, Randle should find himself some holes and help some fantasy owners bold enough to give him a shot.
Philadelphia @ Washington (Monday early)
Prediction: This game will be a shootout! Play one of these teams kickers!
Why?: Because kickers are people to, and no one puts much analysis into the kickers. The Eagles have not yet shown us what their “flash” offense will truly look like. It will take the Redskins a while to adjust. So the Eagles should at least be consistently in field goal range if not scoring touchdowns. On the flip-side the eagles D is not that solid themselves and RG3 is more than ready to light up the field. Neither Alex Henry or Kai Forbath have gotten much love from drafters as each is owned in less than 5% of Leagues. If you haven’t picked one up or don’t mind rotating, these are the kickers to play this week!
Houston @ San Diego (Monday Late)
Prediction: Vincent Brown will be a top 5 WR this week with a 9/130/2 stat line
Why?: It all comes down to MNF. The most exciting wins are those come-from-behind-Monday-nighters. Screw work the next day. This will be an extremely late Monday as it is the double header but it will be worth it!
Vincent Brown will quickly become a household name. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft he had an expected rookie season low on the depth chart. He finished the season with 19/329/2 stat line. He was expected to play a much bigger role with Vincent Jackson leaving town but Brown struggled with injuries last season missing the entire 2012 campaign. He is back now and fully healthy. Rivers is a big fan of Brown and even with Floyd back in action I expect Brown to be the number one receiver in San Diego.
The Texans Defense has improved year over year and having Brian Cushing back will only help that team. They did however allow the 23rd most points to wide receivers last season (ESPN Ranking). As long as Rivers has time to set and throw Brown is a tough receiver and will battle for any ball coming his way. Vincent Brown is a sneaky play this week starting in less than 15% of any league. He gives you the Monday night advantage and a potential late-night-W. If you need a reason to stay up late make sure you start Brown.