The views expressed in this article are not of the New York Football Giants but those of an independent Fantasy Expert.
Donald Brown, RB Colts
Week 1: 9 carries, 48 yards, TD vs. Bears
The fourth-year vet and former first-round pick Donald Brown has been pretty much a disappointment to this point in his career. Towards the end of last season, Brown started to show vast improvement, including a ridiculous week 15, where he rushed for 161 yards off of just 16 carries with an 80 yard touchdown run vs. Titans. He finished the 2011 season with 645 rushing yards, 6 rushing td’s, averaged 4.8 yards a carry, where he only started 2 games out of the twelve he suited up for. With a new QB and offensive game plan, Brown should benefit huge and give your team a quality start this week vs. Vikings Defense.
Kyle Rudolph, TE Vikings
Week 1: 5 catches, 67 yards vs. Jaguars
Kyle Rudolph is now in his second season with the Minnesota Vikings. Last year was one Rudolph would like to forget, as well as the Vikings. He had only 26 catches and 249 yards with a mediocre 3 touchdowns. Look for Ponder and Rudolph to connect often this year as most young quarterbacks love to look for their big 6’6, 258 pound tight end in the middle of the open field.
Trent Richardson, RB Browns
Week 1: 19 carries 39 yards vs. Eagles
Richardson had a brutal Week 1 vs. Eagles defense. Weeden didn’t help matters as he threw 4 picks, which made it hard for Richardson to get anything going with zero percent chance of a passing threat. But with a much better match-up this week vs. the current 29th ranked rush defense, the Cincinnati Bengals, Richardson can prove to all the haters from Week 1 that he is a legit starter for your squad.
Brandon LaFell, WR Panthers
Week 1: 3 catches, 65 yards, TD vs. Buccaneers
LaFell had a nice Sunday last week, as he hauled in 3 catches for 65 yards and a score vs. a young and talented Tampa Bay secondary. More of the same is expected when he faces the 27th ranked pass defense in the New Orleans Saints as much attention will be focused on no.1 wideout,Steve Smith. Parts of the field will be open for the next option to step up; that option this week is Brandon LaFell.
The Houston Texans were ranked the best fantasy defense in the beginning of the season and proved it last week with a dominating performance to say the least vs. Miami Dolphins. Causing 3 interceptions, fumble recovery, allowing only 10 points and sacking Rookie Tannehill, three times. Though the Jaguars showed a lot of improvement with Blaine Gabbert, it doesn’t give me enough reassurance on why I wouldn’t start the Texans. Expect plenty of sacks and turnovers in this one and even if MJD has a good game, they have to drop back and throw it at some point.
One week after the 49ers defense stopped one of if not the best offense in the league, they have to face yet another high-profiled offense in the Detroit Lions in primetime. With Stafford throwing for 355 yards and 3 Interceptions and Mega-tron not even scoring in week 1, this could be a lot higher scoring than most would assume. Lions offense makes statement to the rest of the league and puts up points vs. possibly the best defense in the league.
Pierre Garçon, WR Redskins
Week 1: 4 catches, 109 yards, TD vs. Saints
Garcon put up a monstrous opening week in fantasy, including an 88 yard crossing route where he looked like one of the fastest receivers in the league. That being said, he is banged up a bit with a foot injury. Throw in the fact he is facing an underrated St. Louis Rams secondary that includes Cortland Finnegan (former Titan), who has plenty of experience facing the former Colt wide out in the AFC South. The Rams also did the unthinkable and stopped Calvin Johnson from scoring a single touchdown. There’s no denying the chemistry of Robert Griffin III and Pierre Garcon, similar to Cam Newton and Steve Smith in Carolina a year ago. These guys will put up plenty of big numbers all year, as long as they are both healthy.
Joe Flacco, QB Ravens
Week 1: 299 Yards, 2 TD’s vs. Bengals
Joe Flacco had a great start to the fantasy season throwing for almost 300 yards, 2 scores and no interceptions against a decent Bengals secondary dating back to last season. Now he goes to Philadelphia vs. one of the best pass rushers and secondary in the NFC. Road trips are always tough and especially when you’re facing any NFC East opponent at home. Flacco comes back to reality with a possible let down game vs. Eagles, as Ray Rice will have to carry the load vs. one of the toughest defenses they will face all year long.
Jason Witten, TE Cowboys
Week 1: 2 catches, 10 yards vs. Giants
Witten is one of the best tight ends in all of football. He’s not one of the best tight ends in football when he’s playing with an injured spleen. Last week vs. Giants was impressive he even suited up and we all saw why it was a big deal he played. He’s clearly still injured and it’s affecting his play in a big way. Why bother, wait till he’s healthy again and find another tight end, for this week at least.
Tags: Fantasy Football
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While the core of the kicking game stayed in place (long snapper, kicker, punter, and holder), coordinator Tom Quinn spent the preseason working and re-working his coverage and return outfits. In Week 1, he led off with rookie David Wilson on kickoff return and Domenik Hixon on punts.
The latter was a move in favor of having a veteran handling Dallas’ southpaw punter Chris Jones, especially on a primetime stage for the first game of the season.
“Experience, left-footed punter played an issue in that,” Quinn explained yesterday about choosing Hixon, the last Giant to return a kick (2007) or a punt (2009) for a touchdown. “Because the ball does spin a little bit differently for those guys. Those were the two factors.”
However, the Giants face a traditional righty this week with Tampa’s Michael Koenen, and that could mean time for Rueben Randle or Jayron Hosley, whom Quinn pointed out.
“We’ve got three guys we feel good with right now,” Quinn said. “How much they’re being used on offense and defense all plays into it.”
» Giants vs. Buccaneers: Scouting Report
» LeGrand asked to participate in Bucs-Giants coin toss [Mike Garafolo, USA Today]
Tags: Domenik Hixon, Jayron Hosley, Rueben Randle, Tom Quinn
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