We’re going to be with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this. With that in mind, let’s take a look at week one’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Five Rookie Quarterbacks are Starting in Week One
This is going to be a really fun day for those dynasty league owners who burned picks on rookie quarterbacks. For the first time since 1950, we have FIVE rookies starting for their teams on opening day. This list includes Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson.
Of all those signal callers, Wilson is certainly the most surprising, but he’s played so well the Seahawks really had no choice. He’ll have a tough task against Arizona, but the Seattle defense has to be licking its chops to go up against John Skelton and that offense, too.
Andrew Luck gets a tough draw in week one as he plays at Chicago – if he can survive that, he’ll really be the wonder boy.
RGIII is going to have a tough assignment as well as he plays on the road against New Orleans. The Redskins are going to have to score and the training wheels are going to be taken off Griffin in a quick hurry.
Ryan Tannehill has been done no favors as he has to play at Houston. Sure, the Texans lost Mario Williams in the off-season, but that defense is still no joke. You can bet they’ll be ready to go after him early and often, especially since the Dolphins lack legitimate receiving threats.
One thing that’s lost in all the shock and awe of five rookies starting is that only one is at home – it’s Brandon Weeden of the Browns who host the Eagles. The hope is that Trent Richardson is back and Weeden is undoubtedly crossing his fingers for that as the Philly corners are certainly capable of neutralizing Greg Little and Josh Gordon, among others.
It’s tough to really say, but the over/under on rookies getting a victory in their first start tomorrow may only be around 1.5.
Can #2) The Washington Redskins Running Back Situation
We knew this was going to eventually be a total mess, but few really thought we’d go into week one without knowing who the starter would even be. Would it really be a shock if we saw Alfred Morris, Roy Helu or Evan Royster take the first carry? Honestly, Morris has looked the best during the preseason. Hely undoubtedly has the most talent. Royster is on top of the depth chart and the coaches have been raving about him. This is insane!
We should have at least a decent idea of what the coaching staff really thinks of these guys after the game. We’ll never know for sure with Mike Shanahan at the helm, but owners of Helu especially have a real vested interest in this situation.
Can #3) Players returning from injury
There are a ton of players coming back from major injuries, but none have the interest of dynasty league owners than the likes of Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles.
For Peterson, it’s expected he gets 12-15 touches if he’s activated tomorrow, which would be a medical miracle in of itself. He won’t be 100%, but that would be a big step in the right direction.
Jamaal Charles has been used sparingly in the preseason, but he’s looked fantastic. We should get a good idea of how the Chiefs are going to use him along with Peyton Hillis. Remember, if Charles returns close to his usual self, he’s dynamic enough to be a top 10 player in dynasty leagues with 15 touches per game.
The nightcap should be a doozy as Peyton Manning and the Broncos host the Steelers. If Manning is truly back to form, the hype of Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will truly be justified.
Can #4) Other Rookie Players in the Crosshairs
We already covered the quarterbacks, but there are a countless number of rookies whose true early season roles will become clear this weekend. It’s very easy to get excited about players like Richardson, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Doug Martin and a host of others. It’s equally easy to be disappointed in what we’ve seen from Ronnie Hillman, Isaiah Pead, Michael Floyd, Coby Fleener and still more.
The key here is patience.
It takes many rookies years before they emerge. You’re in a dynasty league, not a re-draft league – don’t be foolish enough to start judging someone’s career on what you’ve seen in the pre-season or even the first month of the regular season.
Can #5) Backup running backs having prominent roles
It’s truly amazing that we’re in week one and the backup running backs are already a big part of leagues. Players like Rashad Jennings, Jonathan Dwyer, Brandon Jackson, Ben Tate, Toby Gerhart, Robert Turbin and Ronnie Brown could all play a big part in whether teams win or lose in week one, depending on who may be active in front of them, or how many carries their respective starter gets in the game. I can’t remember a season where it was possible to see as many as seven backup running backs have significant responsibilities in the first week.
Can #6) Mining for the First Waiver Wire Gem
The hunt begins for that great waiver wire gem of 2012. There’s little doubt he’s out there, but major doubt he’s Kevin Ogletree.
Good luck in week one – keep it here for the latest all season long! Feel free to comment on who may be in your six pack of stories as well.
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