Football’s back, baby!
If you are as excited as we are, you’re probably foaming at the mouth waiting for tonight’s Hall of Fame Game. However, if you’re one of those folks who skipped their summer homework, shame on you. However, it’s a new season so all is forgiven as we break down the Hall of Fame game and the week one slate. Clicking on the team in the matchup will take you back to DLF’s Summer Sleeper piece on that team so you can see who else you can keep an eye besides this list, especially since many starters won’t play very much this week. Clicking on the individual player will take you to his profile page, in case you want to check out his stats and what the DLF crew has to say about him.
Football. Welcome home you sexy, sexy thing you.
SUNDAY (All times Eastern)
Steelers – DeAngelo Williams, RB: He’ll be the lead back for the first two games while Le’Veon Bell serves his suspension. Keep an eye on Dri Archer, who could pick up the third down touches in Bell’s absence.
Vikings – Mike Wallace, WR: He left Miami because he couldn’t get in sync with a young quarterback. Keep track of how many deep shots Teddy Bridgewater takes to Wallace in their limited time on the field.
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Jets – Geno Smith, QB: The Jets’ whole season revolves around him. If he has improved from last year, he could be a viable QB2 option.
Lions – Eric Ebron, TE: Last year’s first round pick had an up and down season. Can he harness his incredible athletic talent?
Packers – Davante Adams, WR: He’s the hot-button topic of the off-season – this will be our first chance to see how the Packers plan on using him.
Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB: Let’s be honest. The Browns are bad and Manziel is the most interesting figure on that team.
Miami at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Dolphins – Kenny Stills, WR: The deep-ball specialist goes from one of the best offenses in the league to one on the rise. Keep an eye on how many shots Miami takes deep to him.
Bears – Alshon Jeffery, WR: How will he react to being The Man? Can he handle all the extra coverage he will draw?
Falcons – Devonta Freeman, RB: His ADP is behind rookie Tevin Coleman’s and he wasn’t incredibly impressive last season. He’ll need a good showing to hold off Coleman. The problem is they both may be out this week, opening the door for Antone Smith to own the preseason yet again.
Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin, WR: His numbers last season were good, but he got a lot of volume. Can he repeat those numbers on fewer targets?
Bills – Tyrod Taylor, QB: Who? Reports out of Buffalo say Taylor is in the lead for the starting job.
Giants – Victor Cruz, WR: Coming off a lost season, look to see how he’s moving and if his explosiveness is back.
Bengals – Tyler Eifert, TE: Just like Cruz above, he’s coming off injury, so you need to keep an eye on how he looks in game action.
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh – See above.
Jaguars – Blake Bortles, QB: Inconsistent as a rookie, he’s got new weapons. He needs to be quicker with his decisions this season.
St. Louis at Oakland, 10 p.m.
Rams – Tavon Austin, WR: People have pointed to the revolving door at quarterback as one factor to his slow progress. Now with a stable quarterback, this may be his last chance to break out.
Seahawks – Chris Matthews, WR: He was almost the hero in the Super Bowl, now we’ll get to see how much he really is in Seattle’s long-term plans.
Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Buccaneers – Doug Martin, RB: He’s been officially anointed the starter. He needs to show that his rookie year was his true self, not the 2014 version.
Vikings: See above.
49ers – Colin Kaepernick, QB: He spent the off-season working out with former MVP Kurt Warner. This will be the first chance the country gets to see the fruits of that labor.
Texans – Chris Polk, RB: Alfred Blue is supposed to be the first man up after Arian Foster went down this week, but don’t be surprised if Polk ends up taking over. An untimely hamstring injury could open the door for others in that backfield, though.
Have fun this week as we get into the best part of the year!