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Welcome back NFL, oh how I’ve missed you. I celebrate your return with Cake and Quarterbacks. We bring back 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.
Can #1) Tyrod Taylor Is Going the Distance (He’s Going for Speed)
Matt Cassel is all alone in this time of need. Buffalo has named Tyrod Taylor it’s starting QB and he’s got an interesting matchup against the Colts defense in Week One. Although the personnel has changed over somewhat, the Colts did give up 112 rushing yards and 217 passing yards and 1 TD to unemployed WR Terrelle Pryor in Week One of the 2013 season. In a dynasty league, it’s more likely than not that you have a safer play than Taylor this week, but you might not have a higher ceiling on your roster even though it’s admittedly paired with a very low floor. If you had Taylor on your bench and are in an H2H game where you are a significant underdog this week, I’d strongly consider firing up Taylor. I’m not starting any other Bills if I can avoid it though, including the likely-to-be-shadowed-by-Vontae-Davis WR Sammy Watkins and the banged up LeSean McCoy. On the other side of the ball, yes to Andrew Luck, TY Hilton and Frank Gore obviously. Good luck predicting who’s going to have a big game between Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Dwayne Allen, or Coby Fleener (sadly Donte Moncrief does not make the list).
Can #2) Sick of RGIII
The Redskins don’t want to be with you. Nor should your dynasty team. Robert Griffin III has just looked done, essentially a more mobile version of post-2002 David Carr at this point. And the only way you should start Kirk Cousins this week is if your only other two options are Josh McCown or Brian Hoyer (more on that later). That being said, I like a suddenly healthy (for now) Jordan Reed to have a big impact on this game. Reed averaged 7 receptions for 78.7 yards on 10.3 targets in three games with Cousins. The rise of Cousins is good for Reed. Interestingly enough, DeSean Jackson’s numbers were almost identical with and without Cousins last year, so he should be good to go as a WR3 with a high ceiling. On the other side of the ball, Ryan Tannehill looks to get his breakout season underway against a banged up Redskins defense. Jarvis Landry will reportedly see a lot of journeyman CB Justin Rodgers which makes him a high-end WR2 play. Reports on DeVante Parker’s role have been positive, but I’d wait to play him until I see him on the field for a majority of snaps.
Can #3) Short Skirt/Long Lei
Marcus Mariota uses a machete to cut through red tape. Marcus Mariota is similar to Tyrod Taylor this week in that he has a low floor (although not as low as Taylor) that is buoyed by a high ceiling due to his running ability. I expect him to lean on security blankets Delanie Walker and Kendall Wright this week, making both decent PPR volume-based options against a Buccaneers team that looks to be about middle of the road on defense. I’d really only consider starting Bishop Sankey in a league that gave you extra points for using players named after chess pieces. In this matchup of the first two overall picks, I’d rather start Mariota over Jameis “makes the most out of innocent until proven guilty” Winston, especially with Mike Evans banged up and unlikely to be 100% even if he does play. I am excited to see Doug Martin though in a plus matchup at home even behind the Bucs’ offensive line that includes an autographed cardboard cutout of Tony Boselli at RG. Martin was a value acquisition all offseason and is now in a contract year because the Bucs declined his fifth year option.
Can #4) Peyton Goes to Heaven, Flacco Goes to Hell
[inlinead]?As soon as you’re born you start dying, so you might as well have a good time. It should be easy to have a good time in this game starting Broncos players. Although Peyton Manning has been a fantasy playoff disappointment in each of the last two years, by all accounts the has recovered from the quad injury that purportedly slowed him down at the end of last year. This happens to be a decent matchup for Manning though and he’s a top Week One option along with Demaryius Thomas, CJ Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders. I’d even take a flier on Owen Daniels in leagues where you are thin at TE. I’d probably shy away from Joe Flacco this week — the Broncos gave up the 9th fewest passing yards per game last year. Steve Smith should be a target hog with literally no other WR or TE with significant experience catching regular-season NFL passes on the roster. I am not writing Justin Forsett off as a one-year wonder and think that he will flourish in the new Marc Trestman system. He’s all systems go, especially in PPR.
Can #5) Sad Songs and Brian Hoyer Aren’t Selling This Year
You’ve no need to fear him, because no one will start him. Week One marks the start of the competition between Texans QB Brian Hoyer and Browns QB Josh McCown as to who can be the worst starting QB in the NFL. McCown may have a leg up solely because Hoyer has the luxury of throwing to DeAndre Hopkins. Although held back slightly by Hoyer, Hopkins is still a solid WR2 with WR1 upside. I like Nate Washington more as an NFL player than as a fantasy asset where he’s always been an inconsistent producer. Cecil Shorts may be the other starter on the outside, but you can’t start him either. Maybe once rookie Jaelen Strong ascends, there will be a second Texans WR that you can start. Alfred Blue isn’t that good, and doesn’t have a great matchup. He’s more of a desperation FLEX play. On the other side of ball, I like when teams make it clear that they are going to manufacture touches for a player, so give me all of the Jeremy Maclins. And I know that Travis Kelce has a tough matchup against the Texans, who are historically tough against TEs, but I truly believe that Kelce is good enough to start regardless of the matchup or an ankle tweak that he had two weeks ago.
Can #6) No Foles (I Just Want To Be Alone Today)
Jerking like a nervous bird, rattling up against his cage. The Rams offensive line is a shambles and they are down to their third RB. Their best WR Brian Quick is coming off a shoulder injury and he hasn’t played in almost a year. It’s going to be a long day for Nick Foles, who may be startable as a streamer in other weeks, but definitely not against the Seahawks. In fact, I can’t think of a single Ram that I’d feel comfortable starting this week. For the Seahawks, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham are must-starts obviously. An interesting dart throw play is Tyler Lockett. He looked really good in the preseason and the Seahawks have been talking him up big time. He’s another guy that I might consider throwing out there in a H2H matchup where I’m a big underdog because of his high potential ceiling (as opposed to low ceiling superstar Doug Baldwin). Lockett just looks like a big play waiting to happen.
Enjoy the games![ad5]?