September 6, 2012

Fantasy Football Report: Week 1

By - Tim Swift

This week, I'm making some fantasy predictions for the year, and giving you some of the best matchups for the opening week of the season.

First, the predictions.

1. If you drafted Doug Martin, it will pay dividends.

Photo by: Getty Images
The rookie out of Boise State took the starting job early in the preseason from LeGarrette Blount. Martin has all the abilities to be something rare in today's NFL -- an every down back. Along with being a solid blocker, look for Martin to be a factor out of the backfield in the passing game as well. Don't be surprised if he goes for over 1,100 yards rushing and 40 catches this year.

2. Matt Ryan will achieve fantasy greatness this season.

4,500 yards and 30 TDs are in the cards for Ryan. With Michael Turner having over 600 carries the last 2 years, it would not surprise me if more pass attempts are a focus in Atlanta's offense. Ryan's touchdown totals have gone up in each of his 1st 4 years in the league, and those numbers should only go up in 2012. As long as Roddy White and Julio Jones are healthy, look for Ryan to put up huge numbers.

3. Mike Shanahan will drive you crazy...again.

Shanahan in Denver and Washington has been notorious for changing his running backs from week-to-week. Roy Helu, Alfred Morris, and Evan Royster are all in the fold, and none of them are weekly starting options. They also might be bringing back Tim Hightower after cutting him last week. When it comes to his running backs, Shanahan is full of surprises. At some point this season, he'll probably call John Riggins and see if he has a few carries left in him. Lastly, with the athletic Robert Griffin III in the mix, rushing TDs will be scarce for this bunch.

4. "Tebow Time" starts by Week 8.

After watching the Jets offense the 2nd half of last year and in the preseason this year, it's safe to say that there will be QB change sometime this season. That being said, Tebow will not help your fantasy team. In 14 starts in the regular season, he has only broke the 200 yard barrier twice, and completed 60% of his passes once. The rushing stats aren't enough to make up for Tebow's horrific passing numbers, so don't be the person that decides to pick him up just because he's on a certain 4-letter sports network 25 times a day.

5. Philip Rivers will bounce back.

Between his alleged injury in Week 2 against New England and the birth of his 6th child (yes 6th!), Rivers seemed distracted throughout most of last season and finished with a career-high 20 interceptions. While he struggled for a majority of the year, Rivers finished with 12 TDs and only 3 interceptions in the final 5 games of 2011. And for those who believe Rivers will miss wideout Vincent Jackson, his best year statistically was in 2010 when he led the league in passing yards and had 30 TDs, and Jackson only played in 5 games that season.

Now, the best matchups for Week 1.


1. Tom Brady vs Tennessee
2. Drew Brees vs Washington
3. Matt Stafford vs St. Louis

Running Backs:

1. LeSean McCoy vs Cleveland
2. Arian Foster vs Miami
3. Chris Johnson vs New England

Wide Receivers:

1. Calvin Johnson vs St. Louis
2. Andre Johnson vs Miami
3. Roddy White vs Kansas City

Tight Ends:

1. Rob Gronkowski vs Tennessee
2. Jimmy Graham vs Washington
3. Vernon Davis vs Green Bay

Defense/Special Teams:

1. Philadelphia D/ST vs Cleveland
2. Houston D/ST vs Miami
3. Seattle D/ST vs Arizona

*Catch me on Fantasy Football Live every Sunday morning beginning September 9th from 8:00-9:00, and on the Thom Abraham Show every Wednesday afternoon starting at 3:40 for even more Fantasy Football talk on Sports Radio 560 WNSR Nashville.


  1. I've got Romo as my starting QB. You think after last night this might be the year where he gets up there with Rodgers, Brees, Brady and Stafford as far as fantasy value goes?

  2. Hey when do you think would be a good time to start backs like Peterson, Charles or even MJD? I know they are big time backs, but none of them will be playing major minutes for the first several weeks will they? Can't expect but maybe a handful of points out of any of them anytime soon can we?

  3. I have him in the very good but not great category, last year he had 4 300 yd games and 5 3TD games, and the numbers that he put up last night were very good but because of the balance that Dallas has, i don't know if he can take that next step.

  4. With MJD and Peterson i would sit them to you see them get the bulk of the carries, with Charles he's good flex play or a RB2 but watch for Peyton Hillis vulturing TD's. I would wait at least 3 games with MJD and Peterson till they both round back into game shape.

  5. I got Martin late in my draft and really feel like I got a steal. Hope you are right about him!

  6. Very nice predictions. I can definitely see them all coming true. One suggestion though: all of your best matchups are stud players. lol. Granted, those ARE great matchups, but maybe you should recommend some middle of the pack type players too.