September 5, 2013

Fantasy Football Report: Week 1

By - Tim Swift

The start of the 2013 NFL season is finally upon us, so here are some things you need to know heading into the opening week of fantasy play.

1. Don't be surprised if Chris Johnson struggles early, again.

Photo by: Getty Images
Last year, CJ2K owners watched in horror as he rushed 33 times for only 45 yards through the first 3 weeks of the season, which made the fact that he ended up with over 1,200 yards pretty remarkable. Well, he could be in for another slow start this year. The Titans first three opponents are Pittsburgh, Houston and San Diego, and all three ranked in the top 7 against the run in 2012. If you drafted Johnson as your RB2, be prepared for some possible uneven performances early on this season.

2. There's sure to be an unknown star Week 1, but will they turn out like Kevin Ogletree or Alfred Morris?

Kevin Ogletree had 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opening week last year, and everyone ran to the waiver wire to pick him up. He was basically useless the remainder of the season, catching just 24 balls for 2 scores the rest of the way. On the other hand, unknown Alfred Morris rushed for 96 yards and 2 TDs in Week 1, and went on to finish second in the league in rushing yards and touchdowns. There is almost always a breakout player the first week, but don't go overhauling your roster to sign them. More often than not they end up like Ogletree, not Morris.

3. Defenses that you never would think to play could be useful in Week 1.

I'm a big believer in changing your defense throughout the season depending on the offense they are facing. Even Buccaneer fans didn't draft Tampa Bay's defense, but since they are going against the mess known as the New York Jets in Week 1, they're a solid play. Geno Smith is sure to make some mistakes, so the Bucs could end up with double-digit fantasy points scored. Indy's D is another that could rack up big point totals in Week 1, taking on Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders.

4. Arian Foster owners; pay attention to his touches.

In most drafts, Foster was selected in the top 6 or 7. However, he may not give you great production early on. The fifth-year man out of Tennessee missed the entire preseason recovering from calf and back injuries. He won't be a 25-plus carry guy right away, as he works his way back into shape. Look for Ben Tate to get 10-plus touches over the first few weeks of the season.

5. Should be a shootout on Sunday Night Football.

The average score of this game over the last four years has been Giants: 29.8, Cowboys: 27.3. Expect something very similar on Sunday night. It's a rare occasion where almost all of the starting skill position players for both teams are in play. Also look for David Wilson (in part due to the injury to Andre Brown) to become a breakout fantasy star in the first few weeks, starting the season against a rush defense that ranked 22nd in the NFL last year.

The Underrated 15 For Week 1:

- Quarterbacks

1. Ben Roethlisberger
2. Alex Smith
3. Mike Vick

- Running Backs

1. David Wilson
2. Isaac Redman
3. Lamar Miller

- Wide Receivers

1. Steve Johnson
2. Lance Moore
3. Kenny Britt

- Tight Ends

1. Brandon Myers
2. Fred Davis
3. Jared Cook

- Defense/Special Teams

1. Tampa Bay
2. Indianapolis
3. Kansas City

*Beginning September 8th, catch me on Fantasy Football Live every Sunday morning from 8:00 till 9:00 on Sports Radio 560 WNSR Nashville, as well as 95.9 FM, or online @


  1. I don't get the ability to just add and drop players or defences as often as I please in my league. We have a limited amount of transactions (except trades) that we can do in a season. I don't generally waste those moves on defence. I like the tip about the Bucs though. I was going to draft them as my backup anyways (still in draft process).

  2. I've never heard of a league where you have a limit to how many transactions you can make; as in, the amount of guys you can release from your roster and add from waivers over the course of the season. There's an order each week as to what number you are as far as bein in line to claim guys, but a limit to total moves you can make? I've never heard of that.

    Basically what Tim is saying is (and I agree with his method 100%), each week go to the waiver wire and pick up the defense that is taking on the worst offense that particular week. It's really the way to go unless you draft one of the top 2-3 defenses, like a Seattle or San Francisco. In fact, if you go this route, you don't even technically have to draft a defense AT ALL. Every week just claim the best one available on waivers.

    1. My league is a dynasty league. We get $15 worth of fantasy dollars to spend on transactions all year. Each transaction you bid on with those dollars in a silent auction. It's a minimum $1 per transaction, so just switching your defence each week blows one of those dollars each time.

    2. That would explain it, then. I've never participated in a dynasty league. Lol

  3. Dynasty leagues are pretty challenging, I've tried starting them before but most people won't do it.

    1. I love it, but the hard part is keeping people committed each season. We always have somebody leave every 2 years or so. When we find a replacement they get stuck with a team they didn't draft.

  4. The Titans improved their offensive line in the offseason, so shouldn't that help Chris Johnson get off to a better start?

  5. True the OL has improved but if Jake Locker struggles early, it could hurt Johnson. I still think he'll get 1,200 yards and 7+scores, but those matchups aren't ideal early in season.