The 2016 fantasy football season is in full swing. Drafts are taking place on a daily basis and football fans across the world are preparing their week one lineups. Although the preseason has come to a close, fantasy football questions still exist. Let’s look at some things to watch week one.
Week One Fantasy Spotlight: Things to Watch
Trevor Siemian was named starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champs after Peyton Manning retired following the season. On March 11th, Denver traded for Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was out-played by Siemian in the preseason and is in danger of being cut. The Denver Broncos starter is going undrafted in most fantasy leagues, and rightfully so. We just haven’t seen enough of the young quarterback to know if he can contribute to a successful fantasy team. Head coach Gary Kubiak said he likes the willingness of Siemian to make a play and his ability to get his playmakers the football. If we see a good performance on national television look for the young signal caller to be hot on the waiver wire.
Oakland Raiders Offense
There are high expectations in Oakland for the 2016 NFL season. The young Raiders boast explosive weapons on offense. Quarterback Derek Carr emerged as a fantasy threat throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2015. Amari Cooper averaged nearly 15 yards per catch and had over 1,000 yards as rookie. Latavius Murray became a viable option at running back recording his first 1,000 yard season. The question remains, can the Raiders do it with the expectations so high? Oakland gets an ideal match-up week one in New Orleans against the Saints 31st ranked defense. Carr, Cooper and Murray are all expected to finish in their respective top ten. Fantasy owners will be looking to get rewarded week one.
The second year quarterback is poised to have a big fantasy season. As a rookie Jameis Winston threw for over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. Drafted as a late round QB1 fantasy owners expect big things. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson provide Winston with great weapons on the outside. Doug Martin is coming off a 1,400 yard season and nearly five yards per carry (YPC) so he will draw the attention of opposing defenses. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had four total touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) against his week one opponent the Atlanta Falcons. Winston had a great preseason throwing for 384 yards and four touchdowns which should lead to Winston having a big week one.
The New York Giants wide receiver has missed all but six games the past two seasons with injuries. The Former All-Pro wide-out is finally healthy and starts the season as the number two receiver for the Giants. Fantasy owners drafting Victor Cruz are hopeful he returns back to his pre-2014 form. With the exciting Odell Beckham Jr and rookie Sterling Shepard alongside, the pressure to perform is low for Cruz. Keep Cruz on your bench and see how looks week one against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys had some highs and lows this preseason. The highs being the play of rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. The low, another injury to franchise quarterback Tony Romo. The All-Pro signal caller will be out a minimum of eight-ten weeks with a broken bone in his back. The Cowboys offense is now in the hands of the young Prescott. The rookie from Mississippi State finished the preseason with a 137.8 quarterback rating and five touchdowns. Although it was preseason, Prescott turned some heads with his performance. The New York Giants revamped defense with the additions of Janoris Jenkins, Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison will be out to rattle the rookie early. Let’s watch one from Prescott before making him a starter.
Seattle Seahawks Running Backs
Thomas Rawls exploded on the scene last season when he took over for an injured Marshawn Lynch. Rawls averaged 5.6 yards per carry (YPC) while rushing for 803 yards and four touchdowns. Lynch a mainstay in the Seattle offense is now retired. Rawls was expected to take over for Lynch. However, Christine Michael averaged 6.54 YPC through three preseason games and by doing so raised questions about who will be the number one tailback. If you drafted Rawls, hopefully you drafted Michael as his handcuff. Use week one to watch and see where the bulk of the carries go.
Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers
Antonio Brown is considered by many to be the best wide receiver in the game today. Brown is not the question, but with Martavis Bryant suspended for the season the number two receiver position is up for grabs. Markus Wheaton and Sammie Coates were considered preseason favorites to win the job. However, second year wide receiver Eli Rodgers has impressed throughout camp and will almost certainly get looks week one. Also in the mix is former Oakland Raiders seventh overall draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey had his most productive season since 2013 averaging 15.0 yards per catch. Whoever steps up and takes the spot opposite Brown should get significant looks from two time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.