It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Football season is finally here! Apologies for my excitement making my rhyme, but can you blame me? We wait what feels like an eternity and then it arrives. The best season of them all. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, are nothing compared to football season. The season isn’t to start without a few curveballs, however. Miami and Tampa Bay will be taking an early Bye week due to Hurricane Irma. Their matchup will be moved to week 11 instead. This storm is nothing short of a disaster and I know I’m not alone in wishing everyone in Florida and surrounding areas the best and that you all get to safety. This hurricane is being said to be one of the biggest ever recorded, so stay safe friends! Fantasy is a great outlet in these crazy times and with this schedule shift, owners will be reshuffling their lineups at the last minute. So starting your studs is key. No time to get cute with dart throws here. Lets ‘s get right into my Week 1 Flex Options!
Week 1 Flex Options
Jets fly to Buffalo to take on the Bills to start the season. Though the Bills have made significant improvements to shore up their defense, there are some holes left with 4 big hitters out. This should open things up a bit for the Jets. Veteran Forte will reassume his lead role, though after he went down last season in week 14, Powell stepped up and took the lead. By the end of 2016 Powell averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and 2.2 after contact. He also ranks sixth among backs in the league with 105 receptions over the last two seasons.
The Saints shiny new rookie, Alvin Kamara came out ready to prove himself this preseason. He had 96 yards on 9 carries in the first 2 games. Kamara’s versatility in the passing game is what will keep him relevant and a player to watch for fantasy this season. With Snead out for 3 weeks on a suspension, that also frees up valuable targets. Speaking of targets, it also helps the sheer volume of targets in New Orleans isn’t likely to change.The anti-aging Drew Brees, who threw for 5,208 yards last season with a 70% completion rating last season, has kept stride and shows no signs of slowing down. This leaves Kamara with a high ceiling and a chance to secure a larger role in the passing game as veterans Ingram and Peterson will have the backfield wrapped up.
Seems that Cincinnati is being a tad indecisive with their depth chart. I don’t know how you all reacted to your ESPN update that Jeremy Hill would be taking the RB2 slot and Mixon sliding down to RB3 status, but my reaction was a solid wtf. When I calmed down I realized this “announcement” is likely a formality. The backfield has been jumbled in Cinci for a while and Hill, Mixon and Bernard will be eating into each other’s targets. Though Mixon’s raw talent makes it difficult to not envision him rising in the ranks. The home field advantage week 1 doesn’t hurt in swaying his odds for a healthy flex start to week 1 either.
The Colts may have one of the friendliest schedules this season, yet starting off with a quarterback whose shoulder refuses to cooperate won’t bring them any extra luck. See what I did there? You can bet they’ll be leaning on old man Gore for some stability. Gore’s fantasy consistency is impossible to ignore, he’s landed within the top 20 backs for the past 11 seasons.
This Division rivalry game will shape up to be productive for fantasy owners. West had his most successful season last year, with 774 rushing yards and an average of 4 yards per carry. This landed him at RB 23 for the 2016 season. With Kenneth Dixon out with a torn meniscus, the backfield opportunity will slide to West. Keep in mind this is a grudge match, these teams don’t let up for a second when playing each other. Expect Baltimore to pound the ball and grind it out.
Danny Woodhead (PPR)
This brings me to new addition Danny Woodhead. He seems to be on schedule in his rehab and return from ACL injury last season. Woodhead’s fantasy value has been in his short yardage targets. With the Bengals allowing the fifth most catches to tailbacks last season, I’d say Danny boy is in for a friendly matchup. It also helps that the Ravens led in passes under 5 yards in 2016. Woodhead is a great flex option with a high floor and healthy Joe Flacco.
Martavis Bryant (PPR)
Speaking of division rivalries, the Steelers head to Cleveland for week 1. Martavis Bryant is back from his suspension. You could say Bryant is healthier than ever or you could also say he’s been out of the game for a year. I’ll go with the former. During his 12 showings in Pittsburgh, Bryant saw at least 70% of the pass plays. On games he played in the 2015 season, Bryant ranked 10th amongst wideouts. With what should be a very defensive game, expect Big Ben to look for 6’4”, deep threat Byant, when Antonio Brown gets swallowed up.