Fantasy Writer – The Football Gurus
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START: Aaron Rodgers ($7900) – Rodgers kicked off the year against the Seattle Seahawks with a disappointing start to his season. This week, he’s looking for a bounce back game against a poor secondary. The Packers will host the Jets in Week 2. The Jets front seven is solid, but their secondary is not that good. Despite allowing the fewest passing yards in the first week, they ranked 22nd against the pass in 2013 and lost Antonio Cromartie this offseason. They allowed 26 passing touchdowns last season. Their Week 1 performance was likely because they faced a rookie quarterback. Rodgers was held to 189 passing yards in the season opener, I don’t foresee this happening again this week. I’m expecting the veteran quarterback to pick apart this secondary.

I’d start him over: Matthew Stafford $8300, Nick Foles $8100, and Cam Newton $7700

SIT: Drew Brees ($8300) – While it may seem absurd to bench a player like Brees, in daily leagues I’m not investing in him this week. The Saints will head to Cleveland to face the Browns. The Browns defense got torched in Week 1 by Ben Roethlisberger. They allowed him to throw for 365 yards and a touchdown. However, here are some fun facts: In the last three seasons, Brees has thrown 128 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. Of those, 50 touchdowns and 29 interceptions were in road games. Numbers don’t lie. Brees is a great quarterback, but plays his best football at home. His premium price may be too much for someone who struggles on the road.

I’d rather start: Peyton Manning $8800, Andrew Luck $8400, and Aaron Rodgers $7900

START: Andy Dalton ($7500) – Dalton threw for 300+ yards in a season opener for the first time in his career. This week he faces the Falcons defense that yielded 333 passing yards and a touchdown to Drew Brees last week. The Falcons were ranked 30th against the pass last season and allowed the third most passing touchdowns (31). Dalton was able to move the ball effectively in Week 1 against a much better defense, so producing quality numbers again this week shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re looking for a mid-level quarterback to fill in your roster, Dalton would be a good option.

I’d start him over: Jay Cutler $7700, Tom Brady $7000, and Tony Romo $6800,

SIT: Jay Cutler ($7700)- Despite throwing two interceptions,Cutler had himself solid start to the year last week. He threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns. He provided fantasy owners with 22.96 fantasy points. This week, he’s heading to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, which surprisingly played very well in Week 1. I’m not sure if it was because of how poor the Cowboys played or that the defense is actually better than I anticipated. They held Tony Romo to 281 yards and intercepted him three times. Cutler will be throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall who is dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice this week and Ashlon Jeffery who injured his hamstring in Week 1 and hasn’t practiced this week either. Both receivers are expected to play, but it appears neither will be 100 percent healthy. I’m high on Cutler this season, but he’s a bit pricey this week for the circumstances.

I’d rather start: Colin Kaepernick $7900, Carson Palmer $7300, and Russell Wilson $7100

SNEAKY START: Jake Locker ($7100) – The price for Locker is $1000 more than what it was last week. He was my sneaky start of the week and threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He got fantasy owners 20.04 points. This week, Locker has another great matchup at home against the Cowboys defense. The Cowboys allowed 192 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns in Week 1, and the only reason they didn’t give up more passing yards was because the 49ers started off with great field position for a couple of their drives. Dallas was ranked 30th against the pass in 2013. Like I mentioned last week, Locker’s issue is staying healthy for an entire season, and in daily’s that’s not something to be concerned about. He’s the cheapest QB I’d plug in my lineup this week.

I’d start him over: Robert Griffin III $7300, Tony Romo $6800, and Phillip Rivers $6200


Running Back

START: Adrian Peterson ($7400) – Peterson is $500 cheaper this week than what he was last week. This could be because he did not perform up to expectations. Peterson rushed for 75 yards in the season opener. I was expecting a much better game and was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t score, despite the Vikings scoring 34 points. This week he will take on the Patriots defense that allowed the Dolphins running backs to rush for 191 yards in Week 1. They also gave up a rushing touchdown. I’m looking for a bounce back week for Peterson in the team’s home opener. He tends to play better at home than he does on the road. This is a great bargain.

I’d start him over: DeMarco Murray $7500 and Jamal Charles $7400

SIT: Reggie Bush ($6000) – This price may seem like a steal for some, but if you look at the numbers, it’s far from it. In Week 1 Bush was held to 11 rushing yards on nine carries. He did catch six passes for 49 yards, but was not a big part of the Lions running game. This week he faces the Carolina run defense that’s pretty stingy. Last season they were ranked second against the run and in Week 1, they allowed 102 yards and zero touchdowns on the ground. The problem with Bush is that you’re hoping for catches. At $6000 the risk/reward factor is not worth it. There are better backs with higher floors and ceilings at a cheaper price.

I’d rather start: Giovani Bernard $6300, Shane Vereen $5900, and Knowshon Moreno $5700,

START: Giovani Bernard ($6300) – Bernard is a big piece of the Bengals offense along with A.J. Green. In Week 1, Bernard rushed for 48 yards and caught six passes for 62 yards, and that was against a solid Ravens run defense. That’s good for 17 points on Draft Kings. This week he takes on the Falcons defense that allowed three rushing touchdowns to the Saints running backs in Week 1. Bernard should be heavily involved once again in the Bengals offense against the suspect Falcons defense.

I’d start him over: Demarco Murray $7500, Eddie Lacy $6000, and Zac Stacy $5500

SIT: Eddie Lacy ($6000) – In a yearly league it’s almost impossible to bench Lacy regardless of matchup. However, that’s the best part of daily’s, you can avoid the tough decision of sitting an elite player. At $6000, I’m not comfortable starting Lacy. He is facing a stingy Jets run defense and is coming off of a concussion. If Lacy plays, it’s a big risk. With all the other available options, it’s not tough to skip on him.

I’d rather start: Alfred Morris $5200, Frank Gore $4900, and Terrence West $4800

SNEAKY START: Carlos Hyde ($3300) – I had Hyde in my sneaky start last week. He’s a young talented back that will be used in the Niners offense often this season. Last week he was able to get into the end zone and he’s s even cheaper this week. The matchup is actually more favorable. The Bears were dead last against the run last season, allowing 22 rushing touchdowns and 161.4 yards per game. It appears not much has changed from last year as they allowed the Bills running backs to rush for 193 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. At $3300 this could be a steal. If you’re looking for a dirt cheap price on a player who has a good chance to find the end zone, Hyde is your guy.


Wide Receiver

START: Demaryius Thomas ($7000) – Thomas at $7000 is a bargain in this week’s market. If you look at the prices of some of the receivers I’m starting him over, this value is just too good to pass up on. The Chiefs defense allowed 266 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in Week 1 against the Titans. In both games against the Chiefs last season, Thomas went over 100 yards receiving. He did fail to get into the end zone in those two meetings, but after a quiet first week, I’m expecting for Thomas to get back on track for another monster season. At $7000, this could very well be the cheapest we see Thomas this season.

I’d start him over: Brandon Marshall $8000, Julio Jones $7500, and Dez Bryant $7100

SIT: Brandon Marshall ($8000) – Marshall is one of my favorite receivers in the league. In fact, I’ve been a fan of his since he came out of college. However, this week he won’t be in any of my daily league lineups. He’s battling an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice and he has a tough matchup. The Bears are heading to the West Coast to take on the Niners. The 49ers defense fared well at containing Dez Bryant Week 1. You’re paying the big bucks for a receiver that isn’t 100 percent healthy and has a tough matchup. Smells like a bad investment.

I’d rather start: A.J. Green $8200, Julio Jones $7500, and Jordy Nelson $6600

START: Michael Floyd ($6000) – Floyd’s price remained the same despite a strong season opener. In Week 1, he caught five passes for 119 yards. This week he faces the Giants defense that was absolutely crushed against the Lions in Week 1. They allowed 346 yards to the Lions receivers. Including a seven catch, 164 yards, and two touchdown performance by Calvin Johnson. Floyd was clearly Carson’s favorite target in Week 1. Look for their connection to carry over to this game. Floyd is due for another good game at a very cheap price. Next week his price will most likely be more expensive. Take the discount while it’s available.

I’d start him over: Alshon Jeffery $6200, Victor Cruz $6000, and Keenan Allen $5400

SIT: Keenan Allen ($5400) – Allen struggled in Week 1 against the Cardinals and has another tough matchup in Week 2. Last week he was blanketed by Patrick Peterson and this week it’ll be Richard Sherman. His price went down $1400 from last week. The Seahawks defense is as dominant as I’ve seen them. They contained the Packers passing offense to 189 yards and one touchdown. It’s mind boggling how good this defense is. Players like Allen at $5400 almost seem like a no brainer, but against this defense, I’d only pay bare minimum.

I’d rather start: Brandin Cooks $5300, Vincent Jackson $5000, and Michael Crabtree $5100

SNEAKY START: John Brown ($3000) – This rookie out of Pittsburgh State has been raved about by the Cardinals team. He has blazing speed and is expected to make a big impact in this offense. The Cardinals didn’t waste any time giving him opportunities. He was targeted five times in Week 1 (more than Fitzgerald was). This week he faces an awful Giants defense. The Cardinals spread the ball on offense, as 11 different players caught a pass in the first game, but the risk/reward factor with Brown is completely worth it.


Tight End

START: Julius Thomas ($7100) – The scary part about Thomas is that we have not seen the best of him yet. He kicked off the 2014 season in style. He caught seven passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. This week the Broncos host their division rivals. Last season Thomas played against the Chiefs defense once and scored a touchdown in that game. This season, the Chiefs defense is worse than it was last year, so expect another productive game from this freakishly talented tight end. Delanie Walker found the end zone in Week 1 against the Chiefs. This is a great matchup for Thomas. If I’m paying for the top player at any position this week, it’s at the tight end position.

I’d start him over: All tight ends if salary permits

SIT: Kyle Rudolph ($3900) – The Patriots defense has always played well against opposing tight ends. Last week they held Charles Clay in check. He only caught two passes for 27 yards. Rudolph scored a touchdown in the season opener. This week I think the Vikings will keep it on the ground with Adrian Peterson. There are cheaper options this week with higher floors and higher ceilings.

I’d rather start: Dwyane Allen $4100, Delanie Walker $3700, and Charles Clay $3200

SNEAKY START: Jermaine Gresham $3000 – If you’re ever going to take a gamble with Gresham, this is the week to do it. You’re paying the lowest possible price for a tight end this week for him. Tyler Eifert will not play this week due to an injury. Gresham is expected to be the No. 1 tight end for the Bengals now. He was targeted five times last week. Expect a couple of more looks from Andy Dalton against the Falcons. This week’s matchup is one that I love and like I mentioned above, the Falcons defense is suspect, and the price couldn’t be any better.

I’m providing you with low-risk, high-reward players for each position. If you’re drafting a lineup that’s top heavy in salaries and need to find some cheap players to plug in, then my sneaky starts can be useful.