Fantasy Perspective: Week One

It’s finally here…the 2006 NFL season. For those that are rookies to fantasy football, welcome aboard. You will need all the help you can get and likely will be hurting because you drafted like a rookie. There will be next year for you guys.

If you’re a true veteran to the fantasy football world, you’re probably reviewing and bewildered by how many fantasy football leagues you actually did this summer. There are too many connections now with friends doing the leagues, and who can resist turning down an offer to do a league? They started back in June and by now, you’ve got your hands on five to eight leagues to manage. Have fun with them and show who is the king in all of your leagues. Owners that let their teams rot from inactivity are not true fantasy football players.

As we head into week one, remember a few things. Do not get over critical on a poor start by your so called franchise players. The 1,000 yards stats a receiver or running back gets occurs over a FULL sixteen game schedule. So there will be at least four to five games from that player that won’t provide stellar stats. Secondly, look for key match ups to gain yourself that few extra points from a player with a poor match up. That’s why you drafted for fifteen rounds and not ten, utilize your depth.

A number one rule we always like to do is give yourself that leeway over your opponent by plugging in at least one player from a Monday night game. As anyone would know, Monday night usually tends to be a high scoring affair. Flashback to a couple of years ago and I think there were a record number of games that scored outrageous combined totals. With all of those points comes a great chance for your fantasy football team to be rescued with a W. You could be trailing by ten to fifteen and still put out the win and leave your fantasy opponent shaking his head.

Having that Monday night player out there when your opponent doesn’t, usually will pay off for a win more than it does not.

Here is an overview of players that should standout week one from your fantasy teams. We all know the normal regulars that should start every week on your fantasy team, but we like to look for the potential long shot that could breakout. Be sure to also check out our article on “Question Marks” for the weekend, which will be up by Thursday night.


Chad Pennington vs. Tennessee Titans
Talk about a guy that has a lot to prove. Pennington was once on the brink of being a top five quarterback in the league. He knew how to win and just had those natural leadership and quarterback skills that you want from a starting quarterback. Now after a couple of injury riddled seasons he has to be strong in his mind on showcasing himself like a rookie again. His match up against the Tennessee Titans could not be better to build upon the 2006 season in the right way. Majority of fantasy owners waited as long as possible to draft a quarterback. If you were one that waited a little too long and are wondering where to look for a viable consistent guy, Pennington may be worth a look at. Quarterbacks tend to struggle week one as timing is off along with the ability to sustain drives for eight to ten plays. That bodes well for Pennington as he is use to throwing the short routes and managing the clock. For the very least Pennington should put up around 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Those aren’t mind blowing numbers but should be even higher, considering the Jets may struggle with the running game.

Jon Kitna vs. St. Louis Rams
If Mike Martz learned anything from his days as coach of the Rams he should be able to pass on that dissecting information to Jon Kitna. Kitna is a proven veteran but who has had success lately as a Detroit Lion? Not many, and that hex may continue for Kitna. His value is not as high as people are banking on this season but he will be a quarterback you can consider for four to five games this season. This is one of them, as the Rams defense has not and will not change.

Philip Rivers vs. Oakland Raiders
When a coach is rehired ten years later we all know some serious changes need to happen on the team. Oakland has some big holes defensively, and Philip Rivers natural ability should be able to expose that. He is tall and can see and throw down the field, which is one thing that Drew Brees (6’0), could not do as well. Look for Rivers to start the year strong and be one of the highest percentage waiver wire pickups for week two.

Running Backs

Frank Gore vs. Arizona Cardinals
It’s not hard to overlook a team that is coming off a horrible season and looks destined for another, as the 49ers presumably do. Hold off on that, as the 49ers may do better than people think. Alex Smith has to be able to elevate his play somewhat, and Frank Gore is the real deal. Add Antonio Bryant to the mix and this team is loaded with youth offensively. The offensive line has been underrated and will be able to make Gore a consistent fantasy starter. The defense will struggle with giving up points, but that just means more opportunities for the offense to put up points. Gore should be one of the top five rushing stat leaders of week one.

Thomas Jones vs. Green Bay Packers
No one knows what the Bears are planning on doing with their running back situation. Cedric Benson has been dinged up throughout the preseason, and we’ll have to see what he is listed in this week’s injury report. Jones usually has big games against the Packers and will continue that trend as long as Benson does not take away his touches.

TJ Duckett vs. Minnesota
Clinton Portis is considered questionable and our hunch is that he will not play. The Redskins have enough talent on the field to contend against Minnesota without needing Portis. This is only week one and the Redskins will not rush Portis back. That means TJ Duckett and Ladell Betts will split the carries evenly. Duckett would get any red zone opportunities and even more fourth quarter carries to pound the ball on a tired Minnesota Vikings defense.

Wide Receivers

Reggie Brown vs. Houston Texans
Everyone is ranting about Donte Stallworth which will and has taken the focus quickly off of Reggie Brown. Brown is still the main guy for Philadelphia as it will take Stallworth a bit to get acclamented to the Eagles system. He just did get traded before the Eagles week four preseason game, so he has a lot to learn. Against the Houston Texans expect Brown to be the main target and have a big game.

Lee Evans vs. New England Patriots
The Bills are heavy underdogs in this game, and that is always a good sign for a fantasy team with a receiver like Lee Evans. With his big play ability and chemistry with J.P. Losman he is almost a lock to have a big game. His yardage and touchdown(s) may come with a meaningless score in the fourth quarter, but who cares for fantasy purposes. That extra twenty to thirty yards receiving with a touchdown he gets in the fourth quarter, could be that additional eight to ten points you need on your fantasy team to win.

Mushin Muhammed vs. Green Bay Packers
The Bears defense has not looked as strong as it did before that let down against Carolina. In preseason the number one unit was drove on often, and that means the Bears offense will be forced to open up the passing game. Last year, they somehow were able to thrive off of Kyle Orton basically protecting the game like a high school quarterback. That will not happen this year if the Bears want to be an elite team. Regardless who is at quarterback the passing game will open up. Green Bay’s secondary is still poor, and Muhammed should be able to use his veteran skills to have a decent day. He is well worth starting as your third wide receiver this week.

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