Fantasy Football Week 1: What I saw, Part I

      September 10, 2012 @ 18:08:22 PDT

Yesterday was my first day as an NFL Red Zone viewer. Let's just say the couch was my best friend.

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore
Gorey tackling made him look good

A few random notes from my analysis while I turned into a zombie:

  • Stevan Ridley looks nimble and might be the New England Patriots' cure for their shaky offensive line. He's talented enough to keep defenses honest and not completely sell out for the aerial game. Ridley's lack of involvement in the passing game restricts his upside, though, and makes him their new Law Firm in terms of fantasy expectations.

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars' offense could be one of the surprise fantasy units of the year. Blaine Gabbert looked confident and more assertive in the pocket and made a confident (if not perfect) throw to give them the lead late in regulation. Laurent Robinson seemed to be on his wavelength after a disappointing preseason. Justin Blackmon needs more action that counts. Marcedes Lewis and Cecil Shorts looked like competent targets, Minnesota Vikings secondary aside. Lewis especially could be a sneaky flex play many weeks.

  • Stephen Hill is the vertical threat the New York Jets have longed for, but the Buffalo Bills' young defensive backfield aided his production. He's still just a matchup play.

  • Could LaRod Stephens-Howling become the early-season savior for the Arizona Cardinals' backfield? Maybe not, but don't be surprised if he's involved more frequently than expected if Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells don't show more burst soon. Of course, a stout Seattle Seahawks run D probably compounded how bad they looked, so don't go banking on a change yet.

  • Speaking of looking bad, the Green Bay Packers' secondary falls into that category, and not just against Alex Smith. Frank Gore looked fresh yesterday, but how much of his touchdown run was his own power? How much of it was the poor tackling of Packers DBs? Don't be so quick to think Gore will be back to former levels, especially if Kendall Hunter keeps eating into his touch load.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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