More Week 1 Fantasy Tips

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Editor’s Note: Following up on yesterday’s All-22 Fantasy Sleepers for Week 1, here are the rest of your Week 1 Fantasy Tips straight from the Playbook War Room.


Colt McCoy (AP)

  • Colt McCoy has looked much improved in the preseason, but, without a proven No. 1 receiver, be cautious about any Cleveland WR or TE until McCoy favors particular targets.
  • Peyton Hillis should have success in Week 1 against the Bengals D, not only running the ball but as McCoy’s safety blanket.
  • Cedric Benson is the center of a young Bengals offense and, based on quantity alone, should put up solid numbers.


  • With both teams relying on the blitz to create pressure, look for WRs on both teams to be left in a lot of man to man situations, which gives them more opportunities for yards after the catch.
  • Expect Jason Witten to hang out around the line of scrimmage more as a hot receiver or an extra blocker to help keep Tony Romo protected behind a young offensive line. This is going to give Witten a lot of catches, but diminishes his potential for a big yardage day.
  • Shonn Green will lead the Jets ground and pound attack, but his inability to break a long run means the Jets will have to remain committed to the run for Greene to get his yards.


  • The Chiefs ran for almost 300 yards in last year’s meeting, so expect to see a heavy dose of Jamaal Charles.

Fred Jackson (AP)

  • Buffalo shut down Dwayne Bowe last year, but if the running game does not have as much success this year, Matt Cassel is going to be looking in the direction of his No. 1 quite often.
  • Fred Jackson will have more touches than CJ Spiller and should see decent success rushing the ball, but, more importantly, catching the ball out of the backfield, too.


  • Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are both listed as TEs, but when both were on the field last year, Hernandez lined up as a WR 54% of the time; this means both will be used often to create mismatches.
  • Reggie Bush is the Dolphins’ Week 1 starter at RB, but he will continue to be utilized, like he was in New Orleans, solely as a big play RB and pass catcher out of the backfield; this means he will not get a lot of touches but should have a big play or two to get his numbers up.
  • Chad Henne will not put up great numbers, but he is going to have to get the ball to Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, two quality PPR WRs, especially if the Dolphins fall behind early.

Chris Johnson (AP)


  • Chris Johnson is coming off of a holdout, but is facing a Jacksonville D that he torched for over 111 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting last year.
  • The Jaguars had success last year running against the Titans when they had eight men in the box, so they will need to rely on MJD to be healthy enough to carry the full load.
  • Marcedes Lewis saw a lot of looks around the red-zone last year, and, with a new QB in Jacksonville and no real improvements in the receiving corps, expect a lot of the same.


  • Reggie Wayne had success in the preseason as Curtis Painter’s safety net, so it is safe to say that he will continue to get a lot of looks with Kerry Collins at QB.
  • The running game for both of these teams enter with a lot of uncertainty; the Colts and Joseph Addai are not built to run the ball 30 or 40 times a game; they will struggle mightily if Kerry Collins does not prove to be a serviceable starter; if Arian Foster is close to 100 percent he should have a great deal of success against the Colts run D.
  • The Colts D will run a healthy amount of Cover 2, shaded towards Andre Johnson, so expect a lot of balls sent up the seam toward TE Owen Daniels.


  • Philip Rivers has looked great in the preseason, and, against an aging Cover 2 defense, expect Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson to produce multiple big plays.
  • Adrian Peterson is going to be the focal point on offense and Minnesota will lean heavily on him to get going. The Vikings led the league this preseason in rushing yards per game.


  • Oakland is going to rely on a healthy Darren McFadden and Michael Bush to control the game against Denver’s speed rushers.
  • Jason Campbell is not going to have to do much more than control the game, meaning players like Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey might break a big play, but will not have any consistent production.
  • The Raiders looked better against the run this preseason, and with Knowshon Moreno’s strength being outside the tackles and having the ball in space, expect the Broncos to attack a susceptible Raiders secondary with Moreno and WR Brandon Lloyd.


Stephen Jackson (AP)

  • The Eagles are going into the game with a brand new offensive line, meaning that Michael Vick is not going to have a lot of time to throw downfield and will need to rely on LeSean McCoy in the screen game and in the flats.
  • If the Rams can control the new Eagles front 4, Steven Jackson should have a great deal of success running and catching against a weak Philadelphia linebacking corps.
  • The Rams have had success this preseason throwing the football, but the Rams cannot rely solely on their passing game against such a talented Eagles secondary; look for Sam Bradford to put up average numbers


  • The Giants have run the ball well in the preseason.  More of the same will continue to take some of the pressure off of Eli Manning.
  • Hakeem Nicks is going to see plenty of targets with Steve Smith and Kevin Boss both gone, but he will not have as much space down the field now that he’s the only proven threat for the Giants at WR.
  • The Redskins and Tim Hightower have been the 4th best rushing team in the preseason, starting to gel in Mike Shannahan’s zone blocking scheme.


  • Matt Ryan attempted 67 passes in the preseason, by far the most amongst NFL starting QBs, meaning Roddy White and Julio Jones are going to have a lot of passes thrown their way.
  • Michael Turner will not see as many touches as in years past, but will see fewer 8-man fronts and will continue to get a healthy amount of looks around the goal line.
  • With the inability to find any big running lanes, Matt Forte is going to have to live with 3 and 4 yard carries, but will make up for the lack of rushing with passes out of the backfield on dump-offs and screens.


Matthew Stafford (AP)

  • Matthew Stafford has had a perfect passer rating in the preseason and the Lions have not been shy about throwing the ball all over the field.
  • Josh Freeman’s preseason inconsistency, combined with a pressure based Lions D, means Freeman is going to struggle to get the ball down the field to Mike Williams and will have to rely on Kellen Winslow as his security blanket.
  • LaGarrette Blount will get a lot of touches to try and keep the Lions offense off the field.  He has been active catching screens this preseason, something that will need to continue in this game to keep the DET pass rush at bay.


  • DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are going to have to carry the load and will definitely get the opportunities with rookie QB Cam Newton at the helm.
  • Greg Olsen will be a nice safety net for Newton, and will remain the only intriguing WR or TE in Carolina until Cam Newton settles in and proves himself.
  • Kevin Kolb has not looked great this preseason, but he understands that if the Cardinals want to have success throwing, they need to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald early and often.


  • Tavaris Jackson has looked poor this preseason, struggling with accuracy, meaning that any Seahawk WR goes into the game with a huge question mark.
  • The Seahawks really struggled last year to stop the run, and even though Frank Gore is still getting his legs under him, he will be used early and often.

Send your questions and comments to the Playbook War Room Team at and on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

For more All-22 analysis watch NFL Playbook: Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm ET only on NFL Network.

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