Kickoff is time to start ’em, sit ’em or prepare to swap ’em

Hallelujah! NFL Kickoff is finally upon us.

For fantasy football junkies everywhere, this day is akin to Christmas. Or your birthday. Or Halloween – I really love Halloween. Or all of them rolled into one. It’s huge.

The big boys strap on the helmets and pads for real tonight when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning’s Broncos in what should be a fun night for loads of fantasy footballers.

The plays tonight are all fairly obvious. You’ll want to start Ray Rice and Torrey Smith for the Ravens and Manning and his trio of wide receivers, for sure. If you’re more of a risk-taker, or you play in a deeper league, you may be starting Joe Flacco and Ed Dickson on the Baltimore side of the ball or flexing one of the three Denver running backs in the mix for carries. My recommendation on the latter? Plug somebody else in this week while we all watch to see who John Fox leans on the most tonight.

And that brings me to today’s subject: Who and what to watch for in Week 1. Inevitably, there will be unexpected players who come out of nowhere to explode in the first official week of play, only to fade away as the season moves forward. Kevin Ogletree and Frisman Jackson immediately spring to mind.
But the fact is, most valuable free agents in your league this season may not do very much at all this weekend.

It’s important to have a list of potential targets to keep an eye on and look for the subtle things that may signal an up-tick in playing time, production and, subsequently, value. Here’s my list of those guys to keep an eye on and some specific things to watch for:

* E.J. Manuel – Buffalo’s rookie quarterback is healthy and will be starting against the always intimidating New England Patriots in Week 1. Chances are, Manuel will struggle with the stage and the multiple looks Bill Belichick will throw at him on defense. Still, the rookie from Florida State is cut from a similar physical mold as some of the more recent young success stories at the QB position. Watch for Manuel to make a few “flash” plays and track how often he pulls the ball down and runs versus his efficiency in the passing game. He doesn’t have to be a prolific passer to be valuable. He just needs to be mobile, accurate and protect the football.

* Isaiah Pead – Okay. I understand what you’re thinking. Pead is suspended for Week 1, so how can we keep an eye on him? That’s kind of the point. I’m not totally sold on Daryl Richardson as the starter in St. Louis and I believe Pead may have a large role still to play for the Rams if Richardson comes out of the gate slowly vs. the Cardinals. The Rams did invest a 2012 second round pick in Pead, after all. It’s tough to see them giving up on him this soon.

* Joseph Randle – Another guy whose team invested in him and has yet to find a clearly defined role. In fairness to Randle, however, he is just a rookie. What you’ll want to watch for Sunday night against the Giants is whether Randle gets involved in the Dallas offense and how he looks if he gets the nod as DeMarco Murray’s backup over Phillip Tanner. It’s crucial that Randle makes the most of his touches because the Cowboys have shown a preference to Lance Dunbar at RB2 and Murray is an injury magnet. The winner of this backup spot will almost certainly have fantasy value this season.

* Cordarrelle Patterson – Patterson is a supremely talented player who is owned in barely 50% of leagues due largely to doubts about QB Christian Ponder. Patterson’s raw athleticism is enticing and bears watching to see if Minnesota gets him involved on slants, quick outs, bubble screens and reverses a la his predecessor, Percy Harvin. The rookie is listed as questionable right now, but is a must-watch if he plays Sunday.

* Brian Hartline – Hartline is the anti-Patterson. Nothing about him screams athletically gifted or raw. He’s a refined number two NFL wideout who — despite coming off a 1,083 yard season — has been overlooked in standard 10-team leagues during draft season. The addition of Mike Wallace opposite Hartline in Miami should be a boon to the former Buckeye’s fantasy prospects rather than a hinderance. Pay attention to his targets against Cleveland.

* Tyler Eifert – Rookie tight ends are not typically big fantasy football contributors. Even the almighty Gronk didn’t post big reception or yardage numbers as a rookie in 2010. But Gronkowski did put up ten touchdowns. Eifert is probably not as good as Rob Gronkowski, but the fact that we can’t say he definitely isn’t is enough for me to be watching the rookie from Notre Dame with a keen eye. Eifert has crazy athletic ability and adjusts to balls in the air as well as any TE to enter the league in many moons. He could be a breakout this year or merely fall in line behind veteran Jermaine Gresham.

Panthers power up, push through for region crown

Panthers power up, push through for region crownLong before Carolina Forest’s volleyball team clinched another region championship, [more]

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMS

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMSJust when you thought it was safe to go back [more]

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveaway

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveawayYou've heard of taking a free kick in soccer, but [more]

Panthers take region title, four local teams advance

Panthers take region title, four local teams advanceThe Carolina Forest girls golf team captured the Region 6-5A [more]

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crown

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crownMonday's Region 6-4A girls golf tournament came down to a [more]

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia State

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia StateCoastal Carolina football held the Georgia State Panthers scoreless in [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SF

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SFConway appeared to find its identity last week, pummeling West [more]

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominates

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominatesZayshaun Rice faked a pop pass to a receiver streaking [more]

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivals

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivalsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team's quest to complete an undefeated [more]

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football Luke Doty is already considered one of the best quarterbacks [more]

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior Night

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior NightThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team celebrated its Senior Night [more]

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record book

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record bookBefore Bryan Edwards was breaking records at South Carolina. Before [more]

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina Shootout

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina ShootoutThe Beach United Football Club crowned a pair of champions [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers roll

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers rollConway returned to its roots Friday night and used a [more]

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debuts

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debutsMany high school quarterbacks would consider what Luke Doty has [more]

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defense

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defenseThe defending Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CF

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CFThe Carolina Forest volleyball team, unbeaten in Region 6-5A play, [more]

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titles

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titlesCarolina Forest High School's boys and girls swim teams bested [more]

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close seconds

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close secondsFor the second straight week the North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt opener

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt openerThe Coastal Carolina football team suffered a 56-37 loss at [more]

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory Bell

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory BellHow do you know when you have a pretty good [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneup

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneupWith the SCHSL regional meets less than one week away, [more]

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hot

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hotThe Carolina Forest volleyball team capped a hectic week with [more]

Coastal soccer's Docking reaches 300-win milestone

Coastal soccer's Docking reaches 300-win milestoneIn 1997, the Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team was 4-2 [more]

Despite loss, Panthers run into top 10 of 5A rankings

Despite loss, Panthers run into top 10 of 5A rankingsCarolina Forest, welcome to the party. The Panthers’ football team, for [more]

Panthers power up, push through for region crown

Panthers power up, push through for region crownLong before Carolina Forest’s volleyball team clinched another region championship, [more]

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMS

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMSJust when you thought it was safe to go back [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach