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Fantasy football Week 1 stat projections

Photo: Larry French/SI

Four months from now, we will know the identities of the fantasy MVPs and the busts, the sleepers who came alive and those who stayed asleep, the bums from a year ago who bounced back and the breakout players who carried their owners to fantasy championships. The next 17 weeks will be a great ride, but it all starts with one Sunday (and Thursday and Monday). These are the SI.com projections for Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season.

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Last year, Peyton Manning kicked off his historic season with a 462-yard, seven-touchdown effort. LeSean McCoy piled up 184 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. A.J. Green hauled in nine passes for 162 yards and two scores. At the same time, Victor Cruz had 118 yards and three scores, while Michael Vick threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns and added 54 yards and a score on the ground. Some of this week's big performances will portend monster seasons ahead, while others will be nothing more than a red herring. Only time will tell which is which, but the SI.com projections will tell you who to start this week.

Saints-Falcons
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
NO QB Drew Brees
348 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
NO RB Pierre Thomas
57 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 43 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
NO RB Khiry Robinson
39 rushing yards
NO RB Mark Ingram
34 rushing yards
NO WR Marques Colston
6 receptions, 68 receiving yards
NO WR Brandin Cooks
4 receptions, 69 receiving yards
NO WR Kenny Stills
4 receptions, 40 receiving yards
NO TE Jimmy Graham
8 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
NO K Shayne Graham
3 PATs, 3 field goals
NO D/ST New Orleans Saints
20 points allowed, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble
       
ATL QB Matt Ryan
303 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
ATL RB Steven Jackson
37 rushing yards, 1 reception, 10 receiving yards
ATL RB Jacquizz Rodgers
14 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 yards
ATL RB Devonta Freeman
22 rushing yards
ATL WR Julio Jones
7 receptions, 109 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
ATL WR Roddy White
6 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
ATL WR Harry Douglas
3 receptions, 41 receiving yards
ATL WR Devin Hester
2 receptions, 18 receiving yards
ATL TE Levine Toilolo
1 reception, 12 receiving yards
ATL K Matt Bryant
2 PATs, 2 field goals
ATL D/ST Atlanta Falcons
30 points allowed, 2 sacks

The Falcons should be improved from a season ago, but much of that improvement will come on offense. That won't help them against the Drew Brees-led Saints. Brees matches up well with this defense and won't need much help with the running game en route to 30 points. Atlanta, however, looms as a dangerous team, and can give what should be a stout New Orleans defense a test thanks to Julio Jones and Roddy White. Don't expect much from the Atlanta ground game, however. The Falcons will have to throw a ton to hang with the Saints.

Vikings-Rams
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
MIN QB Matt Cassel
237 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
MIN RB Adrian Peterson
89 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions, 21 yards
MIN RB Matt Asiata
14 rushing yards
MIN WR Cordarrelle Patterson
11 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 56 receiving yards
MIN WR Greg Jennings
5 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
MIN WR Jarius Wright
3 receptions, 27 receiving yards
MIN TE Kyle Rudolph
4 receptions, 45 receiving yards
MIN K Blair Walsh
3 PATs, 1 field goal
MIN D/ST Minnesota Vikings
16 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles
       
STL QB Shaun Hill
259 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
STL RB Zac Stacy
62 rushing yards
STL RB Benny Cunningham
28 rushing yards
STL RB Tre Mason
12 rushing yards
STL WR Kenny Britt
4 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
STL WR Brian Quick
5 receptions, 56 receiving yards
STL WR Tavon Austin
3 receptions, 43 receiving yards
STL TE Jared Cook
5 receptions, 59 receiving yards
STL K Greg Zuerlein
1 PAT, 3 field goals
STL D/ST St. Louis Rams
24 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble forced

This game would look a whole lot different with Sam Bradford under center. As it stands, the Rams look poised to be a playoff-caliber defense that just can't get it done on offense. The Vikings, meanwhile, have some friskiness to them entering the season and could sneak up on some teams in the early going. It all starts with Adrian Peterson, who should be able to have a solid day against the strong front seven of the Rams.

Browns-Steelers
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
CLE QB Brian Hoyer
247 passing yards, 2 interceptions
CLE RB Ben Tate
73 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 3 receptions, 24 yards
CLE RB Terrance West
29 rushing yards
CLE WR Andrew Hawkins
4 receptions, 40 receiving yards
CLE WR Travis Benjamin
4 receptions, 35 receiving yards
CLE WR Miles Austin
3 receptions, 52 receiving yards
CLE TE Jordan Cameron
6 receptions, 74 receiving yards
CLE K Billy Cundiff
1 PATs, 2 field goals
CLE D/ST Cleveland Browns
31 points allowed, 3 sacks, 1 interception
       
PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger
313 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
PIT RB Le'Veon Bell
71 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 5 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
PIT RB LeGarrette Blount
48 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
PIT WR Antonio Brown
8 receptions, 93 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
PIT WR Markus Wheaton
6 receptions, 84 receiving yards
PIT WR Lance Moore
4 receptions, 37 receiving yards
PIT WR Justin Brown
1 reception, 11 receiving yards
PIT TE Heath Miller
3 receptions, 39 receiving yards
PIT K Shaun Suisham
4 PATs, 1 field goal
PIT D/ST Pittsburgh Steelers
13 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble forced

These are neither your father's nor your older brother's Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a team that wants to throw and throw often, and Ben Roethlisberger will end up as a fantasy bargain because of that. Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, Markus Wheaton and even LeGarrette Blount give the Steelers a diverse set of weapons that will make this a surprisingly good offensive team. The Browns may have a better-than-average defense, but this is a game the Steelers should be able to dominate at home. Ben Tate should be able to find some room to be effective, but the calls for Johnny Manziel will start sometime in the second half.

Jaguars-Eagles
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
JAC QB Chad Henne
265 passing yards, 1 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 18 rushing yards
JAC RB Toby Gerhart
95 rushing yards, 1 touchdowns, 4 receptions, 28 receiving yards
JAC RB Jordan Todman
38 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards
JAC WR Cecil Shorts
5 receptions, 75 receiving yards
JAC WR Marqise Lee
6 receptions, 80 receiving yards
JAC WR Allen Hurns
5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
JAC TE Marcedes Lewis
1 reception, 11 receiving yards
JAC K Josh Scobee
2 PATs, 1 field goal
JAC D/ST Jacksonville Jaguars
38 points allowed, 1 sack
       
PHI QB Nick Foles
289 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
PHI RB LeSean McCoy
131 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 receptions, 29 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
PHI RB Darren Sproles
26 rushing yards
PHI WR Jeremy Maclin
6 receptions, 94 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
PHI WR Riley Cooper
3 receptions, 34 receiving yards
PHI WR Jordan Matthews
5 receptions, 72 receiving yards
PHI TE Zach Ertz
4 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
PHI TE Brent Celek
1 reception, 10 receiving yards
PHI K Cody Parker
5 PATs, 1 field goal
PHI D/ST Philadelphia Eagles
17 points allowed, 4 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble

The Chip Kelly Experience welcomes in Jacksonville to kick off the 2014 season. While there is a lot of volatility in the NFL, these two teams both appear to be set on the same course they followed last year. The Jaguars do not have a defense built to keep up with the speed of the Eagles offense, and that will show from the opening kickoff. Toby Gerhart owners should be worried about the game getting out of hand, but he's still a worthy start. There could also be some garbage points here for the Jags.

Raiders-Jets
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
OAK QB Derek Carr
191 passing yards, 3 interceptions, 23 rushing yards
OAK RB Maurice Jones-Drew
48 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards
OAK RB Darren McFadden
34 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
OAK WR James Jones
3 receptions, 38 receiving yards
OAK WR Rod Streater
4 receptions, 57 receiving yards
OAK WR Andre Holmes
2 receptions, 21 receiving yards
OAK WR Denarius Moore
1 reception, 15 receiving yards
OAK TE Marcel Reece
2 receptions, 24 receiving yards
OAK K Sebastian Janikowski
1 PAT, 1 field goal
OAK D/ST Oakland Raiders
23 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble
       
NYJ QB Geno Smith
275 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 21 rushing yards
NYJ RB Chris Johnson
101 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards
NYJ RB Chris Ivory
48 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards
NYJ WR Eric Decker
5 receptions, 84 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NYJ WR Jeremy Kerley
4 receptions, 57 receiving yards
NYJ TE Jeff Cumberland
2 receptions, 15 receiving yards
NYJ TE Jace Amaro
4 receptions, 49 receiving yards
NYJ K Nick Folk
2 PATs, 3 field goals
NYJ D/ST New York Jets
10 points allowed, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles, 1 touchdown

The Raiders almost had to go with Derek Carr, but Rex Ryan is a terror against rookie quarterbacks. His complex schemes and ability to disguise blitzes and coverages will be unlike anything Carr has seen. On the other side, this is a nice matchup for Geno Smith to kick off a season in which he has a lot to prove. The retooled Raiders front seven won't be a serious match for the Jets' ground game.

Bengals-Ravens
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
CIN QB Andy Dalton
296 passing yards, 2 touchdowns
CIN RB Giovani Bernard
55 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 52 yards, 1 touchdown
CIN RB Jeremy Hill
36 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
CIN WR A.J. Green
7 receptions, 118 yards, 1 touchdown
CIN WR Brandon Tate
3 receptions, 37 receiving yards
CIN WR Mohamed Sanu
5 receptions, 47 receiving yards
CIN TE Tyler Eifert
2 receptions, 18 yards
CIN K Mike Nugent
3 PATs, 1 field goal
CIN D/ST Cincinnati Bengals
20 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble
       
BAL QB Joe Flacco
272 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
BAL RB Bernard Pierce
58 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards
BAL RB Lorenzo Taliaferro
23 rushing yards
BAL WR Torrey Smith
6 receptions, 99 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
BAL WR Steve Smith
5 receptions, 73 receiving yards
BAL WR Marlon Brown
2 receptions, 19 receiving yards
BAL TE Dennis Pitta
5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
BAL K Justin Tucker
2 PATs, 2 field goals
BAL D/ST Baltimore Ravens
24 points against, 2 sacks, 1 fumble

It seems we get one of these AFC North clashes in Week 1 every year. This season, it's the Bengals and Ravens in what should be a good test for both teams. Expect the Ravens to put the ball in Joe Flacco's hands early and often. With Geno Atkins and Vontaze Burfict both healthy, this Bengals defense should be a nightmare for opposing running games. The versatility of the Cincinnati offense will be the difference in this one. The two best playmakers in the stadium -- A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard -- are on that unit.

Bills-Bears
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
BUF QB EJ Manuel
261 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
BUF RB C.J. Spiller
78 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
BUF RB Fred Jackson
43 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards
BUF WR Sammy Watkins
5 receptions, 73 receiving yards
BUF WR Mike Williams
4 receptions, 59 receiving yards
BUF WR Marquise Goodwin
3 receptions, 42 receiving yards
BUF TE Scott Chandler
4 receptions, 38 receiving yards
BUF K Dan Carpenter
2 PATs, 1 field goal
BUF D/ST Buffalo Bills
34 points allowed, 1 sack
       
CHI QB Jay Cutler
332 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
CHI RB Matt Forte
92 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 4 receptions, 32 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
CHI RB Ka'Deem Carey
17 rushing yards
CHI WR Brandon Marshall
7 receptions, 104 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
CHI WR Alshon Jeffery
6 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
CHI WR Santonio Holmes
3 receptions, 34 receiving yards
CHI TE Martellus Bennett
4 receptions, 50 receiving yards
CHI K Robbie Gould
4 PATs, 2 field goals
CHI D/ST Chicago Bears
17 points allowed, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions

Chicago is expected to have one of the best offenses in the league this year, and it will be on full display against the Bills in Week 1. Jay Cutler should be able to pick apart Buffalo, a team with a secondary that is no match for Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. While C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson match up well against the Bears, EJ Manuel could have some issues if he gets into predictable passing situations.

Redskins-Texans
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
WAS QB Robert Griffin III
283 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
WAS RB Alfred Morris
84 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
WAS RB Roy Helu
25 rushing yards
WAS WR Pierre Garcon
7 receptions, 101 receiving yards
WAS WR DeSean Jackson
4 receptions, 88 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
WAS WR Andre Roberts
4 receptions, 35 receiving yards
WAS WR Santana Moss
1 reception, 12 receiving yards
WAS TE Jordan Reed
4 receptions, 47 receiving yards
WAS K Kai Forbath
2 PATs
WAS D/ST Washington Redskins
13 points allowed, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble
       
HOU QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
219 passing yards, 2 interceptions
HOU RB Arian Foster
105 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards
HOU RB Alfred Blue
7 rushing yards
HOU RB Jonathan Grimes
18 rushing yards
HOU WR Andre Johnson
8 receptions, 94 receiving yards
HOU WR DeAndre Hopkins
6 receptions, 78 receiving yards
HOU TE Garrett Graham
2 receptions, 21 receiving yards
HOU K Randy Bullock
1 PAT, 2 field goals
HOU D/ST Houston Texans
14 points allowed, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumbles

These were two of the more disappointing teams in the NFL last year, as both fell off dramatically after making the playoffs the previous season. Houston's defense will prove a challenging matchup for opponents this year, but there are more concerning unknowns on offense. The reverse is likely true in Washington, but the questions on offense are of the high-profile variety. Week 1 will feature some good and bad from Robert Griffin III but will on the whole be a step in the right direction. There's too much talent at his disposal for Griffin to fall flat on his face this year.

Titans-Chiefs
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
TEN QB Jake Locker
301 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
TEN RB Shonn Greene
47 rushing yards
TEN RB Bishop Sankey
33 rushing yards
TEN RB Dexter McCluster
17 rushing yards
TEN WR Justin Hunter
5 receptions, 114 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
TEN WR Kendall Wright
8 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
TEN WR Nate Washington
3 receptions, 47 receiving yards
TEN TE Delanie Walker
3 receptions, 39 receiving yards
TEN K Travis Coons
2 PATs, 2 field goals
TEN D/ST Tennessee Titans
17 points allowed, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble
       
KC QB Alex Smith
259 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
KC RB Jamaal Charles
127 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 4 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
KC RB Knile Davis
24 rushing yards
KC WR Donnie Avery
4 receptions, 38 receiving yards
KC WR A.J. Jenkins
6 receptions, 81 receiving yards
KC WR Junior Hemingway
1 reception, 8 receiving yards
KC TE Travis Kelce
5 receptions, 74 receiving yards
KC TE Anthony Fasano
2 receptions, 18 receiving yards
KC K Cairo Santos
2 PATs, 1 field goal
KC D/ST Kansas City Chiefs
20 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 interception

This sets up well for the Titans to spring one of the first big upsets of the season. Count this projector as one of the few still in Jake Locker's corner. Ken Whisenhunt helped revive Philip Rivers' career last year, and he will bring out in Locker what previous coaches could not. The Titans' receivers can expose the Kansas City secondary, which will only aid Locker. Jamaal Charles is a terrible draw for most defenses, and this Titans unit is no different. However, it will be hard for him to singlehandedly carry the Chiefs to victory. With Tennessee's line protecting Locker, the Chiefs defense will look vulnerable.

Patriots-Dolphins
 
team pos. player projected stats
NE QB Tom Brady
342 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
NE RB Shane Vereen
42 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 82 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NE RB Stevan Ridley
56 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
NE RB James White
12 rushing yards
NE WR Julian Edelman
8 receptions, 78 receiving yards
NE WR Danny Amendola
4 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NE WR Aaron Dobson
2 receptions, 19 receiving yards
NE TE Rob Gronkowski
5 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NE K Stephen Gostkowski
4 PATs, 2 field goals
NE D/ST New England Patriots
20 points allowed, 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble
       
MIA QB Ryan Tannehill
291 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 12 rushing yards
MIA RB Lamar Miller
42 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards
MIA RB Knowshon Moreno
39 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards
MIA WR Mike Wallace
6 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
MIA WR Brian Hartline
5 receptions, 58 receiving yards
MIA WR Brandon Gibson
3 receptions, 42 receiving yards
MIA TE Charles Clay
6 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
MIA K Caleb Sturgis
2 PATs, 2 field goals
MIA D/ST Miami Dolphins
34 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 fumble

There will be good days for Miami this season, but this is just a bad matchup for the Dolphins. Now that he has a full complement of weapons for the first time in seemingly forever, Tom Brady will look like the fantasy stud he has been in so many seasons passed. Shane Vereen is a nightmare for a team without a strong cover linebacker. There are some things to like about the Miami offense, but this team isn't built to chase down a deficit.

Panthers-Buccaneers
 
team pos. player projected stats
CAR QB Cam Newton
245 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 32 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
CAR RB DeAngelo Williams
28 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards
CAR RB Jonathan Stewart
41 rushing yards
CAR WR Kelvin Benjamin
3 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
CAR WR Jerricho Cotchery
4 receptions, 52 receiving yards
CAR WR Jason Avant
3 receptions, 22 receiving yards
CAR TE Greg Olsen
5 receptions, 79 yards
CAR K Graham Gano
2 PATs
CAR D/ST Carolina Panthers
19 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble
       
TB QB Josh McCown
285 passing yards, 2 interceptions
TB RB Doug Martin
107 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 4 receptions, 37 receiving yards
TB RB Bobby Rainey
23 rushing yards
TB WR Vincent Jackson
8 receptions, 104 receiving yards
TB WR Mike Evans
6 receptions, 74 receiving yards
TB TE Brandon Myers
3 receptions, 27 receiving yards
TB TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
1 reception, 3 yards
TB K Patrick Murray
1 PAT, 4 field goals
TB D/ST Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumbles

Cam Newton is still hurting with a ribcage injury, which could drastically limit his effectiveness against the Buccaneers. Cornerback Alterraun Verner represents a major upgrade for the Tampa Bay defense, and Newton will have to keep tabs on him, as well. With his dreadful 2013 in the past, Doug Martin is primed to remind fantasy owners why he should be one of the most respected running backs in the game. Carolina looks set for a regression this season, and it starts against the Buccaneers on Sunday.

49ers-Cowboys
 
team pos. player projected stats
SF QB Colin Kaepernick
236 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 31 rushing yards
SF RB Frank Gore
97 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards
SF RB Carlos Hyde
52 rushing yards
SF WR Michael Crabtree
5 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
SF WR Anquan Boldin
4 receptions, 64 receiving yards
SF WR Steve Johnson
4 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
SF TE Vernon Davis
3 receptions, 37 receiving yards
SF K Phil Dawson
3 PATs, 2 field goals
SF D/ST San Francisco 49ers
30 points allowed, 0 sacks, 0 interceptions
       
DAL QB Tony Romo
315 passing yards, 2 touchdowns
DAL RB DeMarco Murray
74 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, 18 receiving yards
DAL RB Lance Dunbar
22 rushing yards
DAL WR Dez Bryant
9 receptions, 119 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
DAL WR Terrance Williams
6 receptions, 87 receiving yards
DAL WR Cole Beasley
2 receptions, 25 receiving yards
DAL TE Jason Witten
3 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
DAL K Dan Bailey
3 PATs, 3 field goals
DAL D/ST Dallas Cowboys
27 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception

The Cowboys maybe not be able to expose the flaws in the San Francisco offense, but they can show how vulnerable the 49ers are on defense. Without NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, this simply isn't the dominant unit it has been under Jim Harbaugh. Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray should have plenty of success against the depleted San Francisco defense, doing enough to outpace Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore on the other side. Steve Johnson is a good under-the-radar play if you need to reach this week.

Colts-Broncos
 
TEAM POS. PLAYER PROJECTED STATS
IND QB Andrew Luck
272 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 29 rushing yards
IND RB Ahmad Bradshaw
56 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards
IND RB Trent Richardson
24 rushing yards
IND WR Reggie Wayne
7 receptions, 92 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
IND WR T.Y. Hilton
5 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
IND WR Hakeem Nicks
5 receptions, 63 receiving yards
IND TE Dwayne Allen
2 receptions, 18 receiving yards
IND TE Coby Fleener
2 receptions, 13 receiving yards
IND K Adam Vinatieri
2 PATs, 2 field goals
IND D/ST Indianapolis Colts
37 points allowed, 1 fumble
       
DEN QB Peyton Manning
358 passing yards, 4 touchdowns
DEN RB Montee Ball
80 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
DEN RB Ronnie Hillman
31 rushing yards
DEN WR Demaryius Thomas
8 receptions, 124 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
DEN WR Emmanuel Sanders
6 receptions, 75 yards, 1 touchdown
DEN WR Julius Thomas
5 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
DEN TE Cody Latimer
5 receptions, 64 receiving yards
DEN K Brandon McManus
4 PATs, 3 field goals
DEN D/ST Denver Broncos
20 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble

Peyton Manning and the Broncos pick up right where they left off a season ago. Few matchups are bad for them, and this isn't one of them. The Indianapolis secondary is no match for Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders should step right into the spot left vacant by Wes Welker (suspended four games). Rookie Cody Latimer is worth a start, as well. The Colts, meanwhile, will need a whole lot out of Andrew Luck if Trent Richardson is a non-factor against this Broncos front seven. Luck can't really hope to go score-for-score with the man he replaced under center in Indianapolis.

Giants-Lions
 
TEAM POS. Player projected stats
NYG QB Eli Manning
309 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
NYG RB Rashad Jennings
85 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, 32 receiving yards
NYG RB Andre Williams
34 rushing yards
NYG WR Victor Cruz
8 receptions, 110 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NYG WR Rueben Randle
5 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
NYG WR Jerrel Jernigan
4 receptions, 39 receiving yards
NYG TE Larry Donnell
1 reception, 7 receiving yards
NYG K Josh Brown
3 PATs, 1 field goal
NYG D/ST New York Giants
31 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble
       
DET QB Matthew Stafford
320 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception
DET RB Reggie Bush
63 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 35 receiving yards
DET RB Joique Bell
46 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
DET WR Calvin Johnson
9 receptions, 128 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
DET WR Golden Tate
4 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
DET WR Kevin Ogletree
2 receptions, 23 receiving yards
DET WR Jeremy Ross
1 reception, 10 receiving yards
DET TE Eric Ebron
2 receptions, 28 receiving yards
DET TE Brandon Pettigrew
1 reception, 13 receiving yards
DET K Nate Freese
4 PATs, 1 field goal
DET D/ST Detroit Lions
24 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions

The Giants secondary will be tested right from the start of the season with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. While that may receive most of the focus, this is a better matchup for the New York offense than a lot of people realize. Detroit was bad against the pass last year, and the new-look secondary with Rashean Mathis and James Ihedigbo will get a good litmus test on Monday night. Both offenses should find success, but it'll be the Lions that come away rewarded here. You want all your players in this game active.

Chargers-Cardinals
 
Team Pos. player projected stats
SD QB Philip Rivers
278 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
SD RB Ryan Mathews
72 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 receptions, 17 receiving yards
SD RB Danny Woodhead
15 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 48 receiving yards
SD RB Donald Brown
35 rushing yards
SD WR Keenan Allen
5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
SD WR Malcom Floyd
4 receptions, 55 receiving yards
SD WR Eddie Royal
2 receptions, 11 receiving yards
SD TE Antonio Gates
3 receptions, 25 receiving yards
SD TE Ladarius Green
4 receptions, 46 receiving yards
SD K Nick Novak
2 PATs, 2 field goals
SD D/ST San Diego Chargers
27 points allowed, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble
       
ARI QB Carson Palmer
326 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
ARI RB Andre Ellington
88 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 42 receiving yards
ARI RB Stepfan Taylor
25 rushing yards
ARI RB Jonathan Dwyer
12 rushing yards
ARI WR Larry Fitzgerald
5 receptions, 83 yards, 1 touchdown
ARI WR Michael Floyd
7 receptions, 120 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
ARI WR Ted Ginn Jr.
3 receptions, 40 receiving yards
ARI TE John Carlson
4 receptions, 31 receiving yards
ARI K Chandler Catanzaro
3 PATs, 2 field goals
ARI D/ST Arizona Cardinals
20 points allowed, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble

This should be a great matchup for Carson Palmer and his big receivers, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Brandon Flowers and Shareece Wright ranked 95th and 104th among 110 cornerbacks in pass coverage last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Even with Darnell Dockett shelved for the season with a torn ACL, this is an above-average defense that can give the Chargers trouble. You'll want Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen in your starting lineups, but Philip Rivers is a risky play.

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