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Fantasy picks for Week 1


The first week of the season is always an interesting one because you're still trying to figure out what you've got. Will that receiver you picked be as good as he was last year? Did the running back get any better? Who's going to surprise the world? Despite all the question marks, as I look down the list of games there are a few players that I really like in Week 1.

My sleeper pick of the week is Matthew Stafford. The Lions are playing the Bears, and Chicago has an explosive offense, so Detroit is going to have to score to have any shot. I'm looking for Stafford to go deep to Megatron (WR Calvin Johnson) often and shock the world. The other QB I like is Kevin Kolb, for a lot of the same reasons. The Eagles have Green Bay, and the Pack can score, so this one should turn into a shootout. Kolb will air it out, so I like him and a lot of his main targets, Brent Celek, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

The Cleveland Browns are built to do one thing, run. So expect Jerome Harrison to get the ball a lot. And Tampa has a young defensive line and injuries at corner and safety, so that defense will be on its heels all day. In Houston, I'm looking for Arian Foster to have a big day, simply because the Texans offense is similar to that old Denver offense that ran, ran, ran the ball, and did it well.

I already called out Johnson, so you know I think he'll do big things on Sunday, but I also like Greg Jennings because he's now the top target in the Green Bay offense and he should get a lot of looks. And I also like my teammate Mike Sims-Walker, who was great through camp and I expect to have a breakout season this year.

I feel like it's going to be a big year for Vernon Davis overall, and the first game should get him off to a great start. The Seahawks defense is a bit of a question mark, but they do have a lot of speed in the secondary. That should negate the receivers but leave Davis on the linebackers, who can't match up with him. And not to go overboard on Green Bay, but Jermichael Finley is Aaron Rodgers' main target in the red zone. He should score some points this week against Philly.

One final thought on the first week: Although I'm always looking at the matchups, I believe that if you drafted 'em, you gotta play 'em. I took Anquan Boldin as a starting receiver and he's probably gonna see Darrelle Revis all day on Sunday, but he's my guy so I'm sticking with him. If it doesn't work out I'll adjust later.