Fantasy football Week 1 stat projections

Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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