- Jeremy Hill will lead all running backs in rushing yards in Week 1.
After a brilliant rookie season, Hill is primed to be a fantasy superstar this season for the Bengals. He has the power and speed to excel and is an underrated pass catcher. Hill has a dream match up against the Raiders right out of the gate so expect a huge day from your RB1.
- Brandin Cooks will record over 100 receiving yards and two scores.
Cooks is my biggest breakout candidate of 2015 and for good reason. With the departures of Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and pass catching running back Pierre Thomas, Cooks is now the number one threat on offense for the Saints. He’s had an excellent preseason and will be a target monster for quarterback Drew Brees. A huge season is on the horizon for Cooks.
- The New York Jets defense will score a TD and be the top fantasy defense in Week 1.
Yes you read that right. There’s a new coach, new philosophy and new personnel for the Jets this season and oh yeah, Darrelle Revis is back in the secondary. The Jets defense is going to surprise a lot of people this season and should be a force in fantasy. They have a great match up at home against the Browns on Sunday so get ready for a productive day.
Jordan Reed, TE Washington Redskins
Reed’s talent has never been in question, it’s been his health over his short career, thus far. One of these years Reed is going to stay on the field and be a top-5 tight end. I think this year is that year. I know the Redskins are in disarray, but Kurt Cousins will lean on Reed early and often. Washington has already lost backup Niles Paul for the season so the job is all Reed’s. He does have a tougher match up against a solid Miami defense in the opener, but there should be room in the middle of the field for Reed to be productive.
Michael Crabtree, WR Oakland Raiders
Fellow wideout, rookie Amari Cooper, is getting all the preseason hype in Oakland, but people are forgetting about Crabtree. He’s starting alongside Cooper and should get his share of targets in a new offense that will be throwing the ball. If second year QB Derek Carr can take a big step forward then Crabtree and Cooper will both benefit tremendously. Expect Cooper to be the big-play guy and get the most balls thrown his way, but Crabtree should still see around 8-10 targets per week. Not a bad workload for a WR that’s currently owned in less than 40% of standard fantasy leagues.
Lock of the Week
Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina Panthers
There is no more timeshare in the backfield for the Panthers anymore as DeAngelo Williams is now in Pittsburgh so Stewart should have a big season as long as he remains healthy. The offensive line is much improved and Carolina expects Stewart to be a three-down back. He’s also a very good receiver and should see 20-plus touches in Week 1 against the lowly Jaguars. Stewart will have over 100 total yards and will find the end zone, so if he’s on your fantasy starting lineup bubble then I hope you start him after reading this.
Who’s on Revis Island?
There aren’t any real fantasy threats for Cleveland at the wide receiver position so it should be a fairly easy opener for Revis. He is expected to guard Brian Hartline and/or Dwayne Bowe and neither should be started in fantasy regardless of what corner is matched up against them.