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WALLY’S WORLD: Week 1

At long last the wait is over and the 2016 regular season is set to kick off (see what I did there?) Thursday night.

While Old Uncle Waldo did take the Wagon Queen Family Truckster out for a few spins this summer, it is time for weekly jaunts to Wally’s World. That being said, the Week 1 edition is traditionally the shortest (and some say sweetest because of that) of the season.

Let’s face it. Not a whole lot of noteworthy action takes place during Week 4 of the preseason.

Sorry Mack Brown, those 147 rushing yards and a score don’t make you fantasy relevant. Great game though, kid, but unfortunately not enough to secure a roster spot. Your former teammate Rob Kelley does intrigue me as a late-round running back selection though.

Look at me dropping info during the opening of the piece. That’s how I roll.

In this edition we mainly toss out even more random thoughts (is that possible?) as we await football action that actually has fantasy implications. So as we pass by the “Largest Ball of Twine” in the world I’ll be tossing out a myriad of observations on a variety of topics fantasy (hopefully) related.

Hate to see Teddy Bridgewater suffer that heinous injury. Here’s hoping he can recover and resume his career. That’s the ugly side of this sport we love.

Speaking of ugly. Are San Francisco 49ers fans already looking forward to the 2017 draft?

Here’s some free advice. Draft a quarterback. You are welcome.

Does it feel like the Dak Prescott era has begun in Dallas to anyone else? Unless the kid completely flops I see the Dallas Cowboys riding him all season. Prescott has a ton of weapons as well as talent. That’s a nice combination. [Editor’s Note: I wonder how the Rams brass felt as they watched Prescott in the preseason? Meanwhile, Jared Goff is No. 3 on the depth chart behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion.]

Here comes a little more free advice from Uncle Waldo … it’s time for Tony Romo to retire. That is too many back injuries and being able to play with your kids as they grow up is a precious thing. [Editor’s Note: Or, how about he just learn to fall down in the pocket the way Peyton Manning did the last 15 years of his career.]

My condolences to those poor folks that bought a Denver Broncos Mark Sanchez jersey.

Not sure I would rush out and get the Dallas Cowboys version just yet. Sanchez could have a few more stops in him before all is said and done.

The injuries to Romo and Bridgewater do not have me worried about either Ezekiel Elliott or Adrian Peterson very much. Both were going to be workhorses for their respective offenses before the injuries in any case.

The offensive line is still great in Dallas and Prescott’s ability to run the ball could actually help bolster Elliott’s numbers.

Peterson had more than 2,000 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns with Christian Ponder at quarterback.

Trust me. Both will be fine.

I’m officially nervous about the reports out of Kansas City that Jamaal Charles has not regained the starting job from Spencer Ware and may miss the opener or even more games.

Hopefully Charles returns to form sooner rather than later as a lot of folks bought early and often on Charles. Yes. I am raising my hand. [Editor’s Note: You’re not alone Uncle Waldo. I took Charles in Round 7 of a startup back in February and Round 13 in another startup back in April. In each case, I thought I was getting a real deal in an attempt to win now. Unfortunately, I only got Spencer Ware in one of those leagues.]

My man crush on tight end Jared Cook is back as he was targeted by Aaron Rodgers with two of his first three passes. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers and I have been waiting patiently for Cook to fulfill on the skill set he flashed a few years ago.

Cook is officially my break out fantasy tight end for the 2016 season. [Editor’s Note: I was all over Cook earlier this year, but now prefer Denver’s Virgil Green.]

Keep in mind that a couple of years ago Toby Gerhart was my breakout running back selection … sigh.

Staying with the running back position, I look for a very productive year out of Jeremy Langford of Chicago. He faces little competition for touches and is adept at both running and receiving the ball.

Langford followed Le’Veon Bell as the workhorse running back at Michigan State and will join Bell (once his suspension is over) as a productive fantasy RB in 2016.

So now J.J. Watt (back) is on track to be ready for the opener, eh? There has to be a cape underneath that No. 99 jersey.

That being said, I still think that Oakland’s Khalil Mack will give Watt a run for his money as the top scoring defensive end this season. Watt is likely to be on a ‘pitch count’ early on and Mack looks poised for a monster season.

A sneaky good late round Individual Defensive Player (IDP) pick with huge upside is Green Bay inside linebacker Blake Martinez. The rookie has been running with the ones all preseason and has likely secured that coveted three-down role that IDP owners love.

New Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford is the king of looking good in the preseason. You’re not fooling me again … you are not! No value change as he’ll only be asked to manage games and is Sam Bradford after all.

The Carson Wentz era is likely to begin sooner rather than later now that Bradford is gone.

Maybe as early as Week 1 if his injured ribs check out OK.

I’m guessing Tom Brady owners were not too happy to see him play the entire first half of the preseason finale. Rest easy folks as he came out healthy. We’ll see you in a month.

Something tells me that Paxton Lynch will join Wentz in finishing the season as a starting quarterback. He’s still pretty raw but the skill set to succeed is definitely there and he’ll be the guy in Denver by Week 10 or 11.

So there were two players named Taiwan Jones in the league for a brief time. What are the odds? Alas, the New York Jets released the rookie Taiwan but it sure was fun while it lasted.

I warned you we’d be heavy on the random this week.

While anything is possible, count me among those who believes Justin Forsett re-signs with Baltimore. This feels like a cost savings move and I don’t feel that Terrance West and Javorius “Buck” Allen are ready to carry the load.

So if Rashad Jennings misses time with an injury I’ll get to type the name Orleans Darkwa a lot more than I thought I would this season. I have to say that has me pumped up!

Let’s end things with something from the “I can’t make this stuff up” desk. A caller to a local sports station here in Detroit said quarterback Jake Rudock is the next Tom Brady after his performance in Week 4 of the preseason and would replace Matthew Stafford this year. Rudock is now on the Lions practice squad … You got to love University of Michigan fans.

OK, folks. We ratchet things up here at Wally’s World in Week 2 as we’ll have actual game performances to prattle about … and prattle we will.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin