Great Odin's raven, this has been a long offseason! Mercifully, it comes to an end on Thursday night when the Baltimore visits Denver in a rematch of their AFC Divisional Game last January. On this most joyous of occasions, we at the Phinsider would like to remind you all to set your fantasy teams accordingly. This season, our Strikes and Gutters weekly advice column will offer guidance and recommendations for all you fantasy lovers out there. Be forewarned, I guarantee nothing except that Darren McFadden will at some point this season miss time to injury. We are going to try and expound upon the usual fantasy advice drivel: "Durrr, you should start Tom Brady this week!" Thanks, professor obvious. If my sage words of wisdom do lead you to fantasy immortality, feel free to send portions of any prizes to me. If my advice hurts your team, then you are also in luck because I offer full refunds on all of my free suggestions.
Seahawks Players: I'm saying if you have any of them, start them. Obviously you are starting Lynch every week. But expect big things from Wilson and the passing game as well. Golden Tate should have decent numbers and you won't be starting him this early in the season Jermaine Kearse is a person to keep an eye on in deeper leagues.
Reggie Wayne & T.Y. Hilton: Wayne is obvious, you are starting him this week no matter what. But, I expect big things from the Indy passing game as a whole since the Raiders are terrible. Hilton is going to provide excellent value this season for those that own him, and Week 1 is going to be a good chance to showcase that.
Patriots Defense: The Bills haven't named the starting Quarterback at the time of this writing, but either way it's a very favorable matchup for New England. Jeff Tuel could be starting. It's worth noting that his record at Washington State was a robust 4 - 22. That's only 4 more wins than I had in college, and a lot more losses. Even his old coach doesn't think very highly of him. Should E.J. Manuel get healthy in time to start, I still like the Pats D as they typically feast on rookie signal callers.
Kenbrell Thompkins, Zac Sudfeld & Shane Vereen: These moves take a little more chutzpah to make in week one. I think the Patriots have a field day in Buffalo on Sunday, at least one of these guys will get a TD. It's a favorable matchup, if you are weak at RB2 and in a PPR league, I say start Vereen. He looks like he's going to be the Darren Sproles of this offense. If you have Greg Olsen or Owen Daniels starting at TE and you have Sudfeld on the bench, I'd start him. Thomkins is an interesting flex play as well as a potential #3 WR in standard leagues if you are rolling with Anquan Boldin or someone less flashy, I think Thompkins may be a sneaky play here.
Courtesy Dolphin Start: I don't love the matchup with Cleveland this week. Joe Haden has traditionally shut down Mike Wallace, and they are a good run defense. I could see Hartline having some success over on the other side of the field and Tannehill could produce decent fantasy numbers, but you shouldn't start either of them. This is kind of a cop out, I'm nominating the Defense. I think the Dolphins defense is a good start this week against a Browns offense without their top WR and Brandon Weeded at QB.
Jordy Nelson: The Packers have had all kinds of problems with the 49ers in their last two matchups. Jordy doesn't run a lot of quick routes and Rodgers will be under fire all day. Don't expect big numbers from the Packer Wideout.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Game: You will be starting Vincent Jackson because of where you drafted him and his reputation, but possible starters Josh Freeman and Mike Williams are sits for me this week. As bad as the Jest are, they have a decent pass defense and the Bucs passing game looks rusty.
Any San Diego Chargers you were unfortunate enough to end up with: I have a terrible feeling about the Chargers this year. If you have any of them and think you may need to start them this week, I urge you to reconsider. Houston's Defense is nasty, the Chargers lack the talent to press them at all.
Steve Smith: The Carolina Panthers' #1 receiving option has a tough matchup with the Seahawks this weekend. Seattle's defense is nasty, especially their secondary. I will say that jawing with Steve Smith is always a HORRIBLE idea. And I know Richard Sherman will not be able to keep quiet. But the Seahawks may actually be the good enough to rile up Steve Smith AND hold him down too.
Courtesy Dolphin Sit: I hate to say it, but I think Wallace will be a letdown week one. As I alluded to earlier, Joe Haden has had success in prior matchups. I do feel like Wallace will be a viable start most weeks, and if you can get him into your flex spot this week (as I am) I would play him. But don't expect a huge game this week.
All fantasy advice is 100% Guaranteed. If you aren't satisfied with the results, please accept my humblest apologies and a full refund. If you have any specific fantasy questions, go ahead and post them in the comments section and I will get to them.
"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you."