Friday, September 5, 2014

Week 1 fantasy football tips and waiver wire advice

Let the games begin! 

Here's a look at five NFL players poised to have breakout seasons and to see their stock rise in fantasy football. 

With a Super Bowl victory already on the resume, ex-N.C. State star Russell Wilson looks poised to reach a new level of play. Coming into this third season, Wilson has been in complete command of the offense this preseason and he already sports a super-impressive 52:19 touchdown-to-interception ratio after two seasons. And having Percy Harvin in the lineup is a major upgrade.

Add Percy Harvin to the list of breakout stars for 2014. Now healthy, this is the season that Harvin (easily) reaches his first 1,000-yard receiving plateau. In preseason, he looked like one of the league's most explosive players and Seattle will get Harvin the ball in a variety of ways.

Former North Carolina running back Giovani Benard could end up making a case for fantasy MVP this year (relative to draft position). For those that play in PPR (point per reception) leagues, he will be a big advantage, being on a very short list of running backs that could exceed 70 receptions (he had 56 last year despite not starting any games). He'll get a ton of work as new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will have the Bengals running significantly more than they did last year.

I am super high on Saints' running back Mark Ingram, who this preseason has run like a former Heisman winner hungry for a chance at a more meaningful workload. Ingram rushed for 7.1 yards per carry, the best in preseason among backs with 20-plus carries. There are a ton of points to be had in the Saints offense and Ingram should get most of the work around the end zone.

We saw what Minnesota's Cordarrelle Patterson is capable of over the final month of the 2013 season and he'll get a huge offensive coordinator upgrade in Norv Turner. Patterson is set to bust out in a major way after scoring four receiving and three rushing touchdowns in the second half of the season.

The Indianapolis at Denver, San Francisco at Dallas, New Orleans at Atlanta, and Jacksonville at Philadelphia games all have an over/under above 50 points. When in doubt, get Broncos, 49ers, Saints, Falcons, and Eagles into your lineup. That said, start your studs - Week 1 of the season is not a time to get too cute.

Wes Welker is out, which should mean for busy days for Denver's Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. And go grab Cody Latimer if he is available on your waiver wire.

Don't sleep on kickers: there has been a ton of shakeup at kicker this week to stay on top of, including Brandon McManus (Denver, while Matt Prater is suspended), Cody Parkey (Philadelphia), Chandler Catanzaro (Arizona), Jake Rodgers (Miami), Patrick Murray (Tampa Bay), Cario Santos (Kansas City) and Ryan Succop moves to Kansas City.

Daily fantasy football: These leagues are gaining in popularity (for example, FanDuel) where rather than a draft you pick your one-week team (based against a cap of $60,000) and instantly play against any number of people in one-day Week 1 lineup is: QB Peyton Manning ($10,200), RB Frank Gore ($7,200), RB Mark Ingram ($5,200), WR Demaryius Thomas ($8,700), WR Michael Floyd ($6,600), WR Cordarrelle Patterson ($6,400), TE Kyle Rudolph ($5,700), K Stephen Gostkowski ($5,400), Detroit Defense ($4,600).

If you are debating which quarterback to start and one of them is Colin Kaepernick, you may want to roll with Kaep against Dallas. The Cowboys were atrocious on defense last year (dead last at 415.3 yards per game, and the second-worst of all-time), and there's no reason to think 2014 will be much different. Likewise, Frank Gore should find it to be easy sledding. 

If you are in a two quarterback league, Arizona's Carson Palmer will be a big advantage and he is a legitimate fantasy starter regardless. Michael Floyd looks like a strong play and could be a Top 10 wide receiver for the week. Rookie wide receiver John Brown from Pittsburg State will likely surprise...make sure he isn’t on your waiver wire before people get to see his speed and talent on prime time in the second Monday Night game.

Philadelphia rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews could be a deep sleeper. The Eagles led the league in yards gained in preseason and could come out of Week 1 as the leader with Chip Kelly directing his up-tempo nonstop offense. And look for tight end Zach Ertz to be busy, especially around the end zone.