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Staff Writer


The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 1
9/5/18
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: N/A

Philip Rivers

Rivers was horrific against KC last season but the Chiefs secondary is in shambles to begin 2018.


Grab a Helmet

Drew Brees vs TB: The Saints are the Vegas darlings in Week 1, as they are nearly double-digit favorites against a hapless Bucs team. Anxious to erase the nightmare end to the 2017 playoffs, Brees and the offense should be able to fire on all cylinders against a Tampa defense that was dreadful last year, and an offense that is likely to turn the ball over a few times with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Brees has been surgical against the Bucs in the recent past, especially at home (22-27, 263-2 Wk9 Ď17). Heís lost a little off the deep ball, but Brees, even at 39, is still one of the best in the business. At home against an inferior opponent, Brees is a great bet to finish as the overall QB1 this week.

Philip Rivers vs KC: This game has the look of those classic Sunday afternoon AFC West shootouts. The Charger secondary is banged up, and young gun Patrick Mahomes comes to town, while the old sheriff Rivers hits the field for his 15th season. Kansas City lost several impact defensive players this offseason, and looks to be in transition with young players at all levels. Rivers struggled mightily against the Chiefs last year (1TD, 6 INTS, 2 games), but there is new personnel on both teams. This game (48) has one of the highest over/unders of the week, and I expect points to come in bunches. Start the old man, and reap the value.

Andy Dalton @ IND: I donít foresee having Dalton in this spot much this season, but I have to admit, the Bengal pass offense has looked explosive in the preseason. The addition of a healthy John Ross gives the passing game an element (speed) theyíve lacked, and his emergence could open this offense up for everyone. The Colts went heavy on offense in the draft, were dreadful on defense last year, and have sputtered this preseason. I think we see a more aggressive attacking offense from the Bengals, as they might have finally amassed the personnel to do it. I think Dalton puts up QB1 numbers this week in a close, surprisingly entertaining game.

Grab a Headset

Eli Manning vs JAX: We are going to get to see just what the new look Giants offense is capable of right off the bat. After a horrific 2017, Manning is back in the saddle for a New York team thatís got offensive weapons new and old, with the addition of Barkley and the return of OBJ. In recent seasons Manning has looked slow and skittish behind a leaky offensive line, and I didnít see enough in the preseason to believe the line has improved enough. Against most defenses I think that unit can be sufficient, but this Jaguars squad hosts the best defensive line east of the Mississippi. I anticipate a very safe offensive game plan, with short passes and mass amounts of Barkley. If the Jaguars back end can hold up, Manning could have a rough Week 1.

Deshaun Watson @ NE: Yes, Watson was drafted to be a QB1 this season, and he lit up the Pats last year for a 301 yards and 2 touchdowns, but that was prior to his season ending injury. Thereís no doubt Watson has made an amazing recovery, but the fact remains this is a road game against a Pats defense that should be much improved after they played a host of back-ups to close out the 2017 season. The Houston offensive line is a bottom five unit, and I worry that Watsonís early season mobility could be compromised. There is more than a little rust to shake off after not playing much in the preseason, and Iím sure this offense will score some points, Iím just not ready to trust Watson to have a big game this week.

Derek Carr vs LAR: Everything coming out of Oakland (Vegas?) lately has been rancid. Trading away Mack, cutting Bryant, and trading for AJ McCarron all seem like desperation moves from an organization that doesn’t know what it’s doing. Most have their doubts Gruden can make a triumphant return to an NFL that looks quite different then when he coached a decade ago, and until I see otherwise, count me in as a doubter. Carr, and this offense have regressed in recent years, I just can’t believe that Gruden has the magic elixir to fix it. On paper, the Rams have a hall of fame defense, and an offense that should pressure teams to score points. I think the Raiders have trouble doing both, and this buzzsaw of a defense coached by Wade Phillips makes Carr and the Silver and Black nation their first victim.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers