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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

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

Nobody needs to be told starting Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Newton’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because AD is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Derek Carr

Continue the trend: If you still enjoy picking on the Saints-D, Derek Carr is your man in Week 1.

Grab a Helmet

Brock Osweiler vs. CHI: Houston threw a staggering sum of money at Osweiler in March, apparently deeming his seven career starts in Denver worthy of a franchise QB windfall. The scary part? Even if he bombs, the big guy walks away with $37 million in guaranteed moolah. He just might, but it won’t be because he lacks weapons. DeAndre Hopkins is an elite WR1 and Lamar Miller is a significant upgrade over the aging and increasingly unreliable Arian Foster. Throw in a couple of explosive rooks, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, and the Texans’ offensive future suddenly looks bright. All Osweiler has to do, it seems, is steer the ship and let J.J. Watt and a salty D take care of the rest. I think he does that and then some in Week 1 as the Bears have upgraded in the front seven but remain extremely vulnerable in the secondary.

Derek Carr @ NO: Nobody was more vulnerable in the secondary than last year’s Saints. And by nobody, I mean nobody in the history of the league. I only went back to prehistoric times (read: the year of my birth, 1971), but I’m taking an educated guess no team before that has matched the 2015 Saints’ appalling 116.2 defensive passer rating...or come anywhere close. For perspective, only four individual quarterbacks have surpassed that mark in a season (Rodgers, Manning, Brady, and Foles). In other words, New Orleans made opposing QBs look like future Hall of Famers or 2013 Bizarro Nick Foles every time out. Carr is neither at this point, but he’s a star on the rise with good weapons. Oh, and in case you’re thinking the Saints must be better in 2016, they posted a 98.5 rating in the preseason. That was tied for last. You must start Carr.

Dak Prescott v. NYG: About a month ago, Prescott was jousting with Jameill Showers for the third QB slot in Dallas and, according to most camp observers, not winning the battle. Then Kellen Moore broke his leg. Then Prescott wowed in early preseason action. Then Tony Romo broke his back. Suddenly, the Dak Attack is all anyone can talk about in Big D and he’ll now start the season under center, the first rookie to do so for the ‘Boys since Quincy Carter in 2001. Talk about a mercurial rise! Dallas fans hope Prescott is more successful than the long-forgotten Carter and you can count me among those who think he will be. He’s got great weapons (Zeke, Dez, and the venerable Jason Witten) and plays behind the league’s best line. He’s also got a great set of legs when things get dicey in the pocket. Buy the hype, folks.

Grab a Clipboard

Carson Wentz v. CLE: Lemme get this straight. The Eagles’ brass spent $36 million on Sam Bradford this offseason and sunk another $21 million into journeyman Chase Daniel to, presumably, back him up. One week before the season starts, they ship Bradford to Minnesota and promote rookie Wentz ($26 million more plus a signing bonus) to the top spot, leapfrogging Daniel on the strength of 38 snaps in one preseason game and four years at an FCS school. Yup, Chip Kelly was DEFINITELY the problem in Philly. Pffffttt. Maybe new coach Doug Pederson – a career backup like Daniel – couldn’t stomach heading into the season with someone like himself taking snaps? Wentz certainly has the raw tools to be successful and (my guess) will be a better pro than Jared Goff, who’s inactive this week. He’s nowhere near ready, though. Only if you drafted Romo and Bridgewater and missed on Prescott.

Jay Cutler @ HOU:
Take heart, Eagles fans. Two years ago, Chicago’s shot callers dropped a tidy $126 million and change on the enigmatic Cutler, or about half again as much jack as Howie Roseman just dumped on three QBs in Philly. The Bears’ ROI after two seasons of that contract? 11 wins, 19 losses. Yuck. What seemed like a ludicrous deal at the time appears even more so in retrospect, yet Chicago keeps marching Cutler out there year after year, hoping against hope he’ll put together that one magical season or two. After ten years, I can comfortably say we’ve seen the best Smokin’ Jay has to offer. He’s passable from a fantasy perspective, but only when the matchup is right. This week, he faces J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and a rejuvenated Jadeveon Clowney at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Does that seem like the right matchup to you? Nope.

Ryan Tannehill @ SEA: I’m on record as saying Tannehill will be a surprise Top 10 party-crasher in 2016, thanks in large part to his new coach, the quarterback-friendly Adam Gase. There are better ways to kick off a Top 10 campaign, however, than tangling with the Seahawks in Seattle. Lots better ways. Nobody surrendered fewer touchdowns than the Legion of Boom last season (14) and only one team, the Super Bowl champion Broncos, gave up fewer yards through the air. It would help, of course, if Tannehill had a full complement of weapons to work with this Sunday, but that isn’t likely to be the case. Field-stretcher DeVante Parker has been on the shelf for a week (hamstring) and that, in and of itself, makes the Dolphins a lot less explosive. Tannehill will make his owners happy many times this season, but Week 1 isn’t one of those times.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers