There arenít too many things Iím sure of to start the
2020 season, but one thing I am fairly confident in is the Jets
being a bad team. Through trade and opt-out, their defense lost
their only two real playmakers and Gregg Williams will again have
to overcompensate for the lack of natural pass rush by being overly
aggressive. I know Allen still can be erratic as a passer, but the
addition of Stefon Diggs and Zack Moss really bolster the talent
and versatility of the offense and he has piled up 17 rushing touchdowns
in his first two seasons. NY has no shut down corner, so they will
have to rely on schemes to mask their lack of talent. I think Diggs
or Brown sneak by the defense for a long touchdown and Allen makes
enough plays with his arms and legs to be a good Week 1 bet at quarterback.
Injuries, hubris, or maybe just his choice of hats caused Newton
to languish on the scrap heap for much of the early off-season.
The former MVP was of course scooped up by the Pats, and heís
proven so far to be back to form, earning the starting job out of
camp. Signed for a mere pittance, Newton has bet on his talent,
and as long as he stays healthy, heís primed for a big return.
New Englandís talent on the offense doesnít wow on paper,
but frankly that isnít new. There is a mix of experienced
vets (Edelman, White) and hungry young guys (Harry, Michel) looking
to prove themselves. I trust that Josh McDaniels will be able to
tailor an offense to fit the immense talents of Newton and put him
into position to make plays. Miami is an improving team, but their
defense gave up the 2nd most fantasy points to receivers last year
and although they added Byron Jones, they havenít improved
the talent level enough to lower that number significantly. Newton
is healthy, humble, and more than ready to stick it to the haters.
Channel that into a start for Newton Week 1.
Allen and Newton might be a bit risky Week 1 calls, so I have to
hedge my bets with good oleí Russ. Wilson was again a deadly efficient
fantasy quarterback last year, finishing in the top 5 at his position
despite attempting the 13th most passes in the league. Wilson and
his receivers are on familiar ground and worked out extensively
despite the disrupted offseason. Lockett and Metcalf are a deadly
duo out wide, and the addition of Greg Olsen gives the team a reliable
outlet and seam threat. I think this game offers some shoot-out
potential, as both teams have some defensive liabilities and the
over/under for the game is currently a strong 49.
Rodgers has seen an incredible fall from fantasy grace in the last
12 months. In my drafts this season heís going in QB2 territory
every time, and with good reason. The team has failed to bring in
reliable receiver talent to complement Davante Adams, as the rest
of the receivers are ripe with potential, but short on actual production.
The lack of crowd noise is certainly going to help the Packer offense,
but the recent acquisition of Yannick Ngakoue give the Vikings a
deadly pass rush. Yes, Minnesotaís secondary is depleted due
to free agent flights, but until the supporting cast on the Green
Bay offense puts up numbers, Rodgers has a severely limited weekly
The numbers from last season against the
Cards do not justify this spot for Jimmy G. as he gouged this
defense for over 700 yards and 8 touchdowns in their two games.
So what gives? The health of this team thatís what. The
Niners receiving corps was decimated like no others this offseason,
as Deebo Samuel and 1st round rookie Brandon Aiyuk have missed
significant practice time with injuries, and Jalen Hurd and several
free agents were lost for the season. Both Samuel and Aiyuk will
be in a rush to get ready for Week 1, so itís likely that
this offense could be relying on guys like Trent Taylor, Kendrick
Bourne, and Dante Pettis to play a bevy of snaps against the Cardinals.
On the flip side, the 49er defense has seen their share of minor
injuries, as Bosa and Dee Ford could be on a snap count because
of missed practice time. This feels to me like a game where the
Niners use all of their backs to rush about 50 times, and throw
it to Kittle a dozen. The lack of continuity causes me to fade
Jimmy G. in Week 1.
In a normal season I probably wouldnít
have Burrow in this slot, but in the year of Covid, trusting a
rookie quarterback who has seen less than half the reps of a typical
offseason is a dangerous call. The first snap he takes against
the Chargers will be the first work he’s seen against another
team since the NCAA title game in January! Los Angekes will give
him a much stiffer test than the looks he’s gotten from
his own team in scrimmages. With Bosa and Ingram rushing off the
edge, I think Joe will be forced into a few mistakes. Although
his rushing numbers could help his floor, I want to take a wait-and-see
approach to the 1st overall pick.