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Draft Masters - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 7

From The Godfather: Week 1

Sat Sep 11 10:36am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

Here we go!  I hope all your drafts went well and you didn’t use up to much of your FAAB on Gus Edwards. The news right now is he’ll miss the season, so the Ravens are now two running backs down.  Ty’Son Williams is the next man standing, an unproven rookie.  Can you really trust him as one of your running backs?  If there is ever a week to take a chance on him, this is it.  He’s the only running back that knows the Baltimore wishbone system and he gets one of the worst NFL defenses against the run last year, the Raiders.  He could be a sneaky DFS play in Week 1.  But even if he has a big first week, you can’t necessarily count on him to be the bell cow running back that J.K. Dobbins or Edwards would have been.  Baltimore will be bringing in every running back available, already Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman are getting up to speed.  When Latavius Murray is signed, it could mean limited action for Williams, so tread lightly in you FAAB bids on him.

There’s no way of telling right now which team defenses will be bad this year so you have a good idea of who to exploit.  But a good place to start is with the bad team defenses last year until they prove to be better.  Using that strategy, here’s some matchups that can be exploitable in Week 1.

Of the worst defenses against the run last year, Houston had the destination of giving up the most rushing yards and second most fantasy points to running backs.  Jaguars running back James Robinson should have a huge day, helping rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to his first NFL win. Going back the other way, the Jaguars defense was not very good last year, either, giving up the fourth most rushing touchdowns, fifth most rushing yards per attempt and the third most rushing yards.  So Houston should be able to run on the Jags, but the question is who will get the carries.  They have three capable running backs in David Johnson, Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay.  Your guess is as good as mine if one of them gets the lead role.

Cincinnati ranked next to last in yards per attempt last year with opposing running backs, averaging 24.2 points per game.  Dalvin Cook and the Vikings will test the Bengals defense.

On the other end of the rushing defenses, some teams were hard to run against, making it a tougher call to play a running back against them.  The Buccaneers were the toughest against the run, leading them to the NFL Championship.  They started with Dallas Thursday night, so it could be tough going for Ezekiel Elliott.  By the time you read this, you’ll know how he did.

The Colts gave up the second fewest rushing yards, so Chris Carson and the Seahawks might find it tough going.  Going the other direction in that game, the Seahawks defense gave up the third fewest yards per carry last year, making it a possible long day for the Jonathan Taylor.  Next were the Los Angeles Rams, making the Bears Sunday night battle difficult.  David Montgomery will have a tough time. The Saints are usually one of the better rush defenses, making Packers back Aaron Jones season debut in Jacksonville’s stadium an interesting one.  At least the Packers won’t have the noisy crowd to contend.

Passing defenses that you’d like to make sure you have a quarterback, wide receiver and tight ends going against this week are Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle, New York Jets and Dallas.  And by the time you read this, you’ll know how Tom Brady and the Bucs receivers did against Dallas.

The Falcons were incredibly bad last year, especially their secondary, setting up a chance for big days from Eagle receivers.  Jalen Reagor, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert are all worthy of DFS play, along with quarterback Jalen Hurts.  Perhaps it’s a good thing for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens that the Raiders pass defense is abysmal, making the loss of their running backs not as crucial this week.  If they can’t run, they’ll be able to pass, and Jackson should have ample time to find receivers as the Raiders will put little pressure on him.  Expect a big day from tight end Mark Andrews, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Sammy Watkins. All good DFS plays.

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garappolo gets a great chance to show why he should be their starting quarterback going against a Lions pass defense that gave up the most passing touchdowns last year.  Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, if healthy, should both see double digit pass targets, but the guy that should get the most receptions is tight end George Kittle.

The other quarterback that should have a good day starting the first time for his new team is Carson Wentz.  He gets a weak Seahawks pass defense that allowed nine different receivers to top 100 yards last year.  With TY Hilton out, look for Michael Pittman Jr. to be Wentz’s favorite target, and the guy to top the century mark.

The teams that made it hard getting yards through the air last year were the Los Angeles Rams, Washington, Denver, New England and Baltimore. Perhaps the Bears are starting Andy Dalton because they don’t want to expose rookie Justin Fields to the Rams defense in his first NFL game.  Whatever the reason, expect a tough night for the Bears offense.

A lot is expected from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert this year, but he gets a tough matchup going into the nation’s capital against the second best team against the pass last year.  The New York Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones open against a Broncos secondary that could be among the best this year, and the Giants top receiver Kenny Golladay hurting.  The Ravens defense is a nightmare waiting to happen, making opening day for the Raiders and David Carr a tough assignment.  The Patriots are always tough, and coach Bill Belichick will have a game plan to shut down the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, Stay away!

Have a great first week!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

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A.J. Brown Oct 22 12:10pm ET
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Damien Harris Oct 22 12:10pm ET
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Antonio Brown Oct 22 12:00pm ET
Antonio Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) didn't appear to be practicing Friday during the portion open to the media. Brown, who has been dealing with a sprained ankle, wasn't able to practice Wednesday and Thursday- and appears to be trending towards another absence to close out the week. Brown should be considered doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bears at this point. If officially ruled out, fellow wideouts Chris Godwin and Mike Evans could see more targets headed their way.

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Sterling Shepard Oct 22 11:50am ET
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Dallas Goedert Oct 22 11:50am ET
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DeeJay Dallas Oct 22 11:40am ET
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D.K. Metcalf Oct 22 11:40am ET
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Jason Myers Oct 22 11:40am ET
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Geno Smith Oct 22 11:30am ET
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