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Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 1

This. Is. Jeopardy! Please make sure your answers are in the form of a questionable.

Welcome to the first ever Sports Debaters “Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes.”  Now that the NFL season is here, we will provide you with 5 players that might not be starting or even on a fantasy team who should be considered for this specific week.  While playing Fantasy Football, one of the most stressful parts every week is choosing between your average players and the “questionable” players and choosing your final starting lineup before the 1 o’clock games roll around.

Week one of the 2012-13 season is proving to be a very difficult one to predict because the league is filled with uncertainties.  Will Peyton return to his old form?  Will Brees and the Saints get past the drama and have one of the best offenses once again?  Who will be Rodgers #1 receiver?  Will Cam Newton keep up what he started last season?  When will Tebow get some snaps?  These are just some of the questions that keep the Fantasy world spinning.  While I have a list of about 10 different players that can come out of their unknown shells I am only giving you 5 players that I feel will benefit your week 1 lineups.

Ronnie Brown:  Monday 10:15 PM EST

Brown will be runningback (and forth) against an Oakland defensive collapse.

If you only know one thing, know this; the San Diego Chargers always gain yards.  After being able to live off of Ladanian Tomlinson for a decade, the Chargers have found it difficult to locate a stud running back.  Ryan Matthews is supposed to be just that for them this year but he is out for at least one week.  That makes Ronnie Brown, the former starting tailback for the Miami Dolphins, the go to guy for the Bolts.  While the Chargers are a primarily pass friendly offense, they don’t have many receiving options.  Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem and Antonio Gates are all solid options but good hands out of the backfield will definitely be a necessity.  San Diego is going up against a divisional foe Oakland Raiders, who showcased one of the worst rushing defenses in the league last year.  Oakland gave up more than 5 yards a carry and let teams average 136 yards a game against them.  I expect Ronnie Brown to get a minimum of 20 touches between runs and screen passes.  He will be able to eat up some yards throughout the game and I expect him to get into the endzone at least once.

Predictions for week 1: 17 rushes for 90 yards and a TD, 3 receptions for 30 yards

Brandon LaFell:  Sunday 4:25 PM EST

LaFell will not LaFalldown on the job; look for LaCatches galore!

If you played Fantasy Football last year then you know that is was always a safe bet to start any offensive player against the pathetic Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense.  One of the better offenses from last year was the young and exciting Carolina Panthers because of the freak of nature known as Cam Newton.  Newton proved he can shake up any defense in the NFL with his arm and his feet.  Carolina’s starting center, Ryan Kalil, even guaranteed a Super Bowl victory for his team that didn’t even make the playoffs last season (  Newton’s favorite target last season was the always dangerous Steve Smith.  Smith is entering the season a little banged up and even though he will be starting during week one, he is nowhere near where he needs to be health wise.  So who will Cam turn to?  Maybe his favorite preseason target Brandon LaFell.  LaFell not only has impressive breakaway speed, but he also has incredible hands deep and across the middle.  Brandon will also be used in Carolina’s trick offense as an integral part of their end-around’s and play action passes.  I expect LaFell to emerge as not only a week one Fantasy option, but an every week option.

Predictions for week 1:  8 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, 1 rush for 10 yards

Titus Young:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Young has a pair of the Titus hands around.

If you think it’s safe to bet against the Tampa Bay defense, then you know it’s safe to bet against the St. Louis Rams D.  Last season, Matthew Stafford emerged as one of the best QB’s in the game and his #1 option, Calvin Johnson a.k.a Megatron, became the best receiver in the NFL.  The Detroit Lions have been the comedic punching bag of the NFL for over a decade up until last season when they made the playoffs and proved they are here to stay.  We all know that Stafford will throw to Megatron more than any other receiver on the team, but when Calvin is double teamed…scratch that, triple teamed, who will Stafford go to?

Right now the seasoned veteran Nate Burleson is listed as the #2 receiver, but that’s not how I see things going down.  I feel that the second year man out of Boise State, Titus Young, is going to break out as one of the better receivers  in the NFC.  He has ridiculous speed and one of the most accurate QB’s in the league throwing to him.  Put that on top of the fact that the Lions are facing who I believe is the worst team in the NFL, the Rams, and you can have a Kevin Olgetree type performance from Young week 1.  Titus is also one of Detroit’s two kick returners so with his open field capabilities don’t put it past him to find the endzone the hard way.

Predictions for week 1:  7 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown

Coby Fleener:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Fleener has Luck with him, and also some talent.

You might be asking yourself, who?  The Indianapolis Colts have completely revamped their team from a season ago when they went 2-14.  With the first overall pick of the NFL draft, the Colts took Andrew Luck, who is known as the most game-ready rookie QB since his predecessor, Peyton Manning, back in 1998.  When Luck was in Stanford dominating anyone he faced, he had a favorite target in his big and athletic Tight End, Coby Fleener.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Fleener and Luck are great friends and are both two very important parts of the Colts rebuilding phase.  While Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie will be the veterans that Luck looks too first, you can expect him to find his good friend on pretty much any broken play.  Fleener can go deep, he can block and he’s not scared to go across the middle.  Coby will be targeted often and he has great hands that can assure any Fantasy owner a handful of points from their TE position…which most teams don’t rely on.  The Colts are going up against one of the better defenses in the NFL in the Chicago Bears, but with the Bears defensive captain, Brian Urlacher, questionable for week 1, Fleener may have an easier time than expected.  Coby will be Luck’s go to guy when they are in the redzone.

Predictions for week 1:  6 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown

Toby Gerhart:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Toby or not Toby, that is no longer a question.

Heed my advice when I say that Adrian Peterson will be used with more caution than Strasburg with the Nationals.  The Minnesota Vikings have the luxury of facing off with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in week 1.  While Peterson will be the starter for pretty much the entire season, Toby Gerhart will be getting the bulk of the week 1 carries.  In the words of my favorite show, “The League,” Gerhart will “vulture” every touchdown that Peterson helps the Vikings get.  Adrian will get some open field runs but once Minnesota is in the redzone, don’t expect him to touch the ball.  There is no way that the Vikings organization will risk further injury to their franchise player.  The Vikings really only have one respectable receiver with Percy Harvin and outside of him they don’t have much.  That is going to make Toby as important in the passing game as he will be in the running game.  The Jaguars have, without question, one of the worst offenses in the NFL which will mean a lot of 3-and-outs that will lead to a lot of great field position for Toby to tear up.  Out of the 5 players I have picked today, I feel Toby will have the biggest Fantasy Football impact.  The Vikings QB, Christian Ponder, is only in his second year and will be relying heavily on his running back.

Predictions for week 1:  20 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns, 4 receptions for 30 yards

Here is our free advice for you to take now and thank us later.  We will be posting 5 players every week who we feel will make a significant impact for that week.  If you agree or not with our predictions let us know.  If you take our advice and are successful because of it congratulations and tell your friends.

One response

  1. jb0149

    Love this column. I’m all about LaFell after his clinic on Kyle Wilson in preseason. Still trying to figure out P. Manning or Cutler. More like Steeler D vs Bucs D. Either way gonna take a week or two to get everything settled down. Great job, Matt.

    September 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM

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