2016 Fantasy Football: Week 1’s Last-Minute Decisions





By Chet Gresham – @ChetGresham
Updated Sept. 10, 2016.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

The new injury reporting rules by the NFL are causing me agita. Everyone is now “questionable,” which means means you have to go on a quest to be able to determine a player’s real status. So be sure you check and crosscheck the status of your fantasy players this season.

The Colts are hurting on defense, especially in the secondary. Vontae Davis is out, along with starting SS Clayton Geathers and nickel CB Darius Butler. That leaves four cornerbacks, two of which were signed just within the last week. The Lions are one of the most pass heavy teams in the league and did well in the second half of last season. I expect this game to be a shootout with a lot of fantasy points on both sides, but Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones and Golden Tate all make great options in DFS and of course redraft.



Jamaal Charles is out, but. Andy Reid has me choking on my own rage over here. Toward the end last season and this preseason we saw Spencer Ware take control of the No. 2 job by outplaying Charcandrick West. But somehow West jumped Ware on the depth chart and Reid says they both will play. I believe in Ware’s ability and will be starting him in most leagues and in DFS, but it is much riskier than before.

There is now a little more clarity in Seattle with Christine Michael getting the start, but Thomas Rawls is still supposed to play. I believe the Seahawks are intrigued with what Michael could do as the lead back, so they might give him a sort of tryout Week 1 while they ease Rawls back. Add in the fact that the Dolphins are not good against the run and you have potential for “The Awakening” to go off.

Rob Gronkowski is out this week as well as lineman Nate Solder and Jonathan Cooper, and of course Tom Brady is suspended and Dion Lewis is on the PUP list. This all puts some players in the spotlight, but also gives the Patriots a chance of falling apart completely against a good Cardinals defense. Martellus Bennett, Julian Edelman and James White should be the main targets this week and if Jimmy Garoppolo can get into some rhythm, they could have good PPR games at least, but I’m going to take a wait and see approach for the most part. If you have Gronk as your starter you should be able to scrounge a decent alternative this week. Clive Walford and Jesse James are at the top of my tight end streaming list.



Chris Ivory is questionable, but who knows, maybe that’s a “probable” from last season? Beat writers say Ivory will play after getting in limited practices, so we will get a look at how they will split touches between T.J. Yeldon and Ivory. I expect Yeldon will be used more in passing downs while Ivory is used in short yardage. This week I expect the Packers to get a lead and put the Jaguars in more passing downs as the game goes on.

Jay Ajayi didn’t travel to Seattle due to a coach’s decision. Who know what that’s all about, but for now Arian Foster gets a boost, despite the incredibly tough matchup. I’d rather be able to put Foster in at flex, but can understand using him as a RB2 if needed.

Matt Jones practiced in full this week after his shoulder injury this preseason. The Steelers run defense was stout last season while their secondary was the opposite. I expect Washington to do most of their damage through the air and could see Chris Thompson leading the way in PPR and maybe even standard.

Jerick McKinnon was limited in practice this week and is “questionable.” Reports seem fairly negative about his status, but it is still up in the air. If he can’t go I’d expect to see Adrian get more work in the receiving game, which would boost him up a bit.



Bears wide receiver Kevin White is questionable due to a hamstring injury, but did get limited work in Wednesday and Thursday and then he practiced in full on Sunday. I expect him to play, but he has yet to show us his potential and gets a tough matchup. I’m sitting him until I see something.

Markus Wheaton will not play on Monday night, which gives Jesse James, Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates a boost. Darrius Heyward-Bey could cut into Coates workload though, so I’d only use him in daily fantasy tournaments.

The Texans rookie receiver Will Fuller is listed as questionable, but had the same week as Kevin White, getting work in Wednesday and Thursday and then a full day in on Friday. He should be ready to go as a boom or bust candidate against a weak Bears pass defense.

DeVante Parker was finally able to get a limited practice in on Friday, but it’s probably too little too late for this week. My hope for the Dolphins is for them to come out of Seattle alive to fight another day.



Tyler Kroft will get the start at tight end for the Bengals while Tyler Eifert is still out. He could be useful in 2TE leagues, but that’s about it.

Jimmy Graham looks like he will be active on Sunday, but we should take a wait and see approach for now to see how much he plays and where he is in the pecking order this season.

Eric Ebron practiced all week and should play on Sunday, but like Graham, we don’t know where his conditioning is after missing much of preseason. I’d hold off on starting him this week if you have other options. For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com’s Fantasy Football Rankings.







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