Week one of the season means we finally have our chance to see who's going to be this year's fantasy football standouts and who turns out to be a bust. The opener in Minnesota may feature both.
QB Drew Brees:
He's definitely a start, even against a strong Vikings secondary. Brees had some of his better games against the best defenses he faced last season. It may be a little bit more of a challenge without Willie Snead, but the Saints have prepared for his absence for a while now.
QB Sam Bradford:
It's a bit of an unknown because we still don't know if the Saints defense will continue to play well in the regular season. However, it's probably a non-issue, as in most leagues, Bradford wasn't even drafted.
RB Adrian Peterson:
He seems like a must-start against his former team because he'll probably be extra motivated to be back in Minnesota. On the other hand, you know the Vikings will be just as eager to keep him out of the endzone. Still, it's tough to bet against the future hall of farmer now that he's teamed up with Payton and Brees.
RB Mark Ingram:
He's my favorite pick out of the running back group. Ingram's done nothing but trend upward the last three seasons as a top 15 fantasy running back. He's truly become versatile enough that defenses can't predict run or pass when he's in the game. The determining factor going forward will be whether Ingram or Peterson gets the goal line carries.
RB Alvin Kamara:
The rookie out of Tennessee showed about as much potential as one could in two preseason games. He's got a bright future with the Saints, but we're still not sure how many touches he'll get. The safe bet is to bench him until we have a clearer picture.
RB Dalvin Cook:
He went either late third round or early fourth round in most fantasy drafts, and for good reason. Cook is an every down back that figures to be a big part of the the Vikings' offense. But, again, while we haven't seen them in the regular season yet, it looks like the Saints may be turning the corner with their run defense. I'd start with caution.
WR Michael Thomas:
Of the three-headed monster that was Thomas, Snead and Brandin Cooks a year ago, it's down to just Thomas for the first three weeks. Still, I like his upside, especially in PPR leagues. He's only built his relationship with Brees even more, and he may even benefit from Snead being gone with a few more targets coming his way on crucial third downs.
TE Kyle Rudolph:
He's my favorite fantasy start of the game. Rudolph led all tight ends in targets last year with 132 and finished third among the position with 83 receptions. That says he's more than just a red zone target. Look for him to have another big year and a big game in week one.
TE Coby Fleener:
I'm waiting for him to prove everyone wrong. He's still on a few fantasy football rosters, but Fleener shouldn't be in your starting rotation until he proves it.
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