Fighting Chance Fantasy Roundtable: Week 1
Welcome to the 2019 version of the Fighting Chance Fantasy Roundtable! As with last year we will have a weekly article with our staff in which I will pose five questions and as many of us as possible will answer them for you. This year we welcome three new members as Kevin Tompkins (@ktompkinsii), Gary Haddow (@garyhaddow1) and Allie Fontana (@alliefontana) will be joining Brian Drake (@drakefantasy), Steve Rapin (@fantasygeek37) and me (@fightingchance) for the Roundtable. So, with Week 1 just hours away, let’s get to the Fighting Chance Roundtable!
Which Buffalo back will score the most fantasy points this week? Frank Gore, TJ Yeldon or Devin Singletary?
Drake Says: Frankie Gore bay-bay!
Allie Says: Frank Gore. Anyone claiming to have any real insight into how the touches will be divvied up is full of it (who else if having flashbacks to Thursday night’s Mike Davis-David Montgomery-Tarik Cohen debacle), so if you can avoid using the Bills three’s a crowd RBBC this week, just do it. Since I’ve planted my flag with Gore as a potential Week 1 sleeper, I’m going to stick with the veteran.
Kevin Says: Frank Gore. It basically comes down to who has the best chance of a touchdown. I think Frank Gore plunges one in on Sunday and gets a healthy dose of touches, as well as goal line touches.
Steve Says: TJ Yeldon. I want to pick none of the above, but Ryan won’t let me. Yeldon should play the biggest role in the passing game so I’m leaning towards him.
Gary Says: Frank Gore. I wouldn’t be starting any of them though.
Ryan Says: I hate to say Frank Gore but it’s going to be Frank Gore. He somehow still just keeps those legs churning, and in my opinion is sure to get the most carries at least in the first couple of weeks. I still think Devin Singletary will look the best and has a chance to be the starter before the end of the month, but in Week 1 I’ll say Gore.
Which guy will have more receiving yards Juju Smith-Schuster or Tyreek Hill?
Steve Says: Tyreek Hill. Since I already mentioned why I think JuJu will struggle this week, I think Tyreek sees more success, even if he is matched up against Jalen Ramsey a lot. He has the talent to take corner matchups out of the equation
Kevin Says: Juju Smith-Schuster. A true “pick your poison” scenario, as Juju should see a lot of Stephon Gilmore and Hill should see just as much of Jalen Ramsey. Give me Smith-Schuster though. I think he’s going to prove himself as a viable #1 option going forward for the Steelers and it starts Sunday.
Allie Says: Magic 8-ball says “JuJu.”
Gary Says: Juju Smith-Schuster because he won’t be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey.
Drake Says: Juju Smith-Schuster. JuJu goes for 140 and a TD on SNF. He's the truth.
Ryan Says: Juju Smith-Schuster. Both are dynamic receivers, and both will be blanketed by some of the best corners in football. Juju will be looking at Stephen Gilmore a lot while Tyreek sees Jalen Ramsey. I think both can have good games, I am still going to say Juju, part because he’s a much better person and I think the Steelers will have to throw all game while I think the Chiefs get up on the Jags and run more in the second half.
Which Chargers back will have more rushing yards? Austin Ekeler or Justin Jackson?
Gary Says: Justin Jackson will have more rushing yards, Ekeler will have more fantasy points. I would start Jackson as a flex2, but not higher.
Ryan Says: I’m going with Justin Jackson. I have watched Austin Ekeler run the ball while Melvin Gordon has been injured in the past and he has no elusiveness. He depends on the offensive line opening up holes. Jackson still has a lot of maturing to do, but he is explosive and can get more rushing yards in one carry than Ekeler does in ten.
Drake Says: Rushing yards Jackson, all purpose Ekeler. Chargers line is banged up. I'm off Jackson this week.
Allie Says: Austin Ekeler. First, if Justin Jackson is still on your waiver wire, go get him now. In deeper leagues or if you’re stuck at the position, he’s a flex-worthy dice roll. While my money is on Ekeler leading the duo in backfield touches and total yards out of the gate—he’ll barely outproduce Jackson in rushing yards and I wouldn’t rule out Jackson stealing goal-line work and maybe barreling in for a score.
Steve Says: Justin Jackson. If you asked who I think will have more fantasy value, I think it will be Ekeler as I feel his role in the passing game will allow him to have more total yards. However, I think Jackson will lead the team in rushing yards in Week 1.
Kevin Says: Justin Jackson. Ekeler should have a big presence out of the backfield, but Jackson should be the superior between the tackles option for the Chargers. If they get to salt the game away against the Luck-less Colts, look for Jackson to provide a ton of value.
Sleeper of the Week
Drake Says: John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills. The Jets can't stop deep passes and all the Bills can do is throw deep. Boom.
Allie Says: Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills. The club car on the Devin Singletary hype train was standing room only, so I bought a cheap seat (one-week only) on the Frank Gore Flex Express. Keep your expectations in check, but I like Gore’s chances to lead the Bills in Week 1 carries especially in and around the goal line.
Kevin Says: Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders. With the mercurial Antonio Brown out of the equation, Tyrell Williams will get a great chance to breakout on a Raiders team that will throw a ton due to game script. Against Denver at home, look for Williams to be involved early and often, especially with some deep shots.
Gary Says: Darren Waller, TE, Oakland Raiders. With AB inactive week 1, Carr will be forced to rely on Jacobs and Waller. Also, the Broncos can be beaten by tight ends, something Carr personally knows.
Steve Says: Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins. Derrius Guice has been named the starting running back for the Redskins, but he isn’t known for his acumen in the receiving game. Enter Chris Thompson and a game script where the Redskins are big underdogs to the Eagles and will likely be playing from behind. Thompson could be on the field a lot this week…
Ryan Says: KeeSean Johnson, WR, Arizona Cardinals. Johnson was the talk of the Cardinals preseason, and I don’t think he will see Darius Slay on him. After that the Lions defense doesn’t have a lot in the secondary. It’s no secret that the Cards are going to throw a lot, and even if Johnson only gets a couple big plays, that will still be a good game for him.
Bust of the Week
Gary Says: Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins. Guice versus the Eagles front 7 with no offensive line and a barely starting QB with no wide receivers.
Allie Says: Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets. Anderson continues to be hobbled by a lingering calf injury he sustained in practice which isn’t exactly ideal when your calling card is outside speed receiver. Also working against him is the likelihood that he’ll battle Buffalo’s best corner Tre’Davious White—so his fantasy floor feels lower than usual. If you must use him, then cross your fingers he comes up with a big play or two. Otherwise, leave him on your bench this week.
Kevin Says: David Johnson, RB, ARI. David Johnson will find it hard to run on a Lions’ defensive front that tightened up considerably, especially against the run, with the mid-season addition of Damon Harrison. Johnson salvage some value receiving, but it’ll be tough sledding for Johnson behind a patchwork offensive line that already loses tackle Marcus Gilbert this week.
Drake Says: Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills. Sorry but the hype train goes off the tracks when fans see the Bills offense doesn't dump off to RB's. Also Frank Gore will never die.
Steve Says: JuJu Smith Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers. JuJu is now the main man in the Pittsburgh wide receiver corp and he will see some very good corners this week in Stephon Gillmore and slot corner, Jason McCourty. He will have very good weeks this season, but I don’t think this will be one of them.
Ryan Says: Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets. He hasn’t played in an NFL game in a very long time, he is on a new team, didn’t play a snap in the preseason and goes against a strong rush defense. I think he will have a fine season, but it won’t start in Week 1.