Week 1 Fantasy Football Projections: Receivers Who Will Dominate Season-Opener
The 2013 NFL regular season is close to commencing and the time to build your fantasy football roster is running thin. With rosters being set and matchups being evaluated, that has every owner attempting to determine who should start and who should sit.
While every position warrants that question, there are certain players that are undeniably ready to dominate Week 1 at wide receiver.
Players that you need to start.
There are a number of superstar receivers, and each warrant their own form of consideration for your starting lineup in Week 1. With that being said, certain stars have more favorable matchups than others.
The following players will be the show-stealers during the season-opening week.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: New York Giants
2012 vs. Giants: 9 REC, 195 YDS
2012 Season Statistics
92 REC, 1,382 YDS, 12 TD
During the 2012 NFL regular season, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant erupted for 92 receptions, 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Each one of those numbers marked career-bests and it all transpired as Bryant battled a number of injuries.
Bryant will now open the 2013 season against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
The New York Giants have lost numerous players to free agency, and are now without defensive backs Stevie Brown, Will Hill and Tyler Sash due to injury, per RotoWorld.com. To make matters worse, Jason Pierre-Paul is recovering from back surgery and may not be available for Week 1, according to Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News.
Say what you will about Tony Romo's ability to win games, but he's one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL.
Romo has quite a few reliable targets, but Bryant has reached superstar status and needs a strong 2013 campaign to solidify his place amongst the best in the league. Against a Giants defense that has more emotion than skill, he should have no trouble finding his way into open spaces and racking up monster numbers.
If he's on your roster, start Bryant.
Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones & Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
In what should be one of the best games of the week, the Atlanta Falcons will travel to play the New Orleans Saints in a clash between NFC South division rivals. While the outcome of the game is in question, there's one thing that no one can deny:
If you have any of Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones or Roddy White on your fantasy football roster, you need to play them.
The Saints had a historically poor defense in 2012, and one of the only moves they made to improve in that regard is drafting rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro. For that reason, the most likely approach for Atlanta will be to throw the ball as much as possible.
As for those concerned with Matt Ryan's ability to spread the wealth, stop yourself before you miss the facts.
During the 2012 regular season, Jones finished with 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns, while White caught 92 passes for 1,351 yards and seven scores. Gonzalez, meanwhile, had 93 receptions, 930 yards and eight touchdowns.
In other words, Ryan can spread the wealth, and the addition of pass-catching running back Steven Jackson won't stop that. Atlanta will have no trouble throwing the football against the Saints and each one of its stars will shine.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
2012 vs. Vikings: 17 REC, 261 YDS, 1 TD
2012 Season Statistics
122 REC, 1,964 YDS, 5 TD
Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions is coming off of a record-setting season in which he caught 122 passes for 1,964 yards. Despite lacking a reliable No. 2 wide receiver or a running game to alleviate pressure, Johnson routinely dismantled the best defenses in the NFL.
So why wouldn't you start him against one of the worst?
The Vikings were 24th in the league in passing yards allowed in 2012, and even with the addition of Reggie Bush, the Lions are going to air it out. Matthew Stafford led the NFL with 727 passing attempts, with Drew Brees ranking second at 670.
We suggest that you start Stafford, as well.
On the receiving end of a majority of Stafford's passing attempts will be Johnson, who should have an easier time getting into the end zone in 2013. That all starts against a Vikings defensive backfield led by the likes of Chris Cook, Josh Robinson and Xavier Rhodes.
Good luck, Minnesota. You're going to need a lot of it.
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