I’m sure our readers are just as antsy for the weekend to begin as the Bruno Boys are, so that Sunday can arrive and with it a new NFL season, so I’m not going to keep them waiting. Let’s get right to the Week One edition of the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Roundtable.
WEEK ONE BURNING QUESTIONS
1. As we head into week one of the fantasy football season, what do you think is the biggest mistake owners make in regards to their week one lineups?
Bruno Boys Jimbo: The biggest mistake I think that fantasy football owners make to their Week One lineups is over thinking and sitting their studs for some duds based on matchups!
Yes, taking the advice of experts such as us, the Bruno Boys, is definitely something they want to do, but when it comes down to it, they drafted their studs for a reason! Play them!
Bruno Boys Whooley: Damn you, Jimbo! First question of the roundtable and you already take one of my answers, but yes, I totally agree with you. Over thinking and over analyzing week one matchups is a huge problem. You drafted certain guys higher than others because they’re the better player, play them.
With that being said, I’ll throw another mistake owners make. Just because your draft is over, doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention prior to week one. Injuries happen, cuts happen, depth chart movements happen. Make sure you pay attention so that you’re filling in a complete lineup.
2. We have spent months talking about sleepers and breakout players but tell us ONE player who has flown under the radar this preseason but will be a FIRST ROUND fantasy football pick in 2010?
Bruno Boys Jimbo: If he stays healthy, I think Cadillac Williams could be a candidate for comeback player of the year this year and shoot right back up in the rankings for next season. Let’s not forget what kind of RB he was before he went down on the IR.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may end up using an RBBC similar to the New York Giants, but with Williams atop the depth chart, having him assume a role similar to what Brandon Jacobs has with the Giants right now should be effective. We all know Derrick Ward is familiar with that system.
Bruno Boys Whooley: Hey, I have an idea, why not Thomas Jones? After a season in which he posted 1,312 rushing yards and 15 total TDs, Jones got no respect this off-season due to the departure of Brett Favre from the New York Jets and the threat of the potential emergence of Leon Washington and Shonn Greene.
However, if Jones posts numbers anywhere close to what he did last year, fantasy owners will be forced to give Jones a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
LIGHTNING ROUND (Fantasy Football Questions in a Flash)
Real Deal or Pre-Season Wonder
1. James Davis, RB, Cleveland Browns
Bruno Boys Jimbo: REAL DEAL. James Davis will have Jamal Lewis’ job by the time this season is over. With Lewis, you have an aging veteran who almost didn’t make the team this year. Davis totaled 186 yards on 24 attempts, finishing seventh among RBs in the preseason. While it is the preseason, that’s still impressive.
Davis will become the running back the Cleveland Browns have been waiting for to help take some pressure of their passing attack.
Bruno Boys Whooley: REAL DEAL. Let’s be honest, Jamal Lewis’ best years are behind him—a point demonstrated by the fact that the Cleveland Browns were on the verge of releasing the back prior to the regular season despite already paying him a hefty bonus.
Meanwhile, Davis averaged a solid 5.15 ypc during his collegiate career and showed in the preseason that he has the speed, explosiveness, and moves to be a playmaker in the NFL.
2. Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Bruno Boys Whooley: REAL DEAL. I have to admit, I’m torn here. Henry has always had the talent to be a solid wide receiver in the NFL, but off-the-field issues have always prevented him from fulfilling the potential.
In the end, I think whether he’s the real deal or preseason wonder all depends on if he’s able to keep his nose out of trouble. Perhaps it’s just my unyielding faith that people can change, but I’m going to give Henry the benefit of the doubt and say he’s seen the error of his ways.
Bruno Boys Jimbo: PRESEASON WONDER. Sure, Chris Henry had a nice preseason, scoring four times, but let’s be real for a minute. Henry is third on the depth chart for the Cincinnati Bengals. Consistency has been a major issue thus far for Henry, as he has been one of the ultimate boom or bust fantasy football options.
One week he’ll get you a 60-yard touchdown and the next week, two catches for 15 yards. On top of that, the Bengals have had numerous problems with their offense in general the past two years.
3. Glen Coffee, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Bruno Boys Jimbo: REAL DEAL. Glen Coffee had an excellent preseason, posting a league-high 249 yards. The future looks bright for Coffee because of the situation he’s found himself in. The San Francisco 49ers want to run the ball, and Frank Gore seems to be a bit injury prone since his huge 2006 campaign.
If Gore goes down again in 2009, and Coffee does a nice job filling in for him, 2010 will see an RB tandem for the Niners like the Carolina Panthers have currently.
Bruno Boys Whooley: REAL DEAL. First and foremost, let’s be clear the San Francisco 49ers are still Frank Gore’s team. With that said, they have to be filling good with Coffee as the back-up after the show he put on in the preseason. While the real deal, Coffee probably won’t contribute heavily to the world of fantasy football for at least a year or so, that is unless Gore goes down in 2009.
4. Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Bruno Boys Jimbo: REAL DEAL. I’m giving Joe Flacco the benefit of the doubt because of his ability to be a productive QB. In order for him to be the real deal, the Baltimore Ravens MUST acquire a top tier receiver for him to throw to.
The options that Flacco has right now are average at best. Get Flacco somebody who can spread the field and you could be looking at a potential Top-10 QB.
Bruno Boys Whooley: REAL DEAL. I didn’t need to see a strong showing from Flacco this pre-season to consider him a real deal. He proved that last year to me by becoming the first rookie quarterback to win two games in the post-season.
WEEK ONE MATCHUPS (Who’ll Have the Better Week?)
1. Ronnie Brown (Mia) vs. Michael Turner (Atl)
Bruno Boys Jimbo: BROWN. It’s hard to bet against Michael Turner, but in this Week One matchup, I like Ronnie Brown’s chances of being able to beat the Atlanta Falcons’ defense, as opposed to Turner vs. the Miami Dolphins.
Miami’s defense ranked 10th vs. the run last year, while Atlanta was 25th. I still think Turner will have a decent outing, but Brown will have the better day.
Bruno Boys Whooley: TURNER. Matchup, smatchup. Turner had 12 double digit fantasy outings to Brown’s 6 last season. For all you that failed math, that’s twice as many. Furthermore, take away Brown’s monster day against the New England Patriots last season and the rest of his season was average at best.
2. Ray Rice (Bal) vs. Willis McGahee (Bal) vs. Dwayne Bowe (KC)
Bruno Boys Jimbo: RICE. This is an easy one to me. Ray Rice has earned the top spot on the Baltimore Ravens’ depth chart. While Willis McGahee will vulture some touchdowns, Rice will be gaining all the yards and will probably hit paydirt at least once against the very sub-par rush defense that the Kansas City Chiefs have.
I’d feel better about Dwayne Bowe’s game if Cassel was 100 percent. Even if Cassel plays, how effective will he be?
Bruno Boys Whooley: RICE. First of all, let’s take McGahee out of this equation right off the bat. Yes, I know it’s a committee in Baltimore, but Rice is the clear cut No. 1 of that committee. With McGahee gone, the debate comes down to Rice or Bowe, and with all the questions surrounding Bowe this season added to a bad matchup with the Ravens, Rice gets the nod.
3. Brian Westbrook (Phi) vs. DeAngelo Williams (Car))
Bruno Boys Jimbo: WESTBROOK. We’re not exactly sure what kind of Brian Westbrook we’ll see in 2009 because he passed on all the preseason games. But as long as this All-Pro is healthy, you can’t go wrong with Westbrook. DeAngelo Williams will be facing a much tougher defense, and if Jonathan Stewart is playing, which it looks like he will, Williams will lose some carries to Stewart.
The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, recently stated that LeSean McCoy will only be used if Westbrook needs a rest, but they’re planning on Westbrook to get most of the action this week.
Bruno Boys Whooley: WILLIAMS. How can you go against fantasy’s best RB from 2008 in week 1? The only reason Williams fell in draft’s this offseason was the presence of Jonathan Stewart; however, while it looks like Stewart will go in week one, despite nursing an Achilles injury, you can be sure the Panthers’ won’t use him heavily, meaning Williams will get a good chunk of carries in this one.
4. Eddie Royal (Den) & Brandon Marshall (Den) vs. Chad Ochocino (Cin) & Chris Henry (Cin)
Bruno Boys Whooley: ROYAL & MARSHALL. All four of these guys have potential in week One as this should be an offensive affair; however, I’m going to give the nod to Royal and Marshall here. While they may not have the more talented QB in this match-up, they are the more talented players.
Bruno Boys Jimbo: ROYAL & MARSHALL. Despite Kyle Orton’s status being uncertain for Week 1, I like Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall in this game because Royal should see a lot more looks than Chris Henry will. I have more confidence that Marshall will come out and have a big first game more than Chad Ochocinco.
I think Ochocinco and Carson Palmer will have a comeback year this season, but I like Marshall’s playmaking abilities more. In the end, I think this game will be an offensive shootout all around.
5. Brett Favre (Min) vs. The Mystery Quarterback (Cle)
Bruno Boys Jimbo: FAVRE. Brady Quinn is still going to face a learning curve despite getting the job for the Cleveland Browns. I’ll take Brett Favre in this matchup because of the Minnesota Vikings’ defense. The Vikes will keep the Browns off the field for the majority of the game, giving Favre plenty of time on the field.
Bruno Boys Whooley: FAVRE. The fact that Eric Mangini had to try and keep his starting QB secret, shows just how little confidence he has in his man under center. Meanwhile, Favre may burn out at some point this season, but, we’re talking about week one here.
6. Andre Johnson (Hou) vs. New York Jets Defense
Bruno Boys Jimbo: JOHNSON. The strength of the New York Jets’ defense is their ability to stop the run. In addition, two members on the Jets defense (Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace) will not be playing in Week One.
It appears as though Matt Schaub will be good to go on Sunday, and as long as he stays on the field, we should be seeing him hook up with Andre Johnson all day long.
Bruno Boys Whooley: JOHNSON. 115 receptions in 2008 tells me one thing—Andre Johnson is a beast! Defenses can’t stop him, they can only hope to contain him.
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Fantasy Football Projections: Week One