Fantasy Football: Video Review of Players to Help Your Team Win in 2011
Week 1 in the NFL is about to kickoff and for those fantasy owners mulling their starting lineup, here is a short suggestion of which players that are ready to put up considerable points for your team.
Each team has a grouping of studs that will always be a sure thing to bring good production to your roster, and are always going to help carry you for the week.
Here is a list of some studs, regulars and duds that should be on your fantasy roster and are primed to start 2011 with style.
Jermichael Finley: Green Bay Packers, Tight End
The Packers will be pass-reliant against the Saints on Thursday night when they open the NFL season.
With concerns about the effectiveness and ability of the Packers' offensive line to protect Aaron Rodgers, and to open zones for the running backs to rush through, the Packers will look to supplement their deficit through the air.
While the Saints are busy double-teaming or cheating defensive backs over to Greg Jennings, look for Donald Driver and James Jones to be the most available wideouts in this game.
Jermichael Finley will be a huge part of this offensive scheme this year, and in Week 1, he will be attacking the safeties over the middle and is projected to have a 70-yard day with the possibility of two touchdowns in this game.
Start him with confidence and brag to your league about your stud tight end!
Julio Jones: Atlanta Falcons, Wide Receiver
Atlanta already has a dangerous receiver in Roddy White, and with the addition of speedster Julio Jones to this club, they are set of become one of the league's most dynamic tandems.
Despite Jones being a rookie, he has shown he is capable of competing at the NFL level, and has had one of the most impressive camp for rookie's this year.
When Atlanta faces off against the Chicago Bears, I expect Jones to be targeted frequently.
The Falcons will establish the rush with Michael Turner and open up the passing game for the receiving corps.
Although White will get the most attention all around, Jones should post a respectable 75 yards and a score, despite the Bears secondary improving with the addition of Brandon Meriweather.
The kid is that good!
Tim Hightower: Washington Redskins, Running Back
Tim Hightower has seemingly found a rebirth in the nation's capital.
Although we have seen his history of good preseasons followed by mediocrity, this year seems to be the changing of the guard.
Whether it's John Beck or Rex Grossman at Quarterback, the Redskins will look to rush the ball as they are a traditional NFC East team.
With the receiving tandem of Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney elevating the Redskins' receiving corps, the Mike Shanahan zone-blocking run game is perfect for Hightower to flourish.
The Redskins play the Giants in Week 1, and the Giants have defensive concerns going into this game. The clip above was against the Ravens starting defense (albeit preseason), but the Giants are no Baltimore Ravens.
Look for Hightower to yield 115 yards on the ground and two scores.
Andre Roberts: Arizona Cardinals, Wide Receiver
Everyone expects Arizona to be all about Larry Fitzgerald, mostly due to the lack of a legitimate No. 2 receiver.
Early Doucet is slow and inconsistent, and is sinking on the depth chart.
Kevin Kolb has developed a nice rapport with young Andre Roberts, and he has impressed in camp this season.
He is multi-talented and has speed, hands and the ability to run routes crisply. While the entire world focuses on Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, defenses must account for Roberts.
The Cardinals have the potential to have a newer version of Fitzgerald/Boldin with this player on the other side of Fitzgerald.
Arizona plays Carolina in Week 1, and Roberts will have a nice opening day to his sophomore year in the NFL.
Look for five receptions for 55 yards and a score.
Lee Evans: Baltimore Ravens, Wide Receiver
Baltimore thought they needed a deep threat last year, so they signed Dante Stallworth.
Now that we have returned from the fantasy land the Ravens were visiting when they made that decision, Baltimore really does have the threat they need in Lee Evans.
The Ravens are playing Pittsburgh in Week 1, which will be a tough game by the nature of the rivalry between these two clubs, however, Joe Flacco has his timing with Evans down and will use him.
Evans isn't going to be a fantasy beast as a points producer each week, but he could be an awesome No. 3 on your fantasy team or serve in the W/R options in most leagues.
Evans should have the ability to rack up 65 yards and a score for the Ravens in this game, he's a definite start.
Plaxico Burress: New York Jets, Wide Receiver
All I can say is I feel bad for the Dallas Cowboys secondary.
Plaxico Burress is a definite start in Week 1 against a Dallas team that will be severely mismatched when they play the New York Jets.
Despite Burress' layover in jail, his return to the NFL will be one of the most anticipated since fellow inmate Michael Vick.
Burress may not be targeted as much as Santonio Holmes, simply as a precaution since it has been a while since he has played a full game in the NFL, but nonetheless, you should start him.
Look for Burress to be a presence in the passing game, especially on those third and long plays.
Burress should be able to catch for 80 yards and at least one touchdown.
Welcome back Plax.
Bernard Berrian: Minnesota Vikings, Wide Receiver
Here is that dud I spoke of earlier.
Bernard Berrian would rather forget his last two seasons and especially the most previous one.
Berrian was, at one time, considered to be a viable option in the fantasy world, and then jumped off a cliff into obscurity.
2011 could be the year he awakens as his ability to produce in Minnesota has risen with the acquisition of Donovan McNabb and the loss of Sidney Rice.
Berrian can't be in a crowded house and be happy. With Percy Harvin as the No.1 in Minnesota, and Michael Jenkins serving a limited role, Berrian is primed to regain value again in fantasy circles.
I would grab Berrian off the waiver wire and hold him as an insurance player. He is worth a look as your No. 3 or W/R option, as well as to add depth and make the occasional start.
If Berrian does catch fire, you look like the mad scientist of your league.
As for the game against the San Diego Chargers, I can see him accumulating 45 to 60 yards, but not sure about scoring at this point.
Fantasy sleeper alert!
Earl Bennett: Chicago Bears, Wide Receiver
I've said it once and I'll say it again; Devin Hester is not a primary receiver.
I know the Bears expect Hester to be a No. 2 receiver, but it just isn't going to happen. Yes he will produce and score some touchdowns, but things in Chicago apparently don't follow logic.
Chicago has Johnny Knox behind Roy Williams, despite having a great preseason, and leading the team's group last year with 960 yards and five scores.
His fellow victim, Earl Bennett, is listed behind Hester despite outplaying him.
Earl Bennett should be considered the No. 2 receiver alongside Knox, but this is Chicago.
Although his chances will be decreased, Bennett will still produce some points, and is one of those players you can pick up from the waivers in your league and bury him in your depth chart when you need to fill a spot.
Bennett should have around 35 yards this game against Atlanta, and always has the possibility of scoring as he is a good third down and red-zone target for Jay Cutler.
Risk sometimes equals reward.
Nate Burleson: Detroit Lions, Wide Receiver
Detroit is going to have much-improved success in 2011, and is a possible sleeper team for a playoff bid.
While everyone expects Matt Stafford to only lock into Calvin Johnson, so will opposing defenses.
Nate Burleson is set to have an even bigger year in the Lions scheme this year as he will have more targets to him as Johnson draws the attention.
Burleson has the speed, hands and experience that a receiver needs. He also possesses the ability to run the deep route as good as Johnson.
Couple this with Stafford's ability to get the ball to him, and you have a solid No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in deeper leagues.
In the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I can see him gathering 95 yards and at least one touchdown.
Burleson is a player that can balance out your roster, get him if you can!
Willis McGahee: Denver Broncos, Running Back
If your league is one that starts two or three running backs and has flex options, then chances are you've been looking for a body to fill the position.
In Denver, Willis McGahee looks to provide a major shot in the arm to a horrid red-zone team from 2010.
McGahee will back up Knowshon Moreno and spell him on third downs, red zone, and goal line possessions.
That all equals touchdowns and points for you from a back that will have limited yards to gain points from.
This is an excellent pickup as well, as McGahee still has gas left in the tank and if Moreno is injured, he will be his successor.
In the game against Oakland, McGahee is projected to have about 30 yards rushing, 15 yards receiving and could score at least two touchdowns.
Add him without fear, he will generate points on a weekly basis unless the Broncos go into a scoring funk.
There are always options available for the fantasy owner willing to do his due diligence and search for the best possible players available to round out his team.
Fantasy football isn't all about the number of stars you can collect, but the amount of players that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Let other owners scramble because they missed out on the players that you knew about long before they started looking.
Win your league with confidence knowing that by doing your homework, you can build a roster that can overcome lack of production, scoring droughts and injuries, and make you the toughest team in your league.
Good luck fellow fantasy owners wherever you are!