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2013 Fantasy Football Analysis: Sunday Morning 3 Up and 3 Down will bring you a 3 Up / 3 Down each week to help you understand the latest trends around the NFL and Fantasy Football. This is a special Sunday morning edition for Week 1. Enjoy!


2013 Fantasy Football - 3 Up / 3 Down for Week 1

And just like that the NFL season is underway. Peyton Manning was not excellent Thursday night yet he managed to tie an NFL record with 7 TDs. Three of his receiving options had a pair of touchdowns each. His first two touchdowns went to my number one UP spot on week one’s 3 UP/3 Down:


3 Up for Week 1

1.       Julius Thomas did not play football between his freshman year of high school and his final year of college. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder had one career reception before breaking out Thursday night to the tune of four receptions for 97 yards and two first-half touchdowns. Naturally, the expert that I am drafted Julius speculatively when I knew Dreesen and Tamme would be out. Before last night however he was un-owned in 95.3% of leagues. But let’s face it, if you’re playing at…well…never mind.

Baller Move: With Manning looking like himself again Julius has untapped potential and needs to be added in 2 TE or leagues that utilize a TE at flex.


2.       Quinton Patton was drafted in the 4th Round by the 49ers out of Louisiana Tech, and many experts believed he was a second round talent. After a finger injury limited his snaps early in camp Patton surged as one of the bright spots this preseason for the defending NFC Champs. He seems to have good chemistry with Colin Kaepernick and showed dynamic playmaking ability. He may not be huge or uber-fast with a 4.53 40-yd dash time but he has a knack for making plays. He could be a sneaky WR3 with Michael Crabtree out.

Baller Move: In 12 team leagues now might be the time to snag Patton before its too late.


3.       Darius Heyward-Bey was a bust for the Raiders, there is no debating that. However, he had poor quarterback play and a terrible line to credit that to. Now he is in an aerial assault-based offense with Andrew Luck at the helm. DHB drew rave reviews from his coaches and QB this preseason and could be poised for a breakout campaign.

Baller Move: DHB is a solid WR3/4 or flex play going into a week 1 bout with his former team

Honorable Mentions: Maurice Jones-Drew, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Tolbert (goal-line vulture)



3 Down for Week 1

1.       Lamar Miller/Daniel ThomasLet’s face it, the Miami backfield situation is a complete "meh" right now! All preseason long the team declared no clear-cut starter; still the saga continues. Thomas averaged a mere 2.74 ypc in the preseason while Miller averaged 4.24 but had some fumble issues. At this point I would advise you to stay away from using either as a RB2 and possibly using only Miller as a flex option until further notice.


2.       DeAndre Hopkins is playing catch-up after missing two weeks with a concussion. There’s no doubt he will be useful this season as a flex or WR3, it just won’t be in week 1. Keep the rookie stashed and expect him to make strides and become an asset by week 3.


3.       Baltimore DEF/Special Teams: We knew they had new faces and would miss veterans Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, but boy-oh-boy did the defense look bad on Thursday night’s opener. Peyton Manning picked them apart surgically and Jacoby Jones was injured leaving Lardarius Webb (Lardarius is a name?) to take over punt return duties. The Raven’s defense may not be the powerhouse we are accustomed to seeing anymore. Call me “DeLarShawn” from now on please.



For last minute week 1 lineup changes, check out these pieces by the writers: