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Under-The-Radar Booms/Busts: Week 1 Lineups


The NFL season is here, which means the fantasy football season is here, too!

One of the key ways to winning championships in fantasy football leagues and money in one-day fantasy contests is by finding under-the-radar players who have big weeks. Another way to win is to avoid the under-the-radar players who look like they could have big weeks but fantastically flame out with 12-yard rushing days or one-catch receiving outings.

This weekly column is dedicated to highlighting some players that might fly under fantasy radars, for better or for worse. So without further ado, here are my under-the-radar booms and busts for Week 1 of the 2019 fantasy football season. Good luck RotoBallers!

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Week 1 Under-the-Radar Booms

Phillip Dorsett (WR, NE) vs. PIT

Dorsett has been a fantasy disappointment since entering the NFL, but he did end the 2018 campaign on a high note by catching touchdown tosses in three of his last four games, including two playoff games. We know how Tom Brady has historically torched Pittsburgh’s defense throughout his storied career. With Rob Gronkowski retired, Josh Gordon clearing off the cobwebs, and the Patriots receiving corps in a state of flux, I think Dorsett will see a solid amount of passes Week 1. Look for Dorsett to have a six-catch, 70-yard game, and for one of his catches to end up with him visiting the end zone.

Quincy Enunwa (WR, NYJ) vs. BUF

Enunwa’s fantasy value might suffer as the season wears on because the addition of Jamison Crowder should mean a subtraction in Enunwa’s target total. Enunwa and Jets franchise quarterback Sam Darnold showed some serious chemistry together at times last season, however. Enunwa should be aimed at a lot by Darnold this weekend since tight end Chris Herndon is suspended and speedster Robby Anderson might not be 100 percent due to a calf injury. Buffalo’s above-average secondary might scare some fantasy players away, but do not be surprised if the hard-nosed Enunwa sees 10 targets and makes the most of his opportunities with an improved Darnold throwing to him and an improved offense around him. I love Enunwa this week as much as President Trump loves tweeting.

Latavius Murray (RB, NO) vs. HOU

Murray has been brought in to play the role of touchdown vulture since Mark Ingram has taken his talents to Baltimore, and there are not many running backs in the NFL who have the nose for the end zone Murray has (32 rushing TDs over the last four years). Houston’s run defense has been decimated now that Jadeveon Clowney and his run-stuffing talents were traded to Seattle for a third-round pick, couple backup linebackers and a Starbucks gift card. With Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and new multimillionaire Michael Thomas doing most of the work between the 20s, I am expecting Murray to be a busy man inside the red zone on Monday night. Murray will take advantage of Houston’s disarray on defense and barrel for 50-75 yards and a couple touchdowns.

John Brown (WR, BUF) at NYJ

The New York Jets secondary has been riddled with injuries throughout the preseason, so Brown and his fleet feet should be able to take advantage of their undermanned unit. Brown and quarterback Josh Allen should be a match made in fantasy heaven. Brown can sprint like a greyhound, and Allen has one of the strongest arms in the league. While slot receiver Cole Beasley will probably end up with more targets, Brown is sure to pull a Pete Alonso and hit a home run or two in this game. Pick up Brown for a one-day league or in a distance league and he should reward you.

 

Week 1 Under-the-Radar Busts

LeSean McCoy (RB, KC) at JAC

I think many fantasy players just assume that since “Shady” knows Andy Reid’s offense that he is going to walk right in and bump Damien Williams to No. 2 on the RB depth chart in KC. It will not be that easy as I am sure Reid’s system with the Chiefs has different calls, signals, formations and pass protections than the one he ran in Philadelphia had. So do not expect McCoy to waltz right in and get 15 touches in the most explosive offense in the AFC, and when he does get his touches he is going to run right into a stiff Jacksonville front seven that is anxious to erase the lingering stench from the 2018 season. McCoy will surely have some fantasy value within the next couple weeks, but not the opening week.

Devin Funchess (WR, IND) at LAC

If you thought Funchess was going to rack up receptions in bunches when he first signed with Indianapolis, those thoughts must have changed drastically once Andrew Luck retired. Funchess’ fantasy worth was tackled for a loss as soon as Luck said goodbye. Jacoby Brissett is a capable quarterback, but he is no luck. We saw what Funchess could do with Cam Newton as his QB (not much), and Brissett is no Newton, at least not yet. The Chargers have a top-10 pass defense on paper and should stifle Funchess this Sunday. 

Austin Hooper (TE, ATL) at MIN

Hooper emerged as a solid tight end in fantasy formats last season and could even be better in 2019 with another year of experience in Atlanta’s offense. Staying away from using him Week 1 is probably a decent idea, however. Mike Zimmer’s Minnesota pass defenses have been ranked in the top 3 in the NFL each of the past three seasons and should be just as staunch in 2019. Hooper versus a hyped-up Vikings secondary in the first game of the season does not sound like an optimum matchup to me. There are other low-priced tight ends I would prefer, such as Seattle's Will Dissly.

Michael Crabtree (WR, ARI) vs. DET

Crabtree landed in the perfect place since Kliff Kingsbury’s Cards will be throwing the ball all over the place and utilizing four-WR sets for most of their plays. The amount of gas left in Crabtree’s tank is questionable, though, and the bigger problem is that where he does his best work (the red zone) is the same area Arizona legend Larry Fitzgerald does his best work. Rookie phenom Kyler Murray will look Fitzgerald’s way before he looks Crabtree’s way, especially near the end zone. Crabtree might make many fantasy players crabby this weekend.

More Week 1 Lineup Prep




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