Fantasy Football Mailbag – Let The Games Begin!

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Football is back! After 213 days of free agent signings, training camp reports, beat writer projections, and fantasy drafts, the new NFL season officially gets underway tonight as the Patriots welcome Kansas City to Foxboro. That typically triggers a sense of excitement to fans and fantasy players, but it can also trigger anxiety and hasty decision making.

Lucky for you, I am here to make sure that you don't make decisions that you are going to regret. That means don't trade away Mike Evans because he now has a Week 1 bye, don't drop Mike Gillislee if Rex Burkhead gets more carries tonight in New England, and don't panic if your first-round pick puts up a dud.

In the wise words of Aaron Rodgers: R-E-L-A-X. The fantasy season is a marathon, not a sprint. As frustrating as it can be to start the season 0-1 (or 0-2 or 0-3), sit back and be the one to capitalize on your leaguemates' overreactions and rash decisions. I truly believe that you draft a playoff team, but you put together a championship caliber team during the actual season, and this is just the start of it.

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Week 1 Mailbag - Q&A

Thanks again to everyone who reached out with questions for this week's mailbag! The response has been great and this will continue to be a weekly feature throughout the entirety of the season. Please continue to direct any/all questions by using #RotoBallerMailbag on Twitter or by emailing advice@rotoballer.com.

 

Until Andrew Luck is back and somewhat healthy, how do you value the IND wide outs? And how does the QB situation impact Frank Gore's role?

The Colts offense was far and away the most common topic of questions that I received this week, and for good reason. Until Luck is healthy, the entire offense takes a pretty significant hit. Scott Tolzien has a career TD:INT ratio of 2:7 and he threw for just 216 yards in his only legitimate appearance in 2016 (his first one since 2013). TY Hilton instantly goes from a WR1 to low-end WR2/WR3, Donte Moncrief goes from a WR3/FLEX play to bench material, and Frank Gore has to deal with defenses stacking the box and baiting Tolzien to make throws downfield. I'm not flat out benching Hilton or Gore in Week 1, but their upside is very much capped and I'm not starting any other Colts until Luck returns.

 

I was wondering whether I should play Adam Thielen or Adrian Peterson as my FLEX.

I'm going with Thielen in any sort of PPR format, and probably AP in standard. In general though, I'd prefer to play it safe with Thielen when we really have no clue how the Saints are going to utilize AP.

 

Thoughts on Kareem Hunt being vultured by the plethora of RBs and Tyreek Hill in KC?

I really like this question, and I also really like Kareem Hunt. I know that there has been recent reports about RBBC in Kansas City, but that has never been Andy Reid's style and I don't expect it to start now. He may not get off to a flying start and owners who grabbed him in the 3rd/4th rounds may panic, but I'd be surprised if he didn't return at least RB2 value at the end of the year. He's the most talented back in that offense, even with a healthy Spencer Ware, and that's usually enough to earn a workload. As for Hill, I expect to see a lot less of him in the backfield this season as he's locked in as the team's #1 wideout.

 

Do you think Rex Burkhead will overtake the four-headed monster of a RB situation in NE for most of the season?

Let me start by saying that nobody outside of Bill Belichick knows what the Patriots' plan is at RB this year (or any year). That said, I would not be surprised to see Burkhead end up as the team's first-choice back on early downs and/or in the red zone. Problem is, Mike Gillislee would get his share of touches touches with Dion Lewis and James White taking most passing downs, so Burkhead's ceiling is probably capped. So most consistent back in New England? Sure, it's possible, but his ceiling is very much touchdown-based.

 

Need three WR for Week 1 from: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Emmanuel Sanders, Stefon Diggs.

No need to overthink this one – go with Brown, Fitz, and Sanders. I like Diggs quite a bit this year, but stick to your guns for Week 1.

 

Which one would you drop: Jordan Matthews, Corey Davis, or Ted Ginn?

I have a feeling that you can find a way to hold onto all three, but I'd drop Davis of the bunch assuming it's a standard redraft league (no keeper or dynasty). Matthews is locked into a solid workload in Buffalo and Ginn offers great upside in New Orleans, especially with Willie Snead's suspension. I like Davis, but I'm expecting a slow start given his rookie status and his nagging hamstring.

 

More Week 1 Lineup Prep