Fantasy Pop Quiz - NFL Week 1

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I was faced with this thought the other day when, on Twitter, I joked that the weirdly under-discussed "Red Sox Steal Signs from Yankees" story wouldn't even be the biggest sports story of the day on September 5. And seriously, it wouldn't be; a few hours later the fact that the NFL's arbitrator upheld Ezekiel Elliott's suspension (not rendered; upheld) was a much bigger deal.

Now in context, sure, the NFL is bigger than MLB when it comes to the daily news cycle, even when baseball's biggest rivalry is in the center of the story.

It was another day of insane sports news that may only exist as a Jeopardy question, and in the vein of my "Fantasy Mad Libs" columns from 2016, the RotoBaller team asked themselves.... seriously, is there ever a right answer in the insane world of sports? Pop Quiz Answer: Nope

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Sharpen Your Pencils...

This year, I'll try my best to identify whatever the "right answer" is at each position when it comes to fantasy football, as well as sharing stories of what 2017 has left for me, including getting my soon to be wife into fantasy football, marrying my soon to be wife, and watching my soon to be wife potentially leave me because I've been overselling her on the success and value of Ezekiel Elliott in drafts, but he ends up doing something else silly. I'm excited to write it all out this year, and I'll be doing some expert chats as well, so you can ask me why the hell I made my picks each week and I'll try to begrudgingly defend myself. What a fun 2017!

Of course, the other story from September 5th is worth noting; a hurricane began it's descent on the coast of Florida, as well as some small islands and countries that surround the state. As a Houstonian who just watched the city adjust to Hurricane Harvey, I would encourage you, as you pay your fantasy league fees multiple times over, to consider helping a local Florida charity in the coming days as parts of the state look to re-build. You've seen this message a few times, I'm sure, but I saw the generosity pour into Houston, and I hope Florida isn't forgotten in its time of need.

 

Running Back

______ will either be on my bench or will ruin my week.

A: Marshawn Lynch
B: Bilal Powell
C: Eddie Lacy
D: CJ Anderson

I keep getting people who are trying to sell me on some of these guys on this list; Marshawn Lynch? Well he's running behind the best offensive line in the league, arguably, so why not Lynch? CJ Anderson may be the linchpin on a great offense, so why not him? But in Week One, I'm riding with Bilal Powell against a very weak Buffalo Bills defense, because apart from Robby Andersen, Powell may be the ride-or-die offensive player for the Jets as they toss, pass, and pray that Powell will gain decent yardage and drag their team to some scoring potential. Powell, in a crop of not-great options, is the best of the bunch here, and has a guaranteed workload unparalleled to the other guys here.

 

Against all odds, you should take a look at ___________ now

A: Christian McCaffrey
B: Jordan Howard
C: Ty Montgomery
D: Rob Kelley

DRUM SOLO! Sorry, sorry, I got excited. Phil Collins is super underrated. I actually think all of these guys could have a decent week to kick off the season, and normally I won't pick the highest ranked guy on my own list... but seriously, Jordan Howard is an RB1 this week against Atlanta, thought people are viewing Howard as an RB2. Chicago will lean on Howard in the first outing, and against Vic Beasley and his gang of pretty-good-but-not-great fellow defensive linemen won't be able to stop him fully. If you drafted Howard, you're rolling him out, but it's not the worst news in the world to find that your sophomore RB will have a great week.

 

Wide Receiver

Am I going to really roll with ____________ this week? (Yes. Yes I Am)

A: Stefon Diggs
B: T.Y. Hilton
C: Pierre Garcon
D: Davante Adams

This might look harder on paper, but right now you're asking a simple question; do you want the WR1 against one of the leagues worst secondaries, or do you want.... anyone else? Yes, T.Y. Hilton vs the Rams is pretty close, but it's actually not comparable to Stefon Diggswho, though he was being drafted not too far away from Adam Thielen, is in an incredibly favorable matchup against one of the league's worst secondaries according to PFF. Enjoy a good week for Diggs while you can, as I don't know how long he will have this job or this fantasy potential.
In Week 1, I will FLEX my muscles and put ________ in my lineup

A: Zay Jones
B: Tyrell Williams
C: Kevin White
D: Davante Adams

In the same vein as Powell, rookie Zay Jones is being lumped in with WR3's (and Kevin White) with the understanding that Jones, despite being part of an offense that doesn't represent much bite, is the WR1 against a defense that has even less. I wouldn't feel confident starting Jones all season, but in one of the few Week 1's with a BYE week in history, there are worse FLEX choices in deeper leagues.

 

Tight End

Parachute? I don't need no parachute, I have __________________

A: Coby Fleener
B: Charles Clay
C: Jared Cook
D: Zach Miller

Considering his contributions last year, I don't quite understand why everyone is so down on Zach Miller, especially after largely being undrafted, being a consistent end-zone target in 2016 when healthy, and facing a defense that... probably still isn't great on defense? I see Miller as a consistent free agency pick-up in leagues where I don't own him already, so if you're suddenly in need of a TE who might have some upside, especially if your drafted TE isn't set up for week one success (or already disappointed you on Thursday), bet on Miller to return to form.

 

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