Week 15
December 16, 2017


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Stefon Diggs

Minnesota Vikings

Diggin' It and Thielen It

The Vikings have played five out of their last six games on the road. They return home this week to face a banged-up Bengals defense and Kyle Rudolph is out. Stefon Diggs has played in four home games this year. He has hit 27.7 and 40.3 on DK in two of them.

Fantasy Goo: Diggs has never played a game without Rudolph in the line-up, so we don’t really know how this will affect his targets. Cincinnati has been without both starting CB’s, but may get Dre Kirkpatrick back this week. I have Diggs as a WR2/Flex this week with Thielen being a solid WR1, must start.

12/15/17, 05:20 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Robert Woods

Los Angeles Rams

Back in Action

Seahawks Weeks 1-9 (With Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman)
Passing success rate allowed: 2nd
Explosive pass rate allowed:19th
Weeks 11-14 (Without Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman)
Passing success rate allowed: 22nd
Explosive pass rate allowed: 24th

Fantasy Goo: Robert Woods comes back this week, so I’m moving Watkins way down. Watkins production went up about 70% across the board with Woods out. Kupp’s production went up with Woods out as well, but even with Woods in the line-up he was second on the team in targets. Woods might need to knock some rust off after being out for three weeks so I have Woods and Kupp in the WR3/Flex range, and feel safe with starting either one.

12/15/17, 05:17 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jag's Starting JAG's

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette missed his third straight day of practice today due to his quad injury. No practice all week.

Fantasy Goo: I expect Yeldon and Ivory to split the touches if Fournette doesn’t play, neither seems to be worth starting, but Houston has given up five rushing TD’s in the past three games (one to a QB).

12/15/17, 05:14 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Jordan Howard

Chicago Bears

Here Comes the BOOM!

Detroit is allowing 3.4 offensive touchdowns per game over the past five weeks, the most in the league, they have also allowed a rushing touchdown in eight straight games. Jordan Howard is tied for the most runs of 10 or more yards (30) on the season. Howard has had 12 100-yard rushing games in his first two seasons and he wasn’t even the starter the first four games last year.

Fantasy Goo: Howard is really boom-bust, he has yet to pair together fantasy RB1 weeks this year. He had a huge game last week and his match-up this week is just too sweet to think that he won’t be able to break this trend.

12/15/17, 05:12 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

In the Clear

Zach Ertz has cleared the concussion protocol and will play this week.

He’s pretty much ranked as the number three TE across the industry, but I think he lacks the boom upside we might think he has against the Giants. His production with Foles, back in 2013, was only slightly lower than his production this year. In the first nine games the Giants gave up a TD to a TE in every game. In the last four games the Giants have only given up one, to Jason Witten, who has historically torched the Giants, it was his only catch of the game. They even managed to keep Kelce out of the end-zone, I believe a couple of OPI’s were involved there and Kelce did get 109 yards receiving though. I believe Ertz is a prime candidate for 5/50/1, but I don’t expect him to win you your week or be worth paying up for in DFS.

12/15/17, 05:11 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles

Not Skipping a Beat

Carson Wentz is out for the season, and maybe some of Next season with a torn ACL. Over their first 24 games Foles has more TD’s, fewer INT’s, and more yards that Wentz has in his first 24 games. Foles was a Pro Bowler who threw 27 TD & 2 INT with the Eagles in 2013. The last time Nick Foles faced the Raiders, he threw for 7 TDs.

Fantasy Goo: I’m not saying there won’t be an adjustment period and I’m not trying to say the Eagles are better-off without Wentz, but Foles is a very capable back-up and if he can stir-up that 2013 magic the Eagles should be fine. Normally I’d say wait a week before starting Foles or any of the skill position players on the Eagles, but with it being week 15 and the match-up being a weak Giants defense, I’m starting them all as you usually would.

12/13/17, 03:59 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Lamar Miller

Houston Texans

Miller a Solid Cash Play on DFS

Miller will face the 49'ers, who according to Football Outsiders ranks 30th in Defensive DVOA.

Fantasy Goo: In the last 3 weeks, Miller is 6th in total carries. In cash games, you want opportunity. Considering the 49'ers run one of the fastest paced offenses in the league, his carries, already in the top 10 in recent weeks, should see an increase.

12/10/17, 11:14 AM CST by PyromaniacMo

Source: www.footballoutsiders.com

Giovani Bernard

Cincinnati Bengals

Gio Free Square

Gio is gets the starting role today as there as Mixon is out.

Fantasy Goo: The man is only $3100 on Draft Kings. The Baengals are home and 6 point favorites. The game script could easily favor the ground game, which means Gio should get plenty of touches to surpass 3X value.

12/10/17, 10:57 AM CST by PyromaniacMo

Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

Still in Concussion Protocol

Eagles still want to look at TE Zach Ertz and his concussion on Sunday, but he is considered doubtful for game vs. Rams even though he is listed as questionable.

Fantasy Goo: Trey Burton has been a big name all week, going for 4 receptions for 42 yards after Ertz’s exit last week. Burton is a versatile athlete, but not a premier TE like Ertz. His good numbers came against Denver which is giving up the second most points to the TE position this year. Philly faces the Rams this week who are sixth best in fantasy points allowed. I'm not considering Burton a good stream this week.

12/10/17, 10:19 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Ameer Abdullah

Detroit Lions

Pain in the Neck

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah (neck, questionable) is not expected to play today, source said, though it's more for play than injury reasons. Detroit is trying other players to improve the run game.

Fantasy Goo: This isn’t surprising given Abdullah’s disappointing performances over the past year and more.
Tion Green led the team with 51 rushing yards in his debut last week, and figures to be the Lions' ball-carrier Sunday in Tampa. Pass-catcher Theo Riddick will see reps as well and I expect that he has a safer floor especially in PPR.

12/10/17, 10:05 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Chris Hogan

New England Patriots

Primed for Monday Return

Hogan has been out the past four weeks and has basically caused me a playoff berth in one of my dynasty leagues. If you’re still in it I’d get him into the line-up. With Gronk out Hogan should see a solid number of targets.

12/10/17, 10:03 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Amari Cooper

Oakland Raiders

It's A Trap

Source says, if Cooper can cut at full speed and start and stop in pregame workout, they will use him on a limited basis or “pitch count.” Calls it a “very dramatic turnaround” from what team was expecting 48 hours ago.

Fantasy Goo: Total decoy move, I’m not starting him even if he is healthy enough to play. Cooper went for 11/210/2 when he faced the Chiefs in Week 7, so it is tempting to put him in, but you’ve got to figure that the Raiders want him in there just so the Chiefs have to play coverage his way and leave Crabtree in single coverage.

12/10/17, 10:01 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams

Lower Expectations This Week

Todd Gurley has just 1 TD over his last four games, but still has finished as RB6, RB16, RB8, and RB7 in those games. The TD came in the RB16 week. Insane usage AND efficiency from Gurley.

Fantasy Goo: He’s been the most consistent RB1 for the entire season, which is a nice turn-around from a disappointing 2016. He faces the Eagles this week who are second-best in fantasy points allowed to the RB position this year. I think we have to start him, but expectations must be lowered. He’s a fade in DFS this week.

12/09/17, 12:58 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Josh Gordon

Cleveland Browns

Balls Flying Everywhere

Per @rotounderworld, 70% of DeShone Kizer's pass attempts have been catchable balls, the third-lowest rate among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts this season. Winds expected near 20 mph in Cleveland this week.

Fantasy Goo: I would not consider starting Kizer at any point this year, but the key question here is will he be able to get the ball anywhere near Josh Gordon. He was only able to catch 4 of the 11 balls thrown in his direction last week, but he was going against one of the top corners in the league. He was still able to rack up 85 yards, and had over 200 air-yards, so we can be confident the opportunity will be there. If I had him anywhere I would most likely start him and will probably have him ranked as a mid-range WR2.

12/09/17, 12:53 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Andy Dalton

Cincinnati Bengals

Red Rocket Time

Andy Dalton’s finishes last 3 weeks: QB9, QB12, QB6. Over the last 3 wks he is QB 7.
This week he faces Chicago whose pass defense over the past 3 games is allowing a QBR of 103, a 68% completion percentage, and 6th highest passing percentage for 1st downs.

Fantasy Goo: Dalton is a viable streamer this week, but I hesitate to rank him in the top 12. If you’re in the playoffs you’re probably just riding with what got you there, but if you’re stuck with a questionable match-up Dalton is a solid option. Also consider that while Chicago’s defense has looked good most of the year, their best games have been at home, this game is in Cincinnati.

12/09/17, 12:50 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Tyrod Taylor

Buffalo Bills

Sore Knee Opens Door for Peterman

Nathan Peterman has taken all the first-team reps and it would be utterly shocking if he’s not the starter in a game the Bills must win if they hope to entertain any further thoughts about staying alive in the AFC wild-card playoff chase.

Fantasy Goo: This is a dream match-up, but I wouldn’t consider starting Peterman after his last performance (5 Int’s). If Taylor is able to start we should probably pump the breaks on him as well. The match-up is great, but his knee is the issue holding him back, if he loses his rushing numbers he loses his fantasy upside.

12/09/17, 12:45 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.democratandchronicle.com

Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphins

Love the Drake

Per PFF, Percentage of Touches With At Least One Missed Tackle Forced:
Kenyan Drake: 25.7% (4th-best), Jay Ajayi: 15.7% (25th-of-50)

Fantasy Goo: Damien Williams is out so Drake should see 20+ touches, even in negative game-script he’ll get catches out of the backfield. When we are looking for a starting RB the first thing to look at is opportunity, and it’s definitely there this week.

12/07/17, 08:00 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Rex Burkhead

New England Patriots

The Belichick Shuffle

Rex Burkhead has scored a touchdown once every 13.2 touches. Alvin Kamara has scored a touchdown once every 13.3 touches.

Fantasy Goo: Burkhead has seen as many touches as Lewis over the past two weeks and is getting goal-line carries, against Miami this week I’ll consider them both RB2’s.

12/07/17, 07:55 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Devin Funchess

Carolina Panthers

Momentum vs Match-Up

Since Kelvin Benjamin was traded, Devin Funchess has averaged 18.4 PPR PPG. That would be good enough for the WR5 on the full season.

Fantasy Goo: Funchess will be facing Xavier Rhodes this week, Rhodes has been slowed by injuries over the past few weeks, but seems to be coming back to health. I’m certainly not considering him as a WR1 this week and if you’re in the playoffs you probably have other options, but if you don’t go with what got you there.

12/07/17, 07:52 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Mark Ingram

New Orleans Saints

Pair of Aces

The Panthers allowed more RB1 games in Week 13 (2) than they had the rest of the season combined (1).

Fantasy Goo: The Saints running game is for real, Kamara and Ingram are both must-starts. They could shred a middle-of-the-road run defense like Atlanta.

12/07/17, 07:21 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints

Pair of Aces

The Panthers allowed more RB1 games in Week 13 (2) than they had the rest of the season combined (1).

Fantasy Goo: The Saints running game is for real, Kamara and Ingram are both must-starts. They could shred a middle-of-the-road run defense like Atlanta.

12/07/17, 07:21 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

2014 - Week 1 Fantasy Football Player Rankings - Quarterbacks

2014 - Week 1 Fantasy Football Player Rankings - Quarterbacks

Posted by Dawgmaticå on 09/02/14

by   The Archer


More Articals


2014 Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings - Quarterbacks




Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 1





RB Rankings  WR Rankings  TE Rankings




Quarterbacks                 (Updated:  Friday, Sep. 5 - 5:56PM CT)



Peyton Manning - Pyro Character

1.       Peyton Manning (vs. Ind, Sunday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #21 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Peyton Manning LOVES playing on the big stage - at least during the regular season - so with the Broncos being set up with a Sunday Night game at home in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts, you know the fireworks will be spraying high and wide. In fact, Manning and the Broncos were given the opening game of the season on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens last year, where Peyton proceeded to throw for 462 yards and an insane SEVEN touchdowns.


I’m not expecting him to repeat that performance here, but in the Donkeys matchup against the Colts last season (at Indy), Peyton threw for 386 yards and three TDs, numbers that could easily be reached and possibly outdone. You see, Manning ALSO loves to administer serious forms of “payback” when he gets the chance, as he did against the Ravens in Week 1 last season after they bounced him from the playoffs in 2012. Denver took their first loss of the 2013 season to the Colts in what was also a nationally televised Sunday Night game, so you can bet Manning will be gunning for a little vengeance this this time around.


As far as the tools Manning will have, Wes Welker was just suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on PEDs, so obviously he won’t be around. However, Demaryius Thomas will of course be there, and even though Indy will likely stick CB Vontae Davis on him, I’m still expecting a huge game from him. With Eric Decker now a New York Jet, newcomer Emmanuel Sanders will have his first chance to show just how dangerous he can be as the team’s WR2 instead of where he was going to be slotted, at the WR3 position. The job will now go to the combination of Andre Caldwell and promising second-round rookie, Cody Latimer. TE Julius Thomas has now had a full off-season of working with Peyton under his belt, so his improvement is imminent, while Montee Ball takes over for Knowshon Moreno as the Broncos lead back, a move the guys here at Pyro see as a positive for everyone involved.


Drew Brees - Pyro Character

2.       Drew Brees (at Atl)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #4 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Brees opens up the season with a tasty matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Drew has faced the Falcons 30 times in his career with a 17-13 record against them. The best stat that Brees has going for him against the Dirty Birds is a 302 yards per game passing average. He has also tossed 34 touchdowns to only 19 interceptions against them. Last season Brees torched the Atlanta defense to the tune of 317 yards passing per game, with four touchdowns and only one interception. If you drafted Brees you should feel good about his week one matchup.


Nick Foles - Pyro Character

3.       Nick Foles (vs. Jac)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #5 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


The Eagles kick off the season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That gives Foles the 5th best strength of schedule this week. Last year, the Jags gave up 23.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. That gave them a ranking of 29 out of 32. That is exactly what you want to hear as a Foles owner. In 2013, Foles played in 13 games and only started 10. That was still good enough to give him the final fantasy QB ranking of number 11, and according to value based drafting, he was number 1. Foles had an incredible TD to interception ratio of 13.5 to 1. Certainly his interceptions will rise this year, but it will not start in game one. The Jags only had 11 INTs in all of 2013, that was tied for 4th fewest in the league. This is clearly a game the Eagles will win, and Foles likes to win. Since he came into the league in 2012, Foles completion percentage is 66.78% in games they win and has an even better TD to INT ratio of 25 to 1 in those tilts. Foles will be able to spread the wealth through the air, Philly wide receivers have the best strength of schedule in week 1, they will rip up the Jags secondary.


Andrew Luck - Pyro Character

4.       Andrew Luck (at Den, Sunday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #T-8 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Andrew Luck had his second-best fantasy game of the season against the Denver Broncos last year when he threw for 228 yards and three TDs while rushing for another 29 yards and a touchdown. In what looks to be another shootout in the making (Indy won 39-33 last year), I’m expecting at least 40 passing attempts out of Luck which he should be able to turn into a boatload of fantasy points.


Denver made some nice improvements to their defense this past offseason, but the Colts may have improved their offense even more. Three players returning from injury, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dwayne Allen will definitely help Indy’s scoring potential, and while Hakeem Nicks may not be the same promising player from a few years back, he’ll still be a nice asset to the Colts aerial assault this season. If the Horseshoes want to win this game, it’ll be on the back of Mr. Luck, so look for a ton of fantasy action out of the third-year QB.


Matthew Stafford - Pyro Character

5.       Matthew Stafford (vs. NYG, Monday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #25 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


The G-men roll into Motown for the early Monday night game. The Giants have a tough defense against the pass. Pyro ranks them at #25, #1 being the easiest. The Giants only gave up 11 passing touchdowns last year.  While the Giants are tough defensively, they are most susceptible to the tight end position. The concern would be if Eli and the offense fail to get going, the Lions could play some ball control if they get out to an early lead. Although the Lions will most likely have little trouble dispatching the Giants, it could be a tougher fantasy game than most people think. One major plus for the Lions however is their new offensive coordinator. Joe Lombardi has been working with Stafford and his mechanics in the off season. Stafford is only two years removed from his 41 touchdown, 5,000 yard plus season. If Lombardi, who spent the last four years working in New Orleans, can do for Stafford what he did for Breeze, then this could be the beginning to something special. Stafford usually starts each season firing right out of the gates. In the month of September, Stafford enjoys his highest completion percentage of 63.54%. In three Monday night games, Stafford has put up 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Hopefully, Lombardi has worked his magic.


Jay Cutler - Pyro Character 

6.       Jay Cutler (vs. Buf)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #23 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Jay Cutler gets to face one of the tougher defenses against quarterbacks last season, but as they say things have changed this offseason. With Kiko Alonso on the shelf and the corners getting toasted last season Cutler will have ample chances to throw the ball around this week. In his career Cutler has averaged over 280 passing yards a game against the Bills and that should continue this week. Cutler has also been much better at home in his career tossing 89 touchdown passes to just 53 interceptions. Cutlers two best weapons on the outside also have great matchups this week as the Bills secondary is below noteworthy, especially at the cornerback position.


Colin Kaepernick - Pyro Character

7.       Colin Kaepernick (at Dal)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #2 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


San Francisco is travelling to Dallas for week one. Dallas could quite possibly have the worst ranked defense in 2014 when all is said and done. There are going to be points a plenty in this performance. Kaepy gets the 2nd easiest strength of schedule at the position this week. According to our Power Rankings, the Cowboys are projected to give up an average of 20.9 points per game to opposing QBs, 2nd worst in the NFL. Kaepy finished as the 9th ranked fantasy QB in 2013. He is a must start against the Cowboys, what will put him over the top is the rushing. If Harbaugh take the leash of this dog, he is going to run all day against a very suspect defense. Last year, he scored 4 rushing TDs and averaged 32.8 rushing yards per game. In his three playoff games last year, he ran for a total of 243 yards and 1 TD. Kaepernick tends to start off the season hot. He had an incredible game right out of the gates last year and for his career, in the month of September, he averages more rushing yards per game than any other month.


Russell Wilson - Pyro Character

8.       Russell Wilson (vs. GB, Thursday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #6 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Russell Wilson has played the Packers only once in his brief but accomplished career, in the infamous replacement referee game. Russell wasn’t great in the game completing under 50% of passes but he did find the endzone twice through the air, but that game was just the third of his career. The Packers allowed 17.7 points per game to opposing quarterbacks last season and the addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dixon doesn’t move the needle enough to expect a bad game from Wilson this time around. Wilson has also been much better through the air when playing amongst the 12th man as he has thrown for 31 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions over 16 games. Wilson had a great preseason and looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he will look to keep it going in the opening night of the season.


Carson Palmer - Pyro Character

9.       Carson Palmer (vs. SD, Monday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #10 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

The Chargers head to Arizona for the late game on Monday night. Over his career, Palmer has done well against the Bolts. He has completed nearly 70% of his passes against San Diego.  In his 6 games against them, Palmer’s passer rating is a fantastic 116.4. He has thrown for 14 TDs and only 3 picks. While Arizona has the 10th best schedule this week for the quarterback, only four other teams have an easier schedule for the wide receiver position. Carson Palmer should come out of the gate slinging. His receivers looked fantastic in the preseason, including their #3, John Brown. The Chargers will be forced to cover each position honestly, as Palmer can look to Ellington out of the backfield as well. 


Matt Ryan - Pyro Character

10.     Matt Ryan (vs. NO)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #30 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Before Julio Jones went down for the season after Week 5, Matt Ryan was averaging 329.8 yards and two touchdowns per game - numbers that had him sitting firmly within the Top-5 fantasy QBs in the league. After Julio’s unfortunate departure, however, things started going downhill.


The good news is that Julio is back and looks as dominant as ever. The bad news is that the rapidly improving Saints defense from last year got even better during the offseason, though I don’t expect Ryan to have TOO much trouble with it this weekend. With both Julio and Roddy White back to full health and Harry Douglas earning Ryan’s trust during his reps as a starter last season, Matty Ice should put up good enough numbers to land him either in or just outside the Top-10 fantasy QBs this weekend.


Tom Brady - Pyro Character

11.     Tom Brady (at Mia)


INJURY REPORT:  QUESTIONABLE (Calf) - Returned to practice on Friday after sitting out Thursday's session. He is fully expected to play


Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #26 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Tom Brady has faced the Miami Dolphins 24 times in his 14 year career, missing out on his rookie season, and the year he tore his ACL against Kansas City (2008). At both home and in Miami he has shown similar numbers, so he isn’t effected by the home crowd at Sun Life Stadium. Since, his first match-up in 2001, he has thrown 367 passes, completed 211 (57% completion rate) for 2,863 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has averaged an interception per game in that span throwing 13. The Dolphins were average against the pass last season allowing 234.5 yards per game, 16th in the NFL, and Brady exposed that, as he torched the Dolphins for 480 yards passing while completing 47 of 77 attempts and throwing three touchdowns, with two interceptions. He will have his usual corps of receivers in Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski. The run game will have its usual feel of Shane Vereen and Steven Ridley to take the pressure off.


Tony Romo - Pyro Character

12.     Tony Romo (vs. SF)


INJURY REPORT:  PROBABLE (Back) - Practiced in full every day this week and is fully expected to play


Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #29 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Tony Romo is just one of those players that just doesn’t get the respect he deserves. He has had some big blunders in big games, but he is a quarterback stud. This week Romo will be facing the stout San Francisco 49ers defense, which is not a good thing. The 49ers finished second in passing defense allowing just 157 yards per game. Romo has taken the Cowboys above the .500 plateau as he has 35 wins and 30 losses on the road. In 1,883 passing attempts he has completed 1,215 for a 64.52% completion rate. Also, Tony Romo has 14,379 yards passing with 91 touchdowns and only 43 interceptions. Romo has played San Francisco six times (3-3) and has completed 43 of 72 passes for 686 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions. Even though the 49ers have a great defense, they will be missing Aldon Smith, because of violating NFL’s personal conduct and susbstance abuse policies, and Ray McDonald has been accused of domestic violence of his pregnant wife. At this point McDonald is maintaining innocence, but it’s a mess in that 49er locker room. The last time Romo faced San Francisco was in 2011, and he had a great day, throwing for 345 yards on 20 of 33 passing and two touchdowns with no interceptions.


Philip Rivers - Pyro Character

13.     Philip Rivers (at Ari, Monday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #15 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Rivers has a tough matchup in week one in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals boast a strong defense, but the loss of Darnell Dockett takes the sting out of the defensive line, and will give Rivers more time to throw in this game. Arizona will look to shut the run down, and force Philip to beat them through the air. Rivers is coming off a resurgent season, where he threw for 34 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions. He will need to protect the ball in this game from the dangerous Patrick Peterson, who should be shadowing River’s #1 target, Keenan Allen, all day long. Look for Philip to target his tight ends a lot in this game. This is not the best first week fantasy matchup.


Ryan Tannehill - Pyro Character

14.     Ryan Tannehill (vs. NE)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #13 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Tannehill is going to get an early test of his abilities as he faces off versus Bill Belichick and the stingy Patriots defense in week one. While the Patriots defense was not dominant against the pass last year, they should get a bump in that defense from Darrell Revis. Expect Tannehill’s top target, Mike Wallace to see a steady does of Revis Island, which will make it difficult for Ryan to hit big fantast numbers in this game. It would appear that this is going to a more ball control type of a game, and Tannehill is not going to put up monster numbers in this one.


Ben Roethlisberger - Pyro Character

15.     Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Cle)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #16 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Big Ben is entering his 11th year as a Pittsburgh Steeler. Even though he has had some issues with girls and the law, he has always maintained a good statistical season. He has taken the Steelers to six playoff appearances, and two Super Bowls, winning one in a dramatic comeback against the Arizona Cardinals. Roethlisberger is always comfortable at home winning 54 games and losing just 18. He has attempted 2,138 passes and completed 1,352 for a 63.2% passing completion percentage. He also has 114 touchdowns with only 56 interceptions. He has also been successful against Cleveland as he has gone 17-1 against them. “Big Ben” has thrown 478 times against the Browns and has completed 299 times for a 62.5% completion percentage. Those 478 completions has turned into 4,002 yards with 27 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. Even though these numbers are excellent, Cleveland has a strong defense, especially against the pass as they finished ninth overall. Last season, Roethlisberger was not his normal self against the “Brownies” as he only had 396 yards passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the two games played.

Aaron Rodgers Pyro Character

16.     Aaron Rodgers (at Sea, Thursday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #32 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Aaron Rodgers was probably a very high pick for you and you are going to start him no matter what in week 1 because of it, but he has the worst matchup possible visiting the defending Superbowl Champs. Seattle was completely dominant last season against opposing quarterbacks, as they scored just 8.9 fantasy points a game against the Legion of Boom, that is 7.1 points below an average outing for a QB last season! While this season’s iteration of the Seahawks shouldn’t be as dominant, they will still be a very, very good unit. The last time these two teams faced off in 2012, Rodgers threw for just 223 yards and no touchdowns while adding 17 yards rushing. Seattle is a game changing defense and if you selected a backup you may want to consider starting him this week.


Robert Griffin III Pyro Character

17.     Robert Griffin III (at Hou)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #18 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Year three for RG III is upon us, and I am certain Griffin wants to put it all of last year behind him. He is going to want to show his athletic ability, and all the talk from Mike Shanahan was bogus. A new beginning for him, and what better way than to start with a team he has never faced before in the Houston Texans. The Texan defense, was solid against the pass last season finishing third against the pass allowing just 195 yards on average through the air. RG III has been able to be athletic on the road, but struggles to lead his team to victory, as he has a 5-8 record. Griffin has 415 pass attempts with 255 completions for a 61.45% pass completion percentage. Also, on the road he has thrown for 3,256 yards and 22 touchdowns with just nine interceptions.  He does damage to the defense with his legs as well. He has taken off and ran 90 times for 473 yards and has scored three times, but the Texans are getting real scary with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.


Derek Carr Pyro Character

18.     Derek Carr (at NYJ)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #12 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


We have a West coast team, heading out to the other end of the continent, and they are starting a rookie.  I am talking about the Raiders making the cross country trek to face the Jets. Carr got the official nod just days ago. The move to Carr is understandable as he outperformed Schaub during the preseason. Carr competed 67% of his passes and tossed 4 TDs. While he has the talent, and most importantly the moxie to pull this off, this is a daunting task. Being that he was just named the starter on Monday, Carr will undoubtedly have to play through some shear greenhorn nervousness. He very well may be an integral part of the offensive plan. The Jets have the ability to stop the run, as there are only four teams that Pyro has ranked tougher against running backs. New York is far more susceptible to the passing game. Carr’s wide receivers are tied for the 8th-easiest schedule.  Last year, the Jets gave up a little more than 24 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. If you drew Cam Newton or Andy Dalton, then pulling a Kenny Rogers and gambling on Carr may just be the right move.


Andy Dalton - Pyro Character

 19.     Andy Dalton (at Bal)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #19 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


After signing a lucrative contract that told him he had no worries about being released, Andy Dalton will now have even more to prove on the field that he is worthy of such a deal. His first test will be against the Ravens, normally this has been a struggling point for Dalton. In six games, he is has only won two, and his passing has shown why they have lost. Andy Dalton has thrown 228 times and completed only 123 (53.9%) of them for 1,459 yards. He has averaged just one touchdown per game (six) and has thrown a gawdly 11 interceptions. Obviously, these are the type of numbers that will make anyone state the contract is well-undeserved. On the road, Andy Dalton has done better, he has won 14 and lost 10, and his passing numbers are reflected with 514 completions on 848 attempts (60.6%) for 5,913 yards and 37 touchdowns with 28 interceptions. Something in the Baltimore water that just makes his game look hideous. Last season in the two games played, Dalton threw for 555 yards with four touchdowns, and a horrible seven interceptions, just more reason why Dalton will most likely struggle in Week 1.

Cam Newton - Pyro Character

20.     Cam Newton (at TB)


INJURY REPORT:  QUESTIONABLE (Ribs) - After missing Wednesday's practice, Cam progressed throughout the week putting in a limited practice on Thursday and a full practice on Friday. Coach Ron Rivera called him a game-time decision, but said he would make his call before warm-ups.   PYRO's TAKE: Considering his game is at 4:25pm ET, we'd suggest going with your back-up plan if you have one.


Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #T-8 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


The banged up Cam Newton will start the season against division rival Tampa Bay in 2014, but this does not look like it will be as fruitful a matchup as it has been in years past. Cam is still dealing with a fractured rib, which is the biggest issue in this game if you are thinking about starting him. Newton has played the Buccaneers six times in his career, and has thrown for 10 touchdowns to only four interceptions, but more importantly has run for six touchdowns on 52 carries for 281 yards in his career against them. With the fractured rib you can count on his rushing attempts to be much less in this game, and he has only averaged throwing for 235 yards per game against the Bucs. Add to that the Bucs are going to be defensive minded under new coach Lovie Smith, which makes Cam a real risk in Week 1.


Chad Henne - Pyro Character

21.     Chad Henne (at Phi)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #7 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


For now, Henne gets the start, but thanks to the preseason showcase put on by Bortles, ole Chad will be on a far shorter leash than expected. Last year, Henne competed 60% of his passes. He accumulated 3,241 yards, threw 13 TDs, and 14 INTs. In fact, Henne has never completed a season in which he tossed more TDs than INTs. This week, he goes up against the Philly defense and they can be thrown on. This week, Henne’s receivers have the best matchup of all 32 teams. Unfortunately, his #1, Cecil Shorts, may not be on the field to take advantage. As of Friday’s practice, he was listed as questionable for play on Sunday. Shorts left practice early on Thursday ue to a sore hamstring. Keep your eyes on this one. They are hurting at the position right now as second year man Ace Sanders is also out with a suspension. Mike Brown will be in the mix as well as the rookie, Marqise Lee. The Jags will not have much experience on the field against a porous Philly D. Last year, quarterbacks averaged almost 18.5 fantasy points against the Philly D. Only 6 teams gave up more points to the position. This should be a nice opportunity for Henne, however, if he is not getting the job done, the Jags may pull him in favor of the rookie.


Geno Smith - Pyro Character

22.     Geno Smith (vs. Oak)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #3 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)



The Jets are home to Oakland in week 1. Geno enjoys the 3rd best strength of schedule this week. His wide receivers have the 4th easiest schedule. Even his running backs are rated as having the 9th easiest schedule. Geno played Oakland once in his rookie season. He went 16 for 25 with 219 yards, 1 passing TD , 1 rushing TD, and 1 pick. Oakland does an average job against #1 pass catchers. But, Eric Decker is a fantastic red zone target.  Against #2s and #3s, they are one of the worst defenses in the league. In fact, 31 other teams guarded those two positions better than Oakland last year. 


Rams QB - Pyro Character

23.     Shaun Hill (vs. Min)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #1 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


When I did the write up for the Rams, I compared Hill’s last numbers of value to Bradford’s. True, I was using stats from 2010, but Hill actually had a better yards per game average, and a better touchdown ratio. In short, I think Hill is very comparable to Bradford. This week, the Rams are home to the Vikings. It could not be more of blessing for Hill. He has the easiest schedule this week for the quarterback position. His wide receivers have the 2nd-best matchup, and his tight ends have the 3rd-easiest schedule. Ideally, this will give Hill some confidence early in the game. The Vikings do a terrible job covering the 3rd receiver. In fact, for efficiency, they ranked the lowest against #3s. Look for a Rams receiver to have a big day as long as Hill can find the weak point and deliver.

Matt Cassel - Pyro Character

24.     Matt Cassel (at StL)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #22 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


The Vikings are visiting the Rams in Week 1. The Rams are most susceptible to the running back position, being tied for the 10th-easiest against that position. AP should see more passes come his way this season. Cassel is not known for the long ball. Last year he averaged 201 yards per game and a middle of the road 7.1yards per pass thrown. Because he usually looks for short passes, and the fact that the Rams are one of the best at covering the tight end position, look for him to get AP involved in the passing game. Last year, only two defenses gave up more passing yards to running backs than the Rams. In his two career games against St. Louis, Cassel passed for 225.5 yards per game. He has thrown2 TDs, and 3 picks against the Rams.

Joe Flacco - Pyro Character

25.     Joe Flacco (vs. Cin)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #27 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


The Bengals are visiting the Ravens in week 1. With Rice suspended, they may look to pass more often than not. Traditionally, Flacco has struggled against the Bengals fierce defense. In his 12 career games against them, his passer rating is one of the lowest versus any team, 71.9. He has thrown more picks than TD: 15 INTs versus 12 TDs. Flacco also has one of his lowest yardage outputs against them as well. His average is just 177.8 yards per game. Baltimore has the 24th-easiest schedule for wide receiver this week and only 2 teams have a harder schedule at the tight end position.


Houston QB - Pyro Character

26.     Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Was)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #11 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

Jake Locker Pyro Character

27.     Jake Locker (at KC)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #14 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

Eli Manning - Pyro Character

28.     Eli Manning (at Det, Monday Night)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #17 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)


Eli and the Giants have been slow to adapt to their new offense from OC Ben McAdoo. While they aimed to up Manning’s completion percentage to 70%, during the preseason, Eli did not even total 50%. He only tossed one touchdown and looked lost on more than one occasion. Chances are he will not find his bearings when the dominant defensive line of the Lions is unleashed on him come Monday night. Pyro ranks the Lions as the number 17th easiest team against the QB. It gets far better for the receivers. The Lions rank #3 against pass catchers. Manning has played 12 career games on Monday night.  He has a 61.73% completion percentage and has thrown 21 TDs and 15 INTs. Until further notice, look for another QB to get in your line up.

E.J. Manuel Pyro Character

29.     E.J. Manuel (at Chi)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #20 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

Brian Hoyer Pyro Character

30.     Brian Hoyer (at Pit)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #24 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

alex smith pyro character

31.     Alex Smith (vs. Ten)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #28 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)

Tampa Bay QB - Pyro Character

32.     Josh McCown (vs. Car)




Week 1 Strength of Schedule:  Rank #31 (Rank: 1=Easiest  32=Hardest)




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