The NFL is back! It sure feels good to be able to once again start looking at the week ahead vs a summer of speculating who is going to have a breakout year? Who is going to be this years Odell Beckham Jr? Which players hit the sophomore slump? And in PackMan12’s case who should be the first pick in the draft?

Well we at least have one of those questions answered and that is the # 1 pick (Andrew Luck) and now we get to finally figure out the rest. So what are we waiting for, lets get to the games.

 

Pack Attack (0-0) vs Rapids Plungers (0-0)

A good match up to start off week 1 as two teams who have historically been some of the better teams in the league go against each other to kick off the season. Rapids Plungers consistently makes the playoffs having been there in 4 of their 7 seasons played however they are still looking for that Championship! They seem to always be drafting towards the end of the draft and that certainly can throw off draft strategies which it seemed to again this year. Both of these teams are waiting on impact players to come back from injury (Gurley) and suspensions (Bryant and Bell) so that has evened the playing field so to speak. I expect the picks of Jeremy Hill and Randall Cobb to pay off big time for Rapids Plungers as it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that these two end up as the top point scorers at their respective positions and if T. Coleman can hang on to the starting RB job in Atlanta this team suddenly looks like it is headed for that fifth playoff run.

Prediction:
Check out the Yahoo predictions for this one or for those of you following the blog go ahead and post your comments on this game or any others below.

 

pack slayer (0-0) vs Showboat (0-0)

How could we start a new season without talking about the two time defending champ Showboat and what better match up then against pack slayer likes to talk smack like they know what a championship feels like! The question is how does Showboat keep the sense of urgency and not be complacent with their back to back championships? I say… easy.. they can make History if they come out and win their third straight as not only would they be the only team to ever win three in a row but they would also be the team with the most championships at 4 and with a good coach like Brian Freese I expect complacency to be a non factor here. So let’s move on from that and take a look at the matchup. It wouldn’t take someone really long based Showboat’s team this year to see who their favorite NFL team is.. this week they are starting Romo at QB, Dez and T. Williams at WR and to top it off Randle at RB so let’s just say if the Cowboys stink this year so will Showboat and when the Cowboys have a bye I want to be playing Showboat! On the other side of the ball you have pack slayer who is coming off their worst season as a coach and will be looking to get back to form this year. They went for a very balanced approach in the draft this year as they took two RB’s and two WR’s in their first 4 rounds of the draft followed by a QB and TE. The pick of Ellington in the 3rd round has the making of a boom or bust kind of pick but I always like to see where Watt lands and in the 9th round seems to be a good fit for the top Defensive player in the league.

Prediction:
Week 1 is always difficult as you try to figure out the roles of players on their respective teams and this year is no different. It is hard for me to pick against Showboat however in this one I think that pack slayer pulls it out. I like Rueben Randle this week and really until Cruz comes back into the mix. pack slayer gets the week 1 win.

 

BIGBOY! (0-0) vs U Don’t Know (0-0)

BIGBOY! is coming off one of their best seasons last year as they finished with 9 wins and the #2 seed however once playoff time came they got manhandled by Sportsfreak to see their once promising season end abruptly. So it is Super Bowl or bust for this team this year and if the Yahoo draft grades are anything to read into (which they aren’t.. see Bossman from last year) then this team is going to dominate the league and finish in first place. I do like their team and if Foster comes back sooner rather then later as reported there is no doubt this appears to be a contending team on paper now it is time to prove it on the field. For U Don’t Know it has been a rough stretch the past 7 years as they last tasted the playoffs in the 2008 season. I know that is not ok with this coach and they have spent the off season trying to figure out how to get over this 7 year drought that they are in. For starters they had a solid draft, Lacy is a solid as they come where he was drafting and McCoy.. well I think whatever McCoy shows up is going to be telling of what kind of season U Don’t Know has. Will it be the McCoy from a couple of years ago where he was the consensus #1 pick or will it be the McCoy from last year where 1 yard runs were the norm. He will definitely get the opportunity in Buffalo to produce now we just wait and see if it happens.

Prediction:
This has the making of a really good game. I expect both teams to have solid scoring days and both QB’s to come out firing. As of this writing the big question mark I have is will McCoy play or not? If he plays and has a solid game I think U Don’t Know squeaks out the win however I am not convinced he will play and if he does will he be at 100% and get a full workload? With that said I am going with BIGBOY! to get the win thanks to a big game from AP to close out week 1.

 

Bossman (0-0) vs. PackMan12 (0-0)

PackMan12 is coming off yet another playoff run but yet again they were unable to do anything in the playoffs at some point this team is going to have to not be content with just making the playoffs but actually bring home that elusive first championship. They got the “Luck” of the draw again this year as they got the #1 pick and went with Andrew Luck. Whatever their method is behind the draft who am I to argue as they are the only team in the league that can say they have never missed the playoffs. Granted I understand that they are one of the newest members to the league having only played for the last 4 years but ask yourself.. how many playoffs have you made it to in the last 4 years? I expect this team to compete just like the last 4 years but the bigger question is do they have a team that can take that next step and move on to a championship? I am excited to find out. As for Bossman, this is a team that just figures out a way to put a good team out there each and every week. They boast the second highest winning percentage in the league at .613 and have made the playoffs in 5 of their 9 seasons in the league including a championship in 2008. This year looks to be much of the same and yet again Yahoo seems to really like their draft picks rating them with an A+. This is another one of those teams that when I look at I see talent and I see upside however outside of Antonio Brown and I guess you could throw in Justin Forsett I don’t see a lot of consistency. This team will need to be led by those two players (Brown and Forsett) and they will need Keenan Allen and Ryan Tannehill to have big years for them to get back to the playoffs again this year.

Prediction:
Andrew Luck has a tough match up this week against the Buffalo defense and that is making this a bit harder to pick. Brown should have a big game on Thursday against NE and I expect the trio of WR’s for PackMan12 to play well. I think this one comes down to the wire and Bossman will need 15 points from his kicker on Monday night to win however he will get 12 points and PackMan12 will get the week 1 win by 3 points.

 

Big Papa (0-0) vs 16hrs Ahead of You!! (0-0)

Here is an interesting match up right from the start as two teams that have really been struggling the past few years. Big Papa comes into this season having missed the playoffs three years in a row and it has been 4 years since 16hrs Ahead of You! has been able to taste the postseason. Big Papa has a team filled with old veterans which is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact in Fantasy football at times we all search to hard for that next new up and coming superstar that we miss out on the consistency that some of the guys who have been performing for years bring. For Big Papa that is the hope is that some of these veteran players like Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and Marshawn Lynch will come through for them this year and lead them back to the playoffs. 16hrs Ahead of you had a solid draft if guys can get and stay healthy. I look for Jamaal Charles to have a bounce back year from his sub par last year (for Jamaal Charles standards). I also look forward to seeing how Melvin Gordon fairs in his rookie season. The verdict is certainly out however it is always tough to rely on a rookie running back as your starter week 1. This is a great opportunity for one of these teams to get that first win of the season out of the way considering that they are both carrying over from last year a 9 game losing streak! And for the loser of this game they will move to having the 4th longest losing streak in the history of the league and that is a distraction you don’t want hanging over your head from week to week.

Prediction:
There are a couple of factors here that make this one difficult and the biggest being that as of this writing it is unclear whether Alshon Jeffery will be on the field for week 1. If he is I expect him to have a big game against the young Packers secondary and because they will need to throw the ball to keep up in this one. It does sound like he is going to play so I am going to make that assumption and will pick 16hrs to break the 9 game losing streak and sending Big Papa to say his prayers for a win next week!

 

DaUnderdog (0-0) vs Sportsfreak (0-0)

Lost in the talk of the repeat championship season by Showboat was the fact that Sportsfreak who has been a part of the league since the beginning had their best season ever finishing with a Super Bowl appearance. I know that they will tell you that was not what their goal was to start the season but it did have to feel good to finally be playing for the championship after 11 seasons in the league. That makes this year a certain Super Bowl or bust season. In the draft they picked up in my opinion the WR who will finish the year at #2 in scoring and that is Julio Jones as well as a PPR monster this year in Greg Olsen, I mean who else is Cam going to throw it to… Ted Ginn Jr? With that said Sportsfreak seemed to go all in with the Carolina squad as they drafted three starters from the Panthers, we know the team they will be following this season. Overall the verdict is still out on this one but you always look to win your individual match ups in fantasy and Sportsfreak boasts quite possibly the #2 TE, the #2 WR, and a RB in CJ Anderson that has as good of a shot as any RB to finish as the #1 back in fantasy this year that is a good foundation with which to build on. DaUnderdog came into this year with a renewed vigor and here this whole time I thought it was because he was excited to put together a good fantasy football team when in reality he was planning to put a ring on his lady’s finger. Congrats DaUnderdog, now is she any good at fantasy football? Enough Lovey, Dovey stuff and back to football… I like DaUnderdog’s team this year outside of the RB position. I like the WR’s of AJ Green, Jarvis Landry, and Allen Robinson, Rodgers at QB of course and then Jimmy Graham at TE. That nucleus alone can win games in this league however without one of the RB’s stepping up they may struggle to move towards the top of the league. However at this point with the way the past couple of years have went for them I think they might be happy with middle of the pack.

Prediction:
Rodgers has historically had big games against Chicago and I expect that he will once again be good I just wonder if it takes a game or two to get thing rolling with the new WR’s? I think Palmer has a big game for Sportsfreak as they go against NO. I think that DaUnderdog’s WR’s will outperform Sportsfreak and they will end up with the lead heading into Monday night however I expect Julio Jones to have a big game as they try to keep up with Philly and Sportsfreak will come out on top.

 

HHH (0-0) vs teamAlaska (0-0)

The brother battle to start off the season. These are the ones you always look forward to and hopefully there is some smack talk going on amongst these two teams. Quite possibly though they are both keeping their mouths shut as neither of them have made the playoffs since the 2011 season in which teamAlaska did walk away with the trophy. So this game is about getting off to a good start and first looking at HHH’s team I see a lot of question marks which I know it is week 1 and in a 14 team league every team has a lot of question marks but this one feels a bit more then others. Murray and Doug Martin (who has a shot at a career saving year) could turn out to be really good and Russel Wilson should be solid at QB. The top player award for this team goes to Gronkowski and this brings the comfort of knowing each week you should be able to dominate your opponent at the TE position.   For teamAlaska it seems they were reading some articles about sleeper picks before the draft as they got them early and often which typically can spell trouble for the fantasy team unless they all pan out however I like their team this year. The WR’s of OBJ and Calvin Johnson along with Brees at QB should keep them in most games and if Abdullah turns out to be the next Barry Sanders like people seem to think or Alfred Morris goes down to injury leaving the door open for Matt Jones then this team in a few weeks would look pretty tough. Until then the jury is out just like every other team.

Also just an FYI for both HHH and teamAlaska.. I don’t have any points awarded for how many TD’s a players scores while on the practice squad (Jonas Gray) or how many receiving / rushing yards a player gets while playing Madden on Sunday afternoons (Bradshaw and Gordon).

Prediction:
HHH is going to need solid games from both Murray and Martin to pull this one out and right now I don’t see there being quite enough scoring there. Look for this one to be close and for HHH to make a comeback on Monday night only to fall 10 points short of a win. teamAlaska should get the W in this one.

Enough of this talking and speculating let’s get to the games!

Good luck everyone and enjoy the upcoming week 1 of the NFL season!