Fantasy football picks for week 1
The most important football season of all begins Thursday night – the fantasy football season – and every week on Wednesday night we'll give you a couple of players to push into your starting lineup or move to your bench, along with a sleeper and a reader pick.
Now, you're not going to find "start Adrian Peterson" here. If you drafted a player in the first five rounds, chances are those are your go-to players, so we'll try to give you some less-than-obvious choices to bolster your lineup every week.
On that note, here we go for Week 1:
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver vs. Oakland
Hilton was a late-season revelation as a rookie, catching over half of his 50 passes in the final seven games of the year. He also had 100 yards receiving three times in that span. Then, in the Colts' playoff loss to Baltimore, he snagged eight passes. He's a big play threat (7 TDs) and there is absolutely nothing to like about the Oakland defense. Hilton should give you big points on the turf in Indianapolis.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins wide receiver vs. Philadelphia
This is a late call as the Redskins open up on Monday night, but Garcon has a chance to establish himself as Robert Griffin III's top receiver now that he's finally healthy. Garcon caught 44 passes last year, but that number should rise if Griffin III decides it's in his best interests to distribute the ball as opposed to running it. The Eagles allowed nearly 30 points per game last year and in this preseason, Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Chad Henne (yes, Chad Henne) had no issues throwing the ball against the Eagles.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers wide receiver vs. San Francisco
Nelson hasn't played at all this preseason after undergoing minor knee surgery. While the veteran has been practicing and running at full speed of late, he goes up against a strong 49ers defense and may see his snaps limited as he works back into game shape.
Geno Smith, New York Jets quarterback vs. Tampa Bay
With Mark Sanchez hurt, the Jets will turn to the rookie to open the season. While Smith seems like he fits right in line with recent rookie/read option success stories like Griffin III and Seattle's Russell Wilson, he's far from that polished as a passer and frankly, the Jets don't have any other viable fantasy plays on their roster to support him. Don't take the risk.
Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots tight end vs. Buffalo
Looking for a sleeper right out of the gate? With Rob Gronkowski ruled out for Week 1, Tom Brady needs somebody to throw to over the middle and Sudfeld is going to be that guy. Michael Hoomanawanui is the only other player on depth chart at tight end for the Pats, and Brady may elect to throw to his wide receivers all game long – but Sudfeld might also get you monster points if you're willing to take a chance here in Week 1.
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