2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

by Richard Savill
2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

Most of us in Fantasy Football understand how helpful a good start is for getting to the championships around Christmas. However, I have said many times on The Fantasy Edge podcast about "not trusting September."

What do I mean by that? It covers a number of things. Generally, I'm talking about offensive lines not yet being cohesive units. Teams have no film yet of the current state of play with opponents. Players getting into the groove of the season, and so on.

This stuff matters. So you should bear with the sour matter of underachieving players until at least the first week of October before dropping or selling low on your potential busts. On the other side of it, over-achievers can lead to trade disasters. Be very wary of shark trading early in the season. Keep everything in perspective. It's a long season.

The 2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview is next.

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2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

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The Games this Week2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.

Early Sunday: Patriots (0-0) at Dolphins (0-0) -3.0 47.0

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Patriots fans keenly felt the realities of the post-Brady era in 2021. Now that things are settling in for the team, and looking at the long overhaul ahead, the Josh McDaniels style no longer fits.

Nonetheless, defensive specialist Matt Patricia became New England's new offensive coordinator. How does that work? The preseason for the Patriots showed some disquieting aspects on offense, which suggest matters are far from plugged in to begin the year.

Tyreek's Entry Exam

All fantasy eyes will no doubt focus on the chemistry of Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill to see if the same success with Patrick Mahomes can replicate in Miami.

Just as importantly, our attention will focus on Jaylen Waddle's usage in the early going as there is wide concern if Tua can support two 1000+ yard receivers. With Tyreek receiving free safety attention as a result of Belichick's "shut down the star" strategy, Waddle will almost certainly find a good opportunity. Including in this opening game.

Rhamondre to Step Ahead?

It came out during the last preseason weekend that Rhamondre Stevenson may have solidified his role as the main pass-catching running back in New England ahead of any Ty Montgomery interference.

We talk about the "James White" role in the backfield of the Patriots. Stevenson could even go further and overtake Damien Harris as the clear "best own" of the bunch.

Don't bet the mortgage on it, though. The musical chairs in New England that Bill Belichick plays every season with his running back crew likely won't resolve into a main character. Yet, with Matt Patricia running the offense, we shall see.

Fun Fact: The Dolphins are 5-2 versus the Patriots on opening day since 1990. They are 3-1 at home.
Sleeper: Raheem Mostert, RB, Dolphins
Pick Poll: Dolphins 61%

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...

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Saints (0-0) at Falcons (0-0) +5.5 42.5

The 29-year-old Michael Thomas returns after a long fantasy absence. Thomas has dropped from an automatic early draft round receiver to an ECR WR30. The Saints still remain a potential playoff contender with a new head coach in Dennis Allen. Marcus Mariota gets a fresh start as an NFL starter in a matchup of the QB class of 2015 with Jameis Winston.
Pick Poll: Saints 92%

Forty-Niners (0-0) at Bears (0-0) +7.0 41.5

The Bears' shortage of receiving talent is leading many to rightly assume a big role for TE Cole Kmet until someone else emerges across from Darnell Mooney. It's safe to wager on the leading candidates, Equanimeous St. Brown or Byron Pringle. Not content with just sitting still on the matter, the Bears picked up a cut from the Vikings, Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Keep your eyes focused like a laser on those Bear WR snap counts.
Pick Poll: 49ers 92%

2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

Steelers (0-0) at Bengals (0-0) -6.5 44.5

I'll take the over on this one. With Mitch Trubisky looking over his shoulder at Kenny Pickett, the stars could line up for a surprise shootout. The Steelers will start slow (it seems they always do) , but by the second half, things could get going. The Steelers' offensive line remains a question mark. Place your scouting eyes on George Pickens, WR, Steelers. See Chris Evans solidify his cuff status with Joe Mixon for the Bengals.
Pick Poll: Bengals 90%
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Eagles (0-0) at Lions (0-0) +4.0 48.5

Remember in the movie Castaway when Tom Hanks was trying to make a fire? The Lions showed a little spark late in 2021, but it remains unknown if they have enough to set it ablaze. Amon-Ra St. Brown is a fantasy breakout candidate, as we all know, but success in the Detroit offense could prove difficult. They have a young roster, which looks promising, but just six wins is all the SBNation faithful dare to predict.
Pick Poll: Eagles 84%

Ravens (0-0) at Jets (0-0) +7.0 44.5

Is Breece Hall the real deal? I guess we'll know after this game. Most accept the fact that Michael Carter isn't going away. Besides, the two-headed backfield the Jets have is right in vogue with the NFL these days. For the Ravens, their backfield has key injuries, and Mike Davis projects as the temporary starter at the time of writing. Take note of the target favorites for wide receivers on both sides of this game.
Pick Poll: Ravens 97%

Jaguars (0-0) at Commanders (0-0) -3.0 44.0

Now that Urban Meyer is out of their system, many fantasy onlookers have re-ignited in their optimism for Trevor Lawrence for 2022. Yet, these elevated notions are not translating as well to former Rams receiver Robert Woods. Reports of Carson Wentz being locker room poison persist despite Ron Rivera's dismissals. Look for ground game testing here as both teams are still catching up with recent updates in their backfields.
Pick Poll: Commanders 70%

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Browns (0-0) at Panthers (0-0) -2.5 41.5

No head coach has a hotter seat to start 2022 than Matt Rhule. After two seasons of just five wins, it is accounting time. The Panthers brought in the former head coach of the Giants, Ben McAdoo, as the new offensive coordinator. Will he help? They are among the top-10 teams for most offensive free agent signings in 2022. Baker Mayfield, the Browns' most recent QB castoff, looks for a fresh start against his former team in Week 1.
Pick Poll: Panthers 77%

Colts (0-0) at Texans (0-0) +7.0 46.5

Dameon Pierce is the fantasy focus of this game. A player on the Texans rarely receives this much attention. Raising expectations on a ground-up rebuilding football team might seem difficult, but star players do emerge on weak football teams. Pierce's owners may have to bear patience. The defense of the Colts projects as one of the top units coming into the new season. Jonathan Taylor will shine.
Pick Poll: Colts 96%

Late Sunday: Chiefs (0-0) at Cardinals (0-0) +6.0 53.5

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A riveting treat for the late window.

The Chiefs were quite content to give their starters plenty of preseason field time to work off the rust. As a result, we have a better view of how the team stands coming into 2022.

One running back, Isiah Pacheco, stirred the fantasy juices and is currently a hot redraft in the middle/late rounds. Don't let your enthusiasm get ahead of reality. Andy Reid rarely gives the front door key to the running back rookies, so you should view Pacheco as a promising stash for now.

Patrick Mahomes will always target Travis Kelce heavily, but fantasy managers in 2022 are pursuing the void left by Tyreek Hill. Thus, Juju Smith-Schuster looks like the double-plus insert. The more acute fantasy enthusiasts are placing their chips on Skyy Moore, the rookie out of Western Michigan. Though less ambitiously, Mecole Hardman and Marquez Valdez-Scantling are getting robust fantasy attention as well.

Squirrels in the Bird Feeder

It seems few are all that concerned about DeAndre Hopkins being on a six-game suspension. Marquise Brown is a sound enough fit in the interim, and veteran A.J. Green has reasonable flex possibilities.

The Cardinals, because of their rather jumbly looking offensive scheme over the past couple of years, have less legitimate stability in their fantasy choice players.

Sometimes the backfield is a committee and sometimes it is not. Sometimes Kyler Murray looks like a gun-slinger quarterback, and sometimes he doesn't. The Cardinals are a fantasy start and sit article writ large.

The Clash

Expect a potential shootout as the O/U suggests. This game could come down to who has the ball last, and if it's the Chiefs, they'll win. If it's the Cardinals, maybe.

Fun Fact: This is the first time since 1999 that the Chiefs will open on the road against an NFC team. The Chiefs have also won seven straight games on opening day; including five straight on the road.
Sleeper:  Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
Pick Poll: Chiefs 84%

Other Late Games in Brief...

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2022 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview

Giants (0-0) at Titans (0-0)  -5.5 43.5

Have you noticed that the Giants don't look much different than in 2021? Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka have "kept plans under wraps", according to SBNation. Just like covering the refrigerator with a sheet helps with dieting, keeps food fresher and uses less energy. The Titans are pinning their hopes on Traylon Burks and Robert Woods to complement the Derrick Henry show. Early reviews of Burks remain mixed.
Pick Poll: Titans 95%

Packers (0-0) at Vikings (0-0) +1.5 47.0

Someone has to emerge from the new additions to fill the Davante Adams gap. Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson will get fantasy attention in September for which one will move into the sweet spot. In the meantime, the Packer offense will rely on ground and pound until the rookies get those highlights on tape. The Vikings are slight underdogs here, but their new balanced system should solidify sooner rather than later.
Pick Poll: Packers 69%
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Raiders (0-0) at Chargers (0-0) -3.5 52.0

Since his firing at Denver in mid-season in 2010, the fortunes of Josh McDaniels have turned around upon his return to the Patriots as OC. Just in time for the golden era of Tom Brady. The Raiders are never an easy assignment. The team philosophy does not wax with five-year plans and all that stuff. It's win now or else. By acquiring Davante Adams, they should have that extra piece to make it possible.
Pick Poll: Chargers 75%

Feature Games

Sunday Night: Buccaneers (0-0) at Cowboys (0-0) +2.5 51.0

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The last thing burning in the minds of fans of the Cowboys from last season was the image of Dak Prescott scurrying in a fruitless game of "race the clock" against the 49ers in the NFC wildcard.

Yet, it revealed the gap that the Cowboys have between a Super Bowl and the also-ran teams in the NFL. The Cowboys showed rallying heroics, but it was clear the 49ers dominated that playoff game and deserved the victory.

Sohow are the Cowboys moving forward this season and approaching this opening game?

A Game of Best Protection

Both teams have offensive line questions. This could make for early frustration for fantasy points on both sides. The Buccaneers lost seven-year veteran center Ryan Jensen for the season. Second-year Robert Hainsey will perform the snapping for Tom Brady.

The Cowboys will rely on rookie Tyler Smith to protect the blindside of Dak Prescott against the most blitzing defense of 2021.

Until both sides manage to contain the pass rush, the usual football standard of establishing a ground attack will take precedence until the game "wears in" the players to the new season.

That said, temper your expectations for the lead backs, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott, as the receivers will likely emerge as the main fantasy point collectors.

Fun Fact: The Cowboys and Buccaneers played the 2021 Thursday season opener with the Bucs winning 31-29. Both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb had 100+ yards receiving.
Sleeper: Julio Jones, WR, Buccaneers
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 74%

Monday Night: Broncos (0-0) at Seahawks (0-0) +6.5 44.5

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I guess you could call it a revenge game. More like revenge for Seahawk fans. They certainly felt betrayed after Russell Wilson was too eager to jump ship. Especially to a team that was a detestable former rival in the old days.

As much as part of that is true, Wilson actually wanted to stay in Seattle. That is, until "letting Russ cook" was about to change to "not letting Russ cook." The Seahawks wanted to pursue a different direction, and Wilson did not want to buy in.

There's much more tangled up with this story, but the bottom line remains: both sides feel slighted. So Russ will get the 12th-man treatment in "pin the decibel needle" style. In turn, Russ will cook for the Broncos.

A Bridge to What?

Geno Smith, of course, was only too happy to assume the game-managing role Pete Carroll had in mind. Playing is better than suiting up for every game and not doing anything for 17 weeks.

Apparently, that is how the Seahawks will attempt to bridge the quarterback position in 2022. In the meantime, Carroll wants to place the main offensive thrust on Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, and especially the rookie Ken Walker.

The Broncos Upgrade

The Broncos did not get Wilson cheap. Denver gave up QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-rounders, and a middle-draft selection. New head coach Nathaniel Hackett led the negotiations. He wanted a good quarterback, no matter the cost, and the Broncos' front office said yes.

Will it pay off? This is where we in fantasy have a problem. It all looks good on paper. Until we see a few games, we are unsure of the target pecking order Russell Wilson prefers. On top of that, the debate over Javonte Williams' and Melvin Gordon's values continues.

This game will start to give us some answers to all the questions on both sides of the ball.

Fun Fact: The Seahawks have a streak of seven wins when opening the season at home.
Sleeper: K.J. Hamler, WR, Broncos
Pick Poll: Broncos 95%

In the Booth on Sunday

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Kevin Burkhardt

CBS Early

Steelers at Bengals: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Patriots at Dolphins: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Ravens at Jets: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Browns at Panthers: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
Colts at Texans: Tom McCarthy, Tiki Barber

FOX Early

49ers at Bears: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Eagles at Lions: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Saints at Falcons: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Jaguars at Commanders: Chris Myers, Robert Smith

CBS Late

Chiefs at Cardinals: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Raiders at Chargers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green

FOX Late

Packers at Vikings: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Giants at Titans: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

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