NFL Fantasy Value Picks – Week 1 – Wide Receivers
The NFL 2015 regular season is getting very close to starting. Changes in personnel can impact fantasy points in one day leagues. Primary receivers get double teamed so often times it’s the secondary receivers who get targeted against single coverage and weaker secondary defenders.
Jordan Matthews: Philadelphia will be in a fast track at the Georgia Dome on Monday night football to open the season. That means a ton of possessions for both teams. Matthews out of Vanderbilt had a very good rookie season with 67 catches for 872 yards. He averaged 13 yards per reception and had eight touchdowns. The Falcons struggled with pass rush and defense in 2014 and it may take a while for the club to get better in that area. Game planning for a Philadelphia offense could be difficult for a rookie head coach in this league. In the last nine weeks of the season Matthews was averaging nearly 16 yards per catch. With Jeremy Maclin in Kansas City and a rookie flanking him expect Matthews to see heavy targeting by Sam Bradford in the opener.
Keenan Allen: Phillip Rivers is a happy and motivated man as the Chargers tied up their franchise quarterback with a long term contract with guaranteed money. Allen in his third season and only 23 years old had 77 catches for the Chargers a year ago. He had a monster rookie season. Issues with the Chargers in 2014 came from offensive line injuries. Rivers saw musical chairs up front and it simply created chaos at times for the veteran signal caller to get time to throw. Expect Allen to get deep balls as Rivers likes to make big plays and with a healthy offensive line the signal caller will be able to deliver.
Golden Tate: He is a very high quality receiver who will line up opposite Calvin Johnson. In the playoff game against Dallas, Tate was targeted nine times and caught six balls for 89 yards and a touchdown. He figures to get throws because opponents are going to key on Calvin Johnson. Detroit is at San Diego to open the season so the Lions offense will face a defense that is not very familiar with them. We often see shootouts when high octane passing teams from opposite conferences meet on the field.
Mike Wallace: Teddy Bridgewater is making good strides as a young quarterback. He will have Adrian Peterson in the backfield to hand the ball off to. This will open up opportunities in play action for Mike Wallace who is as good of a big play receiver there is in football. Wallace has good speed to beat defenders deep and with Norv Turner as the Vikings offensive coordinator expect some big plays out of Wallace in this spot. Minnesota will be at rebuilding San Francisco. A rookie coach for the 49ers, who could have his hands fool creating his first game plan as head coach. There was a ton of turnover defensively on the San Francisco side. Minnesota could exploit here.
Kelvin Benjamin: The six foot five inch receiver caught 73 passes in 2014 for over 1000 yards. He had nine touchdowns as he averaged nearly nine targets per game. He is the primary receiver for Cam Newton. Acquired in the draft was rookie Devin Funchess out of Michigan. Another big frame and target for Newton that opposing defenses will have to pay attention too. Funchess in pass patterns will open up space to operate for Benjamin to build off his 2014 numbers. Greg Olsen will also be in pass patterns for the Panthers. Carolina is on the road to Jacksonville. The Jaguars were amongst the worst teams in 2014 and expect the Panthers to exploit them and gather fantasy points for Benjamin.
Jeremy Maclin: The Kansas City Chiefs problems at the wide receiver position a year ago have been well documented. They took care of this issue in the offseason by signing Jeremy Maclin. Alex Smith will look Maclin’s way very often and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid knows how to coach offensive productivity. Kansas City has a ton of great running backs to give the ball too. Play action by Smith with deep throws to Maclin could put smiles on fantasy football draft managers on Sunday’s.
2015 WR Fantasy Football Week 1 Value Picks
1. Jordan Matthews (Eagles)
2. Keenan Allen (Chargers)
3. Golden Tate (Lions)
4. Mike Wallace (Vikings)
5. Kelvin Benjamin (Panthers)
6. Jeremy Maclin (Chiefs)