2013-09-05 11:00:00 EDT
The NFL season has begun, and with the conclusion of last night’s Broncos-Ravens game, there are plenty of mixed emotions for fantasy owners already. We’ve got a couple more days to wait for the main batch of games to begin, so there’s still a little time to rearrange that starting lineup. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy fantasy happenings around the league this morning. Here’s the latest.
Broncos-Ravens Fantasy Notes: We figured Peyton Manning would be a strong fantasy QB this season, but we didn’t expect such an outburst in the opener. He tossed a whopping seven touchdowns last night against the Ravens (the first player since 1969 to do so) and added 462 passing yards for a career evening.
You’ll see some waiver wire action generated by this offense-heavy game, so let’s take a look at a couple of trending candidates. The Ravens’ Dallas Clark had a nice outing, posting an unexpected 87 yards (and a near-touchdown drop). He could find a recurring role in that offense now that Dennis Pitta is gone. For the Broncos, TE Julius Thomas got in on Manning’s antics, snatching five passes for 110 yards and a pair of scores. We’re not so sure he’ll be able to make a week-to-week impact in Denver’s potent offense, but might be worth a low-end grab.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns: It’s no secret around here: we expect big things from Cameron this season. He’s exactly the type of matchup nightmare TE that Cleveland OC Norv Turner adores, and he should be a focal point of the offense. Cameron makes for a big target in the red zone, and he’s already displayed his scoring abilities in the preseason.
The Browns get the Dolphins on Sunday, and though Miami’s defense is improved over last season, they won’t be clamping down on the opposing receivers. Consider Cameron a top-10 fantasy play this week.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: While we’re on the subject of impact fantasy tight ends, let’s take a look at Gronkowski’s progress. He was participating in offensive drills yesterday at practice, and even caught a TD pass from QB Tom Brady. Gronk is looking better and better with each passing day and he’ll likely end up as one of the steals of the 2013 fantasy draft.
Now, on to his health status. Gronkowski is still working his way back on to the field after off-season back surgery. He’s officially listed as questionable for the Patriots’ opener on Sunday against the Bills, and that’s probably all you’ll get out of Belichick and the gang for the next couple of days. Do we think he’ll play? No, but Week 2 is looking more and more realistic with each passing day.
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Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: We’re not super-jazzed about Nicks in fantasy this season, but we’re starting to come around. After a restful off-season (and a minor groin issue in camp), he now claims he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to roll for the season opener against the division rival Cowboys.
Nicks’ injuries made him something of a disappointment in 2012, and he finished the year with 692 yards and three scores. Now that he’s back in top form, he could steal the spotlight from fellow WR Victor Cruz (who is nursing a heel injury but is probable for Sunday). We like Nicks as a flex play or a WR3 against Dallas. Frankly, it’s hard to pick against any Giant in that stadium.
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