Entering each week I will take a look at some players at each position, or sometime just one player whom I have a “man crush” on each week. These crushes are due to the fact that I believe this/these player(s) will have breakout weeks. Some of them will be obvious choices, while others will be sleepers. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at my week 1 man crushes:
Jared Cook– Tennessee Titans TE
He is not as highly regarded as your Gronkowski’s or your Graham’s of course, yet that works to his advantage. Since he isn’t scouted so highly many of you can get him at the end of your draft, and which is a steal. Cook, who stands at 6’ 5” 248lbs ran a 4.5 40-yard dash, which alone shows how freakish of an athlete he is. However, size and speed aside, Cook can play some football. Last year alone, on a Titans team that struggled and had QB questions, Cook managed 49 receptions, 749 yards and 3 TDs (this year he is predicted to get 66 receptions, 693 yards and 6 TDs. Also for all you PPR leagues out there, Cook also is porjected 104 targets). If that’s not enough, his college coach Steve Spurier once compared Cook’s skill set to Calvin Johnson’s. Also, Cook’s week 1 matchup against the Patriots could result in his team falling down early, calling them to air it out a lot.
Percy Harvin– Minnesota Vikings WR
Not just this game, but all season I love this guy, and I’ll tell you why. First, let’s not forget that Harvin is a crazy-fast wide receiver who gets a ton of targets. Also, last year when Christian Ponder finally took over under center, Harvin lead EVERY wide receiver in offensive touches with 100, with Welker in 2nd with 74. All of those touches are yet another reason I love him, because he gets those random carriers out of the back field. Now those carriers aren’t enough to make a gigantic impact, however more touches= more points which is never a bad thing. In addition, the health of Adrian Peterson is still uncertain, which will equal a lighter load, putting more emphasis on including Harvin in the offense. With his week one match-up pitting him against the Jaguars, I am predicting a close game, again with a lot of attention of Harvin.
Josh Freeman– Tampa Bay Bucs QB
Like Harvin, I like Freeman all year, yet ill spare you why and just focus on week 1. Plain and simple, while Carolina may be improving on both sides of the ball, their defense against the pass was and is still terrible. Just last season they ranked 24th, allowing just under 250 yards/game through the air. For more reason on why I am crushing on Freeman this week, check out my previous article on him.
Brandon Marshall– Chicago Bears WR
Do they Colts stand to be a good team again in a few years? Yes. But that doesn’t mean they will be too good in week one, which speaks well to Marshall’s outlook. Reuniting with his old QB, a strong run-game to take some pressure off, all mixed in with his opponent being the Colts, I am predicting a great week 1 performance from Marshall.
Kevin Smith– Detroit Lions RB
Jhavid Best= out, Leshoure= suspended, that = Smith the only option. Some are fretful because of his recent ankle injury, however the team has firmly stated it is not serious and he will be the starter in week one. For fantasy owners that is great news, as he will be facing the Rams, who last year ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, at 152.1/game.