Fantasy football Week 1 preview: The latest on Montee Ball, RGIII, Eddie Lacy

Eddle Lacy will get the brunt of the carries for Green Bay against the 49ers. Credit: Getty Images
Eddle Lacy will get the brunt of the carries for Green Bay against the 49ers. Credit: Getty Images

Drafts are over, but our job is just beginning.

The first task on the road to a fantasy championship is to get a grip on changes in philosophy and personnel. Here’s what to watch for in Week 1:

Bucking Broncos
We monitored the Broncos running back situation for more than three months and still don’t have an answer. That’s scary for Montee Ball. Considering Ball is far more talented than Ronnie Hillman or Knowshon Moreno, it’s a major concern that he hasn’t separated himself. Perhaps he will beginning Thursday night against the Ravens. Or maybe we’ll see the veteran Moreno emerge with value because of his reliability and ability to protect Peyton Manning.

Run Robert Run
There have been whispers that Robert Griffin III’s doctors aren’t happy with the way the Redskins plan to use him as their patient comes off a torn ACL. In other words, they don’t want RG3 running as many read-options, naked bootlegs and quarterback draws. If Griffin listens to them, his fantasy upside is going to take a hit. Although he’s a wildly underrated passer, he ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns last season. That accounted for 38.4 percent of his fantasy points.

Lucky Lacy
The Packers have an absolutely brutal matchup in San Francisco Sunday. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Eddie Lacy struggles to pile up statistics in his first career NFL start. But the way the Packers use Lacy will be telling. If they try to achieve balance and protect Aaron Rodgers by getting the running game going, Lacy will be set up for a monster year. In fact, we can already eye a Week 2 buy-low opportunity.

Week 1 Matchups
Make sure you’re starting these borderline wideouts Sunday:
3. Lance Moore, Saints – Moore torched the Falcons for 14 catches and 214 yards across two games last season. Game will be a shootout.
2. T.Y. Hilton, Colts – The Raiders are going to be a defense to target weekly. Hilton will rip the top off their secondary.
1. Mike Williams, Bucs – Jets shutdown corner Antonio Cromartie will be on Vincent Jackson. That will free up Syracuse Mike.

NFL News
Brandon Marshall’s hip became a big story last week when he said he was frustrated that he’s not 100 percent. But after going to the doctor, he got a 100 percent clean bill of health. Bears coaches and their GM say Marshall looks even better than he did last year when he ripped off a 118/1508/11 line. So what was going on? It looks like a case of Marshall being a diva, calling out for some attention. He’s ready to rock.

NFL Pickups
Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos – A highly athletic former college basketball player that is Peyton Manning’s starting tight end.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Raiders – There’s a lot of Tim Tebow in new starter Pryor. He’s 233 pounds and has 4.4 wheels.
Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers – Le’Veon Bell’s foot is almost healed, but there’s always a chance of setback.



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