Fantasy football Keelan Cole Alex Collins Jimmy Garoppolo advice ahead of Week 1.
Keelan Cole the top cat in Jacksonville
When Marqise Lee was lost for the season with a knee injury, the Jacksonville Jaguars presumably lost their number one wide receiver. In his absence, the door is open for someone to step into that role, and Keelan Cole is the receiver most ready to make an immediate fantasy impact. Cole shined down the stretch last year, racking up 475 yards and three touchdowns on 23 catches over the last five weeks of the 2017 season. He was incredibly efficient with the limited targets he was given, posting the second-best yards per reception of any receiver in the NFL. In 2018 he has the opportunity to supplement that efficiency with volume, as long as he can hold off fellow sophomore Dede Westbrook. Cole should be able to impress right from the get-go, as a matchup with the sub-par New York Giants secondary awaits in Week 1.
Great matchup for Alex Collins in Week 1
Alex Collins has been a favorite target of mine all preseason, and if you were lucky to snatch him up he should provide an immediate return in Week 1. Collins and the Ravens will host the Buffalo Bills, the team that ranked dead last against the run in 2017. While they made some additions on defense, they didn’t do anywhere near enough to transform the run-stopping unit significantly. Collins was outstanding last year, totaling over 970 yards on the ground despite playing in less than 40% of the Ravens offensive snaps. That incredible work will allow him to hold off the returning Kenneth Dixon, who will likely only be mixed in on passing downs in the early goings. Collins is a firm RB2 who offers top-10 upside in Week 1 given the matchup and the way the game script is likely to flow.
Phenom May Falter Against Vikings
Jimmy Garoppolo did amazing things last year in his first crack as a team’s unquestioned starting quarterback, that’s impossible to deny. However, I don’t think he should be deployed with those same expectations in Week 1 against a hungry, angry, ultra-talented Minnesota Vikings defense. The Vikings ranked first in total yards allowed last year, and on average yielded just under 16 points per game to opposing offenses. Garoppolo is undoubtedly a gamer and capable of handling tough defenses (see his Week 16 thrashing of the vaunted Jaguars defense), but as of right now I don’t believe he has the weapons to offset the onslaught that the Vikings will bring. The 49ers franchise quarterback is a low QB2 for me this week, and if you have different options on your roster this is a good week to use them.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys – Gallup should start right away and have an immediate opportunity to take over as the top wide out on the Cowboys. The talented rookie merely has to outplay Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley and Terrence Williams.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers – With Le’Veon Bell all but certain to miss Week 1 (he hasn’t yet reported to the Steelers), Conner might be immediately deployed as the Steelers feature back in their Week 1 matchup with the Browns. Coach Mike Tomlin has said if that comes to pass, they’ll use Conner as they would Bell.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Cleveland Browns - Taylor is going to have to run and gun to keep pace with the Steelers in Week 1, and even if they come in garbage time he should have no problem cruising to 20+ fantasy points in this matchup.