Ahh, do you see it?
Kids are going back to school, the weather is cooling down and EA’s Madden NFL 25 has been released. That combination can only mean one possible thing.
Football is back.
That’s right. Week 1 of the 2013 season kicks off in just two days, and fantasy owners are drafting teams left and right. However, they shouldn’t miss out on a spectacular game on NFL.com called Perfect Challenge. Players can pick there own starting lineup each week, trying to score the most possible points. You can literally pick any player in the league and if you manage to score the most points, you will be eligible to win a ton of great prizes. So, now that you are introduced, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some of the best options for your Perfect Challenge lineup in Week 1.
Happy football, y’all.
QB- Drew Brees vs Atlanta Falcons: I want every single part of this NFC South showdown. The Falcons and Saints always have the ability to produce a shootout when matching up, and how can you go wrong with arguably the best signal caller in all of football? Brees is the number one quarterback on my board for both the season as a whole, as well as Week 1. The game takes place in the Superdome, and in Brees’ last five home games against Atlanta, he is averaging 301.6 yards per contest, and also has 14 passing touchdowns during that span. Brees and the return of head coach Sean Payton will want to come out and prove that the heavily favored Falcons aren’t the only contender in that division. I expect Brees to drop back to pass at least 45 times in this game, and with the Falcons defense taking a step back in 2013 (losing Brent Grimes and John Abraham), I expect a ton of points to be scored.
RB- Adrian Peterson vs Detroit Lions: You’re not really going to bench the likes of Peterson, right? I didn’t think so. Purple Jesus is coming off one of the greatest campaigns ever, and while an encore isn’t expected, he’s still the best running back on the planet, and is still a must-start. During his last two games against Detroit, Peterson is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, 273 yards and one touchdown. The Vikings, as usual, will pound the rock with their star back, and while Detroit may have a very impressive front-seven, it simply won’t matter. Don’t get cute. Play the best player in fantasy football.
RB- Alfred Morris vs Philadelphia Eagles: Many people probably assumed I’d go with my fantasy man crush in C.J. Spiller here, but nope. I’m playing all of the Redskins I have this week, but especially Morris. Coming off an incredible rookie season, Morris is poised to be an even bigger piece of this Redskins offense in year two. And boy, primetime on Monday night football, Morris will remind the world why he shouldn’t have been a 6th round pick in last year’s draft. While the Eagles offense is exciting, their defense is (excuse me while I yawn) atrocious. A guy like Morris should rip this poor run defense, as he did last year. The Redskins as a unit are averaging an impressive 124.0 rushing yard per contest in their last seven home games against their division rivals. Morris alone is averaging 151 rushing yards per game and four scores during his last three games in Landover, Maryland. Expect 25-30 carries, all the goal line touches and a ton of production from “The Butler” in Week 1. Yes, I want that nickname to very much so become a thing.
WR- Calvin Johnson @ Minnesota Vikings: The same “duh” theory that is associated with Peterson applies to Megatron. He is the best receiver in football on a team that throws the ball more than anyone. During Calvin’s last road game against the Vikings, he caught 12 balls for a whopping 207 yards and a score. The Minnesota secondary is weak, but then again, every secondary is weak when going up against Johnson. I don’t see the Lions run game being successful against a very stout Minnesota run defense, so I expect Matthew Stafford to sling the ball all over the field.
WR- Dez Bryant vs New York Giants: I foresee a shootout between these two bitter rivals. Both defenses have their question marks, but especially the Giants and their secondary. Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo have developed one of the best rapports in all of football and I fully expect that chemistry to be very evident on Sunday night. The Cowboys offense has scored 24-plus points in seven of the least eight games against the Giants, and Dez will dominate Cory Webster, who struggled a lot last season.
TE- Jimmy Graham vs Atlanta Falcons: Did I mention I want everything to do with this game? Brees will put up tons of points, the Saints will put up tons of points, therefore, Graham will benefit greatly.
K- Blair Walsh vs Detroit Lions: I love Walsh as a fantasy kicker because he plays on an offense that has an elite guy (Peterson) that can move them up the field at times, but for the most part, this offense is pedestrian. That allows Walsh to get a ton of field goal opportunities when drives stall in the red zone. I expect that to be the case on Sunday.
D/ST: New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills: See Tuel, Jeff. If rookie EJ Manuel (knee) can’t suit up, Tuel will be under center for the Bills, which results in an instant streaming dream for any fantasy defense. The Patriots are a top-10 defense in the first place, so this just puts the icing on the cake. I expect Tuel to struggle against the likes of Bill Belichick, forcing throws that aren’t there. Also, after losing Andy Levitre, the Bills offensive line has some questions.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.