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While you’re at it, make sure to target these five rookies as potential studs for your Week 1 fantasy football team.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints ($5,700)
Even against an up-and-coming Atlanta Falcons secondary, Cooks should have no problem putting up big numbers in Week 1. The rookie out of Oregon State has showed impressive ability during training camp and the first preseason game, and should be gelling well with quarterback Drew Brees when September 7 rolls around. The future is bright for Cooks, and we’ll get our first real glimpse at his star power during kickoff week.
Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans ($6,600)
It’s definitely not an ideal matchup against a stout Kansas City Chiefs front, but Sankey is still an exciting option regardless. He’s already solidified himself as the Titans’ starter in 2014, and should provide plenty of versatility. Not only is he a tough, instinctive runner, but he also offers plenty of value out of the backfield. Even if Jake Locker struggles to get the Tennessee offense going, the Titans can turn to Sankey to carry the load and pick up consistent chunks of yardage.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills ($6,300)
It’s never reassuring when you have an unproven quarterback under center, but Watkins’ talent can’t be ignored. He’s made plenty of noise during training camp and the preseason with his highlight-reel catches, and has shown that he can haul in even the most inaccurate of passes. Even if E.J. Manuel isn’t on top of his game during kickoff week, Watkins should still have no problem putting the hurt on a Chicago Bears defense featuring an unreliable cornerback duo and plenty of uncertainty at both safety spots.
Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions ($5,400)
While he’s been far from impressive since joining the Lions, Ebron is the type of player who can easily flip a switch on game day. The North Carolina product is a sensational athlete who uses his size and speed to create mismatches in the passing game. What’s even better is Ebron will be up against a New York Giants’ linebacking corps that consists of below-average athletes and poor coverage players. There’s some uncertainty here, but the boom potential is worth the risk.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,000)
Evans was drafted into a great situation in Tampa Bay. He’ll be catching passes from a seasoned veteran and playing across from a proven playmaker, so the rookie first-round pick should have no proven tearing apart defenses. Vincent Jackson will pull the coverage away from Evans, which should allow Josh McCown to give the rookie plenty of opportunities against an average Carolina Panthers secondary. Look for Evans to make a big impact in the red zone and pull in at least one touchdown during kickoff week.