2014 Fantasy FootballFantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 1 Gold Mine

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Source: Joe Sargent/Getty Images North America

In the immortal words of Drake “We Made it!!” The NFL season began last night when the Seattle Seahawks began their title defenses against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

With the start of the NFL season comes the start of the Fantasy Football season as well. Each team has finalized their 53-man rosters and is geared up for kickoff. Football fans getting excited to sit with their families and see if their team wins, it’s a tense but fun time for all those involved. It is amazing how all over the world fans celebrate football in their own unique ways for their teams. In Australia, they get their football merchandise from online stores such as sydney swans shop, this ranges from footballs to baby clothes, they get seriously into it, just as we do during this season.

If you are smart you know the fantasy draft isn’t the only place to put time and energy in to your teams. Sure, you have already spent countless hours understanding each players tendencies, injury histories and more, but each week players will emerge, some of which you may have never heard of before. The research never stops as week after week players who may not have caught your eye in August are showing you why you made the mistake of not selecting them in the first place.

If you are lucky, you may be able to get to the waiver wire quicker than other players in your league. But even some times the players that should be on rosters just continue to sit there waiting for the magical phone to ring. As I have done in recent years, below you will see a list of players owned in less than 25% of leagues that absolutely should be on rosters if not starting for your fantasy teams come game day.

Geno Smith (QB – NYJ): There is absolutely no arguing that Geno Smith was one of the best QBs in the NFL to end the 2013 season, the numbers just don’t lie. In the final four weeks of the season Smith (6.6% owned, ESPN) tallied nearly 1,000 total yards of offense with 7 combined touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Geno’s week 1 opponent this year is the same team he faced in week 14, the Raiders. Smith had one hell of a game that week securing 26 fantasy points. To begin the 2014 season the Raiders are being ranked as the 30th worst defense against opposing Quarterbacks. With a full off-season under his belt, look for Geno to improve in his sophomore season.

Marqise Lee (WR – JAC): Someone has to catch the ball, right? Lee (20.3%) is one of the only bright spots in Jacksonville to begin the season. The team still refuses to name Blake Bortles the starter, so for now Chad Henne is the guy, but he needs someone to throw the ball to. With Justin Blackmon (JAC) done for the year with a suspension, Henne is going to look to the Jaguars second round pick to move the ball down field. Although Marqise’s production wasn’t the greatest this preseason with 8 catches for 94 yards, he did find the end zone twice including a 57-yard reception for a score from the aforementioned Bortles. Despite Lee receiving some disparaging remarks from head coach Gus Bradley early on in the preseason regarding lackadaisical route running, Lee is going to be one of the go-to-guys in Jacksonville regardless of who the QB is. Jacksonville opens up the season against the Eagles who were the worst ranked defense against opposing WR in 2013.

Andrew Hawkins (WR – CLE): I am a huge fan of Hawkins (15.6%) and as it seems so are the Cleveland Browns. Hawkins missed most of the 2013 season due to injury, but in the final five weeks of the season he had at least 3 receptions in 3 of those games gaining 60 yards in two of those contests. With the suspension of Josh Gordon, Hawkins has the early spot for starting WR in Cleveland opposite Miles Austin. And despite his very small frame for a #1 WR, Hawkins has excellent explosiveness and can be very sneaky due to his size. The Browns may be facing the 12th best defense against opposing wide outs in 2013, but much like Marqise Lee in Jacksonville, someone is going to need to get the ball and that someone is going to be Hawkins.

Jared Cook (TE – STL): Were you one of the players who got screwed over by Cook in 2013? I know I was, and it hurt big time. However, while many may not have been touting him as an early option this offseason, Cook still matches up extremely well against his week 1 opponent. Cook (9.8%) opens up the season with a home game against the Vikings who were ranked the 29th worst against opposing tight ends in 2013. Despite Cooks’ atrocious seaso,n one glaring stat was that of his 84 total targets, 13% of which came from within the red zone. If Cook can get just a few more targets in the red zone, his numbers will increase and it will be a win-win for everyone

These players may not win your week, but they sure are going to help you get to that shiny W. Think twice about passing up on these players as they can easily add value to any players squad.

You catch me on Twitter for up to the minute fantasy questions @JustinMandaro.

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