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2011 Draft Prep: Old faces, new places

Senior Fantasy Writer
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When you think back to the offseason moves prior to the 2010 season, there are a few players who stand out based on their poor performances. The biggest names seemed to struggle the most.

Probably the three most-publicized transactions were Anquan Boldin's trade to Baltimore, Brandon Marshall's trade to Miami and Donovan McNabb's trade to Washington. All three failed to perform in 2010 at the level they had with their previous team. Chester Taylor also was a huge letdown based on the big free agent deal he signed in Chicago.

But in looking past Boldin, Marshall, McNabb and Taylor, you'll find that Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson were still standout Fantasy options for the Jets, Peyton Hillis was a star in Cleveland and we had quality performances from Ryan Torain in Washington and Mike Williams in Seattle.

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There's no rhyme or reason why a player who switches teams struggles or succeeds. Sometimes it's based on increased role or improved system. Other times you can tell when a player is just chasing money. For every success story like Michael Turner to Atlanta, there is a failure like Javon Walker to Oakland.

With that in mind, here is a look at the most impactful transactions for Fantasy owners during this frenzied free agent period. These moves consist of players who have changed teams with a look at their Fantasy value in their new home. Call it old faces in new places.

Editor's note: This story will likely be updated as offseason moves continue to happen, so check back frequently when a signicifant transaction occurs.

Quarterback

Kevin Kolb
Old team: Philadelphia
New team: Arizona
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 quarterback
Kolb goes from being Michael Vick's backup to the starter for the Cardinals, and he could easily end up as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback before the end of the season. He has one of the best receivers in the NFL with Larry Fitzgerald, and he plays in a weak division in the NFC West. But the reason we consider Kolb just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback on Draft Day is he's unproven. He also has little help beyond Fitzgerald and tight end Todd Heap, and he could be a product of Andy Reid's system similar to McNabb and A.J. Feeley. Our advice is to draft Kolb as one of the top backup quarterbacks, and if he starts out the season playing well then you can trade him for something to improve your roster or start him yourself if your No. 1 quarterback struggles.

Donovan McNabb
Old team: Washington
New team: Minnesota
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 quarterback
McNabb's Fantasy value improves with the trade to Minnesota since he escapes the madness of the Redskins and gets a fresh start. We wish his receiving corps was better since he has just Percy Harvin as a go-to threat, but the running game with Adrian Peterson should help McNabb be successful. He's not going to return to his glory days as a starting Fantasy option like he was in Philadelphia, but he should be better than his one season in Washington. A good week to count on McNabb is Week 5 at home against Arizona. If you draft Tony Romo as your starter then look for McNabb as a backup since Romo is off in Week 5. He also could have success in Week 8 at Carolina, which would make him a suitable replacement for Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers or Josh Freeman, who all have a bye that week.

Matt Hasselbeck
Old team: Seattle
New team: Tennessee
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 quarterback
Hasselbeck was expected to remain a starter this season, but we thought he was staying with the Seahawks. He gets an improvement with the Titans since his receiving corps is better, assuming Kenny Britt doesn't get a lengthy suspension, and he benefits from moving to the AFC South, where there are some of the worst defenses in the NFL. Hasselbeck also has a better running game to help him out, but that means Chris Johnson can't have a long holdout. That said, Hasselbeck is only worth drafting with a late-round pick as a backup Fantasy quarterback. He could be useful in Week 7 against Houston when Michael Vick and Tom Brady are on a bye, so consider drafting Hasselbeck if you spend an early-round selection on Vick or Brady.

Running back

Reggie Bush
Old team: New Orleans
New team: Miami
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
The Saints had no need for Bush with Pierre Thomas coming back and the addition of Mark Ingram, and Fantasy owners were ready to give up on him all together. Now that he's in Miami, he can at least be expected to touch the ball around 10-15 times on offense. The Dolphins are going to rely on rookie Daniel Thomas to carry the load, but Bush can play on third downs and as a change-of-pace rusher. His Fantasy value is higher in leagues where receptions count, but he's still worth a late-round pick in standard leagues. Bush was never a great Fantasy option with the Saints, and he won't improve with the Dolphins. But he escaped a bad situation in New Orleans, and that can only help his outlook for 2011.

Darren Sproles
Old team: San Diego
New team: New Orleans
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 running back
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
Sproles' value doesn't change too much since he will go from a receiver out of the backfield with the Chargers to replacing Bush as a receiver out of the backfield for the Saints. Sproles doesn't have much value in standard leagues, but he's worth drafting with a late-round pick in leagues where receptions count. He is third on the depth chart behind Ingram and Thomas and will have to share targets with Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham. But Sproles has a proven track record with 104 receptions the past two seasons and at least 780 yards in each year.

Willis McGahee
Old team: Baltimore
New team: Denver
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 running back
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 3 running back
McGahee has the chance to be a key reserve running back with the Broncos since Denver's new regime under coach John Fox is not sold on Knowshon Moreno as an every-down back. We still expect Moreno to start and get the majority of carries, but Fox showed at Carolina with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart that he likes two rushers to play in tandem. McGahee has at least five touchdowns in every season since 2004 and could also work at the goal line in Denver since he's a bigger back than Moreno. You can draft McGahee with a late-round pick, but don't be surprised if he ends up starting a game or two for you based on Moreno's injury history as well.

Tim Hightower
Old team: Arizona
New team: Washington
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 running back
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
Hightower will likely remain in a similar role with the Redskins that he had with the Cardinals as a receiver out of the backfield. But he goes from one crowded situation to another. In Arizona, Hightower was expected to be third on the depth chart behind rookie Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells. In Washington, he will compete with rookie Roy Helu for the No. 2 job behind Ryan Torain. The difference with the Redskins is he will definitely play on passing downs, and the allure of coach Mike Shanahan and his history with running backs will be attractive to Fantasy owners. We recommend drafting Hightower with a late-round pick, especially in leagues where receptions count, but don't be overexcited that he's going to start and get the majority of touches.

Marion Barber
Old team: Dallas
New team: Chicago
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
Matt Forte will remain the starter and receive the majority of touches, and Barber is expected to compete with Chester Taylor for the backup spot with the Bears. Barber will likely have the chance to score some touchdowns and work on third downs, but barring an injury to Forte, you won't get much from Barber this season. Chicago needed a running back to help Forte since Taylor was a huge bust in 2010, so that's the role Barber will play. He's not worth drafting in the majority of leagues, but in deeper formats you can consider Barber as a handcuff option if you spend an early-round selection on Forte this year.

Ronnie Brown
Old team: Miami
New team: Philadelphia
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 3 running back
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
Brown was going to change teams after the Dolphins made it clear he wasn't coming back to Miami. But we didn't expect him to land in Philadelphia with little chance to play. He will now be the backup running back to LeSean McCoy and probably have minimal touches each week. He is definitely worth drafting as a handcuff option for McCoy, but on his own he isn't going to help Fantasy owners much. Look for Brown to be drafted with a late-round pick, and the only way he will be Fantasy relevant this season is if McCoy gets injured and misses significant time.

Ricky Williams
Old team: Miami
New team: Baltimore
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 running back
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 running back
Williams joins the Ravens, where he will be the No. 2 running back behind Ray Rice. This is a good landing spot for Williams since Baltimore won't want to run Rice into the ground, and he can play behind a solid offensive line and a great blocking fullback in Vonta Leach. Rice will still get the majority of touches, but Williams is worth drafting with a late-round pick. And if you draft Rice in Round 1 then Williams projects as the handcuff option ahead of Jalen Parmele.

Wide receiver

Sidney Rice
Old team: Minnesota
New team: Seattle
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 2 receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 3 receiver
Rice went for the cash grab here, and good for him in getting a five-year contract from the Seahawks for $44 million with $18.5 million guaranteed. But this move significantly hurts his Fantasy value since his quarterback will be Tarvaris Jackson, who also signed with Seattle from Minnesota. We don't see Rice getting back to the level that made him a standout Fantasy option in 2009 when he had 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. He's still worth drafting as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver based on his potential in playing in the NFC West, but we wish Rice had a better quarterback situation than being reunited with Jackson.

Chad Ochocinco
Old team: Cincinnati
New team: New England
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 3 receiver
Ochocinco gets his wish to play with Tom Brady and for Bill Belichick, and he could be the best receiver for the Patriots. I still have him ranked behind Wes Welker, but he could move past Deion Branch and start right away. Regardless, Ochocinco will be on the field quite a bit, and he is worth drafting with a mid-round pick in all leagues. Brady won't turn Ochocinco into Randy Moss circa 2007, but he should help Ochocinco improve from his dismal stats in 2010 when he had just 67 catches for 831 yards and four touchdowns. It's a much better scenario for Ochocinco to be catching passes from Brady than an inexperienced rookie like Andy Dalton.

Steve Breaston
Old team: Arizona
New team: Kansas City
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 receiver
The positives for Breaston moving to the Chiefs are he's reunited with Todd Haley, who was his offensive coordinator with the Cardinals, and he has a proven quarterback in Matt Cassel. The negatives are he goes from a guaranteed starting spot in Arizona to possibly being the No. 3 receiver depending on what the Chiefs want to do with rookie Jonathan Baldwin. We still expect Breaston to be heavily involved, but he might have been better off staying in Arizona for his Fantasy value. Still, he should only be drafted with a late-round pick as a No. 4 Fantasy receiver.

Roy Williams
Old team: Dallas
New team: Chicago
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 receiver
Williams had minimal Fantasy value if he had stayed in Dallas since he was not going to start ahead of Miles Austin or Dez Bryant. With Chicago, Williams will be reunited with Mike Martz, and he gives Jay Cutler a big target along with Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. The best production for Williams came in 2006-07 when he played for Martz in Detroit, and he had 146 catches for 2,148 yards and 12 touchdowns over those two seasons. He won't relive those days, but he is worth drafting with a late-round flier. And even though he's been terrible with the Cowboys the past two seasons he does have 12 touchdowns over that span.

Plaxico Burress
Old team: Giants
New team: Jets
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 receiver
We would have preferred if Burress went from his two-year stint in prison back to the Giants or to Pittsburgh, which was another rumored destination. The move to the Jets is OK, but he would have been better off in a more prominent passing attack. The benefit to joining the Jets are that he is almost guaranteed a starting spot opposite Santonio Holmes with Braylon Edwards gone, and Mark Sanchez continues to develop as a quarterback. Also, Edwards had 53 catches for 904 yards and seven touchdowns last year, and someone needs to replace that production. Don't overvalue Burress based on his name recognition, but he is worth drafting with a late-round pick.

Mike Sims-Walker
Old team: Jacksonville
New team: St. Louis
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 receiver
Sims-Walker has shown flashes of greatness, especially in 2009 when he had 63 catches for 869 yards and seven touchdowns. But he hasn't proven to be a consistent Fantasy option, and that will continue with the Rams. He will compete for a starting spot, but the Rams already have plenty of marginal talent at receiver with Danny Amendola, Danario Alexander and Donnie Avery. St. Louis also could bring back Mark Clayton, who was a quality target for Sam Bradford before suffering a knee injury. Now, Sims-Walker could benefit playing in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' system, and he could improve with Bradford instead of David Garrard. If you draft Sims-Walker with a late-round pick then you're in good shape, but don't reach for him following this move.

Braylon Edwards Old team: New York Jets
New team: San Francisco
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 4 wide receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 3 wide receiver
Edwards found that the free agent market was not very kind, which is why he accepted such a low offer to play with the 49ers. But he immediately becomes the No. 1 receiver in San Francisco (No. 2 target behind tight end Vernon Davis), which hurts Michael Crabtree, and he should be able to post quality stats going from the AFC East to the NFC West in what is a more pass-friendly offense than he played in with the Jets. Edwards should have plenty of motivation to succeed, and he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick this year.

Derrick Mason Old team: Baltimore
New team: New York Jets
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 3 wide receiver
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 4 wide receiver
Mason was the best receiver for the Ravens last year when he outplayed Anquan Boldin, but he's near the end of his career at 37. He goes from a starter in Baltimore to the No. 3 option in New York behind Holmes and Burress. Mason still retains value in leagues where receptions count as a low-end reserve, but he might not get drafted in standard formats with this move to the Jets. We would have rather had him stay in Baltimore for his Fantasy value.

Tight end

Greg Olsen
Old team: Chicago
New team: Carolina
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 tight end
The Panthers are stockpiling former University of Miami tight ends by adding Olsen and Jeremy Shockey this offseason. Olsen should start ahead of Shockey, but both will be on the field together quite a bit. Olsen escapes the Martz offense, which has been bad for tight ends, and he goes to the Panthers with offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who should rely on Olsen as the No. 2 target in the passing game behind Steve Smith. Olsen will struggle while rookie quarterback Cam Newton learns the offense, but he should be considered a sleeper in deep leagues. And he becomes a great bye-week replacement since the move to Carolina has definitely helped his Fantasy value.

Todd Heap
Old team: Baltimore
New team: Arizona
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 tight end
Heap doesn't get a significant bump going from the Ravens to the Cardinals, but he should become the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Fitzgerald. Heap will have to develop a rapport with Kolb, and he is now worth drafting with a late-round pick. But we'll still have the same issues with Heap that we had before -- he's injury prone and doesn't score enough (seven touchdowns in 2005 is his career high). What Heap does is he gives Fantasy owners another option at tight end with his move to Arizona, which opens the door for Ed Dickson to be considered a sleeper in deeper leagues for the Ravens.

Zach Miller
Old team: Oakland
New team: Seattle
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: No. 1 tight end
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 tight end
Miller was a No. 1 Fantasy tight end with the Raiders, and he could still play at that level in 2011 with the Seahawks. But I want to see it happen first, especially with Tarvaris Jackson now as his quarterback. He does benefit from playing in the NFC West, but he has averaged just four touchdowns a year in his career. The safe option is to consider Miller a No. 2 Fantasy tight end and draft him with a late-round pick. Let him prove that this move to Seattle will help his Fantasy outlook and not hinder it because coming into the season I'm a little skeptical.

Kevin Boss
Old team: New York Giants
New team: Oakland
Fantasy value prior to the transaction: Not worth drafting
Fantasy value after the transaction: No. 2 tight end
Boss will replace Miller as the starter for the Raiders, and while he might not play at Miller's level, someone has to help the receiving corps in Oakland. Jason Campbell also has a solid history with tight ends going back to his time with Chris Cooley in Washington and Miller last year, and Boss could improve slightly with the change from the NFC East to the AFC West. He isn't worth drafting in the majority of leagues, but Boss could be a late-round flier in deep formats if you want a potential No. 2 tight end with upside.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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Player News
Wes Welker expected to be suspended for Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker will be suspended for Week 1, according to the Denver Post.

Mike Klis initially reported that there was a chance Welker's suspension wouldn't kick in until after Week 1, but issued an update later. While the NFL has yet to officially announce the suspension, the Broncos have been informed of the move. The team is expected to send out a press release confirming the information Tuesday.


Report: Wes Welker may play Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Update: Welker will be suspended for Week 1, according to the Denver Post. The team is expected to send out a press release shortly.

Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker may play Week 1 against the Colts, according to the Denver Post

Welker is expected to be suspended for four games after reportedly testing positive for amphetamines. The league, however, has not officially announced the suspension. Suspensions are typically announced by Tuesday, according to Pro Football Talk. Since the NFL has yet to announce the move, it's thought Welker could be available for Week 1, but would serve his suspension once the NFL announced the move. 

There are a lot of uncertainties regarding the situation at this time. The club expects Welker to be available, provided he passes concussion protocal, but it remains to be seen how the NFL will handle this suspension. 


Randall Cobb to be tested Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb should be in for a tough test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Cobb caught just three passes during the preseason, picking up 34 yards and a score. His lack of work shouldn’t be a huge concern, as the Packers offense doesn’t need any fine-tuning. The main thing here is that Cobb is 100 percent healthy after playing in just six games last season due to a leg injury.

His Week 1 production could be dampened by a strong Seahawks DST. Seattle was exceptional against the pass last season, holding opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game. That figure was the second-lowest rate in the league. On top of that, Cobb may have to deal with Richard Sherman, who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Sherman may spend the majority of the game stopping Jordy Nelson, but he could find his way over to Cobb on a few occasions.

Cobb’s versatility makes him a strong candidate to be moved around the Packers’ offense. If Green Bay can create some nice matchups, and Sherman is preoccupied with Nelson, Cobb could be in for a better game than people might expect. 

Despite that, expectations should be tempered. Seattle’s DST was strong last season, and while Green Bay boasts a strong offense, things should be muted Week 1. Cobb is a fine start, considering his upside, but he carries more risk this week due to the matchup.


Jordy Nelson in for a tough test Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson should be in for a difficult test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Nelson had a quiet preseason, catching just two passes for 19 yards. One of those catches wound up being a touchdown. Despite the lack of action during the preseason, Nelson’s upside with a healthy Aaron Rodgers is well-known among Fantasy owners. That said, he’s going to have to work for everything he gets against Seattle.

The Seahawks rated as the best defense in the league last year. They were strong in every facet of the game. Seattle held opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game, the second-lowest figure in the league. To make things even more difficult for Nelson, he’ll likely be covered by Richard Sherman. Sherman, by many counts, is arguably the best corner in the game. 

Still, it’s tough to pass up Nelson’s upside with a healthy Rodgers. The Packers boast an overabundance of weapons, and it’s possible moving Nelson around before the play could put him in a more favorable matchup. Even if Sherman covers him the entire game, Nelson is a good enough receiver to make some noise. While he doesn’t have a great matchup, Week 1 is not the time to take a player as good as Nelson out of your Fantasy lineup. 


Eddie Lacy to have his hands full Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers running back Eddie Lacy will have his hands full Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Lacy is coming off a tremendous rookie season, in which he rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He didn’t get a ton of use during the preseason, but seemed to be in midseason form. Lacy rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries, good for a 5.5 average over two preseason games. He also managed to run in a touchdown.

Though he looked strong in the preseason, Lacy should have a tough time against the Seahawks Week 1. Seattle allowed just 12.32 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs last season. That was the second-lowest rate in the league. While the Seahawks lost three defensive linemen during the offseason, the club is thought to still have the top-rated Fantasy defense.

In many circles, Lacy was considered a strong Fantasy pick after the elite four running backs were off the board. With that in mind, it’s unlikely he’ll be benched in many leagues Week 1. There are better matchups out there, but Lacy is a tough player to sit. Given Green Bay’s offensive capabilities, he’s still a decent start even against the best Fantasy defenses. 


Aaron Rodgers taking on a tough task Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has his work cut out for him Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Rodgers entered the season as one of the top Fantasy options at quarterback, but will take on the best defense in the league. Last season, Seattle held Fantasy quarterbacks to just 10.89 points per game. That was the lowest rate in the league. The Seahawks DST ranked tops in the league in limiting points and yards last year. On top of that, the team forced the most turnovers.

While Seattle lost three members of the defensive line during the offseason, the club is still expected to have one of NFL’s best defenses. If Seattle struggles to get to Rodgers, that could open things up for the Packers offense.

Given the cost to acquire Rodgers, in a snake or auction draft, he’s probably going to start for most Fantasy teams despite his tough Week 1 matchup. While there are better quarterback options for this week, Rodgers still has a strong potential for dominance. He’s healthy and still has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. It might not be Rodgers best game of the season, but he’s shown that he can put up numbers against even the best defensive clubs.


Percy Harvin looking to start the year on the right foot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is looking at a strong matchup Week 1 against the Packers.

A quiet preseason was a good preseason for Harvin. After missing nearly all of last season due to a hip injury, Harvin was able to play in all but the final game of the preseason. He missed the fourth game due to a personal issue, and not because of an injury. Harvin caught seven balls for 92 yards in August.

The Packers didn’t boast a strong pass defense last season. The team allowed opposing wide receivers to average 22.94 Fantasy points per game. That wasn’t one of the worst rates in the league, but it was below-average. The team attempted to address this during the offseason, taking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. Despite that, there’s no guarantee the team will perform better in the defensive backfield.

Despite the fact that Harvin is a five-year veteran, there are questions about how he’ll be used with the Seahawks. While Harvin was able to play during the club’s playoff run, it was unclear whether he was actually fully healthy last year. Harvin has shown the ability to be a game-changing wide receiver, so it’s assumed the Seahawks will find ways to get arguably their best playmaker the ball. The club has been been incredibly run-heavy over the past few seasons, but a healthy Harvin could make them more balanced. 


Marshawn Lynch ready to roll Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking to get off to a good start Week 1 against the Packers.

Lynch had an abbreviated preseason, carrying the ball just three times for 16 yards. That’s probably not a bad thing considering his high workload over the past couple years. Lynch also had a brief holdout during the offseason, but reported to camp in shape, and should be ready to roll.

The Packers weren’t particularly strong against the run last season, giving up 19.18 Fantasy points per week to running backs. That was the eighth worst figure in the league. While the team tried to shore up things defensively during the offseason, the loss of B.J. Raji should make it easier for teams to gash the Packers up the middle. 

With that in mind, Lynch should be a strong start. The Seahawks modus operandi the past couple years has been the run game, and that probably won’t change now. There are concerns about Lynch’s workload and lack of preseason reps, but his pedigree and matchup make this a strong start Week 1. 


Russell Wilson ready to shine Week 1?
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson begins his post-Super Bowl year with a strong matchup against the Packers Week 1. 

Wilson performed well during the preseason, completing 78.6 percent of his passes. He threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Wilson also managed three rushing touchdowns to cap off a strong preseason.

His ability to put up solid Fantasy numbers should be tested Week 1. The Packers did not boast a great defense against the pass last season. The team allowed quarterbacks to score 20.65 Fantasy points, which was the seventh worst clip in the league. Green Bay has been proactive in resolving the issue, drafting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round, but it’s unclear how much better the team’s defensive backs will perform. 

The bigger question will be whether the Seahawks open up the offense for Wilson this season. With Marshawn Lynch out for much of the preseason, Wilson showed the ability to carry the team with his arm. Now that Lynch is back, the team could opt to get back to conservative play-calling with the franchise quarterback. Wilson has all the makings of a strong matchup here, but could get the short end of the stick if the Seahawks pound Lynch.


Matt Forte should live up to billing in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Bears running back Matt Forte was ranked as a top five Fantasy running back going into the season, and he falls in the top five in both weekly running back rankings from CBSSports.com experts. After setting career highs in rushing yardage, rushing touchdowns, receptions and receiving yardage in 2013, will Forte get this season started off on the right foot in Week 1 against the Bills?

While Buffalo put together a strong defense last season, the team's particular strength was against the pass. Rushers were able to gain 4.4 yards per carry against the Bills, leaving them 23rd in the league in the category. While the Bills did a good job defending against pass-catching backs last season, they now have to play without linebackers Kiko Alonso (season-ending injury) and Nigel Bradham (suspended for Week 1) as well as safety Jairus Byrd (signed with New Orleans).

New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense was just average defending passes against running backs in Detroit last season. Forte has been excellent against Schwartz, who was the head coach of the Lions from 2009 through 2013. He has rushed for 1,005 yards and averaged 4.74 yards per carry while catching 38 passes for 360 yards in 12 career games against the Lions. Ten of those contests came with Schwartz at the helm, and Forte should be able to continue giving the Bills defensive coordinator nightmares this Sunday.


 
 
 
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