The 2015 NFL schedule was officially released last night, and daily Fantasy Football players now have some more information to work with before the start of the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 22, 2015
Is it super early and super ridiculous to start planning for daily fantasy football in April? Yes, but I still want to!
There will be players from the 2015 NFL Draft who can make an immediate impact, and you can’t rely too heavily on numbers from previous years. With that being said, it normally takes a couple of seasons to completely transform a bad defense into a mediocre defense, and a mediocre defense into an elite defense.
For Week 1, there were two games that jumped out at me.
Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last year, the opponents of the Jaguars recorded 71 sacks and 17 interceptions, while Jacksonville only recorded 45 sacks and six interceptions. The Jaguars could make a few moves to improve at the linebacker position and safety, but that doesn’t mean the defense will immediately improve.
I think Cam Newton will run all over the Jags, and I have a feeling he will be a much cheaper option than Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart could all have excellent games as well, but with Newton starting the season healthy, I think he is inline for a big day on the ground. Newton finished the last three games of the season averaging 65.66 rushing yards per game, and scored three straight rushing touchdowns in those final three games. With six points for a rushing touchdown and six points for sixty rushing yards, Newton can nab you 12 points just from his ground performance if he just stays at that level.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atalanta Falcons
I’m not sure exactly what Chip Kelly has in mind, but if he gets what he wants, I don’t see how too many teams are going to be able to stop him. The Falcons’ defense added depth with the additions of Adrian Clayborn and O’Brien Schofield, but that isn’t enough to put pressure on whoever is starting at the quarterback position in Week 1 for the Eagles.
It’s a little dicey to start an Eagles’ running back, as DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles will all find work. Murray could finish as the highest-scoring running back in Week 1, but I think he comes at a premium price to find that out. I’m looking more to Jordan Matthews and potentially Zach Ertz as affordable options who should outperform their price tags.
If you remove Matthews Week 2 performance with one catch, and his Week 15 performance where he didn’t haul in anything, the 22-year old averaged 4.71 catches per game. In PPR formats, that is huge. Ertz’s blocking abilities, or lack thereof, cut down on his playing time in 2014. This offseason, however, the 24-year old tight end is working with Hudson Houck, who is considered one of the greatest offensive line coaches in the history of the NFL. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Ertz is a major threat in the end zone. As long as he can see playing time, Fantasy Football players should be ready for a breakout season.
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