Wednesday, September 09, 2009

NFL Week 1 Sneaky QB Play

Don't be so quick to pick a QB for week 1.

With a handful of teams squaring off against great (if not violent) defenses, it's always important to try to squeeze those extra 2-3 points out of the QB spot, since you never know when your week might come down to just that.

Sure, there are some must-starts, and we won't bother getting into those, but when you venture in the middle and lower tiered QBs of the League, a lot can be said for benching a guy like Jason Campbell if a QB of lesser namesake has a more lenient matchup.

For week number one, I'm going to go WAY out on a limb and tell owners of Matt Stafford to give him a long, hard look. The Lions, realizing full well they have no place to go but up, will be looking to their top pick to give the team a little electricity, though expectations for the team are extremely low.

The Lions travel to the Bayou for their first game and tackle the Saints and, arguably, the best offense in the NFL. Anyone who doesn't think New Orleans won't be up by 14 midway through the second quarter has a decidedly pro-Detroit take on life. And anyone who doesn't think Stafford will throw at least 20 passes in the second half is assuming the Lions turn the ball over in 1st down in each of their possessions. The Saints defense is certainly better this year, but with the speed and efficiency that Drew Brees can orchestrate an offensive score, Stafford will have plenty of time on the field, and plenty of opportunities to hit Megatron in stride.

Make no mistake, I'm not saying the Lions are going to keep this game close, and I'm not saying that Stafford will outperform any of the big-time QBs in fantasy value, but I do think he will at least give the Flaccos and Campbells a severe run for their money, and will likely outscore guys like Tyler Thigpen (who appears to be the starter with Cassell still ailing), Trent Edwards, and anything the Bucs and Raiders might toss out there. Expect Stafford to hit under 50% of his throws, get picked at least once (maybe twice), but also throw for a TD or two: something in the neighborhood of 10-12 points.

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