Fantasy Player Projections

 
Quarterbacks
RankTeamPlayerProjectionOpponent
1eaglesMichael Vick

Michael Vick

266 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT, 39 rush yards, rush TD

Vick will look like his 2010 self on Sunday, slicing up a Browns defense that could be without its best player, CB Joe Haden (suspension pending appeal). Even with Haden, fantasy owners have no reason to be concerned.

atbrowns
2patriotsTom Brady

Tom Brady

331 pass yards, 3 pass TDs

Tom Terrific (or Tom the Terrible, for Tennessee folk) will make the most of his Week 1 date with the Titans. The last time he faced them: October 18, 2009 -- 380 yards, 6 touchdowns.

attitans
3saintsDrew Brees

Drew Brees

327 pass yards, 3 pass TDs

Brees has thrown a combined 13 touchdowns and two interceptions in Week 1 over the last four years, with an average of 339.2 yards passing. Think the bounty scandal will be weighing on his mind? Nah, not this guy.

vsredskins
4lionsMatthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

322 pass yards, 3 pass TDs

Stafford will exploit a pass defense that allowed opposing quarterbacks an 87.3 QB rating last season. He opened last year with a 300-yard, three-touchdown dandy. Yeah, sounds about right.

vsrams
5giantsEli Manning

Eli Manning

334 pass yards, 3 pass TDs, INT

Manning hasn't thrown for more than 300 yards in Week 1 since 2007 -- a streak that will end on Wednesday. Dallas has too many question marks in the secondary (new faces, injuries) for Manning not to take full advantage.

vscowboys
6panthersCam Newton

Cam Newton

235 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 2 INTs, 20 rush yards, rush TD

Coming off the greatest rookie season ever by an NFL quarterback, Newton shouldn’t see much trouble from the Bucs, who gave up an NFL-worst 30.9 points per game last year. In two games against Tampa Bay last year, he rushed for four TDs and passed for four TDs.

atbuccaneers
7packersAaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

280 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 15 rush yards

Obviously, facing the toughest defense to start the season isn’t what you want for your No. 1 draft pick. Over Rodgers’ past three season openers, he has averaged 230 passing yards and just under two TDs.

vs49ers
8redskinsRobert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III

242 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs, 48 rush yards, rush TD

In his first NFL start, Griffin III has an opportunity to make a splash against a weakened Saints defense that ranked 30th against the pass last year. The Redskins are comfortable with RGIII throwing every pass in the playbook, and fantasy owners will be encouraged by what he can do on the ground.

atsaints
9falconsMatt Ryan

Matt Ryan

293 pass yards, 2 pass TDs

Ryan has the best 1-2-3 combination in football, and will use all of his weapons to test a Chiefs defense that must learn to live without CB Brandon Carr.

atchiefs
10bearsJay Cutler

Jay Cutler

280 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT, 13 rush yards

Finally, we get to see Cutler reunited with WR Brandon Marshall. The two haven’t played together since 2008 -- Cutler’s best year as a pro -- in Denver. These two should have a grand reunion at the expense of a subpar Colts defense.

vscolts
11cowboysTony Romo

Tony Romo

296 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 2 INTs

Even though Romo has suffered defeat in his last five starts against New York his fantasy numbers have been dandy. On Wednesday, he'll feast on a banged-up Giants secondary playing without CB Terrell Thomas (lost for the year).

atgiants
12chargersPhilip Rivers

Philip Rivers

240 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT

Rivers threw for an average of 292 yards with five total TDs in two games against the Raiders last season. However he no longer has Vincent Jackson, and Ryan Mathews' broken collarbone complicates things a bit.

atraiders
13texansMatt Schaub

Matt Schaub

240 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT

Schaub completed more than 75 percent of his passes in the preseason, and looked good doing it. The Dolphins had a below average pass defense last season and Schaub should take advantage, via Andre Johnson and Arian Foster.

vsdolphins
14broncosPeyton Manning

Peyton Manning

220 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT

It’s Manning’s first regular season game in a jersey other than the Colts or Volunteers. Injuries aren't holding him back yet, but a new offense and an experienced Steelers defense could slow him down.

vssteelers
15buccaneersJosh Freeman

Josh Freeman

210 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 2 INTs, 20 rush yards

Freeman will be anxious to put 2011 behind him. With a new head coach, offensive coordinator, star wide receiver, running back and tight end, good things are on the horizon. He threw for 274 yards, one TD and one INT against Carolina in 2011.

vspanthers
16steelersBen Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

210 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, INT

Big Ben is facing a subpar pass defense this week in Denver, but he hasn’t had much time to work with both of his starting wide receivers this preseason. He’s still a good start in fantasy, although he did through three picks in last season’s opener.

atbroncos
17seahawksRussell Wilson

Russell Wilson

200 pass yards, pass TD, INT, 35 rush yards

The rookie made more noise this offseason than any other first-year player. He was dynamic in the preseason, but it’s amazing how things change once the games count. He has great wheels, but he also has an expensive free-agent signee in Matt Flynn waiting in the wings.

atcardinals
18ramsSam Bradford

Sam Bradford

256 pass yards, pass TD, INT

Bradford will have no choice but to throw the ball all four quarters against a Lions team that attempted more passes last year than any other club. Too bad there are no viable pass catchers in this offense -- not a single one.

atlions
19ravensJoe Flacco

Joe Flacco

230 pass yards, pass TD, INT

The Ravens faces a top-10 pass defense in the Bengals, but Flacco has looked great in the preseason, with 433 passing yards and three TDs in three games. He averaged 200 passing yards, with three total TDs, in two games against the Bengals in 2011.

vsbengals
20chiefsMatt Cassel

Matt Cassel

228 pass yards, pass TD, INT

The Falcons pass defense was middle of the road in every aspect last year, but fantasy owners should look past the matchup; Cassel’s confidence is the greater issue. He had a rough preseason, and completed just 19 of 34 passes the last time he saw extensive action (August 24).

vsfalcons
21jetsMark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

178 pass yards, pass TD

Two of Sanchez’s best games last season came against Buffalo (season-high 71.4 completion percentage in Week 9, and four touchdown passes in Week 12). Interesting, huh? Start him, you ask. No, we’d never advise that.

vsbills
2249ersAlex Smith

Alex Smith

225 pass yards, pass TD, INT

Extra weapons, including future Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss, points to a good fantasy season ahead for Smith. The former No. 1 overall pick faces the worst pass defense from 2011, but teams were usually coming from behind against Green Bay. Expect one or two big pass plays -- and a few mistakes.

atpackers
23raidersCarson Palmer

Carson Palmer

225 pass yards, pass TD, INT

Few players went from offseason darlins to preseason pariah like Palmer this August, when he had just 181 passing yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Chargers' pass defense allowed 29 TDs last season, so hope is on the horizon for Palmer’s owners.

vschargers
24jaguarsBlaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert

207 pass yards, pass TD, INT

In a battle of second-year signal callers, Gabbert has the more favorable matchup. The Vikings gave up more than 250 yards passing per game last year, and rookie safety Harrison Smith won’t solve that all by himself.

atvikings
25coltsAndrew Luck

Andrew Luck

210 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs, 16 rush yards

The No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 522 yards, three TDs and two INTs this preseason. He’s replacing a future Hall-of-Famer and he’s dealing with expectations built up from Cam Newton’s rookie season. He’s not worth a starting fantasy nod -- yet.

atbears
26jetsTim Tebow

Tim Tebow

0 pass yards, 38 rush yards, rush TD

Jets fans will get to see new packages designed for Tebow, but it’s irrelevant to fantasy owners. Whether it’s the Wildcat, the Tebow Package … whatever they call it, Tebow does not matter. Say it three times: Tim Tebow does not matter, Tim Tebow does not matter, Tim Tebow does not matter.

vsbills
27billsRyan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

205 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs

Fitzpatrick completed 54 percent of his passes this preseason, causing some in Buffalo to lose faith. Bills fans should have waited to lose faith until after Fitzpatrick faced a Jets pass defense that allowed opposing quarterbacks a rating of 69.6 last year.

atjets
28cardinalsJohn Skelton

John Skelton

190 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs

Skelton barely won the starting job this preseason, sending Kevin Kolb to backup status. Despite last season’s effort against the Seahawks (271 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Skelton is not worth a look this week.

vsseahawks
29bengalsAndy Dalton

Andy Dalton

185 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs

Did you know Dalton put together one of the top 10 seasons by an NFL rookie QB? Cam Newton’s success shadowed the redhead’s accomplishments. Unfortunately, he faces a Ravens pass defense that allowed just 11 passing TDs last season.

atravens
30vikingsChristian Ponder

Christian Ponder

201 pass yards, INT

The preseason was a mixed bag for Ponder, and probably a hint of what’s to come this fall. Fantasy owners can expect to see a lot of short and intermediate passes to Percy Harvin and the tight ends against a Jacksonville defense whose focus will be the Vikings rushing attack.

vsjaguars
31titansJake Locker

Jake Locker

243 pass yards, 2 INTs

The only thing scary about playing the defending AFC Champions on opening weekend is … well, Locker has a lot to be scared of. Bill Belichick will build a game plan around testing the untested passer – and chances are Belichick will succeed early and often.

vspatriots
32brownsBrandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden

182 pass yards, INT

There won’t be a Cam Newton-type debut for Weeden, who must make do with a mediocre receiving corps against one of the league’s most talented secondaries. Fantasy owners have witnessed rougher coming-out parties -- not many, though.

vseagles
33dolphinsRyan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill

180 pass yards, 2 INTs, 14 rush yards

One of an NFL-record five rookie quarterbacks starting in Week 1 this season, Tannehill has few passing weapons in South Florida. It’s going to be a while before the Texas A&M product is fantasy worthy.

attexans
 
 
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