Are you ready for the regular season? I definitely am. Enough of the drafts, bring on Week 1.
That also means one of my favorite segments is back for the regular season: Fantasy Football Flex of the Week.
My goal is to provide you (and myself) with an option deep down the rankings who is a free agent in most leagues. I could touch on guys higher up the list and more widely owned, but what’s the point when he’s already on a roster?
I really like Marvin Jones this week (ranked as No. 25 WR ), but since he’s already on every roster, there’s no point in hyping him up.
Instead, I’ll hunt for the best and most intriguing matchup available. One of my favorite plays from last year was Stefon Diggs before he got popular. Yes, I also had my fair share of misses, but it’s better to take a chance than to leave someone like Diggs sitting on free agency.
Week 1 is the hardest for a number of reasons, mainly because the Week 1 rankings are almost the same as the draft rankings. But for those who drafted Jamaal Charles or Justin Forsett, you may be in need of a new option in the first week.
Am I crazy to believe in Pierre Garcon (21% owned at Yahoo!, 36% owned at ESPN) this week? He’s ranked as the consensus No. 60 WR at FantasyPros and I’m not sure why he’s so far down the list. He finished as the No. 36 WR in standard leagues last season and for Week 1, nothing will have changed in the Washington offense.
Yes, Josh Doctson was drafted, which is why Garcon went undrafted in many places. But Doctson missed most of the preseason and is unlikely to suit up in Monday’s game.
That puts Garcon in the same spot as last year, opposite of DeSean Jackson with Jordan Reed in the middle. I agree, Garcon’s upside is limited. He never had more than seven catches or 80 yards in a game last year and he’s never been a major touchdown threat, although he closed the regular season with a touchdown in three-straight games.
In any other matchup, maybe I wouldn’t consider him, but Washington hosts a high-flying Pittsburgh team and points will come early and often.
The Steelers have an unchanged starting secondary and were inconsistent a year ago. They added Justin Gilbert last week and Artie Burns through the draft, but those guys are there for depth. Are we confident this defense can hold Washington below 30 points?
Let’s not forget the success that Kirk Cousins and the offense had at home last season, especially in the second half.
Throw in a Pittsburgh secondary that was 26th against No. 1 WRs and 22nd against No. 2 WRs (DVOA from FootballOutsiders) and you have a recipe for points.
Reed has gotten the most attention from the Washington passing attack, and for good reason, but there’s no reason to forget about Jackson and Garcon.
With Ben Roethlisberger on the other side and an over/under of 50, there will undoubtedly be points and plenty of passing in this game.
If Garcon doesn’t finish with at least three catches and 40 yards, it would probably be a disappointment. And I’m banking on more from the 30-year-old — predicting he’ll reach 60 yards and a possible touchdown.
With guaranteed scoring in this game combined with Garcon’s spot as Washington’s No. 2 wideout, he makes for an easy Flex of the Week.
Elsewhere, I’d consider Jesse James at tight end in the same game and Terrell Pryor, who should be starting for the Browns in their opener.