Now that most of our drafts are complete, the waiting begins. But this is no time to let anticipation get the best of you.
My Twitter account has been lit up with questions about various trade scenarios from owners who apparently have been staring at their rosters a little too hard and feel the need to do something, anything, to position themselves better for immediate success.
I have one word for you: Chillax!
Trust your draft preparation, don’t succumb to the knee-jerk trade offer and avoid impulsive free-agent moves. Instead, join me in pondering these 10 burning questions that should begin to be answered as Week 1 unfolds:
1. How healthy are Jamaal Charles, Thomas Rawls, Carlos Hyde, Matt Jones, Jordy Nelson, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Julian Edelman, John Brown, Jimmy Graham and other nicked-up stars?
It’s never a good sign to head into Week 1 already nursing an injury, but these guys have no choice. Their fates will affect not only their owners, but those banking on the players around them.
2. Who will emerge from obscurity?
Last season, Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins, Devonta Freeman, Allen Robinson and Gary Barnidge shocked the fantasy world with unexpected stellar performances. Which players will we be scrambling for next week? Hint: Do you have your starting running backs handcuffed?
3. Can the Jaguars’ offense pick up where it left off?
Bortles was en fuego in 2015 thanks in large part to the aerial exploits of Robinson and Allen Hurns. With Julius Thomas entering the season healthy, and an upgraded running game featuring T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory, the Jags are a team to be reckoned with. They’ve also added several playmakers to their defensive unit. The Raiders’ young offensive stars are likewise poised to take the next step.
4. Is David Johnson the next Marshall Faulk?
After Johnson dazzled in the second half of 2015, millions of fantasy owners have placed a massive bet on him by investing their first pick on the all-purpose tailback. His coaches have compared him to Faulk because of his strengths as a runner and receiver. In the Cardinals’ high-octane offense, Johnson will have no excuses.
5. How soon will Sam Bradford be running the Vikings’ offense? After the blockbuster trade with the Eagles, the Vikings clearly are counting on Bradford to lead them where they hoped Teddy Bridgewater would — the playoffs and beyond. But Shaun Hill will start the opener while Bradford learns the ropes. I’m just glad I don’t have a stake in the team’s receiving corps. This is still Adrian Peterson’s offense.
6. How will the Ravens’ running-back committee shake out? Apparently, the Ravens just wanted to mess with Justin Forsett owners’ heads. They re-signed the veteran after releasing him in a cost-savings move. On top of that, beat writers expect him to play a big role in the offense in Week 1. But it’s pretty clear that Terrance West, Buck Allen and rookie Kenneth Dixon will get their share of the load, as well. Dixon might be the pick of the litter, but he’s likely out for a month with a knee injury. This backfield could produce weekly headaches.
7. Could this rookie wide-receiver class rival that from 2014? Not likely, but they’ve got a shot. Talent abounds, and playmakers such as Corey Coleman, Sterling Shepard, Michael Thomas and Will Fuller will have plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills. It’s tough to love the situation Laquon Treadwell landed in with the Vikings, and Josh Doctson missed all of training camp and the preseason recovering from an Achilles injury. But don’t be surprised if at least three of the others emerge on the fantasy radar.
8. Can Andrew Luck and the Colts’ stocked receiving corps get their mojo back? Last season was a disaster for those invested in the Colts’ passing game, primarily because of Luck’s injuries. Now that he’s back at full health, will this aerial attack pay big fantasy dividends again? My Magic 8 Ball says “Outlook Is Good.”
9. Will Larry Fitzgerald finally start acting his age? Fitz begins his 13th campaign with the Cardinals, with only the calendar to suggest that his best days are behind him. At some point, you have to figure Michael Floyd or John Brown will ascend to the top of the team’s pecking order. Perhaps 2020?
10. Will the Super Bowl rematch Thursday night be a fantasy dud? Two of the league’s premier defenses will be squaring off in the opener, and the Broncos are rolling out an untested quarterback. The last time Cam Newton faced Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware & Co., Superman found his kryptonite. This battle might be best avoided for the respective offenses.
Follow me at the Fantasy Fools blog (fantasy-fools.blogspot.com), on Facebook and on Twitter (@ladd_biro).