Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 15 intriguing over/unders entering Week 1. Happy Football!
Rashad Jennings rushing yards at Minnesota 89.5
Scott — UNDER. I wasn't early on this bandwagon, and I'm not long for it. Minnesota's defense can still get after it.
Brandon — UNDER. The Vikings allowed a RB to top this number at home only twice last season. If I were the Vikings, I'd certainly be stacking the deck against the run and forcing Blaine Gabbert to beat me through the air. I say Jennings comes under the number but saves his fantasy line with a TD.
Dalton — UNDER. Minnesota allowed just 3.9 YPC last year, ranking as sixth-best in the NFL. They are at home and favored in this game, so while I don't think he's a bad start this week, with MJD also likely to get 8-10 touches, I expect Jennings to fall short of this rushing number.
Fred Jackson total yards at the New York Jets 99.5
Andy — OVER. If we get last year's version of F-Jax, this is no problem. The Jets won't can't score, so the ground game will always be in play for Buffalo.
Brad — OVER. Come year's end the Jets defensive line should be ranked among the league's elites, but Jackson has looked like a man possessed. The Bill totaled 120 yards against this unit in his lone meeting a season ago. Bank on him eclipsing the century mark again.
Scott — OVER. Buffalo quietly had a bad preseason but no one's too worried, I guess. I see Spiller presence as overblown.
Robert Griffin III total touchdowns at New Orleans 2.5
Brad — OVER. Call me the eternal optimist, but it's only appropriate the man who sports "Super Socks" plays like a hero in the Superdome. The Saints defense, ravaged by injuries and suspensions, will be one of the league's most accommodating. RGIII fires a box of bullets in a shootout.
Scott — UNDER. Rome wasn't built in a day, albeit Shanahan had nothing to do with it.
Brandon — OVER. I'm expecting the Redskins to have to push the pace to keep pace with the Saints. Cam Newton went for three total TDs in his first game against New Orleans and I'll wager that RGIII does the same in his first NFL game.
Justin Blackmon receptions at Minnesota 6.5
Scott — UNDER. I'm on board with Blackmon, but that's lofty. Call it 6-72, and that falls short.
Brandon — UNDER. The twisted ankle casts a cloud over his NFL debut, as does the Jags offense. Seven catches would be a lot considering what's stacked against him.
Dalton — UNDER. Blackmon has impressed in the preseason, and he faces a Vikings secondary that allowed an NFL-worst 107.6 QB rating last year despite its front seven tying for a league-high 50 sacks. But taking the over here would put the rookie at a 112-catch season's pace, so I'm fading.
Peyton Hillis end-zone kneel-downs and/or muscle flexes versus Atlanta 1.5
Dalton — UNDER. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillis scores double-digit touchdowns this season, but projecting more than one in a given week is asking for a lot. And for what it's worth, the Falcons allowed a modest eight rushing touchdowns by running backs all of last year.
Andy — UNDER. Hillis is quite possibly the biggest self-celebrator in league history, but doesn't catch enough flak.
Brad — UNDER. LeSean McCoy was the only rusher to splash six twice against the Falcons a season ago. Once again Atlanta should be a very unyielding defense up front. The Chiefs offensive line may pave the way for one Hillis score, but two seems like a stretch.
Kevin Smith Week 1 final RB ranking 9.5 (In other words, will he post a top-10 line)?
Andy — You would know this answer already if you'd just CHECK MY RANKS.
Brad — UNDER. Admittedly, I'm a matchup advocate. Even marginally skilled running backs are worth a start against overly generous defenses. The Rams, annually outmatched in the trenches, are a work in progress under Jeff Fisher. Look for Smith to total close to 100 yards with a score in what will be a lopsided affair.
Scott — OVER. Always bet no on any pro-Smith prop. Next question.
Adrian Peterson total touches versus Jacksonville 9.5
Brandon — UNDER. Especially if Minnesota can get out front and hold a lead, I'd expect them to give Peterson only a small handful of touches just for the mental hurdle of coming back from the ACL injury. I'm guessing he touches the ball no more than half a dozen times.
Dalton — UNDER. This is a total toss up, and I admittedly have no idea. I guess this is my way of saying I'd probably bench Peterson in Week 1, if any viable alternatives at all are available. But it certainly doesn't mean I think he'll go down as a disappointment over the rest of the year.
Andy — UNDER. This should be a non-issue for AP owners, obviously, since you didn't draft him for his September production.
Assuming he nets the start, Robert Turbin rushing yards at Arizona 89.5
Brad — OVER. The Utah State product was arguably my favorite value RB in last April's draft. His thick, muscular frame, plus vision and versatility are a fantastic fit within Seattle's zone-blocking scheme. The Cardinals, very average against the run in '11 (4.2 ypc allowed to RBs), will again be rather vanilla defending it. Advantage "The Turbinator." Fearless Forecast: 20-95-1.
Scott — OVER. He'll push past 100 yards, in part because I expect Seattle to control the game.
Brandon — OVER. Beast-Mode failed to top this number in both of his starts against Arizona last season, but he was fairly close in each. With an improved offensive line and another year under Tom Cable's run system, an expected 20 carries should put Turbin over the number.
Mike Wallace targets at Denver 6.5
Andy — UNDER. He just joined the team, and only averaged 7.1 targets per game last season. We're not talking about Roddy or Wes here.
Brad — UNDER. Squeezed by the Champ clamp during the playoffs last year, Wallace, despite 10 targets, totaled a measly three receptions for 26 yards. Considering his probable assignment and accumulated dust from the long layoff and his role will likely be limited.
Scott — OVER. This offense is still going to take its deep shots - that sails past the proposed number.
Trent Richardson total touches versus Philadelphia 14.5
Brad — OVER. T-Pain has participated fully in practice this week, but his expected workload remains a mystery. Still, Pat Shurmur fully intends to start the rookie. How the game flows may be his only hindrance. At this point, roughly 15-plus touches seem like a foregone conclusion.
Scott — UNDER. I'm fading this one, in part because I don't think Richardson is anything past a Hail Mary play in Week 1. I love him for the balance of the year (the OL isn't nearly as bad as some want you to believe), but be safer for now - a little too much risk.
Brandon — UNDER. Given his conditioning, I doubt he goes up and over this mark. I think he'll ultimately settle with about 10 touches, and if the Browns end up chasing a big number early against Philly, T-Rich could be even more of a non-factor.
Number of times John Gruden says "this guy" on Monday Night's broadcast 9.5
Brandon — OVER. It's OK, though, because I like Gruden. He's a bit melodramatic (ok, a lot), but what can I say, I like Bill Walton, too. Never a dull moment …
Dalton — OVER. That's an awfully high number, but it's tough to go against it. Gruden is just OK as a broadcaster, and I actually think he could be the best if he was unfettered, but as is, when he inevitably goes back to coaching, I hope they bring Jaws back to the booth.
Andy — OVER, by 85.
Greg Olsen receptions against Tampa Bay 5.5
Scott — UNDER. A little high for me, but I like him in a 5-71 sort of way, and he climbed my tight-end board all summer.
Brandon — OVER. I have Olsen as the No. 6 tight end in Week 1, so I'm expecting a big game from him against an expected to be bad Tampa Bay defense now that he's not giving away TE looks to Jeremy Shockey.
Dalton — UNDER. I love Greg Olsen this year and even saying under here doesn't mean I don't think he's a TE1 in Week 1. But for what it's worth, only three teams allowed fewer receptions to tight ends than the Bucs did last year.
Russell Wilson combined yards (pass/rush) at Arizona 274.5
Brandon — OVER. For a full game, given his awareness of open rushing lanes, I'd expect him to push 50 rushing yards most weeks. So I'm guessing he'll only need just over 200 passing yards, which he should do against a team that allowed an average of 250 a year ago.
Dalton — OVER. Even if not quite as much as the rest of the Yahoo scribes, I'm buying Russell Wilson. Not sure if the touchdowns will be there right away, but against a mediocre defense and with his rushing ability, Wilson should surpass 275 total yards.
Andy — UNDER. But not under by much. Wilson is great, this should be a lay-up win.
Pick 'em: Redskins RB that will tally the most fantasy points, Evan Royster, Alfred Morris, Roy Helu or WILDCARD
Dalton — MORRIS. I've gone on record saying I predict Royster will end up with the most fantasy points this year, but based on how the backs were used last week and trying to read the tea leaves (obviously likely a fool's errand), I'll bet on Morris in Week 1. But no Washington back should be used in Week 1 unless more clarity is provided.
Andy — (SILENCE). You cannot force me to discuss this [expletive] backfield. RGIII will lead this team in rushing. Book it.
Brad — MORRIS. Royster currently sits atop the pole position, but even he is "in the dark" about who the starting RB will be. In Week 3's dress rehearsal, Morris trounced the Colts for 100-plus yards and a score, a performance that likely earned him first crack at early down work. Knowing Lucifer, however, Mike Bell will walk through the door tomorrow and start against his old team.
If Jonathan Stewart is ruled inactive, DeAngelo Williams rushing yards at Tampa Bay 109.5
Andy — OVER. Possibly way over, like by 50 or 60 yards. Friendly match-up (we think), very talented back.
Brad — OVER. Defenses can sometimes reverse course overnight, but Greg Schiano is no Dumbledore. It will take time to rectify a unit that ranked dead last against the run a season ago. Five RBs reached 110 rushing yards versus TB last year. If Stewart sits, D-Will, coming off a strong camp, will be the first of 2012.
Scott — OVER. The Tampa turnstile won't be fixed overnight. Williams sails past the total.
BONUS: Kevin Ogletree end of season receiving yards 799.5
Andy — UNDER. When healthy, Austin and Witten will get their numbers. I'm not proclaiming a Laurent Robinson event just yet.
Brad — UNDER. No doubt, he was sensational against the rival Giants, but it's important to keep his performance in perspective. The Giants secondary was minus two key contributors and Jason Witten wasn't exactly 100-percent. Let's not automatically assume he's the next Laurent Robinson. Seattle extinguishes the hype in Week 2.
Scott — SLIGHTLY UNDER. The Oak Tree (or Ogie Oglethorpe) finishes at 781 yards and seven touchdowns. Gavel.
Brandon — UNDER. While Romo has made a habit out of developing his No. 3 receivers (See Miles Austin and Laurent Robinson), this team has too many mouths to feed once Jason Witten and Austin are fully healthy.
Dalton — UNDER. Laurent Robinson just scored 11 touchdowns as the Cowboys' "WR3," but he also managed a modest 61.3 YPG while doing so, and that was with Miles Austin missing six games and with Dez Bryant apparently "unavailable" after halftime. Ogletree will fall short as the team's No. 5 option on offense moving forward.
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