NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Matchups: Monday Night Football 7:10PM ET – Philadelphia Eagles @
Spread: Eagles -1
Philadelphia made waves this offseason now that Chip Kelly is in charge of personnel decisions. If you weren’t Chip’s guy you got shipped out of town, and if you were a former Oregon Duck you likely had a new home. The Eagles got an upgrade at QB (Bradford) but a bigger injury question mark. They got a RB (Murray) that better fits their system but is coming off a mammoth 436 carry season. They got a Defensive Rookie of the Year (Alonso) coming off an ACL tear and missed season. This is perhaps the team with the biggest “if they stay healthy” in history. Meanwhile, Atlanta got a new Head Coach, Dan Quinn former DC of Seattle to come in. They have a couple small acquisitions on Defense and not many other changes. The question is, does Quinn have a secret sauce to turn Atlanta’s last ranked defense into, well, not a last ranked defense.
Matty Ice has a year older, banged up Roddy White, no TE, a patchwork O-Line, and an unproven RBBC. What he does have is Julio Jones, a WR that you could make a case for being tops in the league. That has been enough to keep Atlanta an above average offense while Ryan is healthy. Against the Eagles in a high scoring shootout, the only guys to target are the two bright lights in an otherwise bleak starless night, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. The Eagles have a solid pass rush, but with how fast paced the game will be expect them to get in the end zone multiple times. If Roddy White weren’t getting elbow surgery before week 1, he might make the cut, but he is too banged up to rely on. The run game should be avoided until you see where the carries will go. It’s extremely rare for someone to win a tournament with a RB sharing carries, usually there is an injury that paves the way for a backup to take the lion’s share, Alfred Blue for example.
The Eagles are almost matchup proof. They had one game last season where they scored under 20 points, against the Seahawks where they put up 14. They run plays at a lightning fast pace and look to wear opponents out. I don’t expect Dan Quinn to be able to work enough magic with an under talented Atlanta D to keep up. Sam Bradford is healthy enough to play in preseason games, and if Mark Sanchez has taught us anything, a Philly QB will put up solid fantasy numbers. Jordan Matthews will be the biggest beneficiary of those numbers, with Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz picking up the scraps. Agholor and Ertz are risky plays, and I am staying off them for week 1. I am not scared off of Demarco Murray by Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles getting looks. Murray is getting paid starters money, I expect a starter’s share of carries.
Eagles to target: Sam Bradford QB, Jordan Matthews WR, Demarco Murray RB
Falcons to target: Matt Ryan QB, Julio Jones WR
The Breakdown: Using Daily Fantasy Sports as a Betting Tool
Marco D’Angelo and Bryan Leonard from WagerTalk.com discuss daily fantasy sports and how it can be used as a betting tool for handicappers.