“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I'm feeling good” was once sung by Nina Simone. I feel that vibe until Week 1 hits hard, and suddenly half my teams are not looking as good as they did just two days before Week 1!
1.) Trevor Lawrence finishes Week 1 as a top 5 QB (currently projected around QB15).
Justification: It’s Week 1 and after a few ‘learning curve’ moments in preseason, Trevor is going to come out the gate hungry to prove to the world and to Jaguar nation that he is legit. You can almost hear the “DUUUVAL” chants now as he airs the ball out repeatedly against a Houston defense that is among the worst in the league this year.
2.) Stefon Diggs is listed as a top 3 WR this week, but he finishes outside the top 15.
Justification: It’s early in the season and the defenses are not only healthy but going strong. Pittsburgh has not only a strong defensive line but a solid secondary unit and will be breathing down Josh Allen’s neck most of the day. Joe Haden will be covering him mostly, with an occasional Cameron Sutton covering. My bigger confidence comes in Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is one of the best safeties in the league. No defense has allowed fewer completions on passes of 20+ yards since he joined the Steelers.
3.) Chase Edmonds is projected as the 25th – 30th RB, he finishes inside the top 7 this week.
Justification: Arizona used him somewhat heavily out of the gate last year. He finished with a touchdown, 26 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards, getting six carries and five targets. They face a Tennessee team who is stronger in the secondary and weaker on the line. I think we see a combo of Murray and Edmonds rushing the ball a bit perhaps, with some screen passes thrown in.
Cardinals open regular season at Tennessee this Sunday.— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) September 7, 2021
AZ’s Chase Edmonds & TEN’s Derrick Henry are the NFL’s only two RBs with at least 5 TD runs of 20+ yards over the last two seasons (2019-20).
(Edmonds 5 & Henry 7) pic.twitter.com/qYGI3apniP
4.) The Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots over under is 43.5, give me the over at 48.5.
Justification: First of all, I think Mac Jones is going to turn some heads this week. Both seem to have average or below average defenses (especially on the line and the linebacker area) and both offenses have a new cache of weapons. Jaylen Waddle will want to prove himself on Miami and both Damien Harris and Nelson Agholor are among my list of players who will outperform this year. The final X-factor I see is special teams and corners (see Pick-6) where both teams have above average squads.
5.) Dan Arnold is projected at TE26, but he finishes inside the top 7.
Justification: It’s fresh ground for a number of things in Carolina so this one is dicey. That said, the Jets allowed the most points to opposing tight ends last year, and I could see Sam Darnold utilizing an easy out a few times this game. Christian McCaffrey will eat into his targets, but if the Jets start double-teaming Run-CMC, Arnold will be an attractive option for a few passes. To close out last season he caught 13 passes on 19 targets for three touchdowns and over 200 yards. The biggest piece to this all relies in who Sam Darnold wants to utilize in his new offense.