Football is back—finally. We’re honing in on the Pats-Steelers game (as will most of the rest of the country) for these Picks, but don’t forget that you’ll need to make selections from at least two other games to be eligible in your Contest.
Brandon Bolden (RB) has at least 8 carries
It’s always a gamble Picking someone in New England’s backfield, as Bill Belichick is the most unpredictable coach in the NFL. Jonas Gray had a four-touchdown game out of nowhere last season and then was cut from the team last week. That leaves Bolden as the primary “big back” out of the remaining group with LeGarrette Blount suspended for the first game. He’ll likely be asked to handle the carries between the tackles, and the Steelers don’t project to be a strong team defensively. The only concern here is Bolden may not have a long leash should he fumble or miss a blocking assignment. That being said, he’s the safest running back to expect production from and eight isn’t a big number to surpass. Plus, with a 66.67 offer, this is one worth putting some major Points against.
Suggestion: 25 Points X 1.77 Offer = 44.25 Fantasy Points
Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR) will have at least 10 receiving yards
It’s easy to forget that DHB was a first round draft pick after the Oakland Raiders became enamored with his speed. He’s been a huge bust since entering the league but has a chance Thursday night to shine in a stand-alone game. With the suspension of Martavis Bryant, Heyward-Bey will occupy the No. 3 wide receiver role and try to get open vertically against the Patriot’s defense. The offer is a lot here due to his lack of productivity a season ago; only two games did he surpass the 10-yard receiving mark. He should have no trouble making this benchmark as only one catch could be enough to win it.
Suggestion: 25 Points X 66.67 Offer = 1,666.75 Fantasy Points
Julian Edelman (WR) will have less receiving yards than Aaron Dobson
Okay, this one is a bit of a gamble. Dobson is coming off an injury-plagued season where he couldn’t stay healthy enough to build on his rookie campaign. The Patriots placed Brandon LaFell on IR and released Reggie Wayne, opening up a starting spot opposite Julian Edelman. That spot could be occupied by Danny Amendola but he possesses a similar skill set to Edelman’s. Dobson, on the other hand, has good size at 6-3, 200lbs and has the speed to stretch the field vertically. There’s a good chance Brady and he hook up for a big play as Pittsburgh’s secondary was suspect all last season.
Suggestion: 25 Points X 5.71 Offer = 142.75 Fantasy Points
Sealver Siliga (DE) has at least 4 tackles
One of the lesser-known names on the defensive side of the ball for New England, Siliga is going to play a big role for the Patriots this season. Vince Wilfork now wears a Texans uniform and Siliga will be counted on to close the gap he leaves behind. Siliga should be shooting to plug up the run game and make a few tackles on Pittsburgh’s ball carriers. Siliga averaged over four tackles per game last season and. coupled with the extra snaps he’s likely to see this season, hitting that mark in this game shouldn’t be a problem.
Suggestion: 15 Points X 4.88 Offer = 73.20 Fantasy Points
DeAngelo Williams (RB) has at least one rushing touchdown
The Steelers will be without their starting running back, with Le’Veon Bell sidelined due to a suspension. That means for the first two games Williams will be counted on to handle the majority of the work in the Steeler’s backfield. With the impending return of Bell there’s no reason to limit Williams’ touches and Dri Archer isn’t big enough of a back to pass protect or get yardage in goal line situations. That means that there’s a good chance Williams takes a handoff from Ben Roethlisberger and finds the endzone. Still, there’s a chance that they stick with the passing game in the red zone so don’t put too many Points against this one.
Suggestion: 10 Points X 40.00 Offer = 400 Fantasy Points