NFL Week 1 Game Previews: Pump & Stump PART 1
Every week during the NFL season I will be do a "Pump and Stump" write up for each game. “Pump” is a player I am high on in that game. “Stump” is a player I am necessarily benching/fading, but I am lowering my expectations on for that game.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
PUMP – Allen Robinson – WR, CHI
The Green Bay Packers made some move on defense this past off season, but it remains to be seen if they are viable moves. I expect the Bears to take a step forward offensively in the second year being in Mike Nagy’s offense, and Allen Robinson to have a solid game.
STUMP – Aaron Jones – RB, GB
I don’t feel comfortable playing anyone against the Bears defense, let alone running back in a pass-first offense coming off a hamstring injury. I expect Aaron Jones to get a starter’s snap share, but I don’t expect anything start-worthy for you fantasy lineup. Flex at best.
Tennessee Titans vs Cleveland Browns
PUMP – Nick Chubb – RB, CLE
No reason to get too cute here. A traded Duke Johnson and a suspended Kareem Hunt means Nick Chubb will get all the work he can handle to start the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chubb was the league’s leading rusher through the first half of the season.
STUMP – Corey Davis – WR, TEN
The Tennessee Titans offense is sketchy at best, and opening on the road vs the Browns defense makes them even less attractive. Marcus Mariota is on his last leg, and I expect the Titans to attempt to run the ball to keep this game from getting out of hand. Stay away from everyone in the Titans’ pass game.
Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins
PUMP – Mark Andrews – TE, BAL
Miami is a Top-2 matchup for TE’s and Mark Andrews is the top target for Lamar Jackson. Nothing more needs to be said. Set it and Forget it.
STUMP – Kalen Ballage – RB, MIA
I am avoiding playing any Dolphin’s in this matchup vs the Ravens. They have the lowest implied Vegas total of Week 1, so the game script doesn’t favor the projected short yardage back for the Dolphins. Sit, sit, sit!
Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets
PUMP – John Brown – WR, BUF
Jamal Adams is a force to be feared, but the rest of the Jets’ secondary is subpar at best. Josh Allen’s strength is the deep ball, so I expect him to take a few shots to his best WR and connect on at least one for big play.
STUMP – Robby Anderson – WR, NYJ
Despite a calf injury, Robby Anderson is expected to play in the season opener vs the Bills. He will be matched up against Tre’Davius White, who is among the league’s best young corner, which will make the hobbled Anderson even more of a liability. Avoid Robby Anderson if possible.
Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles
PUMP – Chris Thompson – RB, WAS
Philadelphia should make quick work of the Washington Redskins in this game, meaning the Redskins ill be playing catch-up. Chris Thompson will be the biggest beneficiary, getting a lot of late game dump offs. He makes for a viable flex play in PPR formats.
STUMP – Alshon Jeffrey – WR, PHI
Josh Norman may not be as he was a few years ago, but he still is able to make life difficult for non-elite WRs. Zach Ertz is the top passing option for the Eagles offense, and I have a feeling the Eagles will make it a point to feature Desean Jackson in a reunion/revenge game.
Atlanta Falcons vs Minnesota Vikings
PUMP – Kyle Rudolph – TE, MIN
Stefon Diggs popped up with a mysterious hamstring injury on Wednesday and reports are that he might not be able to play in the opener. That leaves about 8-12 targets up for grabs, and I like Kyle Rudolph to be the biggest beneficiary. If you don’t have one of the top 6 TEs, pluck Rudolph off the waiver wire in this matchup plug him in your lineup
STUMP – Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL
The Vikings defense has been formidable for years, especially the front seven. The Falcons offensive line is a little banged up, and Freeman is getting his first real game action in almost 11 months. I expect this game to be a shoot-out which will limit rushing impact Freeman will have on this game.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Jacksonville Jaguars
PUMP – Leonard Fournette – RB, JAC
Despite the Jaguars’ bringing in Nick Foles to lead the offense, Leonard Fournette is the key to their success. I expect him to get all the work he can handle vs the terrible Chiefs defense in an attempt to keep the Chiefs offense on the sideline.
STUMP – Tyreek Hill – WR, KC
Benching Tyreek is not an option, but the fact that Jalen Ramsey is expected to shadow him makes him less likely to finish about the top WRs in week one. I wouldn’t expect him to be completely shut out, but temper expectations.
Los Angeles Rams vs Carolina Panthers
PUMP – Greg Olsen - TE, CAR
The Rams’ roster is loaded in a lot of areas, but the LB core is average at best. Greg Olsen is the healthiest he has been in a few years, and I expect Cam to lean on his long-term security blank in this game.
STUMP – Darrell Henderson – RB, LAR
Despite a disappointing end to last season, all signs point towards Todd Gurley being fully healthy and getting his normal workload to start the season. Darrell Henderson, on the other hand, disappointed in the preseason, after receiving all the hype following the draft. Take a wait-and-see approach on the rookie.
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