Every week during the NFL season I will be do a Pump or Stump write up for each game. “Pump” is a player I am high on in that game. “Stump” is a player I am not necessarily benching/fading, but I am lowering my expectations on for that game.
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
PUMP – Michael Gallup – WR, DAL
Outside of Janoris Jenkins, the New York Giants’ CBs are awful. I would expect Jenkins to shawdow Cooper which leaves Gallup matched up with whoever the Giants consider their 2nd best corner. He will make for a solid flex play in most formats.
STUMP – Sterling Shepard – WR, NYG
The Giants have Sterling Shepard, and a bunch of nothing at WR. The Cowboys SHOULD shadow him with Byron Jones and role coverage over to Shepard, and make everyone else beat them. Avoid all Giants not name Evan Engram or Saquon Barkley.
Indianapolis Colts vs Los Angeles Chargers
PUMP – Philip Rivers – QB, LAC
No Melvin Gordon means the Chargers will have to depend more on the pass. All of their pass-catching weapons will be available, so instead of trying to figure who will be the main target, I would go with the QB.
STUMP – T.Y. Hilton – WR, IND
We all remember how boom or bust T.Y. Hilton was when Andrew Luck missed all of 2017. I would expect the Colts to try and control the clock by running the ball with Marlon Mack. Flex at best for T.Y. in this one.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Seattle Seahawks
PUMP – Tyler Lockett – WR, SEA
The Bengals defense is somehow worse than it was last year. That makes this the perfect opportunity for Russell Wilson to build rapport with his new top target. Start him in all formats.
STUMP – Joe Mixon – RB, CIN
I tried racking my brain for any possible way to find something positive to say about Joe Mixon in this matchup and I failed. Unless by some miracle Cincinnati builds a lead early, I expect plenty of Gio Bernard in the second half of this game.
Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals
PUMP – Kerryon Johnson – RB, DET
The Lions have spent all off season saying how they plan to run the ball more than ever this season, and now they have the perfect opportunity to do so. Kerryon should get work early and often against the Cardinals, and, at least for week 1, justify his 3rd round draft APD
STUMP – Christian Kirk – WR, ARI
Unless the Cardinals have truly been hiding their real offense from the world this preseason, expect them to start off slow this season. Darius Slay will make life tough for Christian Kirk in this matchup.
San Francisco 49ers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PUMP – Chris Godwin – WR, TB
Bruce Arians has been talking up Chris Godwin this off-season, saying he expects him to have 100 catches. With Mike Evans being guarded by Richard Sherman, and no 3rd WR to speak of, Chris Godwin should get plenty of looks in this high scoring matchup.
STUMP – The Entire backfield – RB, TB
If you could just someone combine Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale into one being, you might be able to muster a solid RB4. Since that’s not possible, all three guys should be tucked safely on every fantasy bench. Don’t get cute.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots
PUMP – Tom Brady – QB, NE
All off-season, we have been hearing how the Patriots will run the ball more than ever after Gronk’s retirement. I’m not buying it, at least not for week 1. I expect Brady to shine is the first Sunday Night game of the season.
STUMP – Ben Roethlisberger – QB, PIT
The Steelers have a lot to prove in their first game post- AB and Le’Veon. It will have to wait until week 2. I expect Road Ben of year’s past to rear his ugly head and stumble out of the gate. Find a streamer with a better matchup, if possible.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints
PUMP – Jared Cook – TE, NO
The Saints haven’t had a viable starting TE in years. Insert Jared Cook. The Texans defense is getting worse by the week with Bill O’Brien playing Madden Online Franchise Manager. Houston is a top-12 team against the TE position, so expect Jared Cook to kick off his Saints tenure with a bang.
STUMP – Texans D/ST
The Saints are at home. Brees is a monster in the dome on primetime. Find a streamer.
Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders
PUMP – Tyrell Williams – WR, OAK
Antonio Brown is reportedly going to be suspended for telling Mike Mayock to shoot him the fade. That means Tyrell will slide into the #1 WR spot in the Raiders offense, meaning he will se as many tartgets as he can handle. Start him as a low end WR2
STUMP – Philip Lindsay – RB, DEN
The Broncos backfield is a mess. I would rather start the short yardage guy in this game.
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