Maroon-News Fantasy Picks of the Week

Max Weiss

The fantasy football-playing world is chomping at the bit for tonight’s Saints-Colts game. Here are my picks for what will surely be an exciting Week One to start the season.

LT and the rest of the top-shelf running backs are always surefire picks, so here are two very worthy choices that may be off your radar. No one should improve more this season than Colts RB Joseph Addai. Last year, he became the first running back in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards without starting a single game. Think of what he’ll do when he’s behind Peyton Manning every snap for sixteen games. My other choice at RB is the Ravens’ Willis McGahee. Baltimore has a veteran offensive line and a solid QB in Steve McNair, amenities that McGahee did not enjoy in Buffalo. Look for him to add his name to the list of premiere running backs with a breakthrough performance Monday night against Cincinnati.

There are many emerging QB’s that could do as well for your fantasy team as a Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, or Drew Brees. The Lions’ Jon Kitna would be a solid pick this week against Oakland because he is armed with two great WRs in Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. New RB Tatum Bell should further befuddle the Raiders’ defense and give Kitna more opportunities to reap the benefits of having two star wide outs.

Speaking of guys who catch the ball for a living, there are a couple of WRs and TEs you should keep an eye on. Seatlle WR Deion Branch is now QB Matt Hasselback’s go-to receiver. He should get plenty of looks on Sunday because Tampa Bay will be looking to stop RB Shuan Alexander for the whole game. Watch for Branch to have a stellar game against the Bucs. Another WR you should consider is Javon Walker of the Denver Broncos. He’s a veteran WR with a good QB in Jay Cutler. Since the Broncos are playing the Bills this week, Walker would be an excellent option. As for a TE to watch this weekend, I endorse the 49ers’ Vernon Davis. After a solid rookie season, Davis should quickly move into the upper echelon of tight ends in the NFL.

Some offensive sleepers to consider are WR Dwayne Jarrett of the Carolina Panthers, TE Visanthe Shiancoe of the Minnesota Vikings and QB Joey Harrington of the Atlanta Falcons.

On the defensive side of the ball, I’m picking the Cowboys, Jaguars and Lions to do well for fantasy owners this week.

Now kickers? You’re worried about kickers? Get a life.