The Top 5 players to watch in Week 1
It’s time for another edition of “The Top 5 Players to Watch in Week One,” a series that features five players who are in position to have an impact on the game in the first five games of the season.
With that in mind, here are five players to start the season on the right foot:1.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons (vs. Panthers): The Atlanta Falcons’ star receiver was one of the biggest surprises of the offseason, and Jones has had a strong season in a Falcons offense that was ravaged by injuries.
He caught seven passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5.
Jones has a chance to have a huge year if the Falcons stay healthy.2.
Antonio Brown, WR (vs, Bengals): It’s easy to forget that the former No. 1 overall pick out of South Carolina is coming off his best season in years.
The Bengals’ offense has been a mess for most of the year, but the veteran Brown should be able to keep things going against a Steelers defense that has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL.3.
Mike Evans, WR-DE, Buccaneers: The Bucs have been one of this offseason’s hottest teams and Evans could be the catalyst the team needs to keep it going.
He leads the NFL in sacks with seven, and he has a very good chance to make a big impact in the red zone against the Patriots this weekend.4.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: The Philadelphia Eagles have been a disaster, but they could get a lot worse against a Browns defense that is allowing the most rushing yards in football.
McCoy is coming into the season as one of their best backs, and the Bengals’ defense has been solid against the run this season.5.
Mike Wallace, WR/DE, Steelers: Wallace has been one for the ages, and Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed just the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, including only to Calvin Johnson (five).
If the Steelers are able to hold him to just six yards per carry and limit him to two catches in the passing game, Wallace could be one of your top tight ends in Week 6.6.
LeGarrette Blount, RB (vs., Chiefs): Blount has been an impressive player in the preseason, but Kansas City’s defense hasn’t been able to contain him in a way that could keep him from having a big day.
If Blount can get into the end zone against a Chiefs defense that allows the third most fantasy points per game to running backs, the rookie could be an important part of the Steelers offense moving forward.7.
J.J. Watt, DE, Texans: Watt is a fantasy superstar, and with the Texans starting three of the top five running backs this season in Alfred Blue, Ben Tate and Kareem Hunt, they should be one to watch for the rest of the way.
But Watt’s biggest matchup is against a Raiders defense that allowed the fourth-fewth fewest rushing yards per game.8.
Joe Mixon, RB/FB, Steelers (vs: Raiders): Mixon has struggled in the past, but his return to the field should make a huge difference for Pittsburgh’s offense.
The Steelers have allowed just one rushing touchdown and just five rushing yards after the catch to running back Carlos Hyde.9.
Charles Clay, DE (vs.): Clay is coming back from a season-ending injury and has had two good games in his last two games.
He could be a key player for Pittsburgh this week, but it’s not guaranteed.10.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins (vs.: Titans): Tanneill’s been the best quarterback in the AFC South for the past three years, and that could be on the line this weekend in a game in Tennessee.
Miami has allowed opposing quarterbacks to score on them just once this season and they’ve allowed the second-fewst fewest fantasy yards per attempt to quarterbacks.11.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR & RB, Cardinals: The Cardinals have had the best run game in football, but Fitzgerald is still one of only two wide receivers in the league who has more than 100 receiving yards.
He should have a big role in Arizona’s offense, and they’ll need him to score points this week.12.
Dontrelle Inman, CB, Seahawks: The Seahawks are having a good season overall, but cornerback Richard Sherman has been among the NFL’s most dominant players this year.
If Sherman can get the Seahawks to stop running backs in the running game, it could be huge for the Seahawks in the secondary.13.
Travis Kelce, RBs (vs.), Dolphins (at): Kelce has had the better season in his rookie year, and Miami has been struggling to keep up with the rushing attack.
The Dolphins have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to running teams this season with a league-high 29.7 yards per play.14.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB & TE, Cowboys: Elliott’s first year in Dallas has