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Week 1 Decisions: D-Rich get Richer?

Unlike most brilliant minds, the staff here at BretskyBall frequently disagrees. But rather than snipe each other anonymously in the comments section, we leave it all out on the field. Every week we choose several touchy fantasy decisions and argue for what we would do and why. At the end of the week, we keep track of the winner, and at the end of the year the winner is regaled while the loser is emblazoned with a scarlet “L” on his soul. Ok, enough foreplay, it’s time to debate!

Debate #1

Non-ppr league, Eddie Lacy vs. SF or Daryl Richardson vs. Ari… who ya got?

Craig’s Take

The answer to this one surprised me a little bit. I am actually very high on Lacy this year. I feel that in such a high powered offense–much like Knowshon Moreno in Denver–as long as Lacy can stay on the field, he will have many opportunities to rack up fantasy points. BUT this week, I feel that you have to go Richardson. The Niners, as they have the last few years, are stout against the run (unless your Marshawn Lynch). In fact, last season the Packers only attempted 20 rushes against the Niners combined in two games. While Lacy is a good prospect for your fantasy squad, this isn’t his week. Richardson on the other hand may in fact be uniquely positioned in Week 1 to put up his best fantasy performance of the season. The Cardinals last year gave up the eleventh most yards per run, at a healthy 4.5 yds/attempt clip. Say what you want about Isaiah Pead, and Ricardshon’s job security, there is no doubt that he who will be the man in Week 1 with Pead serving a 1-game suspension. Savvy owners will roll with Richardson.

Bretsky’s Take

Richardson ran away with the Rams starting running back job in St. Louis this spring and will look to build off an impressive part-time performance in 2012 when he logged 4.8 yards per tote on 98 carries. The matchup in Week 1, however, is not as cushy as it seems. The Cardinals have a better run defense than the numbers show and if we remove the 274-yard, 4 TD thrashing that Seattle put up against them in Week 14 last season, the team yielded just 14.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs–a top-10 total. Lacy steps into a very comfortable situation for a rookie running back, joining an elite offense piloted by perhaps the top QB in the league. Green Bay is going to put up points, plain plain and simple and while the matchup for Lacy is perhaps more damning, there is no comparison between the offensive potential that the packers bring over the Rams.

Debate #2

Is Colts WR T.Y. Hilton a starting option in a standard league this week?

Craig’s Take

Hyped for much of this offseason, T.Y. Hilton is going into this season still without having secured a starting job. Additionally, pass-happy Bruce Arians is out of Indianpolis and two-TE Pep Hamilton is in. What does all of this mean? It means less opportunities for a WR who needs a three-wide reciever set to see the field. The Raiders aren’t that great a defense, so that doesn’t really factor in here because this game could get out of hand in a hurry and the Colts could salt the game away with the run. I’m leaving Hilton on my bench this week. Note: Darius Heyward-Bey is in fact the WR who is starting in two WR sets with Reggie Wayne in the Colts offense, and the Colts have been raving up him all summer. Not sure why no one is paying attention. File this away in the back of your mind for now, but DHB may become valuable at some point.

 Bretsky’s Take

Well, the Colts don’t necessarily feel that way, with Darius Heyward-Bey running with the first team all camp. DHB is expected to be on the field in most two-receiver sets with Hilton limited to formations with three wideouts. Still, the Raiders secondary is terrible, as is Heyward-Bey’s track-record for success. Hilton is a burner and a big-play threat on every snap he is on the field. Last year, he flashed immense upside, snaring 50 passes for 861 yards and seven touchdowns. Quarterback Andrew Luck isn’t just going to forget the chemistry he had with T.Y. last year and against a porous Oakland team, he only needs one play to make his fantasy day. Though I tend to shy away from the boom-or-bust type receivers, if you drafted one, you simply must start him versus Oakland.

Debate #3

Would you prefer to start Kenny Britt or Kyle Rudolph in a flex spot, PPR league?

Craig’s Take

This is a tough one for me, as I feel that both of these players are bad options. But, if you have to play one of these guys, I think the person to go with is Britt. I’m not really sold on Rudolph. He was a maddeningly inconsistent player last year (not that Britt wasn’t). In two games against the Lions last year, here was his numbers: 7 catches for 64 yards and one touchdown. The other game? 2 receptions for 8 yds. Meanwhile, Kenny Britt has never been short on talent, but he has been short on results. In addition, he’s going up against Ike Taylor. But if you have to choose one, Britt is my pick, based on simple talent alone.

Bretsky’s Take

Well, we can’t always disagree, can we? Britt is the choice here. Despite the fact that Rudolph was the healthier and more productive player last season, Britt possesses the talent to be an impact wide receiver in this league. Rudolph’s position and his quarterback are severely limiting factors and in games where he was left without a touchdown last season, he was a truly disappointing fantasy option. It is a unique situation that warrants starting a tight end in your flex spot week-to-week, so this isn’t really a tough decisions. Perhaps the “safer” play would be roll roll Kyle Rudolph out there, but it’s Week 1, if you are looking for a healthy Kenny Britt, this is probably your only chance to see it in 2013!

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