What to watch for in Week 1 

September, 11, 2009
Let's take a step back and look at the overriding trends and storylines for the upcoming fantasy football weekend, shall we? Obviously, with actual games to watch, this is a much better weekend, with more to discuss. I'm leaving Tom Brady and the Patriots out, because the game in which they'll be scoring 48 points by halftime isn't until Monday night. Wait, did I just type that?

Checking out the Waffle House: No, that's not where I will be dining Sunday morning, but with the "king of waffling" throwing passes for the Minnesota Vikings, and the head coach on the other sideline still debating his starting center, color of uniforms and what route he'll take driving to the stadium, there's a lot to pay attention to. Plus, didn't Eric Mangini coach Brett Favre last season? What a coincidence they face each other in Week 1! Fantasy owners will probably overrate the performance of each quarterback. Favre should have a good game against a bad defense, but every little thing he does will be picked apart to no end. It's time to move past the circus offseason and focus on him being one of the 20 most valuable fantasy quarterbacks. If Brady Quinn had attended Florida International instead of Notre Dame, would he be at all popular? I think this is a tough matchup, even though the Vikings don't thrive against the pass. But everything he does will be micro-judged. Anyway, I like waffles, so pass the syrup.

Defense rests in NFC West: A season ago, it took only nine wins to win this sad-sack division, and let's just say defense wasn't a strongpoint, as no division allowed more points. Well, I don't think any division will permit more points this weekend, either. That's a good thing for fantasy! I've gone on record as saying I loved Matt Hasselbeck and T.J. Houshmandzadeh of the Seattle Seahawks, but the St. Louis Rams are going to keep pace. It might be all Steven Jackson, but so be it. I also ranked Shaun Hill as a near-starting signal-caller in deep leagues, believing he has the proper weapons to push Kurt Warner into throwing 50 times. Look, this is the only weekend all season in which the four NFC West teams play only each other, so you might not get another weekend like this in which 125-plus points will be scored by these teams ... and, of course, allowed.