You just can't predict Week 1 in the NFL these days. If you could, then you would have started guys like Devery Henderson, Doug Baldwin and Cam Newton. Newton especially wowed fantasy owners last week when he threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for another score. Not a bad start for a guy many thought would have a tough time transitioning to the NFL and almost no one drafted in their fantasy leagues.
GOOD MATCH UPS
Santana Moss vs. Cardinals defense: Cam Newton and Steve Smith tore up the Cardinals pass defense last week. Smith himself caught eight balls for 178 yards receiving and two touchdowns as Arizona couldn't find a way to cover him all day. This is good news for the Rex Grossman/Santana Moss duo that worked very well last week against the Giants. Look for Grossman and Moss to be in sync again this week.
Peyton Hillis vs. Colts defense: It might be a new year but it's starting out as the same old story for the Colts defense --they just can't stop the run. Indianapolis was shredded by the Texans' Ben Tate last week for 116 yards and allowed a total of 167 yards rushing to Houston. Hillis' season got off to a rough start last week but he has a good chance to rebound here against the subpar Colts run defense.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Jaguars defense: Those who took a chance on LT this season were able to squeak out some points via the passing game last week as Tomlinson caught six passes for 73 yards against the Cowboys. He's not going to do that every week, however, and he only carried the ball five times in that game against Dallas. Jacksonville played good run defense last week against Chris Johnson and the Titans so Tomlinson's already limited value will be further diminished this week.
Julio Jones vs. Eagles defense: It's still early and some of the Rams were banged up last week but, the Eagles pass defense looked pretty good. This of course is not great news for the Atlanta Falcons this week as Julio Jones and Roddy White will square off against Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Asante Samuel and the rest of the Philly pass defense. I don't like the match up for either Falcons receiver, especially the rookie Jones.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: As stated in the opening of this piece, Newton had a dominant performance in his NFL debut last week, despite not even being drafted in many fantasy leagues. This week Newton draws a tough Green Bay Packers defense, but that would work in his favor fantasy-wise. It's likely the Panthers will play from behind for much of the game, leaving Cam Newton to throw the ball more often in a comeback attempt. Even if you don't need him for this week, Newton should at least be picked up in every league.
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.