The Week 1 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints should feature a lot of action through the air. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
If you’re one of the many fantasy owners out there who expect Derek Carr to take his game to the next level, you’ve got to be licking your chops at the fact he opens his season against the Saints. This one has the makings of a shootout written all over it. Neither the Raiders nor the Saints have the most potent running games and in the second half of last season, Carr really came into his own. With a veteran possession receiver like Michael Crabtree at his disposal to help move the chains and a sophomore wideout quickly developing into a budding young star in Amari Cooper, the likelihood Carr throws for over 300 yards at the Superdome to start the season is high.
Speaking of Cooper, he has the physical stature and talent level to lead the next generation of the NFL’s top wide receivers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how far he and his quarterback can go together. The Saints’ secondary unit doesn’t exactly do a good job of stopping receivers and Cooper — with a year of experience under his belt — is more potent than the rookie version. Don’t be surprised if he catches seven passes, eclipses 100 yards and ends up in the end zone on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints
It’s been a couple of years since quarterback Drew Brees has been able to crack 5,000 passing yards, but the good news for fantasy owners is he’s always around that total year to year and widely considered one of the most consistent quarterbacks in fantasy football. Going shot for shot against a young Carr means owners will likely see both quarterbacks throw a trio of touchdown passes and eclipse 300 passing yards in the season opener. Yes, he is getting older and his receiving corps is average at best, but Brees is a Hall of Fame-caliber player and he’s still got plenty of touchdowns left in him.
If there is one receiver worth owning on the Saints, it would be Brandin Cooks. Cooks is a sneaky, speedy receiver who can beat opposing secondary units down the field. Over 1,100 receiving yards, nine touchdown catches and 84 receptions last year proved that Cooks is the real deal. Now going into his third season, there’s no reason he shouldn’t eclipse those numbers and a big performance in Week 1 should give Cooks and his fantasy owners plenty of momentum.