The Week 1 matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys is a familiar divisional rivalry renewed with an unfamiliar quarterback under center for the home team. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
New York Giants
Although the Giants are seldom picked as favorites to come out of the NFC East, this may be their year. Quarterback Eli Manning is a winner, and although he may not be a top-notch passer from a fantasy perspective, it might be a good idea to start him against the Cowboys on Sunday. Games between the two teams always seem to have an element of chaos to them and Manning will likely be tossing the ball a lot. An early-season victory will help the Giants position themselves later on in the season when the playoffs are just around the corner. He will undoubtedly look to his favorite receiver (Odell Beckham Jr.) often against the Cowboys, and that could mean a lot of passing yards at the end of the afternoon.
As for Beckham, he’s an absolute beast and arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Nobody can stop him, although the Cowboys do have a pretty good secondary unit. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if Beckham racks up double digits in catches and flirts with 150 yards and multiple touchdowns in his season debut. He’s just that good, and even though everyone knows it, Beckham has proved impossible to defend throughout his young career.
With Tony Romo out for as long as two months with a major back injury, rookie Dak Prescott will get the opportunity to prove that his impressive preseason performances weren’t a fluke. He won’t be getting the starting nod in most fantasy leagues given that he is an unproven commodity at the moment, but if he happens to put together a big performance in his NFL regular season debut, you can bet he will be a hot ticket on the waiver wire in Week 2. Fortunately, he’ll have highly touted rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot to rely on, should the going gets tough against the Giants.
That being said, both Elliot and Prescott have yet to experience day-to-day life in the NFL when the bright lights of the regular season are turned on. So from a fantasy perspective, an owner’s best hope is wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant is one of the most talented players in the game and even though he’s had to deal with the on-and-off health of Romo and his own injury troubles over the years, he still finds a way to rack up catches and yards. There’s no telling how he will perform with Prescott calling the shots, but if there’s one player on Dallas' roster who's definitely must-start right out of the gate, it’s Bryant.