By Chris “Dick” Blake
Golden Tate: With wide receiver Calvin Johnson hurt for most of the second half last year, Tate became a favorite target of Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Tate reached career highs in targets (142),
receptions (99) and yards (1,331). With the Chargers secondary watching Johnson, I look for Tate to sneak behind the defense a couple of times.
Prediction: 4 grabs, 120 yards, 1 TD
Jamaal Charles: Yes,
I know, you can’t just bench arguably the best all-around fantasy player this year. Even with a subpar performance Charles will likely score more than your backup running backs. However, if any defense can slow this guy down, it’s the revamped Houston Texans. With defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and inside linebacker Brian Cushing plugging the middle and defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney manning the outside, they will look to contain the speedy Charles. While he may still do damage in the pass-catching department, I think the Texans do just enough to keep him contained.
Prediction: 15 carries, 47 yards, 4 catches, 33 yards, 0 TD
Jameis Winston: There is nothing more unpredictable than determining how a Heisman-winning quarterback will perform in the NFL. However, it takes defenses a few games to figure out how to stop these freak athletes. Winston opens up his NFL career at home versus fellow rookie Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans, who are projected to have one of the worst defenses in the league. With weapons like Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson to throw to, I look for Winston to have a memorable debut against the Titans.
Prediction: 22-37 (59%) passing, 310 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 4 rushes, 28 yards, 1 TD
Chris Blake can be reached at neal@ sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.