Welcome back football, oh how we missed you! The NFL’s return means it’s time to get back to the Fantasy grind. Hank’s Bank will be your one-stop-shop this season for Fantasy Football strategy. From start/sit decisions to trade market forecasting and weekly streamers, I’ve got you covered. BANK THAT!
Hank’s Bank Vocabulary Key
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Loan: Weekly Streamer
Week 1 Fantasy Football Strategy
Cash: Diontae Johnson | WR | Pittsburgh Steelers
There don’t figure to be many matchups juicier for wide receiver Fantasy points this season than the New York Giants secondary. While signing Logan Ryan this week provides the Giants with a much-needed playmaker, it is unclear how much he will see the field in Week 1. Diontae Johnson has the talent to take the top off the Giants and pile up Fantasy points in the process.
The return of Ben Roethlisberger alone boosts the Fantasy value of all Pittsburgh pass-catchers. Time will tell just how effective Roethlisberger will be coming off his elbow injury. But Johnson was extremely productive last year with the combination of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges under center. With to JuJu Smith-Schuster demanding attention in the slot, Johnson is a big play waiting to happen.
Deposit: D’Andre Swift | RB | Detroit Lions
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the rookie second-round pick of the Lions and for good reason. D’Andre Swift is a talented back, who averaged over 6 yards per carry in all three of his years at Georgia. He culminated his collegiate career with over 1200 yards rushing last season. His speed and elusiveness make him perhaps the best back the Lions have had in a long time.
With that said, Swift is on my bench for Week 1. He is not listed as one of the top three backs on the official Detroit depth chart, with Kerryon Johnson and late offseason acquisition Adrian Peterson holding down the top two spots. Competition for carries will Swift’s volume. The Lions will also likely opt to ease him into the pro game. As talented as he is, the NFL is a whole different animal in terms of speed and physicality. Add in a tough defensive matchup against the stout front seven of the Chicago Bears and Swift is better off saved for the season ahead.
Asset: A.J. Green | WR | Cincinnati Bengals
While you probably aren’t looking to make any big trades ahead of your opening matchup, the market will be open for business following Week 1. A.J. Green is a name to target that could very realistically be obtained for a bargain price.
Not only is Green coming back after missing all of 2019 due to injury, but the Week 1 matchup is not ideal for him or any other Bengals receivers. As promising a future as rookie QB Joe Burrow has, there will be growing pains. The Los Angeles Chargers defense is both capable of generating pressure and maintaining sound coverage. For Green specifically, he will likely be facing shadow coverage from Casey Hayward all game long. A Week 1 dud will be to your advantage in trade talks next week.
Transfer: Robby Anderson | WR | Carolina Panthers
Robby Anderson played for Matt Rhule in college at Temple, so it was no surprise that Carolina pursued him in free agency. Despite the deep threat Anderson poses, I am not expecting consistent Fantasy production this season. The Panthers offense will be the Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore show. New QB Teddy Bridgewater isn’t exactly one to spread the ball around, evidenced in his starts for the New Orleans Saints last year in which he frequently locked on to Michael Thomas. This doesn’t bode well for Anderson over the course of a full season.
With that said, there’s a chance Anderson’s trade value won’t exceed what you can get in return for him after this week. A matchup with the raw Las Vegas Raiders secondary should lead to more than one Panthers receiver having a big game. Anderson is a few big plays away from posting a very marketable Week 1 points total. Use it to your advantage in negotiations next week.
Invest: James Robinson | RB | Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars aren’t going to win a lot of games in 2020. But even the worst teams in the standings are capable of providing Fantasy Football value. If James Robinson is available in your league, roster him immediately! With a current ownership of just 15.4% in ESPN leagues, there’s a real chance that he is yours for the taking.
Who is James Robinson you might ask? To put it simply, he’s an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State who is essentially the Jaguars’ new lead ball carrier. The stunning cut of Leonard Fournette figured to leave the backfield in the hands of second-year man Ryquell Armstead. But with Armstead going on the COVID-19 list this week, the Jaguars have no choice but to involve Robinson in their game plan. Yes, Chris Thompson will also see touches in passing down situations, but Robinson needs to be rostered in all leagues based on the situation alone.
Loan: Eagles D/ST
Philadelphia’s defense has the personnel to be among the NFL’s best in 2020. Throw in a Week 1 matchup against the Washington Red…err…Football Team’s below-average offense and the Eagles defense has a tremendous opportunity on the Fantasy Football front as well. Somehow, Philadelphia is only rostered in 47.1% of ESPN leagues.
The Eagles ranked 12th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency last year (Football Outsiders) and only got better in the offseason. Trading for Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay should provide a major boost to what was a frequently torched secondary in 2019. Not that they’ll be in real danger of being torn apart Sunday against prolific QB talent Dwayne Haskins Jr. (Yes, that was sarcasm; sorry to all the Haskins truthers out there). Philly has legitimate top-3 defense potential this week.