5) Jake Locker, quarterback, Tennessee Titans: Tennessee’s 26-10 upset over the, heavily favored, Chiefs on opening day was due in large part to an outstanding performance by quarterback Jake Locker. Against the NFL’s number one scoring defense from 2013, Locker completed 22 of 33 passes for 266-yards and a pair of touchdown passes. On Sunday, the Titans will go up against the Dallas Cowboys, a team that bolstered the league’s worst defensive unit from a year ago. Fantasy owners can make the easy choice to start Locker because it is likely that he will have a field day in Tennessee’s home opener.
4) Knowshon Moreno, running back, Miami Dolphins: After rushing for 1,000-yards and ten touchdowns with the Denver Broncos last season, Knowshon Moreno proved that he was comfortable in his new surroundings down in South Florida. Miami upsetting the New England Patriots has been accomplished before, but who would have thought that Moreno would be a key factor in the win? Not the Pats defense. Moreno put up solid stats, gaining 134-yards on 24 carries while scoring a fourth quarter touchdown to put the game away. When the Dolphins travel to Buffalo, Moreno faces a stiff test against one of the league’s best defensive fronts. Maybe his fantasy owners should place him on the bench.
3) Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings: Throughout the first half of the 2013 season, Cordarrelle Patterson was just another rookie out of Tennessee who had trouble finding the end zone. However, he caught fire during the final eight games, catching four touchdown passes while rushing for three more. In the first week against the Rams, Patterson picked up right where he left off. Though he is a wide receiver, he displayed his talents as a runner as well. Patterson rushed for 102-yards on just three carries; one of those touches resulted in a 67-yard end around for a touchdown. Head coach Mike Zimmer expects even bigger things from his biggest offensive weapon as Minnesota takes on a struggling Patriots team at home. For Cordarrelle, all it can take against New England’s defense is one touchdown run to turn the tide of the contest.
2) Chris Ivory, running back, New York Jets: Chris Ivory gained 102-yards on 10 carries against the Raiders. But let’s be honest, without his 71-yard touchdown run, he would have managed a mere total of 31-yards on the ground. Also, Ivory’s run was a very big play in a tight battle against Oakland and he proved himself as a clutch player. Fantasy owners should consider inserting Ivory into their starting lineups for the second week because he can be a crucial part of New York’s offense. The Jets will face the Packers; a team with a defense that struggled to stop Marshawn Lynch in the first game.
1) Allen Hurns, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted a pair of standout wide receivers in the second round: Penn State’s Allen Robinson and USC’s Marquis Lee. However, Allen Hurns, another prominent pass-catching protégée from “The U”, emerged from this rookie receiving core with flying colors. Despite a losing effort to the Eagles, Hurns first two NFL receptions resulted in touchdowns of 34 and 21-yards. He finished the game with 110-yards on just four catches. This Jacksonville team lost their first eight games to start the 2013 season and they are on pace to do the same thing in 2014. At the same time though, quarterback Chad Henne has a beacon of hope that could emerge as a primary target. For the fantasy owners who are unhappy with their wide receivers, drop one and add Hurns before Sunday’s contest in Washington, he will be bound to make something happen.