Why This Game Is Important: First week of the NFL regular season is important to every team because it is a fresh start to a new season.
Realistically the Raiders probably aspire just to be .500 on the season while the Colts will look to repeat and get themselves into the playoffs. Now that Andrew Luck has a whole season under his belt, the Colts will really be looking for him to step up and make this team a perennial playoff team. He has all of his weapons returning from last season, and he will look to improve on his amazing rookie season with them.
Head coach Chuck Pagano will also be looking forward to a full season with his team. On the other side, the Raiders will have Terrelle Pryor starting at quarterback in week one. Pryor brings the body and play style of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to the Raiders offense. Though Pryor is less refined than Newton, he brings the possibility to hurt you with not only his arm, but his feet as well. With the read option offense becoming more popular in the NFL fans can see why Raiders head coach Dennis Allan would give Pryor the nod.
Why This Game Is Not Important: It’s the Raiders playing the Colts. The Colts are heavily favored in this game for obvious reasons. The Raiders have had staffing changes aplenty in recent years, and as of now there is no reason to think that this staff will be the one that changes the pattern. Star running back Darren McFadden hasn’t been able to stay healthy the past few seasons causing grief for the Raiders offense. This is another pattern that will most likely not change this season. The Colts are way to solid of a team for the Raiders to match up against, but there will be some exciting plays here and there.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Darren McFadden: There is always one person that takes McFadden in their league hoping he will stay healthy and produce the big numbers we have seen in the past (this is usually me). Bad news to me and any other fantasy with McFadden as one of their starting backs, you will be severely disappointed. He may post good numbers for the beginning of the season, but the chance he is healthy all year looks bleak.
Andrew Luck: Luck is probably a backup on most fantasy teams, but against the Raiders in week one he may ball out at the expense of the Raiders secondary. The Raiders secondary is no match for Wayne, Hilton, Heyward-Bay, Fleener and Allen. This may be the week to pull Luck from your bench and reap the benefits.
Colts Receivers and Tight Ends: This is the same case as stated above with Luck. The Raiders have a weak secondary and it may be beneficial to start the Colts recievers or tight ends in your flex position.
Game Details: 1 PM ET on CBS @ Indianapolis
About the Author: Zachary Cintron
Zachary Cintron is a sports blogger who has spent the past two years covering the National Football League (NFL), NCAA football, NCAA lacrosse, and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) for Sports Unbiased and The Sports Complex (Drexel University’s Sport Management Blog). He also works as a Intramurals Referee in Drexel’s Department of Recreational Athletics. Zach is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sport management with a minor in music theory and composition from Drexel in June of 2016. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.