Fantasy Football Week 1 Projection: Odell Beckham Jr.


Fantasy Football Week 1 Projection: Will New York Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continue the dominance he has shown against the Dallas Cowboys in his career? We think so.

With the NFL regular season set to kickoff Thursday night with the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the New England Patriots, it means one thing; the start of fantasy football. The first week of the season is always a difficult one to predict, but everyone is looking to get off to a strong 1-0 start whether it be in the NFL or a fantasy football league.

With no stats to go as a baseline with for projections, you have to ride your superstars and early picks hoping they perform. One of those early picks that will be relied heavily upon in the first week of the season will be Odell Beckham Jr.

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The New York Giants’ phenom sophomore has quickly become one of the most recognizable players in the NFL, and his production backed it up. He ended up with one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of the NFL despite missing the first four games of the season. That has caused Beckham Jr. to sky rocket up rankings heading into this season, and with good reason.

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In 12 games last season, Beckham Jr. caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. While those per game statistics may be unrealistic to expect over the course of a 16-game season, he should still provide WR1 numbers throughout the season and be in the running for top scoring wide receiver in fantasy football.

The first victim Beckham Jr. will terrorize will be the Giants’ NFC East division rival Dallas Cowboys. The Giants and Cowboys will be facing off on Sunday Night Football Week 1, and this presents a juicy matchup for Beckham Jr. and his owners to take advantage of.

For starters, Beckham Jr. dominated the Cowboys in two meetings last season. In the first meeting, Beckham Jr. didn’t rack up many yards or receptions, catching only four for 36 yards, but he made them count. He hit paydirt twice, giving him 15.6 points in standard leagues (one full point per 10 yards, six points per touchdown). In PPR formats, that total could be anywhere from 17.6-19.6 depends on your league’s format.

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That was child’s play compared to the next time Beckham Jr. faced off against the Cowboys. In their second matchup, Beckham torched the Cowboys to the tune of 10 receptions for 146 yards and again two touchdowns. That would go for a total of 26.6 points in standard leagues, a plateau reached by very few receivers last season. Let’s also not forget, he did this in that game:

This season, Beckham should find the same amount of success against the Cowboys in Week 1. While his stats will drop a little with Victor Cruz back in the fold, Cruz is extremely questionable for Week 1, meaning Beckham Jr. will be peppered with targets by Eli Manning. In two games last season without Cruz in the picture, Beckham Jr. was targeted 17 times in two games, and reaching the double-digit target mark in Week 1 should not be too farfetched.

Also, the matchup is a pretty good one. While the Cowboys surrendered the sixth fewest points per game to wide receivers last season, that didn’t stop Beckham Jr. from destroying them twice last season. He actually registered the two highest individual scores against the Cowboys from a wide receiver all season, with only one other player, Alshon Jeffery, even breaking 15 in standard leagues. This season, Beckham Jr. should have an even easier path to domination. The Cowboys’ top cornerback Orlando Scandrick was injured during training camp, tearing his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. That leaves the overrated Brandon Carr and draft bust Morris Claiborne to try and slow down Beckham Jr.

That should all make for a stellar start to the season for Beckham Jr. and his fantasy owners. With previous success, lesser opponents and the bright lights of Sunday Night Football again, Beckham Jr. will continue his stellar performances against the Cowboys in his career.

Projection: eight catches, 115 yards, two touchdowns

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