(CNN)After seven months the NFL is finally back, which means it’s time to set your fantasy football lineups for Week 1.
Hours of preparation and drafting have all led to this moment.
With the 100th NFL season kicking off with tonight’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, here are some potential breakout games and situations to watch for this week.
What to watch for
Todd Gurley’s usage
After tallying 1,831 yards from scrimmage and 21 total touchdowns during the 2018 NFL regular season, Gurley normally would have entered this season as the clear-cut favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Instead, he has fallen to the second round of many fantasy football drafts.
Despite leading countless teams to the fantasy playoffs last season, Gurley was a no-show in the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl LIII. One of the biggest talking points from Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots was Gurley’s limited usage, and concerns over Gurley’s arthritic knee have made people wary of selecting him in the early rounds.
Signs point to head coach Sean McVay dialing back Gurley’s workload and giving more carries to backups Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson Jr. Gurley should still be effective, but can he produce at the same level he did last season? Week 1 should give fantasy owners a better picture of how he’ll be utilized this season.
Le’Veon Bell’s return to the field
After holding out all of last season, Bell finally got the long-term contract he was seeking with the New York Jets.
But after such a long layoff and with a new team, can Bell produce like he did in Pittsburgh?
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is not in the same stratosphere as the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. Also, the Jets’ receivers do not compare, the offensive line is a clear downgrade and Jets head coach Adam Gase runs a slower-paced offense.
Despite all of these questions and concerns, Bell remains one of the most talented running backs in the league. His unique, patient approach to running the ball along with his great hands make him one of the league’s most effective weapons out of the backfield.
And a full year off gave Bell plenty of time to recover, so his body should be fresh for the grueling workload he will be expected to shoulder in this offense. Read More