Matthew Stafford, Lions
It’s easy to look at Stafford and still see that guy who threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in a season. Heck, that was just a couple years ago, right? Wait, it was 2011. Since then, his passing yardage has dropped every year. He barely threw half that many touchdowns last year, with only 22. And while he had a full-season low of 12 interceptions in 2014, all of that added up to only the 15th-best fantasy quarterback.
Injuries are increasingly becoming a part of Calvin Johnson’s game, meaning you never know if/when Stafford will have his top weapon on the field. Golden Tate and the team’s assortment of running backs and tight ends are fine, but without Megatron this isn’t a special offense, and even with him Stafford is no longer a sure thing.
Sam Bradford, Eagles
No one has ever questioned Bradford’s overall ability; the question has been whether the former No. 1 pick can stay on the field. If Bradford’s performance this preseason is any indication of what’s to come, this could be the year he finally lives up to the hype.
Given Bradford’s injury history, it’s unlikely he — or most of the Eagles starters, for that matter — will take the field in the Meadowlands against the Jets Thursday night. That means fans could get treated a nice big helping of … wait for it … Tebow Time!
The Falcons have to be pleased with their starters — Matt Ryan and Julio Jones made things look easy on the opening drive. Ryan led the Falcons 91 yards on 10 plays, ending with a 13-yard touchdown to Jones. Ryan completed all six pass attempts on that drive — four of them to Jones, who finished that drive with 61 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. We already talked about Mariota and his performance with the Titans. Overall he had some bumps in the road, but he threw well on the day.