This article is part of our Exploiting the Matchups series.
Fantasy seasons are not won or lost in the first week.
Sometimes you can be down big at halftime, make adjustments, lean on unexpected contributors and destroy the hopes and dreams of the Atlanta Falcons. Oh, wait. That's real football.
And because of the single-most epic comeback in sports history, the Patriots have the pleasure of bringing us the first game of a new season. Already, just as they did in the Super Bowl, they're ready to lean on different weapons than they have in the past. It's a part of the game (and the preseason, especially) that's just unfortunate. It's also another Patriot lesson telling us why we should not sweat those Week 1 choices as heavily.
The unexpected is going to inevitably happen. That's what you get with a violent, unrelenting sport that always has someone ready to stake his claim in the league. There are an unusual number of rookies ready to make major contributions immediately. We just don't know who will be most helpful among them yet. And there are a lot of old faces in new places, with much to be determined about their scheme fits and what they have to give in their new surroundings. Of course, there's also coaching changes that will have ripple effects across many teams.
As it is every year, the first week of the season is the toughest to predict because of these changes. Some trends will carry over from last year, sure, but many, many things we recall