As part of our weekly football coverage here, I'm going to offer up my hypothetical fantasy football picks every Thursday. Note: This league is completely made up. If you are in a high school fantasy football league, please seek professional help.
QB — Wes Lunt, Rochester, Sr.
In my experience, quarterbacks are always the toughest calls in Week 1. And I should know, I've been doing this for almost one week now. Either way, Lunt is as close as you can get to a sure thing. Last year, he passed for 3,136 yards and 30 touchdowns, and with most of his receiving corps returning this year, you know Rochester will be airing it out. In the opener against Lincoln last year, Lunt put up 327 yards and two TDs.
Projection: 22 of 27, 310 yards, 4 TDs
WR — Jordan Westerkamp, Montini, Sr.
This is such an easy, obvious pick that I probably shouldn't insult you by explaining it. Westerkamp caught 89 passes last year for 1,631 yards and 21 touchdowns. It's almost impossible to find that kind of production from a high school receiver. Look for Westerkamp to start strong against Palatine on Friday.
Projection: 10 catches, 165 yards, 2 TDs
RB — Mike Shield, Lake Zurich, Sr.
Shield split carries with Jacob Brinlee last year, but he should handle most of the workload this season. On a team that ran for more than 3,400 yards last year, Shields has what I (and I alone) like to call "upside." He averaged about 5.5 yards per carry in 2010, so if he emerges as the No. 1 back, Shield could be in store for 1,500 yards and 15-plus TDs. Buy now and watch him run wild against Fremd on Friday.
Projection: 19 carries, 130 yards, 3 TDs
DON'T START 'EM
WR — Dan Vitale, Wheaton South, Sr.
I think Vitale is in store for a big senior season, but I also hesitate to start any offensive player against Glenbard West this year. Glenbard West is going to have one of the top defenses in the state, and QBs aren't going to have much time to throw the ball. Also, Sunday will mark Vitale's first game action since breaking his collarbone in last year's playoffs. Hold off on Vitale for now.
Projection: 3 catches, 40 yards, 0 TDs
QB — Lamontiez Ivy, East St. Louis, Sr.
Ivy is in charge of one of the state's most explosive offenses, but I want to wait a few weeks to see which way the unit skews. East St. Louis has been pass-first in the past, but Ivy lost his top receiver to graduation and only passed for 1,770 yards last year. He did throw 21 TD passes and run for nine scores, so he's not a bad play. I just want to see him put up big numbers against North Gwinett (Suwanee, Ga.) on Saturday before I start him.
Projection: 12 of 18, 160 yards, 1 TD
WR — Jason Robertson, Lincoln-Way East, Sr.
Robertson is one of the most explosive receivers in the state, and he's got the commitment to Illinois to prove it. But fantasy football is all about production, and Robertson "only" contributed 600 yards and nine touchdowns last year. He doesn't play in a wide open offense or see as many passes thrown his way as guys like Westerkamp. Robertson may be a top prospect at the next level, but for now he's a bench option against Edwardsville.
Projection: 4 catches, 65 yards, 0 TDs
* Projections based on 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR format; No PPR
Want to join my (nonexistent) Illinois high school fantasy league? Find me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and tell me your team name.