Fantasy Football Week 1: Start 'em and Sit 'em

By request, I will start a weekly post about who I believe you should start and who you should sit.  Depending on the fantasy league you're in, there may be different variables.  Some leagues only have 10 teams with 2 spots available for RBs.  If you have an Adrian Peterson and an Arian Foster on your team, you should probably find a more difficult league and you don't necessarily have to pay attention to the Start 'em section for RBs.  I'm not going to include players like Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, or Andre Johnson.  You should probably start them each week unless they're injured or you have an obscene amount of depth at the position.  I'm going to speak about players you may have on the bench that may put up starter quality points for a 3rd WR, 3rd RB, or if your normal starter has a bye week.


Start 'em:

Alex Smith.  Smith will face a weak Seattle secondary.  Marcus Trufant is not as good as he used to be and their other CB, Walter Thurmond, is young and inconsistent.  Don't expect Alex Smith to have a breakout season, but with Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards, and Vernon Davis against the weak Seattle defense, Smith has a very good opportunity to turn in a quality game.  In his last meeting with Seattle, Smith passed for 255 yards and 3 TDs.

Kevin Kolb.  He'll love working with Larry Fitzgerald and he loved going to his TE, Brent Celek, in Philadelphia.  Todd Heap, when healthy, will be a solid target for Kolb.  Carolina's only reliable CB is Chris Gamble, but even he has been plagued by a bit of inconsistency.  He's a big name that QBs have had success targeting.

Mark Sanchez.  Yes, I named a Jet.  I'd normally stay away from Sanchez because he doesn't put up many yards or TDs, but he has a good chance this weekend.  The Cowboys will be without Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins is coming back from an injury, leaving Dallas thin at CB.  Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller are proven, solid targets that Sanchez could take advantage of.  Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress are question marks for now, but they could still be solid targets, especially in this matchup.  Look for the Jets to come out with Sanchez and try to make a showing that their passing game has improved.  Sanchez could easily pass for 200 yards with a TD or two.

Sit 'em:

Donovan McNabb.  I'm very skeptical of the success he'll have in Minnesota.  Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason, Bob Sanders, and Eric Weddle.  That is a tough secondary for any QB to pass against.  With a WR corps I am not high on facing a very good defense, I don't expect a big day from McNabb.  Instead, look for 200 yards or close to, but with a few turnovers.

Colt McCoy.  It's not that he won't do well, but I think Cleveland will utilize Peyton Hillis for their main attack.  The Bengals have a struggling offense with a rookie QB and the Browns should easily control the game.  I don't expect McCoy to throw more than 20 passes and they will probably be shorter passes.  Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbshave suffered injuries and will go against a quality CB duo of Leon Hall and Nate Clements.  That is even more reason the Browns will stick to the ground.

Sam Bradford.  I think he will have a solid season, but I don't think he'll have a great start.  He'll go against Nnamdo Asomugha, Dominique Cromartie-Rodgers, and Asante Samuel this weekend.  His WR corps improved over last season, but that is a tough matchupfor any QB.  I expect the game to be close and he may pick up some yards, but I expect him to be held to a single TD or less.

Kerry Collins.  This is his first game at QB for the Colts and expect him to struggle.  The Colts will probably attempt to run the ball more often with Peyton Manning out of the lineup.  He'll value may grow as the season goes on, but I'd keep him on the bench until he gets in sync with the rest of the offense.

Peyton Manning.  In case you haven't heard, he'll be out awhile.  Don't be like me and have Manning, Tyler Palko, and Curtis Painter as your only QBs.  It's safe to say I will not be winning the Phinsider FFL unless I get a QB...


Start 'Em:

Joseph Addai.  Like I said above, expect the Colts RBs to get more carries.  Addai is also a solid target in the passing game and I expect Kerry Collins to look to Addai on screens and checkdown passes.  As usual with Addai, there is some concern about him scoring the TDs.  Still, he is a good option based on the potential for total yards and receptions.

Felix Jones. With the Jets' CBs, Jones will be looked to often in the passing game.  The Cowboys may use Jones on screen passes to counter the amount of blitzes the Jets like to run.  Jason Garrett also liked to run the ball with Jones much more last year when he took over.  He's going to get more opportunities then he ever had before.  If you have Jones on your roster, you will like his production this year as long as he's healthy.

Shonn Greene.  He will be the primary RB this year and will get 10-20 carries per game.  With the Jets offensive line, barring the right side in pass protection, they should open plenty of holes for him.  He'll get a fair amount of yards and perhaps a TD or two.

Reggie BushDaniel Thomas is a little banged up and teams don't know how Miami will use him yet, making it difficult to gameplanagainst him.  Miami will still run the ball a lot and will make sure Bush gets a lot of toucher.  Look for him to be active in the passing game as well.  He should end up with around 80 total yards, even if his yards per carry numbers are low.  He's not an ideal play, but if you need a third RB option, he could be worth it.

Sit 'em:

Reshard Mendenhall.  He will face a very stingy Ravens defense.  Because the weakness of the Ravens defense is the secondary, expect the Steelersto attack them through the air.  Mendenhall scored TDs in his first matchup with Baltimore last year, but was held without a score in the second matchup.  He averaged 2.8 YPCagainst Baltimore in both games.  Expect him to finish with 50-70 yards.

Cedric Benson. He had a good outing in his second matchupagainst Cleveland last year, finishing with over 150 yards and a TD.  With a rookie QB and an unknown WRscorps, Cleveland, like other opponents, will force Andy Dalton to beat them through the air.  Benson already had a low YPClast year and I don't expect it to get much better.  With Joe haden and Sheldon Brown on the outside against the young WRs AJ Green and Jerome Simpson, the Browns will keep seven or eight defenders focused on Benson.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  he may be a decent start depending on your RB depth, but his production may be a big mystery.  He did well against Miami last year, but they do feature a stout defense and the return of Jared Odrick helps their DLrotation.  The biggest case against Green-Ellis is the presence of Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley.  Woodhead will see plenty of snaps and Ridley may steal some carries from Green-Ellis.


Start 'em:

Mike Williams (TB).  He has been very good in the red zone and he very well may reach 1,000 yards this season.  He had 6 receptions for 96 yards and a TD last year against Detroit.  Detroit's secondary is not very strong so expect Williams to get similar numbers once again.

Mario Manningham.  He made a bunch of big plays last year for the Giants.  Even if Steve Smith returned to New York, Manninghamwas ready to steal his starting position.  Manninghammay not end up with 5+ catches, but with his propensity to turn a catch into big yards, he can get a lot of yards and a TD against the Redskins.  He finished last season with a three game streak of 100+ yard receiving games, scoring 4 TDsin the process.  His opponents were the Eagles, Packers, and Redskins.  Not too shabby.

Jerheme UrbanTerrence McGee is the only reliable CB in Buffalo and he will be matched up with Dwayne Bowe.  I think Urban can take advantage of Leodis McKelvin and Buffalo's safeties Jairus Byrd and George Wilson are not particularly impressive.  Urban may end up with over 70 yards and a score.  If you're playing in a 3 or 4 WR fantasy league, he is not a bad option as a #3 WR.

Sit 'em:

Steve Smith (Phi).  He brought a lot of attention when he was signed from New York, but he is coming back from microfracturesurgery.  He is listed as questionable, but he should play on Sunday.  He is still the Eagles' third option at WR and I don't expect him to be healthy enough to make much of an impact yet.

Sidney Rice.  He has been nursing a sore shoulder over a week now and has yet to practice this week.  He is listed as questionable and may be a gametimedecision.  He has a favorable matchup against the 49ers with Tarell Brown, but with his injury status and a shaky QB situation, he is a high risk.  If you have depth at WR, you may want to look elsewhere until Rice recovers.

Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and Anthony Gonzalez.  Collie is recovering from a foot injury and Gonzalez from a hamstring.  Of course, those two are always trying to recover from some injury.  Even bigger is the absence of their relatively unknown QB, Peyton Manning.  Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark will still get their catches with Kerry Collins at the helm, but the numbers for this trio are likely to drop.


Start 'em:

Ben Watson.  He is coming back from a hip injury, but is expected to play.  He did very well last year with Colt McCoy at QB.  He also had over 150 receiving yards in two games last year against the Bengals.  As stated above, the Bengals have a good pair of CBs with Hall and Clements and the Browns WRsare nursing injuries.  With a good duo of CBs and injured WRs, expect McCoy to target Watson a lot on Sunday during the few times the Browns decide to pass.  He could be good for 70 yards or more and perhaps a TD.

Todd Heap. The Panthers will concentrate mostly on Larry Fitzgerald, giving Heap an opportunity to take advantage in the middle of the field.  Kevin Kolb loved throwing to his TE Brent Celek in Philadelphia and he should enjoy having Heap at TE as well.  Heap may be a solid start throughout the season as long as he stays healthy.

Dustin Keller.  With Braylon Edwards and Jericho Cotcherygone, Mark Sanchez will probably target Dustin Keller more this season.  He should at least see plenty of targets early in the season until Sanchez gets into sync with his new WRs.

Sit 'em:

Jermaine Gresham.  The Browns have experienced LBsthat can cover Gresham.  Like the other skill position playersfor the Bengals, he has a young Andy Dalton at QB.  If you haven't noticed the trend yet, it may be best to stay away from starting any Bengal until Dalton shows considerable improvement over his shaky preseason performances.

Jeremy Shockey.  The Panthers list both Shocker and Greg Olsen as their starting TEs, though most places will show only Shockeyas the starter.  He'll see considerable playing time, with with Olsen also on the roster, he will most likely receive the majority of the targets for the TE position.  Shockeymay be a good player to have on your roster, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep him on the bench if you can until we can see how the Panthers offense performs with two good TEs and a rookie QB.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

In This FanPost

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.