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Start 'Em/Sit 'Em - Week One

Week one NFL match-ups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team.

Sam Greenwood


Start 'Em

Matt Ryan, ATL (vs New Orleans Saints) - Falcons-Saints always has the potential to be a high scoring affair.  With Julio Jones and Roddy White back healthy, along with an improved OL, Ryan's looking at 325+ yards and 2+ TD's.

Colin Kaepernick, SF (vs Dallas Cowboys) - The Cowboys defense is garbage.  'Nuff said.  I might put whatever QB is playing Dallas here all year.  But seriously, their entire defense is hurt and gone.  No Hatcher.  No Ware.  No Lee.  No Lawrence.  No nobody.  225+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 50+ rushing yards.

Russell Wilson, SEA (vs Green Bay Packers) - Look at it this way, the Packers are going to score points.  I know Seattle's defense is good, but Rodgers, Cobb, and Nelson are all healthy and Lacy is prime.  The Seahawks are going to have to score some points.  Plus, Percy Harvin is 100%!  250+ passing yards, 2+ TD's, and 40+ rushing yards.

Sit 'Em

Andy Dalton, CIN (@ Baltimore Ravens) - The Ravens defense is good and I expect the Bengals offense to be a little more run-oriented and a little less pass-happy with Gruden gone and Hue Jackson at the helm.  200 passing yards, 0 TDs, and 1+ INT(s).

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs Cleveland Browns) - Joe Haden and Donte Whitner are both nightmares and with the addition of Karlos Dansby, this Browns defense is going to be improved.  Add in the fact that the Steelers' receiving corps. and OL both leave a lot to be desired and you end up with a sub-par game from Big Ben.  Low scoring affair.  225 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1+ INTs,

Running Backs

Start 'Em

Montee Ball, DEN (vs Indianapolis Colts) - This game is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of points.  RB's that play with Peyton Manning do well (see Moreno from last year).  All the attention is going to be on Manning and Demaryius Thomas and Ball is going to be heavily involved by John Fox (who loves running) and by Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.  The Colts defense is no good.  70+ rushing yards, 1+ TD, and 30+ receiving yards.

Doug Martin, TB (vs Carolina Panthers) - Lovie Smith just came out and said this week that Martin is an every down back who can really catch the ball.  Lovie Smith loves to run the ball and doesn't typically use a lot of RBBC.  Doug Martin is their offense.  I know the Panthers can be tough, but at least the game is in Tampa and Lovie's going to want a good home opener.  70+ rushing yards, 1+ TD, and 30+ receiving yards.

Sit 'Em

DeAngelo Williams, CAR (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - The Bucs defense is going to be pretty tough this year and the Panthers offense might be a mess.  Newton always takes a bunch of the runs, especially the ones that count around the goal-line, and Williams is again sharing the load with Jonathan Stewart.  Williams is ahead of Stewart on the depth chart, for not, but Stewart has been much better throughout the preseason.  45 total yards.

Lamar Miller, MIA (vs New England Patriots) - Another similar situation as above in that Miller will be sharing carries with Knowshon Moreno this year.  Neither will do well in that abysmal Dolphin offense and you have to expect a lot of airing it out for Miami in this one trying to keep up with the Pats.  50 total yards.

Darren McFadden, OAK (@ New York Jets) - The Jets defense under Rex Ryan is always pretty good, especially against the run.  The Raiders offense is always bad and McFadden is always getting banged up.  You do the math.  50 total yards.

Wide Receiver

Start 'Em

Percy Harvin, SEA (vs Green Bay Packers) - This was touched on a bit when writing about Russell Wilson, but Harvin is healthy and they'll need to score points against that loaded Packer offense.  The Seahawks will find a lot of ways to get him the ball: going deep, over the middle, screens, out of the backfield, maybe returning punts, etc.  He's a versatile offensive player.  75+ total yards and 1 TD.

Marques Colston, NO (@ Atlanta Falcons) - People are forgetting about Colston, lost in all the Brandin Cooks hype, but Brees has looked his way a ton in the preseason (four targets in the first quarter the other night) and he's going to get some red-zone looks.  He's healthier than he's been in a couple seasons and the Falcons defense is pretty weak.  Plus you know there is going to be a lot of points.  70+ receiving yards and 1+ TD(s).

Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (vs Indianapolis Colts) - Simply put, no Wes Welker.  The guy's got Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, in a high-scoring game, when he'll likely get a lot of the looks that would have gone to Welker.  Plus the defense is going to focus on Thomas.  80+ receiving yards and 1+ TD(s).

Sit 'Em

Rookie WR's - Rookie WR's rarely pan out, especially in their first game as a pro.  Evans, Watkins, Cooks, and Benjamin are all unlikely to be a reliable weapon in fantasy during this first week.  Cooks has the best chance, followed by Benjamin (Newton dependent), then Watkins, and lastly Evans.  But I wouldn't be starting any of them.  Give 'em a little time to get up to speed.

Riley Cooper, PHI (vs Jacksonville Jaguars) - The Eagles offense should be pretty explosive this year, right?  Foles and Cooper looked great together last year, right?  All true, but this week is different.  The Eagles are probably going to squash the Jags.  That means running the ball in the latter half of the game and (I know you'll probably think Kelly is incapable of this) actually slowing the game down a little bit.  That plus the number of weapons that are going to get the ball (Maclin, Sproles, Shady, Ertz) and I think Cooper is going to be a TD-dependent reach this week.  40 receiving yards.

Tight Ends

Start 'Em

Vernon Davis, SF (@ Dallas Cowboys) - You could have probably figured this one out when reading above about Kaepernick, but the Cowboys defense is terrible.  Davis is going to have a field day.  Last year, the Cowboys were one of the five worst defenses in the league against TE's, and that was with Hatcher, Ware, and Lee.  It could get ugly.  50+ yards and 1 TD.

Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs Buffalo Bills) - Bennett's going to be a back-up TE in most standard leagues this year, but he's going to have some huge games.  Trestman's offense is awesome and the Bears OL is much improved, which means Cutler will be improved, which means Bennett will be improved.  Also, the Bills defense is below average, especially against TE's.  60+ yards.

Sit 'Em

Charles Clay, MIA (vs New England Patriots) - The Dolphins offense is abysmal.  Tannehill's not that good and neither is their OL.  Clay could be asked to block a lot in this game, especially when Miami is behind and their trying to air it out to Mike Wallace and the Patriots defense has their ears pinned back.  You know that's what's going to happen...  30 yards.

Antonio Gates, SD (@ Arizona Cardinals) - A lot of people believe that this is the year that Ladarius Greene surpasses Gates as the TE of choice in SD.  I'm in a wait-and-see mode, but I don't want to find out in week one, especially not against an above average Cardinal defense... in AZ.  Gates is going to get old at some point, you know...  30 receiving yards.

Please leave any fantasy related questions you might have in the comments section and I'll try to answer as many and as quickly as I can.  It's fun to get everyone's perspectives on this week's matchups floating around down there and I'm always interested to see what kind of decisions different fantasy players have to make.  These are just general ideas for standard leagues, but we can all give and receive advice for unique situations as they come up.  Good luck!