Start ’em, Sit ’em: Week 1

START: Patriots QB Tom Brady, @ Dolphins.
The Patriots have executed scary well on opening days with the exception of the Bernard Pollard nightmare of 2008. Tom Brady has thrown 2+ TDs in all of his last 6 opening days and he has a healthy Welker, an increasingly dangerous TE duo, an improving run game and Chad Ochocinco.
SIT: Rams QB Sam Bradford, vs. Eagles. It’s Sam Bradford’s first game in the McDaniels offense and there will be growing pains. I am enough of a believer in the scheme and the quarterback try to draft him in one league, but remember he only scored multiple TDs in six games last year (the last one being week 12 @ Broncos) and they added Jerrious Norwood and Cadillac Williams.

START: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, @ Bills. This is not a strong weekend for running back match-ups. The best ones are basically either dinged up (Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew) or facing great defenses (Ray Rice vs. Steelers; Adrian Peterson vs. Chargers). I expect the Bills run defense to eventually be much-improved, thanks to the spark plug Marcell Dareus, but not week 1. They were last in yards rushing allowed and 27th in rushing TDs allowed last year. The Chiefs ran for 274 yards last year vs. the Bills in Kansas City.
SIT: Colts RB Joseph Addai; Colts RB Delone Carter, @ Texans. I know they’re facing a new defense with probably the most new starters in the NFL but – with Manning likely out -, the Texans will probably put 7-8 in the box and challenge the Colts QB to throw. I know I just picked against this logic by endorsing Charles with his QB likely out but the Texans have far better athleticism and speed than the Bills do.

START: 49ers RB Frank Gore, vs. Seahawks. The most intriguing match-up is Adrian Peterson against the Bolts, given his torrential 297-yard performance in his last game against them, four years ago. His ability has only increased since then, but the line has fluctuated and the Bolts defense has improved. Therefore, I’m going with with Frank Gore against the Seahawks defense. My guess is that their defense will be worn out by Tarvaris Jackson’s inability to keep the offense on the field and that Gore will slice through a defense that was 18th in rushing TDs allowed last season and has moved over Brandon Mebane to nose tackle and has a new starter next to him.
SIT: Dolphins RB Reggie Bush, vs. Patriots. The beefed-up New England D-line will rise to this occasion. Bush is a guy I’m pretty high on, just not this week unless he’s getting big receiving yards from dump passes vs. prevent defense because the Patriots are blowing them out.

START: Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, vs. Steelers. Boldin has had good games against this secondary while Cam Cameron will give the Ravens a more aggressive gameplan. I typically hate starting anyone against the Steelers but Talib is going to limit Calvin, Finnegan will be on Andre and Fitzgerald is an obvious start. Boldin will be targeted often.
SIT: Giants WR Mario Manningham, @ Redskins. Hakeem Nicks can get fantasy numbers against any defense but the new Redskins defense has added some truly special athletes in O.J. Atogwe, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen and Ryan Kerrigan. Shanahan has won three straight opening day games, all for teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

START: Jets WR Santonio Holmes, vs. Cowboys. Both Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman missed the preseason with injuries. They will be going up against a well-conditioned Holmes, who will be hard to double now that Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason are there. This is also the Cowboys D’s first game in a new system. I also feel good about Brandon Lloyd going into Oakland.
SIT: Rams WR Mike Sims-Walker, vs. Eagles. Given his physicality, the Eagles will have at least one guy on him at all times and it’s likely to be either Asomugha or Samuel.

START: Browns TE Evan Moore, @ Bengals. A pure, athletic wonder who plays with a chip on his shoulder going up against a Bengals defense that has given up touchdowns to Browns tight ends three of the last four games against them.
SIT: Panthers TE Greg Olsen, Panthers vs. Cardinals. Jeremy Shockey doesn’t figure to take away a big chunk of targets from Olsen, but this is Cam’s first career game. His accuracy was awful in the preseason and I think it will be worse now with new Cardinals DC Ray Horton inevitably sending guys at him to keep him from being able to step into his throws.

START: Eagles DST @ Rams. If this match-up were later in the year, I would not suggest starting the Eagles defense. Simply put, the Rams will not be executing the McDaniels offense superbly this early in the season. The Eagles want to come out and make a big statement on defense. It’s their offense I’d be more worried about in terms of fragile confidence.
SIT: Packers DST vs. Saints. There are lots of times to play the Packers defense, but I wouldn’t get cute. This is an intriguing match-up between a team that did a lot of player-organized workouts and a team that didn’t do any.

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34 Responses to “Start ’em, Sit ’em: Week 1”

  1. TJ says:

    You left of McFadden v. Broncos? Are you insane? He shredded them last year and will do the same this year.

    No Roddy White?

    Good start but you are missing a ton of players and analysis.

    • Chris Bach says:

      I stand a bit corrected on McFadden. That said, the Broncos defense will be much improved with Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil back, and Broderick Bunkley. Even Rahim Moore will make a difference in the run game. McFadden is a good “start”.

      As for Roddy White, the Bears and their turf are often formidable. If I hear Brandon Meriwether is starting, I’d probably consider Roddy White a good “start” since that would mean the Bears are desperate. As of right now, he’s definitely not a “sit”.

  2. sam says:

    I have 3 cowboys, witten, dez and felix. which would you start?

    • Chris Bach says:

      Dez is probably getting shut down. I would go with Jason Witten, depending on who your other TE is.

      Dez is a better fantasy WR than Miles Austin this season.

  3. sam says:

    Thanks man

  4. JT says:

    In a PPR who do you start at FLEX: B. Marshall, J. Addai, or F. Jackson?

  5. CM says:

    who do i start at Flex: Ryan matthews, Keny Brit, Jonathan Stewart, or Fred Jackson

    • Chris Bach says:

      Hmm, Fred Jackson is the safe pick as he will get 27-30 carries if the game is close, while Kenny Britt is the one with most potential, going against a new Jaguars secondary.

      I’d go with Kenny Britt.

      Ryan Matthews could have a huge day, too.

  6. CE says:

    Is it crazy of me for considering starting Colt McCoy vs the Bungles over Big Ben vs the Ravens. What would you do?

    • Chris Bach says:

      The Ravens are going to unveil a more aggressive attack. Colt is the safer pick.

      Until Colt starts connecting to Evan Moore, Greg Little, Josh Cribbs, Carlton Mitchell and Mohamed Massaquoi at a rate of 2.5 TDs a game, Big Ben will be your top QB the majority of the time.

  7. colby says:

    at flex should i play santonio holmes or pierre thomas. this is a standard league

    also which 2 wr should I start in my other league
    Mike Williams(TB)
    Jacoby Ford
    Lee Evans
    Jeremy Maclin
    Braylon Edwards

  8. colby says:

    hightower or benson at flex

    • Chris Bach says:

      As bad as the Redskins were at run-blocking last year (several new starters this season), the Bengals were worse. Hightower is also a far better receiver.

      Both are good plays week 1 and week 2. I could totally see Andy Dalton and A.J. Green getting them in the red zone against the Browns defense several times.

  9. Russ Loede says:

    Santonio. No-brainer. Pierre is still recovering from injury. Joique Bell might get his touches Thursday night in Lambeau. Bell could be this year’s Chris Ivory. Also, keep in mind, Darren Sproles being there means Thomas can ease back into the rotation – so they won’t rush him back.

    As for Holmes, the Cowboys secondary is one of the worst in the NFL. Furthermore, Marky-Mark has a nice rapport with #10.

    2 WR’s: Mac-daddy, Mike Williams. Lions defensive backfield is horrendous. Jacoby Ford could be locked down by Champ.

    Hightower over Benson based solely on skill. Right now, the ‘Skins back is the better player.

  10. POL says:

    standard scoring

    flex position: ingram, hightower or brandon jacobs?

  11. CM says:

    Eli or big ben?
    Colston or miles Austin?

    • Chris Bach says:

      Eli, even though the Redskins took Baltimore’s best corner from last year – Josh Wilson (though I expect Jimmy Smith to be better than him this year) – and added O.J. Atogwe. The Ravens and Redskins each have at least 4 new starters on defense with the Redskins starting a rookie at OLB which may cause for a few mistakes. Also, Laron Landry is hurt.

      Colston>Austin this week but Austin will have 55 more targets than Colston by the end of the season.

  12. Jake O'Connor says:

    running backs- cedric benson, pierre thomas or daniel thomas (need to start one)

    wide reciever – maclin, reggie wayne, garcon, d. branch- need to start two.

    • Chris Bach says:

      Ced Benson.

      Jeremy Maclin and Reggie Wayne is the line-up you need. #1 targets are my preference, I would drop Deion Branch and grab either Mike Thomas, Greg Little or Denarius Moore. Even Bernard Berrian as a #2 will likely have a stronger fantasy season than Deion Branch.

  13. Eric says:

    Addai or ochocinco as a flex
    Giants or bears on def?

    • Chris Bach says:

      I think Ocho Cinco will get a touchdown. He wants to make a statement. That’s a good tandem he’s going up against, so it may be best for Brady to attack the slot with Welker and the middle with the tight ends.

      I’d take the Giants defense, but I’m not sure about either of them this week.

  14. Jeff H says:

    Who to Start:

    Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy?

    Percy Harvin or Plaxico Buress?

    Defense: Detroit, SF, or Cleveland?

  15. Jeff H says:

    Also, what about Alex Smith, Kerry Collins, or Chad Henne over Colt McCoy due to matchup?

    And Lance Kendricks or Kellen Winslow?

    • Chris Bach says:

      Kellen Winslow is the healthiest he’s been in years and Arrelious Benn is coming off ACL surgery, Dez Briscoe is still learning. Winslow could be the #2 target for the Buccaneers. I like Kendricks in his match-up, too, but he has more working against him for the first four games of the year than Winslow.

      I would play Colt McCoy but if you like Cincinnati’s defense, Alex Smith is the next best option week 1 (no doubt).

  16. slade says:

    Romo at jets or McCoy?
    Turner at bears or Best at nice?

  17. Football fan says:

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