2012 NFL Fantasy Football Week 1: Flex Play Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIISeptember 3, 2012

Jan. 1, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker (58) Daryl Washington breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks running back (24) Marshawn Lynch at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Both Marshawn Lynch and Dwayne Bowe were likely drafted to be starters on your squad this summer, but we should temper our expectations for top-flight production this week.

Uphill Battle For Lynch, Week 1

Lynch has been battling back spasms throughout the preseason, but it's expected he will play week one. This same problem gave him trouble early last season and forced him to miss a game against the Browns.

Even if Lynch was well he will face a respectable defense in the Arizona Cardinals on the road. Let’s assume Lynch is healthy enough to carry the football 20 times and Russell Wilson can move the chains when called upon.

It’s still going to be a difficult game for Lynch to amass more than 75 yards on the ground, and there’s no guarantee he will find the end zone.

In 2011, Lynch averaged 19 carries in both games against Arizona but posted 73 yards and 86 yards in both games and was held without a touchdown.

Slow Start For Bowe?

I’m concerned about Bowe after watching him work in the third preseason game. He looked out of sync in Brain Daboll’s offense, and his timing with Matt Cassel needs work. Bowe has a lot ridding on this season as he’s likely headed for free agency next off-season and is in the running for 'Vincent Jackson-type' money.

We should expect Bowe to have a Pro Bowl season by years end, but if he has a poor showing early, it wouldn’t be the first time. Back in 2010, Bowe ripped off one of the more impressive seven game stretches I’ve seen from a receiver in the past twenty years of playing fantasy football.

That said, outside of a long touchdown bomb against the 49ers week three, he had a horrible first month of the season and many fantasy owners were asking me if they should trade him, or cut him all together!

Hopefully we won’t see Bowe start out the same way this year, but the writing is on the wall after a lengthy holdout throughout training camp. If you have a quality option on the bench, it might be a good idea to sit Bowe down and see how he looks during the game.

1 LeSean McCoy @ Browns
2 Calvin Johnson Rams
3 Darren McFadden Chargers
4 Arian Foster Dolphins
5 Ray Rice Bengals
6 Brandon Marshall Colts
7 Julio Jones @ Chiefs
8 Matt Forte Colts
9 Andre Johnson Dolphins
10 Chris Johnson Patriots
11 Jamaal Charles Falcons
12 Steven Jackson @ Lions
13 Dez Bryant @ Giants
14 DeMarco Murray @ Giants
15 Jordy Nelson 49ers
16 Fred Jackson @ Jets
17 Doug Martin Panthers
18 Pierre Garcon @ Saints
19 A.J. Green @ Ravens
20 DeAngelo Williams @ Bucs
21 Brandon Lloyd @ Titans
22 Victor Cruz Cowboys
23 Ahmad Bradshaw Cowboys
24 DeSean Jackson @ Browns
25 Antonio Brown @ Broncos
26 Larry Fitzgerald Seahawks
27 Roddy White @ Chiefs
28 Percy Harvin Jaguars
29 Greg Jennings 49ers
30 Wes Welker @ Titans
31 Hakeem Nicks Cowboys
32 Marshawn Lynch (I) @ Cardinals
33 Frank Gore @ Packers
34 Torrey Smith Bengals
35 Jeremy Maclin @ Browns
36 Eric Decker Steelers
37 Willis McGahee Steelers
38 Steve Smith (I) @ Bucs
39 Peyton Hillis Falcons
40 Vincent Jackson Panthers
41 Rashad Jennings @ Vikings
42 Michael Turner @ Chiefs
43 Demaryius Thomas Steelers
44 Stevan Ridley @ Titans
45 Dwayne Bowe Falcons
46 Marques Colston Redskins
47 Titus Young Rams
48 Shonn Greene Bills
49 Mark Ingram Redskins
50 Malcom Floyd @ Raiders
51 Reggie Wayne @ Bears
52 Trent Richardson (I) Eagles
53 Stevie Johnson @ Jets
54 Kevin Smith (I) Rams
55 Darren Sproles (I) Redskins
56 Nate Washington Patriots
57 Cedric Benson 49ers
58 Reggie Bush @ Texans
59 Michael Bush Colts
60 Justin Blackmon @ Vikings
61 Mike Wallace @ Broncos
62 Miles Austin (I) @ Giants
63 Michael Crabtree @ Packers
64 BenJarvus Green-Ellis (I) @ Ravens
65 Darrius Heyward-Bey Chargers
66 Beanie Wells (I) Seahawks
67 Jonathan Dwyer @ Broncos
68 Toby Gerhart Jaguars
69 Mike Williams Panthers
70 Ronnie Brown @ Raiders
71 Alshon Jeffery Colts
72 Donald Brown @ Bears
73 Roy Helu @ Saints
74 Beanie Wells (I) Seahawks
75 Ryan Williams Seahawks

Week 1 Rankings – QB | RB | WR | Start / Sit | Waiver Wire |