Fantasy Football 2012: 5 Stars You Must Sit in Week 1
Week 1 of the NFL regular season kicks off on Wednesday night with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, a game that will feature a number of prominent fantasy performers. Owners of Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Ahmad Bradshaw, Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray or Dez Bryant could get a jumpstart on their opposition heading into the weekend. Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks, though, is a chancy fantasy start as he returns from a broken metatarsal for the NFL season opener.
Nicks isn’t the only star whose output is in question for Week 1. Here are the five stars that should start the fantasy season on the bench.
*Mikel Leshoure and Kenny Britt will not play in Week 1 due to suspensions
Peterson has not appeared in any preseason games for the Vikings even though all reports on Peterson’s rehab and recovery have been positive. Peterson had surgery last December after tearing his ACL and MCL in a Week 16 contest against the Washington Redskins.
Considering Peterson’s importance to the success of the season for Minnesota, it’s doubtful they’ll give him many carries in the season opener—relying instead on third-year back Toby Gerhart while Peterson is getting back to form.
Mathews was a first-round fantasy draft pick before a broken collarbone dropped his ADP to 36th overall.
For those who drafted after the injury, Mathews could be a tremendous value pick as the ADP-slide seems to be a bit of an overreaction. The Chargers have made Mathews their feature back. And last year he finished as the No. 8 fantasy RB despite sharing carries with Mike Tolbert (now with Carolina).
But the payoff for Mathews’ owners won’t happen in Week 1. Mathews is listed as doubtful and his earliest return date is likely the Chargers’ Week 2 matchup against the Titans.
A positive for Mathews’ owners is that he did get a solid amount of work at training camp before the injury sustained on his first carry of preseason action, so he won’t be coming off a big layoff in Week 2.
Wallace ended his holdout on August 28th, reporting to the Steelers without a long-term deal in place. Wallace was a restricted free agent and will play under a one-year, $2.7 million contract in 2012.
Wallace believes he will be ready to play in the Week 1 opener against the Broncos on Sunday, September 9th. However, Wallace will only have had a week with the Steelers’ new offense under first-year OC Todd Haley.
Considering the new playbook and the fact that Wallace slumped at the end of last season (double-digit fantasy points only once in final seven weeks), fantasy owners should give Wallace a week off if they have a suitable fill-in.
Jones-Drew’s holdout has ended, but last season’s NFL rushing leader won’t jump right into the starting role as his fantasy owners might have hoped. Adam Schefter reported that the Jaguars will start Rashad Jennings on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
MJD was a first-round draft pick in most fantasy leagues (ADP of 10.9), but it may turn out that he won’t be the centerpiece of the Jaguars or fantasy teams for a few weeks. Fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach with Jones-Drew in Week 1, as the success or failure of Rashad Jennings will play a role in how quickly the Jaguars will push MJD back into the fold.
The hype-train that picked up momentum with Nicks' amazing postseason run was slowed down considerably by a broken metatarsal in Giants OTAs.
Despite the short recovery period and the early season-opener for the Giants, Nicks has stated that he’s playing on Wednesday night against the Cowboys. But Nicks, who has just one reception this preseason, sat out practice on Sunday, which puts into question the extent of Nicks’ potential involvement on Wednesday night.
As Victor Cruz is a fantasy stud WR in his own right, the Giants won’t feel the need to rush Nicks into the middle of the action in Week 1 or risk overworking him.
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