Adrian Peterson is one of the NFL's biggest superstars, but he's not going to put up big numbers in the Minnesota Vikings' first regular season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's not the only mega-star you need to sit in Week 1, either.
Fantasy football is all about long-term averages and consistency. These players are going to be studs throughout the 2012 NFL season, but starting them for Week 1 would be a big mistake.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Peterson is likely going to play during the Vikings' home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but according to Scout.com's Tim Yotter, he isn't ready to play the entire game:
The coaching staff has a set number of plays in mind for Peterson, Musgrave said, as well as how many Toby Gerhart and Matt Asiata, the other running backs on the roster, are planning to get.
The fact that AP is even capable of playing at all is remarkable, given the extent of his horrific knee injury last year. The Vikings are smart to keep him from overdoing it early on in 2012.
Another reason to sit Peterson on Sunday is that the Jaguars feature a feisty defense that was one of the NFL's best at stopping the run in 2011. They only allowed 3.8 yards per carry last year, good enough to tie for fourth place in the NFL.
Peterson will be up to his old tricks in no time, but he'll be limited in Week 1.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Beast Mode came on like a freight train last year, piling up over 1,200 yards and scoring 12 rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks are an up-and-coming team that loves to pound the rock, and Lynch will be a big part of what they do in 2012.
The only problem as it pertains to Week 1 is that Lynch may not even be playing. According to the AP, Lynch's back spasms are still limiting his ability to practice, and Pete Carroll is calling his injury day-to-day.
Furthermore, the Seahawks' Week 1 opponent is the Arizona Cardinals—a team that stumped Lynch both times he faced them a year ago.
Sit Lynch. If you are looking for a replacement for him, look no further than his teammate, rookie Robert Turbin.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
There are multiple reasons to sit Bowe in Week 1.
First off, he's playing catch up after missing most of the preseason with his silly holdout. The Chiefs hired Brian Daboll to be the team's new offensive coordinator back in February, and Bowe missed all of the offseason activities while demanding a new contract.
Secondly, Matt Cassel is not a fantastic quarterback. He's looked shaky at best during the preseason, and I'm not expecting him to suddenly look like Joe Montana on Sunday.
Finally, and most importantly, the Atlanta Falcons possess a really solid secondary that will be tough to beat.
Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel make up one of the top trios at the cornerback position in the NFL. Thomas Decoud and William Moore are no slouches, either, and I don't see Bowe having a big day against this group.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben is in for a long, long night against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The Steelers thought they had fixed what was a horrible offensive line of a year ago by drafting David DeCastro and Mike Adams, but DeCastro is out with a devastating knee injury and Adams hasn't made the transition to the pros as smoothly as the team would like.
Now, the Steelers enter the 2012 regular season with essentially the same line they had last year—the one that gave up 42 sacks, which tied them for the ninth-worst mark in the NFL last year.
The Broncos feature one of the NFL's best young pass-rushing defenses. Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, Derek Wolfe and the rest of the front seven will spend plenty of time behind the line of scrimmage, and I expect Roethlisberger to turn the ball over a few times.
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