Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: 5 Players You Must Sit in Late Games
Cardinals running back Beanie Wells, Packers running back Cedric Benson and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning highlight our list of five players you should place on your fantasy football bench during the late games of Week 1.
Two others, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews and Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, have already been ruled out because of injury and should be immediately pulled from your starting lineup.
In the following slides, we break down the five players in more depth. Don't be afraid to replace these five before the late games kick off.
Cedric Benson, Packers
There are only a handful of NFL backs you'd want to start against the San Francisco 49ers, and Benson simply isn't one of them, especially in this matchup.
Remember, a season ago, the 49ers allowed just three rushing touchdowns, and all 11 starters from that defense return in 2012.
Benson will be lucky to get anything more than 15 touches, too.
The Packers will likely spread out the 49ers, with the hope that forcing San Francisco into sub-packages will help slow down a front seven that has a clear edge against Green Bay's limited run game. The Packers are going to throw it, and throw it often.
There's a small chance Benson could fall into a short score, but don't bank on it.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals
The good news: Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports reported Sunday that Wells will play against the Seattle Seahawks despite a bum hamstring.
The bad? Wells will give up a majority of his carries to second-year back Ryan Williams.
Wells' fantasy value was already low without the injury, but he becomes unplayable with Williams taking over as the lead back in Arizona for Week 1. Keep him on the bench and avoid the risk.
Peyton Manning, Broncos
There is going to be an excitement about starting Manning, who is making his Broncos debut Sunday night. But I'd hold off on doing so until you get a better feel for how this new relationship in Denver is going to work.
There's going to be some rust for Manning after missing the entire 2011 season.
It might also be a good idea to hold out Manning against a Steelers defense that ranked No. 1 against the pass and No. 1 in points allowed in 2011. There isn't a high upside for fantasy quarterbacks against one of the game's best defenses.
If at all possible, start a different quarterback with a better matchup and higher ceiling for big points.
Ryan Mathews, Chargers
There was some optimism about Mathews being able to play in Week 1, but his broken collarbone will keep him out against the Oakland Raiders Monday night.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Saturday that Mathews is officially out.
Your fantasy team should already have done the same.
With Mathews on the bench, however, backup Ronnie Brown figures to get the majority of carries against the Raiders. If Brown is available, pick him up for a short-term insurance plan.
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
While the Panthers' coaching staff said for most of the week that Stewart (ankle) could play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Stewart officially ruled himself out Sunday morning.
Twitter was the avenue for Stewart's announcement.
The news wasn't completely shocking, as Stewart missed the entire week of practice leading up to Sunday. His status was always questionable.
With Stewart out, DeAngelo Williams figures to get the majority of carries for the Panthers. Start Williams in all leagues and formats.