Week 1 Fantasy Football Projections: Late Game Studs and Duds for Week 1

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystSeptember 9, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30:  Running back DeAngelo Williams #34 of  the Carolina Panthers warms up for play against the Minnesota Vikings October 30, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It's go time, folks!

As the first batch of games of Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season get rolling, fantasy owners across the land have locked in most of their starting lineups, but some decisions remain to be made regarding players that will be going later this afternoon.

Here's a look at a few players that are either set to light up the scoreboard or lay a big fat egg.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers

Fantasy owners who were concerned that they would have to wait until later in the day to find out the playing status of Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart got a bit of an early gift, as Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports that Stewart himself revealed on his Facebook page that he will sit out this afternoon's matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Sorry panther fans but it Looks like I'll be missing the game opener this year due to my recent ankle sprain! I'll be helping my team today by cheering them on! lets go panthers!! #panther-nation," Stewart wrote.

That opens the door for DeAngelo Williams to receive the majority of the carries in a fantastic matchup with a Buccaneers squad that allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs last year, so Williams absolutely deserves consideration as a low-end fantasy RB1 this week.

Cedric Benson, RB, Green Bay Packers

The outlook isn't nearly as rosy for Green Bay Packers' running back Cedric Benson, who went from an unemployed player on fantasy waiver wires to the lead back on one the National Football League's best teams in a summertime Cinderella story of sorts.

With that said, Cinderella is set to turn back into a pumpkin, at least where Week 1 is concerned. The Packers square off with a San Francisco 49ers team today at Lambeau Field that allowed fewer than 80 rushing yards per game last season, so if you have any other alternatives, Benson needs to be glued to fantasy benches.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

From a running back with a fantastic matchup, to one with a horrific one, to somewhere in between, we're running the gamut of running back options in Week 1.

Seattle Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch was a big question mark heading into their Week 1 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals as a result of back spasms, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the 26-year-old is expected to play.

However, the Cardinals weren't an especially favorable matchup for opposing fantasy backs last year and rookie Robert Turbin could see significant action Sunday with Lynch nicked up, so the sixth-year veteran is a much more dicey RB2 play than he would usually be.