Fantasy Football Week 1: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Advice for Opening Weekend
Winning fantasy football takes the guts to make the tough lineup decisions, and those choices are already on your doorstep as Week 1 of the 2013 season arrives.
Do you ride with what you think you know based off of last year's success and failures? Or, do you make bold moves that can end up paying off big time on your weekly scoreboard?
Sometimes, it's just one win that separates you from fantasy glory. Don't just throw in your draft picks and roll the dice in Week 1; do your homework and give it your best college try.
Here are a couple nuggets about who you should start and sit in the first week of action.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Matchup: vs. New York Giants
There's bound to be plenty of fantasy points to go around in this biannual rivalry game. Both times Tony Romo met the New York Giants in 2012, he put up at least 23 points.
And the Giants haven't gotten much better defensively to scare you away from employing Romo with confidence to start the season. Plus, the Dallas Cowboys haven't proven their rushing struggles from a season ago are gone, so the outcome will likely rest solely on Romo's arm.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Matchup: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers surrendered 90 yards to Chris Johnson on the ground last year, and that was before the Tennessee Titans added Chance Warmack and Andy Levitre to beef up the interior of their offensive line. Johnson is explosive, running behind a competent line and ready to break out again in 2013.
Don't be the guy who shies away from employing one of your biggest assets because you're afraid of the matchup. Pittsburgh is aging up front and is missing a couple of key contributors from its topflight defenses of past seasons.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Matchup: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
A poor pass rush—dead last in the NFL with just 20 sacks in 2012—and a shaky Jacksonville Jaguars secondary makes Dwayne Bowe's opening matchup one to get excited about. While Alex Smith may not be a worldbeater at quarterback, he's more efficient and capable than what Bowe has had in the past at the position.
Jacksonville is getting younger defensively, but its secondary figures to again come in at the bottom of the league in terms of stopping the pass. Feel safe deploying Bowe as a starter against that bunch.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Matchup: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Hopefully, you drafted a good backup quarterback. It's weeks like this that make drafting a player like Cam Newton troublesome. The dual-threat quarterback found openings last year on the ground against the Seattle Seahawks, but he still delivered his worst performance of the season. Newton put up just 141 yards through the air and 42 yards on the ground.
But 2013 is a new year, isn’t it? Not really, Carolina hasn’t done much of anything to help its quarterback in terms of offensive weaponry. Seattle's defense is a legitimate contender for the top unit in the league, and it'll prove it by shutting down Newton in their opener.
All Green Bay Packers Running Backs
Matchup: @ San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers were dominant against the run in 2012. On the year, their defense allowed just 1,270 yards rushing and five touchdowns—both the second fewest in the NFL.
Mix in a new batch of running backs, both rookies, and the Green Bay Packers' offensive line issues, and this year's matchup will be painful for Packers running back owners.
Aaron Rodgers is going to have to beat the 49ers through the air.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Matchup: @ St. Louis Rams
Even with Carson Palmer behind center, Larry Fitzgerald is going to have a tough time getting into the end zone against the stingy St. Louis Rams secondary.
The unit allowed only 10 passing touchdowns last year—third fewest in the NFL—and kept Fitz from getting there as well. Opposing receivers also put up just 17.3 points per contest against that secondary, the eighth-best average in the league.
Some players are must starts, but if you have a better option, it'd be wise to go in that direction until Palmer and Fitzgerald prove they have the chemistry to beat defenses like the Rams.
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