Ah, that was nice, wasn’t it? The start of the NFL season is just like taking a hot shower, and Week One is when someone flushes the toilet to give you that frigid, but refreshing, blast of unbearably cold water.
Once you’ve recovered from the shock, it’s lovely, just lovely.
This week, we’re looking for things to regress back to the mean—or for non-nerds, return to normal. I expect a few disappointments to bounce back, but we can’t always get what we want.
Sorry, L.T. owners, but I think your ship is sinking.
Hot Hands Start of the Week
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jackson was only supposed to fill time until Marshawn Lynch returned from his suspension, but he’s exploded out of the gates with a great game last week against New England’s rebuilding defensive line. Against the Tampa Bay defense, Jackson should have another good day.
Jackson’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield makes him a dynamic threat in Buffalo’s no-huddle offense, and he should see his fair share of receptions in addition to all the carries he’ll receive as the focal point of this attack. I’m starting him in every league in which I own him, even if it means I have to sit names like Steven Jackson to do it.
Others receiving votes:
- Trent Edwards, QB, Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bills should be firing on all cylinders this week as they take advantage of Ronde Barber and the Tampa Bay defense that just got lit up by Dallas in Week One.
- Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have come together nicely this season, but the Seahawks still have many threats in the passing game. I see John Carlson sneaking lose a few times and allowing Hasselbeck to be a sneaky play this week.
- Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
A mouth-watering matchup for a team who just ran all over the Chargers. McFadden could have a big day against the struggling Chiefs, and Michael Bush could join in the fun as well.
- Justin Gage, WR, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
The Jets abused the Houston secondary last week. Maybe it’ll be Gage’s turn this week.
- Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams
I know, obvious, but some people questioned him after last week. The Rams, much to their disappointment, are not the Giants.
- Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
I think shabby deserves one more chance…
- Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
What Favre likes, Favre hits. He tackled Harvin after his Week One touchdown. Harvin is an interesting flex option this week and is likely to get another score as the Vikings test him out against the Lions.
Cold Shoulders Sit of the Week
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
It’s a no-Bowe this week. What’s the guy’s name? Nani? Nadia? Not-gonna-let-Bowe-catch-any-passes, that’s what his name is. Nnamdi Asomugha has Bowe locked down. The Bowe Show has never had more than 100 yards or a touchdown against the Raiders.
If Matt Cassel returns this week, Richard Seymour should be giving his former teammate a few hugs throughout the game, and I don’t think the Chiefs offense will get off the ground.
Sure, Bowe might defy the odds. He might get out there and get himself a touchdown, but I don’t like betting on garbage-time scores and yardage. Best to sit Bowe if you have better options. At the very least, downgrade expectations. He rose above his expectations last week, but I doubt he’ll do it again.
Others receiving votes:
- LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Gasp! How could I? The LaDainian Tomlinson? But yes, he’s no good for you this week because the official word is that he is OUT. No playing. E.T. no phone home. I’m not one to stand behind L.T. as a start, injury or no injury, but this week will be the start of a struggle for owners who need to decide when it’s appropriate to put him out to pasture.
- Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins
Avery has to prove that the Rams can do something on offense before I’ll give him a nod, but if he’s one of your best this week, he might surprise.
- Laveranues Coles, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packers defense and Coles’ Week 1 drops make Coles a must sit. Once he proves he has something left in the tank, feel free to return him to your roster.
- Jeremy Shockey, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Against the Eagles, me no likey.
- Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns
Not even the Browns are scared of this matchup. While good on paper, Orton shouldn’t be putting up gaudy numbers here, and you’re likely to have a better play.
- Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
You probably have to start him, but I’m a tad worried that he won’t get the touchdown required to make this matchup worthwhile. The Steelers should limit him, but Forte isn’t a dud this week.
And against my better judgment…
Sleeper of the Week
Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s hard to recommend Hester against one of the most formidable passing defenses in the league and after his quarterback struggled with four interceptions in his first game, but Hester has some sleeper value this week. This game could come down to the final quarter, and I could imagine Hester being tasked with making a play by blowing by the Steelers and getting to the end zone.
The Titans were able to make plays through the air last week against the Steelers, and I think Jay Cutler and Hester are just as talented or more so than Kerry Collins and Justin Gage. If Hester pulls it off, he’s worth starting; if they completely shut him down…well, that’s why he’s a sleeper. Basically, all I’m saying here is that you aren’t completely done for if you find yourself needing to start Hester this week. We’ll see what happens.
For more start/sit recommendations this week…
- Get shocked over at Fantasy Football Goat
- Read up at The Hazean
- Journey through the stacks of the Fantasy Football Librarian
- Play through this week’s hits and misses with the Fantasy Football Geek Blog
- Feel the love and the hate from ESPN’s Matthew Berry
- Check in on some sleepers, busts and starts from FF Toolbox
- Watch your hand at Fantasy Sharks
- Peruse this week’s rankings at Fanhouse
- Take the advice of Fantasy Football Xtreme
- See who the Bruno Boys are starting and sitting
- And pay attention to who NFL.com recommends. We all know they probably have some dark and shady hand that tips the scales in favor of their predictions every week anyway, right? Now where’d my foil hat go…?
As always, the comments are yours. If you want to talk about your roster, leave us a question below, and good luck this week.