Critical Week 1 Fantasy Questions You Need To Be Asking

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2010

Just what can we expect from Kevin Kolb this year in fantasy circles? Week 1's matchup with the Packers should be a great litmus test.
Just what can we expect from Kevin Kolb this year in fantasy circles? Week 1's matchup with the Packers should be a great litmus test.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Couldn’t sleep last night. Kept worrying about a phone call I was getting in the morning. From KGSO sports radio out of Wichita, KS.

Was asked to talk on the air about upcoming weekend’s worth of fantasy football, and to field questions from callers in. The show went well, and I was asked to come back on air every Saturday morning at 9am EST. You can listen via livestream radio at

Thanks to some extra research for the radio show, and being forced to think about the coming games in a fresh light, I realized that when push comes to shove, opening weekend in the NFL this season is more about answering questions than needing a win.

Looking at every Week 1 matchup, there is at least one glaring question I would love to have answered. My Sunday will be a day of fantasy football education, so to speak. My burning fantasy questions for Week 1 include:

Minnesota at New Orleans

Already got my answers here. Who is going to fill the void at Vikings receiver? At the moment, it looks like Visanthe Shiancoe. Brett Favre zinged it to him plenty … so much so that defenses read it and picked Favre off during one attempt to Shiancoe. I liked Shiancoe as a value TE heading into the season, and if Favre continues to have tunnel vision for his tight end, Shiancoe could be a great value at the position. I am still wondering what the total neglect of Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota running game means for Peterson overall this year? He was tearing things up in the first half, but had just three carries in the second half. Does he get consistent enough action to remain an elite RB?

Cleveland at Tampa Bay

How does the revamped Browns offense gel? Does Mohammed Massaquoi become a solid fantasy force? Does Jerome Harrison pick up where he left off at the end of last season, surprising everyone with fantasy stats galore? How good will rookie Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams really be this year? Does Kareem Huggins get any extra carries?

Miami at Buffalo

What sort of chemistry will develop between Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall? Who emerges as WR2? How are carries split between Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams? How does CJ Spiller and the other two heads of Buffalo’s three-headed RB monster fare? Is there any reason to care about the Bills passing game from a fantasy standpoint?

Cincinnati at New England

How do the pieces of the Bengals passing game come together? Does Terrell Owens regain a step or two? Does Carson Palmer’s arm strength return to form, or does he still struggle regardless of the improved weapons around him? How is Jermaine Gresham used out of the tight end position and does he have potential to be a legitimate fantasy starter in his rookie season? How does Randy Moss adjust to contract concerns? Is there any running back worth considering out of the backfield jumble in New England? How good does Wes Welker really look after his miraculous comeback from injury?

Indianapolis at Houston

Does Donald Brown get more involved in the offensive scheme? How does Anthony Gonzalez factor into the Colts passing game? Is Arian Foster for real? How does Owen Daniels look after being sidelined since middle of last season? Who emerges as the true WR2 in that offense?

Denver at Jacksonville

Can Jabar Gaffney continue to exceed expectations at WR? How does Knowshon Moreno fare after working his way back from injury? Can Mike Sims Walker actually improve upon his breakout 2009 campaign, or does he take a step backwards?

Falcons at Steelers

Does Rashard Mendenhall get the goal-line carries and how does he do with extra carries? Does Dennis Dixon exploit questionable Atlanta pass defense and post a solid game? Does Mike Wallace continue to mature into Pittsburgh’s deep threat? Does Matt Ryan look like he’ll take next step into fantasy QB stardom after a lackluster sophomore campaign?

Oakland at Tennessee

How does Jason Campbell fare in new digs? Does Zach Miller take next step towards being a reliable TE option? How does Darren McFadden do in what could be his final chance to turn around disappointing career? Does Chris Johnson get less carries, and if he does, how does Javon Ringer do with the extra work? Who emerges as the best Tennessee receiving threats from a fantasy standpoint?

Carolina at NY Giants

Does Matt Moore continue to keep the Panthers offense moving forward? How does Jonathan Stewart look after offseason injury issues and how do the carries split go between him and DeAngelo Williams? Is Steve Smith (CAR) over his flag football injury? How do the Giants receivers mature this year, and does Hakeem Nicks take another step forward? Who is the true top running back in the Giants offense?

Detroit at Chicago

How does Matthew Stafford look starting his second season at signal caller? Is Jahvid Best as good as the hype suggested? Who are the main beneficiaries of the Mike Martz movement in Chicago? Who will be the best fantasy receiver from that bunch? How many carries does Chester Taylor vulture off Matt Forte? Can Jay Cutler curb the interceptions?

Arizona at St. Louis

How does Derek Anderson look and how does it affect the value of the Cardinals receivers (especially Larry Fitzgerald)? Will Beanie Wells get any carries and how will the timeshare at RB in Arizona work out? Will we see anything from Sam Bradford early on that tells us he can be a decent fantasy play in the near future? Who emerges as the main WR weapons in Rams-land? Can Steven Jackson continue to juke past father time and overall ineffectiveness around him?

Green Bay at Philadelphia

Does Jermichael Finley continue to climb into TE stardom? Can the Packers muster enough of a passing defense to be a total package fantasy unit? How does the Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy experiment start off and can the Eagles continue moving forward without going too many steps back?

San Francisco at Seattle

Can Alex Smith take the next step in his QB career? Who emerges as the best RB2 option behind Frank Gore? Who emerges as WR2 in San Fran and are they worth fantasy consideration? How does the Pete Carroll regime factor into fantasy numbers for Seattle players? Does Mike Williams complete a miraculous comeback and become a solid fantasy WR? Who will emerge as the real RB to watch in Seattle?

Dallas at Washington

Will management stick with its promises to get Felix Jones more involved in the offense? How does Dez Bryant fit into the team’s passing game? Can Miles Austin continue to play at an elite level with more players demanding looks in that offense? How does Donovan McNabb do with his new team (if he plays … listed questionable)? Does Santana Moss provide consistent fantasy numbers? Will Clinton Portis be a decent fantasy play, or will he be part of a timeshare?

Baltimore at NY Jets

How does Joe Flacco handle all the new weapons? How does he handle playing against an elite defense? Does LaDanian Tomlinson find the fountain of youth and become a sneaky good fantasy play? Does this impact Shonn Greene’s advancement?

San Diego at Kansas City

How does rookie Ryan Mathews fare in his first NFL game against a porous Chiefs defense? Who emerges as the top WR options in place of Vincent Jackson? How do the carries break down between Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones? Does Dwayne Bowe provide some consistency at WR?

What are your burning fantasy questions for Week 1 games? Check back next week as we look at some of the lessons learned from this weekend.

Be sure to check out our regular season index, including projections and last-minute advice for setting your lineup.

And don’t forget to sign up for our cool new fantasy game … you only need to pick four players and could score mad points. More details here.

Need help with your specific fantasy team? Gto our message boards or e-mail me directly.


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