Fantasy Football Week 1 Start Em Sit Em

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 8, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 25:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens drops back to pass against the Washington Redskins during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? 

Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:


Start – Kevin Kolb – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina

After losing his job to Michael Vick a year ago, Kolb opens the 2011 campaign looking to prove that he can be a starting NFL quarterback. When you have an option like Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to, things get a little bit easier. 

After Fitzgerald performed without a viable NFL quarterback throwing him the ball in 2010, the two will try to put on a show in Week 1 to put the rest of the league on notice. Sprinkle in Todd Heap, Early Doucet and others and Kolb has the potential to post some nice numbers this week.

Sit – Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh

The Ravens added Lee Evans to go along with Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin, giving owners a lot of hope that they can be a dynamic offense in 2011. Of course, they start the year facing arguably the best defense in the league. 

Can Flacco break down that defense and produce a lot of points?  I wouldn’t be willing to roll the dice on it.

Running Back

Start – Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston

With Peyton Manning out of action, you have to think that the Colts will lean on Addai a bit more in Week 1. The last three times Addai has played Houston he has combined for 176 yards on 39 carries (4.5 yards per carry). If they give him 15-20 carries in Week 1, he is going to be an extremely productive back for fantasy owners. 

Considering what we know, he’s well worth rolling the dice on as a RB2.

Start – DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Arizona

While he’s going to lose some carries to Jonathan Stewart, would a team really commit that much money to a running back that they don’t believe in as their starter? I wouldn’t think so. 

Keep in mind that the Cardinals were among the worst defenses in the league stopping the run last season (145.2 rushing yards/game).

Sit – Ryan Grant/James Starks – Green Bay Packers – vs. New Orleans

Talk is that the two will share carries, with almost a 50/50 split. Also consider that this game could turn into a shootout, with Aaron Rodgers airing it out time and time again. Does that sound like a situation that is conducive for either back to excel? 

Not so much.

Sit – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Miami

The question with the Patriots always seems to be what direction they will take their offense.  More times than not, they are going to lean on Tom Brady and their passing game.  With other running backs also potentially taking away some carries, Green-Ellis becomes a tougher play.

Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Format)

 Start – Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee

 Does the release of David Garrard change his potential upside?  Not really, as the Titans were among the worst passing defenses in the league, both in 2010 and in the preseason.  Luke McCown may not be an ideal choice to be throwing him the ball, but I would still look for a productive day from Thomas.

Sit – Pierre Garcon/Austin Collie – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston

While the loss of Peyton Manning adds potential value to Joseph Addai, you have to think that it will hurt the secondary receivers of Colts.  As if that wasn’t enough, if you had to choose one that Kerry Collins would go to early and often, who would it be? 

Can you say for sure that Collie will get more looks?  How about Garcon?  There’s too much risk involved in these two to consider them viable in two-receiver formats (they are both viable in three-receiver formats, however).

Wide Receiver (Three-Receiver Format)

Start – Braylon Edwards – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle

Having been cleared from the risk of a suspension, Edwards looks like a decent high-risk, high-reward option for those in three receiver formats. The 49ers have to throw the ball somewhere, right?

Sit – Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – vs. Atlanta

While Chicago could get into a shootout with Atlanta, it has become known that Knox officially will not start.  It’s unbelievable to think about, but if he’s not considered one of the top two receivers and in the starting lineup, can we be sure how many targets he’s actually going to get?  There’s just too much risk involved.

Tight End

Start – Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville

A preseason sleeper, he draws a Jaguars defense that was among the five worst in the league against the pass in 2010 and the absolute worst during the preseason (292.0 passing yards/game, as well as seven TD allowed). 

I know we don’t like to read too much into preseason, but Cook has the potential to be a dynamic option.  He’s a risk, but one worth taking.

Sit – Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at St. Louis

While Michael Vick may claim that he wants to get Celek more involved in the offense, I need to actually see it to believe it.  If he makes an impact in Week 1, that will change my opinion.  For now, I’ll take a wait and see approach.

Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Week 1 Rankings:


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