Fantasy Football Week 1 Start Em Sit Em

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIISeptember 8, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 19: Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Like last year, we will bring you a list of players that have favorable fantasy match-ups and a list of those who don't on a weekly basis.

Of course, as an alternative, you can view our fantasy rankings at, our fantasy section.


Start'em for Week 1:

QB: Matthew Stafford, Lions (at Bucs): Stafford played extremely well this preseason. While it's important not to put too much emphasis on preseason games, Stafford is healthy, looked in sync with his receivers, including one of the league's best in Calvin Johnson, and plays for an offense that aired it out a lot (third-most pass attempts after Colts and Saints last year).

RB: Beanie Wells, Cardinals (vs Panthers): With Tim Hightower gone and Ryan Williams injured, Wells will be the team's workhorse back this season. The Cardinals should have a better passing attack with Kevin Kolb so that opposing defenses can't stuff eight men in the box. As far as this matchup goes, only two defenses allowed 20-plus rushing touchdowns last year: Denver and Carolina.

RB: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (vs Raiders): As the Broncos replace the pass-happy offense of Josh McDaniels with the run-first scheme used by John Fox, Moreno should be the biggest beneficiary in 2011. To kick off the season, Moreno faces the 29th-ranked run defense from 2010.

WR: Mario Manningham, Giants (at Redskins): Manningham enters the season with a three-game streak of 100-yard games and a score. If there's anything that worries me, it's the poor play of Eli Manning carrying over from the preseason into the regular season. But only the Texans allowed more passing yards per game than the Redskins last year.

WR: Santana Moss, Redskins (vs Giants): With injury after injury to the Giants defense, if it weren't for bad luck, they wouldn't have any at all. Moss, often overlooked on draft day, is coming off a season with a career-high in receptions (93) and the second-highest yardage (1,115) of his career.

WR: Plaxico Burress, Jets (vs Cowboys): Fortunately for Burress, he returns to action after his incarceration to face the Cowboys secondary. Even with Terence Newman, who is likely out this week, the Cowboys (and Texans) allowed a league-high 33 passing touchdowns.

TE: Greg Olsen, Panthers (at Cardinals): Making a transition to a team that better utilizes tight ends from a fantasy perspective, Olsen should see his overall season numbers increase considerably from last year. In addition, he could see increased targets with a rookie quarterback under center.


Sit'em for Week 1:

QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys (at Jets): Facing one of the league's best secondaries, the Jets have the league's best cornerback in Darrelle Revis. In addition, Miles Austin just returned to practice from a pulled hamstring and may not be 100 percent at game time. There's a good chance that tackle Tyron Smith won't be able to play. All of those factors knock Romo just outside of our top ten fantasy quarterbacks for Week 1.

RB: Ryan Grant (and James Starks), Packers (vs Saints): Both Grant and Starks will get an even amount of work tonight, according to running backs coach Jerry Fontenot. Until the situation resolves itself to the point where one of the guys consistently gets more work than the other, there will likely be (at least) two better options on your team than either of these guys.

RB: Felix Jones, Cowboys (at Jets): Last year, the Jets ranked third in rushing defense (90.9 yards allowed per game) and allowed only 3.6 yards per carry. If there is a positive from the match-up, Jones will be involved in the passing game, perhaps more than usual. This considering Miles Austin may not be 100 percent and the Jets have one of the league's best cornerback tandems in the NFL.

WR: Mike Thomas, Jaguars (vs Titans): I felt Thomas was undervalued in most drafts and expected big things for the third-year receiver. However, switching quarterbacks five days before game day to Luke McCown worries me. And it should worry you as well.

WR: Sidney Rice, Seahawks (at 49ers): For a second straight day, Rice did not practice due to his shoulder. If Rice does play (although it seems as likely that he won't), it's unlikely that he will be 100 percent. Even worse, the team's starting quarterback is Tarvaris Jackson.

WR: Austin Collie, Colts (at Texans): Earlier in the week, it looked like Collie might not play this week. As tweeted by Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star, Collie said of his status for Sunday: "I'm ready, ready as I'll ever be." While that's good news, the bad news is that Kerry Collins -- not Peyton Manning -- will be under center.

TE: Tony Gonzalez, Falcons (at Bears): It's no longer 2010 or 2008 (or earlier). What does that obvious statement have to do with Gonzalez? Since the 2008 season, Gonzalez's production has been on the decline (96 to 83 to 70 receptions and 1,058 to 867 to 656 yards during that span). What should you expect in 2011? Further decline. In addition, the Bears ranked in the top 10 of teams allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

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If you have specific questions (trade proposal, lineup decision, etc.) regarding your team and league, feel free to post it in our free fantasy football forum. Also, you'll find our free fantasy football contest for Week 1 in our forums.

Good luck in Week 1!