Welcome fantasy fiends, we finally find ourselves but two days away from the season opener.
Talk about starting off with a bang, huh? We get two high octane offenses, and a rematch of last year's heartbreaking NFC Championship game.
Its Favre vs Brees, Colston vs ...Berrian? Purple Jesus vs ...Thomas and Bush?
Hmm. Seems we might have some questionable plays this week.
Below we will take a look at the Vikes and Saints that you should have no problem activating for your Week One match-up, and a few that you probably should leave on the bench this Thursday.
And of course, we will do what we do best. Answer YOUR questions.
Enjoy fantasy fools, it's almost our Christmas.
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints: Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
Travis: Adrian Peterson, MIN RB, Start Him.
Peterson is a no brainer for this first week match-up. Its Favre's debut, and I don't think he is 100 percent quite yet, and the Purple should go to All Day early and often. Peterson only had one thing to work on in the off season, holding onto the rock, and I think he'll have no problem with it this week.
If you need any more convincing, just look to last years box score when these two squads met up in the playoffs and Peterson gashed them for 122 yards, and three trips to the end zone.
Look for AD to get you 100 yards and hopefully a score or two...or three.
Brett Favre, MIN QB, Sit Him.
I get it. He's the Ironman. He's Mr. Consecutive. He's the Silver Fox.
Well I have to be honest, I'm a little worried about Favre this week. The ankle is still roughed up, and he is without his number on target, Sidney Rice. While I do think that Favre has a serviceable game, I wouldn't put him in my top 10 this week for quarterbacks.
If you have a backup like Kyle Orton (@ Jax), Chad Henne (@ Buffalo), or Derek Anderson (@ STL), don't be afraid to start them over Favre this week.
Favre is someone who makes fantasy writers look silly by always proving them wrong, but I don't think he does this week.
Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN TE, Start Him.
Now while I may not like Number Four this week, that doesn't mean I don't like his receiving options (Bonus Bit: Start Harvin, Sit Berrian).
I think that Shiancoe will be an extremely viable fantasy option this year while Sidney Rice is out. Shiancoe should put up plenty of scores, as he led all TE's with red zone targets.
Favre may have to get rid of the ball quickly tonight if the Saints try to bring pressure and get to the ankle, and Shank will find his opening in the middle of the field where the Saints are weak.
Reggie Bush, NO RB, Sit Him.
First off, I believe running back to be pretty thin this year, while only eight to ten backs are the going to carry the vast majority of their teams carries, and I think Bush holds some value this season.
But not on Thursday.
Bush struggles against the tough Minnesota D-Line last year also, carrying the rock seven times for only eight yards. Although he did score on a screen pass for 25 yards, he also lost a fumble.
There are plenty of other backs that have better match ups this week, you'll be much happier knowing you wont be relying on pure explosiveness.
Devery Henderson, NO WR, Start Him.
Sporting a top five defense for the last three or four years, it isn't often I suggest starting an offensive player against the Vikings, but I think Henderson has a good week. Brees has plenty of targets, but I think some of them are vastly overrated (Bonus Bit: Sit Jeremy Shockey and Lance Moore).
The Vikings don't have a great secondary, its the front seven that carry this team.
Colston can be held in check, but could still have a couple big grabs, but I think Henderson can get deep for one or two balls.
The only thing that slows people, including myself, down on Henderson, is Robert Meachem. I know that one of them could get deep for some big plays, and its hard deciding which one will have the hot hand.
Throw my hat in the ring for Mr. Henderson.
Some Bonus-Bonus Bits: Start Brees, Vikings Defense, Saints Defense. Sit Pierre Thomas, Toby Gerhart, and Greg Camarillo
Hopefully at midnight on Thursday, you can look at your box score and not cringe at the sight of the it. Remember, its a marathon not a sprint.
But having the lead at any time is obviously much better than losing.
"Im my league we can start 2 QB's and 1 Back, or 2 backs and 1 QB. We also have four slots for WR/TE's. Scoring Rules: 6 pts TD for ALL, and a PPR league with 1.5 per catch for TE's.
I'm set on Eli Manning and Chris Johnson, and need one of these: Chad Henne, Matt Forte, Ronnie Brown, Knowshon Moreno
As for the rest, I'm all set on Reggie Wayne and Randy Moss, and need two more: Mike Williams TB, Brent Celek, Owen Daniels" - Aaron, Racine, WI
Travis: I like the calls on Eli Manning and CJ2K obviously, and the next four are definitely close in rankings.Word out of camp is that Ronnie Brown is completely ready to go in Week One, and has a favorable match up against Buffalo. In turn, so does Chad Henne.
Forte also has a cakewalk against the Lions, but I think Chester Taylor will be more of a threat to steal carries than people are giving him credit for. Moreno isn't even a guarantee to start on Sunday, and I certainly don't see him getting over 15 carries.
Factor in the six points for a quarterback TD, and I think Henne edges everyone else out. Let him play with his new toy Brandon Marshall and reap the rewards.
Williams will be tempting to play because he’s a slot wide receiver, but the Buc’s passing game isn’t all there, making Williams a risky play (I really like Williams this season though, hold onto him).
Celek and Daniels also get a lot of targets in the red zone, making each of them legitimate touchdown threats.
I need so play one from each group. Owen Daniels or Jermaine Gresham? Jabar Gaffney or LeSean McCoy? - Jordan, Portland, Maine
Travis: Definitely a solid core of players, and a few hidden gems.
I really like Gaffney a lot, especially up against the Jaguars. I bet you didn't know that they gave up the most points against fantasy wide outs last season, and their off-season didn't do much to hit on that. I'm looking for Gaffney to put up at least ten points, and maybe even 15 or 16.
LeSean McCoy is a solid play also, but not up against the Packers defense. We don't know how Kolb will perform this year, and if Rodgers torches that Philly defense, your not going to see much McCoy.
On the plus side, McCoy should grab a few catches as well, but Mike Bell could vulture a touchdown or two. Look for Gaffney to carry your flex position this week.
As for Gresham and Daniels, I think this one is very close. I think Gresham will be a threat this year to crack the top ten in tight ends by seasons end. Daniels is still a little rough around the edges, as he's only been able to practice for a week.
As far as match-ups are concerned, Indianapolis led the league in points against for TE's, with a ridiculously low 2.4. Gresham's game isn't much better, the Patriots finished 8th in the league. I think with week one, you go for a more solid play, and go with Daniels. Don't bank on more than ten points though, just take the seven and be happy he's even on the field in week one.
With Baltimore now signing TJ Houshmandzadeh, what effect does this have on Derrick Mason? I know he's a number three behind Boldin and Stallworth when he's healthy, but is it time to drop Mason for Housh? - Robert, Lansing, Michigan
As of right now I would stick with Mason, he’s more familiar with the offense and Flacco feels more comfortable with him.
That being said, pick up Housh anyway (if you have someone you don’t mind dropping), because later on in the season he could start making some noise. He’s currently #3 on the depth chart behind Boldin and Mason, but would replace either as a starter if there is an injury.
He’s one of the best route-runners in the league with extremely good hands. The only thing is, Flacco has so many weapons (which is great for his owners), Anquan Boldin, Mason, TJ Housh, Ray Rice, and Stallworth when he returns, that I’m not confident that there will be a 1000 yard receiver, or someone who can break out as a reliable stud.
Which rookie will have the biggest fantasy impact in Week One? - Nathan, Plymouth, Minnesota
Travis: It was the deepest draft in a very long time, and that makes it a great time to get involved in some keeper and dynasty leagues. Remember that its never too late to grab seven friends and start a small eight team league.
Back to the question. I think this one is pretty easy.
Look for Sproles to take seven or eight away from him, but Mathews should get about 18 touches, and when he finds the end zone, it should push his point total to around 15 for the night.
Some Bonus Bits: Rookies to Start: Ryan Mathews, CJ Spiller and Jahvid Best, and for those more daring types, Dez Bryant could hit a big play.
Rookies to Sit: Sam Bradford, Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate, and Dexter McCluster
Until Week Two
I speak for Aaron and I both when I say that hope all our readers enjoy a nice, lazy Sunday in front of their HD televisions this Sunday. Fantasy football is finally here, and it has already begun to consume some of our lives.
I wish you guys all the best in your respective leagues, and feedback is always appreciated.
Go forth readers, and play your Rodgers, Peyton's, Andre's, and Turner's until your blue in the face.
If YOU have any questions that deserve some attention, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be answered in the following email.
Travis Rand is a Communications Major at the University of Southern Maine, and an enormous NYG and Oklahoma Sooners fan. He also wants to leave you a valuable draft tip.
Draft Tip #2: Never be afraid to draft someone a little early if you have a swing pick (near the beginning, or end of a round). If you like someone that much, don't give up the opportunity to get him. If you like him, there is probably someone else in the draft who will want him as well.
His archive can be found here.