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I don’t think I need to tell you to start Adrian Peterson against the Browns and Drew Brees against the Lions. This is just for players that you might be on the fence about, or if you’re RB2 is playing against the best run defense in the league, so you are looking for a bench player to step up. So without wasting your time on those long, boring introductions, which this is slowly turning into, lets get to the players…

Sit:

Larry Johnson (RB – Kansas City Chiefs): While I do expect a decent season out of LJ this year, he got a very rough draw to begin the season. The Ravens defense ranked 3rd in yards per game, 3rd in rushing yards per game, 2nd in passing yards per game, and 3rd in points per game last season. You probably only drafted him as a RB2 or 3, so he should be replaceable this week, hopefully by someone listed below.

Vincent Jackson (WR – San Diego Chargers): Vincent Jackson is now the clear number one wide receiver in San Diego, and has some upside going into this season. But that also means that he’ll be lining up across from the Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha on nearly every down Monday night. The Raiders finished 2008 with the 31st run defense in the league, so LaDainian Tomlinson should have a great day on the ground. Jackson should be no better than a WR3 or flex option in most leagues.

Chad Ochocinco (WR – Cincinnati Bengals): See Vincent Jackson. Champ Bailey is one of the best corners in the league, and the Broncos gave up the 2nd most yards per carry last season. While 85 will be a decent WR2, this week he’s not much more than a WR3 or flex option.

Eli Manning (QB – New York Giants): In his career against Washington, Eli has a 68.1 passer rating, 51.3 completion percentage, 199.7 yards per game, and only 7 TD in 9 games. The addition of Albert Haynesworth really boosts a defense that was already 4th in the league in yards per game. The Giants receivers will be struggling to get open as the Redskins will be pressuring them all day. Hopefully you weren’t depending on Eli as more than a QB2

Any Cleveland Browns: Seriously…they’re Browns. The Vikings finished the season with the 6th ranked defense in total yards against, and 1st in rush yards against. Brady Quinn has only appeared in 4 games, starting 3. And they’re Browns! You have better options on your bench.

Start:

Cedric Benson (RB – Cincinnati Bengals): Save this in the archives somewhere, because it just might be the only time I recommend playing Benson. Partly because he’s not any good, and partly because it’s only a matter of time before Bernard Scott takes most of his carries. But for now, the Bengals will be running Benson as much as they can against the Broncos.

Derrick Ward (RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers): The Cowboys shouldn’t have much trouble getting a lead on the Bucs. And once they do, we’ll be seeing a lot more passing situations. That means out with Cadillac, and in with Ward. Though Cadillac may be named the starter, Ward is likely to see just as much playing time, if not more. He probably won’t light the Cowboys defense up, but will get his share of receptions to go along with his carries, and is a decent flex play, especially in PPR leagues.

Tim Hightower (RB – Arizona Cardinals): The Cardinals probably won’t have much trouble scoring early and often against the 49ers. Beanie Wells missed a decent portion of camp with an ankle sprain. The Cardinals might want to keep him on the sidelines, given he makes it to the game in one piece. Hightower should be a good RB2 in most leagues getting a good share of yardage and a touchdown or two.

Lee Evans (WR – Buffalo Bills): With Tom Brady back in action, New England will be able to put up a large amount of points against Buffalo’s less than stellar defense, unless they sign new free agent Bernard Pollard between now and game time on Monday night. With Terrell Owens missing a lot of reps with Trent Edwards due to Owens’ preseason injury, look for Evans to get more looks early in the season. The Bills will have to throw a lot, so Evans will be a solid play, and an even better in PPR leagues.

Greg Olsen (TE – Chicago Bears): This may seem like a no brainer, but I wanted to include him because I think he will come out of the gates faster than some may expect. A lot has been said during the preseason about his relationship with Jay Cutler. But what I like best about Week 1, is that he gets to face the Packers. The Bears wide receivers won’t be able to get much separation from the Packers secondary, forcing Cutler to throw to Olsen all day. Olsen is a great option in any format, especially PPR.

Joe Flacco (QB – Baltimore Ravens): I’m not saying to start him over a guy like Warner, Rodgers, or McNabb, but if your starter has a questionable matchup, you really might want to consider starting Flacco. Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh has really stressed that he wants to see Flacco step up and become a better passer and a bigger part of the offense. The best way to do that would be to let him go off on a weak Chiefs’ defense. Don’t expect Brady and Brees numbers, but Flacco should provide a quality start in Week 1.

Derrick Ward (RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers): The Cowboys shouldn’t have much trouble getting a lead on the Bucs. And once they do, we’ll be seeing a lot more passing situations. That means out with Cadillac, and in with Ward. Though Cadillac may be named the starter, Ward is likely to see just as much playing time, if not more. He probably won’t light the Cowboys defense up, but will get his share of receptions to go along with his carries, and is a decent flex play, especially in PPR leagues.

Tim Hightower (RB – Arizona Cardinals): The Cardinals probably won’t have much trouble scoring early and often against the 49ers. Beanie Wells missed a decent portion of camp with an ankle sprain. The Cardinals might want to keep him on the sidelines, given he makes it to the game in one piece. Hightower should be a good RB2 in most leagues getting a good share of yardage and a touchdown or two.

Lee Evans (WR – Buffalo Bills): With Tom Brady back in action, New England will be able to put up a large amount of points against Buffalo’s less than stellar defense, unless they sign new free agent Bernard Pollard between now and game time on Monday night. With Terrell Owens missing a lot of reps with Trent Edwards due to Owens’ preseason injury, look for Evans to get more looks early in the season. The Bills will have to throw a lot, so Evans will be a solid play, and an even better in PPR leagues.

Greg Olsen (TE – Chicago Bears): This may seem like a no brainer, but I wanted to include him because I think he will come out of the gates faster than some may expect. A lot has been said during the preseason about his relationship with Jay Cutler. But what I like best about Week 1, is that he gets to face the Packers. The Bears wide receivers won’t be able to get much separation from the Packers secondary, forcing Cutler to throw to Olsen all day. Olsen is a great option in any format, especially PPR.

Joe Flacco (QB – Baltimore Ravens): I’m not saying to start him over a guy like Warner, Rodgers, or McNabb, but if your starter has a questionable matchup, you really might want to consider starting Flacco. Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh has really stressed that he wants to see Flacco step up and become a better passer and a bigger part of the offense. The best way to do that would be to let him go off on a weak Chiefs’ defense. Don’t expect Brady and Brees numbers, but Flacco should provide a quality start in Week 1.

8 Responses

  1. Sean says:
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    What about Joshua Cribbs in a return yardage league?

    Seems like the Vikings will be kicking off a lot and, surely, the Browns will throw him a couple WR screens . . .

  2. AdamPS says:
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    Wait am I supposed to start all of these guys except Benson twice?

  3. G says:
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    Start Carolina Def vs. Philly or Wash Def @ NYG. They both look unfavorable and this is a deep league that’s why I’m stuck with these defenses. Carolina’s defense doesnt look as strong as it has in the past and Philly’s offense is pretty good. The Giants game might be more of a field position game..who do you think will score the most points? I’m leaning towards Wash..who has better kick returners also? your thoughts..thanks

  4. WackmastaD says:
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    Which 2 RBs should I start in my ppr league? Felix Jones, Julius Jones, Mike Bell

  5. Doc says:
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    @G: Id go with Washington but a waiver wire pick up might be preferable.

  6. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    new orleans is a good one for week 1

  7. The Peoples Champ

    The Peoples Champ says:
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    @G: I actually think Washington is a pretty favorable matchup. As I mentioned in the post, I expect the Giants passing game to be very ineffective. Eli has always struggled against the Skins, and now he doesn’t have Plaxico anymore. The Skins also added Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo to the D-Line in the offseason, so their run defense which was 8th last year could be even better.

    And as far as returners go, I’d go with Washington. Randle El is always a threat to take a punt for 6.

  8. The Peoples Champ

    The Peoples Champ says:
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    Sorry for the late response Wackmasta and Sean, but my e-mail was messed up this evening and I didn’t receive your responses.

    Wackmasta: I’d go with the Joneses (that spelling really gives me a headache, but my recollection of the english classes i’ve taken in the past tells me it’s correct). Reggie Bush is the starter. Also, he’s the best receiving option out of the backfield, and it’s not even close. Mike Bell might be good for a few yards, and he’ll be looking to steal some goalline touches, but New Orleans is and will always be a passing team. Felix will get a decent amount of carries, and his share of receptions. Julius is the starter, and while Edge was a better receiver in his prime, I have been hearing he is mainly a short yardage back. I wouldn’t be surprised if he unseated Julius at some point during the season, but for now Julius is the way to go.

    Sean: I also have Joshua Cribbs in a return yardage league. However, that league also gives PPR, and Cribbs rarely sees the ball on offense. If Cribbs is your WR4, tomorrow wouldn’t be a bad day to start him. Cleveland can’t/won’t stop Peterson. Cleveland hasn’t scored a regular season offensive touchdown since November 17th of last year (Week 11). Cribbs is probably their best bet to score. Cribbs is a legitimate option in return yardage leagues as a WR3/Flex play.

    Adam: I’m not sure what your asking. My “Starts” are good plays for week 1. This has no bearing on any other game, except for their week 1 matchup.

    Again, sorry for the delayed response. I hope I wasn’t too late for you guys.

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