Standard fantasy article intro/disclaimer: Just because a player is listed as a “Start” doesn’t mean you should necessarily play them over a player listed as a “Sit”. Sit/Start is written to supplement the weekly rankings (and to undermine Doc’s fantasy expertness by sort of disagreeing with him occasionally!), so that noteworthy players aren’t just lost in the middle of the weekly rankings. I’ll try to hit 2 or 3 in each category, but as always, feel free to ask questions about players not covered here.

Quarterback

Sit —

Matt Ryan @ PIT — OK, test case #1. I like Matt Ryan a lot. I didn’t love him last year, but I can see him making a jump this year. Doc has him ranked #10, and I don’t really disagree with that — so why list him as a Sit? Because I don’t think this is a great matchup for him. Pittsburgh’s defensive rankings from 2009 are somewhat misleading because of injuries. Take a look at their defensive numbers when Polamalu is healthy, and suddenly this looks like a tougher nut to crack.

Joe Flacco @ NYJ — Just in case your significant other Tivo’d over Hard Knocks with her favorite Work That Room with Christopher Lowell episode (I don’t even know if that’s how Tivo works, I still own a VCR), Darrelle Revis is back. Yes, Flacco has a whole new unkindness of Ravens (look it up) to throw to, but this is Week 1 — and the operative word when discussing new, talented receivers is “new”. Uncertain chemistry + the world’s greatest defensive back = A slow start for Flacco.

Chad Henne @ BUF — No, I’m not convinced Buffalo is great is stopping the pass. But they are so terrible at stopping the run, I don’t see any reason why Henne will need to throw much at all.

Start —

Jay Cutler vs. DET — Speculation on Cutler is running wild in all directions, but regardless of his actual NFL success this year, the bottom line is that Detroit should still be a bad pass defense (Suh’s presence may add a little pressure, but he can’t cover the WR’s), and Mike Martz can still design an offense that churns out plenty of passing yards.

Kyle Orton @ JAX — Brady Quinn, Tim Tebow, who cares. Orton’s looked in-sync and decisive in the preseason, and unless Denver’s defense is markedly (and inexplicably) better than it was last year, they’ll need to pass early and often to keep up with the Jaguars.

Matt Cassel vs. SD — Okay, like Orton, not a starter in most leagues. But maybe you snagged Roethlisberger late and need a fill-in for a few weeks. SD took steps to improve their defense but there should still be plenty of yards to go around, and Cassel could benefit from some yards-after-catch from dump-offs and screens to Charles and McCluster.

Running Back

Sit —

Cedric Benson @ NE — Reputations are hard to escape, and the Patriots defense has long been considered an old, crafty, “bend-but-don’t-break” unit. The reality is that they have used the last couple of drafts to get much younger and faster in the middle of the field. Benson should be fresher than he was as the end of the 2009 season, but carries may be limited as the Bengals try out their revamped passing offense.

Shonn Greene vs. BAL — I like Greene, but the Ravens run D should remain fairly stout, and the Jets may be inclined to give Tomlinson more carries than he deserves.

Justin Forsett vs. SF — Julius Jones was released. Forsett was named the starter. Yay! Jones was re-signed. Carroll said Forsett was named the starter because someone has to run on the field for the first play, and carries may still be evenly split. Boo! Carroll’s making a play to surpass Kubiak as the most hated fantasy coach before the season starts. Toss in Patrick Willis and a tough SF defense and this is a shaky situation.

Start —

Jamaal Charles vs. SD — Go re-read what I wrote about Cassel, and just replace the “passing” words with “running” words. Err, and ignore the part about Roethlisberger. And McCluster. Just focus on the part that says the SD defense is probably still pretty bad.

Ricky Williams @ BUF — Nobody needs to be told to start Ronnie Brown, but I think Sticky Ricky is a worthy flex play in most non-PPR formats. The Dolphins will want to keep Brown as healthy as possible for as long as possible, so I expect Williams to get more carries early in the season, and that’s a good thing against Buffalo’s run D.

Wide Receiver

Sit —

Anquan Boldin @ NYJ — Everyone hates Boldin and I’m a sheep. Doesn’t have Fitzgerald drawing coverage, doesn’t have Kurt Warner’s gloved fingers delivering bread-basket spirals, <Sportscenter voice> and-oh-by-the-way </Sportscenter voice> there’s that guy named Revis. Start Boldin and enjoy your 4 catches for 46 yards.

Brandon Marshall @ BUF — Yes, you should still start him over just about over any WR on your bench, and you can’t argue with his annual production. But Miami remains a run-first team, and they’re facing a terrible run defense. Keep expectations low.

Start —

Santana Moss vs. DAL — I think McNabb could do wonders for Moss’s numbers. Jason Campbell was serviceable but his strength was short throws to TE’s and RB’s…not hitting speedy WR’s in stride in open space downfield. If McNabb can stay upright, look for some big connections.

Malcolm Floyd @ KC — Gates can’t catch everything, right? And they probably don’t want to run a rookie RB 25 or 30 times in his first game, right? I can write this whole blurb in rhetorical questions, right? I would play Floyd over bigger name guys like Ochocinco. (Damn.)

Hines Ward vs. ATLMike Wallace is the big play guy, but I expect Ward to get more looks with Dixon under center.

Tight End

Sit —

Owen Daniels vs. IND — Health. Who knows if this is the real Owen Daniels? If you’ve invested heavily, you may be stuck with him, but I consider him a big risk in Week 1.

Chris Cooley vs. DAL — What was I going to write about Cooley? ARRGH. So frustrating. I had it ready, I could see the sentence in my head, and then I decided to write about Owen Daniels and his uncertain health and possible loss of skill after losing significant time last year and this past offseason and how you may not want to rely on him in Week 1. Oh well, I’ll think of it eventually.

Start —

Heath Miller vs. ATL — What Hines Ward doesn’t catch, Heath Miller will. Good hands, safe option for Dixon.

K(eep on scrolling, because no one needs kicker advice)

No, really. Nobody needs kicker advice every week. My guidelines: I want a guy on a league-average or better offense, facing anything but a Top 5 defense. Why? I want enough offense to avoid getting shut out entirely, and as long as it’s an average or better offense, any particular defense doesn’t really scare me (FG’s instead of XP’s? I’ll take it!) unless it’s a really studly Top 5 or better defense that could really clamp down on any scoring opportunities.

Defense

Sit —

CIN Bengals @ NE — The Bengals should be a pretty reliable defense, but it may not look great in Week 1 against the Patriots. Brady is entering his second year after knee surgery, Welker is back, and Moss is possibly angry and motivated (unless he’s angry and sullen).

SD Chargers @ KC — Have you picked on my hints that I’m not terribly high on the Chargers defense?

Start —

TEN Titans vs. OAK — The Raiders are getting a lot of buzz, but let’s be honest: Jason Campbell is not a tall cool glass of Purple Drank like Jamarcus Russell, but nobody was scared of starting a defense against the Redskins last year either. Oakland’s not about to start dropping 40 points on anyone, least of all the Titans.

76 Comments
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Calogero
Calogero
11 years ago

Pick two: Knox (Det), Wallace (Atl) or Felix (@Was)

Calogero
Calogero
11 years ago

@mgeoffriau: Oh, also include Hightower in the discussion – you still like both WR more than him?

stumanji
stumanji
11 years ago

Who to start:
TE: Celek or Zach Miller?

WR2: Jacoby Jones, Kenny Britt, McCluster, or Naanee? (ugh, I’m going to hate asking that every week. Must upgrade)

D/ST: Have Vikings @NO. Pick up Bears vs Det or Titans vs Oak? I’d drop Larry Johnson.

stumanji
stumanji
11 years ago

@mgeoffriau: LJ is behind Mendy, Knowshon, Foster, Spiller, Bradshaw, and Buckhalter on my team. I basically grabbed him in the last round on the chance Portis goes down, but I have no problem cutting him loose.

3rd Period Points
3rd Period Points
11 years ago

Good stuff. I feel better about rolling with Sleepy Floyd now.
Need some help in my 16 team PPR:

Stafford (@Chi), Garrard (Den), or Dixon (Atl)?

Ahmad B. (Car) or Knowshon (@Jax)?

Trevor
Trevor
11 years ago

Do you think the steelers will come out with the win against the falcons?

Trevor
Trevor
11 years ago

Ha. i got ya. I’m in many leagues actually but the reason i asked is just because of my pick-em league… gotta win as much money as i can. can you blame me.haha

Sifl
Sifl
11 years ago

I have two qbs – Flacco and Ryan (clearly I didn’t pay attention to week 1 schedules when drafting). I’m leaning Ryan, what do you think?

timsti
timsti
11 years ago

@mgeoffriau: Beanie has me nervous and i don’t have much RB depth as i went a lil WR crazy in my .5PPR. If it comes out he’s not playing start Fred Jackson or Ladanian Tomlinson as my RB2 to go alongside MJD?

Also, is CIN droppable in a 12teamer for TEN or just roll the dice?

TheEvilEmpire
TheEvilEmpire
11 years ago

2 RB, 2WR, 1 Flex – PPR league.

I’m starting Turner, Felix, Sims-Walker, Roddy, and D.Mason.

Bench is Boldin, R.WIlliams, Hightower, Naanee, Dixon, M.Thomas.

Anything I should do different? Perhaps sit Felix for R.Williams?

TheEvilEmpire
TheEvilEmpire
11 years ago

One other Q. I have Marshawn Lynch sitting on my bench not expecting to ever get off it. Been thinking of dropping him but the RB’s on the wire are notably thin. The only one that gives me pause is Keiland Williams. I could definitely see the Grumpy Old Men (LJ andPortis) going down during the season and Williams getting an increased role. Him or Green-Ellis.

Thoughts?

TheEvilEmpire
TheEvilEmpire
11 years ago

That second Q was for my second team. :)

Thanks for the speedy reply MG!

TheEvilEmpire
TheEvilEmpire
11 years ago

One last Q!

Where’s the most reliable and up-to-date source for injury news and starters?

Fresh
Fresh
11 years ago

ppr

welker or floyd

DSimms
DSimms
11 years ago

For my week 1 flex – hester, santana moss or take a shot with dexter mccluster?

mapwheel
mapwheel
11 years ago

Fantasy baseball nut trying to get into football here.

0.5PPR – Who do you like best for this week? Hakeem Nicks, Santana Moss, or Hines Ward? I know you have them in that order for your week 1 rankings, but I just get a good feeling about McNabb-Moss this weekend.

Titan
Titan
11 years ago

I’m playing Flacco over McNabb in one league and Flacco over Alex Smith and Garrard in my other league….He may have more dump offs to Rice because of Revis, but I think he surprises everyone that is scared of Revis. My two cents…

NO PPR Pick one:
J-Stew @NYG
Felix @Was
Berrian @ NO

I’m leaning Stewart…no particular reason…lol

charlie batch
charlie batch
11 years ago

whod you rather start in ppr at flex: ricky williams, cj spiller, or felix jones. I was leaning towards spiller but this article makes me pause

Doc
Doc
11 years ago

@Titan: I would lean Stew as well.

@charlie batch: I agree with Mark, but I would still go with Spiller.

Doc
Doc
11 years ago

Be sure to join us above for a live blog of the game. I will be drinking Whiskey so it may get interesting.

Titan
Titan
11 years ago

Jameson on the rocks for me as well…enjoy Doc!

HL
HL
11 years ago

I have Shonn Greene should I play Jerome Harrison instead?? I would appreciate your feedback.

Don
Don
11 years ago

I’m starting Flacco this week, Orton is on the waiver list.

Would you drop any of the following players to pick up Orton and start him over Flacco this week?

Ben Roth
Kenny Brit
Robert Meachem
Jacoby Jones
Brian Westbrook

I think the only reasonable option is westbrook, but I have a hope that if Frank Gore gets hurt that he could be productive. Whats your call?

Dukes
11 years ago

Right now I have Randy moss and malcolm Floyd going… Trying to pick between Brandon Marshall or TO fory third reciever in week 1 who would you take??

Titan
Titan
11 years ago

I say play Flacco! He will be decent with dumpoffs…lol (ie. hopefully not “dump” on your team…

Pound Sand
Pound Sand
11 years ago

Seems that if you read this site, you’ll end up not knowing what to do. Previous post, Cooley is ranked in the top 10 for TEs week 1, next post suggest to sit Cooley. Hmmm who to believe…

Don
Don
11 years ago

Ah thanks for a quick reply, here’s a little bit of a harder question.

I also asked Doc, and i’ll let you know who ends up being correct haha.

10 team PPR league

Rb1- Ray Rice
Rb2-

WR/RB Flex-

WR/TE-Miles Austin
WR/TE-Desean Jackson
WR/Te-

The options to fill these slots are as follows

Rb- Knowshon Moreno
Rb- Jonathon Stewart
Rb- Ricky Williams
WR/TE- Wes Welker
WR/TE- Tony Gonzalez
WR/TE- Kellen Winslow
WR/TE- Jacoby Jones (just throwin it out there)

Please fill in my roster(don’t be afraid to move a starter to flex spot).

I am completely stumped as to what to do, sorry for the long question.

thanks in advance, this site is awesome.

GT
GT
11 years ago

Gutsy call to give a recommendation for starting Ward. Any Steelers receiver should be a borderline start at best as long as Dixon is throwing.

Nick
Nick
11 years ago

Would you guys still start Greene/McCoy over Hightower, week 1 ?

DW
DW
11 years ago

Flex: Darren McFadden or Marion Barber?

sneeker
sneeker
11 years ago

I’m torn between Darren McFadden (@ TEN) and LeSean McCoy (vs. GB). Suggestions?
Thanks!!

herschel
herschel
11 years ago

@mgeoffriau: 12 team PPR league. who to start at flex? ricky williams, darren mcfadden or santana moss? as of now, leaning towards ricky…

Dukes
11 years ago

Cadillac Williams or Mccoy(phi) in a two RB no ppr league

Don
Don
11 years ago

Ah thank you, I had been leaning towards stewart as my rb2, but both you and doc are giving the go ahead for moreno.

Now what about the my RB/WR flex spot, thats the real humdinger. Remember my TE’s can still be used.

DW
DW
11 years ago

Thanks, I appreciate it. I was thinking maybe McFadden would put up decent points since he won’t be splitting with Bush for a while, but I think I like Barber this week too.

A friend turned me on to this site not too long ago. Great stuff.

Dazed&Confused
Dazed&Confused
11 years ago

I know I drafted Michael Turner to be a starter. Would you consider starting Arian Foster over Turner this week?