QBs to Start:
Matt Stafford – Stafford has torched the Vikings D as of late. Last season he averaged over 330 yards against this defense. This week Stafford will have Nate Washington healthy, Ryan Broyles in the slot, and Reggie Bush’s pass catching ability. All signs point for 3+ TDs & 350 TDs for the Lions QB against this young secondary.
Colin Kaepernick – Kaep is going to have a rough time living up to last season, especially with go to WR Michael Crabtree injured. This play has more to do with what Colin did with his legs against this Packers defense in the postseason last year. Colin ran for over 100 yds and the Packers D didn’t seem to get any better against the run during this preseason. Expect at least one rushing TD from Kaepernick.
QBs to Sit:
Phillip Rivers – Rivers has been a turnover machine the past few seasons. It doesn’t help opening up the season against one of the best defenses in the NFL, The Houston Texans. JJ Watt will take advantage of the porous Chargers O-Line and Rivers will force a lot of throws. Bad recipe for fantasy success.
Cam Newton – Cam Newton is a top 5 QB in fantasy leagues but he will struggle this week. The Panthers lived off of big throws to Ted Ginn Jr. During the preseason and Cam needed 8 weeks to really warm up last year. The Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL and will make week 1 rough on the talented Cam Newton.
HBs to Start:
Jamaal Charles – The Jacksonville Jaguars had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last season. They did nothing to improve that this offseason. They were so concerned with surrounding mediocre QB Blaine Gabbert with weapons that the defense is pretty much unchanged. Andy Reid will get Jamaal carries on the ground and give him multiple screen passes. Charles should kill in PPR leagues this week.
Stevan Ridley – Ridley is facing last years worst statistical run defense in the NFL. The Bills have pumped tons of money into that front four but they just haven’t lived up to the cash. They looked better against the pass in the preseason but Brady will get his backs into the best plays on game day. Ridley should be the go to option in the red zone for the Pats.
HB to Sit:
Chris Ivory – Chris Ivory spent much of training camp injured and the Jets offensive line didn’t show that they were anywhere near their 2011 form that carried them to the AFC championship game. Geno Smith will likely start which will mean a lot of attempts for Ivory but if the Jets can’t pick up yardage and can’t get near the red zone Ivory will end up with under double digit fantasy points.
Eddie Lacy - Lacy looked good in the preseason but the rookie will be out on 3rd downs until he picks up the protection schemes. He is also facing a Niners team that rarely allows 100+ yard backs. Play him in deeper leagues or maybe as a flex but unless he gets into the end zone Lacy will be a bust week 1.
WRs to Start:
Calvin Johnson - Megatron is always a great play but this week especially. The Vikings parted ways with their best corner Antoine Winfield in the offseason and they don’t have anyone that can cover Johnson one on one. Calvin had only 5 TDs last season, look for him to have at least 2 TDs in this game.
Dez Bryant – Everyone knows that Dez is in for a big year and that begin Sunday night against the Giants. Prince Amukamra will push for a Pro Bowl year but Webster may be the worst corner in the division. The Giants won’t have Prince follow Dez so I expect the Cowboys to line him up against Webster all night. Huge game for Bryant and the Cowboys passing game.
WRs to Sit:
Wes Welker – Welker will be a great weapon for Manning but not this week. Peyton has better chemistry with his two outside receivers and Welker has been banged up throughout the preseason. It’ll take awhile for him and Peyton to get on the same page, and by awhile I mean three weeks tops.
Vincent Jackson – Jackson had a few good weeks last year but I believe the Jets defense will make life too rough on QB Josh Freeman. The Jets ranked 2nd in the NFL in pass defense last year without Revis , so I don’t expect them to magically get worse.