Week 1 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

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As we count the milliseconds before this week’s full slate of action, here is a no huddle approach, toward addressing your best starts, and most advisable sits for all 32 teams. Of course, you are already planning to start the elite players in which you have already invested your critical first and second round draft picks. Therefore, it is more beneficial for you, if this column progresses beyond the obvious, by making recommendations concerning your other options. Since game time continues to approach, let's get right to it:

Ravens at Broncos


Start: Beyond Ray Rice owners, there will be better games in which to start your Ravens, with the exception of Torrey Smith as your WR3.  

Sit: It is best to seek a temporary alternative for the normally respectable Raven defense, which will be forced to deal with Peyton Manning and his dangerous array of aerial weaponry.


Start: Anyone who has drafted Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker have been looking forward to this matchup since their drafts were completed.

Sit: Uncertainty is in abundance, concerning how Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball will be deployed.  Do not get your initial fantasy game off to a poor start by starting either back.

Patriots at Bills

New England

Start: This is an excellent week to start virtually any Patriot on offense, and to employ their defense in E. J. Manuel's NFL debut.

Sit: Conversely, you should not be overly concerned about jettisoning any Patriot who sees significant snaps to your bench.


Start: Steve Johnson has proven repeatedly that he can overcome difficult matchups, and should do so again.

Sit: Any other Bills not named Spiller.

Bengals at Bears


Start: A. J. Green is the only unquestionable starter against the NFL's fifth best defense in 2012. Use Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus-Green Ellis are best used as your flex if necessary.

Sit: Any other Bengals.


Start: The Bengals ranked just behind Chicago last season, and will be formidable. But you would never bench Brandon Marshall or Matt Forte.

Sit: But you can certainly feel free to avoid your other options against Cincinnati's sturdy defensive unit.

Buccaneers at Jets

Tampa Bay

Start: Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson were summoned during the offseason to fortify the Bucs’ overly charitable secondary. An improved pass defense, will combine with last season’s stingiest rush defense to create complete misery for Geno Smith, as he is thrust swiftly into the fire.

Sit: Owners in 2-QB leagues should not plan on utilizing Josh Freeman this week, because there are better options even in the deepest of leagues.

New York

Start: At this point, the most viable options are Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. But even they are too risky, as it is unclear how touches will be distributed between the tandem.

Sit: Ideally, you should not be relying upon any member of Gang Green this week.

Falcons at Saints


Start: This will be an entertaining shootout, which should compel you to start all of Atlanta's vital weapons.

Sit: The Falcon defense will have some appealing matchups, but this is not one of them.

New Orleans

Start: All of the usual suspects within the Saints' aerial assault will be part of the offensive explosion.

Sit: The non-Darren Sproles portion of their RB equation should be avoided - Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas - due to the ambiguity regarding their workloads.

Dolphins at Browns


Start: Mike Wallace's matchup is challenging. But he is easily Miami's top receiving option, and will targeted as such.

Sit: Wallace and Lamar Miller should be the only Dolphins in your lineup.


Start: Jordan Cameron will collect a sizable percentage of targets while Josh Gordon is unavailable.

Sit: Cameron and Trent Richardson should be the only Browns in your lineup.

Titans at Steelers


Start: The only Titan that I can be started comfortably is Chris Johnson.

Sit: All of Johnson's teammates will be overmatched against the NFL's most formidable defense last season.


Start: Ben Roethlisberger should supply high quality numbers connecting with Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, against a Titan defense that ranked just 27th in 2012.

Sit: Avoid Isaac Redman. Even if he is their best RB at the moment. You should have more talented options available.

Vikings at Lions


Start: Other than a certain RB, the only advisable start is Kyle Rudolph, who collected receptions for 64 yards and a TD when he last faced the Lions.

Sit: See above, and leave any other Vikings on your bench this week.


Start: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, and the incomparable Calvin Johnson should never leave your starting lineup.

Sit: No other Lions can help you this week.

Raiders at Colts


Start: There are too many deficiencies within the Oakland offense to truly recommend anyone. But those of you who invested a selection on Darren McFadden can hope that he generates enough yardage to assist your overall point total.

Sit: You simply are not doing yourself any favors by depending upon any Raiders this week.


Start: Andrew Luck will carve this unit up, as the Raiders’ horrific preseason performances were not simply a matter of a vanilla strategic approach. This unit is completely devoid of playmakers, and has the potential to be worse than last year’s overly charitable group.  

Sit: Ahmad Bradshaw has one of the most enticing matchups that an owner could hope for. But unless more encouraging information is delivered concerning his readiness for a hefty workload, it is too risky to utilize him.

Chiefs at Jaguars

Kansas City

Start: Kansas City’s defense will not be recommended very often this season, but provide an appealing option on your waiver wire. The return of Maurice Jones-Drew can only do so much for a unit that ranked just 29th in total offense, and averaged under 16 points per game in 2012.

Sit: Anybody who performs on KC’s offense, and is not named Jamaal Charles or Dwayne Bowe.


Start: The Chiefs have sufficient talent in their secondary to supply a challenge for Cecil Shorts. But he should still deliver several big plays.

Sit: If you somehow own any Jaguars beyond Jones-Drew and Shorts, they should be fastened securely to your bench.

Seahawks at Panthers


Start: It should go without saying that Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawk defense will be mainstays in all lineups. And since you drafted Russell Wilson as your QB1, use him.

Sit: The only potential target of Wilson's that should be starting is Golden Tate.


Start: None of the Panthers deliver a favorable outlook against Seattle's stout defense. Although you can't afford to sit Cam Newton.

Sit: But you certainly can sit any of Newton's teammates, with the exception of Greg Olsen. And yes, that includes Steve Smith.

Cardinals at Rams


Start: Larry Fitzgerald should never depart your lineup. But the list stops at that point, as a result of a tough road opener against a divisional rival.     

Sit: More productive weeks are coming for the Cardinals offense. But the sturdy Ram defense should be respected, as you should look elsewhere for starters this week.    

St. Louis

Start: Isaiah Pead's suspension eliminates him as a threat to pilfer touches. Making this an exceptional week to trust Daryl Richardson

Sit: While the Arizona defense is respectable, there are no Rams at the primary skill positions that you need to avoid for their home opener.  

Packers at 49ers

Green Bay

Start: The usual suspects that are involved with the Packers’ aerial attack should always be in your lineup.

Sit: If you can afford to wait at least one week, it would behoove you to reserve Eddie Lacy. Allow him to garner his initial NFL experience. Plus, you can see how he will be deployed.    

San Francisco

Start: In addition to cementing Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis into your lineups, Anquan Boldin is a safe play against the Green Bay secondary.

Sit: Beyond the stellar 49er defense, there are no other starters to be found here.

Giants at Cowboys

New York

Start: David Wilson will begin his season in outstanding fashion, while his owners relish the experience of watching him amass significant yardage.

Sit:  This would be a great week to employ a defense from the waiver wire, as the Giants will struggle to contain the Dallas passing game.   


Start: Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin will all reward you if you utilize them.

Sit: There will be weeks in which you will need to consider benching some of your Cowboys. But this is not one of them.

Eagles at Redskins  


Start: Even though he have yet to witness Chip Kelly’s offense in a regular season contest, Michael Vick is an intriguing option who should not disappoint.  

Sit:  Brent Celek has a favorable matchup. But it is dangerous to use him, until we've seen how Kelly will deploy his TEs.


Start: Pierre Garcon will be the primary weapon in Washington's aerial attack by a sizable margin, and will be targeted repeatedly.

Sit: You should not be counting on anyone other than RG3, Alfred Morris and Garcon.  

Texans at Chargers


Start: Not only are you going to use Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, but no defense is a stronger play than Houston’s, as they should overpower San Diego’s attack.    

Sit:  DeAndre Hopkins is going to deliver a very good rookie season. But delay using him during his NFL debut

San Diego  

Start: It would take a massive leap of faith to trust any Chargers against the stout Texan defense. But Antonio Gates is the best option in what should be an underwhelming day.   

Sit: All other Chargers. Or prepare for disappointment.