Week one is finally upon us and we're already stressing over our starting line-ups. We have 4 running backs, but we can only start 2, and we just know the 2 we sit are going to blow it up. Hey, that's why you started playing fantasy football to begin with. You are the master and the gridiron genius. You know who best to play. But tag along and I'll throw my 2 cents in as well, just to muddy up the decision making process.
The first few weeks of the season are always the most difficult to gauge as we wait to see how changes made in personnel and schemes may impact production and run defenses. But we'll do our best.
Week 1 – RB Start of the Week – Chris Johnson, TEN
|Oh how lame is that? Starting off with the no brainer of no-brainers. Of course you’re starting him this week. Duh! This is true, but last year’s #1 fantasy RB is our first Start of the Week because he gets the honor beginning his 2010 season against the winner of last year’s worst rush defense, the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders had more open holes than a porn site, and Johnson will be the Titan that plows into the Black Hole first this year.|
I won't bore you with all the other obvious no-brainers. If you're not starting Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, etc... Then I can't help you anyway. But here are 7 guys I feel lucky will find the end zone at least once this week.
|Ryan Mathews, SD @ KC||The rookie gets his first taste of action against last season’s second worst run defense. While their secondary is getting better, they are still porous up front. It should be a good first game for Mathews.|
|Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, MIA @ BUF||Last season in Week 4 Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries vs. the Bills. When they met again in Miami, Brown was out, but Williams had another 115 yards and a score on 27 carries. I think both should score this week.|
|Beanie Wells, ARI vs. STL||Wells gets to face off against one of the league’s whipping boys as they face the Rams, who had one of 2009’s worst run defenses. It remains to be seen how much Tim Hightower will play into the touches, but Beanie should score and have upwards of 100 yards.|
|Arian Foster, HOU vs. IND||Foster kicks off 2010 with a home game against the Colts. With Steve Slaton hurting, and Derrick Ward his only back-up, look for Foster to have a solid day against a weak run stop.|
|Kareem Huggins, TB vs. CLE||Yeah, Cadillac is the starter, but I expect coach Raheem Morris is going to give Huggins a chance to prove himself, and the Browns at Tampa offer a perfect opportunity for the speedster to outshine the Caddy. Or you can play it safe and go with the vet. I’m betting Huggins scores.|
|Matt Forte, CHI vs. DET||Forte has been quietly impressive this preseason and he gets his chance to redeem himself for 2009 with a start at home against one of the league’s most dreadful run defenses.|
|Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs. CAR||Ahmad has been given the RB1 tag by the team, so he’ll have a lot to prove in his first game out, and last year the Panthers weren’t real good against the run game. Brandon Jacobs will have a chip on his shoulder as well, so both could have a solid day.|
|Joseph Addai, IND @ HOU||Addai is always underrated but he always seems to manage a good 80 yards and scores more often than not. I expect this to be one of those score weeks.|
Week 1 – RB Sit of the Week – Pierre Thomas, NOS
|The Vikings have averaged the 3rd best run defense for the last half decade, and there is no reason to think that will stop this season. I believe Thomas will have a very solid season in 2010, but a week one match up against Minnesota doesn’t bode well for a quick start. Thomas isn’t the kind of player that is the exception to the rule (like Ray Rice last year). So, if you have other options, this is a good week to bench Thomas.|
I will usually never recommend sitting a Top 10 RB, but on occasion an argument can be made for doing just that. Such as this week with Turner. I made a similar argument last year for Adrian Peterson, and he had his worst output of the season that week, but I also recommended benching Ray Rice against the Vikings and he blew them up. So follow your gut on benching big guns.
|LeSean McCoy, PHI vs. GB||McCoy is finally the lead dog for the Eagles heading into 2010, but he gets to face off against one of the league’s stingiest run defenses. It likely won’t be a good day for the kid, and if any Eagles RB scores this week it’s probably going to be Mike Bell.|
|Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney, NE @ CIN||No one knows what Coach Bellichick will do with his run game, but between not knowing who will get the majority of touches, and a game against the Bengals stout run defense, this isn’t the week to take a chance on any of them. Taylor is listed as RB1, but that means nothing in New England.|
|Clinton Portis, WAS vs. DAL||I’m guessing Portis won’t be any team’s primary starter this season anyway, but if he is on your team, a game vs. the Cowboy’s is a week to bench him.|
|Michael Turner, ATL @ PIT||Every RB stud has games that don’t favor them, and you have to start them anyway. This is such a week for Turner. His first game is at Pittsburgh against the league’s toughest run defense. Likely you have to play him, but if you have other solid options, this could be the week to bench the bruiser.|