I’VE BEEN TYPING IN ALL CAPS FOR THE LAST 12 HOURS. I CAN’T STOP. TONIGHT IS FOOTBALL. THE NFL IS BACK…BACK, BABY!
OH, THERE IS A BUTTON TO TURN THIS OFF? Ahhhh, well, that is better. I just thought it was an adrenaline thing.
Welcome to Week 1. Tonight, the Saints and the Vikings play for the honor of being the first explosive, on-top-of-it-all team and battle the letdown of being the first surprising loser of the season. I don’t think the Vikings will appreciate being the first team to disappoint.
As a fantasy GM, I’m sure you’re sweating who you’re going to start, so let’s have a mini-“Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders” huddle up.
You can start your studs. That’s perfectly acceptable; in fact, I highly recommend it.
Even though Ray Rice and Michael Turner don’t have the best matchups on paper, I have a hard time benching either one of them. You used a first round pick to get these guys, so one would assume they are the best you have.
Look at the positive side. Rice is fairly matchup-proof with his involvement in the passing game, which is why you drafted him, and Turner could, at the very least, get to the goal line for you. That’d be sweet of him.
But if you are one of the lucky few who drafted a stacked team, which you are because you followed my advice, and you have a phenomenal matchup on your bench this week, don’t be afraid to take it.
Cadillac Williams is this week’s golden boy. He faces an unproven Cleveland defense with his young quarterback, Josh Freeman, nursing a broken thumb. I’m guessing the passing game might suffer as a result. If Freeman does pass, expect the fact that he threw less than 10 passes this preseason to show a little bit.
All of this makes Week 1 a perfect week to test the Cadillac experience. Get the leather interior. Worth it.
On the sleeper side of things, Arian Foster gets to start his breakout campaign against the Colts poor run defense, and Ryan Mathews sees the Chiefs, who won’t hold him back much this week as one of the worst defenses in the league. These two were high on plenty of radars during the peak of fantasy football drafting, so I’d expect that you drafted them to start if you got ‘em.
I really dislike Shonn Greene and Pierre Thomas more than I dislike Turner and Rice this week. Baltimore and Minnesota’s run defenses are stingy. Since Greene and Thomas may not have been first-round picks for you, you may not feel as risky starting Cadillac/Foster over them to see what your bench depth can do. I’d take that chance this week.
It also might be nice to give Greene and Pierre a chance to show you how they are going to split up the carries in New York and New Orleans. L.T. is old, but he could touch the ball far more than he needs to if Rex Ryan allows it.
Other than Rice, I’m not a big fan of the Baltimore offense this week. Revis Island and the rest of the Jets’ defense is no place to go for broke passing the ball, which will keep the Joe Flacco “sleeper” train in the station for one more week. They may open things up, but not enough for me to embrace him as a good start. He’s definitely a cold shoulder. And that means Housh, Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin will start quietly as well.
Chicago gets to play Detroit. You know what that means. They’re all superstars. No matter how good the Detroit offense has become, their defense still has a lot to prove.
For the most part, I’d stick with the studs who you drafted this week. Have faith that you built a good team, and enjoy the fact that FOOTBALL IS BACK TONIGHT.
NOW I NEED ONE ORDER OF WINGS AND A TV REMOTE. STAT!