• Week 1 Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders: The “Are we there yet?” Edition

    by  • September 10, 2009 • Start or Sit • 9 Comments

    The kickoff cometh! In just a few hours, the NFL will return to that magic box in my living room and all will be right with the world. In the meantime, it’s time to make sure you’ve got your best fantasy football roster forward.

    Much like our waiver wire recommendations have been shortened up to get with the times, I’ve taken the liberty of consolidating our start or sit feature, Hot Hands and Cold Shoulders, into a more compact version of its 2008 self. I’m focusing on just a handful of players that you may be on the fence about starting each week.

    If you have questions about other players on your roster or whether you should give these alternatives the nod over your current starter, submit your questions in the comments. Our shortened features should open the comments up for more discussion, more Q&A and, of course, more cowbell.

    Now back to this week’s good-looking starters…

    Hot Hands Start of the Week

    Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
    I might as well put my fantasy money where my roster spot mouth is. I have Rice on plenty of my teams this season, and rather than wait to see what you have in him this year, I’m all about jumping him into your starting lineup immediately. Kansas City won’t know what hit them.

    Last season, the Ravens could run over any team in the NFL, and I expect them to do the same in this matchup. While LeRon McClain and Willis McGahee could be lurking in the wings to steal some touchdowns, the Chiefs’ defense should give Rice at least a handful of opportunities to break a big play.

    Others receiving votes:

    • Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos: Another sleeper with plenty to like this week in Palmer’s return
    • Zach Miller, TE, Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers had a weakness for tight ends last season
    • Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos: I just doubt the Broncos defense this much
    • Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots: He’s the guy for Buffalo until Lynch returns. How good can New England’s defense be after losing all those veterans?
    • Almost every Saint you can find vs. Detroit Lions: It’s a party, and all the fantasy players are invited

    Cold Shoulders Sit of the Week

    Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
    It’s hard to sit your first-round running back right after drafting him, but Johnson should be limited this week in the Titans’ debut against the defending Super Bowl champs. I like my running backs to have a shot at the end zone, especially a guy like “Every Coach’s Dream.” LenDale White should steal any short-yardage chances, and I don’t expect there to be many breakdowns in the Steelers’ defense.

    The Super Bowl champs are rarely upset in their opening game, and I am sure the Steelers will control the clock. Unless you are lacking in the running back department — or you just like torturing yourself — try someone who has a bit more upside this week. Play Chris Johnson only if your alternative is Larry Johnson or Jamal Lewis.

    Others receiving votes:

    • Santonio Holmes, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans: Much like Johnson, Holmes should be bottled up in a low-scoring contest
    • Jamal Lewis, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings: Very little chance he shows any more signs of life in this one…
    • Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans vs. New York Jets: Glad you’re back to full health, now dodge Jets for four quarters! Schaub’s risky this week.
    • All your Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens: Until Matt Cassel is 100 percent, the Chiefs can only play at 25 percent. No likey.

    For more start or sit recommendations this week, read up at FootballDocs, Fantasy Football Xtreme, Fantasy Football Oasis (one of the more detailed out there), Fantasy Football Goat, The Fantasy Football Geek Blog and Fanhouse’s Week 1 Wake-Up Call.

    Also, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win free Dominator Service from Top Fantasy Football by commenting on yesterday’s post.

    As always, the comments are yours.

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    About

    Jacob started Fantasy Football Fools in 2007 as a outlet for all the fantasy football conversations he couldn't have in-person. Since then, well...it's only gotten worse.

    http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com

    • http://www.FFGeekBlog.com/ Brandon, FFGeekBlog.com

      I agree with all of the picks. Thanks for the link!

    • J.P.

      well so much for Santonio Holmes having a limited week

    • Nick

      You did hit the Chris Johnson prediction, but missed on Santonio Holmes. The problem is that you were probably going to have to start Chris Johnson no matter what since you got him in the first two rounds. People picked up Holmes later and thus had other options they could've considered.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      No problem, Brandon. Glad to share the link love, and good luck this season.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      I'm not going to lie, J.P., I didn't see that one coming from Holmes. Frankly, I expected the Steelers to have trouble moving the ball against the Titans, but I also thought the Titans could keep the Steelers on the ground. It seems Holmes might have at last replaced Hines Ward this season as Big Ben's clutch target, but we'll have to see if the Steelers passing game stays potent in Week 2.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      Very true, Nick. In many cases, you might have had a guy you drafted before or even after Holmes who had more potential this week. I didn't see him as a safe option, but Big Ben was locked on to him when the Steelers needed plays late in the game. Just goes to show you that Week 1 will always have some surprises.

      I'd also add that just because a player is a “sit,” that doesn't mean you should bench him for one-week waiver wire fill or a shot-in-the-dark start. Sometimes the guy everyone hates in a given week is the best start for your team — and much like Holmes, sometimes they outperform expectations. All we can do is pull a few names out who are looking promising, dangerous or could have sleeper potential.

      It's hard to say after only seeing them face the Titans, but we may need to rethink how the Steelers are going to win games this season.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      No problem, Brandon. Glad to share the link love, and good luck this season.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      I'm not going to lie, J.P., I didn't see that one coming from Holmes. Frankly, I expected the Steelers to have trouble moving the ball against the Titans, but I also thought the Titans could keep the Steelers on the ground. It seems Holmes might have at last replaced Hines Ward this season as Big Ben's clutch target, but we'll have to see if the Steelers passing game stays potent in Week 2.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      Very true, Nick. In many cases, you might have had a guy you drafted before or even after Holmes who had more potential this week. I didn't see him as a safe option, but Big Ben was locked on to him when the Steelers needed plays late in the game. Just goes to show you that Week 1 will always have some surprises.

      I'd also add that just because a player is a “sit,” that doesn't mean you should bench him for one-week waiver wire fill or a shot-in-the-dark start. Sometimes the guy everyone hates in a given week is the best start for your team — and much like Holmes, sometimes they outperform expectations. All we can do is pull a few names out who are looking promising, dangerous or could have sleeper potential.

      It's hard to say after only seeing them face the Titans, but we may need to rethink how the Steelers are going to win games this season.