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Start/Bench List 2008 Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of the 2008 Start/Bench List. Here’s hoping this article assists you in your weekly managerial decision that can make or break your Sunday afternoon. This list will include a handful of players at each skill position that has either a very favorable matchup or a matchup to avoid. Not every player at every skill position will be listed every week. Instead of a watered-down version of predicting each player’s performance, this list will focus on a select group of players whose chances to succeed or fail are increased based on their opponent of the week.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different, and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!

Quarterbacks

 

Studs

Tom Brady, New England

vs. Kansas City

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Chicago

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

Tony Romo, Dallas at Cleveland

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati at Baltimore

Start

Kurt Warner,

Arizona

(vs.

San Francisco): What QB controversy? Warner will prove why he was selected as the starter right out of the gates against the 49ers this week. Remember back in late November last year when Warner threw for 484 yards and two TDs? His opponent, yep, San Fran.

Aaron Rodgers,

Green Bay

(vs.

Minnesota): Brett who? Ok, maybe that’s a bit bold, but Rodgers will certainly look strong in his first appearance as the Packers starting QB. The Vikings were dead last in passing yards allowed last season. Yes, they have made improvements on the defensive side of the ball, but their specialty is still stopping the run and Rodgers will find the openings down field.

Bench

JaMarcus Russell,

Oakland

(vs.

Denver): The Raiders have high hopes for Russell, but it’s not going to happen right away.

Oakland will be a run-first offense and with the success they’ll experience on the ground this week, Russell won’t be pressured into trying to do too much. That will minimize his mistakes, but the stats won’t be there.

Brett Favre, N.Y. Jets

(at

Miami): Look at that, Rodgers on the start list and Favre on the bench list. I firmly believe that Favre has something left in the gas tank. I wouldn’t say it’s more than a 1/4 full, but it’s something. We’ll learn pretty quickly that

Green Bay‘s offense as a whole is in much better shape than the Jets. Favre will make some plays, but not enough to overcome his mistakes in week one to make him a worthy starter.

Running Backs

Studs

Ladainian Tomlinson, San Diego

vs. Carolina

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. St. Louis

Steven Jackson, St. Louis

at Philadelphia

Reggie Bush, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Green Bay

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Arizona

Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Chicago

Marion Barber, Dallas at Cleveland

Clinton Portis, Washington

at N.Y. Giants

Start

Selvin Young,

Denver

(at

Oakland): Another year, another Denver RB projected for solid numbers. Young doesn’t face much competition with Andre Hall and Michael Pittman not likely to steal enough touches from Young to turn this into a RBBC situation. Young will post solid stats against a Raiders defense that was ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed last season.

Willie Parker,

Pittsburgh

(vs.

Houston): You’ve heard the hype about Rashard Mendenhall all preseason. I’m sure someone drafted him two rounds too early in your fantasy draft. You know what? FWP is still alive and kicking. Look for Fast Willie to show he is 100% healed from the leg injury suffered last season as he drops a 100+ rushing yard game on Houston with Mendenhall watching from the sidelines.

Justin Fargas,

Oakland

(vs.

Denver): Don’t worry you Darren McFadden owners your time will come, just not in Week 1.

Denver struggled about as much as

Oakland did last season in stopping the run. You need proof? Fargas rushed for 146 yards against the Broncos in Week 14 last year and is primed to post another big name this year. McFadden will get some carries, but Fargas will dominate the stat sheet.

Bench

Chris Perry,

Cincinnati

(at

Baltimore): With the release of Rudi Johnson, Perry got the nod as the #1 RB in Cincy. Unfortunately, the O-line has the same weaknesses, and

Baltimore still has Ray Lewis. Perry will likely see some action receiving out of the backfield but Kenny Watson will also see some snaps, limiting Perry’s chances.

Matt Forte, Chicago

(at

Indianapolis): I’m a fan of Forte this season. I think he’s in a great situation in

Chicago to challenge for the best rookie of 2008. He’ll need some time to develop though as the other Adrian Peterson will play enough in Week 1 to keep Forte’s chances at a big debut to a minimum.

Larry Johnson,

Kansas City

(at

New England): Johnson and the Chiefs offense hasn’t shown me anything to make me think that the LJ of ’06 is suddenly going to return. His O-line is shaky, his QB is shaky, and he’s been shaky. Oh yeah, the Chiefs open the season with the Patriots, who might still be a little angry from their last game.

Wide Receivers

Studs

Randy Moss, New England

vs. Kansas City

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Chicago

Andre Johnson, Houston at Pittsburgh

Terrell Owens, Dallas at Cleveland

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at San Francisco

Braylon Edwards, Cleveland vs. Dallas

T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore

Chad Johnson, Cincinnati at Baltimore

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

Torry Holt, St. Louis at Philadelphia

Start

Greg Jennings, Green Bay

(vs. Minnesota): I like Jennings to establish himself as Rodgers’ go-to guy early in the season and post the numbers of a Top 10 WR when all is said and done this year.

Jennings has a favorable matchup at home this week with the Cheeseheads who want nothing more than to prove they can still win without #4.

Calvin Johnson,

Detroit

(at

Atlanta): No Mike Martz? No problem. The Lions will establish a more balanced attack this season, but with Jon Kitna, Johnson, Roy Williams, and a rookie #1 RB, you’d be foolish to think that the passes won’t outweigh the runs in the Lions playbook. I like Johnson to have a breakout season this year and his big stats start this week in

Atlanta.

Nate Burleson, Seattle

(at Buffalo): Burleson kind of defaulted into the #1 WR role in Seattle with Deion Branch hurt and D.J. Hackett skipping off to Carolina. Assuming Hasselbeck is healthy, he’ll look Burleson’s way often against the Bills this week who were ranked 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Roddy White,

Atlanta

(vs.

Detroit): White was a valuable waiver wire pickup for most fantasy teams last season, and his success is likely to continue this year. The Lions gave up more yards in the air than anyone in the NFL last season with the exception of the Vikings which should bode well for White to find the openings for Matt Ryan to start off his rookie season on the right foot.

Bench

Laveranues Coles

,

N.Y. Jets

(at

Miami): Coles has suffered a hamstring injury during the preseason which kept him from seeing any action. He’ll start in Week 1, but Favre has developed a rapport with Cotchery and the Jets won’t have such an easy time with the passing game as they expect in

Miami.

Bernard Berrian,

Minnesota

(at

Green Bay): Berrian was a nice addition by the Vikings in the offseason supplying Tavaris Jackson will a legitimate weapon at WR. But with the run-first mentality of the Vikings offense, Berrian’s stats won’t be as impressive as last season and he’ll find that out right off the bat in

Green Bay.

Ted Ginn Jr,

Miami

(vs. N.Y. Jets): Ginn not only showed value as a kick returner last season, he became more involved in the passing offense as the season progressed. With Chad Pennington at QB, Ginn’s receiving stats should certainly increase this season. However against the Jets this week,

Miami will have plenty of success running the ball with the R & R combo leaving few chances for Ginn to post numbers worthy of a start.

Lee Evans,

Buffalo

(vs.

Seattle): I’ll be honest, Lee Evans annoys me to no end. Last season when I started him, one catch for 12 yards. When he was on my bench, nine catches for 165 yards and a TD. Joey Galloway does the same thing to me. I won’t own either of them for that very reason. Go ahead and roll the dice on a big game from Evans this week but don’t come crying to me when it comes up snake eyes.

Tight Ends

Studs

Antonio Gates, San Diego

vs. Carolina

Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Dallas

Jason Witten, Dallas at Cleveland

Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City at New England

Chris Cooley, Washington at N.Y. Giants

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Chicago

Start

Donald Lee,

Green Bay

(vs.

Minnesota): Lee had a solid season in 2007, and I like him to produce as a Top 10 TE this year as well. He’ll start off on the right foot this week as the Vikings will contain Ryan Grant but the receivers, including Lee, will be open. Look for a score and 4-5 catches from the big man.

Heath Miller,

Pittsburgh

(vs.

Houston): Miller had a career-high 47 receptions last season, but he can disappear for games at a time. I don’t think this week will be one of those games. FWP may move the chains outside the tackles, but Miller will do the dirty work over the middle and post solid stats.

Bench

Alge Crumpler

,

Tennessee

(vs.

Jacksonville): Don’t be fooled by the name. This isn’t the same Alge Crumpler who looked unstoppable when Michael Vick was throwing him the ball. Crumpler is 30 years old but his knees are 45. The Jags defense won’t let Crumpler get the space off the line he needs to find the openings.

Greg Olsen, Chicago

(at

Indianapolis): Desmond Clark may steal some chances from Olsen and when Kyle Orton is throwing the ball, you won’t have many chances to begin with. The Colts allowed the second fewest passing yards in the NFL last year and Olsen and the Bears passing attack won’t do anything to change that statistic this week.

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