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Start/Bench List 2010 Week 1

Welcome to the Start/Bench list for 2010! I utilize statistical analysis combined with more than 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient with those players listed early in the season. They were ranked and selected high in your draft for a reason.

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.

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.


Quarterbacks


Studs

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Philadelphia

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Minnesota

Matt Schaub, Houston vs. Indianapolis

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Houston

Tom Brady, New England vs. Cincinnati

Tony Romo, Dallas at Washington

Philip Rivers, San Diego at Kansas City

Start

Brett Favre, Minnesota at New Orleans: Favre will be under center without one of his main targets in Sidney Rice. The last time Favre faced the Saints was in the NFC Conference Championship game where he completed 28 passes for 310 yards, but only four of those catches for 43 yards were to Rice. The Saints pass defense will allow yards in the air, so look for Favre to have a solid week utilizing Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe effectively.

Kevin Kolb,
Philadelphia vs.

Green Bay
: Kolb is the great unknown heading into this season. Will he prove he can be the leader of the Eagles’ offense, or will he flounder as the main man? Kolb has plenty of talent around him in DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and BreSean Celek …oops, Brent Celek to give Kolb the opportunities to succeed. The running game faltered last season and

Philadelphia
didn’t do much to improve it this year. The Eagles will be a pass-first offense, and Kolb will post solid stats in his first game replacing the departed Donovan McNabb.

Bench

Joe Flacco, Baltimore at N.Y. Jets: The signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh won’t be enough to warrant a start from Joe Flacco this week as he faces a Jets team at full strength with Darrelle Revis now under contract. The addition of Anquan Boldin will certainly help Flacco over the course of the season, but this week Ray Rice will need to carry the load in a smash-mouth, old school game without much offense. Flacco will see better days this season.

Chad Henne,
Miami at

Buffalo
: The addition of Brandon Marshall certainly changes your perspective on Henne as a fantasy starting quarterback, but don’t drink the kool-aid just yet. In two starts against the Bills last season, Henne averaged only 145 yards passing with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Those numbers are partially due to the success

Miami
 had at running the ball.

Miami
’s strength will continue to be running the ball and a healthy Ronnie Brown will allow them to do just that. Henne will need to get

Marshall
the ball plenty this season to keep him happy, but don’t expect much from either of them this week.


Running Backs


Studs

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at New Orleans

Chris Johnson, Tennessee vs. Oakland

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville vs. Denver

Ray Rice, Baltimore at N.Y. Jets

Frank Gore, San Francisco at Seattle

Michael Turner, Atlanta at Pittsburgh

Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Arizona

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at N.Y. Giants

Start

Ronnie Brown, Miami at Buffalo: Where Chad Henne struggled last season against the Bills, Brown excelled rushing for 115 yards on 20 carries and two scores in Week 3. When Brown was injured in Week 12, Ricky Williams ran for 115 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown against the Bills. This week,

Buffalo
will once again have trouble stopping the run, leading to a big day for Brown.

Jerome Harrison, Cleveland at

Tampa
Bay
: Carpe Diem, Jerome! With Montario Hardesty suffering a torn ACL, Harrison has the starting job in

Cleveland
. Over the last three games of the regular season last year,
Harrison averaged 187 rushing yards, including 286 rushing yards against the Chiefs in week 15. While Harrison won’t do that well this week, he is facing a

Tampa
Bay
defense that allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL last season. Look for
Harrison to make the most of his opportunity, keeping Eric Mangini off his back for at least a week.

Ryan Mathews,
San Diego at

Kansas City
: I’m always a little skeptical with rookie running backs early in the season, but Mathews steps into a very nice situation. The high-powered Chargers offense scored 80 points in the two regular season games against the Chiefs last season. The Chiefs allowed an average of 156.5 rushing yards per game last season and didn’t improve enough on the defensive side of the ball to improve on those numbers. Look for Mathews to make a huge splash in his first NFL game as the Chargers run right over the Chiefs in week 1.


Bench

LeSean McCoy,
Philadelphia vs.
Green Bay: Not only did the Eagles struggle to run the ball last year with McCoy as the starter, but

Green Bay
allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL last year, averaging only 83.3 yards on the ground per game. McCoy will get involved in the passing attack to get his points, but that won’t be enough to warrant a start this week.

Joseph Addai,
Indianapolis at

Houston
: Though Addai held off rookie Donald Brown from stealing too much of his offense last season, he’s not the type of back that you can count on to win you many weeks. Against the Texans last season, Addai averaged only 66 yards rushing with four catches for 31 yards. The Colts will move the ball offensively, but they will spread it around, limiting Addai’s output to below average stats.

Arian Foster, Houston vs.

Indianapolis
: I love this guy this year. I think Foster is going to post huge numbers for the Texans this season. In the final two games of the season last year, Foster averaged 108 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns. But that was against the Dolphins and Patriots. Against the Colts with Bob Sanders healthy, Foster should not be expected to shine. Keep Foster tucked on your bench this week, but have him ready for action in the weeks to come as he meets those high expectations.

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