It has finally arrived; the start of the 2014 season is upon us, which means only one thing to fantasy owners, you better set your lineup! In most cases, you never consider benching someone you drafted as a starter, especially with your early-round pick, but I want to point out certain matchups you may want to consider when putting together your line up. Some games, scoring could be minimal, such as Cleveland at Pittsburgh and others have tough matchups, like Green Bay at Seattle. Remember their last meeting? Would you ever consider benching Aaron Rodgers? What about against the Seahawks? Who would you start in instead? Keep reading which players to start, sit as well as the sleepers I like for week 1.
Quarterbacks to Start Week 1
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers: Kaepernick and the 49ers offense were miserable in the preseason , but that should all change this week when they play the Cowboys. When Michael Crabtree is in the lineup, Kapernick’s numbers are much higher then add to that he gets the Cowboys who just might have the worst defense in the NFL this season. Can you say bounce back? Jay Cutler, Bears: Cutler is going to make a lot of Fantasy owners happy this season (if he stays healthy). Cutler was great at home last season with at least 20 Fantasy points in his first four outings in Chicago. The Bills have a good pass rush, but once the bears handle that by putting Cutler in the shotgun or running a few screens, then it’s a wrap. It will be pitch and catch with his two big targets; Brandon Marshall is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. Alshon Jeffrey is 6-3, 216 pounds Tony Romo (vs. SF): Fantasy owners love Tony Romo this season, and I like his matchup in Week 1. Look for Romo to do his part in keeping up with Kaepernick.
Quarterbacks To Sit in Week 1
Cam Newton, Panthers: Offensive line is not as good as last year and he has bad ribs that will limit both his passing and his rushing ability. Enough said! Andy Dalton, Bengals: He has a bad history against Baltimore with five touchdowns and eight interceptions in his past five meetings. On top of that they want to run the ball more. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Cleveland’s defense is legit. And now Under coach Mike Pettine, this unit should surprise Fantasy owners. Big Ben Averaged just over 12 points a game last season against the Browns, Big Ben has just six touchdown passes in his past four games Bust alert: Aaron Rodgers (at SEA): You didn’t draft Rodgers to bench him in Week 1. Let’s get that out of the way. And there aren’t many backup quarterbacks you paired with Rodgers on Draft Day worth starting over him — Cutler and Wilson are likely the only candidates. But you have to consider how dominant the Seahawks have been at home, and there’s a chance Rodgers could struggle. In the past two years, only one quarterback has passed for 200 yards and multiple touchdowns in the same game at Seattle, which wasTom Brady in 2012, including Drew Brees, Romo and Kaepernick twice – along with Rodgers. He failed to do so in 2012 when he was 26-of-39 passing for 223 yards and no touchdowns. Now, Rodgers has looked sharp this preseason with 61 percent completions and three touchdowns in limited action, and he’s played well in hostile environments plenty in his career. Use caution if you consider benching him, but you should only do it if your other quarterback has the potential for a higher ceiling this week. Otherwise ride it out with Rodgers and hope for a big game.
Running backs to Start Week 1
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks: The Packers team are without B.J. Raji in the middle and gave up the most yards after contact per rush last season. Expect some more beast mode!\ Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: Every year fantasy owners questions Frank Gore’s career but Fantasy owners should start him with confidence. The Cowboys allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs last year, and things will not likely improve much this year with linebacker Sean Lee (knee) out for the season. Gore has scored 12 Fantasy points the last time he played the Cowboys in 2011, which also happened to be in Dallas. I’d start Gore over: Doug Martin (vs. CAR) and Giovani Bernard (at BAL) Chris Johnson, Jets (vs. OAK): CJ2k is anxious to prove himself and the Oakland allowed 13 running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points last season. If the preseason was any indication he should do well.
Running backs to sit in Week 1
Wide receivers to Start in Week 1
Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos: Will probably be a shoot out and Peyton Manning, who will exploit a that Colt’s secondary that can be beat deep. Without Wes Welker there, Sanders will be one of the beneficiaries since he can play outside and inside.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals: Had a quietly good year in 2013 and Im sure he will get the ball started this week.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings: I expect Patterson to continue the momentum he built up to close last season He reached double digits in Fantasy points in each of his final four games, and now has offensive coordinator Norv Turner to help maximize his potential. This week, Patterson will probably see a lot of Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who struggled against No. 1 WR’s last year,.
Wide receivers to Sit in Week 1:
Tight ends to Start in Week 1
Tight ends to Sit in Week 1
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: The Rams have been good against TE’s and are blitz-happy he may have to stay in to block more.
Defense to Start in Week 1
Detroit Lions: At home, “Monday Night Football” . . . did you see the Giants’ offense this preseason? Me neither. Not sure it exists. New York’s offensive line is no match for Detroit’s front seven.
New York Jets: The Jets at home with a rookie quarterback traveling east for his NFL debut? I’ll take’em.
Defense to Sit in Week 1