Monday, August 31, 2015

Start or Sit: Week 1

Earlier, I introduced you to the Fantasy Football Diary, but now it's time to get down to business.

Start or Sit: Week 1

Should you sit Arian Foster this week? (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Should you sit Arian Foster this week? (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Earlier, I introduced you to the Fantasy Football Diary, but now it's time to get down to business.

Sunday is rapidly approaching, and no matter how confident you are in your drafting abilities, you will inevitably face a tough coaching decision right out of the gate. Mainly because there is so much unproven potential out there, and partially because you have to decide whether guys like Jamaal Charles were just a flash in the pan, setting your lineup for Week 1 is almost always the most difficult.

Here is a look at 10 players on the bubble, and whether or not you should start them this weekend:

Arian Foster (RB - HOU): If you have a solid running back on your bench, you should probably give him the start over Foster. If Ben Tate and/or Derrick Ward are available in your league, pick one (or both) up. While I was in the middle of writing this, John Clayton of ESPN tweeted that Foster missed practice again today, and Ward will get the start if Foster can't go tomorrow. Things are not looking good for Foster owners. VERDICT: SIT

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Kevin Kolb (QB - ARI): Now, if Kolb was a free agent in my league...well, he wouldn't be - I'd own him. He has Larry Fitzgerald as a key target, and he's playing the Panthers. What's not to like here? I think Kolb could put up some big numbers this weekend. VERDICT: START

Steve Smith (WR - PHI): Smith said after practice today that he will play Week 1 for the Eagles. For a guy most wrote off as a PUP player for the first half of the season, Smith could be ready to make an impact. I'm not ready to commit to him for this week, but as an owner who drafted him late, I'm as happy as anyone (except maybe Michael Vick) to see Smith make an early return. VERDICT: SIT

Cedric Benson (RB - CIN): Benson has been solid the last two season, racking up 14 total touchdowns and 2,651 total yards. Now that Carson Palmer is out, look for Benson to get more carries and increase those numbers. Also take into consideration that he is playing the Browns, who allowed close to 130 yards/game to opposing running backs last season. VERDICT: START

Joseph Addai (RB - IND): With Peyton Manning's injury, the Colts may be forced to do the thing they hate most: Run the ball. Addai owners will greatly benefit from that. We'll see how often Kerry Collins takes to the air, but for this week, Addai is a solid play. VERDICT: START

Tony Romo (QB - DAL): Going up against the Jets is not the way to get out of the gate. Look for Romo to struggle early. There are likely some free agents available in your league that will score more points than Romo. That being said, I am starting Romo in my league. I would advise against it, but in a 14-team league, the free agent options at quarterback are slim to say the least. I could wind up starting Luke McCown or Alex Smith. VERDICT: SIT

Santonio Holmes (WR - NYJ): Holmes and the Jets play the Cowboys. On any given Sunday, they 'Boys defensive backfield has the tendency to be quite generous. This week could be different. The Dallas Jerry Jones' will be without one, possibly both, of their starting cornerbacks. Look for Holmes to waste no time in proving his big offseason contract was worth it. VERDICT: START

Joe Flacco (QB - BAL): Playing the Steelers defense is never a good thing for your fantasy numbers. Flacco isn't a top-tier quarterback to begin with, so this pick shouldn't be a surprise. Don't worry though, he'll come in handy when he faces the other two teams in that division. VERDICT: SIT

Chad Ochocinco (WR - NE): If there is one thing Tom Brady knows how to do, it's keep a loud-mouth receiver happy. He was able to placate Randy Moss for the better part of three seasons. Look for him to do just that by getting Ochocinco the ball early, especially in the red zone. VERDICT: START

Reggie Bush (RB - MIA): Bush will finally get the chance to be the feature back after spending several years in New Orleans. Not only will he carry the load, but he suddenly finds himself in an offense built for his style of game. The combination of their running game and a poor passing game will play right into Bush's hands. Look for him to be a threat all season. VERDICT: START

BONUS PICK - Lance Kendricks (TE - STL): He's an upside guy with a ton of potential. Considering he's a rookie, it may take him a few weeks to become fully acclimated into the Rams' offense. The Eagles, however, have had trouble defending the tight end in the past. With a shaky linebacker corps, they could have their hands full with Kendricks. VERDICT: START


For those of you that missed out on the free FanDuel free tournament that locked before yesterday's game, there is still a chance for you to play, and win cash, this weekend. Sign up for our $200 Weekend Beat-the-Expert, which follows the same format as yesterday's game, except there is a $5 entry fee and obviously there aren't any players from last night's game available. Don't worry though, if you beat me, you get your $5 back. Picks lock at 1 p.m. on Sunday.


Matt Mullin is a sports producer at You can reach him by e-mail at Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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