Since the NFL is now back, the ever-popular fantasy column is returning with it. So I hope everybody has picked their teams and is ready for the advice you don't need, but desperately want without admitting it. Each column will come out on Wednesday, so prepare yourself each week.
Who to Start:
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. NO: Every time the Saints play the Falcons, offensive numbers go through the roof. This Sunday will be no different. Despite the new defensive coordinator for the Saints in Rob Ryan, their defense will still be pretty bad. So Matt Ryan should be in line for a great day.
RB David Wilson (NYG) vs. DAL: Since Andre Brown is out for an extended period of time, Wilson has to be one of the focal points of the offense. He goes up against a Dallas defense dealing with some crucial injuries, and one that struggled last year against the run, so Wilson figures to take pressure off of Mr. Eli Manning.
WR Antonio Brown (PIT) vs. TEN: One of the many young wideouts for the Steelers will have to break out, and Antonio Brown is probably going to be that guy. The Titans secondary had problems a year ago, and Brown's speed should help him get targets on Sunday.
WR Pierre Garcon (WSH) vs. PHI MON: The Eagles defense, especially against the pass last year, was terrible. The preseason hasn't shown much change. Garcon has declared himself healthy, and as the best receiver for the Redskins, he should see a great game on Monday.
TE Vernon Davis (SF) vs. GB: If you were being honest, the Packers defense was pretty bad last season, and was a major reason why the '9ers ousted them in round 2. Secondly, if you were honest, you would say that Davis had a horrible go of it last season. He should do much better this season, mainly since Colin Kaepernick doesn't have many wideouts to throw it to now.
DEF Indianapolis vs. OAK: The Raiders are starting Terrelle Pryor. I don't need to explain anymore.
Who to Sit:
QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. CIN: Even if you believe Marc Trestman will really change Cutler's fortunes, you would have to admit it will be tough against the Bengals criminally underrated defense. With Geno Atkins in his face, it's going to be hard to have a good day.
RB Ryan Mathews (SD) vs. HOU MON: Mathews was pretty bad last season, which mean trust in him has gone way down, and he's playing the Texans in Week 1, which isn't really going to help his case much.
WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. SEA: The Seahawks press/physical corners will take a lot of sting out of Steve Smith's ability on Sunday, since most of his routes are short ones and those will be taken away plenty. Also, he didn't play well the last time these two teams played in Week 5 a year ago.
WR Mike Wallace (MIA) vs. CLE: Mike Wallace might well have a good season, or a great one even. However, Wallace will be matched up against Joe Haden, which is about as bad a match-up for a receiver as there is in the NFL.
TE Jared Cook (STL) vs. ARZ: He's been a sleeper for the last 7 or so years now (hyperbole always included), and his move to St. Louis should help that. But Arizona's defense is underrated, and Cook will take some time to integrate with the new offense.
DEF Baltimore vs. DEN THU: Now in my season previews, I was incredibly high on the Ravens re-stocked defense, and I still am. However, that doesn't mean I would start them this Thursday night in an atmosphere where it will be incredibly difficult to win. Thanks Orioles.
3 Super Sleepers:
RB Lamar Miller (MIA) vs. CLE: I'm bullish on how well he can do this season if used properly, and it should start well for him in Cleveland, against a team that can't really defend the run very well. He's a sneaky flex starter.
WR Miles Austin (DAL) vs. NYG: He's had some amazing games against the Giants in the past, and the Giants injury riddled secondary won't prove to be that much of a block against that this week.
DEF St. Louis vs. ARZ: The Rams defense is young and re-tooled, and when they go up against the Cardinals with a sketchy QB in Carson Palmer and a young and banged up offensive line, they will look pretty good.
QB Cam Newton (CAR) vs. SEA: It should come as no surprise that starting a QB going up against the Seahawks defense is not an amazing option, and looking back on the game last season, he did have some big problems. They might come up again.
Good Luck in Week 1 and Happy Football Season!
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