Well, here we are fantasy football fans… week 1 of the NFL season and the start of your quest for that elusive league title. But, the biggest hurdle that you face is not the other guys in the league; rather, you have to fight those inner thoughts of starting Donovan McNabb because he USED to be great in Philadelphia or running Louis Murphy out at WR because he was last season's break-out receiver for one week early in the year. That is where I come on… I am that inner voice of reason that tells you the good players to start and the bad ones to avoid. So, without further ado, let's get to the week 1 NFL fantasy football rankings!
The most important thing to remember about week 1 is that everyone is healthy and that includes defenses. Guys like Joe Flacco and C.J. Spiller are going to be starters for a lot of teams, but you have to look at the other side of the equals sign and think about the defenses they are playing. From David Garrard to Greg Olson, there are starters worth playing and starters worth sitting… and this is the place for you to decipher between the two.
Carson Palmer:Boom, out of the gate I am going with one of the QB's I cover and this is no homer pick. Palmer and the Bengals passing game has a lot of expectations to live up to and I see no reason to doubt them against a Patriots defense that averaged 209.7 YPG via the air last season and finished with just 18 interceptions.
David Garrard:The Jaguars may be a run-first team behind Maurice Jones-Drew, but they still have Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas and the Broncos are now without Elvis Dumervil for the season. They still have Champ Bailey in the secondary, but the defense is old and devoid of playmakers, and that will make Garrard a sneaky play in week 1.
Ronnie Brown:I have faith in Brown returning to the feature back role now that he is healthy. If you remember, Brown had eight TDs in nine games before foot surgery sidelined him last season. The Bills run defense ranked 30th against the run last season and now they have to figure out a 3-4 scheme with less than ideal personnel to do it.
Arian Foster:Foster was one of the middle round backs I have been pumping throughout the off-season. In the first week the Texans face a Colts defense that allowed 126.5 YPG on the ground, but they are hoping Bob Sanders will finally be healthy and back to his old self. Personally, I am going to play Foster as my RB2 in all the leagues I own him in.
Dwayne Bowe:Bowe is not one of my favorite receivers this season, but that doesn't mean I won't start him in week 1 as he faces a Chargers defense that already had few playmakers and then lost Antonio Cromartie on top of that. Bowe would match up against Quentin Jammer, and he has just six interceptions over the last three seasons. A recipe for success is there for Bowe this week.
Lee Evans:The Bills are my bet to finish with the #1 overall pick in next year's draft, but Evans is really all the team has in proven playmakers on offense and I think they will get him the ball. He faces the Dolphins allowed 249.8 YPG to opposing receivers last year and they did nothing to bolster their corners.
Zack Miller (Oak):Miller is someone I put on my sleeper list heading into the draft and I will continue to throw his name out there any chance I get. Jason Campbell is looking to Miller as his safety blanket and I know he will improve on last season's 805 yards and three touchdowns. Miller is a legit top 5-6 TE this season even though he was drafted in an average of the 12th round in standard drafts.
San Francisco 49ers Defense:The Niners are led by former bruiser Mike Singletary, so the attitude alone would make them a top 10 defense most years. But, this is a defense that features Nate Clements and standout rookie, Taylor Mays. The Seahawks passing game is shaky at best and their only hope is at RB… of which it looks like the best back is #2 on the depth chart.
Joe Flacco:Flacco and the Ravens may have improved their passing game the most this off-season with the addition of Anquan Boldin, but they run into the Jets and their top ranked defense in week 1. Even if Derell Revis isn't in football shape to start the season, I still wouldn't bet against the reigning #1 pass defense in the NFL.
Matt Ryan:Matty-Ice is a great bounce-back candidate this season, but the Steelers defense is still an elite one that finished 16th against the pass and now Troy Polamalu is back and healthy. I love Ryan this year, just not this week.
C.J. Spiller:Spiller was being drafted in the 10th round in most drafts and that slots him around #25 for RBs. I personally don't think he is worth putting into a flex position to start the season and I am going to advise against playing him this weekend against the Dolphins as I think people over-drafted him.
Justin Forsett/ Leon Washington:The Niners were ranked #6 against the run last season and Patrick Willis and Aubrayo Franklin are going to make them an even better defense this season. The Seahawks offense is confused to say the least and the presence of Washington cancels out Forsett's value… and vice versa.
Steve Breaston:Breaston is the product of bad timing more than anything as he has QB Derek Anderson at the helm rather than Kurt Warner. Anderson beat out Matt Leinart for the starting role in Arizona, but word is Max Hall might claim the starting spot by the team's bye week. All the issues surrounding the Cardinals passing game make me weary of playing Breaston until I see a reason to.
Laurent Robinson:Robinson wasn't even drafted in many leagues despite being #1 on the Rams depth chart until yesterday when they traded for Mark Clayton. Clayton makes Robinson a weak WR3 option in standard and PPR leagues, and I actually dropped him for Clayton in every league I owned him in.
Greg Olson:I have no idea why Olson was drafted in 97% of all leagues, given the fact that Mike Martz traditionally forgets to use the TE in his offense. Olson is set to be the biggest TE bust yet again this season and I had him on my do-not-draft list in all leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense:The Eagles defense was taken in the top 10 defenses in fantasy drafts, but they match up against the Packers offense in week 1, and that is a recipe for disaster. I don't care how good your defense is, you will not shut down Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley for a whole game.