Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 1

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week?  Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Start – Kevin Kolb – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
After losing his job to Michael Vick a year ago, Kolb opens the 2011 campaign looking to prove that he can be a starting NFL quarterback.  When you have an option like Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to, things get a little bit easier.  After Fitzgerald performed without a viable NFL quarterback throwing him the ball in 2010, the two will try to put on a show in Week 1 to put the rest of the league on notice.  Sprinkle in Todd Heap, Early Doucet and others and Kolb has the potential to post some nice numbers this week.

Sit – Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
The Ravens added Lee Evans to go along with Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin, giving owners a lot of hope that they can be a dynamic offense in 2011.  Of course, they start the year facing arguably the best defense in the league.  Can Flacco breakdown that defense and produce a lot of points?  I wouldn’t be willing to roll the dice on it.

Running Back:
Start – Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
With Peyton Manning out of action, you have to think that the Colts will lean on Addai a bit more in Week 1.  The last three times Addai has played Houston he has combined for 176 yards on 39 carries (4.5 yards per carry).  If they give him 15-20 carries in Week 1, he is going to be an extremely productive back for fantasy owners.  Considering what we know, he’s well worth rolling the dice on as a RB2.

Start – DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Arizona
While he’s going to lose some carries to Jonathan Stewart, would a team really commit that much money to a running back that they don’t believe in as their starter?  I wouldn’t think so.  Keep in mind that the Cardinals were among the worst defenses in the league stopping the run last season (145.2 rushing yards/game).

Sit – Ryan Grant/James Starks – Green Bay Packers – vs. New Orleans
Talk is that the two will share carries, with almost a 50/50 split.  Also consider that this game could turn into a shootout, with Aaron Rodgers airing it out time and time again.  Does that sound like a situation that is conducive for either back to excel?  Not so much.

Sit – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Miami
The question with the Patriots always seems to be what direction they will take their offense.  More times than not, they are going to lean on Tom Brady and their passing game.  With other running backs also potentially taking away some carries, Green-Ellis becomes a tougher play.

Wide Receiver (2 Receiver Format):
Start – Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
Does the release of David Garrard change his potential upside?  Not really, as the Titans were among the worst passing defenses in the league, both in 2010 and in the preseason.  Luke McCown may not be an ideal choice to be throwing him the ball, but I would still look for a productive day from Thomas.

Sit – Pierre Garcon/Austin Collie – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
While the loss of Peyton Manning adds potential value to Joseph Addai, you have to think that it will hurt the secondary receivers of Colts.  As if that wasn’t enough, if you had to choose one that Kerry Collins would go to early and often, who would it be?  Can you say for sure that Collie will get more looks?  How about Garcon?  There’s too much risk involved in these two to consider them viable in two-receiver formats (they are both viable in three-receiver formats, however).

Wide Receiver (3 Receiver Format):
Start – Braylon Edwards – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle
Having been cleared from the risk of a suspension, Edwards looks like a decent high-risk, high-reward option for those in three receiver formats.  The 49ers have to throw the ball somewhere, right?

Sit – Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – vs. Atlanta
While Chicago could get into a shootout with Atlanta, it has become known that Knox officially will not start.  It’s unbelievable to think about, but if he’s not considered one of the top two receivers and in the starting lineup, can we be sure how many targets he’s actually going to get?  There’s just too much risk involved.

Tight End:
Start – Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
A preseason sleeper, he draws a Jaguars defense that was among the five worst in the league against the pass in 2010 and the absolute worst during the preseason (292.0 passing yards/game, as well as 7 TD allowed).  I know we don’t like to read too much into preseason, but Cook has the potential to be a dynamic option.  He’s a risk, but one worth taking.

Sit – Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at St. Louis
While Michael Vick may claim that he wants to get Celek more involved in the offense, I need to actually see it to believe it.  If he makes an impact in Week 1, that will change my opinion.  For now, I’ll take a wait and see approach.

Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Week 1 Rankings:

Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Decisions: Week 1
Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Decisions: Week 16


  1. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Two questions…
    1. 2-QB Format (6pt Pass TDs)
    Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Donovan McNabb… Pick two for Week 1

    2. 1 W/R/T spot to Fill (25 Return Yds = 1pt)
    Danny Amendola, Mohamed Massaquoi, DeMarco Murray, Chris Cooley… (On Waivers: LaRod Stephens-Howling, Ted Ginn, Mike Goodson, Bernard Scott)
    I think Amendola is going to be shut down by Philly’s DBs. So is Massaquoi the safest play here?

    NOTE – I think Amendola should be on your Sit List for this week

    • 1) Freeman is the easy call. As for the second, I’d begrudgingly go with Flacco, just because I don’t really trust either of them.

      2) I would agree with Massaquoi, though none of the options are awfully appealing for Week 1.

  2. Jthistle says:

    What’s the beef with Benjarvus? He’s my #2 starter. He played well last year against Miami last year. Who will replace him in goal line situations?

    Berry over @ espn has him as a starter.

    • A lot of the questions with BGE centers around the Patriots and how they run their offense. It is always pass first, even potentially in short yardage situations. With the pair of young tight ends, as well as Welker & Ochocinco, you know they are going to be airing it out.

      Throw in getting Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley (if healthy) into the mix, and he definitely is a risk.

  3. ernest says:

    Should I bench romo an start kolb week 1

  4. ledger says:

    who to start this week

    Miles Austin or Brandon Lloyd(DENVER)

    Ryan Mathews or Shonn Green

    • I’d go Brandon Lloyd. Austin is taking on Darrelle Revis and dealing with a hamstring injury. There’s just too much risk there, especially when you have an option like Lloyd to use in his place.

      I’d definitely go Greene, especially with Mathews sharing carries with Mike Tolbert (and the talk being close to 50/50).

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