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

Just hours before the start of Week 1 I know many people have questions running through their heads.  Who should I start?  Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – Running Back
One would’ve thought that he was going to be a solid play against the Raiders.  Then comes this news from Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post (click here for the entire article), who quotes offensive coordinator Mike McCoy:

“We’re going to roll them,” McCoy said. “They’re going to play, and if one of them is tired, the other one is going in. Then we’ll just keep them going. Both of them are going to play plenty of snaps, but we’re not going to worry about counting snaps with them.

“If someone is in there playing and they’re on a roll, then they’re going to stay in. When they need to come out, then they’re going to come out.”

In other words, Moreno may not actually be the lead back for the Broncos…  Really?  It’s hard to believe that the team could actually let McGahee attempt to carry the load, having failed to rush for more than 671 yards in each of the past three seasons in Baltimore.  This just feels like all talk, though I guess we won’t know for sure until the game is played. 

At this point I wouldn’t change your opinion of Moreno, especially in PPR formats.  Unless you have a significantly good option sitting on the bench, continue to consider him a viable RB2 in all formats.
Verdict – Start ‘Em

Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys – Wide Receiver
I mentioned him in yesterday’s Injury Report (click here to view), but it bears repeating this morning.  Not only does Austin walk into a head-to-head matchup with Darrelle Revis, the man who has single-handedly silenced many a top wide receiver, but he does so while battling a hamstring injury.  While I wouldn’t consider him completely unusable, he’s just too high risk at this point to consider as anything more than a WR3.  As anything more than that, there’s just too much downside to really consider him.  Dez Bryant and Jason Witten feel like a much better option.
Verdict – Start ‘Em as a WR3 and nothing more

Arian Foster – Houston Texans – Running Back
Another situation that we discussed in yesterday’s Injury Report, we may not know if Foster is going to play until just before the start of the game today.  Lucky for fantasy owners, the Texans do play at 1 PM today so you’ll be able to ride things right until the roster deadline.  Having not practiced, however, even if he plays how much do you trust him? 

That said, if he’s playing and getting carries would you actually sit him down?  Of course, all the talk has been that Foster is not going to play, so I’d plan on being without him, but keep checking the news, just in case.  The Texans will likely take things cautiously with him, as they likely won’t want to risk him having a setback.
Verdict – Monitor the news, but don’t expect to have him

Chaz Schillens – Oakland Raiders – Wide Receiver
Interesting news from Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times (click here for the post):

“For what it’s worth, Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey were the wide receivers with the first-team offense during the media access window Friday night.”

I don’t think any of us actually think Heyward-Bey is going to develop into a viable fantasy option, do we?  The bigger news is that Chaz Schillens, who was considered a sleeper by some, will open the year as the third receiver (with Louis Murphy out).  Until Schillens proves that he can stay healthy and be productive, he is too big of a risk for fantasy owners.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em

Kevin Boss – Oakland Raiders – Tight End
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports (click here for the article):

“Tight end Kevin Boss, safety Mike Mitchell, and wideout Louis Murphy were all ruled out by the Raiders for Monday night’s game. No one else was listed worse than probable.”

This shouldn’t be surprising news for fantasy owners at this point.  Boss was more of a TE2 for Week 1, but if you were using him go looking for a replacement immediately.
Verdict – Find a Replacement ASAP

Braylon Edwards – San Francisco 49ers – Wide Receiver
After it originally was thought Michael Crabtree would miss the opening week of the season, now comes word that he is going to be available for Week 1.  Should that change our opinion of Braylon Edwards?  I wouldn’t think so, after Crabtree missed all of training camp, helping his role this week to be a complete unknown.

Edwards is not a high level option by any stretch, but he did post 53 receptions for 904 yards and 7 TD last season while operating as the second wide receiver for much of the season.  Depending on your other options, you could do much worse as a WR3 (especially taking on the Seahawks).
Verdict – Worth a WR3 (depending on options)

Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – Running Back
There’s no real news on Bush, but his backup has been making headlines.  Daniel Thomas is listed as questionable due to a hamstring injury, though having practiced the past few days he is expected to play.

Prior to the preseason one would think that Thomas being active would severely cut into Bush’s value.  However, we have all learned that it just isn’t the case.  If Thomas plays or doesn’t play, look for Bush to be utilized as the featured back against the Patriots (and knowing that matters, since they don’t play until Monday).  In PPR formats he’s a real no-brainer.  In other formats he should still be considered a viable RB2, depending on your other options. 
Verdict – Good play in PPR formats and viable in all formats

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

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 2
Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 1


  1. LouGatsby says:

    I know it’s short notice, but a little help!? Ok, these are my starters..

    WR1 Roddy White
    WR2 Brandon Lloyd

    I have Mario Manningham and Kenny Britt to select for a WR/RB flex option, but I’m not sure which one. Britt hasn’t played much this preseason w/ slight hammy issues and Eli Manning hasn’t gotten a good rhythm with his receivers so far in NY. I know both are still good options but that’s what’s making it tough. Which would you roll with?

    • I’d probably roll with Britt. As you said, the production of Eli Manning (and the risk that the Giants go to more of a run-based attack), could limit Manningham’s upside this week. Britt is his team’s top receiver and does have a higher upside.

      It’s real close, so I’d go with your gut, but I like Britt a little bit better.

  2. Andrew Hummel says:

    should i start tim hightower or jahvid best this week?

    • I have them back-to-back on the rankings, so it really is a coin flip. The Giants defense is banged up, including losing their middle linebacker, but Hightower has the potential to be in more of a time share than Best. The latter is probably the determining factor for me.

      I’d probably go with Best, but it really can go either way.

  3. Dev1359 says:

    I have Mario Manningham as my WR2 but reading your above comment about Eli’s production has me wary…on my bench I’ve got Percy Harvin @ SD and Nate Burleson @ TB, would you recommend starting either of these guys as my WR2 instead?

  4. RT says:

    Hey Prof. You helped me tremendous last year and back to seek your guidance.

    I just read the your comment about Knowshon Moreno above and was going to ask you who I should start as my flex, Moreno or Addai?

    Thanks again for your help and keep up the great work!

    • Welcome back RT and hopefully I can help just as much this year!

      That’s a really tough one, honestly. Is it a PPR league, because that will play a major role in the decision.

      I really find it hard to believe that the Broncos will go with McGahee over Moreno, so generally I would lean towards him regardless (especially with the threat that Addai could lose carries to Delone Carter). If it’s a PPR league, it’s a real easy call. If it’s not, I’d probably still lean towards Moreno, but it’s a lot closer.

  5. RT says:

    I appreciate the quick reply. It’s PPR league. Go with Moreno?

  6. APooter says:

    I need to make up 15 points tonight to tie, go with Deion Branch or Michael Bush? Branch has the higher projection, but does Bush have a better shot at the big numbers vulturing scores from DMC?

    • That’s a very tough call. Branch is not going to be the main focus of the offense, with Ochocinco, the two TE, etc. also involved as Brady spreads the ball around.

      What’s the scoring system? That plays a role. I’m not sure either is a lock to reach 15 points, but Bush may be more likely.

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