by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
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 – Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
Vick was downgraded heading into the season, partly because the chances of him staying healthy all year long are minimal. That said, he showed that he was a good fit for Chip Kelly’s high-paced offense this preseason as he completed 73.7 percent of his passes (28-38) for 383 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT. Throw in his ability to run the football and the fact that he’s taking on a Washington defense that allowed the third most passing yards (281.9 yards/game) and tied for the second most passing TD allowed (31) in 2012 and there is no reason to have him on your bench.
Sit – Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – vs. Cincinnati
The Bengals actually owned one of the better passing defenses in the league a year ago. There also has to be questions about Chicago’s passing offense, outside of Brandon Marshall. Will Alshon Jeffery emerge? Will Martellus Bennett fit? Given the matchup and the questions, there should be options you would prefer trusting.
Start – David Wilson – New York Giants – at Dallas
This one should go without saying at this point, with Andre Brown out of action and the Giants likely waiting until Week 2 to add a veteran into the mix. While Wilson could still sit on obvious passing downs, he has consistently shown his big play potential and he should be a main focus of the offense.
Start – Daryl Richardson – St. Louis Rams – vs. Arizona
With Isaiah Pead out for Week 1, Richardson is the clear top back. Considering the Cardinals are coming off a season where they allowed 145.2 rushing yards per game and 19 rushing touchdowns, he’s a pretty good gamble.
Sit – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – at Chicago
The Bears are always a tough defense and Green-Ellis could quickly lose playing time to Giovani Bernard. Last season the Bears allowed 101.7 rushing yards per game and just 6 TD. Don’t be surprised if the Bengals a little bit more pass heavy this week, and that would certainly mean more time for Bernard.
Sit – Ahmad Bradshaw – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Oakland
At this point he’s listed behind Vick Ballard on the depth chart and, while that may not mean too much, the Colts are clearly bringing him along slowly. You also have to wonder if they want to give him a heavy workload in a game they shouldn’t even need him in. There’s a lot of risk that he is used sparingly, limiting his potential production this week.
Wide Receiver (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens – at Denver
Would it really be a surprise to anyone if the Broncos ran up a lead and the Ravens had to throw the ball in an effort to keep up? While the Broncos do offer a good defense, Champ Bailey is considered a game-time decision and they have taken a few other hits as well (and Smith also managed 2 TD against them last season). In other words, there should be opportunities for the Ravens top receiver.
Sit – Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams – vs. Arizona
Maybe the rookie has a big first game, but in shallower formats there should be safer options to start off your season. As we have said repeatedly, first round receivers are far from a lock to produce in their rookie season and he may not even be the most targeted receiver on his team. There’s just too much risk.
Wide Receiver (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – Cecil Shorts – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Kansas City
The quarterback play is certainly going to limit Shorts’ upside, but they have to throw the ball to someone. In deeper formats he is well worth the risk, as he is the clear top receiver with Justin Blackmon out.
Sit – Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – vs. Indianapolis
Maybe he is the top receiver in Oakland and maybe he isn’t. Regardless, the offense is going to be a mess and Moore has been too inconsistent to trust.
Start – Brandon Myers – New York Giants – at Dallas
Myers doesn’t get much respect for his production in Oakland last season. Justified or not, he moves to a much better offense this year and while that may take away some chances, he also won’t be the focus of the opposing defenses. With Victor Cruz missing time this preseason and Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning still getting their timing back, don’t be surprised if Myers plays a big role to open the season.
Sit – Jermaine Gresham – Cncinnati Bengals – at Chicago
Cincinnati has significant weapons this season and it is far from a guarantee that Gresham sees the ball. There are too many options with more upside to consider him.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings: