After six, long excruciating months, professional football that actually means something will be played once again. And, of course, that means the return of fantasy football. And, now, it is time once again for me to act like an expert.Â Only one question remains. To steal a phrase from everyone’s favorite nepotistic country singer: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!Â
START your studs. Seriously, it is week one. If you are playing the match ups on a guy that you picked in the first five rounds, then I am sorry to inform you that you made a terrible pick. It is only week one. Don’t know how many times I have to say that to make it clear. For example, in 2004, the Jets defense was one of the best in football. Then, the 2005 opener, two different running backs bludgeoned them for a combined 195 yards and 3 TDs. Granted, you probably weren’t going to bench Priest Holmes and only someone that suddenly forgot the running back position existed during their draft would have started Johnson. However, that is a perfect example of how defenses can change over the course of a year. The Chargers, Broncos, and Steelers had the best run defenses in football last year. If you bench Lamont Jordan, Steven Jackson, and Ronnie Brown because of that fact, then have fun at 0-1.
START QB Kurt Warner, Arizona – Remember everything I just said about defenses? Well, the 49ers defense sucks. We know that already. Walt Harris is one of their starting CBs. Yes, you read that correctly. Walt Harris IS still in the league.
SIT QB Mark Brunell, Washington – Lefty failed to lead his Skins to a single point during the preseason. He has weapons, but I say we need to wait and see if he’s got enough left in the tank to utilize them before we take him, or Brandon Lloyd and Antwan Randle-El, seriously as a starting fantasy option.
START RB Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis – I have zero evidence to show me that Rhodes will tear the Giants up Sunday night. All I know is that he is the starting running back for the Colts, not Joe Addai, who was picked ahead of him in many leagues. Start Rhodes until a.) he proves that he sucks, or b.) Addai replaces him.
SIT RB Wali Lundy, Houston – There’s just too much risk involved with playing Lundy. First of all, the Eagles SHOULD have a solid run D. Second, Ron Dayne may vulture goal-line carries. Third, Vernand Morency should get 8-10 carries. Fourth, he is a rookie 6th round pick. After week one, we should have a clearer situation of the way Gary Kubiak will use his three backs. ‘Til then, tuck them away on your bench.
START WR Anquan Bolden, Arizona – OF COURSE, you’ll start Bolden. But this week, he’ll be covered by Walt Harris, and if you read this column last year (you didn’t), you’ll know that each week, I recommend starting whichever receiver is lucky enough to have drawn this heavenly match up.
START WRs Rod Smith and Javon Walker, Denver – QUICK! Name a CB on the Rams not named Tye Hill. All I know is that they have a bunch of wide receiver punching bags with dreadlocks.
SIT WR Jerry Porter, Oakland – When Doug Gabriel was traded, I bet you thought Porter would return to the starting lineup, right? WRONG. Alvis Whitted gets the nod, for week one at least, so the streaky Porter should sit on your fantasy bench while he bitches about his contract.
SIT WR Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago – He’s old, over-rated, and being covered by the under-rated Al Harris. Moose managed to ERUPT for 58 yards and a score against Green Bay in the season finale last season, but 3 weeks earlier, Harris held Muhammad catchless.
START TE Ben Troupe, Tennessee – The Titans version of Ben Watson (all potential, no production) gets the starting nod this week over the injured Erron Kinney. This leads me to believe poor Bryan Thomas is in for a rough afternoon. I wonder if Ed Reed could cover Troupe.
SIT TE Doug Jolley, Tampa Bay – I’ve heard rumors that this guy sucks. In fact, any self-respecting Jets fan that has him on their fantasy team should be slapped. Even if you had a 100 round draft you should have splurged on Visanthe Shiancoe.
START Miami Defense – The Steelers probably weren’t going to rack up a ton of points WITH Ben Roethlisberger. Now, that Charlie Batch is starting, expect even less points, with a healthy dose of turnovers thrown in for good measure.
SIT Giants Defense – They were ranked ridiculously high in Yahoo draft rankings. Be sure these over-rated wastes of a draft pick are riding your pine so that Peyton hurts only them, not you.
That’s all for this week. See you next week when Smizzy and I discuss fondue recipes.Â