Each week we will try to provide you with an article titled “Start Em’ and Sit Em’” for the upcoming week’s games. The purpose of these articles is to provide thoughts on players we think might do better than they are projected to for that week or might do worse than projected. The idea is to think beyond the obvious. It is important to note as well that just because a player appears on our “Start Em” list doesn’t mean they should be an automatic start. The same holds true for the “Sit Em” list. For example, we may not like Reggie Wayne this week, but you may not have better options to replace him.
Throughout the season I will be keeping track of my “record”. To do this, we need to have a measuring stick. A successful prediction or “Win” will be 15+ points for QBs (1pt/25yds, -2pts INT), 10+ points for WRs and RBs (1pt/10yds rushing & receiving), 8+ points for TEs and 10+ pts for a defense. Conversely a “Loss” will be if my “Sits” also go over these marks. I will be using standard scoring systems (no ppr) like I outlined above, with 6pts per TDs and -2 pts for every fumble lost. That being said, let’s dive in to Week 1′s matchups!
Matt Ryan: The Falcons QB is poised to take a step up this year into the top 5-7 QBs and is only projected for 15 points vs. a beatable Kansas City secondary. With Jones, White and Gonzalez at his disposal, he should have no problems topping this mark.
Jay Cutler: Indy was bad last year both offensively and defensively. Where did they use all of their picks to improve? The offense.
Trent Richardson: While the consensus seems to be that Richardson will play this week, there have been conflicting reports even from within the Browns organization about how he will be used. The low estimates are 10 total touches while the high are 15-20. I think if he plays, it’ll be closer to the latter as the Browns just don’t have anyone else nearly as talented on the roster.
Toby Gerhart: Gerhart should be the Vikings RB you should start this week. See more details in the Sit Em’ section below.
Cedric Benson: It only took him 2 days to secure the starting roll in a very good offense. Even if he doesn’t play on third downs I think he should produce and he will definitely get any goal line touches.
Pierre Garcon: The Redskins will have to throw it to keep up with the Saints this week and Garcon was easily RGIII’s favorite target throughout the preseason.
Torrey Smith: I think that Smith takes a leap forward this year and the third preseason game was nice preview for what to expect.
Kendall Wright: Wright gets the start this week for the suspended Kenny Britt. He looked explosive this preseason and showed good chemistry with Jake Locker.
Brandon Pettigrew: Did everyone forget that he was one of Stafford’s favorite targets last year, especially late in the season?
Tony Gonzalez: Here’s to betting that Gonzalez catches a TD this week to go along with 40-50 yards.
Bills D/ST: The Jets’ offense couldn’t be this bad could it? My guess is that there won’t be many lanes for Shonn Greene and the Sanchize will be under pressure all day.
Tony Romo: My guess is that he’ll be without his TE Jason Witten. That takes away his security blanket against a nasty Giants’ defensive front. He still has Austin and Bryant, but my hunch is that he might throw a few picks.
Ben Roethlisberger: The issue isn’t really Big Ben or his receivers, but rather the leaky offensive line and lack of a running game that will hurt him against one of last year’s better defenses in the Broncos.
Cardinals’ RBs: Beanie Wells was a decent option for much of last season but he didn’t have much competition. Now he has Ryan Williams to compete with as well as a bum knee. I expect Williams to emerge from the situation later in the season as the one you want to own, but for now Wells’ production from last year should get him an early season split.
Pierre Thomas: It’s just tough for me to trust any of the Saints RBs until one steps up and is used consistently.
Adrian Peterson: He may play this week, but he will definitely be limited if he does. It may take a few weeks for him to get going so I hope you own Gerhart as well if you’re a Peterson owner.
Michael Crabtree: He has decent value in PPR league but he just has never been much of a red-zone target taking away some value.
Santonio Holmes: He’s just about the only Jets receiver the Bills have to worry much about covering.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: It usually take him a few games to get into a rhythm and he just hasn’t had that so far this preseason.
Dustin Keller: I’ve never really understood the interest in Keller. It seems like year after year he’s projected for a big season and always disappoints. He’s also coming off of some injury issues and facing some good linebackers in Buffalo.
Jason Witten: If he plays, who knows what to expect. I don’t think he plays, look elsewhere for TE help for this week.
Steelers D/ST: They are showing some bumps and bruises from getting older this preseason and they will be without one of their biggest play-makers in Ryan Clark since this game is in Denver. I think Peyton surprises some people as he’s dangerous even if he’s not at 100%.
Well that does it my friends! Best of luck this week. If you have lineup questions or would like updates on Sunday follow me on twitter: @ask2guys