Below is our Week 1 Start & Bench Advice for the 2012 fantasy football season.
This start ‘em and sit ‘em advice is not typical, in fact, it’s both bold and unconventional.
If you are looking for plain and simple, or a “play it safe” analysis, you’re in the wrong place.
Note: This is an update to our early-August Start Bench release.
Let’s get to it!
Who can get me a score?
Toby Gerhart (vs. JAC)
Zach: In early August I had Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Willams listed here in this column. Over a month has gone by and things have changed fast. That’s the risky you take when you write things as early as we do here at DraftCalc.
Gerhart isn’t an exciting start, but if you have a team in need of a RB plug-in, Gerhart could get you 50 rushing and a touchdown. Don’t expect much more, and this is not a fantastic start or anything, but he has TD potential as Adrian Peterson is ease back from his torn ACL.
Dez Bryant (@NYG)
9/3/12 | Update: Assuming that he is not some kind of last minute scratch, I stand by my monster start of the week in Dez Bryant… as I said, last month:
Bryant could be in for a huge Week 1 outing against the Giants. This game is the first game of the week on Wednesday night, and if looking at last year’s stats, Tony Romo and gang face the league’s 29th-ranked passing defense. Not only do the Giants give up a grip of-yards per-contest, they are tied for 7th in surrendering passing touchdowns. Doubt Bryant all you want, call him a problem child, and avoid him at all costs… this only makes him cheaper for those who believe in the receiver, and it turns his trade value into the bargain variety… Look, I can understand why so many doubt this kid, I really can, but I know elite talent when I see it, and Dez has it! He has the skills to become a top 3-4 fantasy wide receiver for years and years to come… The only risk is Dez getting in trouble again down the road, but at his downward-evolving ADP of 4.08, the receiver could miss a couple games and still earn that kind of value. I’m not suggesting that he will miss any outings, my point is that earning that 4th-round value isn’t going to be difficult for the extremely-talented stud-in-the-making. If this kid lands at 4.08-type value and becomes the receiver that I believe he will become, that’s what you call a blueprint for winning a fantasy football championship! So, get ready, because the “Dez Bryant Show” will begin on September 5th, 2012. Get your tickets now, and get ready for truckloads of doubters to soon jump on board!
Week 1 Projections: 6 receptions for 95 yards and 2TDs
Most likely to rush for 150+ yards?
LeSean McCoy (@CLE)
McCoy is going up against the 30th-ranked rushing defense in 2011.
Cleveland gives up 147.4 yards-per-game on the ground, which gives McCoy the best chance for leading the week in rushing yards.
I can also see him having two total scores as well.
Most likely 100-yard rushers?
*2011 regular season stats
9/3/12 | Update: Aside from Ryan Mathews, not too much has changed since early August when glancing down at my list of running back projections.
Ryan Mathews @OAK (*27th against run)
Matt Forte vs. IND (*29th against run)
Ray Rice vs. CIN (*10th against run)
Arian Foster vs. MIA (*3rd against run)
Stevan Ridley @TEN (*24th against run)
Doug Martin vs. CAR (*25th against run)
Chris Johnson vs. NE (*17th against run)
Shonn Greene vs. BUF (*28th against run)
Marshawn Lynch @AZ (*21st against run)
Darren McFadden vs. SD (*20th against run)
Despite tough match-ups against Miami (3rd against the run in 2011) and Tampa Bay (10th against the run in 2011), both Arian Foster and Ray Rice are still strong bets for 100 yards and a score. These two are almost match-up proof.
Ryan Mathews will make his owners proud as he earns top 4-6 running back numbers on opening day. (Ronnie Brown should have a decent day running for roughly 70 and a score)
Matt Forte will have a field day against last year’s 29th-ranked Colts’ rushing defense; Once Chicago gets out to an early lead, Forte and Michael Bush should see a whole lot of touches.
Stevan Ridley, as Smitty highlights above, is a nice start this week. He is very underrated this year and is in a great situation with very little “true” competition.
Doug Martin has a great match-up, but will he get most of the carries, or could he be a Week 1 disappointment due to coaching decisions?
Shonn Greene is not an exciting start, but he is a safe start. Trade him after Week 1 if you can, though. As you can probably tell by looking around DC, we don’t much believe in him on the season.
Chris Johnson should have a big day, even though he could start off hot and then slow down as TEN tries to pass their way back into the game.
The stats will be there in the end for Marshawn Lynch, even if he compiles his stat line slowly against that underrated Cards’ defense.