The week many of us have been waiting for is finally here. The NFL draft, organized team activities, training camps, and pre-season games are all done. Fantasy football players have studied all the prior stats, projected stats, depth charts, and player rankings and then drafted their teams. Now the real fun begins! The regular season kicks off in less than 24 hours.
Start This Week
The players I suggest to start this week are started in less than 50% of the leagues on MyFantasyLeague.com, but have favorable match-ups or I believe are poised to break out.
Carson Palmer (Pictured Above), Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers (17.4% started)
The San Diego Chargers gave up the fourth most passing yards in 2013, while Palmer had the eighth most passing yards among quarterbacks. With veteran Larry Fitzgerald and youngster Michael Floyd, they make a very dangerous trio on game day.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (20.4% started)
The Saints backfield is a bit crowded, but I am a big fan of Ingram and like him this week. The Falcons gave up the second most rushing yards last season.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (31.6% started)
Like the Saints, the Patriots have quite a few running backs they can utilize. Ridley was in danger of being cut in the pre-season but was not. He shows the Patriots they made the right choice in week one.
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers (30.2% started)
The 2014 49ers defense looks a lot different than the 2013 version, and not in a good way. Lining up opposite of Dez Bryant should give Williams plenty of opportunities.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers (19.2% started)
Entering his third NFL season he could emerge as the Seahawks #1 receiver. I think Baldwin is set to break out this season.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans (20.6% owned)
An injury took his 2013 season from him; often overlooked in 2014 drafts, he has the chance to be a top ten tight end this year. Plays with one of the best game managers at quarterback and targeted his tight end 82 times last season.
Sit This Week
The players I listed below are players who are starting in the majority of leagues but because of match-ups, past performances, or injury history, I would recommend sitting if at all possible.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills (67.6% started)
Injuries took their toll on Cutler last year. I doubt Cutler gets injured in week one, but he faces a Bills team that gave up the fourth fewest passing yards last season.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (86.3% started)
He struggled last season against top defenses before getting hurt in week six. Martin is facing the second ranked defense against the rush from last season.
Percy Harvin (Pictured to the Right), Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers (79.1% started)
Harvin has ability to be a game changer when healthy, which is not very often. If I had to choose a Seattle wide receiver this week, it’s not him.
If I could share one piece of advice, it would be to start the players you drafted at the top of your draft no matter what. You drafted Aaron Rodgers in the second round for a reason. The Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to play the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in week one. So what, start Rodgers regardless if he is playing the number 32 ranked defense or the number one ranked defense. Good luck to all the fantasy football players this week!