Fantasy Football Week 1: Last Minute Start/Sit Advice

Can you feel the anticipation building?

We are just hours away from the first regular season kickoff of the 2012 NFL season, and this is your friendly reminder to double check your fantasy football lineup before you make a horrible mistake that costs you a Week 1 victory.

Here is my last minute advice for your fantasy roster:


Maurice Jones-Drew finally reported to the Jags, but should he be in your Week 1 fantasy lineups? (Photo by Jeff Kern via Wikimedia Commons)

1. DO NOT START Maurice Jones-Drew.

MJD ended his holdout with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and Coach Mike Mularkey said that his star running back will rotate in on third downs. The best chance Jones-Drew has to get fantasy points on Sunday against the Vikings will come in his one series that he’ll get as the featured back instead of starter Rashad Jennings.

MJD will be a backup this weekend and will see limited snaps, which means that he is better off on the bench of any fantasy roster.

2. DO NOT START Jonathan Stewart at RB, but…

Consider him as a FLEX player if your league has one and you don’t have a great alternative.
Stewart suffered a sprained ankle in late August and his status is still uncertain. Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said that Stewart “moved around very nicely” at practice this week, according to the Associated Press, which makes his status for Sunday sound promising.
However, Carolina has a split backfield between Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, which means that Carolina may look to use Williams predominantly if Stewart’s health is questionable.

3. DO NOT START Andy Dalton.

Dalton is returning from a bruised shoulder and is practicing this week, but even if he is 100% on Monday night, he is facing the Baltimore Ravens’ defense.

Baltimore beat Cincy both times they faced in Dalton’s rookie season and his injury does not bode well for his fantasy stats.

4. DO NOT START Trent Richardson at RB, but…

As with Stewart, consider Richardson – who is coming off an injury – as your FLEX only if you don’t have another safer option at running back, wide receiver, or tight end.

Richardson is recovering from a left knee injury that he suffered in the offseason. Cleveland Browns Team President Mike Holmgren said that “the worst thing we could do is rush him before he’s ready,” according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. The Browns are not going to risk further harm for the third overall draft pick from the 2012 NFL Draft.


The Dallas Cowboys’ offense will not be at full health tonight as Romo’s most trusted target, Jason Witten, is listed as doubtful due to the lacerated spleen that he suffered last season. Wide receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are both “probable” for the season opener and Jerry Jones has said that they are both 100%.

With his best receivers injured or returning from injuries and the front four of the New York Giants–Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard, and Jason Pierre-Paul/Osi Umenyiora–across the line, Tony Romo has been dealt a bad hand for tonight.

About Andrew Wittry


  1. Krazyjhawk says:

    Good Morning gentlemen! New season! New problems, HAHA. SO quick question, Due to Ryan Mathews and his inept ability to get hurt I need a #2 RB. Who would you start, Beanie Wells or Evan Royster? I have Hunter on the bench but he wont see much action till Gore gets hurt.

  2. That’s a tough question. Both backs are coming off of injuries and listed as probable. Even though Royster is listed as Washington’s current starter, the Redskins will probably be splitting carries between three running backs on Sunday (Royster, Roy Helu, and Alfred Morris) and I tend to go with running backs who are their team’s primary option. If you want to play it safe, go with Beanie Wells. He is more experienced and the starting job is his for now. However, Royster had just as many 100+ yard games as Wells did last season even though he played in 11 fewer games. Royster averages significantly more yards per carry and could prove to be the better option if you’re willing to take a risk.

  3. Ahhh, I guess ROMO pulled through. However, he is not a bad quarterback, only second to Eli Manning from last years stats! Good job!

    • I was very impressed by Tony Romo last night and I think he is one of the more underrated QB’s. That matchup was not designed for him to have that much success but Kevin Ogletree had a huge game and the Giants’ D only hit Romo twice.

  4. start 1 wr of these 3 heyward bey bowe or R Wayne

    • 1. Heyward-Bay
      2. Wayne
      3. Bowe

      However, the outcome of the game probably won’t be decided by which one you start this week. I think they are comparable in talent and match ups.

  5. vikings fan says:

    which is the better start peterson or dwyer

    • Go with Peterson. His health is more of a concern than dwyer but I like AP at 80% against Jacksonville more than the inexperienced Dwyer playing on the road in Denver with three running backs behind him ready to fill in if Dwyer doesn’t play well

  6. hey andrew, question. im in a tough spot, who should i fill in at flex this week. i have vincent jackson, shonn green, or ben tate? pick one and why. thanks alot!

    • I like Vincent Jackson out of the three. When healthy, he is one of the top ten to fifteen wide receivers in the NFL. That being said, he is the Bucs’ second wide receiver on their depth chart, which means that he will get the worse of the two cornerbacks covering him. Tampa Bay does have other options on offense, which means that the defense won’t be solely focused on him. Plus, I think Josh Freeman is going to have a bounce back year statistically. For why not to start shonn greene–we don’t know how many snaps Tebow will get and this could take away from the Jets’ running backs’ touches. Ben Tate could have a huge game if Arian Foster doesn’t play and Tate gets to be the number one back. However, his health too is in question (listed as probable) but I expect him to play.

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