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:

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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.

5. AVOID STARTING Tony Romo.

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.

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