INDIANAPOLIS --- Week 1 is upon us, and for the most part you should be starting your first draft picks. Don’t get cute. However, a few match-up situations should be considered.
The Colts UpClose cast has your back. Here are our Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em picks for the first week of the regular season:
COLTS START ‘EM OF THE WEEK
(baseline: at least 18 points for QBs, 11 points for RBs, 10 points for WRs, 8 points for TEs, 7 points for D/ST)
Steve Andress - Jay Cutler, Bears QB --- Bears quarterbacks last year combined would have been the #3 QB in fantasy in Marc Trestman’s first year in Chicago. Week 1 Cutler gets the Bills at home. Buffalo was 26th against opposing fantasy quarterbacks last season. I expect 18 points or more from Cutler, who was drafted outside the top-10 quarterbacks in fantasy. He’s a top-8 play week 1. I’d even start him over Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Tony Romo.
Kevin Bowen - Toby Gerhart, Jaguars RB --- I'm going with one of the key AFC South offseason additions for my start 'em pick. Toby Gerhart becomes the first starting running back for the Jaguars since the Maurice Jones-Drew era began back in 2006. In going up against the Eagles, Gerhart has to be a focal point for the Jaguars offense. A ball-control style is a must to combat that Eagles show on grass/turf. With unproven quarterback play, Jacksonville will lean on Gerhart to establish a running game.
Jim Sorgi - Marqise Lee, Jaguars RB --- Lee had a good preseason with 8 catches, close to 100 yards and two of the three touchdowns thrown by Jacksonville. Ace Sanders is not playing. Cecil Shorts has battled injuries in the past, and I think the Eagles have a suspect defense. Marquise Lee can be your big playmaker and also your possession receiver. I think he has a good day.
(baseline: less than 17 points for QBs, 10 points for RBs, 9 points for WRs, 7 points for TEs, 6 points for D/ST)
Steve Andress - Ryan Mathews, Chargers RB --- I know Mathews had a bounceback year, but he’s facing Arizona. The Cardinals were #1 last year against fantasy running backs. The Chargers also added Donald Brown, and with Danny Woodhead in the mix, I’m not sure how much of a workload Mathews will get week 1. I’m also not sure how effective he can be with that workload against a stout Cardinals rushing defense. I’d start Toby Gerhart or Ben Tate over him week 1, for example.
Kevin Bowen - Bishop Sankey, Titans RB --- Well it looks like I'm sticking with the AFC South for my sit 'em pick, too. Bishop Sankey seems to be the top rookie running back but I'm not sold on the Titans being comfortable with him just yet. Sankey averaged just 3.7 yards per carry this preseason and it sounds like the Titans will stick with Shonn Greene to start the season.
Jim Sorgi - Falcons Defense/Special Teams --- This one is fairly obvious with Atlanta hosting New Orleans, but the point should be reinforced when starting defenses in fantasy. Match-ups matter most for defenses. It doesn’t matter that the Falcons are at home. Avoid the match-ups like this one, against the #2 team against opposing fantasy defenses last year.