Sep 8, 2011
The NFL season kickoffs on Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints travel into Lambeu to take on the Green Bay Packers. The Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009 and Green Bay is the defending champion so there looks to be a lot on the line in just Week 1. One thing is for certain, both offenses are explosive and efficient so we can expect some points in this football game.
Fantasy football owners will be looking to get off to a fast start by putting their best possible lineup together, and with that in mind here are our “Fantasy Football Start ‘Ems” for Week 1 of the 2011 season. Everyone knows to start the Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson, Antonio Gates type impact players, so when we compile our list we make sure to focus on serviceable players that will benefit from a favorable matchup.
QUARTERBACKS - START ‘EM
Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) vs. Dallas
Sanchez had his most productive NFL season in 2010, setting career-highs in passing yards (3,291) and touchdowns (17) while also reducing his interception total from 20 as a rookie in 2009 to 13 last season. The Jets’ conservative offense puts a ceiling on his fantasy value, but Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys brings a favorable matchup. The Cowboys allowed 33 passing touchdowns (tied for league-most) and 17.7 fantasy points per game (standard leagues) last season, andthey did not make any significant upgrades to their secondary this offseason. The offseason additions of wide receivers Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress may give Sanchez more opportunities to throw the ball this season. If you drafted Sanchez as a fantasy backup, this is one of the weeks to consider inserting him into your lineup if at all possible.
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Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) vs. Indianapolis
Schaub’s numbers dropped off some from 2009 last season, as he threw for 400 less yards and five less touchdowns in total. Some of that can be chalked up to the breakout season of running back Arian Foster, but with Foster dealing with a hamstring issue Schaub may be called upon to throw more against the division-rival Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. He did not put up big numbers against Indianapolis last season, averaging just 154 passing yards per game with two passing touchdowns and two interceptions, but Schaub did average nearly 298 passing yards per game against the Colts in 2009. If Foster is out or at least limited this week the onus will almost certainly be put on Schaub to move the ball through the air for the Texans. He is a solid QB1 this week.
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