In addition to our weekly Waiver Wire posts and Injury Updates, we’ll also be providing valuable matchup analysis each Week along with our suggestions on who to start and who to bench.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
TITANS YARDS/GAME NFL RANK STEELERS YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 199 9th Passing Defense 156 1st
Rushing Defense 93 6th Rushing Defense 80 2nd
Fantasy Impact: The NFL season kicks off with a battle of two strong defenses so don’t expect a ton of fantasy points from either of the two offenses in this game. Other than starting these defenses, we recommend benching almost all offensive starters on both the Titans and Steelers. Chris Johnson and Willie Parker should have nice fantasy seasons, however this Week 1 matchup is not too favorable for either of them. Kerry Collins is a questionable start even against a weak defensive team, and the Steelers run-heavy offense will limit the value of Ben Roethlisberger and his WRs in Week 1.
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons
Dolphins YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Falcons YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 227 25th Passing Defense 220 21st
Rushing Defense 101 10th Rushing Defense 128 25th
Fantasy Impact: Two of the NFL’s most surprising teams last season face off in a Week 1 battle and with their surprising seasons came breakout fantasy players. Michael Turner and Roddy White are both must starts. Ronnie Brown has a nice match-up going against a weaker rush defense from Atlanta. A nice sleeper here is Ted Ginn especially if return yards count in your league.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Chiefs YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Ravens YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 234 28th Passing Defense 179 2nd
Rushing Defense 159 30th Rushing Defense 81 3rd
Fantasy Impact: The Ravens might have lost Rex Ryan to New York however, he did not take the entire defense with him. This is a tough match-up for anyone on the Chiefs especially if Matt Cassell does not play Week 1. If you took a gamble on Larry Johnson and think he has a little left in the tank please do not hope for big things this week since he is going up against a top run defense. Now for those who have fallen into the Ray Rice hype, be ready to talk a little smack since he could not have pulled a better Week 1 match-up. Look for the Ravens to pound the ball all game long and Rice to have a big day.
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
Eagles YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Panthers YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 182 3rd Passing Defense 211 16th
Rushing Defense 92 4th Rushing Defense 119 20th
Fantasy Impact: The Eagles are this year’s Cowboys with everyone jumping on the band wagon for a Superbowl shot, which could mean a ton of fantasy points during the season. This match-up might be a good start since it is a favorable one for Donovan McNabb, Brain Westbrook, and DeSean Jackson, however, a sleeper spot start is the Eagles TE Brent Celek. On the flip side of the ball Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams are must starts every week until proven otherwise.
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
Broncos YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Bengals YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 228 26th Passing Defense 205 15th
Rushing Defense 146 27th Rushing Defense 120 21st
Fantasy Impact: If you are a Cedric Benson believer and drafted him then he is must start Week 1. Denver could not stop anyone last season and there is no reason to think this year will be much different. In fact, all Bengals are a good play this week and everyone knows Chad Ochocinco is hoping to find the endzone so he can bring back his twitter page. The Bengals’ defensive rankings might surprise some people however; look for Eddie Royal to get plenty of catches in the Broncos new offense. It is still unclear what Brandon Marshall’s role will be Week 1, but if he plays he will be looking to prove something.
Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns
Vikings YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Browns YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 215 18th Passing Defense 204 14th
Rushing Defense 77 1st Rushing Defense 151 28th
Fantasy Impact: Everyone that won the AP lottery in their drafts will reap the benefits immediately; as he should run wild against the Browns. Look for the Vikings to control the clock with the run game and look for Brett Favre to only get two or three chances to hook up deep with Bernard Berrian – which might mean an all or nothing for both players. Jamal Lewis might have wished he was cut since he will face last year’s number one rush D this week. Brady Quinn and Braylon Edwards will be playing from behind so there is a chance for them each to put a decent numbers since they will be passing most of the second half.
New York Jets at Houston Texans
Jets YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Texans YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 235 29th Passing Defense 214 17th
Rushing Defense 94 7th Rushing Defense 123 23rd
Fantasy Impact: The Mark Sanchez era has begun in New York and he starts the year with a nice match-up but, do not let the match-up fool you the J-E-T-S will run the ball all game long to set up the pass. Fantasy owners will finally see how much of a time share Thomas Jones will be in with Leon Washington. If Washington is not owned in your league, he should be, and you will see why after Week 1. The Texans are steadily improving year over year and are looking to contend for the division title this year with their potent offense. Expect big things out of Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Kevin Walter (if he plays – hamstring) against a weak Jets secondary. Steve Slaton is a must start as well.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Lions YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Saints YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 232 27th Passing Defense 222 23rd
Rushing Defense 172 32nd Rushing Defense 118 17th
Fantasy Impact: Everyone that bought into the Pierre Thomas hype is hoping that he will play Week 1. If he is inactive this week, expect a nice game out of Reggie Bush and Mike Bell could also be worthy a spot start. Drew Brees will spread the ball around and a sneaky play might be Jeremy Shockey who is looking to prove his worth after a disappointing 2008 campaign. Matt Stafford is getting the start for the Lions and will certainly be coming from behind so look for Stafford to force feed Calvin Johnson all day long. Kevin Smith is a good play as well this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Jaguars YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Colts YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 224 24th Passing Defense 188 6th
Rushing Defense 107 13th Rushing Defense 123 24th
Fantasy Impact: Due to a knee injury, Peyton Manning started a little slower last season however, he finished in Peyton form and even took home the MVP award yet again. Look for him to connect with Reggie Wayne all game long and both Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark also make nice plays this week. Joseph Addai is the starter and looks as healthy as he did in 2006. Rookie RB Donald Brown may be a factor at some point in the season, but not in Week 1. Maurice Jones-Drew has historically torched the Colts and without Fred Taylor, expect him to do the same. (that is why you drafted him top five right?) Bob Sanders or no Bob Sanders it might be wise to sit all Jags WR.
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cowboys YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Bucs YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 188 5th Passing Defense 187 4th
Rushing Defense 107 12th Rushing Defense 119 19th
Fantasy Impact: Tony Romo has looked good all preseason and with TO gone he has been connecting with his true favorite target Jason Witten. However, Tampa Bay does have a solid passing D so if you have another good QB option Romo might have to ride your bench this week. Marion Barber should get a hefty workload and might leave a few touches for Felix Jones. Not many good plays for the Bucs this week but we will at least be able to see if Bucs head coach Raheem Morris is going to go through with his 2-2-1 promise for the running backs. Due to this likely timeshare and an aggressive Cowboys D, we recommend you try to avoid starting any Bucs this week.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
49ers YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Cardinals YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 219 20th Passing Defense 221 22nd
Rushing Defense 107 13th Rushing Defense 110 16th
Fantasy Impact: Another great fantasy match-up for both teams. Look for this to be a high scoring game with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Frank Gore to all find the endzone. Tim Hightower is starting however, with the Cards pass-happy offense his value will come only when they will to be stopped short of the goal line. Josh Morgan is a sneaky sleeper in this match-up. Vernon Davis will break hearts yet again if he does not put up numbers against the weak Cardinals defense.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Redskins YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Giants YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 193 7th Passing Defense 196 8th
Rushing Defense 95 6th Rushing Defense 96 8th
Fantasy Impact: NFC East battles are normally low scoring affairs centered around the run and this one should be no different. Expect Clinton Portis and Brandon Jacobs to get at least 20 touches each and both might find the endzone. Don’t expect a big day from Eli Manning or Jason Campbell and you may want to consider other options if you are looking to start a WR from either of these teams.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Rams YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Seahawks YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 217 19th Passing Defense 259 32nd
Rushing Defense 155 29th Rushing Defense 119 18th
Fantasy Impact: The Rams have put in the Eagles pass happy offense with Steven Jackson playing the Westbrook role (injury concerns and all) so he could be in line for a huge day. Donnie Avery will also be able to prove if he truly is a breakout candidate this year due to going against the worst pass defense in 2008. Matt Hasselbeck is supposedly healthy and he has a new target with TJ Houshmandzadeh which he will look to early and often. A nice flex play will be Julius Jones going up against this weak run defense.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Bears YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Packers YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 241 30th Passing Defense 203 12th
Rushing Defense 94 5th Rushing Defense 132 26th
Fantasy Impact: Jay Cutler will get his first chance to prove his worth at Lambeau Field. Look for Matt Forte to prove his worth as a top five pick this season in a favorable Week 1 matchup. Greg Olsen looks to be a nice redzone threat this year for Cutler and he may find the endzone this week. Earl Bennett and Devin Hester will certainly have more fantasy value this year with Cutler at QB, but we’d wait this week out to see how many looks they each get. Aaron Rodgers is a year removed from the Favre shadow and proved last season he is a top fantasy quarterback. Greg Jennings also proved to be a top receiver and they both will put up great numbers against a weak Bears secondary. (yep the Bears were ranked 30th in passing defense this is not a typo, nor is it 2005 anymore)
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Bills YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Patriots YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 204 13th Passing Defense 201 11th
Rushing Defense 122 22nd Rushing Defense 108 15th
Fantasy Impact: Well the Bills fired their offense coordinator a less than three weeks ago, Terrell Owens has had a bad toe, and Marshawn Lynch is suspended. None of this bodes well for any of the fantasy players on the Bills. If you have to start someone Fred Jackson will get at least 20 touches in this game. Now to Pats, and Mr. Tom Brady. Will he throw for 50 touches this year? Probably not, however, he looks as if he has not skipped a beat in the pre-season. Brady will want to prove he is back and will have a big game which will translate into big games for Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Keep an eye on the Pats running back situation since it is still unclear who will get the bulk of the carries.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
Chargers YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Raiders YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 247 31st Passing Defense 201 10th
Rushing Defense 103 11th Rushing Defense 160 31st
Fantasy Impact: Yes, the Chargers did have the 31st ranked passing defense last year, but that does not mean you should start JaMarcus Russell. Russell should not even be owned unless you in a deep deep league. Darren McFadden owners might be disappointed as well since he will be splitting carries with Michael Bush and Justin Fargas. On the Chargers side if you rolled the dice and took LaDainian Tomlinson you will be rewarded this week. LT is looking to prove he is not over the hill and will take it out on Oakland. Philip Rivers will enjoy an emerging Vincent Jackson and a healthy Antonio Gates, but LT will be the stud in this game.