Fantasy Forecast: Week 1

johnson_chad.jpg

Ocho CincoIn Week 1 of the NFL season the Bengals match up with the defensive-minded Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals cut loose running back Rudi Johnson, which makes Chris Perry's role on the team much clearer than before. That bodes well for his fantasy, but running into the Ravens run defense in Week 1 takes him down a few notches. Chad Ocho Cinco is battling a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, but expects to play through the injury.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh comes in as Carson Palmer's No. 1 WR on my list, but Ocho Cinco is still a top 10 WR too. Ben Utecht is going to be a sneaky fantasy TE this season, so if you have room for him on your bench, now is the time to stash him away. Palmer is a top five fantasy QB all the way, so ride him until those wheels fall off.

Start:

Kurt Warner: Warner won the starting job in training camp over fantasy bust Matt Leinart. The former Super Bowl MVP draws the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 and that Is a matchup I will take every day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Granted, Nate Clements and the defensive crew allowed just 139.5 yards per game passing during the preseason, but when that was practice and this isn't. With Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin lining up outside, great things are bound to happen. But, buyer beware that Warner is 37 years old and unlikely to play 16 games. Start him early and sell him high around the deadline.

Donovan McNabb: I have McNabb in just about every single league I am in because people avoided him like he had the plague. McNabb may be injury prone and in the same boat as Warner with total games played, but before he got hurt last season McNabb was tearing it up in fantasy leagues! The Rams aren't going to stuff an old lady crossing the street, so playing their opposing QB is a good idea. McNabb has some WR concerns, but he also has Brian Westbrook.

Frank Gore: Now, last season people were on the Gore bandwagon like he was running for mayor of fantasyville, U.S.A. But, instead of carrying people to the top of the fantasy ladder, he led most teams right into the middle of the standings and right into the "we hate Frank Gore" rally. Gore has a terrible offensive line to run behind, which makes him a risky pick any week. But, the Cardinals have an even worse defensive line, making Gore a good bet in Week 1. Not to mention the Niners are in transition mode with the QB. J.T. O'Sullivan may be the best option at QB in San Fran, but that is like being the tallest midget at a little people convention. this is no way is meant to offend the little people of America; I am a BIG fan of *Little People, Big World.

Thomas Jones: Jones often was lost in the RB shuffle around draft time because the Jets weren't that good and Brett Favre took the lead in all news. Brett the Jet will help Jones just like he helped Ryan Grant last season in that opposing defenses will have to watch for the pass more often than before, thus opening the run up because of the pass. Jones should prosper this season because of that and I have him as one of my sleeper picks this season as he went, on average, around the end of round eight.

Calvin Johnson: I like Johnson to have a Pro Bowl season in 2008 and will give him my full endorsement right now. If you own Johnson, play him each week. If you don't have him, try and snag him before he breaks out. The Lions running game is weak and the pass is their best option with Johnson and Roy Williams. Playing the Falcons is always a good thing, so let Johnson anchor your WRs all season long.

Jerricho Cotchery: I know Laveranues Coles is the No. 1 WR on the depth chart, but so do the Dolphins. I look for Cotchery to really thrive under Favre as he has been healthy all preseason and Coles has been battling a thigh injury. Most people will want Coles as he is the star, but I will take chemistry over talent in this case and put my money on Cotchery.

Jeremy Shockey: Shockey is now in New Orleans, and we all know that Brees loves a TE he can throw to. Shockey may not be the best run blocker, but I haven't seen a league yet that gave fantasy points for pancakes from the TE. Shockey feels he has something to prove and Brees quickly fell in love with Antonio Gates in San Diego. I see good things here.

Chargers Defense: Ok, Shawne Merriman is going to be a shell of his former self, but let's not forget about Antonio Cromartie and his 10 INTs last year. The defense is strong, it is deep and it is playing the Carolina Panthers, who are without Steve Smith. DeAngelo Williams and Jake Delhomme will not make me look foolish with this pick. Merriman aside, this is still a very good defense.

Sit:

Jay Cutler: Without Brandon Marshall, I sit Cutler here. Mike Shanahan loves to run the ball and you can't convince me to start Cutler while he is throwing to Darrell Jackson and Eddie Royal. Oakland also has a sleeper-esque defense this season, but only in deep leagues. Still, too many factors are working against Cutler this week.

Marc Bulger: Now you know someone is going to tell you he is a top 5-10 QB in fantasy leagues. I would only listen to that if they meant No. 10 in a top 10 ranking. And, even then, I'd seriously look at Favre and Philip Rivers over him. Bulger is playing the Eagles tough defense lead by Lito Sheppard and Asante Samuel on the wings. Torry Holt better steal Doc Brown's time machine if Bulger wants to keep that top 10 billing in my books.

Willis McGahee: Whatchyou Talk'n Bout Willis McGahee is nursing a sore knee and probably won't see more than 15 touches all game long. Ray Rice is going to steal his carries, which means if you drafted McGahee as your No. 1 RB, you are in trouble. Sit McGahee until he shows he is healthy and the Ravens show they like him more than Rice. Go grab Rice if he is still available as your handcuff too.

Willie Parker: Rashard Mendenhall is going to kill Parker's value as he steals 15 or so plays from him per game. The Steelers haven't said who their short yardage back is yet, but I've got to believe it is Mendenhall. That, coupled with the Texans having a better defensive front than people think, I sit Parker and hope I can deal him to someone else before the season gets rolling.

Laveranues Coles: I have already made this point, but if I am picking between the two receivers on the Jets, I am going with Cotchery over Coles. Coles is the sexy pick because of his talent and name, but Favre does his own thing and I don't think Coles will be the breakout player you drafted him as in Week 1.

Bernard Berrian: Berrian is the leader of a very young and inexperienced receiving corps. Tarvaris Jackson is going to start, but all roads run through Adrian Peterson first, so Berrian comes second. Green Bay has a top 10 defense, so I would wait to give Berrian a play until Week 3 or 4 of the season.

Vernon Davis: Sure, he may be the most athletic player in the NFL, but that doesn't mean much when you have J.T. O'Sullivan or Alex Smith tossing you the ball. Davis is going to go down as the "coulda been" player that never did it for his fantasy team. It isn't his fault, but that doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't be your fantasy TE.

Ravens Defense: I know I said they have a good defense earlier, but the Bengals have a good offense too. The Ravens were hurt last season and they aren't getting any younger. Those two factors scared people off from drafting them this season, but I will take a chance with them still. Just not this week against the Banging Bengals!

Should you have any questions or comments about your fantasy team or the article, send them to James at [nolimitallstars1@hotmail.com](mailto: nolimitallstars1@hotmail.com) and look for your question to be featured in a future article.

*New to our web site this season is James Morris, the owner and CEO of No Limit Fantasy Sports. James will provide you with insights on the coming week's game, advice on who to sit and start, as well as answer your questions via email. *

This section will contain three main sections: Bengals Report, Start/Sit 'em and the Question of the Week. The Bengals report will be a short recap of any news from the team that impacts your fantasy radar; the Start/Sit 'em is a quick-hitter on who you should look at starting and sitting, but outside the obvious choices. We all know to start Tom Brady; no need for me to tell you that.

And, last but not least, the Question of the Week will feature a reader's emailed question that I picked to answer in the article. If you want to have your question answered for all your friends to see, [shoot me an email](mailto: nolimitallstars1@hotmail.com) and I will give you some one-on-one attention.

Week 1

Hello fantasy football fans and players. I come to you in week one of the NFL season bearing gifts of fantasy knowledge and insights that will make you the smartest and most prepared person in your football league! Without further adieu, let's get down to what you are all here for.

johnson_chad.jpg

Ocho Cinco

In Week 1 of the NFL season the Bengals match up with the defensive-minded Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals cut loose running back Rudi Johnson, which makes Chris Perry's role on the team much clearer than before. That bodes well for his fantasy, but running into the Ravens run defense in Week 1 takes him down a few notches. Chad Ocho Cinco is battling a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, but expects to play through the injury.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh comes in as Carson Palmer's No. 1 WR on my list, but Ocho Cinco is still a top 10 WR too. Ben Utecht is going to be a sneaky fantasy TE this season, so if you have room for him on your bench, now is the time to stash him away. Palmer is a top five fantasy QB all the way, so ride him until those wheels fall off.

Start:

Kurt Warner: Warner won the starting job in training camp over fantasy bust Matt Leinart. The former Super Bowl MVP draws the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 and that Is a matchup I will take every day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Granted, Nate Clements and the defensive crew allowed just 139.5 yards per game passing during the preseason, but when that was practice and this isn't. With Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin lining up outside, great things are bound to happen. But, buyer beware that Warner is 37 years old and unlikely to play 16 games. Start him early and sell him high around the deadline.

Donovan McNabb: I have McNabb in just about every single league I am in because people avoided him like he had the plague. McNabb may be injury prone and in the same boat as Warner with total games played, but before he got hurt last season McNabb was tearing it up in fantasy leagues! The Rams aren't going to stuff an old lady crossing the street, so playing their opposing QB is a good idea. McNabb has some WR concerns, but he also has Brian Westbrook.

Frank Gore: Now, last season people were on the Gore bandwagon like he was running for mayor of fantasyville, U.S.A. But, instead of carrying people to the top of the fantasy ladder, he led most teams right into the middle of the standings and right into the "we hate Frank Gore" rally. Gore has a terrible offensive line to run behind, which makes him a risky pick any week. But, the Cardinals have an even worse defensive line, making Gore a good bet in Week 1. Not to mention the Niners are in transition mode with the QB. J.T. O'Sullivan may be the best option at QB in San Fran, but that is like being the tallest midget at a little people convention. this is no way is meant to offend the little people of America; I am a BIG fan of *Little People, Big World.

Thomas Jones: Jones often was lost in the RB shuffle around draft time because the Jets weren't that good and Brett Favre took the lead in all news. Brett the Jet will help Jones just like he helped Ryan Grant last season in that opposing defenses will have to watch for the pass more often than before, thus opening the run up because of the pass. Jones should prosper this season because of that and I have him as one of my sleeper picks this season as he went, on average, around the end of round eight.

Calvin Johnson: I like Johnson to have a Pro Bowl season in 2008 and will give him my full endorsement right now. If you own Johnson, play him each week. If you don't have him, try and snag him before he breaks out. The Lions running game is weak and the pass is their best option with Johnson and Roy Williams. Playing the Falcons is always a good thing, so let Johnson anchor your WRs all season long.

Jerricho Cotchery: I know Laveranues Coles is the No. 1 WR on the depth chart, but so do the Dolphins. I look for Cotchery to really thrive under Favre as he has been healthy all preseason and Coles has been battling a thigh injury. Most people will want Coles as he is the star, but I will take chemistry over talent in this case and put my money on Cotchery.

Jeremy Shockey: Shockey is now in New Orleans, and we all know that Brees loves a TE he can throw to. Shockey may not be the best run blocker, but I haven't seen a league yet that gave fantasy points for pancakes from the TE. Shockey feels he has something to prove and Brees quickly fell in love with Antonio Gates in San Diego. I see good things here.

Chargers Defense: Ok, Shawne Merriman is going to be a shell of his former self, but let's not forget about Antonio Cromartie and his 10 INTs last year. The defense is strong, it is deep and it is playing the Carolina Panthers, who are without Steve Smith. DeAngelo Williams and Jake Delhomme will not make me look foolish with this pick. Merriman aside, this is still a very good defense.

Sit:

Jay Cutler: Without Brandon Marshall, I sit Cutler here. Mike Shanahan loves to run the ball and you can't convince me to start Cutler while he is throwing to Darrell Jackson and Eddie Royal. Oakland also has a sleeper-esque defense this season, but only in deep leagues. Still, too many factors are working against Cutler this week.

Marc Bulger: Now you know someone is going to tell you he is a top 5-10 QB in fantasy leagues. I would only listen to that if they meant No. 10 in a top 10 ranking. And, even then, I'd seriously look at Favre and Philip Rivers over him. Bulger is playing the Eagles tough defense lead by Lito Sheppard and Asante Samuel on the wings. Torry Holt better steal Doc Brown's time machine if Bulger wants to keep that top 10 billing in my books.

Willis McGahee: Whatchyou Talk'n Bout Willis McGahee is nursing a sore knee and probably won't see more than 15 touches all game long. Ray Rice is going to steal his carries, which means if you drafted McGahee as your No. 1 RB, you are in trouble. Sit McGahee until he shows he is healthy and the Ravens show they like him more than Rice. Go grab Rice if he is still available as your handcuff too.

Willie Parker: Rashard Mendenhall is going to kill Parker's value as he steals 15 or so plays from him per game. The Steelers haven't said who their short yardage back is yet, but I've got to believe it is Mendenhall. That, coupled with the Texans having a better defensive front than people think, I sit Parker and hope I can deal him to someone else before the season gets rolling.

Laveranues Coles: I have already made this point, but if I am picking between the two receivers on the Jets, I am going with Cotchery over Coles. Coles is the sexy pick because of his talent and name, but Favre does his own thing and I don't think Coles will be the breakout player you drafted him as in Week 1.

Bernard Berrian: Berrian is the leader of a very young and inexperienced receiving corps. Tarvaris Jackson is going to start, but all roads run through Adrian Peterson first, so Berrian comes second. Green Bay has a top 10 defense, so I would wait to give Berrian a play until Week 3 or 4 of the season.

Vernon Davis: Sure, he may be the most athletic player in the NFL, but that doesn't mean much when you have J.T. O'Sullivan or Alex Smith tossing you the ball. Davis is going to go down as the "coulda been" player that never did it for his fantasy team. It isn't his fault, but that doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't be your fantasy TE.

Ravens Defense: I know I said they have a good defense earlier, but the Bengals have a good offense too. The Ravens were hurt last season and they aren't getting any younger. Those two factors scared people off from drafting them this season, but I will take a chance with them still. Just not this week against the Banging Bengals!

Should you have any questions or comments about your fantasy team or the article, send them to James at [nolimitallstars1@hotmail.com](mailto: nolimitallstars1@hotmail.com) and look for your question to be featured in a future article.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising