Roster Shake Up  


America's Team: Gearing up for Week 1


Well America, it's your time to shine. The NFL Fantasy LIVE experts' league draft has concluded, and your team is set for the 2014 fantasy season. All that's left to be set in stone is your lineup for Week 1, where you'll be facing NFL Media senior fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano. A tough draw no doubt, but let's see what's in store with America's lineup. Here's how it looks so far:

QB: Peyton Manning vs. Indianapolis Colts
RB1: Ryan Mathews at Arizona Cardinals
RB2: Reggie Bush vs. New York Giants
WR1: Dez Bryant vs. San Francisco 49ers
WR2: Pierre Garcon at Houston Texans
FLEX: Ben Tate at Pittsburgh Steelers
TE: Dennis Pitta vs. Cincinnati Bengals
K: Blair Walsh at St. Louis Rams
DEF: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

RB: Jeremy Hill at Baltimore Ravens
RB: Pierre Thomas at Atlanta Falcons
WR: Julian Edelman at Miami Dolphins
WR: Marques Colston at Atlanta Falcons
WR: Hakeem Nicks at Denver Broncos
WR: Sammy Watkins at Chicago Bears

The first question seems to be whether or not to bench running back Ryan Mathews, who is going against the Arizona Cardinals defense.

View the full question and voting results here

Mathews enjoyed a career-year last season, while the Cardinals were the stingiest run defense in the NFL at home last season. However, the Cardinals are without dominant defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, and both of their starting middle linebackers (Daryl Washington, Karlos Dansby) from a year ago. The Red Birds' defense should still be stout, but it likely won't be as intimidating. As of right now, it appears the consensus is to ride with Mathews for Week 1.

Next up is the debate about whom to play at the WR2 position.

View the full question and voting results here

So far America is leaning toward Pierre Garcon, and that seems to make a lot of sense. Colston hasn't been as strong away from the Superdome, and we've yet to see Nicks or Watkins play any regular season snaps with their 2014 teams. Edelman could be in play, however, especially if Rob Gronkowski remains sidelined or in a limited role for Week 1.

Lastly, America needs to determine what to do with the flex position.

View the full question and voting results here

Tate figures to get the majority of the carries in what we can only imagine will be a run-heavy offense, so there is definitely upside there. The downside is that he's going against a revitalized Pittsburgh defense that won't be respecting the passing game at all. If Garcon remains the WR2, then Edelman could be an option here. Hill and Thomas both figure to see some touches, but as of right now their roles are pretty hard to predict.

Well, there you have it, America. Be sure to vote on these questions and more at the America's Team home page so you can take down Fabiano in Week 1. You've always thought you could beat the fantasy experts. Now is your time to prove it.

-- Alex writes fantasy and features pieces for Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar.