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Exclusive Week 1 Fantasy Tips

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Q: Who should I start as my flex player in Week 1: Warrick Dunn, Clinton Portis or Hines Ward? - T. Manus, Summerville, S.C. Michael Fabiano: Dunn will share carries with sleeper Jerious Norwood and faces a Minnesota defense that ranked No. 1 vs. the run last season, so the decision here boils down to Portis, Ward and your league's scoring system. Portis completed a full practice without hindrances on Monday and will start against Miami. However, Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs told the Redskins official website that Portis will start off and he and Ladell (Betts) will take the load, so Portis could be limited in his production. He's still the better flex option unless points are rewarded for receptions, in which case Ward is more attractive. The veteran has recorded 28 receptions, 341 yards and three touchdowns in his past five contests against the Browns. Q: Who should I start in Week 1: Drew Brees or Tony Romo? - A. Hoffman, Houston, Texas M.F.: Romo has a fantastic matchup against a Giants defense that is riddled with injuries, but Brees is far too valuable to reserve. The All-Pro quarterback threw just four incompletions in his final three exhibition starts and is a tremendous option against a Colts defense that has a lot of new parts this season. Brees will also have his top two wideouts, Marques Colston and Devery Henderson, back for this contest, so look for him to thrive. Q: I drafted Matt Hasselbeck and Philip Rivers, but I'm not sure who to start in Week 1. What would you do? -- E. Mata, N/A M.F.: As much as I like Rivers as a fantasy starter this season, Hasselbeck should be active ahead of him this week. Rivers faces a difficult challenge against a Bears defense that was one of the first units taken in all fantasy drafts, while Hasselbeck battles a Buccaneers defense that is far less formidable. Q: I need to start Drew Bennett, Bernard Berrian or Kevin Curtis as my No. 3 fantasy wideout this week. Advice? - A. Schindler, Lincoln, Neb. M.F.: Bennett should be a nice red-zone option for Marc Bulger, but he's dealing with a sore quadriceps and could be a bit limited. Be sure to keep tabs on his status throughout the week. Curtis has great speed and is viable No. 3 or 4 fantasy receiver against Green Bay, but I'd side with Berrian this week. He had a terrific preseason with a total of eight receptions, 138 yards and two touchdowns, and Berrian should be prominent for the Bears vs. a Chargers defense that can be somewhat vulnerable to the pass.

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