Defenses usually have the upper hand in Week 1

The first week of the season is not kind to fantasy owners. Defense usually has the upper hand for first few weeks of the season - offenses are still getting acclimated to what they didn't see from opposing defenses in the preseason.

Case in point: Three teams were shut out in Week 1 of 2006. Seven failed to score a touchdown (though, remarkably, Seattle and St. Louis both won with just field goals). Overall, teams averaged just 16.4 points per game, much lower than average.

Another wildcard for fantasy players is that you can't really look at how players perform at home or on the road. Last year, 11 road teams won the season opener. I think we'll see as many as seven or eight road teams win this weekend. Just another thing to consider as you set your fantasy lineups.

Now that regular season is starting, you can expect to see more blitzing, more attacking in the pocket with inside blitzes. Another thing you'll see early in the year is big plays on special teams. Since backups are often playing special teams in preseason - and also because there is always so much roster movement among players who predominantly play special teams - there is the potential for big runbacks early in the season.

Here's a look at key fantasy matchups for Week 1:

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