Now that the first Sunday of the NFL season is here, it's time to put all of our fantasy knowledge into action. And in the case of NFL Network and NFL.com personalities, that knowledge should be extensive, right? Well, that's why we play the game. Rather, that's why we watch the game and play fantasy football. Whatever.
Alex Flanagan and her Flantastics got off to a great start thanks to Drew Brees' big Thursday night but her ground game could come to a halt with Ray Rice and Steven Jackson facing tough defenses. Then again, she's also hedging her bets by starting that same Philly defense poised to slow down Jackson. That should help, but she may kick herself for leaving Darren Sproles on the bench this week. Unless Percy Harvin or Wes Welker explode, it may be a struggle.
Kurt Warner and his Krew should be able to count on a solid, if not spectacular, days from Adrian Peterson and Shonn Greene. Matt Schaub should have a Warner-like day against the Colts defense, but the biggest wildcard could be Vernon Davis catching passes in the middle of the Seahawks defense. Combine that with a Ravens defense that should put up a good number against Pittsburgh and it's a good looking day for the Krew.
Predicted winner: Kurt's Krew
We've only played one game this season and Michael Lombardi is already hanging a Help Wanted sign. Like plenty of other fantasy owners, he's looking to replace Peyton Manning. In the short term, it'll be Matt Cassel. To make matter worse, he's also down a receiver with Marques Colston falling with a broken collarbone. Frank Gore should be big against Seattle, but the trio of MJD, Dwayne Bowe and Kenny Britt are risk-reward. If they come through, you can put Michael's name in lights. If not...he'll be playing off-Broadway soon.
Marshall Faulk and his Heroes have a lot of good matchups going for them this week. Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount are good plays against Detroit. LeSean McCoy will get plenty of touches against the Rams and the Chargers defense should clamp down on Donovan McNabb and the Vikings. Dallas Clark isn't nearly as valuable now as he was on draft day, but Kerry Collins is experienced enough to know who the playmakers on his team are so Clark should still produce something.
Predicted winner: Faulk Hero
Week 1 Sleepers
If Marshall Faulk has good matchups, Stacey Dales has bad ones. Rashard Mendenhall is a tough play against the Ravens. Same for Jahvid Best against Tampa Bay. And while Miles Austin says he's ready to go, his balky hamstring gives a reason to be concerned. After the Saints defense was shredded on Thursday night, she'll need big weeks from Roddy White and Mike Williams to hang close in this one.
In addition to having the best team name in the league, Rich Eisen could be in line for the week's highest point total. Aaron Rodgers put up complete game numbers in just one quarter and he can expect equally fat numbers from Larry Fitzgerald and Plaxico Burress, who go against weak secondaries. Add the always reliable Antonio Gates and the poised-to-breakout Tim Hightower and the Kukars win in a walk.
Predicted winner: The Bernie Kukars
In what could be the closest game of the week, Steve Mariucci's Militia got a good start to the week with a nice game from Greg Jennings. But he's holding his breath to find out what will become of Arian Foster on Sunday, but was smart enough to grab Ben Tate just in case. The good news is that Beanie Wells is primed to bust out against Carolina and the Steelers defense should put up respectable numbers against the Ravens.
Michael Fabiano got a good game from Jimmy Graham to get him on the board Thursday night and Jamaal Charles should keep that run going on Sunday against Buffalo. He'll bank on Ben Roethlisberger to continue his relative run of success against Baltimore and will hope that Kerry Collins calls Reggie Wayne's number several times against Houston. If it works out, he stays close. If not, this could get out of hand.
Predicted winner: Mooch's Militia
Jason LaCanfora's Sonic Reducers should make a lot of noise at the top of the lineup. Michael Vick and Michael Turner will produce. Ryan Mathews, Steve Johnson and Dez Bryant are potential sleepers with difficult matchups, but the curious decision to go double tight ends -- Marcedes Lewis as the starter and Todd Heap at the flex spot -- could come back to haunt him. The Raiders defense could cause the Reducers to implode on Monday night in Denver.
Warren Sapp and the Fighting 99s opened their title defense with a solid 10 points from kicker John Kasay and a respectable 5.3 out of Jermichael Finley. His starting receiving tandem of Andre and Calvin Johnson is sure to earn him big money. And with Matt Stafford as his quarterback, there is serious potential to double up on touchdown passes. Felix Jones is a tough start against the Jets, but one you have to make. If it doesn't work out, Peyton Hillis may be able to make up the difference against the Bengals.
Predicted winner: Fighting 99 Champ
In what should be another high-scoring affair, Michael Irvin and The Play Makers can count on big numbers from Tom Brady, Knowshon Moreno and Vincent Jackson. Chris Johnson will be an enigma in his first action of the season, but should get plenty of opportunities to make plays. Jeremy Maclin will be solid and the Patriots defense will keep the Dolphins down, leaving Irvin in a good spot.
Elliot Harrison's Plantar Smashiitis should win quite a few games this year, but Week 1 may not be one of them. Tony Romo and Matt Forte don't have the best matchups against the Jets and Falcons, respectively. Darren McFadden, Brandon Lloyd and Santonio Holmes should be able to make up some of the slack. But he'll need Cedric Benson to break out if he hopes to start the season 1-0.
Predicted winner: The Play Makers